Deseret News (Newspaper), Nineteenth-Century Newspapers, Paper Making, Pulping, Publishing, Mormon Publications, Paper Industry, George Goddard, William W. Phelps, Journalism


Before the Latter-day Saints arrived in Salt Lake City, arrangements were made for a printing establishment in the Salt Lake Valley. At Winter Quarters, Brigham Young sent W. W. Phelps to obtain a press that might be brought west. This article briefly describes the Ramage press that Phelps acquired. The Deseret News, the first newspaper in the Rocky Mountains, began publication on June 15, 1850. This weekly eight-page paper contained news taken from national newspapers, events in Britain, and local information such as activities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and crop conditions. One of the greatest difficulties of publishing the Deseret News was procuring paper. A paper mill was built in Big Cottonwood Canyon and missionaries, including George Goddard, were sent to obtain rags and other suitable materials to make paper. The coming of Johnston's army caused the press to move from Salt Lake City to Fillmore, where the Deseret News was printed for a few months in 1858. By 1867, the newspaper had added a daily, the Deseret Evening News, to its normal weekly publication. The transcontinental telegraph and railroad, both completed in the 1860's, helped the Saints overcome the prior obstacles of paper shortages and a slow information trail.

Original Publication Citation

J. Michael Hunter, "Starting a Pioneer Newspaper: The Deseret News," Pioneer 58, no. 1 (2006): 8-18.

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Sons of Utah Pioneers




Harold B. Lee Library