First newspapers in Montana…

August 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Similar to other eventual states in the western portion of the country, it was the search for gold & other precious metals which took some of the earliest adventurers to the Montana Territory.

Gold was discovered in Montana in 1858 and a “town” immediately sprang up, named Bannack. A newspaper, title the “News-Letter“, was started but not being successful only lasted a few numbers. (Given its format and short life it is not considered Montana’s first newspaper by some, that honor given more commonly to the “Montana Post“.)

The following year a richer strike was made in nearby Virginia City, where the first issue of the “Montana Post” was printed on August 27, 1864. Its publisher, John Buchanan, sold the newspaper just two weeks later to Tilton and Dittes, and 4 years later when Helena became the state’s capital the newspaper moved to that location where the first issue from Helena was dated August 25, 1868.

The next Montana newspaper was the “Montana Democrat“, printed in Virginia City from 1865. It would be followed by a few more in the 1860’s: the “Montana Radiator” in late 1865, the “Rocky Mountain Gazette” in 1866 and the first daily newspaper titled the “Herald” from Helena late in the same year.

Collectors prize issues of the “Montana Post” from Virginia City, although those with a Helena imprint are the more commonly found.

It caught my eye…

March 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The front page of the “Weekly Missoulian” newspaper from Missoula, Montana Territory, December 12, 1873 has an article titled: “The Value of a Newspaper” which logically caught my eye. Although the item had nothing to do with the value of an historic newspaper, it does say much about the relative cost to subscribe to a newspaper in the 1870’s, and has a nice story associated with it as well. Enjoy.

I have typically found Old West newspapers to have some of the more interesting tidbits of any era or region. We have hundreds to choose from for your browsing.