An Early History of Cache County…

<<Back Index Next>>

Compiled by M. R. Hovey, Secretary, Logan Chamber of Commerce. January 1, 1923 to January 1, 1925. Also as printed in the Logan Journal, beginning August 4, 1923.

Mendon Utah Logo

Early Journalism

The Journal

The history of journalism in Cache County begins with a little folder called the Northern Light, printed half in Danish and half in English. Its first owner, A. C. Growe, sold the entire plant to Binnie Pratt for $100.00. After worrying along with the paper for a while, he too sold out at a considerable discount, after which the entire plant was destroyed by fire.

An Ogden company, the Junction Printing Company, then took up the work and founded a little weekly, the Logan Leader. Frank J. Cannon was installed as editor and manager and September 11th, 1879, the first issue of the Logan Leader made its appearance. Ezra T. Hyde was the compositor and Fred Bertnsen was the printer’s devil, and the paper was published in that part of the Lindquist Building east on First North, now occupied by Mr. Julius Stender. The paper kept alive for one year, at the end of which time Mr. B. F. Cummings bought the establishment and kept the paper going for two years.

A stock company of Cache County men took the plant in charge in the latter part of 1881 and joined with it the job printing offices of Smith and Stratford. The plant was moved to the upstairs of a frame building which stood where the Budge Clinic building now is. At this time Mr. Jesse Earl was employed by the company and became the printer’s devil. He was only eleven years of age and began his newspaper career which is with Mr. Fred Berntsen, perhaps the longest of any newspaper man in the Valley today. Through all the ups and downs of the paper and of all those who were connected with it in those days, Mr. Earl and Mr. Berntsen are the only ones still connected with the paper, (1923). The company added new material to the stock and changed the name of the paper to the Utah Journal and it was issued semi-weekly. For two years the paper flourished with B. F. Cummings as editor and E. B. Burnett as manager. In 1884 Mr. Burnett sold his interest in the plant and Mr. Cummings became the manager.

In 1885, the paper ceased to be self-supporting and the plant was turned over to the Utah Journal Company composed of J. P. Smith, E. A. Stratford and John E. Carlisle. For four years the paper prospered with John E. Carlisle as editor, E. A. Stratford, manager, and J. P. Smith, foreman.

In 1889, R. W. Sloan, an editor of the Salt Lake Herald and an efficient newspaper man, came to Logan and purchased the paper and changed the name to Logan Journal. The plant was moved to the First Ward rock school building located where the Lyric Theatre is on Center Street. Mr. Sloan improved the paper considerably during the three years he had charge of it and made it one of the leading newspapers of the state. Mr. Jesse Earl was made foreman by Mr. Sloan.

In 1891 a stock company was formed and the entire business was purchased from Mr. Sloan at one hundred times the price paid for the first newspaper of the county when it sold out.

The new owners took possession of the plant January 1st, 1892 and changed the name of the paper to The Journal, as it is today. The first editor employed was G. W. Williams, an editor of the Salt Lake Times. He remained with The Journal for two months when he resigned and Mr. Noble Warrum Jr. took his place. Charsles England became the business manager. Later Mr. A. Gordon became the editor. Mr. Joseph England became foreman. Marion England was compositor, James England pressman and Gus Carlson printer’s devil. In 1895 Mr. F. J. Marshall was employed as a reporter for the paper.

In 1897 the Earl and England Publishing Company was organized and finally took over all the interests of the former newspaper company. The plant was moved to its present location in 1903 and in August 1904 the first linotype machine in the Valley was installed in the plant.

The paper became a daily on January 1st, 1917.