State’s story told in Utah historical newspapers
Published: December 13, 2013 12:03PM
Updated: December 13, 2013 12:34PM
Emmeline B. Wells was chief editor of the Women's Exponent newspaper for 37 years, beginning in 1877. Wells was an early advocate of women's rights and used the publication to support women's suffrage and educational and economic opportunities as well as to report news of the Mormon Women's Relief Society. She wrote articles for the Woman's Exponent under the name "Blanche Beechwood." Courtesy Utah State Historical Society

Did you know Utah once had a newspaper called Women’s Exponent, which for decades starting the late 1800s advocated for voting rights for Utah women as well as educational and economic opportunities?

Emmeline B. Wells, the newspaper’s editor for 37 years beginning in 1877, wrote under the name Blanche Beechwood, also reporting Mormon Relief Society news, according to the Utah State Historical Society.

Wells’ photo is among those in this fascinating Look Back gallery featuring historical Utah newspapers. Those of us who live in Utah today and are most familiar with The Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News and a few other newspapers may be surprised to learn Salt Lake City once had numerous daily papers. Even tiny Corinne once had the Daily Reporter, pictured in its tent-like office in 1869.

The Look Back gallery offers only a small slice of the state’s newspaper history compared with the Marriott Library’s Utah Digital Newspapers project, which began in 2002 and so far has digitized and made searchable online 1.5 million pages from 100 historical Utah newspapers.

Just last month, the project announced the addition of four years of World War I-era editions of the Tribune to the online archive.

Editions of The Tribune from 1871-1919 — 175,000 pages in all — are now available.

The library will digitize more as funding becomes available.

Genealogists, researchers or anyone interested in Utah history and how residents of our state once lived will find much of interest in both the Look Back gallery and the Digital Newspapers Project.