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Pages Available: 8,148,101

Title:
The Union. : (St. George, Utah) 1882-1898
Alternative Titles:
  • Saint George union
  • St. George union
  • Union & village echo
  • Union and village echo
Place of publication:
St. George, Utah
Geographic coverage:
  • Bloomington, Washington, Utah  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Saint George, Washington, Utah  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:
J.W. Carpenter
Dates of publication:
1882-1898
Description:
  • Vol. 2, no. 1 (Dec. 12, 1882)-v. 2, no. 9 (June 1884); C.P. vol. 7, no. 10 (Aug. 2, 1884)-v. 11, no. 2 (May 19, 1898).
Frequency:
Weekly
Language:
  • English
Subjects:
  • Saint George (Utah)--Newspapers.
  • Washington County (Utah)--Newspapers.
Notes:
  • Frequency varies; during <1885-1887>, it is called a monthly, but only one issue a year was published.
  • Issues for Jan.-May 1883 have title: Union & village echo.
  • Issues for May 12 and May 19, 1898 have title: St. George union.
  • None published 1888-1896. Cf. Alter, J.C. Early Utah journalism.
  • Published in St. George, Dec. 1882-Jan. 1883, 1884-1885, <1897-1898>; in Bloomington, Mar. 1883-July 1883, 1886-1887.
LCCN:
sn 85058012
OCLC:
11694406
ISSN:
2163-4718
Preceding Titles:
Holdings:
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The Union. December 12, 1882, Image 1

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The Union and The St. George Union

In the late 19th century, the town of St. George witnessed the rise and fall of many newspapers that served the region known as “Utah’s Dixie.” Among them, the Union proved relatively durable. Published sporadically, it was able to survive for just over 20 years.

St. George’s first settlers arrived in November 1861, a group of 300 families called to serve in the Mormon Church’s “Cotton Mission.” Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon Church, hoped to develop a cotton industry in the red-rock desert landscape about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City. Life in the town proved difficult. Spring floods ravaged farmland and summer heat wilted crops. Still, by 1871 the city’s population topped 1,100.

The arrival of a telegraph line in 1867 breathed life into St. George’s newspaper industry. In January 1868, Our Dixie Times was launched, proclaiming “a new era…to establish a printing press [in] settlements so new and destitute of means.” Within two months, the newspaper’s foreman deserted, and printing duties fell to the editor’s two sons, ages 11 and 15, and his 14-year-old daughter. The newspaper changed its name in May 1868, to The Rio Virgin Times, sometimes printed as Rio Virgen Times. Difficulties persisted, however, as the editor explained in September 1868: “We are publishing at present without any prospect of receiving one half of our current expenses.” The paper folded two months later.

Other newspapers came and went, including the Cactus, which was launched in 1868, and the St. George Enterprise, which debuted in 1871 and died three years later.

When the Union appeared in 1878, it enjoyed a brief stint as St. George’s only newspaper and attracted subscribers by reprinting the sermons of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Still, editor and owner J. W. Carpenter struggled to publish regularly, and it took four years to release the first 24-issue volume of the “semi-monthly.” As Carpenter wrote in the November 12, 1880, issue: “We must have food and clothes, and the publishing business is not lucrative enough…especially when about half of our subscribers do not pay.”

In late 1896, the motto on the Union’s masthead changed, from: “United we stand, divided we fall,” to, “From the little acorn grows the mighty oak.” Unfortunately for Carpenter, newspaper revenues refused to follow the acorn’s example. On May 19, 1898, he published the final edition of the Union, and announced his intention to try his hand at farming.

Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library