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The first issue of the six-column, four-page weekly, the Sun River Sun appeared on February 14, 1884. That inaugural issue of this Montana newspaper contained a rather detailed history of the Sun River Valley beginning with the arrival of cattleman Robert Ford in 1869, followed by ranchers Robert Vaughn and Conrad Kohrs in the 1880s. In the same issue, the Sun lauded the area’s rich soil and potential for irrigation. The newspaper’s editor, David R. Hall, and manager, Will Hanks, offered a weekly column of quotes from local residents called “Sunstrokes.” In one of these, a local by the name of Ed offered the following advice:  “Good whiskey is a great civilizer.” In the next two years the publishers provided weekly installments of “Sun Beams” and the “Latest Rays,” both intended to keep residents abreast of the local gossip.

The Sun did offer a smattering of international, national, and state news. Sun River’s close proximity to Fort Shaw made reports on activities of the Blackfeet tribe, the town’s neighbor to the north, a regular feature.

Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT