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The Neihart Herald
In 1890, Francis A. Preston began publishing the seven-column, four-page weekly, the Neihart [Montana] Herald. From the very beginning, the Herald published extensive reports on local mining activity. Back in 1881, James Neihart had discovered silver in the vicinity and founded the town which took his name. The Neihart Herald reported local news such as the high school honor rolls as well as state news. In 1891, the Montana Central Railway completed a line from Great Falls to Neihart, sparking a short-lived boom.
Early issues of the Neihart Herald proclaimed that placer mining would soon exceed all expectations, and each issue of the newspaper during that second year of publication reported the opening of new mines. The editor, E.K. Abbott, announced the opening of a new clothing store, drugstore, bank, two restaurants, and two saloons. He also solicited contributions for a new Miners' Union Grave Yard on nearby Harley Creek.
With the repeal of the Silver Purchase Act in mid-1893, however, came a national panic, and Montana's silver mines took the brunt of the impact. Before July 1893, Neihart reported a population of 1,500 with 500 miners working and a monthly payroll of $50,000. The crash diminished the population to 200 people, putting all the miners out of work. The town never really recovered. At first, the Neihart Herald went to a smaller format of four pages and four columns; it ceased publication altogether in 1901.
Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT