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The Inter-mountain farmer. (Salt Lake City, Utah) 1902-1904. [online resource] : (Utah.) ????-????
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  • Inter-mountain farmer
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  • English
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The Inter-mountain farmer. (Salt Lake City, Utah) 1902-1904. [online resource] December 2, 1902 , Image 1


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Inter-mountain Farmer

With its sprawling deserts and semi-arid, windswept plains, Utah’s topography is unforgiving enough to make even the most determined farmers throw up their hands in frustration. Nevertheless, since the area was first settled in the mid-1800s, indomitable agriculturalists never quit trying to draw a living from the stingy Utah soil. Over time, farmers discovered methods to deal with dry conditions, and by 1902, the year the Inter-mountain Farmer debuted, Utah boasted more than 10,500 individual farms, with four million acres dedicated to agriculture. Hardscrabble farmers enjoyed decent profits growing sugar beets or feed crops, like alfalfa. Others started dairy farms, poultry farms, or cattle ranches.

The Inter-mountain Farmer was introduced in February 1902, the creation of Perry S. Heath, publisher and general manager of the Salt Lake Tribune, one of the biggest newspapers in the region. Heath was a native of Indiana and the former assistant postmaster general credited with introducing free rural mail delivery in the United States. As the sitting secretary of the Republican National Committee, Heath purchased the Tribune in October 1901 largely as a front for U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns, a Utah Republican who had long wanted to acquire the so-called “anti-Mormon” publication. As part of the subsequent restructuring of Tribune Publishing Co., the new owners introduced an evening version of the Tribune, and a few months later, the Inter-mountain Farmer.

Though published in Salt Lake City, one of the largest urban centers in the Intermountain region, the new publication targeted rural farmers in Utah and the surrounding states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. Appearing every Tuesday, it regularly featured articles like: “Keeping the Dairy Clean,” “Hatching Time in the Poultry Yard,” or “The Pear Blight.” Other pieces provided advice on how best to control invasive weeds and how to combat blind staggers, an epilepsy-like condition suffered by pigs.

For one dollar, readers could buy an annual subscription, and another fifty cents purchased a dual subscription with the weekly version of the Tribune. Despite such flexible terms and the advertising revenue provided by the likes of C.H. Crow Saddlers, and Hines Mercantile, which specialized in “farm products of all kinds,” the Inter-mountain Farmer failed to prove profitable. In 1904, the publication was discontinued.

Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library