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Idaho news. : (Blackfoot, Idaho) 1887-1891
Place of publication:
Blackfoot, Idaho
Geographic coverage:
  • Blackfoot, Bingham, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.W. Jones
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 11, 1887)-v. 5, no. 22 (Oct. 31, 1891).
  • English
  • Blackfoot (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho--Blackfoot.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01230546
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Publisher: Norman Jones, June 25, 1887-October 31, 1891.
sn 88056018
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Idaho news. June 11, 1887 , Image 1


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Idaho News and Blackfoot News

John W. Jones, a decorated Civil War veteran originally from Virginia, published the first issue of the Idaho News on June 11, 1887 in the town of Blackfoot, Idaho. What is today known as the "Potato Capital of the World," Blackfoot was then a community in rural, territorial Idaho dependent on the railroad industry for its economic survival. Jones outlined the political intentions for his paper in the first issue, "Politically, we shall be true to our training and shall, as occasion demands, advocate with the best strokes of our pen the principles of the grand old Democratic Party." His eldest son, Norman Jones, soon took over as publisher. The News was a weekly publication released on Saturday. The publication was first printed in a four-page, seven-column format, which changed to an eight-page, six-column format in February 1888.

The Idaho News documented the territorial politics of Idaho's Democrat, Republican, and anti-Mormon interests. Anti-Mormon interests, championed on the state level by the Republican Party, aimed to deny Mormons the right to vote, hold office, or obtain public lands. In July 1890, Idaho achieved statehood, creating one complete, unbroken chain of states running from coast to coast. That same year, the "1890 Manifesto," penned by LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff, denounced the practice of polygamy. This policy change led to a softening of anti-Mormon sentiment in Idaho.

In November 1891, the Idaho News changed its name to the Blackfoot News. Norman Jones reasoned that the change was "in honor of our town and her noble people." Jones again solidified the democratic affiliation of the newspaper in the first publication under the new name, stating, "we want to give our party an organ worthy of the great principles and policies we advocate." In December, another of John W. Jones's sons, Percy Jones, joined the paper as publisher.

The Blackfoot News covered the Idaho communities of Pocatello, Boise, and Hailey, as well as Utah and Nevada. Significant space was dedicated to the matters of agriculture and irrigation. The News also included coverage of the insane asylum at Blackfoot, the railroad and mining industries, and the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The Blackfoot News ran as a four-page semiweekly during 1901, carrying on as a leading voice of Southern Idaho Democrats until its cessation on January 1, 1902.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society