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Boise news. : (Bannock City, I.T. [Idaho City, Idaho]) 1863-1864
Place of publication:
Bannock City, I.T. [Idaho City, Idaho]
Geographic coverage:
  • Bannock City, Boise, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Idaho City, Boise, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
T.J. & J.S. Butler
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 29, 1863)-v. 2, no. 5 (Oct. 22, 1864).
  • English
  • Bannock City (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho City (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho--Idaho City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01295399
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 89055016
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Boise news. September 29, 1863 , Image 1


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Boise News

Brothers John S. and Thomas J. Butler founded the Boise News in Idaho City, Boise County, Idaho Territory, in September 1863. Originally named Bannock City, Idaho City is located 36 miles northeast of Boise and began as a mining boom town. To avoid being confused with Bannack, Montana, the town's name was changed. The Boise News commented on February 20, 1864, "The good people of Bannock... were astonished on Sunday morning, to wake and find themselves in a new city, but not among strangers--by some transmutation, the whole population, houses and all, were in Idaho City."

The Butler brothers printed their paper on a hand press purchased from the Statesman in Walla Walla, which had also been used to publish the Morning Oregonian. The Boise News ran as a weekly, originally published on Tuesdays, but switched to Saturdays in November 1863. It consisted of four pages with five columns and pledged to be "strictly independent in politics." The News advocated for the advancement of Idaho City, including regular mail service for the town and the building of a canal from the Payette River to aid in mining development. The News also urged for the capital to be removed from Lewiston to southern Idaho, stating that "even our neighboring agricultural city of Boise" would be a more suitable capital than the "trading post" of Lewiston. In August 1864, the Butlers added a "Gordon's patent lightning press" to their operation, a printing machine that could churn out two thousand impressions per hour.

In the autumn of 1864, Isaac H. Bowman and Henry Clay Street approached the Butler brothers with an offer to buy the printing plant. Bowman and Street had published a Democratic campaign paper entitled the Idaho Crisis using the Boise News' printing equipment. They threatened to start a rival Democratic paper in Idaho City if the Butlers refused to sell. The farewell note from the Butlers in the final issue of the Boise News, on October 22, 1864, stated, "the time has arrived when in order to further succeed in publishing a newspaper it is necessary to drive, or be driven, into politics, an employment that the undersigned have no relish for." Reportedly, the Butlers had made $20,000 on publishing the Boise News in its 57-week lifespan. Bowman and Clay bought out the News' printing equipment and began publication of their Democratic Idaho World the next week.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society