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The Meeker herald. [volume] : (Meeker, Colo.) 1885-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Meeker herald and Rio Blanco news
Place of publication:
Meeker, Colo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Meeker, Garfield, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Meeker, Rio Blanco, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Houston & Lyttle
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 15, 1885)-
  • English
  • Colorado--Garfield County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221062
  • Colorado--Meeker.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216562
  • Colorado--Rio Blanco County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207245
  • Garfield County (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Meeker (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Rio Blanco County (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
  • Published as: Meeker herald and Rio Blanco news, Sept. 24-Oct. 29, 1892.
sn 90051081
Preceding Titles:
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The Meeker herald. [volume] September 5, 1885 , Image 1


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Meeker Herald

Meeker, Colorado, was founded in July 1885 by the Meeker Town Company out of the remains of an abandoned military post, Camp White River. The town was named for Nathan Meeker, the former agriculture editor for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, who moved to Colorado in 1870 to found the utopian community of Union Colony, which is the present-day Greeley, Colorado. When the colony failed to be financially successful and the community members balked at adopting his religious values, Meeker took an appointment at the White River Ute Indian Agency. He incurred the resentment of the White River Utes for attempting to convert them to Christianity and imposing farming reforms, including plowing a field the Utes used for grazing and racing horses. After a tense conversation with a Ute chief, Meeker wired for military assistance, alleging he had been assaulted, seriously injured, and driven from his home. On September 29, 1879, in advance of 150 to 200 troops arriving from Fort Steele in Wyoming, the Utes attacked the office, killing Meeker and eight male employees. Meeker's wife and daughter and the wife and two children of another agency employee were kidnapped but released 23 days later.

In the same year as the town's founding, James Lyttle and John V. "Jack" Houston started The Meeker Herald. Lyttle was a seasoned newspaperman, having apprenticed as a 13-year-old at the Pittsburgh Gazette; in 1880 he had moved to Colorado to work for the Denver Tribune and then the Leadville Herald-Democrat in Leadville. Lyttle set up a newspaper plant in Meeker and began publication in August 1885, running off the first issue on a George Washington hand press in a log cabin.

The Herald was the second paper to begin publication in Northwest Colorado; The Steamboat Pilot narrowly preceded it by one week. Houston left his position at the Herald in 1886 upon his appointment to postmaster by President Grover Cleveland. Lyttle purchased Houston's share of the paper and continued running the Herald for the next 40 years, except for the brief ownership of Henry A. Wildhack, co-owner of the Rio Blanco News, who merged the two papers in September 1892. For six issues, the paper published under the name of the Meeker Herald and Rio Blanco News, but it quickly reverted to the Meeker Herald when Lyttle repurchased it in November 1892.

Lyttle was active in local, county, and Colorado state politics, serving as the mayor of Meeker, the superintendent of Rio Blanco County schools, and a member of the Colorado assembly. The Herald reflected Lyttle's strong Democratic politics. His son, Richard G. Lyttle, took over the editorship and publication of the Herald when Lyttle died in 1925. Richard Lyttle doubled the size of the newspaper plant. The paper was sold to K. James Cook in 1964 and sold again in 1992 to Sureva Towler, who closed the Herald in 1993. The Cook family stepped in and revived the paper that same year, with Mike Cook serving as publisher. The paper was sold again in 1995 to Glen R. and Donna L. Troester. It continues publication as the Rio Blanco Herald Times.

Provided by: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ