Wyoming Newspapers


Wyoming’s first newspaper was published in 1863 in Fort Bridger. The paper, the Daily Telegraph, was one small sheet, two columns printed on one side. The paper printed on 6 ½ by 10 ½, a bit smaller than most of today’s 9 by 11 computer stock paper, contained mostly news of the great war in the east.

Hiram Brundage was the editor, writer, owner and likely also the printer of the one-sheet newspaper.  According to Douglas McMurtrie’s, Pioneer Printing in Wyoming, there was only one advertisement which read, “Job work of all kinds done at this office.” A job advertising the newspapers, job printing, availability to the locals.
Douglas McMurtrie

Within four years, six more newspapers were started in what would become Wyoming, three in Cheyenne. By the time statehood reached Wyoming in 1890, dozens of newspapers had start-ups in the state. Many were short-lived, others combined forces and a few continued for years. But it was not until Edgar Wilson (Bill) Nye arrived that the Wyoming newspaper business took off.

Nye had read for the law before and after reaching Cheyenne in 1876, but it took his friend and mentor in law John Jenkins, the United States attorney for Wyoming Territory, to get Nye into his true calling, the newspaper business. Jenkins sent Bill Nye over the hill to Laramie, and as I hope they never say in the Newspaper business, the rest is history.

Bill Nye went to work for Laramie’s morning newspaper, The Sentinel, as an editor for $12 a week. According to Nye, “We printed it before sundown and distributed it before breakfast, thus it had the appearance of extreme freshness and dampness.” After five years, Nye left the Sentinel and started his own paper, The Boomerang, still going strong today
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Nye named the paper after his mule, Boomerang, and started the paper in the loft of a livery barn. Nye hand painted a sign, placing it at the bottom of the stairs leading to his office and the press upstairs, it read, “Twist the gray Mule’s tail and take the elevator.” The first issue came out on March 11, 1882, and the rest, well, the rest really is history. 
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