ELEPHIND.COM search the world's historical newspaper archives
From:  To: 
click here to view elephind tips
Elephind Tips
To find items containing all the words:
John Quincy Adams
Simply type the words:
John Quincy Adams
To find items containing the exact phrase:
John Quincy Adams
Put the phrase in quotes:
"John Quincy Adams"
To find either of the words:
president, congressman
Type OR between the words:
president OR congressman
For more tips take a look at the search tips page.
bubble pointer to elephind tips
click here to subscribe our mailing list
Publication Details

The Utah County Democrat.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: Utah

City: Provo City, Utah

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 139

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 738

Earliest Date: 31 August 1898

Latest Date: 26 December 1908


Utah County Democrat and Provo Herald

Early in the twenty-first century, Utah County’s political reputation makes it one of the “reddest” places in America. That is, the county’s voters overwhelmingly elect Republicans to local, state, and national offices. In fact, in many parts of the county, which covers some 1.4 million acres in central Utah, Democrats regularly fail to field a candidate for the state legislature.

But Utah County’s political affiliations have not always been so one-sided. During the late nineteenth century, changes within the Mormon Church and Utah’s struggle for statehood created a more balanced, and volatile, political environment. The Democratic Party thrived in Utah County, as did its local mouthpiece in Provo, the Utah County Democrat--at least for a decade or so.

Since Brigham Young and his Mormon followers first settled in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, politics in Utah tended to fall along religious lines. Nineteenth-century elections usually pit the Mormon People’s Party against the Gentile Liberal Party (in Utah, non-Mormons are often described as “gentiles”). State politics slowly reorganized in the 1890s, when the Mormon Church formally abandoned plural marriage and Utah sought to become a state. Republicans and Democrats formed local parties, and following statehood in 1896 it appeared that Utah favored the latter. In its first presidential contest as a state, Utah Democrats drew more than 80 percent of the presidential vote for William Jennings Bryan. Two years later, Democrats elected Brigham Henry Roberts to Congress (he was not allowed to serve because of his practice of polygamy).

During this “blue” period in Utah County, the Democrat made its debut. On August 31, 1898, the newspaper issued its first edition and proclaimed: “The Utah County Democrat is not a campaign venture, but is designed to be a permanent institution.” Nevertheless, the newspaper, published three times a week in Provo, Utah County’s capital city, could always be counted on to castigate Republicans. In its coverage of a fall primary election shortly after the turn of the century, the Democrat opined: “The ‘charmed circle’ rule was evident at the Republican primaries last evening. It’s a pity that some people have eyes, and can’t see.”

Still, the newspaper was more than simply a political soapbox. The Democrat thrived for more than 10 years by offering Utah County readers news that mattered to them, including coverage of local government, and the latest from the agricultural and mining industries.

In February 1909, the Democrat, whose ownership had changed hands many times, gave up its political affiliation and became independent. To mark the transformation it changed its name too, rechristened as the Provo Herald. A version of that newspaper exists today, thriving in the Republican-dominated Utah County of the twenty-first century.

Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library