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Country: United States
City: Cedar City, Utah
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 10
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 80
Earliest Date: 6 December 1890
Latest Date: 14 March 1891
Statehood for Utah lay two years in the future when the Iron County Record first appeared in December 1893. The newspaper’s home, Cedar City, was little more than a crossroads on the southern edge of the Great Basin. Yet the Record thrived for nearly 90 years by providing local news, covering social events, and offering lively editorial commentary, as Iron County evolved from a tiny outpost to a popular tourist destination.
Before the arrival of white settlers, Iron County’s diverse terrain was home to native peoples like the Fremont and Anasazi, and later Goshutes and Southern Paiutes. In 1776, Spanish explorers established a route from Santa Fe to California that cut through modern-day Iron County. Behind them came traders and trappers.
In 1850, leaders of the Mormon Church announced a colonization project called the Iron Mission. As part of a plan to establish a string of new Mormon settlements, Brigham Young sought hearty souls to “Establish an iron foundry [and] other things necessary for…an infant settlement among the Indians.” In January 1851, 110 men and 31 women established Parowan, the Iron County seat, about 250 miles south of Salt Lake. Months later, they built nearby Cedar City.
By the late 19th century, the iron industry had fizzled. Iron County boasted a scant 3,500 residents. Dry farming and dairy fueled the small but slowly growing economy, and a manufacturing industry was blossoming near Cedar City’s rail hub. In November 1890, the county’s first newspaper appeared. The Iron County News was a weekly publication printed in Cedar City that struggled to turn a profit. It failed after only four months. Two and a half years later, the Record debuted.
Under the direction of Charles Wilkinson, the Record prospered, attracting readers with a mix of local news and commentary. With a masthead that proudly announced “the press is the lever by which the world is moved,” the Record's front-page features included descriptions of visiting religious luminaries from the “metropolis” to the north. Other items included a column called “Parowan Promptings,” offering news from the county seat, and “Paragoonah Pointers” carrying information from another nearby community. These often included homespun tidbits such as the following from May 1903: “Two of the young ladies gave very good talks in meeting last Sunday.”
In 1982, the Record stopped publication when absorbed by the Cedar City Spectrum. By then, Iron County’s population had grown above 20,000 and the region attracted hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to outdoor wonders like Cedar Breaks National Monument and the popular Utah Shakespearean Festival. In the early 21st century, the county’s largest paper was the Daily Spectrum.
Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library