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A glimpse at Logan's newspaper past

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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 12:30 am | Updated: 2:05 am, Fri Dec 16, 2011.

    This newspaper got its name when the Logan Herald bought out the Logan Journal in 1931 following what has been described as a bitter battle for local news supremacy. What none of us currently at the paper knew until this week is that Logan continued to be a two-paper town until 1949.

    While remodeling their home recently, the Castillo family of Nibley came across a bunch of old newspapers used for insulation under the floorboards. Among them were several copies of The Cache American, a twice-weekly broadsheet packed with local and national news that boasted an annual subscription rate of $1.50. José Castillo thought  Herald Journal employees would enjoy seeing the old paper and brought a copy into our office.

    An Internet search found just two references to the now defunct publication. One was from the Logan Public Library, which houses archived microfilm of the American through its entire run from 1931-49. The other was an entry on the Library of Congress website listing the paper’s publishers and a few other details.

    Interestingly, the Cache American was owned by the England family, which also had a stake in the Journal before it sold out in 1931. Utah newspaper historian J.M. Cornwell gives brief mention to the American in his extensive book on the state’s newspaper industry, noting that the American’s slogan was “A Home Newspaper for Home People,” which played on the fact that the American was locally owned while The Herald Journal belonged to a larger, outside chain.

    As for content, the July 26, 1938, edition of the American brought in by José Castillo offers quite a few nuggets.

    Leading the top of the front page that day was an in-depth report on the Hyrum Pioneer Day Parade and town celebration, highlighted by a speech from Charles A. Callis of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve and the appearance of parade queen Donna Jensen, who “made a striking picture on a white draped float with two attendants.”

    The front page also featured stories on the appointment of S.E. Needham Jr. as a partner in his family’s downtown Logan jewelry business and the death of 5-year-old Thomas Felix Willmore in an auto accident on the Valley View Highway, the fourth road fatality so far that year in Cache Valley.   

    And then there was this item in the bottom-right corner of the front page, which suggests that although life has changed a lot since those days, some things are still the same:

“A Comparison —

   Bishop D.J. Sutton and members of his family returned from an extended trip Thursday along the west coast which took them into Canada. He noticed the seemingly easy and contented way of living among the Canadians as compared to the high-spirited and fast-moving life of we Americans. He thinks that if we would slow up a little, enjoy the things we have, stop running over each other and be more friendly and neighborly, we would get a great deal more out of life than we do now. In all the territory visited with so many wonderful sights, he has not found a lovelier spot than Cache Valley.”

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