Telegram examines its history

The Torrington Telegram printing press fired back into action in March of 2021. Nate Chapman, left, collects freshly printed paper from the press. Logan Dailey/Torrington Telegram

GOSHEN COUNTY – Newspapers continue to deliver timely, impactful and ethical journalism across the county today and during the 82nd National Newspaper Week the Telegram is taking a look back through its own history in Torrington for Goshen County, in addition to the history of American newspapers and the industry.

National Newspaper Week runs from Oct. 2-8 and was established by the National Press Association; it’s being sponsored by the Newspaper Association Managers this year.

The three goals of the national campaign this year for state and hyperlocal newspapers, like the Telegram includes: “We don’t Do Division,” referring to a balanced approach of news in local markets; “Talk is Cheap. Local news is valuable”, referring to how hyper local, local reporters, news organizations and sources have a better understanding of issues impacting the surrounding community than outside organizations do; and “We’re not ‘The Media’”, referring to a clear stance that hyper local newspapers are not related to nor associated with national brands and work independently to answer to its readers and/or advertisers in news that matters most to the region.

The Telegram has been committed to this stance for more than 115 years and continues to strive to deliver high quality, impactful, timely and important content directly to our readers within the County.

According to numerous stories throughout decades of newspaper archives housed in the Torrington Telegram newsroom from 1902 through 2022, the Telegram has operated under a number of different names since around mid-1901.

Prior to 1901 settlers who made modern day Torrington and Goshen County their permanent home along the various early settler trails provided a rough community newspaper-like product which was handed down through the same families that settled first in the area. Near the end of the 1800s the L.P. Loomis’s family took over the local print-shop which housed the local newspaper-like product and began making it into the paper it is today.

By 1901, L.P. Loomis formed the Telegram, then loosely called the Telegraph, into a bi-monthly publication before becoming a bi-weekly publication after it became nationally recognized by the Associated Press (AP) Wires services in early-1907. An early Telegram story in Sept. 1907 proclaimed the Telegram as a “bonafied” newspaper once the AP began transmitting wire content to the paper newsroom and print shop. Shortly thereafter, the Torrington Telegram launched its new design and name on Nov. 7, 1907 and became the paper it still is today.

The unofficial newspaper moved into town (where the city sits today) shortly after Torrington was founded in 1900 as a stop along The Oregon, Mormon and Texas trails, all of which went through Torrington to meet on the North Platte River. Torrington itself had been a settlement camp since 1813 and popular with fur traders and pioneers westbound and northbound.

The paper was first unofficially known simply as Torrington Telegraph, which would become the official name of a secondary paper in 1911 until the Telegram absorbed it into one newspaper during the Great Depression era.

According to a story in the Telegram in Dec. 1929 and after briefly being referred to as the Telegraph again in late-1929, the newspaper organization solidified its name as the Torrington Telegram in 1930 when it upgraded its press machine.

The Telegram bought the Goshen County Journal on Dec. 14, 1925 and later purchased the Goshen County News on April 2, 1953, becoming Torrington News for a brief time. Torrington News and Torrington Telegram ran simultaneously covering different county and city topics until the Torrington Telegram fully absorbed the Torrington News on Dec. 6, 1965. Today Wyoming Newspapers Inc. (WNI) has 12 papers statewide and News Media Corporation (NMC) has 54 papers nationwide. The Telegram will celebrate its 115th anniversary this November.

The Telegram temporarily moved its printing down to Cheyenne in 2019 after a business decision was made, however, in 2021 Telegram Publisher Rob Mortimore found it would be mutually beneficial to bring the printing press to Torrington.

On March 10, 2021, the printing press officially started running again in Torrington for the Telegram and several other publications owned by WNI, which includes Lusk Herald, Lingle Guide, Guernsey Gazette, Platte Record-Times, Business Farmer as well as the Torrington Telegram Weekly Shopper and Platte County Merchant.

In addition, the Telegram’s printing press also prints other Wyoming and Nebraska newspapers, business and organizational periodicals, flyers and guides. 

Today your Torrington Telegram news staff includes:

Publisher Rob Mortimore;

Telegram, Guide and Business Farmer Editor Logan Dailey;

Sports Editor Andrew Towne;

Reporter Marie Hamilton;

Office Manager Jennifer Sterkel;

Advertising Manager Hannah Haffner;

Layout and Design team: Chad Dixon, Jessica Oaks, Michelle Barsell;

Production Manager Ward Anderson;

Production team: Nate Chapman, Robbie Kipp, Mike Shindel, Shannon O’Rourke, Rachel Saucer-Smith.

For the Business Farmer:

General Manager Craig Allen.

For the Lusk Herald:

Editor Heather Goddard.

For the Platte Record-Times and Guernsey Gazette:
Editor Mark DeLap.

Wyoming Newspapers Inc. and the Telegram continue to be committed to providing its readers with high quality news that is requested of its readers and the various communities each serves. 

Today the Business Farmer celebrates its 25th Anniversary with WNI.

In November, the Telegram will celebrate its 115th Anniversary in publication as the paper it is today.


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