The University of Utah

St. George Union

1878 - 1898

A group of 300 Mormon families, called to serve in the Mormon Church's "cotton mission," settled St. George, Utah, in November 1861. Brigham Young hoped to develop a cotton industry in the desert about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City, but life in St. George was brutal, with spring floods ravaging farmland and severe summer heat wilting crops. Newspapers came and went, including The Cactus launched in 1868 and the St. George Enterprise which began in 1871 and quit printing three years later. The Union attracted subscribers by reprinting the sermons of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Owner J. W. Carpenter struggled to publish regularly and wrote in the November 12, 1880, issue: "We must have food and clothes, and the publishing business is not lucrative enough...especially when about half of our subscribers do not pay." Read more.

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