~ June 8, 1876 • Black Hills Pioneer ~

Laughlin & Merrick, Props

The Pioneer is the first established newspaper in the Black Hills, and contains full and reliable information in regard to the mines and other resources of this section of country.

Terms- One year, $5.00; Six months, $3.00; Three months, $2.00; single copies, 25 cents.

Advertising rates furnished upon application. No subscription entered on list until payment is received.


We issue today only a half sheet. Our regular issue will be just double the size of the present copy. But owing to the fact that we are working almost out of doors, with the elements apparently conspiring against us, it is impossible to fill the bill as we anticipated. Our material has been in Deadwood less than a week; our house is not up; it has rained two days during the time, and we think everyone who knows anything about the mechanical work of a printing office will appreciate our condition and bear for the present with the very best it is possible to do. Everybody wants a paper. We propose to give you one, and a good one too, but it takes a little time under the most favorable circumstances to unpack an office and do the work.


To all who see this paper, we wish to say that it is published under many difficulties, and that it is not what we intend to make it. It is an enterprise that has not a parallel in the United States, and still we hope to overcome all the untoward circumstances that surround us.

Our material to print this paper was transported in the depth of winter, almost 400 miles, and brought through and into a hostile Indian country, and in the first settlements made we have set up our presses and set the type for this number of our paper.

As other enterprising men have done, we came here not to try the gulches or leads for gold, but to give to those who have this work in hand the very latest news. We shall do everything in our power to bring the country of the Black Hills into civilization and to replace the nomads of the plains by a people of enterprise and determination, sufficient to make the great wilderness from Nebraska and Wyoming to the British Possessions the home of a happy and prosperous people.

In all our statements in regard to the mines or the agricultural or grazing advantages of the country, we shall say only what we know to be true, and our readers, wherever they may be, may rest assured that nothing will be given the tinge of romance.

We have come to stay, and we shall devote our entire time to the paper, and hope to make it acceptable to those who wish to learn what there is in the country.

Without great hopes, without unreasonable expectations, we push our craft into deep water, hoping for a fair voyage, but we do not believe that we shall avoid many of the ills incident, a profession that it not known to be always in a calm. With many troubles not incident to publishers in older communities, we into to overcome them all; and finally, when this wild country shall become a State of the Union, we will have the proud satisfaction of knowing that we have done our part in the mighty progress of empire.


The Black Hills, if reports be true, comprise a favored region, teeming with the riches that men lust for. The most captivating tales are told of the nuggets that are nestling in the rocks and crevices of that seemingly veritable El Dorado. No wonder, then that mechanics want to leave their shops, merchants their stores, lawyers and doctors their practice, and type-setters their cases, and hie to the nugget-patches. A. W. Merrick and W. A Laughlin, two well-known Denverites, have, after due reflection and deliberation, decided to start a newspaper in the Black Hills. Their choice of location will not be made, however, until after the several aspiring cities and camps in the gold belt have been carefully inspected. The outfit, consisting of a power press, and type enough for a daily, if needed, and a tip-top job office, has already been shipped, and will be followed, or, rather, preceded by Mr. Laughlin, who goes “to prepare the way.” The material embraces such an assortment as will enable the proprietors to do all the printing in that region for years to come. These gentleman have capacity, experience, and understanding, which, if rightly directed at the onset, must, like the certain tide in the affairs of men, lead on to fortune, and the founding of, as its proposed name signifies, the Pioneer newspaper of the new treasure-land. Mr. Merrick took a hand in founding the Corinne Journal, and was afterward publisher of the Reporter; but of late years has been pursuing his old calling of typesetting at a News office case. Mr. Laughlin, in order to embark in this scheme, was obliged to give up the foremanship of the Farmer office. Both proprietors are first-class workmen. We have thus noticed their undertaking at length because they are deserving of a good send-off.

—Denver News

Yesterday afternoon, as the sun was painting the mountains with the indescribable and unmatched tints of a Colorado sunset, some teams, “loaded to the guards” with the press, material and appliances that constitute a newspaper office, went slowly up Blake Street, on their journey to the Black Hills region- whose wonders and resources will soon be published abroad by this combination of mind and matter.

The outfit consists of a power-press, and a complete selection of type for a daily paper and job office, and a full stock of material, such as paper, inks, etc. The establishment is owned by Laughlin & Merrick, and will be located at some of the new towns in the Hills. This will depend upon the inducements offered. The name selected for the paper is “The Black Hills Pioneer,” and its first number will be dated earlier than that of any rival sheet, so that it will be a pioneer in fact, as well as in name.

Mr. W. A. Laughlin has been foreman of the Farmer office for the past three years. He is a good printer and ought to succeed in the management of an office. Mr. A. W. Merrick is from the News office, where he has held cases for several years past. The firm have engaged in a venturesome task, and will need all the good wishes their friends can send after them, in addition to practical aid from the people whom they propose to benefit.

—Denver Tribune

Denver enjoys the distinction of being the first to send a completely equipped printing office to the Black Hills. A complete newspaper outfit, owned by Messrs. Laughlin & Merrick, left here for the Hills within the past two days. Both gentlemen have been well and favorably known to the fraternity in this city for several years past, Mr. Laughlin as foreman of the Farmer office, and Mr. Merrick as a compositor in the News office. They propose to establish a weekly at first, and if circumstances justify, to establish a daily. They are followed by the earnest good wishes of the craft, and if experience and energy are to win, they are certain to succeed.

—Denver Times

W. A. Laughlin, of Laughlin & Merrick, of Denver, arrived on the D. P. train yesterday and is stopping at the Inter-Ocean. They feel confident of success in their project of establishing a newspaper in the Black Hills. They stand high as practical printers and honored men in Denver.

—Cheyenne Sun

Local News.

If you want a nice, cozy shave, go to Flaherty’s, opposite Nutall & Mann’s hall.

Mr. E. B. Parker took out a $20 nugget last week from his claim, No. 9, Bobtail Gulch.

The “boss” claim on Deadwood has yielded a trifle over $46,000 during the past six weeks.

A Road from Gayville to Spearfish is being built. A number of men are at work near the former burg.

The last installment of a party of sixty-five Montanians arrived in town last Thursday. The party came the short route through the Big Horn and Powder River country. They were all well armed and equipped and report one skirmish with some “Crazy Hoss” cavalry.

Those who had the misfortune to be compelled to wagon over the big hill, just beyond Central City, before Messrs. Kline & Co. (at a cost of nearly $2,000) made the present toll road, can hardly appreciate the magnitude of the work or the immense advantage it is to the traveling public. Not only have they made a splendid road over an almost impassable mountain, but they have made a fine road all the way from Central to Deadwood City. These gentlemen have exhibited an enterprise worthy of emulation. What we want and must have is good roads to and from our city. It costs money to build such as the public require in these mountains and keep them in repair.


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