Perhaps inspired by novelist Mark Twain’s wit and humor that made him a world celebrity at the time, two dynamic men published the following words in and about a community newspaper they had just begun.
“It will be breezily brilliant, winningly witty, curiously clean, satisfactorily sagacious and liberally loquacious, non-partisan in politics, independent in expression. Mining, agriculture, stock raising, fruit growing, general and local news as well as breezy, pungent departments of absorbing interest, as well as timely editorial talks will …”
Except for the “loquacious” use of adjectives, Twain couldn’t have said it better himself.
The date was June 29, 1894, and the community newspaper given life with words, ink and paper, you’re holding in your hands or reading online. The two men, named Beasley and F.E. Gabriel, were the founding publishers of the Tooele Transcript Bulletin.
This coming Saturday, your community newspaper turns a brilliant, witty, clean, sagacious — but hopefully not too loquacious — 125 years old. The day also marks another year for the Transcript Bulletin as Tooele County’s oldest continuous business. Despite wars, The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and burning down twice, we’ve never shut our doors.
And those words, published by Beasley, whose first name remains a mystery, and Gabriel, created a mission statement that has been a guiding force for this newspaper for generations.
Gabriel became the newspaper’s sole owner in 1897, but later died that year. His widow decided to keep the newspaper going, but needed an editor. She turned to James Dunn, a Tooele farmer who was renowned for his love of words and books.
Dunn, a Mormon convert from Scotland, agreed to become the newspaper’s editor. On July 8, 1898, he bought the publication with a $10 down payment, which made him both editor and publisher. For years the newspaper was printed on an armory printing press, which was inked and operated by hand.
The Tooele Transcript Bulletin became the newspaper’s official name on Dec. 4, 1923, after it bought out a rival paper in town called The Bulletin. Since 1898 to present day, the Transcript Bulletin has been owned and operated by one family — the Dunn Family — which is a rarity in today’s newspaper industry dominated by media conglomerates. It all began with James and followed by his son the late Alex Dunn, Publisher Emeritus Joel Dunn, and current president and publisher Scott Dunn.
Because the Transcript Bulletin has remained locally owned and operated for 125 years, we believe our readers and advertisers have received strong, relevant and timely news coverage that matters most to the community. That belief is backed by hundreds of awards received over the years for journalism, photojournalism, design and advertising excellence.
But awards never compare to the real measure of a newspaper’s worth — its loyal readers. To whom we owe it all and express our deepest appreciation.
At the Transcript Bulletin, the power that words and photographs hold is highly revered. With accuracy and fairness, we vow to continue to serve as a unified voice, the day-to-day chronicler of life in Tooele County. It is a privilege and honor to do so — our true gifts at reaching 125 years old.