Thinking about this latest noteworthy chapter in North Platte’s story reminds us that it caps our own 14th decade of storytelling.
This Wednesday marks 140 years since James McNulty launched The North Platte Telegraph as a weekly newspaper on April 14, 1881.
We shared our own history in our issues of March 21 and 24, which you can find on nptelegraph.com. (March 24, as we noted, was the 125th anniversary of our first daily edition.)
They included some fascinating rediscoveries about The Telegraph, its early publishers and its competitors, aided by 21st-century databases that helped us unlock facts and tales still recorded but scattered to the far winds.
Though we hadn’t planned this, we’ve uncovered one more tale of ink and newsprint that we’ll share in Wednesday’s birthday issue.
It’s the story of the paper that preceded us and every other paper in North Platte: the Frontier Index, barely and imperfectly remembered in early histories as the “Pioneer on Wheels.”
Created to serve the Union Pacific construction workers and lecherous denizens of “Hell on Wheels,” the Index debuted here in June 1867 and rolled west when the U.P.’s “end of track” moved a month later to Julesburg, Colorado.
The railroad, which created this community in November 1866, remains North Platte’s oldest employer. We’re honored to say we’re No. 2.