The first newspaper published in Gallatin County, one of the early publications of the territory, was the “Montana Pick and Plow,” published and edited by H. N. Maguire in Bozeman. Mr. Maguire had been connected with the “Montana Post,” the first newspaper of the territory, published in Virginia City. A copy of the first number of the Pick and Plow, issued December 31, 1869, and preserved for 60 years by Mrs. W. J. Beall, an early pioneer who died in 1930, was presented to Mrs. E. L. Houston, secretary of the Pioneers’ Society of Gallatin County, whose father, W. W. Alderson, was one of the stockholders of the company publishing this first paper, which suspended at the end of 18 months, as Mr. Maguire wished to engage in other business. He sold the plant to Colonel L. M. Black. The subscription price of this first Bozeman paper was $8 for one year, $4 for six months, $1 for six weeks.
The first number of the paper contains a salutatory stating the paper is free from partisan and political shackles. Nearly a page is given to a digest of the latest general news culled from exchanges. On the local page, the most important item is the report of “A Brilliant and Fashionable Ball,” given Christmas Eve, with 150 couples attending, the proceeds, more than $700 being for the benefit of the “Montana Pick and Plow.” The address given at the ball by Mr. Maguire, occupies two columns on the first page of the paper.
Among the advertisers are names familiar to old timers; A. Lamme & Co., Black and Story; C. W. Hoffman, Blum and Engesser, Walter Cooper, Harper and Finch, Willson and Rich, Davis, Sperling & Co., Spieth and Krug, and F. F. Fridley. A long list of letters uncalled for at the post office is signed by Joseph Roth, postmaster. The marriages of William P. Parsons and Miss Mary E. Street, and also of T. M. Carr and Miss Ella Church, are reported, and the death of Mrs. Joseph J. Davidson at the Canyon house near Gallatin City. The retail family market report shows, butter one dollar a pound, eggs one dollar a dozen, and flour $6.00 and $7.00 per sack of 98 pounds. A warning was given by T. B. Gray, county treasurer, to taxpayers to pay their taxes at once and save costs.
The Avant Courier
With the help of the stockholders of the Pick and Plow, Joseph Wright secured the newspaper plant and started the Avant Courier, September 13, 1871. In 1877, W. W. Alderson purchased the paper and continued its publication with the aid of members of his family until 1904, when it was combined with the Gallatin County Republican, and the paper is now known as the Bozeman Courier. Mr. Alderson was editor until his death in October 1906.
The Bozeman Chronicle
The Bozeman Chronicle was started in January 1883, with Samuel Langhorne editor and A. K. Yerkes, business manager. Mr. Yerkes later became editor. The paper has continued, and since December 4, 1911, the company has published a daily paper with full Associated Press report, besides publishing the weekly with local news from the daily. James P. Bole has been editor for many years and H. H. Howard manager of the Chronicle Publishing Company. Other papers have been established in the county during recent years, and some have been published for brief periods in Bozeman.