for Virginia City, pausing for a few months to get its breath at Carson City, the territorial capital, before attempting the grade up Gold Canyon. Its anniversary edition, the only known copy of which now reposes in the vault of the paper's present proprietors, gave some hint of the vicisitudes of Publishing in pioneer times. "One year ago today the first number of The Territorial Enterprise was issued at Genoa (Mormon Station)" said the lead editorial for December 17, 1859. "Our publishing room was in Singleton's Hall, Nevada Hotel, a room indiscriminately used by preachers, debating societies, secret organizations and, once at least, as a prison. Upon the latter occasion we had a man accused of crime chained to cur printing press with a log chain for two days and a half. We now occupy the upper half of Major Ormsby s adobe building, southwest corner of The Plaza (in Carson City). We find ourselves in more comfort- able circumstance in many respects. To be sure we still have to descend from the editorial tripod to superintend the cooking of a beefsteak, the seasomng of a bean soup or the concotion of a pot ol cotfee. As caterer to the inner man we yicld to none. Three years later saw The Territorial Enterprise, in common with the region it served, operating in wildest bonanza, a Western institution ol fame comparable to Wells Fargo Co., or the thorough- braced Concord coach, and a fixture in Virginia City where it has remained ever since. Its ownership had now changed. Jernegan and James had sold out to Joseph Goodman and Dennis McCarthy and the affairs of the new firm where almost hysterically in the ascendency. Its proprietors were takmg home their profit every Saturday night in water pails filled with gold double eagles. Its editorial policy, closely following that of Horace Greeley's in the far-ott New York Tribüne, was assuring the enlistment ot Nevada and its fabulous wealth in the Union cause. The Enterprise was the strong voice of authorify between the Missouri and the Pacific Coast and Virginia City was fast becoming the nchest city in the world. The year 1863 was marked by two cataclvsmic episodes in the annals of Nevada s first newspaper. The editorial statF acquired a ganghng red-headed young man of unpredictable ways and possessed oi what amounted to a genius for chaos who started signing his stories Mark Twain, and the manage- ment purchased the first steam operated press ever seen in Nevada. The first run of the paper in steam was the occasion of such an oftice celebration that the edition of the by now booming daily appeared on the streets eight hours late and Sam Clemens, having slept in a C Street doorway, didn't show up for work for three days. Time, inevitably, has left its mutations on The Territorial Enterprise since the heroic days of its youth. It has reverted again to the Status of a weekly. Its body type is composed by machine instead of the thirty printers who once fumbled in the cases for its to-the-modern-eye almost illegible agate and dia- mond. Electricity has sueeeeded steam and a briet interregnum of water power to activate its presses. Sixteen tabloid pages as a regulär thing have sup- planted the four bedsheet size pages of the sixties. Its weekly sales are about double those reported in The "C" Street Headquarters of "The Enterprise" in Virginia City as it appeared in the bonanza days of the fabulous ComstocU Lode. its greatest days of authority and pride, although its readers per copy are probably fewer than in a time when a newspaper was a prized possession, passed from hand to hand until it feil apart. Its present proprietors, Charles Clegg and the author of this brief chronicle, acquired the name ot The Territorial Enterprise in 1951 and in the following year combined it with the faltering Virginia City News to appear under its current masthead in which men- tion of the News is almost microscopic. Occupying 3 5

Print Magazine en | 1953 | | page 37