Editor’s note: This city profile is part of a larger project in which Daily Universe reporters traveled across Utah and Wyoming to investigate the state of local newspapers.
City: Evanston, Wyoming
Newspaper: Uinta County Herald
Circulation: About 3,000
History: Evanston, Wyoming, started as a fort camp on the route of the Union Pacific Railroad and eventually developed to become a permanent railroad stop. According to the city’s website, chief railroad engineer Grenville Dodge named the city after railroad surveyor James A. Evans. Dodge was also responsible for orienting the city’s streets to the railroad tracks, according to wyominghistory.org. The city gained prominence for being a crew division point and home to a locomotive service building. Apart from the railroad, the city also found economic stability early on thanks to the Wyoming Insane Asylum, now the Wyoming State Hospital. Evanston’s involvement with the Union Pacific Railroad decreased in 1925, which came as an economic hit to the city just before the Great Depression. The city found economic stability once again with an oil and gas drilling boom that lasted from the 1970s to 1990s.
Economy: The median household income in Evanston is $45,313, according to Data USA. The poverty rate is 21.7% and the median property value is $170,100. Data from 2016 shows the majority of jobs held by Evanston residents are administrative, food and services, and management. According to the city’s website, the 2019 unemployment rate is 5.07%.
Newspaper: The Uinta County Herald is a twice-weekly paper that serves southwest Wyoming and Rich County, Utah, according to the paper’s Facebook page. The newspaper has gone through several consolidations and name changes to become the Uinta County Herald. According to the Library of Congress, the paper was previously called the Herald Press and absorbed both the Wyoming Press and Wyoming Times. The Wyoming Press Association recently recognized the Herald for its coverage of the school board, crime and local government. The paper’s website focuses on community news, obituaries, local features, police reports, sports, opinions, legal notices and classifieds.
An informal survey of readers by BYU reporting students about their newspaper showed the following:
- Sports coverage
- Crime coverage
- City/county government coverage
- Education coverage
- Social services coverage
- Coverage of the local impact of federal decisions