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Noted as one of Utah's earliest recognized capable woman journalist, Kate Jean Baon founded the Uintah Papoose on Jan. 2, 1891 in Vernal, Utah - the forerunner to the Vernal Express.

Boan was orphaned at the age of 3 and adopted by an Episcopalian minister back East. She found her way to the Mountain States as a young woman and then married Wesley Blake, a Signal Corps officer based at Pike's Peak. She became one of the first women to graduate from the University of Colorado.

Her husband died in Salt Lake City and for a time she supported her son and daughter by working for the Salt Lake Tribune. Her entree to the Uintah Basin in 1885 was as a matron at the Whiterocks Indian School. She then married Amos Q. Boan and homesteaded with him on a ranch near Vernal and another not far from Roosevelt and became the mother of three more children.

She also became fluent in the Ute Indian tongue and decided to give the Basin its first newspaper.

"Here I am today, The Uintah Papoose, young in years and experience," she wrote in the opening edition, "but if 'time will tell' I hope to become a 'heap big chief me.' My 'paper talk' will be limited, but I shall use my eyes and ears and let you all know what is going on from one end of the county to the other. I may wail sometimes as any papoose will, but a good medicine will be a new subscription."

It was well supported by community businesses and often acknowledged in their publications by fellow Utah Territory publishers. Still, the Papoose changed hands after one year when James Barker purchased it in1892. Within months, the new owner changed the name to the Vernal Express.

"Being an old bachelor, he [Barker] did not like to be 'guyed' about his Papoose by the brethren of the press, so changed its name, Vernal Express," said Mansfield Snow in his Brigham Bugler with tongue in cheek.

Barker published the Express for six years before selling to J.A. Holdaway on March 17, 1989. In his farewell, which he titled "My Last Howl," Barker got in a parting jab: "After over six years toil on the Express, I now step down and out of the position I have held among you, and with my best wishes for my successor, hoping he receives the patronage of the public I now bid the kind friends of the Express, adieu."

On Aug. 3, 1899, the name of Charles B. Bartlett appeared on the masthead and then Dan H. Hillman, who four years earlier was the assistant editor, bought out his partner. Hillman turned over the management of the Express to James H. Wallis on May 4, 1917. He became the owner on Jan. 28, 1921 and thereafter the paper's key editor and manager positions were held by members of his family. Daughter Violet (Vi) Harrison and her husband, George, were the business manager and publisher, respectively, by June 15, 1923.

On January 8, 1926, both moved to the Roosevelt Standard and William B. Wallis, a son of James, returned from Roosevelt to join the Express staff. He became editor and manager on Nov. 19, 1926, and over a period of time as his father gradually retired, he moved into the publisher's chair.

Upon his retirement in August 1970, William Wallis' son, Jack, succeeded him as publisher. In 1995, the fourth generation of the family, Steve Wallis became publisher until his death in 2007. At that time, the paper was sold to Brehm Communications. Based in San Diego, Calif., Brehm oversees the management and operations of UBMedia which publishes the Vernal Express, Uintah Basin Standard and Basin Nickel Ads.

Run or download UBMedia using our android online emulator from


Developer: Brehm Communications Inc

Genre: News & Magazines

App version: 1.17.10

App size: 31M

Recent changes: - The Trending Stories slider on the home screen has been improved to be easier to use and look better
- A confirmation message is now shown when clearing cached data or resetting tips from the settings screen
- Category news lists now download less data


'Clunky as hell. The news stories are a month old.'