The history of American newspapers is a vibrant one, and the publications that fill it have had some pretty colorful names to match. While most have been lost to time or the Internet, their eccentricities, whether intentional or not, deserve some recognition. With that in mind, here are some of the oddest names in American newspaper history.
1. The Tombstone Epitaph
An unusual town name can be both blessing and curse. Case in point: Tombstone, Arizona. Sure, it stands out on a map, but it makes naming a newspaper awfully difficult. Luckily, publisher John Philip Clum took the name and ran with it, creating The Tombstone Epitaph in 1880. Fitting for a publication that’s biggest story was the gunfight at the O.K. Corral on Oct. 26, 1881.
2. The Daily Tombstone
Originally created as a rival to The Tombstone Epitaph in 1882, it was first published as simply "Tombstone." In 1885, it changed to the unintentionally grim The Daily Tombstone. The moniker was short-lived: By 1886, it was called The Daily Tombstone Epitaph.
3. The Anaconda Standard
Another product of an unusual town name, there’s nonetheless a ring of truth in this Anaconda, Montana, publication’s title. Created by copper baron Marcus Daly and boasting an 81-year history, it set the standard for all other Montana newspapers.
4. The Spooner Advocate
While it would be nice to think this paper is run by a singular fan of cuddling, it’s actually a newspaper serving Spooner, Wisconsin, and the surrounding area.
5. The Tundra Drums
6. Canal of Intelligence
This paper was established in 1826 and hailed from Norwich, Connecticut, where it promised a canal's worth of intelligence to its readers for only about three years. It closed up shop in 1829.
7. Trump of Fame
This inexplicable name came out of Warren, Ohio. Why this weekly paper was called the Trump of Fame is anyone’s guess. But its short life span—1812 to 1816—makes it one of the oldest, and most obscure, on this list.
8. Porcupine’s Gazette
Those of you hoping for a newspaper published by a prickly woodland creature are out of luck. This weekly, printed out of Philadelphia in the late 1700s, was the brainchild of the vocal anti-authoritarian publisher William Cobbett, who often wrote under the pen name Peter Porcupine. Its masthead reflected the title by including an illustration of a porcupine.
9. The Jefferson Jimplecute
Based in Jefferson, Texas, The Jefferson Jimplecute has been around since the mid-1800s, making it the fifth-oldest paper in the Lone Star State. Theories about the name abound, with the most common one being that it’s an acronym for the paper’s motto: Joining Industry, Manufacturing, Planting, Labor, Energy, Capital (in) Unity Together Everlastingly.
10. The Weekly Avalanche
This Des Moines, Iowa newspaper apparently specialized in all the news that’s fit to rush down a mountainside and send you to an icy doom. While its name likely stems from the fact that it was the product of a company called Avalanche Publishing, details of The Weekly Avalanche seem to have been swept away. For instance, the Library of Congress lists its publication dates as "1891-1???."
11. The Daily Avalanche
Not to be outdone, Memphis, Tennessee boasted an avalanche every day between 1866 and 1885. Well, almost every day. For a time, it didn’t publish on Mondays, thus denying readers a post-weekend landslide of news.
12. The Daily Boomerang
While it still publishes today as The Laramie Boomerang, this Wyoming newspaper began life in the late 1800s as the much zippier The Daily Boomerang. Luckily for its paperboys, its actual papers didn’t live up to its name and return when thrown.
13. The Unterrified Democrat
No list of odd newspaper names would be complete without the justly lauded Unterrified Democrat, a newspaper in Linn, Missouri that’s been publishing for almost 150 years.
14. De Queen Bee
Thank you, De Queen, Arkansas, for being you, which means you get to have an awesomely named local paper, De Queen Bee.