Newsboys ruled uptown Butte, Montana, and other cities where news was a hot commodity.
By Kevin S. Giles
Newsboys once commanded the streets of uptown Butte, Montana, fighting each other for turf but uniting against newspaper publishers.
Hundreds of newsboys competed for prime selling spots: bars, the miners’ pay office, sections of the extensive red light district, card rooms and mine gates, streetcar stops, ballparks, churches and theaters, and anywhere else where large crowds might gather.
They bought newspapers at a wholesale price, sometimes two copies for a nickel, and then sold them for a nickel apiece to make a 100 percent profit.
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In Butte’s early years, newspaper offices dotted the extensive business district. Cries of, “Paper, mister?” could be heard on every street corner. They sold the Standard, the Butte Miner, the Inter-Mountain, the Daily Bulletin, the Butte Daily Post, the Appeal to Reason, the Montana Socialist and others.