First newspapers in South Dakota…

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The very first printing of any kind to be done in present-day South Dakota wasn’t until Sept. 20, 1858, relatively late for that section of the country. It was an election notice, and less than a year later the first newspaper appeared on July 2, 1859 titled the “Democrat“,  printed in Sioux Falls. It published on an irregular schedule for less than a year when it was discontinued for lack of support. Reports are that the newspaper was revived as the “Northwestern Democrat“, however no copies under that name have survived. The press was destroyed by a band of hostile Sioux Indians in 1862.

The second newspaper in South Dakota was the “Weekly Dakotian” begun in Yankton on June 6, 1861, by Frank Ziebach. A year later it was absorbed by its rival, the “Press“, becoming the “Press and Dakotan“, and a bit  later the “Dakota Union“.

Note:  Images are not currently available for any of the above… but will be added if/when they are available.

Perhaps the most famous 19th century title is “The Black Hills Pioneer” which was printed in Deadwood City beginning in 1876. It would be an issue in early August of that year that would report the death of  Wild Bill Hickok while playing cards that would be one of the most sought after newspapers for any collection.

First newspapers in North Dakota…

March 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Dakota Territory organized in 1861 encompassed both present-day North & South Dakota. It was in 1889 when statehood was gained that the Territory was split into North & South.

But it was during the Civil War, in 1864 when two solders issued at Fort Union (present-day North Dakota) a newspaper called the “Frontier Scout” Only a few numbers were printed at Fort Union. A bit later it reappeared with a “Fort Rice, D.T.” imprint and a date of June 15, 1865, noted as “vol. 1, No. 1”. It is not known to have continued after 1865.

It was not until July of 1873 when the first permanent newspaper appeared in the Territory, located at the capital of Bismarck and titled the “Tribune“. It started as a weekly but 8 years later became a daily, which it remains to this day. It boasts that it has never missed an issue, although because of a winter blizzard it was forced to reduce its size & one number was printed on wallpaper.

Not long thereafter the second newspaper in North Dakota began, titled the “Express“, printed at Fargo on Jan. 1, 1874. The third newspaper, and in yet a third city, was the “Plaindealer” which published at Grand Forks in 1874 as well.