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About Courier Democrat. (Langdon, N.D.) 1891-1920
Langdon, N.D. (1891-1920)
- Courier Democrat. : (Langdon, N.D.) 1891-1920
- Place of publication:
- Langdon, N.D.
- Geographic coverage:
- Koehmstedt & McLean
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 6, no. 27 (Feb. 19, 1891)-v. 35, no. 39 (Apr. 15, 1920).
- "Official County Paper" <Sept. 10, 1896-Jan. 28, 1909); "Official City paper" (Feb. 4-Apr. 29, 1909).
- Available on microfilm from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
- sn 88076432
- Preceding Titles:
- Succeeding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Courier Democrat and Cavalier County Farmers Press
The Cavalier County Courier and the Democrat merged to form the Courier- Democrat in 1891 in Langdon, North Dakota, with Andrew Koehmstedt as editor. The Courier had been established in 1885 by Charles B.C. Doherty, and the Democrat was launched in 1888 by Andrew I. Koehmstedt, who became sole proprietor of the combined Courier- Democrat in April 1894.
Established just a few years following creation of the town of Langdon, the Courier-Democrat witnessed and reported on Cavalier County's development from its frontier days to the early 20th century.
One noteworthy and catastrophic event reported in the newspaper was the tornado of 1909. The Courier Democrat covered the tragic event in great detail - "In the years to come the people of Langdon in all likelihood will mark Memorial Day as a date for a peculiarly local observance. The Langdon cemeteries now contain the earthly remains of five who were victims of the disaster on the eve of Memorial Day, 1909. Hereafter that national memorial day should have a double significance to people here." Later in the same issue there is a sense of optimism of Langdon moving forward - "With the proper spirit of courage instilled we believe that before fall all the ugly scars left by Saturday afternoon's storm will have been healed and the appearance of the town enabled to resume its wonted neat and tidy appearance."
As the name implies, the Courier Democrat was politically Democratic and as of 1900 had a circulation of about 1,100 copies, clearly the leading Democratic organ in Cavalier County. By 1917, according to Lounsberry's North Dakota: History and People, Volume 3, the paper had a circulation of 1,500 copies "and is thoroughly up-to-date, its editorials well written and its news reliable." In April 1920, two months prior to the primary election and with the Republican Party reportedly in chaos, the Courier-Democrat quipped, "In the impending campaign, the Democratic party will enjoy the enviable distinction of being able to run on its record rather than away from it." On that note, the Courier-Democrat, one of the last Democratic weekly newspapers in a state dominated by Republicans, was absorbed by the Cavalier County Farmers Press, a publication of the reformist Nonpartisan League (NPL), with Fred Koehmstedt as editor. Fred was the 25-year- old son of Courier-Democrat Editor Andrew Koehmstedt. The Farmers Press also absorbed the nearby Osnabrock Independent in April 1920.
Opposition to the Nonpartisan League was growing rapidly at this time, with a recall campaign directed at North Dakota's governor, attorney general, and commissioner of agriculture, all three being NPL members, looming. This uprising against the NPL could have led to the demise of the Farmers Press. Its final two issues of August 11 and 18, 1921, were only four pages compared to the normal eight. On the final page of the last issue, under the "State Summary" column, there is a subtle announcement - "Langdon - The Cavalier County Farmers press here has suspended publication." The Farmers Press was absorbed by the Cavalier County Republican, which remains to the present day.
Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota