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The weekly Ronan Pioneer began publishing under the direction of Coker Rathbone on May 12, 1910. In the first extant issue, February 3, 1911, the newspaper touted the town of Ronan’s location “in the heart of the Flathead Indian Reservation” in Montana. The location of Ronan is significant, especially after 1910 when the U.S. government opened “unalloted lands” or two-thirds of Indian land to Euro-American homesteaders. Early issues of the newspaper advised land seekers on how “to lease Indian lands. ”Residents in the Ronan area also petitioned Senator Joseph Dixon to open nearby timber lands to homesteading and to provide federal support for irrigation projects to divert water to Mission Valley farms.
The Ronan Pioneer advocated for the creation of a new county beginning in 1910 and continuing till 1923 when Lake County was drawn from Flathead and Missoula Counties. The Pioneer remained in operation until 1970.
Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT