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The Loup City northwestern. [volume] : (Loup City, Neb.) 189?-1917
Alternative Titles:
  • Northwestern
Place of publication:
Loup City, Neb.
Geographic coverage:
  • Loup City, Sherman, Nebraska  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased with Volume 36, no. 41 (September 27, 1917).
  • English
  • Loup City (Neb.)--Newspapers.
  • Nebraska--Loup City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01866258
  • Nebraska--Sherman County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01252609
  • Sherman County (Neb.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: 11th year, no. 28 (May 27, 1892).
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The Loup City northwestern. [volume] May 27, 1892 , Image 1


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Loup City Northwestern

On October 16, 1882, the St. Paul (Nebraska) Press announced a new newspaper in Loup City, described as "solidly Republican." Both editorship and ownership of the Northwestern turned over consistently during the life of the paper, which ran from 1882-1917.

In the early years, Loup City's Republican Party was divided into factions, described very well in a 1979 article "Courthouse Politics, Loup City, Sherman County, 1887-1891" in Nebraska History. The particular factions of note were called the 'Courthouse Gang' and the 'Railroad Gang'. In 1883, Berton (sometimes spelled Burton) L. Richardson, a young man from Vermont, was selected as editor of the Northwestern by members of the Courthouse Gang, also called "the Citizen's Party," which attracted many of the immigrants who had purchased railroad lands or who homesteaded. The Railroad Gang favored the interests of railroad companies, which were trying to sell railroad lands allocated to them by the federal government; the Sherman County Times, edited by O.B. Willard, was devoted to the interests of the Railroad Gang.

The rivalry between the papers resulted in some very ugly accusations and personal name-calling. Willard referred to Richardson as a "Hyena", which, he noted, was "defined as a carnivorous mammal allied to the dog. Its habits are nocturnal and generally feeds upon its carrion. Those of our readers who have not seen an engraving ...of this animal, can see a live one by calling at the Northwestern office." Richardson retaliated with a pointed and clever poem about Willard that called into question his integrity and his morals. After reading the poem, Willard assaulted Richardson with a printing plate at a local barbershop, and the fight resulted in Willard's own death. The History notes "Richardson was exonerated following the shooting of O.B. Willard on May 28, 1887," on the grounds he was acting in self-defense.

George Benschoter, a leading Loup City resident, was another editor of the Loup City Northwestern, both before and after the incidents between Richardson and Willard. Following Richardson's departure, Benschoter purchased the printing press and carried the paper forward in a less colorful fashion. The Loup City Northwestern was published weekly and was available at a subscription of $2 or less during its lifetime.

The paper carried a mix of national, state and local news, many advertisements, and gossip. In 1912, an article about President Taft's daughter, entitled "Well-Called Busiest Girl in Society—Miss Helen Taft," described her duties and her dress with companion articles on fashion, such as "The Egyptian Costume" and "New Frocks from Worth's." In Loup City, news of the day included notices of interrupted train service due to a major snowstorm, a new 20-year franchise for electric lights awarded to "Loup City Mill & Light," and a story on a new men's club called "The Owl Club" that met once per week in Nightingale & Sons Law Office to "debate questions of the hour, education along rational lines and for the mutual benefit and improvement" of the members. The Loup City Northwestern commended the young men, noting that the club provided a wholesome outlet for men who might otherwise be wasting time loitering downtown in the evenings.

Provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE