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The herald. : (Big Stone City, Dak. [S.D.]) 1883-1890
Place of publication:
Big Stone City, Dak. [S.D.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Big Stone City, Grant, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Milbank, Grant, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Downie & Neill
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 4, no. 33 (Apr. 6, 1883)-v. 11, no. 33 (Apr. 1, 1890).
  • English
  • Big Stone City (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Grant County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Milbank (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Big Stone City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01886662
  • South Dakota--Grant County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207427
  • South Dakota--Milbank.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01228904
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from: State Archives, South Dakota State Historical Society.
  • Continued by: The advance.
  • Continues: The Grant County herald.
  • Published in Milbank, S.D. 1889-1890.
sn 00065152
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The herald. April 6, 1883 , Image 1


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The Grant County Herald, The Herald, The Advance and The Herald-Advance

On August 23, 1879, two printers from the St. Paul (Minnesota) Daily Globe published the Grant County Herald on an old Army press at the projected location of Big Stone City in Dakota Territory. William W. Downie and William Jackson correctly gambled that the Hasting and Dakota Division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad would extend westward to this site. The eight-page, five-column Grant County Herald was first published on Saturdays, then on Fridays for $2 per year. Its readership was drawn from Roberts and Grant counties in South Dakota and Big Stone and Lac Qui Parle counties in Minnesota. In 1880 Jackson sold his share of the paper to Orlando T. Jones, who brought a Washington press to the enterprise. Jones in turn sold out to Henry Neill in 1882. On March 30, 1883, the editors changed the paper's name to the Herald. By December 9, 1887, Downie had bought out Neill and became the sole editor and proprietor. Downie moved the Herald to Milbank, South Dakota, in October 1890 after it became the county seat. That same year he bought the Advance, an eight-page, six-column, Friday paper published by The Advance Printing and Publishing Company with the motto "The Right First, Milbank and Grant County Next". Downie combined his two papers into one: the Herald-Advance, published from April 11, 1890, until 1922, during which time he upgraded to first a Porter press and then to a Cranston press. The eight-page, six-column paper cost $1.00 per year until 1917 when the price increased to $1.50. In 1919, Downie hired Arthur L. Nelson as editor; in 1920 a Mr. Evenson began sharing the publishing duties. The Herald-Advance's last issue was published on May 10, 1922, when Downie sold the paper to James E. Browne and moved west.

The Herald-Advance carried local news from many surrounding communities. Fire was a frequent topic, including articles on at least three major fires in Milbank, prairie fires, and large fires in other cities. A short story or a serialized story was always printed, including one by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the early years the paper occasionally carried columns on agriculture. When the United States entered World War I in 1917 there was a massive increase in articles promoting increased farm production and frugality in women's fashions, and providing advice on raising crops and livestock.

The Herald-Advance was staunchly Republican throughout its history, and during the 1896-1900 terms of South Dakota Governor Andrew Lee, virulently anti-Populist. The war over the county seat was bitterly fought between Big Stone City and Milbank, requiring a Supreme Court ruling to settle the question. Editor Downie also backed Mitchell for the state capitol, which lost to Pierre. The Herald-Advance extensively covered the opening of land on the Rosebud and Lower Brule Indian Reservations for homesteading in 1904 and 1907. Near Big Stone City, a Chautauqua facility was built in 1899, and the paper listed its programs every summer. Local business news included the opening of several creameries as well as a grist mill, a cigar factory, and a vegetable canning facility. The newspaper also carried military reports mentioning local men, including the movements of Grigsby's Cowboys of the 3rd United States Volunteer Cavalry and the 1st South Dakota Infantry during the Spanish-American War, the 4th South Dakota Infantry which patrolled the border with Mexico in Texas from 1916 to 1917, and the many units serving during World War I.

The paper always carried a large amount of national and international news, covering epidemics such as yellow fever in Tennessee in 1878, cholera in Europe in 1884, frequent typhoid outbreaks through the early 1900s, and the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-19. Other items included reports on the 1904 World's Fair and the financial panic of 1907; editorials against the free silver economic policy and the formation of unions; and news from the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Boer War of 1899-1902, the Russian-Japanese War from 1904-05, and World War I. Editor Downie always backed women's suffrage, stating in the August 22, 1918 issue of the Herald-Advance that the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote was "a patriotic amendment. It gives the ballot to American citizens and denies it to the alien who does not intend to become an American." Finally, the Herald-Advance also supported Prohibition, running numerous articles detailing the evils of alcohol.

On June 28, 1922, Downie sold the Herald-Advance to James E. Browne, and left the state.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives