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The Mitchell capital. : (Mitchell, Dakota [S.D.]) 1879-1918
Place of publication:
Mitchell, Dakota [S.D.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Ewart and Dean
Dates of publication:
  • Began 1879. Ended 1918.
  • English
  • Davison County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Mitchell (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Davison County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215572
  • South Dakota--Mitchell.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01232690
  • 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 morning republican, and: The Sunday republican.
  • Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 11(Nov. 27, 1885).
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The Mitchell capital. November 27, 1885 , Image 1


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The Mitchell Capital

The Mitchell Capital of Mitchell, South Dakota, began publication on September 18, 1879, under the leadership of John W. Walsh. It was the first newspaper published in Mitchell and one of the first in Davison County. At the time, Mitchell was only beginning to develop, as the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad had just made its way to the town. A few years later, the Capital came under the control of two brothers-in-law, Albert E. Dean and Robert M. Ewart.

On January 8, 1885, a rival newspaper, the Mitchell Republican, merged with the Capital under the direction of the Mitchell Printing Company. Two newspapers resulted: the Mitchell Daily Republican and the Mitchell Capital. Printed every Friday, the Capital included eight six-column pages. Along with announcing the formation of the printing company, the Capital reported the addition of new equipment, noting that "the motive power for the large cylinder press and two job presses is furnished by a four-horse engine, while two foot presses are devoted to the lighter grades of work." These technological improvements, it observed, made the Capital's "mechanical department one of the most complete in the west."

Dean took charge of printing operations, and when Ewart departed for another paper, Ralph W. Wheelock became editor. The Capital proclaimed that it operated "in a section of South Dakota covering 10,000 square miles and having 90,000 population." The paper covered the typical topics of the day, from opening up of homestead land to the creation of South Dakota as a state. In addition, the Capital included articles directed at female audiences with titles such as " Styles - the newest things in millinery," "Sunday Reading," "The Stage - Gossip about Theaters, Plays, Operas, Tragedians, and Comedians," and "The Tender Sex - a Medley of Entertaining Gossip about Matrons and Maids." The Capital also contained poems and stories, reported on major news developments from around the world, and covered important local and national political races, especially in regards to the Republican Party with which it was affiliated. For a time in 1891, the Capital published 12 eight-column pages each week.

On August 28, 1894, Wheelock sold his shares in the paper to Dean, and on August 31, 1894, W. A. Scott took over as editor of the Mitchell Capital, with Dean remaining as general manager. A year later, on April 12, 1895, Clauson W. Downey became editor. Under his leadership, in 1901, the Mitchell Printing Company made further technological advances in the form of a Simplex typesetting machine. Downey remained with the Capital until November 1, 1909, when William R. Ronald purchased the Mitchell Printing Company and became sole editor and owner of both the Capital and the Daily Republican. On September 15, 1910, the Mitchell Printing Company became the Mitchell Publishing Company; by this point, the Capital appeared on Thursdays and consisted of eight pages and seven columns. Ronald would maintain the Mitchell Publishing Company for decades; by 1917, he was publishing both a morning and an evening daily. The following year, in 1918, Ronald discontinued the weekly Capital.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives