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The Wahpeton times. [volume] : (Wahpeton, Richland County, Dakota [N.D.]) 1879-1919
Alternative Titles:
  • Times (Wahpeton, N.D.)
Place of publication:
Wahpeton, Richland County, Dakota [N.D.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Wahpeton, Richland, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Geo. P. Garred
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 43, no. 36 (Jan. 9, 1919).
  • Began in 1879.
  • English
  • North Dakota--Wahpeton.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01230099
  • Wahpeton (N.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
  • Description based on: Vol. 6, no. 17 (Aug. 1, 1884).
  • Includes Richland County Fair herald, vol. 1, no. 1-v. 1, no. 3 (July 24-Sept. 25, 1913).
  • Official City Paper, 1884, 1887-1888, 1903, 1910-1911, 1913-1915, 1918-1919.
  • Official County Paper, 1884, 1887-1889, 1903.
  • Published as: Times, Nov. 1884-May 1885.
sn 84024779
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The Wahpeton times. [volume] April 11, 1884 , Image 1


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The Wahpeton Times

A duo of short-lived weekly papers published on both sides of the Red River eventually coalesced in 1879 into the Wahpeton (North Dakota)Times. A. de Lacy Wood, an itinerant Minnesota newspaperman started the Red River Free Press in Breckinridge, Minnesota, in 1879. Kentucky native George P. Garred purchased the Free Press in 1880 and published it until 1884 when it became known variously as Wahpeton Times or simply theTimes until May 21, 1885, when the Wahpeton Times moniker was formally adopted.

There was no shortage of news to cover in Richland County's first organized town. Wahpeton also supported the Dakota Globe, Globe-Gazette, Mercury, North Dakota Globe, Richland County Gazette, and Wahpeton Globe. In 1886, Garred purchased an advertisement in Horace B. Crandall's A History of Richland County, suggesting that while the Times could not brag of the high circulation of the Mercury or the official county paper status of the Richland County Gazette, it was a "newspaper of broad-gauge and upright principles, reserving its right to criticize and not desert a friend." In fact, the Wahpeton Times frequently published letters to the editor or news items casting aspersions on both the circulation statistics and veracity of items published in the Mercury, or the "Murky" as it was called. In 1891, Garred took a stand against reaping advertisement revenue from spurious patent medicine manufacturers and focused on local advertisements instead. Things would later look up for the Times, as it served as the official city paper of the town of Wahpeton 11 times from 1884 to 1919, and of Richland County four times from 1884 to 1903, even though circulation would never rise much above one thousand subscribers.

Garred, a Democrat, served as an early alderman in Wahpeton and gave detailed coverage to town and territorial politics and prominent trials in Dakota Territory. In 1891, Garred was nominated for Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota with William N. Roach, but lost to the Republican Burke and Allin ticket. The Times retained its Democratic allegiance after Garred left in 1902 and for the rest of its publishing history. Some of the longer serving editors included E.D. Knotts (1905-1909), and E.S. Cameron, who served from 1909 to 1913, again in 1915, twice in 1916, and lastly until the paper changed hands a final time in 1919.

In its later years, The Times took stands against prohibition and the country's entry into World War I. It introduced serialized fiction, devoted significant column space to society news and the hometown North Dakota State School of Science, and expanded news coverage to the nearby towns of Abercrombie, Barney, Dwight, and Mooreton and Breckenridge, Minnesota.

In January 1919, after 43 years of continuous publication, the Wahpeton Times was sold to Albert Weis and Harry E. Wilson. Rather than remaining beholden to a political party, the new owners renamed the Times the Independent Press. The redesigned paper was intended to be a booster of Wahpeton and Richland County, but it folded the following year.

Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota