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The Montana nonpartisan. [volume] : (Great Falls, Mont.) 1918-192?
Place of publication:
Great Falls, Mont.
Geographic coverage:
  • Great Falls, Cascade, Montana  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Billings, Yellowstone, Montana  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Montana Nonpartisan
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1922?
  • Vol. 2, no. 8 (Oct. 19, 1918)-
Weekly <Oct. 9-30, 1922>
  • English
  • Billings (Mont.)--Newspapers.
  • Great Falls (Mont.)--Newspapers.
  • Montana--Billings.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207428
  • Montana--Great Falls.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01202832
  • Montana.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207555
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Last issue located: Vol. 5, no. 8 [i.e. 9] (Oct. 30, 1922).
  • Official organ of: National Nonpartisan League in the State of Montana.
  • Place of publication varies: Great Falls, Oct. 19, 1918-May 7, 1921; Billings, June 10-<Oct. 30>, 1922.
  • Suspended: Nov. 16-23, 1918; June 1921-May 1922.
sn 84036290
Preceding Titles:
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The Montana nonpartisan. [volume] October 19, 1918 , Image 1


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The Montana Nonpartisan

The Montana Nonpartisan appeared first in Great Falls, Montana, in 1917 under the banner of the Inverness News ; however, extant copies of this political newspaper, which served as the official publication of the National Nonpartisan League in Montana, begin with Vol. 2, No. 4, issue, dated October 19, 1918.  The four-page, seven-column weekly covered the affairs of the Nonpartisan League across the Northern Plains, from Montana to Minnesota.  On September 14, 1918, the Inverness News changed its name to the Montana Leader, and by October, it became, finally, the Montana Nonpartisan.

Back in 1915, a former Socialist Party organizer and failed flax farmer from Beach, North Dakota, Arthur Charles Townley, had founded the Nonpartisan League to advocate for state control over flour mills, grain elevators, and banks.  The group successfully lobbied the North Dakota legislature for a graduated state income tax, state hail insurance, workmen’s compensation, and the popular recall of elected officials. 

The Montana Nonpartisan, edited by Dewitt C. Dorman, covered the affairs of the North Dakota branch of the Nonpartisan League and reported on the League’s influence on politics in North Dakota, including its success in establishing a state mill and grain elevators.  Pointed political cartoons lambasting rival newspapers controlled by the Anaconda Company, a powerful mining conglomerate, and conservative politicians found their way into each issue of the Montana Nonpartisan

During the 1918 elections in Montana, the Nonpartisan League promoted a full slate of candidates, some of whom ran as both Republicans and Democrats in the primaries.  That year, the League promoted and passed an initiative to issue state grain elevator bonds in all but four Montana counties.  Throughout this period the Anaconda Company press continually attacked the Nonpartisan League and its political partners with hopes of undoing political collaboration between farmers and labor unions.  By 1922, the Montana Nonpartisan moved its offices to Billings but the enthusiasm for its brand of progressive politics had mostly disappeared, and the newspaper folded in 1922.

Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT