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The Bottineau courant. : (Bottineau, Bottineau County, N.D.) 1895-1929
Alternative Titles:
  • Carbury news
Place of publication:
Bottineau, Bottineau County, N.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Bottineau, Bottineau, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.E. Britton
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 4, 1895)-v. 18, no. 47 (July 25, 1929).
  • English
  • North Dakota.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205582
  • "Carbury news", with a numbered masthead, published on back page: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 2, 1915)--v. 2, no. 19 (Apr. 12, 1917). Then numbering ceased and page continued until Jan. 15, 1920.
  • "Official paper for the City and County", 1906-1929.
  • 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.
sn 88076086
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The Bottineau courant. May 4, 1895 , Image 1


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The Bottineau Pioneer and The Bottineau Courant

Bottineau County lies in the middle and northernmost region of North Dakota. To the north, it shares borders with both Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and its history is strongly connected to its northern neighbor. The county, as well as its county seat, is named for Pierre Bottineau. Born in Manitoba in 1817, Bottineau was a renowned buffalo hunter, diplomat, translator, and trusted regional guide. He was of French-Canadian, Sioux, and Chippewa descent, reflecting the heritage and history of Souris River valley. From the early 1700s, the region drew French and British colonists, coming to make a living as fur traders and trappers.

Bottineau County was constituted on January 4, 1883, six years before North Dakota's statehood. In 1884, the nearest railroad to Bottineau was 120 miles away in Creel City (later Devils Lake). A stage coach, running every Monday and Thursday, was the only means of travel to the city until 1887, when the Great Northern Railroad arrived. The county's foremost industries were wheat farming and sheep and cattle ranching, which remain important today. Bottineau County also boasts the beautiful Turtle Mountains and Lake Metigoshe, which are important tourist attraction during the summer and winter months.

The county's first newspaper, the Bottineau Pioneer, appeared in the fall of 1885, with William Bickman as editor. With quick turnover in the burgeoning pioneer town of Bottineau, John W. Bennett replaced Bickman a year later. In 1894, Charles S. McCandless became editor of the Pioneer when it consolidated with the Bottineau Freelance, which ran from 1887 to 1893. The Pioneer was politically a Democratic leaning publication, while the Freelance had been Republican. After merging the two papers, McCandless decided that the newly consolidated Pioneer would be politically Independent. This was an unusual choice, illustrated by the reactions of other local newspapers. The Turtle Mountains Times "congratulate[d] McCandless in his new orb of politics and field of loneliness," and the North Dakota Eagle observed that " Mac. has always been a little off color and we may prepare to expect almost anything." In May of 1895, the Pioneer changed editors once again, as well as its name, becoming theBottineau Courant. When the new editor J.E. Britton took over, he wanted the Courant to adopt a strong Republican perspective, finding the Independent or Populist political position to be troublesome and weak. McCandless left his post as editor with reluctance, as illustrated in March 9th edition of the Pioneer. "Before dropping the pencil," McCandless wrote, "I wish to say to the citizens of Bottineau County ... I have sold the paper because another man wanted it more than I, not because I want to leave the place." Although McCandless praised the incoming editor, Britton demonstrated little esteem for his predecessor. In the May 4 edition of the Courant, Britton wrote:

We present out patrons with ... the Bottineau Courant, successor to the Bottineau Pioneer ... we make these changes for three reasons. The first of these is that the word Pioneer has no meaning in the newspaper field, and we use the word Courant because it means newspaper. The second reason is that there are too many Pioneers, as newspapers, in this State. The third is that the Bottineau Pioneer has had a checkered political career.

The Courant would become the leading newspaper in the county. Most of its competitors were either absorbed, like the Bottineau County Herald in 1929, or went out of business. The Bottineau Courant is still published today, bringing readers local, community, and county news.

Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota