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Griggs County sentinel-courier. : (Cooperstown, Griggs County, N.D.) 1913-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Griggs County sentinel courier
  • Griggs County sentinel-courier and continuation of The progressive
Place of publication:
Cooperstown, Griggs County, N.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Cooperstown, Griggs, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
H.S. Rearick Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 15, no. 50 (Mar. 20, 1913)-
  • English
  • Available on microfilm from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
  • Issued with: The Cooperstown golden rule bulletin, Sept. 1923-Aug. 1924.
  • Title varies, Apr. 17, 1924-Aug. 23, 1925, Griggs County sentinel-courier and continuation of The Progressive.
  • Vol. 15, no. 51, Mar. 27, 1913- also contains numbering of the Courier, Vol. 31, no. 13-
sn 88076343
Preceding Titles:
View complete holdings information

The Cooperstown Courier, Cooperstown Courier, Griggs County Courier, Griggs Courier, and Griggs County Sentinel-Courier

Griggs County lies in the eastern central portion of North Dakota, on the edge of the Red River Valley. This region's rich soil provided for a type of large-scale agriculture production known as bonanza farming. Bonanza farming boomed in the late 19th century as a result of new industrial farm machinery, railroad expansion, and the Homestead Act of 1862. Better faster farming methods, a means to transport goods to markets, and plenty of affordable land all contributed to the boom.

These prospects brought Rollin and Thomas Cooper to Griggs County in 1880. Raised in Michigan, both brothers were industrious entrepreneurs, and before coming to Dakota Territory to farm they had mined in Colorado and raised cattle in Kansas. Rollin had made a $25,000 profit in these ventures, and he used that money to build Cooperstown. In the year 1881 alone, he bought 20,000 acres of land, platted the town limits, built a boardinghouse and hotel, became a county commissioner, and harvested his first crop. In 1882, Cooperstown became the Griggs County seat.

Rollin Cooper, unlike many new landowners at the time, planned to live in Cooperstown and farm. He invested heavily in his city, not only for profit, but also to build a thriving place to call home. His vision included a newspaper. Cooper paid $500 for the first printing press and type, and the press was shipped by rail "til the end of the line." From there it was carted the remaining 40 miles by mule cart to Cooperstown.

Two months later, the first edition of the Cooperstown Courier was published on January 26, 1883. Like the Cooper brothers, the paper's first editor, Ed Stair, was from Michigan. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, at age 23 Stair had ventured out to the site of the future town in the middle of winter. He wrote in the Courier's first edition:

While we are launching our craft on the sea of journalism in the dead of winter... in a town scarcely old enough to sport a name... we believe the people of Griggs county feel the need of an honest exponent... the COURIER will be independent in politics and everything else. Independent and free as the winds that agitate the swollen waters of the classic Sheyenne in the merry month of May.

Stair would leave his position within a year, however, and leave North Dakota itself. He would years later run several successful newspapers in Detroit.

The Cooperstown Courier changed its name to the Griggs County Courier in 1885 when Fredrick H. Adams took over as editor; it was later shortened to the Griggs Courier. The paper changed its name once again in 1902, once again becoming the Cooperstown Courier when Percy R. Trubshaw took over as editor.

In 1899 another newspaper came to Cooperstown, the Griggs County Sentinel. It was a Democratic-leaning paper, while the Courier was Republican. H. S. Rearick became the Sentinel's editor in 1901, and heated editorial debates between Trubshaw and Rearick were featured in the columns of the two papers for the next decade. The two papers merged in 1913, however, with Rearick buying the Courier from Trubshaw and changing the name to the Griggs County Sentinel-Courier. It published under that name until 2005. In 2006, the paper shortened its name and once again became the Griggs County Courier, and is published to this day in Cooperstown. A few other papers were printed in Griggs County, but none lasting more than a year or two. The Griggs County Courier remains the dominant source of news in Griggs County.

Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota