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The state-line herald. : (North Lemmon, Adams County, N.D.) 1907-1912
Place of publication:
North Lemmon, Adams County, N.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • North Lemmon, Adams, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Lemmon, Perkins, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.F. Paul Gross
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 5, no. 30 (Jan. 5, 1912).
  • Began June 7, 1907.
  • English
  • Lemmon (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Perkins County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Lemmon.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01288136
  • South Dakota--Perkins County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215807
  • "Official paper for Adams County," to Mar. 4, 1910 (although Proceedings of the County Commissioners continued to be published).
  • 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. 1, no. 44 (Apr. 3, 1908).
  • Place of publication varies: North Lemmon, N.D., June 7, 1907-July 22, 1910; Lemmon, S.D., July 29, 1910-Jan. 5, 1912.
sn 88076576
Succeeding Titles:
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The state-line herald. April 3, 1908 , Image 1


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The State-line Herald and The Lemmon Herald

The State-Line Herald began publication on June 7, 1907, in North Lemmon, North Dakota. The publisher and editor was John F. P. Gross, who used the name J.F. Paul Gross.On July 29, 1910, the newspaper's offices moved 400 feet south to Lemmon, South Dakota. The last issue was published on January 5, 1912. The paper was then sold to John C. Stoner and renamed the Lemmon Herald, with Gross continuing as editor. The six-column publication varied from 4 to 12 pages in length. While its price remained $1.50 per year, the publishing day changed from Fridays to Wednesdays. Stoner became editor of the Herald in January 1914. One year later, Frederick Hilstrom was appointed the managing editor, with Stoner as publisher. In May 1915 Olaf K. Fjetland took over both as editor and publisher.

The readership of the Herald centered on the border communities of North Lemmon and Lemmon, along with their respective counties of Adams and Perkins. The area was very much part of the frontier; in that year Lemmon, South Dakota, was often referred to as "Tent Town," due to its reliance on tents for living quarters. Headers displayed in the Herald included the "Official Paper for Adams County," "Published Every Friday at North Lemmon, Adams County, North Dakota, opposite Lemmon, SD, a thriving young city on the Pacific Extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul Ry," and "The City of Lemmon: The Commercial Center of the Trans-Missouri Empire."

Because of the region's large Scandinavian population, the Herald initially carried a column on developments in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, along with articles on farming, women's fashion and housekeeping and a full page of North Dakota news. By 1909, these columns had disappeared, replaced increasingly with national news, although a column on news from South Dakota was also featured. Every edition of the Herald carried several pictures, usually of politicians, authors, foreign royalty, and businessmen. The paper also featured fiction, news from local communities, and public notices. The Herald covered the Titanic disaster, the Mexican Civil War, and World War I, and published reports on Lemmon's own Co. K of the 4th South Dakota National Guard Infantry, which served on the Mexican border and was again mobilized in March 1917.

The Herald was a highly-charged political paper. Under Editor Gross the Herald was associated with the Republicans, describing President William Taft as "much too good and too able a man to be liked by the bosses." With Stoner and Hilstrom in charge, however, the paper's loyalties shifted to the Democratic Party, with articles lauding the Democratic sweep of the 1914 elections and the victory of President Woodrow Wilson. Fjetland took over the Herald on May 12, 1915, starting the paper's slow shift back to the Republicans. The paper published scathing references to land speculators, capitalists, the political machine, and what it termed the "Potwin Gang," a group led by rival newspaperman Thomas D. Potwin of the Perkins County Signal. The Lemmon Herald was associated with the Nonpartisan League, a faction within the Republican Party dominated by small farmers and merchants. The league advocated for state control of farm-related industries to reduce the power of corporate political interests centered in Minneapolis. Beginning in March 1917, the Herald ran a new header: "A Farmer Government of a Farmer State." It castigated its rivals, including North Dakota's Adams County Record which it called a "servile rag," stating "In no stronger way could [sic] the gang has shown its hand than by forcing the Adams County Record into cringing and lickspittle service." Another newspaper the Herald lambasted was the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. "As usual," it wrote, "the Fargo Forum is on the side of the machine."

Through March 1917, Editor Fjetland remained heavily critical of the Perkins County Signal. However, to achieve greater efficiency and reduce production costs, the two papers soon merged to form the new Lemmon Tribune. Thomas Potwin of the Signal served as editor, with Fjetland of the Herald acting as business manager. While the Lemmon Herald had reached 2,000 people, the newly formed Lemmon Tribune claimed a readership of 2,500, with its first issue appearing on April 12, 1917.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives