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Sioux County pioneer. : (Fort Yates, Sioux County, N.D.) 1914-1929
Place of publication:
Fort Yates, Sioux County, N.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Fort Yates, Sioux, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C. Christenson
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 24, 1914)-v. 18, no. 51 (Oct. 3, 1929).
  • English
  • Fort Yates (N.D.)--Newspapers.
  • North Dakota--Fort Yates.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01249646
  • "Legal official county paper."
  • 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 88076639
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Sioux County pioneer. September 24, 1914 , Image 1


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Sioux County Pioneer

The Sioux County Pioneer was the official county newspaper of Sioux County, North Dakota. It began in 1914, the same year that Sioux County itself was established, and was published weekly in Fort Yates. The Pioneer was created by Chris Christenson, whose goal was to "to give the people of Sioux County, a live weekly newspaper." Christenson continued to publish the newspaper until 1919. Later publishers included Ralph Gordon Beede (1919-25) and Arthur E. Babcock (1927-29).

As the title implies, articles were directed at pioneer and homesteading families living in Sioux County. Coverage of state and local politics, local happenings, and advice columns on farming, ranching, and home economics accounted for the majority of the content. The Pioneer also covered news of and events at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, such as disputes between the federal and tribal government and matters discussed at the tribal council. Earlier issues of the Sioux County Pioneer also often included an installment of a short story; later issues often included poems, many of which were written by then publisher, Arthur E. Babcock.

An important local issue covered by the Pioneer was the long-lasting and hotly contested, yet ultimately unsuccessful campaign to move the county seat from Fort Yates to Selfridge. Editors and reporters of the Sioux County Pioneer argued for retaining Fort Yates as the county seat, while the neighboring Selfridge Journal encouraged its relocation to Selfridge, causing a flurry of insults and accusations slung between the two papers. The Pioneer reasoned that the Standing Rock Indian Agency office was headquartered in Fort Yates and that the town had hotel and restaurant facilities to serve visitors and businessmen. Moreover, Fort Yates had the larger population. The Selfridge Journal contended that Selfridge was more centrally located within the county and was on a railroad line, namely the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway, while Fort Yates was not. The dispute wore on in the press, through the various elections, recounts, and court battles, and spanned almost the entire life the Sioux County Pioneer.

Also of historic importance, the Pioneer covered the sale of land that was once part of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, publishing notices of sale dates, descriptions of land available, and articles enticing outsiders to purchase land and join the local community.

In late 1929, the Sioux County Pioneer merged with the Sioux County Arrow, a local newspaper founded just the year before, to form the Sioux County Pioneer-Arrow.

Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota