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The Julesburg grit-advocate. : (Julesburg, Colo.) 1907-1972
Alternative Titles:
  • Big Springs enterprise
  • Julesburg grit advocate and Big Springs enterprise
  • Ovid news
Place of publication:
Julesburg, Colo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Julesburg, Sedgwick, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Big Springs, Deuel, Nebraska  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Ed A. Fry
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 9, no. 1 (Nov. 8, 1907)-v. 14, no. 8 (Feb. 23, 1972).
  • English
  • Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
  • Big Springs enterprise (Big Springs, Neb.) appears inside The Julesburg grit-advocate June 5, 1963-Feb. 23, 1972.
  • Ovid news appears inside The Julesburg grit-advocate Feb. 18, 1910-Sept. 8, 1910.
sn 89052197
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Succeeding Titles:
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The Julesburg grit-advocate. November 8, 1907 , Image 1


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The Grit-Advocate and The Julesburg Grit-Advocate

Julesburg, Colorado is located in Sedgwick County in the northeastern-most corner of the state. Before White settlement, the area was inhabited by the tribes of the northern plains, including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Kiowa. Julesburg became a way stop for White Americans crossing the plains on the Overland Trail, as well as a stop for the Pony Express. Tensions between White settlers and Indigenous people erupted when troops under John Chivington slaughtered 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians–mostly women, children, and the elderly–at Sand Creek in November 1864. In retaliation, a force of some 1,000 Lakota, Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho raided and razed Julesburg in January and February 1865. Julesburg residents saw three more iterations and relocations of the town, precipitated by its function as a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop and the presence of the Union Pacific railroad. By 1886, the present-day location of Julesburg was established.

The Grit-Advocate was born from the merging of two newspapers, the Julesburg Grit, founded in 1893 and owned by H.C. “Skip” McNew, and The julesburg Advocate, founded in 1896 by L.E. Loveland. George M. Braxton bought the Advocate on July 25, 1899 and purchased the Grit in November of the same year. The newly merged Grit-Advocate published its first issue on November 17, 1899. The combined sheet was a four-column tabloid printed on a job press, as neither the Advocate nor the Grit outfit had a newspaper press. Braxton boasted that the new paper would “print more local matter than either of the two papers under the old management” (November 17, 1899). By 1903, The Grit-Advocate expanded to a six-column folio and was described by The Fort Morgan Times as “quite a newsy sheet, much better than most papers printed in so small a town as Julesburg” (September 4, 1903).

Ed A. Fry purchased The Grit-Advocate in July 1906. Two years later, Fry left the paper and the former owner of the Julesburg Grit, H.C. McNew, returned briefly as publisher. In August, R.J. Dobell took over the publication of the now The Julesburg Grit-Advocate, but McNew retained a financial interest in the paper until 1910, when he sold the paper to Percy R. McDowell. On November 2, 1911, the paper celebrated twelve years of “recording the comings and goings, the deaths and the births, the sorrows and the pleasures of Julesburg and of Sedgwick County.” By 1916, McDowell was the sole owner, publisher, and editor of The Julesburg Grit Advocate. McDowell promised his readers, in his words, “a ‘NEWS’ paper,” with thorough coverage of the field and correspondence news from each section of the county. McDowell also let the political leanings of the paper be known: “The paper will be continued as a republican paper, but our policy will be fair and impartial to all. The paper has always been republican and we do not intend to make a change in its politics” (August 24, 1916).

In 1919, the Grit-Advocate was named by the board of county commissioners as the official newspaper of Sedgwick County, in recognition of its commitment to “giving service to the largest number citizens in the county” (The Julesburg Grit-Advocate, January 9, 1919). McDowell continued as owner, publisher, and editor of the Grit-Advocate until 1925, at which time McDowell “cast his lot with the [Klu Klux] Klan” which proliferated in Colorado in the 1920s. McDowell’s Klu Klux Klan affiliation, specifically his affiliation with the Minute Men, a splinter group that had seceded from the Klan, may have been the reason he was passed over as president of the Colorado Press Association’s Board of Directors (Colorado Newspapers: A History & Inventory, 1859-2000, 2014).

The paper then was sold to H.M. and J.P. Sydney, who issued an “Industrial and Prosperity” edition that covered “forty-four six-column pages and [was] profusely illustrated with half-tones of scenes in Julesburg and the surrounding towns in Sedgwick county” (The Jefferson County Republican, May 13, 1926). The Julesburg Grit-Advocate was owned and published by a series of newspaper families: the Smiths, the Hogues, and the McKinstrys, and finally the Wilkins. In 1989, The Julesburg Grit-Advocate dropped the “Grit” and is currently published as the Julesburg Advocate.

Provided by: History Colorado