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Golden Valley chronicle. : (Beach, Billings County, N.D.) 1905-1916
Place of publication:
Beach, Billings County, N.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Beach, Billings, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Beach, Golden Valley, North Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.A. Young
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • Beach (N.D.)--Newspapers.
  • North Dakota--Beach.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01254162
  • "Official paper of Billings County, " 1908-1910.
  • "Official paper of Golden Valley County," [1913].
  • "Official paper of the city of Beach," 1910-[1912].
  • 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. 2, no. 8 (Jan. 10, 1907).
sn 89074109
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Golden Valley chronicle. January 10, 1907 , Image 1


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Golden Valley Chronicle

The weekly Golden Valley Chronicle, established in November 1905, pre-dated both the incorporation of its hometown of Beach in Dakota Territory (later North Dakota), in 1908, and the organization of Golden Valley County in 1912. Before then, Beach had been part of Billings County, a fact that contributed a long-running series of early articles. In 1906, county residents voted down a replacement of their two- decade-old courthouse. As reported in February 1907, county commissioners moved to fund the new courthouse anyway, using emergency funds. The Golden Valley Chronicle and Billings County Republican represented the interests of voters and denounced the commissioners' actions as illegal. The Billings County Herald of Medora, future site of the new courthouse, unsurprisingly favored its construction. According to the Chronicle's first editor, W. A. Young, Beach was "the largest and most progressive town in the county" and "does not now, nor will it ever depend upon a few county officials residing here to make it a town," implying that Medora would not exist without the courthouse and county seat. Bitter letters and satirical poems on the issue ran in the Beach and Medora papers for several months.

The Brinton brothers, Job W. and Charles M., assumed control of the Golden Valley Chronicle on February 21, 1908, after a rancorous buyout battle with Young. They celebrated their purchase with a 12-page issue prefaced with the phrase "Let us all pull together for Beach and the Golden Valley. Don't be a knocker." The Brintons already had experience with two territorial weeklies: the Belfield Times and the Wells County Free Press. In an attempt to secure more subscriptions, the paper dangled prizes such pianos, gold watches, and even new automobiles in front of readers. The plan worked, and in 1909, the Chronicle bragged that it had three times the circulation of its main competitor the Beach Advance, and over twice the numbers of other Billings County papers. However, fires in September and October 1912 destroyed J.W. Brinton's home, building, and equipment, halting publication of the Chronicle for two months.  The insurance payout allowed Brinton to purchase a Mergenthaler linotype and two-revolution Cottrell press, making the paper the largest and most modern printing establishment west of the Missouri River. Publication quickly resumed, and the Golden Valley Chronicle boasted over 2,200 subscribers by 1915.

The paper both reported on and was the subject of the news during J.W. Brinton's ownership. His loud support of farmers over merchants and county officials led to advertising boycotts of the paper in 1912 and 1914. In 1914, Brinton incorporated the Chronicle Printing Company and sold shares in the newspaper to farmers. Politically interested and well connected, Brinton was elected first an alderman, then mayor of Beach, and was a founder of the Nonpartisan League movement in North Dakota.

Clarence T. Bolstad bought the Chronicle in January 1916. A newspaperman who had worked in Enderlin and Ambrose, North Dakota, Bolstad pledged to leave behind the factional fights that had embroiled Brinton's tenure. Subscriptions remained high, with 2,000 reported for the now Republican-affiliated Chronicle, but it was not to last. The Golden Valley Chronicle ceased publication without explanation or fanfare on December 15, 1916.

Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota