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The Hot Springs star. : (Hot Spings [Hot Springs], Dakota [Dakota Territory, i.e. S.D.]) 1886-189?
Place of publication:
Hot Spings [Hot Springs], Dakota [Dakota Territory, i.e. S.D.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Hot Springs, Fall River, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
LaFleiche & Stewart
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1886.
  • English
  • Fall River County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Hot Springs (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Fall River County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215571
  • South Dakota--Hot Springs.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226119
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from: State Archives, South Dakota State Historical Society.
  • Daily ed.: Daily Hot Springs star.
  • Description based on: Vol. [2], no. 1 (May 13, 1887).
sn 96090256
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The Hot Springs star. May 13, 1887 , Image 1


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The Hot Springs Star and Hot Springs Weekly Star

Based in the town of Hot Springs, Dakota Territory (i.e., South Dakota), the Hot Springs Star was originally a weekly paper published every Friday and consisting of eight, six-column pages. The Star first appeared on May 21, 1886. On April 29, 1892 it was renamed the Hot Springs Weekly Star; on November 16, 1917, it returned to the original Hot Springs Star.

The Star had a tangled web of ownership for many years. The first publishers were W. T. LaFleiche and Dr. A. S. Stewart. In 1887, William H. Stanley, Jr., acquired the paper; in 1888, he turned it over to N. C. Nash. Fred T. Evans also had a financial interest in the Star. Other owners, part-owners, and publishers until World War I included: W. E. Benedict, I. L. Hanford, John A. Stanley, James B. Hedge, George I. and W. A. Warner, and A. T. Johnson.

Each publisher changed the paper to fit his style but always kept in mind the fact its main readers the residents of the Black Hills region. From the beginning, the Hot Springs Star focused mainly on the news from that part of South Dakota as well as providing important state, national, and world news.

A prominent story that appeared in the Star in 1909 was the murder of Stephen D. and Anna E. Tucker by their son-in-law James Albert Barton at their farm near Provo, South Dakota. This story is a prime example of inconsistencies in reporting resulting from the absence of quick, reliable communication. As a weekly paper, the Hot Springs Star had time to compile multiple news reports before going to print. In fact, the Star printed three versions of the crime. The first two appeared on April 2. The shorter version is found on page six in the "South Dakota State News" section and states that a "Richard" Barton murdered Mr. and Mrs. "Douglas" Tucker with an ax and "horribly mutilated the bodies." A second version, which leads the front page, provided correct names for both the murderer and victims. It reported that Barton had returned from working in the field and shot Mrs. Tucker in the head and slit Mr. Tucker's throat "from ear to ear" with a pair of scissors. Barton's wife and young son were reported as witnesses to the attack. On April 23, an article about Barton's trial reported that Mr. Tucker's throat had been cut with a knife and that the only witness was his daughter, the wife of the murderer. Newspaper readers were perhaps accustomed to varied, often sensationalized accounts of such events.

News relating to the "Grand Lodge" and "Grand Chapter" also appeared frequently in the Star, even with the shifts in ownership, showing the strong influence of Masonic groups. Over time, the Hot Springs Star focused more on national and global news. Today, it remains important paper in the Black Hills region.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives