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Newell reclamation news. [volume] : (Newell, Butte County, S.D.) 1910-19??
Place of publication:
Newell, Butte County, S.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Newell, Butte, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
John L. Barnes
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1910.
  • English
  • Butte County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Newell (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Butte County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215575
  • South Dakota--Newell.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01887667
  • 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.
  • Description based on: Vol. 6, no. 13 (June 17, 1915).
sn 97065720
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Newell reclamation news. [volume] June 17, 1915 , Image 1


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Newell Reclamation News

The Newell Reclamation News was a weekly, Thursday newspaper located in Newell, South Dakota. The News was the first newspaper in Newell, beating out its daily competition in Butte County, the Valley Irrigator, by one full week. Publication of the News continued from March 30, 1910, through at least December 13, 1917. The paper covered developments in Butte County with special attention to the communities of Newell and Vale. Two issues at the beginning of 1917 also covered developments in the nearby town of Horse Creek. The News was made up of four, six-column pages, one of which, called the Vale Ventriloquist, contained the by-line, "Home happenings by local writers. Devoted to the interests of our readers from Vale and vicinity." The Ventriloquist also identified the surrounding area as home to "the Richest Valley in South Dakota . . .Where Corn is King and Alfalfa is Queen." Each issue of theNews included local news, political stories, advertisements, and personals from the Newell area. Its audience was mostly farmers and businessmen, along with their wives and children, and the paper often included stories and advertisements that met their particular needs and interests.

The sole owner, publisher, and editor of the Newell Reclamation News was Iowan John L. Barnes (1880-1954), who often used the paper to express his political opinions and shame his opponents, both local and national. In one particularly vehement insult, Barnes referred to the local postmaster, who had attempted to get the paper shut down, as an "abbreviated specimen of humanity" and the "chief liar" of a "bunch of crooks and grafters." According to the header, the News was "Progressive in Politics . . . Independent in Speech." Stories centered around, and were often in favor of, such issues as Prohibition, women's suffrage, and, early in the paper's history, pacifism. The News also identified itself with the by-line, "The Pioneer Newspaper of Newell." It also served as the official newspaper for the Belle Fourche Valley Water Users' Association. Notifications as well as minutes from its meetings and stories of interest to its members often appeared in the paper. Notices from the U.S. Reclamation Service were likewise published, and Republican candidates for office regularly posted advertisements during election time.

The Newell Reclamation News also provided commercial and private printing services, offering its readers subscription bundles with popular magazines such as American Boy, Today's Magazine, and People's Home Journal at reduced prices. However, when in January 1917 the News tried to raise its prices from $1.50 to $2.00 per year, with the note that the editor felt that the News was worth the extra charge, the increase lasted less than one month. This would suggest that the people of Newell in particular and Butte County in general perhaps viewed the News as not being worth the price hike. Further threats of price hikes were posted in the News but never came to fruition.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives