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Sturgis advertiser. : (Sturgis, Dakota [S.D.]) 1887-1???
Place of publication:
Sturgis, Dakota [S.D.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Sturgis, Meade, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
I.R. Crow
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1887.
Weekly July 10, 1889-
  • English
  • Meade County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Meade County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206122
  • South Dakota--Sturgis.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01228903
  • Sturgis (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • 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. 1, no. 4 (Aug. 10, 1887).
sn 97065761
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Sturgis advertiser. July 19, 1887 , Image 1


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Sturgis Advertiser

The Sturgis Advertiser was a weekly newspaper published in the town of Sturgis, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The paper started on July 19, 1887, and was four pages and seven columns in length. The following year, the Advertiser experimented with semi-weekly and tri-weekly issues, and in 1889 it joined the Black Hills Publishers Association. The two middle pages of the paper consisted of ready prints containing short stories, poems, national and state news, and women's, children's, and religious columns, all reprinted from popular national newspapers. The paper did, however, experiment with all-home printing for a short time in 1889 and often added local advertisements to its ready prints. The audience for the Advertiser included farmers and businessmen in and around Sturgis, along with their wives and children. Stories about nearby Fort Meade were also printed along with railroad news, court summons, final proof notices, foreclosures, mortgage sales, and legal notices. The Advertiser was named the official paper of Meade County and of the War Department of Dakota, and as such it printed proceedings for the board of commissioners and notices from the War Department. The Advertiser also considered itself the best job work and commercial printing office in the county and continually purchased new and improved equipment in order to maintain its reputation. A boom edition was published on June 17, 1890, promoting both the newspaper and the town of Sturgis, with write-ups of the local businesses and illustrations of prominent buildings and sights.

I.R. Crow, the editor and proprietor of the Sturgis Advertiser, also ran the Cascade Springs Geyser in nearby Fall River County. A local resident, Crow often used the Advertiser to express opinions and prejudices both personal and political. Crow ran for alderman in the 1889 city election and the newspaper supported his campaign. In 1887, postmaster F. H Harberd joined the Advertiser as part-owner and job print manager before departing less than one year later, leaving Crow as sole proprietor again.

Republican in its politics, but with strong local leanings, the Advertiser devoted much of its weekly space to providing political news and opinions. It also regularly suggested ways to improve life for the residents of Sturgis, and it strongly opposed any measure that might weaken the town's position within the state. Crow generally maintained cordial relations with other local newspapers, but would stoop to insults at perceived slights of either the newspaper or the community. The Advertiser considered itself "the most fearless outspoken newspaper in the Black Hills" and the "best local paper" in the county. It also referred to itself as the "only republican newspaper in the county" and strongly endorsed the opening of the Indian Reservations to White settlement.

The Advertiser increased its circulation by establishing newsstands in the Black Hills region as well as later publishing stories of interest to a wider regional audience. In 1891, William A. Dawley acquired the Advertiser. As a Democrat, Dawley changed the paper's political orientation. He also recruited correspondents from a wider geographic area. The new mission of the Sturgis Advertiser, Dawley said, was to "gain the friendship of the many and the enmity of but few" and to give the "cream of the news in a fair and impartial manner."

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives