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Pierre weekly free press. : (Pierre, S.D.) 1889-19??
Alternative Titles:
  • Pierre free press
  • Weekly free press
Place of publication:
Pierre, S.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Pierre, Hughes, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Free Press Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 7, no. 32 (Dec. 26, 1889)-
  • English
  • Hughes County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Pierre (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Hughes County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207647
  • South Dakota--Pierre.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01209256
  • 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 eds.: Pierre daily free press (Pierre, S.D. : 1889), 1889-1891, and: Pierre daily free press (Pierre, S.D. : 1899), Jan. 4-<Mar. 3, 1899>.
sn 98062890
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Pierre weekly free press. January 2, 1890 , Image 1


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Pierre Weekly Free Press

The Pierre Weekly Free Press began publication on May 25, 1883, in South Dakota. Printed every Thursday, the "State's best weekly," eventually became the official paper of the city of Pierre and Hughes County and consisted of eight pages and six columns. The Free Press boasted a wide circulation that served "every county in the state and nearly every state in the union," and claimed that it would "fully double the circulation of any other publication issued from Pierre." Since Pierre became South Dakota's capital in 1890, the Free Press had the added advantage of legislative reporting, declaring that "A full report of the work of the legislature will be given every week while that body is in session," and that it would "keep the taxpayers of the state posted as to affairs of state."

Initially part of the Pierre Printing Company, the Free Press came under the control of the Free Press Printing Company on May 24, 1888. By March 19, 1891, J. C. McManima was serving as president and Samuel G. Dewell as editor. For a time, McManima also served as co-editor with Dewell. On November 30, 1893, Charles A. Wheelon purchased McManima's interests and served as co-editor. Sometime between 1899 and 1903, Dewell leased the Free Press to Claire E. Besancon and a man named Raish. On December 15, 1904, the contract ended, and Dewell took over again until A. C. Satterlee purchased the Pierre Weekly Free Press on February 14, 1907. Satterlee would remain as sole editor and publisher until the paper's end on June 27, 1918.

The Free Press was affiliated with the Republican Party and published articles covering both foreign and local news, often focusing on politics. The Free Press advocated for the city of Pierre during the fight for the temporary location of state capital in 1889, and again in 1890 for the permanent capital location. Another important issue centered on the opening of the Great Sioux Reservation to homesteading. If Indian lands west of the Missouri River could be sold to whites, it was believed that Pierre would become a major hub both for river and rail transportation, further easing access to the Black Hills. In 1886, the city went as far as sending Mayor Pattison F. McClure and the Free Press's J. C. McManima to Washington, D. C. to lobby for the Dawes Act, a bill which would open up some reservation lands to outside settlement. In addition, the Free Press spent a great deal of space promoting Pierre as the new "metropolis of the upper Missouri territory."

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives