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The Mobridge news. [volume] : (Mobridge, Walworth Co., S.D.) 190?-1917
Place of publication:
Mobridge, Walworth Co., S.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Mobridge, Walworth, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn B. Coate
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 10, no. 5 (May 17, 1917).
  • English
  • Mobridge (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Mobridge.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224837
  • South Dakota--Walworth County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01215594
  • Walworth County (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. 44 (Jan. 1, 1909).
sn 98069043
Succeeding Titles:
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The Mobridge news. [volume] January 1, 1909 , Image 1


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The Mobridge News

Founded in 1909, the Mobridge News was a weekly newspaper published in Mobridge, South Dakota, on Friday, Thursday, or Saturday depending on the editor in charge. The four-to-eight-page paper often contained as many as four pages of ready prints created from mats. Each page had five to six columns, and an occasional boom edition was printed to promote the town of Mobridge. Readers included farmers and their families, businessmen, and the local Norwegian and German populations. At one time, a column contained stories in the German language, and a significant amount of space was dedicated to advice for farmers. However, the News still had a circulation smaller than wished for and often ran contests to try and boost subscription revenue.

Significant features included a society column, a women’s fashion section, news from the newly opened Indian reservations, and sections from various local correspondents. Items covered included weekly news about the Mexican Revolution, a "war" on mail order companies and on people with "mailorderitis," and frequent arguments with city officials over corruption. The Mobridge News maintained less than cordial relations with other newspapers, often arguing over everything from political issues to the validity of "big fish" stories. The News also challenged the Mobridge Bulletin over subscription lists and over the title of Official Paper of Mobridge. A member of the South Dakota Press Association, the Mobridge News was also considered a saloon paper and, as such, opposed prohibition.

The Mobridge News had a number of editors over its history, starting with Glenn B. Coate and his wife Susie A. Coate in 1907. The Coates were brought in from Iowa soon after the founding of Mobridge by saloon men Luther E. Pierce and Joe Arens as part of a scheme to boost the town and provide advertising. The Coates ran the paper as a four-page, six-column politically Independent sheet and eventually bought out Pierce and Arens in 1908. Soon afterward, the Coates sold the paper to its original owners and returned to Iowa. Attorney W.M. Potts then took over for a few weeks while the owners located a new editor. In late 1909, Arthur G. Keene was named editor and manager. The newly formed Mobridge News and Printing Company included Keene, Pierce, John W. Harris, and William S. Wrigley. Keene printed an eight-page, six-column paper, and his masthead featured the optimistic slogan, "Mobridge Moves." After a year, Keene resigned, leaving employee Mrs. Dell M. Wright as editor. Wright continued the paper much as Keene had left it but did change the ready print process to include printing mats. In 1911 Joseph P. Parker, the previous editor of the McIntosh Chief, took over the paper, declaring his intention "to treat everyone alike in the dissemination of news matter." Parker had a tendency to make enemies of other local editors. In his single year of service, he fought with the Aberdeen Daily American , the Ipswich Democrat, and the Walworth County Record. Parker also purchased a new linotype machine for the Mobridge News before returning to his home in McIntosh, South Dakota, in 1912. Thomas J. Holt then took over editorship of the News, which he described as providing "partial news with impartial intent." Holt left the News in 1913, going on to edit the Isabel News. His successor W.C. Mitchell made significant changes to the Mobridge News, adding new column headings and content, purchasing new equipment for the printing office, and reducing the number of pages to four.  Furthermore, he changed the masthead to include the words, "All the News, All the Time. Clear, Concise, Complete." Mitchell was forced out by the Mobridge Printing Company in 1914. One of the owners, John W. Harris, took over for a few weeks until a more suitable editor could be located.

Roderick Weir, owner of the Mobridge Bulletin, soon purchased the News after announcing the lease of his other Mobridge paper to two local men. The Bulletin and the News then kicked off an adversarial relationship as Weir argued fiercely with the men leasing the Bulletin. Weir experimented with a variety of different formats, slogans, and political affiliations before, fearing competition from the newly relocated Dakota Democrat, he sold the News to the Tribune Publishing Company in 1917. At that time, the company consisted of W.E. Woolf, his sister Lulu Woolf Barth, and Guy G. DeShon, the old editor of the Aberdeen Daily American. The Tribune Publishing Company maintained a similar format until May 24, 1917, when their all new equipment arrived and the name was changed to the Mobridge News-Tribune.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives