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The Sisseton weekly standard. : (Sisseton, Roberts County, S.D.) 1892-1929
Place of publication:
Sisseton, Roberts County, S.D.
Geographic coverage:
  • Sisseton, Roberts, South Dakota  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C.C. Knappen
Dates of publication:
  • Began May 28, 1892; ceased 1929.
  • English
  • Roberts County (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • Sisseton (S.D.)--Newspapers.
  • South Dakota--Roberts County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214938
  • South Dakota--Sisseton.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01230732
  • Absorbed by: Sisseton courier.
  • Absorbed: The courant, and: The Peever pilot.
  • 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. 12, no. 24 (Dec. 23, 1904).
sn 99062049
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The Sisseton weekly standard. December 23, 1904 , Image 1


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The Sisseton Weekly Standard

The Sisseton Weekly Standard began publication on May 28, 1892, in Roberts County, South Dakota. The Standard claimed to be the first newspaper established in Sisseton, and was published originally by Gilbert O. Kively. In 1894, Kively sold the Standard to Casper Kennedy who operated the newspaper for the next ten years. On December 23, 1904, Kennedy in turn sold the Standard to Charles C. Knappen.

Under Knappen, the Standard was an eight-page, six-column weekly published on Fridays; it originally had no political affiliation, but later evolved into a Republican paper. When Knappen purchased the Standard, he stated that his goal was to create a newspaper "which shall represent the community in which it is printed." He went on to say: "We will print all the news fit to be printed, print the truth, without fear, favor or affectation; print fresh ideas, progressive thought and reliable information; print the opinions of the editor fearlessly, and print what we believe to be right, regardless of consequences. We have decided opinions of our own and propose to maintain them at any cost."

The first few years of Knappen's leadership of the Standard were characterized by unfriendly exchanges with George Mosher, editor of the rival Sisseton News. According to Knappen, "as is well known, Mosher grows fat on fabrication; it's his chief stock in trade. His mission as a corrupt newspaper man would not tally correctly if he even attempted to do otherwise. He has always been known as a walking delegate for the prince of liars, and a lover of dissension and strife." In addition to this fierce rivalry with Mosher, Knappen also faced criminal charges for slander in late 1905 along with Editor John. P. Croal of the Sisseton Courant.

Charles Knappen controlled the Sisseton Weekly Standard until his death in March 1911. His wife, May A. Knappen temporarily assumed control until his brother Howard P. Knappen purchased the paper on August 25, 1911. On October 11, 1912, the Standard was sold to James W. Featherston, who later claimed a circulation of 1,500. Featherston operated the Standard for two years, and then sold it to Walter Johnson in 1914. Johnson gave a great deal of coverage to events during the First World War, and briefly included a German-language article within the Standard. Johnson was also responsible for the Standard absorbing first the Courant in November 1917, and, later the Peever Pilot in August 1918.

On October 24, 1920, Johnson announced the sale of the Standard to the Roberts County Press-- organized by farmers of Roberts County, South Dakota--with Thomas R. Smiley acting as manager and editor. Under Smiley’s leadership, the paper again claimed to be non-partisan in politics. On May 5, 1921, James F. Bower succeeded Smiley as editor. In 1923, Walter P. Wohlheter became owner of the Standard until January 1, 1925, when Dan Morrison assumed control. In 1929, Albert Adams purchased the Standard and merged it with his paper, the Sisseton Courier.

Provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives