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The first local newspaper was the St. Anthony Express (1851), published by Elmer Taylor and edited by Isaac Atwater in St. Anthony. Its political leanings were towards the Whig party. The paper had financial difficulties over the years and was discontinued in 1861. The North-Western Democrat was the second paper published in St. Anthony. Its first issue came out in 1853 and its political leanings were towards the Democrat party. It too had financial difficulties, eventually selling out and moving across the river. In 1854, the newly renamed paper, The Northwest Democrat, was the first newspaper to be published on the west side of the Mississippi River. The Northwest Democrat was published weekly by W. A. Hotchkiss.
The first daily newspaper in what was to become Minneapolis, The Daily Falls Evening News, began in 1857. Two years later, Col. William King started another daily, The State Atlas. A rival paper, The Chronicle, was established by Col. John H. Stevens and others in 1866. The State Atlas and The Chronicle consolidated and began publishing the Minneapolis Tribune in 1867 with a print run of 1,000 copies. The Minneapolis Journal (founded in 1878) joined with the Minneapolis Star (founded by the Nonpartisan League in 1920) in 1939 to become the Minneapolis Star Journal. The Minneapolis Times was published from 1889 to 1948. In 1935 John and Gardner Cowles bought the Minneapolis Star Journal and began using the name Star Journal in 1939. With the ownership of the Cowles and the events that were happening in the 1930s, a new aura of professionalism and social responsibility came to Minneapolis journalism. The Cowles family purchased the Minneapolis Tribune in 1941. On April 5, 1982, the evening paper, the Minneapolis Star, merged with the Minneapolis Tribune. The Cowles family continued to own and operate the newspaper until 1998, when they sold it to the McClatchy Newspapers, a company based in Sacramento, California.
Star Tribune History
The following information was compiled by staff at the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) newspaper and provided to the Minneapolis Public Library, August 12, 1997.
Some early non-English papers published in Minneapolis included the Folkebladet (1877), a Norwegian newspaper, and The Daily Tidende (1887), the only daily Scandinavian newspaper in the northwest. Swan Turnblad published the Swedish paper the Svenska-Ameriskanska-Posten (1885). L'Echo de L'Ouest (1883), a weekly French newspaper, was published by French-Canadian Zephirin Demeules.
The Minneapolis Spokesman was founded by Cecil Newman in 1934. Newman went on to have a long and distinguished presence in the community as a publisher and also as a civil rights advocate and community spokesman. The Spokesman merged with the St. Paul Recorder in 2000 to form the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, which continues to serve the African-American community.
Other local papers include a business newspaper as well as local neighborhood newspapers. Finance and Commerce has been publishing Twin City business news since 1887 and is the official newspaper of the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. A rich array of neighborhood newspapers has been springing up since the 1970s to inform the public of local and city news pertinent to their communities.
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