Paper's Press Brought in by Mule Freight

Cooperstown was only two months old when citizens received the first issue of the Cooperstown Courier. Ed Stair, a former student of the University of Michigan, was only 23 when he came to Cooperstown to start a newspaper. Mr. Cooper was anxious to have a newspaper and he furnished, or loaned, $500 to pay for the printing press and the type.  It came by train to the "end of the track" where it was unloaded and brought the rest of the way by Mule Freight.

The first printing office still stands, remodeled, as the Anton Olen residence. All lumber, hardware and other supplies were hauled to Cooperstown by Cooper's Mule Freight overland from Sanborn in wagons in summer or sleighs in winter.

Stair had been a newspaper publisher since he was fourteen years old, when, with his brother, two years older, he founded the Weekly Review in his home town of Morenci, Michigan. After working on several other papers he came to North Dakota to launch a newspaper. He spent some time in Fargo, and wrote a, series of articles for the Fargo Argus about the Hope-Cooperstown county seat dispute.

The first Cooperstown Courier was published January 26, 1883. Stair sold the paper to Frederick H. Adams, an attorney from Valley City, in April, 1884.

After leaving here Stair continued in the weekly newspaper business for a time, then bought and managed a chain of theaters in the eastern states.  In 1901 he bought the daily Detroit Journal and five years later he bought the Detroit Free Press, which he ran successfully for many years.

Adams was editor from April, 1884 until May 1889. During that time he was a member of the legislature. It was Adams who donated to the county the complete volumes of the first four year of the paper's publication.

On May 17, 1889 Adams sold the Courier to Thompson and Trubshaw, and on January 31, 1890, Percy B. Trubshaw bought his partner's interest. The Courier was a Republican paper, and Trubshaw's peppery editorials made lively reading. He had worked for Adams for some time before becoming owner. Trubshaw stayed here until March, 1912, then went to Valley pity to start a paper, the Valley City Courier.

Meanwhile, the Sentinel, a Democratic paper, came into being. Although no copies of the earliest Sentinels are available and no dates can be given, there is a record of a meeting to organize the "Griggs County Publishing Company" in February, 1898. W. T. McCuluoch was president, Albert Larson secretary, C. J. Lukken treasurer, and J. H. Sinclair, manager. Probably the Sentinel or its forerunner, whatever the name, was first published in Fargo. There is mention in the March 25, 1898 Courier of "the Griggs County number of the Fargo Record."

H. S. Rearick came to Cooperstown in 1901 and for the next several years engaged in front page political duels with Editor Trubshaw of the Courier. On March 20, 1912, Mr. Rearick bought the Courier from Mr. Trubshaw and merged the papers. From that time the paper has been published under the present name. The Rearick Publishing Company, which included Rearick, O. A. Lee and W. G. Shannach, operated the paper until September, 1919, when they sold it to the Griggs County Farmers Press, organization of farmers backed by the Nonpartisan League. Rearick, Lee and Schannach bought a paper in Leavenworth, Washington, and Gerald P. Nye came to Cooperstown to be managing editor of the paper. In 1925 Editor Nye became Senator Nye and moved to Washington. Harry L. Thompson assumed the management of the paper and remained as editor until his death in July 1948.

Thompson, a veteran of World War I, first came to Cooperstown in 1919 and was here until his death except for two years in Fargo and a few months in Idaho. He served one term in the North Dakota legislature, and was chairman of the selective service board during World War II.

For a short time after Thompson's death, the paper was run by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Anderson, who now edit a paper in Barnesville, Minnesota.

In March, 1949, the present owner s, Mrs. M. G. Frigaard, G. J, and Alan Frigaard bought the paper. Alan Frigaard was editor until January, 1954, when he moved to Marshall, Minnesota, and G. J. Frigaard took over the position.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 30

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