Griggs County Sentinel-Courier

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.  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 Oien 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 hometown 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.

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 years of the paper's publication.

Adams sold the Courier to Percy Trubshaw and a man named Thompson in 1889, and in the following year Trubshaw bought his partner's interest.  The Courier was a Republican paper, and Trubshaw wrote peppery editorials.  A native of England, he had worked for Adams for some time.  He stayed here until 1912 when he went to Valley City, where he was editor of the Valley City Courier and later the Times-Record.

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. McCulloch was president, Albert Larson secretary, C. J. Lukken treasurer, and J. H. Sinclair, manager.

H. S. Rearick took over the Sentinel in 1901, and for the next several years engaged in political duels with Editor Trubshaw.  Rearick bought the Courier from Trubshaw in 1912 and merged the papers.  From that time the paper has been known at the Griggs County Sentinel- Courier.  The Rearick Publishing Company, which included Rearick, O. A. Lee and W. G. Schannach, operated the paper until 1919 when they sold it to the Griggs County Farmers' Press, a group of Nonpartisan League members.  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 management of the paper and remained as editor until his death in July 1948, except for a short time in the mid-thirties when he was in business in Idaho.  During that time Kermit Overby edited the newspaper.

Thompson, a veteran of World War I, first came to Cooperstown in 1919.  He served one term in the North Dakota legislature.  A well-known writer for the paper during Thompson's time was Oswald Tufte.

For a short time after the death of Harry Thompson the paper was run by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Anderson.

In 1949 the paper was purchased by Mrs. M. G. (Nora) Frigaard and her sons, Gordon J. and Alan E. Alan Frigaard was editor until 1954, when he moved to Minnesota.  G. J. Frigaard and his wife, Eugenia (Duna) have run the paper since that time.

In 1973 the paper was converted from letterpress to offset operation.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 46

 
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