Newspaper history

Mark Berg, Minot

The article about labor unrest along Main Street in 1913 also lightly touched on the subject of the newspaper history of Minot in the comment (on p.A7)- “Shortly after the normal school’s completion, that April one of The Minot Daily News’s two precursors, the Ward County Reporter…”

There had been more than two daily newspapers in town by that time. The first two daily papers were started by Marshall McClure in 1888 and in 1889; both of these papers were short-lived. The third daily paper was also started by Editor McClure, this time in 1900. It was called the Minot Optic, and McClure sold the paper in 1904, after which it was renamed the Minot Daily Optic.

Between the second and third daily papers founded by McClure, Minot was served by weekly papers exclusively. The first weekly paper was the Mouse River Advocate, which moved to Minot from Towner and began publication in February 1887, the first paper to be published within city limits.

The oldest newspaper in Ward county, the Burlington Reporter, had its presses moved to Minot in 1890 and started publication there under “Little Mac” McLeod. The presses that were moved to town from Burlington were destroyed in a fire along Main Street in 1894, and the paper then merged with the Minot Journal to form the combined Ward County Reporter-Minot Journal for a couple years until the name reverted back to the Ward County Reporter.

But this paper from Burlington was still a weekly paper. A daily paper with the same name was started in 1905 by George Wilson, and it was renamed the Minot Daily Reporter in 1906.

The comment that there were only two precursors to the Daily News does not do justice to the fraternity of editors and journalists who had worked on over half a dozen daily papers and a dozen weekly papers previous to 1906.