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Country: United States
State: North Dakota
City: Minot, Ward County, N.D.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 1,052
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 15,617
Earliest Date: 7 January 1903
Latest Date: 28 December 1922
The Ward County Independent was launched in Minot, North Dakota, on April 1, 1902, under the guidance of Charles R. Truax. Born in 1868 in Minnesota, Truax, a former printer, came to Minot in 1890 as a boilermaker for the Great Northern Railroad. When failing health forced him to give up rigorous physical activity, he looked for another occupation. Another former printer, Glenn Colcord, who had come to Minot to take up a homestead, was working for the Ward County Reporter as a journalist to supplement his farm income. Colcord joined Truax in launching the Independent, taking the job of editor. At the turn of the century, Minot was a growing community with a population of more than 1,200. There were already two established newspapers, the Minot Optic and the aforementioned Ward County Reporter, both of which would establish daily editions by the middle of the decade while retaining their weekly editions.
With an Army press situated on a soapbox in a tiny office, Truax and Colcord squeaked out issues of the Independent, printing one page at a time using ready-prints, which were preprinted pages with blank spaces for local columns. To separate the columns of type, cigar boxes were cut to form the borders. Within a year, due to the publication of homestead proofs and print jobs, the partners were able to buy a Washington hand-press which was soon replaced by a Cranston press. It was necessary to install a gasoline engine to run the press until a consistent source of electricity could be found in the city. The paper consisted of a six-column, 14- by 21-inch news sheet, with preprinted pages.
Beginning in the 1920s, the Independent began publishing all home-print and carried the news for much of the northwestern and north-central part of the state. In August of 1937, Glenn Colcord purchased the interests of Charles Truax. Earl C. Fuller joined him in managing the paper. A Duplex press was installed which printed, folded, and counted out an eight-page newspaper in one operation. From 1947 to 1953, the Independent received awards for excellence from the National Editorial Association in the National Better Newspaper contest.
Upon the death of Colcord in 1950, Fuller was joined by his son William, with Glenn Dill as editor. By this time, the Independent had grown to an eight-column spread, often containing two sections totaling 16 pages. Mechanical problems and a slow local economy caused a two-week suspension of the paper in April 1965. After a second suspension on June 17, the newspaper never resumed publishing, and the Ward County Independent ceased to exist.
Provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota