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Country: United States
City: Worthington, Minn.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 1,745
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 10,714
Earliest Date: 12 September 1874
Latest Date: 3 July 1908
In 1872 the Worthington Western Advance began weekly publication in Nobles County along Minnesota's southwest border. The newspaper was distributed by Miller, Humiston & Company, organizer of the National Colony, and was the first publication to be released from the settlement. Promotion of the colony had its place within the Advance; however, the newspaper strived to be a true representative of the local community progressive in politics, Protestant, and centered on agriculture. Weekly items included local, state, and political news; farm and household items; and articles on early struggles with grasshopper plagues and harsh winters. With a four-page, seven-column format, the Western Advance continued to increase circulation and changed its name to the Worthington Advance in 1874. It became the official paper of Nobles County and the village of Worthington in 1888.
During the era of the Homestead Act, a group of Ohio businessmen acquired an expanse of land along the Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad in southwestern Minnesota to begin a new settlement they named the National Colony. Professor Ransom F. Humiston and A. P. Miller, both original organizers of the Colony Company, welcomed their first settlers to the town of Worthington in 1872 and also began the publication of the colonyâ€™s first newspaper. The Western Advance began as a "true and unflinching representative of the peoples' interest," promoting the Colony's values of temperance, education, and growth of the settlement. The September 26, 1874 issue printed a letter questioning the company's choice of a southwestern Minnesota site, giving the editors an opportunity to fill two columns detailing the area's favorable climate, resources, manufacturing industry, and proximity to markets. Unfortunately, grasshopper plagues threatened Minnesota's farmers in the 1870s and news about them dominated the newspaper in the early years, delaying an expansion to eight columns and prompting the office to "take almost anythingâ€¦except grasshoppers" for payment of subscriptions. As the grasshoppers began to disappear permanently in 1876, a full-fledged rivalry began between the Worthington Advance and the newly established Worthington Journal, fueled by accusations of political maneuvering by a "ring" of local politicians and prominent citizens. When the Journal went out of business in February of 1882, the Advance recalled the Journal's life as "conceived in Ringism, born in a blaze of Rowdyism and nurtured in Spite and Fraud."
Miller retained ownership of the Worthington Advance until November of 1888, when he sold the newspaper to journalist, Republican speaker, and minister, Robert McCune. Five years later, Carl S. Eastwood, former editor of the Heron Lake News, purchased the Advance and a new press, increasing the newspaper to eight pages and beginning the Worthington Daily Advance. (It appears that only a single issue of the Daily Advance--for November 8, 1894--is extant.) Eastwood then sold his interest in the newspaper to Harvey Hawley of Saint Paul in 1896 after moving to Mankato, Minnesota. Hawley continued publishing the weekly Advance until he was elected to the Nobles County office of Register of Deeds in 1904, putting the newspaper up for sale as promised during his campaign. Thomas Dovery became the last editor of the Worthington Advance, and he sold the newspaper in 1908 to Charles Hamstreet of neighboring Rushmore, Minnesota, who had also recently bought out the Worthington Herald.Hamstreet then consolidated the two Worthington newspapers to begin the Worthington Advance-Herald.
Provided by: Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN