For many years the St. Louis Park Dispatch served St. Louis Park, reporting local happenings and supplementing the Minneapolis papers. Much of what we know about St. Louis Park comes from the pages of the Dispatch. This page describes the precursors (and successors) to the Dispatch, and also provides a skeletal history of the Minneapolis press.
ST. LOUIS PARK NEWSPAPERS
In cases where the Society has copies of some of the following newspapers there will be a link to an inventory.
“Bound” means that we have very large bound volumes of the papers, which are located in our office. They are too large and brittle to be photocopied, but can be photographed with some success.
“Microfilm” means that we have these papers on microfilm, which can be read on our digital microfilm reader that we obtained in 2015 through a Minnesota Legacy Grant. The microfilm was also purchased through a Legacy grant. Microfilm is simply a series of photographs of the pages of the newspaper; it is not searchable. Pages or articles may be isolated and saved to a flash drive.
1892: The St. Louis Park Mail was published, owned, and edited by D.W. Bath.
1901: The Hopkins News was the paper of record in St. Louis Park.
1905: The Hennepin County Enterprise was the paper of record in St. Louis Park. It was based in Hopkins but usually had a section on St. Louis Park news. By 1918 the publisher was George Joseph Silk, who had a connection to the Klan. In 1923 the Klan tried to oust Minneapolis Mayor Leach by running its own candidate, Roy Miner, who was the Exalted Cyclops of North Star Klan No. 2 in Minneapolis. In order to discredit Leach, they found a woman who ran a brothel and was willing to testify that she had seen Leach at her place of business in the company of some of her girls. (Alternately, Leach was sleeping with the madam.) This notarized statement was published in the Klan newspaper Voices of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, published by North Star Klan No. 2. Leach sued for libel, retaining Floyd B. Olson as his attorney. There were five defendants, including the madam, Miner, the truck driver who picked up the papers from the printer and delivered them, and the man who actually printed the paper, George Silk.
From Page 89 of the book The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota by Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle:
The Minneapolis Masonic Observer was a strong supporter of Klan defendant George Silk. In April 16, 1921, the paper reported how “Brother George Silk, Worshipful Master of Albert Pike Lodge No. 237, Hopkins, Minn.,” was wounded in a pistol battle in downtown Hopkins. Silk was a valued and prominent member of the Mason community in the Minneapolis area, according to the paper. [Minneapolis] Mayor Leach stated, “It gave me a hunch that the paper [the Voice, with the libelous statement] was delivered from Hopkins where a man by the name of Silk, who was an officer of the Klan, published a paper.” Leach’s hunch most likely came from Silk running a newspaper in Hopkins called the Hennepin County Enterprise. Thirty days before the date of distribution of the Klan publication, Roy Miner approached Silk with Kennedy’s [the madam] affiant and asked if Silk could handle the printing. Silk had the type delivered to him, and he printed the newspaper. Silk said that he did not know Miner personally, according to his testimony.Silk died in Two Harbors, Minnesota. A report of his death in the Masonic Observer was placed directly above a Ku Klux Klan meeting announcement for 1924. “Brother George J. Silk of Hopkins Passes, editor and publisher of the Hennepin County Enterprise at Hopkins, Minnesota and former secretary of the Hennepin County Fair Association.” Silk died of a heart attack while in camp at the headwaters of the Manitou River, near the Canadian border. “He was a fearless fighter for whatever he believed to be right; a good friend to those in whom he believed and square in his relations, even with those he opposed most actively and aggressively.” No mention is made by the Masonic Observer of George Silk’s conviction in the libel suit of Mayor Leach, but his death did get him out of ever having to serve any of the time to which he was sentenced for his conviction in that 1923 trial. Leach’s belief about Silk’s death was that Silk committed suicide to escape his sentence. Silk did die in 1924, before the 1925 appeal trial, but his death certificate does not list suicide as cause of death. It was unusual though. Silk’s death occurred in an isolated, wooded area. It was difficult to reach to recover his body.
1907-08: The paper of record was the Hopkins Mirror.
1909: St. Louis Park published its notices in the Minneapolis Journal.
1911-13: The Hopkins News was the paper of record in St. Louis Park.
1914: The Hennepin County Enterprise was the paper of record in St. Louis Park.
1915: The St. Louis Park Herald was edited by F. A. Harvey of Robbinsdale. R.L. Blacktin of St. Louis Park was the assistant editor. This short-lived paper, running from May 6 to October 14, 1915, featured news about the ongoing war on the front page, and included articles on farming, recipes, fashions, world news, jokes and witticisms, and ads for the vaudeville houses downtown. The paper reported Park news by neighborhood, demonstrating the unique, decentralized structure of the City that persists today, despite the work of planners and politicians to unite the City without a downtown. The neighborhoods, then and now, are Brookside, Center, Oak Hill, Fern Hill, Lenox, and the North Side (and sometimes Sunset Gables and Lake Forest). Editor Harvey was unable to convince the Village to publish its official notices in the paper, however, and the paper went under after he claimed he lost $20/month, merging with the Robbinsdale Tellit. The Society has photocopies of the relevant parts of each edition; the entire run can be read on microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society.
1916: The Hennepin County Enterprise was the St. Louis Park paper of record. It was published by John L. Suel and was primarily a Hopkins paper.
1917: The St. Louis Park paper of record was The Minneapolis Daily News in January, changed to the Hennepin County Enterprise in March. The Hennepin County Rural Messenger was suggested and rejected.
1918: The Hennepin County Rural Messenger was the paper of record.
1925-68: The Hennepin County Review was primarily a Hopkins paper, but was the newspaper of record for the Park and the best source of local information until the St. Louis Park Dispatch began in 1941. The Hopkins Historical Society has every copy, and microfilmed copies are also available. Its colorful publisher was James L. Markham.
1927-40: The Twin City Herald began publication on April 30, 1927.
1928: The Hennepin County Enterprise moved from Hopkins to Robbinsdale in December. [From Golden Valley – a History of a Minnesota City:] Instead of the traditional one Republican and one Democratic newspaper, Hopkins found itself with two Democratic papers. The Enterprise and the Hennepin County Review competed against one another for several years until it became clear that one would have to move. Markham’s Hennepin County Review won the coin toss, and gave Suel $2,500 “for his good will and subscription list.”
1937: J. Linn Nash established The Spectator, which had been started earlier as the North Minneapolis Chronicle. Copies are available from January 6, 1945 to November 2, 1946. In 1939 it was listed with two Minneapolis addresses; in 1942 it was listed at 3550 Brunswick. 1940 cartoons included “Tubby,” “In Our Office,” and “Raising the Family.” In 1946 Nash sold The Spectator and it was published in Hopkins as the Suburban Press of Hopkins until 1952, when it was sold to J.L. Markham, the publisher of the St. Louis Park Dispatch at the time. All known copies are available at the SLP Historical Society office on microfilm.
In December 1937, Suel’s Hennepin County Enterprise, now in Robbinsdale, was purchased by H.E. Westmoreland and Richard L. Forrest. The name was changed to the Robbinsdale Post.
1940-41: The Twin City Herald was succeeded by the Robbinsdale American.
1941-68: The St. Louis Park Dispatch was published from November 7, 1941 to 1968. The paper stated that it was a continuation of the Robbinsdale American. The paper was widely accepted and read; in 1954, it reached 5,000 homes. The SLP Historical Society has a complete set of the Dispatch – some in bound volumes, some on microfilm. See the Inventory Here
1951: The Spirit of St. Louis Park was published from August to October 1951. The editor’s address was 418 South Third Street in Minneapolis. All known copies are available at the SLP Historical Society office on microfilm.
1965-66: The St. Louis Park Forum was published from February 1965 to December 1966 by Elliott B. Hoffman (with two other Hoffmans on the staff). It started off weekly and from May to December 1966 it was published monthly. The SLP Historical Society has all known copies of the Forum; see the Inventory Here
1968: The St. Louis Park Sun replaced the Dispatch starting on March 7, 1968. The Sun was published until April 4, 1984. See the Society’s Holdings Here
1982: The St. Louis Park Sailor was published from April 26, 1982, until July 24, 1991. See the Society’s Holdings Here.
1991: The St. Louis Park Sun merged with the St. Louis Park Sailor and became the St. Louis Park Sun-Sailor on July 31, 1991. The Sun-Sailor has been sold and resold but remains our local newspaper today. See the Society’s Holdings Here.
1997: A paper called the St. Louis Park Review was published briefly from March 21 to September 5, 1997.
These are by no means the only newspapers in Minneapolis, but they are some of the major papers that residents of St. Louis Park might have read.
1859: State Atlas, started by Col. William King
1866-1929: Minneapolis Chronicle, started by Col. William John H. Stevens
1867-1982: Minneapolis Daily Tribune began on May 25, 1867. It was a consolidation of the Atlas and the Chronicle. The paper was purchased by William J. Murphy in 1891 and run by the Murphy family until 1941. This newspaper had been digitized through 1922 and is available online from the Minnesota Historical Society.
1878-1939: Minneapolis Journal (evening)
1899-1948: Minneapolis Times; purchased by the Minneapolis Tribune in 1905.
1912-78: Minneapolis Mirror
1920: Minneapolis Daily Star (evening paper); became the Minneapolis Star on August 19. It was started by Nonpartisan League. The first headline was “Workers Put Ban on Loop,” referring to a boycott that started with a strike of theater projectionists. The Star’s pro-labor sentiments soon yielded financial difficulties, and the paper was sold in 1924.
1934: Cecil E. Newman launched the Minneapolis Spokesman, an important black newspaper. The Spokesman merged with the St. Paul Recorder in 2000 to form the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.
1935: John and Gardner (Mike) Cowles, from Des Moines, purchased the Minneapolis Star, the smallest of the city’s three main papers.
1939: The Cowles purchased the Star‘s rival, the Minneapolis Journal and published the Star Journal, an evening and Sunday publication.
1941: The Cowles family purchased the Minneapolis Tribune and merged it with the Star Journal. They operated as separate morning and evening papers; the Sunday edition was published as the Tribune.
1980: A paper called Lake Area, published by Stephen T. Smith, covered the area from Lyndale to Highway 100, Highway 12 to 50th. It was published to at least 1985.
1982: On April 5 the evening Minneapolis Star and the morning Minneapolis Tribune were combined to make one daily morning paper: the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.
1987: The Minneapolis Star and Tribune was renamed the Star Tribune on August 31.
1998: The Cowles family sold the Minneapolis daily and weekend Star Tribune to McClatchy Newspapers, a Sacramento, California-based company.
Not sure what to make of this, but on July 19, 1939, 279 carriers of the Tribune were “given a sight-seeing trip between rounds of deliveries… The journey took them to Stillwater, where they were shown through the state prison. The Tribune circulation department arranged the trip in recognition of the boys’ meritorious work.” Our own Earl Ames participated in this outing.
On November 17, 1902, Frank C. Erickson, with his route of 113 papers, was the only carrier that delivered the Minneapolis Evening Tribune to St. Louis Park.