Harrison, Nebraska (1899-1905)
- Harrison press-journal. : (Harrison, Nebraska) 1899-1905
- Place of publication:
- Harrison, Nebraska
- Geographic coverage:
- Dates of publication:
- Began with Volume 12, number 2 (August 3, 1899); Ceased in 1905.
- Harrison (Neb.)--Newspapers.
- Nebraska--Sioux County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01238325
- Sioux County (Neb.)--Newspapers.
- Merger of: Northwestern press (Harrison, Neb.), and: Sioux County journal.
- Preceding Titles:
A northwestern Nebraska community, Harrison was named for President Benjamin Harrison. Its peak population was about 500 in 1940. Harrison is called “Nebraska’s Top Town” thanks to its elevation of 4,876 feet. It is notable for being near the Agate Fossil Beds and is a short distance from Wyoming and Sowbelly Canyon.
In 1888, W. E. Patterson established a newspaper in Harrison, Nebraska, that for one issue was entitled the Journal and thereafter the Sioux County Journal. The title lasted only from 1888-1889; however, in short order, it was sold from one editor, owner, and publisher to another. Among editors and owners were founding editor W. E. Patterson, L. J. Simmons, George Cannon, George Phipps, Howard Burke, and John H. Newlin. Published on Thursdays, it was a Republican paper offered for a subscription of $1.25 to $2.00 and ranged in size from six to eight pages depending upon the owner. Its circulation was around 250 to 300 subscribers.
In 1888, an upcoming vote on Herd Law occupied several issues of the Sioux County Journal, and the editor urged people to vote for it. The Herd Law would make ranchers liable for damages when their stock ran through small holdings (i.e. farms), such as cattle might do when smelling water. At the time, smaller holdings were often located near streams, and herds were known to damage buildings and to stampede crops on the way to water. Previously, the Fence Law required farmers to have fences of a certain height and quality to prevent cattle from damaging their property, and ranchers were not liable for any damages. As a song in the musical “Oklahoma” says, the farmer and the rancher should be friends, but generally the animosity was prodigious.
The Sioux County Journal was continued by the Harrison Press-Journal (1899-1905). The paper, possibly because of its interest in Populism, now described itself as Democratic, although it continued to be published on Thursdays. In an issue dated November 2, 1899, an anti-war and anti-gold editorial before the upcoming election urged democrats, silver republicans, and independents to “vote to the last man” and warned “Pay no attention to fake political stories which come from the gold standard republicans to divide our ranks.” Not surprisingly, there were also several stories about William Jennings Bryan, who was sometimes referred to as “The Silver-Tongued Orator.”