Tower Weekly News

Tower weekly news (Tower, Minn.) 1900-1946 Browse the title

The Tower Weekly News was first published by Franklin Collins (Frank C.) Burgess in 1900 when Tower, Minnesota’s primary newspaper, the Vermilion Iron Journal, moved to Prescott, Wisconsin. Burgess purchased printing materials from Reverend Father Joseph F. Buh, who had published the Amerikanski Slovenec, the official newspaper for Austrian church societies on the Vermilion Range, an iron mining region in northern Minnesota. The Tower Weekly News was published initially on Mondays and then on Fridays from November 16, 1900 onward.

With the slogan "Devoted to the Business Interests of Tower and to the Mining, Lumbering, and Agricultural Industries of St. Louis County" on the masthead, this eight- to ten-page, six-column paper covered a wide range of local, national, and international topics while maintaining an independent political voice. Each issue typically included a literary section of serialized works and short stories in addition to the news. After 1902, the Tower Weekly News began to include information from neighboring Soudan, serving unofficially as the newspaper for the unincorporated mining community. Early issues often included information on farming practices or land available under the Timber and Stone Act of 1878, which allowed for up to 160 acres of land "unfit for farming" to be bought by individuals or companies for logging or mining purposes. The Tower Weekly News transitioned to more of a general interest paper in 1904. On May 28, 1915, the newspaper’s slogan was quietly removed although information regarding the mining and lumbering communities was still routinely published.

From October 4, 1907 until June 4, 1909, Ralph M. Sheets assumed editing and publishing duties from Burgess. The paper featured no explanation why, and the content and format remained unchanged during Sheets’ tenure. After leaving the Tower Weekly News, Sheets pursued inventing, filing a patent in 1909 for a new type of fire kindling, before becoming publisher of the Brainerd Journal Press on December 9, 1910. From February 27, 1914 to October 26, 1917, Tower Weekly News editor G.B. Heath shared a byline credit with Burgess, the only person to do so. Frank C. Burgess eventually turned over publishing duties to his wife Enice Burgess who later transferred them to their son Franklin James (Franklin J.) Burgess in 1946 when the paper became simply the Tower News