Anoka Star

The Anoka star (Anoka, Minn.) 1863-1865 Browse the title

In the fall of 1863 A.G. Spalding purchased the Anoka Republican, a newspaper published in Anoka, Minnesota. Spalding printed the first issue of the re-named Anoka Star on October 3, 1863. The county seat of Anoka County, the town of Anoka had been settled in 1844, on land originally occupied by the Dakota and Ojibwe peoples. Situated at the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, adjacent to forests of white pine, Anoka had a thriving lumber industry from the 1850s to the 1870s.

The Anoka Star continued publishing with a politically Republican slant despite the name change, which Spaulding made "to gratify a feeling of individuality," as he explained in the inaugural issue. The Star's motto was "Virtue, Intelligence, Order, Industry, Friendship, Unity, Happiness". Issues were printed on Saturday, each generally four pages with six columns of content. Poetry, miscellany, and local to national news was featured, along with Civil War news and a "House and Farm" column.

Between 1855 and 1884, multiple fires destroyed mills, factories, and other businesses in Anoka, significantly impacting the town's development. A fire that leveled the F.M. Stowell & Co. steam mill was reported in the August 13, 1864 issue of the Star: "The whole was a crash of ruins in less than half an hour. The loss is estimated at over ten thousand dollars. No insurance. It is a great loss, not only to the proprietors but to the town. Twenty to thirty men are thrown out of employment."

Spaulding sold the Star to Edward H. Folsom and Charles W. Folsom of the Taylors Falls Reporter in November 1864. In March 1865, the Star was purchased by a stock company consisting of Anoka residents, who renamed the paper the Anoka Sentinel. The first issue of the Sentinel was published on April 8, 1865. Charles Folsom and J. M. Thompson served as editor and publisher, while Edward Folsom returned to Taylors Falls and the Reporter. Charles Folsom’s lack of interest made the Sentinel a short-lived paper, folding after the June 30, 1865 issue. Charles returned to the Taylors Falls Reporter as editor and publisher until his death in 1872.