Border Budget

Border budget (Koochiching, Minn.) 1898-1909 Browse the title

The Border Budget was established October 5th, 1898 in the settlement of Koochiching, Itasca County, Minnesota by Charles S. Jameson, then-mayor of Littlefork, Minnesota. While several newspapers with limited circulation were already publishing in Koochiching County, the Border Budget was the first newspaper to be founded in the settlement of Koochiching. On August 10th, 1901, Koochiching was incorporated as a village, and in 1903 became International Falls after the village was rebuilt due to fire. The name was decided upon as a reference to the close proximity between the village and Canada. In 1906 a portion of Itasca County was separated as Koochiching County, with International Falls as its county seat.

Typically four pages in length with a six-column layout, the content of the Border Budget reflects the rapid expansion of the village and region. Published each Thursday (then on Saturday beginning January 14, 1905), the Border Budget includes national and international news while focusing primarily on the local. Perhaps most unique about this publication is how one may trace the development of International Falls from an unincorporated settlement to an industrial hub in only eleven years. Early issues feature much information about the Rainy River district of Northwestern Ontario, Canada, and Grand Rapids and Duluth, Minnesota, which reflects the extent to which the infrastructure of International Falls relied upon its neighbors in its development. After the region’s industrial potential was developed with the construction of the Koochiching Dam from 1905 to 1910 and the arrival of direct railroads in September 1907, the paper reflects a far more stable and upbeat village with a variety of content far beyond the scope of land notices and farming articles prominently featured a short time before. To accommodate the various interests of the community, the Border Budget also expanded to eight-page issues in March of 1906.

Jameson’s first partner was printer G.W. Johnston. Johnston’s shares were bought out by Jameson in 1899 and he was replaced by Earnest J. Holler. In June 1902 Jameson’s shares were sold to Loel H. Slocum, future mayor of International Falls, who in December 1904 also bought out Holler. After a time publishing the Border Budget by himself, Slocum partnered with Harlan J. Miner on March 31, 1906 under the name “Border Budget Publishing Company”, which existed until the paper merged with the International Falls Press on June 23rd, 1909. This created a new paper, the International Falls Press and Border Budget.


"Interesting Men Guided First Local Newspapers", "George P. Watson Anniversary Greeting", and "Border Journalism Packed with Romance and Color". International Falls Journal, July 25, 1940.

Hinckley, Ira W. Way back when, an early-day history of International Falls. 1949.

"Anniversary number, the International Falls echo." January 5, 1906.