Both Sides

Both sides (Minneapolis, Minn.; St. Paul, Minn.) 1894-1915 Browse the title

Both Sides was the "official publication of the South Dakota Retail Liquor Dealer’s Association and devoted solely to the brewing and liquor interest of the northwest." The journal was established in 1895 and published every Thursday. The Both Sides Publishing Company had offices in Minneapolis as well as St. Paul, Minnesota.

The slogan of the paper was "Regulation not Prohibition." Articles espousing this mantra filled the seven-column, eight-page paper along with numerous ads for alcohol and products related to the liquor industry. The paper was dominated by advertisements for local brands. Both Sides strongly urged readers to patronize these brands. In doing so they would strengthen the local liquor industry. The paper stated:

This journal is chiefly a clearing house for the retail liquor dealers—publishing news of benefit to them and no one else. The object of this journal is to purvey such news as will be of interest and profit to the retailers.

The tobacco trade was also featured in the paper.

The paper claimed to represent "both sides" of the temperance issue. However, it sought to limit the influence of temperance advocates, and overall the paper was adamantly pro-liquor. The writers encouraged saloonists to oppose the "'Church-In-Action' outfit" whenever possible. In many issues the editors called for saloonists to become more organized in order to oppose the Anti-Saloon League. While the South Dakota Retail Liquor Association thought a local option to regulate alcohol was permissible, it was against a county option and any state or federal temperance legislation. The editors called the county option in Minnesota a "yoke upon the necks of the retailers," and an "unjust condition" from which Minnesota needed to be redeemed.

The paper admitted that some regulation of the liquor trade was needed to control certain "unscrupulous" retailers. However, the writers argued that the nefarious actions of a few law-breaking saloonists should not be paid for by the whole industry. During elections, Both Sides supported the election of pro-liquor candidates. A statement that characterized the paper’s fight against prohibition read, "The only thing to do is to push the hibs to the wall wherever possible. Never let up. Never say die until dead."  

Both Sides was circulated in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and Montana. The journal was only circulated among liquor dealers and claimed it never had the support it deserved. The paper’s average circulation was just over 1,000. However, it was officially endorsed by the Licensed Retail Liquor Dealers Association of Minneapolis. The writers of the paper declared that it would continue to be published "until the present fanatical craze of prohibition either conquers us or is conquered." On May 13, 1915 the last issue of Both Sides was published. The name of the trade journal was changed to Our Side and began publication on May 20, 1915 under that title.