Rice County Herald / Faribault Herald

Rice County herald (Faribault, Minn.) 1856-1857 Browse the title

The Faribault herald (Faribault, Minn.) 1857-1858 Browse the title

Rice County Herald was the first newspaper published in Faribault, Minnesota and the thirty-fifth newspaper published in the state. It was founded and operated by Frederick Willard Frink, a pioneer of Rice County, and began its run as a politically neutral newspaper. The first issue was published on October 22, 1856, just one year after the town of Faribault was platted. Frink sold the newspaper to brothers J.S. Pond and Milan Nathaniel Pond in December of 1856. Milan N. Pond and a third brother, Irving L.L. Pond, operated the newspaper as I.L.L. Pond & Co., and Rodney Alonzo Mott served as editor. The December 17, 1856 issue was the first published under this new management. In this issue, the newspaper announced itself to now be “an anti-slavery and temperance journal,” stating, “We believe that the prosperity of our County and Territory depends upon the success of the principles of temperance, and free schools and the dignity of labor, and we hope never, willing­ly to neglect their interests.” Slavery was present in Minnesota Territory at this time, at Fort Snelling and Fort Ridgely, though unlawful per the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820. When Minnesota entered statehood in 1858, the state constitution barred slavery within the state. 

Under the Ponds and Mott the Rice County Herald also embraced Republican politics, due to that party’s anti-slavery and pro-temperance stances. Issues of the Herald were printed weekly, with four pages of six columns each. The paper covered state and national political news and current events, regional news, poetry, market information, and school news. The article entitled “Our History” in the February 5, 1857, issue discusses the settlement of Faribault in the 1840s, the early development of Faribault, and the natural environment of Faribault and the surrounding area. In March of 1857 Irving and Milan N. Pond sold the paper to Captain James Robert Lucas and editor Mott, in order to “engage in business that will be more to our worldly advantage.” 

Lucas and Mott renamed the newspaper the Faribault Herald on March 12, 1857, stating, “We feel the same devotion to the interests of our county but prefer to be identified as publishers with this place.” Under the new owners the Herald remained an “anti-slavery, anti-rum advocate,” and maintained its Republican allegiance. The paper’s format and content also remained generally consistent with that of the previous title. The April 9, 1857, issue of the Faribault Herald features an article on the recently adjourned Dred Scott case and Chief Justice Taney, whose opinion decided the outcome of the case (Dred and Harriet Scott had been held at Fort Snelling in Minnesota Territory in the 1830s). 

The newspaper received an updated masthead before Mott and Lucas sold the paper in June of 1858 to Henry Whitcome Holley and Orville Brown, previous editors of the Chatfield Republican. Holley and Brown renamed the paper the Central Republican beginning with the June 23, 1858 issue, aiming to make the newspaper “of general interest to the people of not only Rice county, but of every county in southern Minnesota.” Mott went on to practice law in Faribault and was later the county superintendent of schools of Rice County. A successor title of the Faribault Herald has been published in that town as Faribault Daily News since 1948.