Minnesotské Noviny

Minnesotské noviny (St. Paul, Minn.) 1904-1914 Browse the title

Minnesotské Noviny ("Minnesota News") was a Czech-language newspaper published in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 1904 until 1914. At the time of its publication, Minnesotské Noviny was considered to be a newspaper for Bohemian Americans. It was only after World War I that Czechoslovakia was designated as an independent state. Minnesotské Noviny appeared weekly as a Minnesota- affiliated edition of Osvěta Americká ("American Enlightenment"), the latter published by the Národní Tiskárna (National Printing Company) in Omaha, Nebraska. The St. Paul-based editor of Minnesotské Noviny was F. (Frank) B. Matlach, who was also a public notary and insurance and real estate agent. Matlach held English-language classes for Bohemian immigrants in his office in the evening hours. He later served as chief clerk to the Minnesota Insurance Commissioner and in 1924 was appointed as the Czechoslovak consular representative in Minnesota. 

Czech immigrants settled throughout the Midwest with significant populations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, as well as Minnesota. Immigration to Minnesota started in the 1850s, with the largest Bohemian settlements in southern Minnesota in McLeod County; in New Prague and surrounding towns such as Vesli in Scott and LeSeuer counties; around Hopkins in western Hennepin County; and in Fillmore and McLeod counties. By the early 1900s, there were Bohemian communities throughout the state, as well as in the larger cities. Much of St. Paul's Czech community occupied the neighborhood along West Seventh Street where life often centered on the "Sokol", the C.S.P.S. Hall (Česko-Slovanský Podporující Spolek or Czech-Slovak Beneficial Society), a center for community events. Minnesotské Noviny's office was initially on West Seventh Street near the C.S.P.S. Hall and later moved to downtown St. Paul. 

Minnesotské Noviny began as a four-page, five-column paper, with both news and advertisements of local, mostly Czech, businesses as well as some advertisers from out of state. It claimed to be the "most widely read Czech-language newspaper in Minnesota." Regular sections included reports on St. Paul's Czech community; statewide coverage of major political and sometimes also sensational events and developments; announcements of events and activities of local fraternal organizations; and a small section featuring a digest of national news and commodity prices. Very occasionally, death and wedding announcements and letters from readers were printed on the first two pages as well. Prominent among the out-of-state advertisers in Minnesotské Noviny was the Czech American National Printing Company from Omaha, which offered a wide variety of literature, including cookbooks, health and farming manuals, songbooks, and sheet music.

Minnesotské Noviny also offered news from throughout Minnesota using local Czech-American agents and correspondents based in the following communities: Austin, Beroun, Blooming Prairie, Browerville, Canby, Hopkins, Hutchinson, Jackson, Le Sueur Center (Le Center), London, Monticello, Montgomery, New Prague, Myrtle, Olivia, Owatonna, Pine City, Seaforth, Silver Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Tabor, Thief River Falls, and Wesely. By 1911, each issue ran 20 pages, with 4 pages of Minnesota news wrapping the national coverage, which also covered Czech American settlements in Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Minnesotské Noviny also provided news from the old homelands of Bohemia and Moravia and even encouraged its readers to purchase gift subscriptions for their friends in Bohemia, at the cost of $2.50/year.

In 1908, another Czech-language newspaper, Minnesotský Pokrok ("Minnesota Progress"), began publishing in St. Paul. Minnesotský Pokrok was a local edition of Pokrok Západu ("Progress of the West"), a Republican paper published in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1871 to 1920. Minnesotské Noviny ceased publication in 1914 when it was absorbed by Minnesotský Pokrok.