The Morris Sun

The sun (Morris, Minn.) 1882-1895  Browse the title

Morris sun tribune (Morris, Minn.) 2000-2017  Browse the title
Issues from this title can only be accessed from the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center.

On October 14, 1882, attorney Fielder Bowie Chew published the first issue of the unabashedly Democratic Morris Sun, described by him as a “liberal, wide awake, news-giving journal,” aiming to “disseminate democratic seed among the people.” The Sun included local, state, national and international news, and also featured agricultural news, information, and advice helpful to farmers.

Stephen Celestine Murphy and Albert Sanders continued the Democratic slant of the Sun after taking over as editor and publisher in mid-1885. Murphy gained full control of the paper the following year. The editors of the Sun frequently exchanged insults with the editors of their rival Republican title, the Morris Tribune. In the November 4, 1886 issue, Murphy argued that the editor and publisher of the Tribune “indulges in the luxury of lying” by publishing content without much thought or reflection. Of note to researchers, the January 19, 1888 issue includes reports on the horrific “Children’s Blizzard” that swept through Morris and resulted in the deaths of many children in the region, who were caught in the storm on their way home from school.

Hugh Whiteley served as editor and publisher of the Sun between 1891 and 1894, when William James Munro, former editor of the Morris Tribune, purchased the Sun. Munro declared that the newspaper “will be hereafter conducted as an independent Republican newspaper devoted to what is considered for the best interests of Morris and Stevens County.” He renamed the newspaper the Morris Sun the following year. The Morris Sun included four more pages than its predecessor, making it the largest newspaper in the district.

The Morris Sun included international, national, state, and local news. A section of news from Germany and Scandinavia catered to immigrants from those regions. Agricultural news and items of interest to farmers continued to feature prominently as well. Norwegian immigrant Charles A. Lee became co-publisher in 1901 and served as editor and publisher from 1903 until 1917, when he left to serve the United States in World War I.  Arthur Winslow Libby was editor and publisher from 1917 until 1947. Although some competition existed with publisher-editor James Crossett Morrison and his Republican newspaper, the Morris Tribune, there was “cooperation and helpfulness” between the editors during this time period. Libby retired from the newspaper in 1947 and sold the Morris Sun newspaper and plant to Morrison. Under new ownership, the Morris Sun adopted the eight-page, seven-column style of the Morris Tribune and became known as “Stevens County’s first-of-the-week newspaper.” The Morris Sun operated until 2000 when it merged with the Morris Tribune to become the Morris Sun Tribune.

Morris Sun Tribune was published semiweekly and later weekly between July 2000 and June 2017 when it merged with the Hancock Record to form the Stevens County Times