Stillwater Republican

The Stillwater Republican (Stillwater, Minn.) 1868-1870 Browse the title

On March 18, 1868 Willard S. Whitmore purchased the Stillwater Messenger from Andrew Jackson Van Vorhes. Whitmore had worked at the Messenger for four years and had learned typesetting there. He was also a stockholder in the Minneapolis Daily Tribune. Whitmore re-named the Messenger as the Stillwater Republican, and it carried that name until December 8, 1870. Known as "the birthplace of Minnesota," Stillwater played a leading role in Minnesota’s early history. It was home to the state prison and was a center for the state’s lumbering and milling industries.

Whitmore wrote that the name Stillwater Republican was "indicative of our principles," and that the paper’s administrators were "proud…of our party and love to fly the colors under which we fight." Whitmore wrote further,

We shall warmly advocate those principles of justice and humanity embodied in the Congressional plan of reconstruction…The interest of town and county will receive our first attention, and anything we can do to build up and advance its interests commercially and socially, will be freely and heartily rendered.

The Stillwater Republican continued as a weekly publication with seven columns, and was eight pages in length. The Republican had a more partisan tone than that of the Messenger. The first page of the paper contained political news about the Republican Party nationwide, or criticized the Democratic Party. While the paper became more political, the general news coverage stayed the same. The business and industry of Washington County, and in particular Stillwater, were covered.

Whitmore eventually sold the paper to George K. Shaw, a newspaperman from Minneapolis, on October 4, 1870. Shaw was also editor of the Minneapolis News and had worked for other papers such as the Minneapolis Daily Tribune. On December 15, 1870, he returned the Republican to its former name, the Stillwater Messenger. Shaw stated that the change back to the original name was in accordance with the "expressed wishes of many of our patrons," and that it had been "bad policy to change the name to Republican." The Stillwater Messenger continued publication until 1928 when it merged with the Washington County Post to become the Stillwater Post-Messenger.