Two Harbors Iron News

Two Harbors iron news (Two Harbors, Minn.) 1890-1909 Browse the title

On July 11, 1890, James Coggswell first published the Two Harbors Iron News after moving to the village of Two Harbors in May of that year. Touted as "The Official Paper of Two Harbors and Lake County" this Republican-leaning paper highlights national, international, and regional news, as well as the potential of the largely undeveloped village’s natural resources. It began as a four-page, eight- column paper, but grew to eight pages with six columns after October 29, 1897.

When the newspaper was established, Two Harbors had been a village for two years having merged the communities of Agate Bay and Burlington Bay into one. The development of an ore dock in Agate Bay by the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad in 1884 made Two Harbors an essential shipping port for mining industries on the Minnesota Iron Range. The paper is a comprehensive resource for tracing how the village continually adjusted to the demands of a growing population and rapid agricultural development.

Of principal interest is coverage of the 1907 Mesabi Range Strike from July 19 through August 2, 1907. The strike was later recognized as a watershed event in labor organizing even though the paper downplayed the events. Researchers may also be curious to trace the inception of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, now known as 3M, in articles such as the first mention of the eventual founders "investigating a mineral proposition" on August 23, 1901 and the first annual stockholder meeting of the struggling corundum manufacturer on May 8, 1903. Another point of interest is the development of a city charter between January 3, 1905 and February 22, 1907 when Two Harbors was incorporated as a city. There is also the dedication of the Two Harbors Central High School, which reflects the then-village’s commitment to education and provides insight into an early 20th Century education system.

After Coggswell’s death of apoplexy on January 17, 1907, the paper was published by his estate and later the "Iron News Publishing Company" with his son, John F. Coggswell as editor. The paper was then purchased by Ransom Metcalfe in October 1908. Metcalfe had recently returned to Two Harbors having served as editor and co-publisher of the Iron Trade Journal a decade prior. The paper became politically progressive under Metcalfe’s guidance and retained Coggswell’s commitment to the population of Two Harbors and its development potential. However on October 29, 1909, Metcalfe announced that the Two Harbors Iron News had been sold to the Iron Trade Journal to create the Two Harbors Journal-News under new management.