Warren Sheaf

Warren sheaf (Warren, Minn.) 1880-1923  Browse the title

Warren sheaf (Warren, Minn.) 1924-current  Browse the title
Issues from this title can only be accessed from the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center.

The Warren Sheaf has been a longstanding publication in northeastern Minnesota since 1880. The Sheaf was first published on December 1, 1880, as a weekly in Warren, the seat of Marshall County. The Sheaf originally consisted of four pages, the first and last being original content, and the middle two being ready print, or patent print, according to Lloyd George Melgard ‘s Warren, Plains to Plenty. The following statement by A. Dewey, publisher and editor, sums up the original intent of the paper:

The Sheaf shall be a paper of the people, and it will labor for what it considers the best interests of the county. It will be sent to many persons seeking homes in this valley, and, if by directing immigration this way, it gives to the county an added impetus in the settlement, it will have accomplished part of its mission. We shall aim to go on in the right and look not to the right or left, hoping that our purpose of doing our best for the whole with malice toward none, will bear us through, obtaining the good will and general support of the county, in this our little experiment.

Despite Dewey’s intention to remain politically neutral, the Sheaf would later adopt a Republican Party position under the direction of Editor John P. Mattson (1890-1932), who believed firmly in tariff reform.

The Sheaf served the town of Warren, which was first settled in 1879 and which developed around the railroad lines and the rich agricultural lands of the Red River Valley. The region became known for its bonanza farms and wheat harvests. The Sheaf published a variety of local, state, and national news items, later adding international news coverage. Local content ranged from regional announcements to county happenings, including local government meetings. The paper focused heavily on farming, as one might expect in the fertile Red River Valley. The "House and Farm" column was a collection of practical and anecdotal tips on farm life and economics, and commodity markets were published prominently. After the turn of the century, local news began to make way for national and international news. There also appeared "The Story Teller," a series of fictional literature, and "News from Scandinavia," a column intended to help Norwegian and Swedish expatriates follow developments in the old country. The Warren Sheaf also published a few special editions including: a series titled "About Warren," issued from August 20 to September 3, 1881; and a special issue on the towns and villages of Marshall County, published on September 1, 1915.

After several changes in owners and editors in its first five years, the paper was eventually sold to Harvey E. Mussey and John P. Mattson in 1886. Over the next five years, the two men would exchange shares until finally, in 1890, Mattson purchased Mussey’s remaining interest in the paper. Mattson operated the Warren Sheaf until his death in 1932. As of 2011, the Mattson family still owned and operated the Warren Sheaf