Zumbrota Independent

Zumbrota independent (Zumbrota, Minn.) 1875-1906 Browse the title

The Zumbrota Independent was published in Goodhue County, Minnesota from 1875 to 1906. As a weekly patent newspaper, it consisted of national and state news stories interspersed with local news items and advertising. Its publisher and editor, E. A. Mitchell, continued in this role throughout the life of the newspaper; taking on his son, John B. Mitchell, in 1901. The Zumbrota Independent was the first newspaper published in Zumbrota, and was joined a decade later by its rival, the Zumbrota News.

Zumbrota, Minnesota was founded in 1856 and quickly grew to be the center of the southeastern Minnesota agricultural community. River traffic on the Zumbro River and the development of railroad lines through the town added to its growth.

Within the first year of establishing himself in the community, E. A. Mitchell began printing his newspaper. Originally four pages with eight columns, it modernized to an eight-page, six-column newspaper in the early 1900s. The Zumbrota Independent was filled with advertisements for local businesses; including the First State Bank of Zumbrota, the popular clothing store "The Star", and Sid Barteau’s successful hardware business. Officially independent politically, the newspaper seems to have favored the Republican Party. A full page was dedicated to the re-election of Joel P. Heatwole to the U.S. House of Representatives in its October 15, 1896 issue; the newspaper supported Republican president William McKinley’s platform of international expansion on November 1, 1900; and on September 29, 1904 a full page defamed the Democratic candidate for Minnesota governor, John A. Johnson.

In the Zumbrota Independent’s May 10, 1906 issue, a formal announcement of the purchase of the newspaper by the Rockne and Davis firm of the Zumbrota News was made. E. A. Mitchell made known that the population of Zumbrota was not substantial enough to support the two newspapers simultaneously, signaling the death of the Zumbrota Independent.