By Richard Peterson
An unusual document was salvaged by Rolf Berg of Maddock when he obtained a copy of the Maddock Standard from January 17, 1907. Many years later he saw the newspaper in a drawer at the home of Naville O. Nelson and he asked Nelson for the copy. Nelson, whose name was written in pencil on the newspaper, which is how the newspaper was addressed at the time, obliged.
Called the "Snowbound Edition," the newspaper was printed on 24×35 sheets of brown wrapping paper. The folded 17-1/2×24 paper had a front page and a back page and pages 2 and 3 were blank. It’s likely that the newspaper ran out of newsprint and this was the only paper available.
It was a tough winter. Here’s what the editor Thad Clinch, wrote with present-day comments in parentheses:
"Last Monday at noon the mercury was down to 41, Tuesday 32, Tuesday night
35 and on Wednesday morning 31 (presumably these were degrees below zero).
There is about two feet of snow on a level and all the roads are difficult to pass over. The passenger train over the branch left Rhodes (Esmond) on Thursday the 10th and on reaching this city attempted to reach the water-tank a few miles east, got stuck in a drift but was later dug out and returned to the yards and after a few hours struggling with snowballs and cordwood to keep alive expired on a sidetrack. (The fire in the locomotive engine died because of lack of burning materials and water to make steam.) There were ten passengers on the train who have been cared for by our citizens as best they could with our limited hotel room. We have had no communication with the outside world for eight days, but there are rumors that "Superintendent" Burt has let a fugitive snow-plow get away from Jamestown yesterday which, if it cuts off all communication with headquarters may reach the Oberon branch before spring opens. The serious part of the blockade is the fuel question, as there is no coal on sale and only about two cars of wood, and many have only fuel sufficient for a few days. ‘Do you like the picture?’ "
The editor was likely quite worried because without rail service, there would be no newsprint for subsequent issues. Subscriptions to the weekly newspaper were $1.50 per year.
Some of the advertisers in the newspaper were: the Farmers Co-op Store, A.L. Ellingson, manager and directors were B. Olson, A. Aanderud, L.E.
Foss, D.A. Hill and Hans Rangen; the First National Bank of Maddock, E.L.
Yager, president, J.E. Truesdell, vice president and N.H. Story, cashier; Powers Elevator Co. with M.O. Elvestrom in charge at Flora and I. Nelson in charge at Hesper; Farmers State Bank of Maddock, C.B. Ross, president, O.I.
Hegge, vice president and A.A. Liudahl, cashier — one could buy steamship tickets to and from Europe at the bank; Anna Thorsett, jeweler; Martin Jenum, saddlery and harness goods; O.T. Peterson of Sheyenne, land broker; Ole A. Stoe Feed Mill; R.W. Meadows, physician and surgeon; D. T. Thams, physician and surgeon; Comstock & Buttz, lawyers at Leeds and Minnewaukan; H.L. Halvorson, attorney with offices at Maddock and Esmond; Hotel Western on Front Street, John McKibbin, prop.; Hotel Dacotah, opposite the railway station, E.E. Pinkham, prop.; Bowing Alley — cigars, tobaccos, soft drinks, beef tea and fruit; Maddock Restaurant, Torgerson & Hammer; City Dray Line, Peter Haagenstad, drayman; Livery, Feed and Stable, Dacotah Ave., Jorgen Waagen, prop.; Drs. Toney & Nugent of Fargo, dentists — Dr.
Toney makes regular visits to this place (Maddock); Martin Lee & Co.
advertised felt shoes as low as 49c, men’s overcoats as low as $6.95, men’s shirts as low as 29c and five cans of corn for 25c; the Minnewaukan Mercantile Co. "The Big Brick Store" (formerly Milde’s and Plum’s Hardware) advertised clothes and groceries.
The weather of 1907 certainly contrasts with the weather of 2006. January of 2006 has been the warmest in memory with temperatures in the high 20’s and 30’s nearly every day. Those are above zero temperatures, folks.
The typo of the year was committed by the news service Reuters, according to
"Quaker Maid Meats, Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen beef panties that may be contaminated with E.coli."
Another horrible typo appeared in the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, which was reporting on the funeral of Pope John Paul:
"Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immorality," Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, said during his homily.
From the Dallas Morning News: Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.