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Early News Gatherer


About this time in 1916, the Steele County Tribune published a story about a young man who installed his own telegraph system. “Every evening,” the story read, “(John G. Baldwin of Sherbrooke) takes himself to an upper room of the farm house, where his batteries, coils, dynamos, receivers, transmitters and electrical whatnot quiver and buzz and snap, and puts the receiver to his ear for news from the world, while his parents and brothers and sisters sit in the rooms below and read the daily papers containing the news which he read from ethereal waves 24 to 48 hours before. They read from the printed page by the electric lights which he has installed, and he reads dots and dashes from the air... Last Saturday evening he jotted down a few items... and drove to a (Pioneer Farmers’ Club) meeting (where) he read off news items which appeared in the Monday papers the next week... such as that of the Great Northern train stuck by an avalanche... and the great floods in Illinois.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm