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Political Issues


With the approach of our own election coming up in the next week, much attention is being spent on the last-minute testimonies, speeches, and every move of the candidates, and in 1908, this was no exception. On this day, a week away from the Nov. 3 election, talk was especially strong, and in Minot, The Ward County Independent newspaper made no mistake of publicizing which candidate running for office they did not support—Albert Vixen Swanson, a man they had in fact backed before the primaries.

The paper said, “Our readers well remember that [we] supported Mr. Swanson before the primaries, for the nomination for sheriff. We told of his good qualities and did the best we could to assist him to get the nomination. We hereby ask to apologize to the readers for having supported this man. We are almost ashamed to admit that we did so. We didn’t know him as we now do, for we are certain that he told an untruth in more than one statement. This is good plain English, and if we did not know what we were talking about we certainly would not make so plain a statement.”

They apologized for the dishonesty of the man, who was an independent, and warned voters to watch the man they had once promoted. The paper continued, “Our sire used to tell us to look out for the man who was always preaching about his own honesty and running every body else under the sun down. We have learned of late, that it will do no harm to keep your eyes on even Mr. Swanson. …Mr. Swanson evidently is not one of these men who believes in ‘hiding his light under a bushel.’”

The paper told of some of his iniquities, saying, “This is the man, voters, who has been posing as a friend to the masses.”

Finally, they also printed this “ode” to Swanson:

“He swore to the voters till

He was red, white and blue,

if they’d make him commissioner,

Their taxes would be few.

But he seconded Black’s motion

To help out the [rail line] Soo.

Who did? Why, Swanson!

Back to horse trading

Where his fame first began,

That’s all he’s fit for,

This virtuous man

When election is over,

He’ll also have ‘ran,’

That’s what will happen to Swanson!”


Ward County Independent, Oct. 29, 1908

Ward County Independent, Oct. 22, 1908