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Farming in the New Year


The end of the year, and the succession of the next, heralds in a time for reflection and navel-gazing. Many see this time of year as a chance for changing that which is lacking, and acknowledging and even praising that which is full.

Old newspapers, often attempting to attract more people to the area, display this idea full-scale throughout the year, but especially around this time, often on the front page, often throughout the entire issue. Editorial-styled notes dot the pages, with accolades tucked into the news, with sweet sentiments of hope and progression for the city, for the town, and for the world.

In 1910, editor William Kellogg of the Jamestown Alert proclaimed: "For many years the farmers and townspeople wrestled with unfavorable and disheartening conditions...New conditions have come however, and those who have held on to their land have become well-to-do. The era of higher prices which has come, in all probability, to stay, will give those who now invest in land, an equally promising assurance of success."

On the first of January in 1916, the [podcast]/media/dakotadatebook/2016/jan/01.mp3[/podcast] offered similar optimism headlining: "New Year Holds Promise of Bigger North Dakota." The paper went on to say, "A new Year--New Hopes--New Aspirations--New Opportunities--New Achievements. ... Bismarck and North Dakota greet the new year with confidence, glad, unafraid. They bid the old year farewell with hearts filled with gratitude for the blessings which it has brought."

In 1908, the same paper wrote: "… we can take cognizance of the things that have been, and from their lessons we may take heart and hope for the future." Despite not having a great year in every realm, especially economically, the paper said, "we of North Dakota are especially blessed. We have no harassing labor problems, no problems of rampant crime, no difficulties of poverty with which to contend. We have no congested centers to breed crime, disease and death. We have ample breathing room, fertile soil, millions in partly developed wealth and undeveloped resources. We have just begun to live, in an economic sense. The Bounties of the new year to North Dakota cannot be exactly calculated but they will be large."

Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker


Bismarck Daily Tribune, January 2, 1910, p4

Bismarck Daily Tribune, January 1, 1908, p4

Bismarck Daily Tribune, January 1, 1916, p1