common / Misc
The Emmons County Record is the oldest business in Emmons County, N.D., having been founded June 10, 1884, by Darwin Reed Streeter at Williamsport, Dakota Territory, in the northern end of the county. Williamsport was the first county seat but was doomed when the railroad, once expected to be routed through the pioneer village, was built to the north. Since the majority of the population was in the southern end of the county, elections were held that eventually moved the seat of county government to a town created for that purpose, Linton, which is the geographical center of the county.
By 1902, two railroad lines met at Linton, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Co. from the south and the Northern Pacific from the north. Both lines are now abandoned.
Streeter was the county's first clerk of courts, and, for a short period, he published his newspaper on the second floor of the stone courthouse. Later, a wood-frame building was erected downtown. When the county seat was moved in 1899, Streeter had his building hauled on skids cross-country by horses. The Record office was located in what is known as Old Town Linton. When businesses moved from the flood-prone western part of town to higher ground east of the newly installed railroad tracks, the Record building was moved a second time by horses. A brick building was erected by Darwin Streeter’s son and successor, Francis Blaine “Frank” Streeter in 1924, and the building is the newspaper’s current home.
Darwin Streeter served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1905-09 and wrote the state’s libel law which remains unchanged and in effect today.
The newspaper celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2009 with a community reception and a commemorative edition, which is offered for sale at the newspaper office. Featured speaker at the celebration was George “Rip” Whitmore of San Pedro, Calif., great-grandson of the founder.
Over the years, the Record has been a leader in technology. It was one of the first North Dakota newspapers printed by offset. When Allan and Leah Burke purchased it on Oct. 1, 1993, they installed the first negative scanner at a daily or weekly newspaper in either Dakota and had the first digital camera (an Apple QuickTake) in the two states. The Record was one of the first North Dakota papers to have an online edition, and it is the first North Dakota weekly to have a website with a paywall.
Today, the Record is North Dakota’s third largest weekly newspaper and is owned by Publisher and Editor Leah Burke. Her husband, Allan, is semi-retired and is the Publisher Emeritus. Leah is also publisher of the Prairie Pioneer at Pollock, S.D.