The operations of The Jamestown Sun expanded in 1926. The paper, owned by the Hansen Brothers, vowed to deliver a daily newspaper to the people outside of Jamestown for the first time in the community’s history.
Readers of the Sun of that era received their editions in the evening. The publishers vowed that every subscriber in the city of Jamestown would have their paper by 6 p.m. so they could read the paper after supper.
Subscribers outside of Jamestown didn’t have to wait for the next day’s mail.
“The Sun now has one motorcycle delivery route which carries papers to the State Hospital and to the residents on the outskirts of the city,” wrote the Sun staff in a front page article. “… Two new routes will be added.”
The first route was about 100 miles long. A motorcycle, with a sidecar, would make a run north as far as Carrington with stops at Buchanan, Pingree, Edmunds, Melville, Bordulac and Kensal.
The other route headed east as far as Valley City with stops at Spiritwood, Eckelson, Sanborn, Rodgers, Leal, Wimbledon, Courtenay and Fried.
At each of those towns, a local paper carrier would pick up the papers and make the ultimate delivery to the customer.
“The total population of the 16 towns listed and the total number of persons served by the 26 rural routes running out of those towns is well over the 20,000 mark,” wrote The Jamestown Sun.
Local weekly newspapers in those communities offered news of the community but didn’t have the regional, national and international resources The Jamestown Sun offered with its Associated Press affiliation.
I find it interesting there were no routes headed south or west. The folks in Ypsilanti and Medina must have had to wait for the mailman to deliver the newspaper.
The expansion of The Jamestown Sun’s operation was a sign of the times as the American public, including those residing on farms and in small towns, became more mobile.
In the horse-and-buggy era, it would take a farmer close to two hours to travel even five miles to the nearest town. With automobiles and trucks, even a Model T on a bad road could 30 or 40 miles per hour making centers of commerce like Jamestown reachable.
There was another aspect of the era that has changed drastically in the years since 1926.
At that time, newspapers were the only tool of mass communications available to the public at that time. A few radio stations existed in the United States although reception in this region would have been spotty.
If you were from the greater Jamestown area and wanted to know what was going on in the world, you read about it in The Jamestown Sun.
And that paper was delivered by a motorcycle with a sidecar if you lived outside of Jamestown.
Author Keith Norman can be reached at www.KeithNormanBooks.com.