George B. Winship Papers, 1882, 1921, 1964
Primary Creator: Winship, George (1847-1931)
Extent: 0.25 Linear Feet
The George B. Winship Papers date from 1921 and 1964. Included are two copies of a 45 page typewritten essay entitled "Pioneering in North Dakota." The essay regards the stage coach station Winship and William Budge erected on the Turtle River, fourteen miles north of Grand Forks, in 1871. In December 1872, Winship sold his share of the business to Budge, and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he took up trade as a printer. He returned to the Grand Forks in June 1879, when he founded what eventually became known as the Grand Forks Herald. Winship wrote "Pioneering in North Dakota" in April 1921.
Also included is an August 2, 1964, article from the Grand Forks Herald entitled "Herald Founder Won One August Battle in 1889 But Lost Another." The article reports on the political intrigue surrounding Winship and his battles with the "old gang" of North Dakota politicians, chiefly Alexander McKenzie and Nehemiah Ordway.
Finally, the collection contains a photocopy of Winship's typewritten autobiography. Events described include the Sibley Expedition of 1864, the Riel Rebellion, the Davy Expedition of 1867 and numerous Red River Valley and Grand Forks happenings. The photocopied typescript dates from 1882 and is not complete. The holder of the original is unknown.
George Bailey Winship was born in Saco, Maine, on September 28, 1847, to George D. and Abigail Winship. The family first moved to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, in 1851, only to relocate after six years to LaCrescent in Houston County, Minnesota. It was here that the young Winship bounced from school to manual jobs, in which he generated the skills that would prepare him to venture on the creation of the Grand Forks Herald, one of the city's first newspapers.
He attended district school until his 13th year, then spending the next three years sanding brick molds, and setting type in a local printing office. Prevented from joining the Union Army during the Civil War in 1862 on account of his age, it was not until the following year that he was able to enlist. He became a member of Company A, Second Minnesota Cavalry, which he served until the end of the War. Later, he moved from city to city, employed in various jobs.
One of these jobs was with the U.S. government, spending a year freighting goods beyond the limits of railway tracks, which ended in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Afterwards, Winship joined with a Dr. Schultz at Fort Garry, now Winnipeg, Canada, to work on the Norwester, the only paper north of St. Cloud. He worked on the paper for two years, before political conditions in the area made the printing profession less than desirable. He then relocated to Pembina, North Dakota, to work with the post trader, A.W. Stiles.
During Winship's time in Pembina, he met William Budge, who would later become an important political and economic figure in the Red River Valley. This acquaintance would evolve into a business partnership, monopolizing on the opportunity the Blakeley & Carpenter line offered them. The line was a transportation route of stagecoaches from Breckenridge to Winnipeg. The two formed a stage company erecting a station on the Turtle River, 14 miles north of Grand Forks, North Dakota, where horses could be accommodated and the passengers could rest in the log house. Their business prospered, but in 1873 Winship decided to sell his portion to Budge, relocating to St. Paul to pursue his original trade, type-setting. He served as a compositor on many newspapers in the area and received extra training under Colonel Joseph Wheelock, founder and editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
With this experience under his belt, Winship decided to embark on a publishing enterprise. In 1877, he established the Weekly Courier in Caledonia, Minnesota, successfully printing it for two years; however, after this time he packed his bags and possessions in a wagon and started his journey back to Red River Valley. He felt that the time was right for his return and his idea of bringing a newspaper to Grand Forks. This he did, when on June 26, 1879, the Weekly Herald's first issue began to hit the doorsteps or tent steps of its citizens. With the success of the paper and the rapid growth of the town of Grand Forks, restraining the newspaper to a weekly was too difficult; in 1891, Winship began publishing the Grand Forks Daily Herald as a morning edition.
Even under the stress of running the Herald, Winship had his hands in many projects that ranged from an agricultural nature to a political one. A major newspaper publisher for the area, he was also a farmer owning 240 acres three miles outside of Grand Forks. In addition, in 1889 he served as a senator in the state's first general assembly. His and seven others' support made it possible for Governor John Miller to defeat a proposed chartering of the Louisiana Lottery Company in North Dakota. He also served as a registrar for the Grand Forks land office under appointment of President Teddy Roosevelt in 1901. He did not complete his appointment, later resigning in order to devote his time to the expansion of his own business.
Winship continued publication of the Grand Forks Herald until 1911 when he sold it to a local corporation which then consolidated the Herald and the Evening Times, another local newspaper. Upon retiring from the newspaper trade, Winship moved to San Diego, California, where he spent the remainder of his life.
He died on November 3, 1931 in California. He married Mary Minshall in 1874. The couple had several children who died in infancy and an adopted daughter.
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: The collection was originally part of the North Dakota Biographical File
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). George B. Winship Papers. OGLMC 739. Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. Chester Fritz Library. University of North Dakota.
Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was migrated to Archon in March 2012.
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Folder 1: "Pioneering in North Dakota" (two copies), April 1921
- Folder 2: "Herald Founder Won One August Battle in 1889 But Lost Another," Grand Forks Herald, August 2, 1964
- Folder 3: Autobiography, Chapter 1: "Ancestry-Birth-Boyhood"
- 29 pages
- Folder 4: Autobiography, Chapter 2: "Military Service-Patriotic Organizations-Dedication of Soldiers Monument"
- 41 pages
- Folder 5: Autobiography, Chapter 3: "Returns to House at La Crescent-Family Remove to St. Charles-School Education"
- 15 pages
- Folder 6: Autobiography, Chapter 4: "A Call from Idaho Territory-Capt. Davy's Expedition across the Plains"
- 22 pages
- Folder 7: Autobiography, Chapter 5: "My First Flat Boat Trip down the Red River and Incidents Connected Therewith"
- 15 pages
- Folder 8: Autobiography, Chapter 6: "Winnipeg in 1868-Better Known as Fort Garry-Prominent Settlers at that Period"
- 23 pages
- Folder 9: Autobiography, Chapter 7: "Sir John McDonald's Great Conception-Negotiations with Hudson Bay Company-Inception of the Riel Rebellion"
- 14 pages
- Folder 10: Autobiography, Chapter 8: "Col. Dennis' Proclamation Excites the People-Siege and Surrender of the Schulz Party-Capture of Major Boulton and Thos. Scott-Trial and Execution of Scott"
- 21 pages
- Folder 11: Autobiography, Chapter 9: "Fort Pembina Located-the Awakening of Pembina-Land Office and Stage Line Established-New Arrivals, Chas. Cavaleer, Col. Stutsman, Joe Rolette and other Early Settlers"
- 24 pages
- Folder 12: Autobiography, Chapter 10: "My Motives for Leaving Pembina-the Trip to Turtle River-Site of Camp-Steamer Selkirk-Mrs. Griggs' Merriment-Hill, Griggs and Co.-Big Business on Red River-Building of Turtle River Stage Station-Vicissitudes of a Leaky Roof-Invasion of Grasshoppers-Contract to Build First Telegraph Line-a Mischievous Pony-Neighboring Stage Stations-Difficulty in Getting Good Water-Ox and Pony Teams-Division of Labor-Character of Accommodations-Popularity of Turtle River Station on Account of Good Meals"
- 18 pages
- Folder 13: Autobiography, Chapter 11: "Frontier Life-Diversions of Stage Drivers and Teamsters-Intellectual Development Retarded-Winter Business-Growth of Grand Forks-Visit Minnesota Home-Stage Ride-Eccentricities of Lame Jake-Mrs. Frank Viets-from Georgetown to Breckenridge-Arrival at St. Charles, Minnesota-Reflections on Past Life-Change Decided Upon-Work in the Chronicle Office, St. Paul-Summer of 1878-Capt. Cameron and his Sanguinary Fight with Fleas"
- 19 pages
- Folder 14: Autobiography, Chapter 12: "The First Election Held in Grand Forks-Organization of Grand Forks County-the Name 'Grand Forks'-River Traffic-Railroad Construction-Land Offices-Schools-Churches-Hudson Bay Co.-First Plat of the Village-First Newspaper-Black Hills Party-First Term of Court-Settlements Elsewhere-Early Settlers on Goose River"
- 14 pages
- Folder 15: Autobiography, Chapter 17: "Great Prosperity in the Red River Valley-Organization of the Chamber of Commerce-First City Government-Activity of the 'Gang'-Settlers Apathetic, Politically-Gov. Ordway Succeeds Gov. Howard-His Opposition to the Legislative Combination- the Session of 1881-How Walsh County Was Formed and Organized-LaMoure's Bond Scheme-the People Vainly Remonstrate-Gov. Ordway Wins the Esteem of the People-My Mission to Walsh County with Wm. Budge-the Governor Visits the New County-Correspondence with his Private Secretary-the Governor in 'Cahoots' with the 'Gang'"
- 16 pages
- Folder 16: Autobiography, Chapter 18: "The Boom of 1882-New Business Blood in the Arteries of Commerce-Grand Forks Bounds Forward-Rapid Increase of Business-Population 4,000-the Daily Herald-H.G> Stone's Enterprises-Liquor License Agitation-Junket to Washington in the Interest of Division and Admission-Booming of Townsites-Gov. Ordway and the Politicians-City and Territorial Politics-Grand Forks, a Wide Open City-Territorial Convention at Grand Forks-Meeting of the Factions-Free Entertainment by the City-Four Day's Session-John Raymond Nominated Delegate to Congress-Unpleasant Aftermath of the Convention-Two Disgraceful Tragedies--the Lynching of Chas. Thurber and the Tar and Feathering of Dr. Elliott-Unhappy Leaders"
- 20 pages
- Folder 17: Autobiography, Chapter 19 (1st Draft)
- 10 pages
- Folder 18: Autobiography, Chapter 19 (2nd Draft)
- 10 pages
- Folder 19: Autobiography, Chapter Twenty
- Title page only