The Grand Forks Herald was founded by George B. Winship. The newspaper was first published as the Weekly Herald beginning on June 26, 1879. The rapid growth of both the newspaper and city of Grand Forks caused Winship to begin publishing the Grand Forks Daily Herald as a morning edition in 1891. In 1908, the Herald bought out another local newspaper, The Plaindealer, which had been founded by George Walsh in 1875.
Winship sold the Daily Herald to J.D. Bacon in 1911. In 1914, Bacon purchased the Evening Times, another local newspaper. In 1929, Ridder Publications purchased a 60% interest in the paper. The Grand Forks Herald became part of Knight-Ridder, Inc., in 1974.
During the 1997 Red River Valley Flood, the Herald's building was overcome by flood waters in the early morning hours on April 19, 1997. Publication of the paper moved first to the University of North Dakota Memorial Union, followed by the Manvel Public School on the next day. To make matters worse, a fire broke out in the Herald building at approximately 4 p.m. on April 19th. The building was a complete loss. In spite of this, the Grand Forks Herald did not miss a single issue, and was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1998.
The Grand Forks Herald Collection dates from 1879 to 2003 and has been divided into four series:
Series 1: Historic Newspapers
Series 2: Anniversary/Special Issues
Series 3: Biographical Clipping Files
Series 4: Miscellaneous