October 31, 1873: Final Edition of the Duluth Daily Tribune

On this day in Duluth in 1873, Robert C. Mitchell published the final edition of his Duluth Daily Tribune. The newspaper had begun across the bay as the Superior Gazette, which Mitchell purchased in 1870 and changed its name to Superior Tribune. Duluthians, feeling that Duluth Minnesotian publisher Thomas Foster had become “arrogant and dictatorial and entirely too obstreperous,” lured Mitchell and his newspaper to the Zenith City. He moved his equipment in the dead of night, knowing it would anger Superiorites, and published the first issue of the renamed Duluth Tribune on May 4, 1870. Unfortunately, his office burned a few months later, taking all his equipment with it. On May 15 of 1872 he was back in the newspaper game, publishing the Duluth Daily Tribune as Duluth’s first daily newspaper, a “sprightly little six-column four-paged paper, containing the full Associated Press dispatches for that period—about 2,500 to 3,000 words.” It would last as a daily for just 17 months, switching to weekly publication after the Panic of 1873 wiped out most commercial ventures in Duluth, cutting off the newspaper’s advertising revenue. The Duluth Minnesotian ran the notice shown below the next day, but its owners, sons of founder Dr. Thomas Foster, would soon be out of the newspaper business themselves when Thomas Presnell bought them out later that year. Get more details on the history of newspapers in Duluth here and here.

Robert Mitchell, editor of the original Duluth Tribune, photographed in 1894. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)