The Chokio Review is a Free Scout Press, Inc. publication based out of Chokio, MN which is located in west central MN. We are published once a week on Thursday with a circulation of approximately 800. The Chokio Review is a member of the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
Adverstising: Sue Westerman
Feature writer: Carol Ritter
Local news correspondent: Audrey Erickson
Circulation/Bookkeeping: Dorothy Schott
The Chiko Review has been serving the community for 114 years, one of the oldest surviving businesses in Chokio. The first issue of the newspaper, then called The Chokio Times, hit the street on Wednesday, February 17, 1897.
As the town grew, so did the newspaper. Pictured to the right one of the oldest known photographs of Main Street Chokio, taken circa 1900 of the west side of Main Street (looking north). The businesses have been identified (From left): A residence that was later moved from Main Street; Pederson Hardware Co.; a millinery shop; unidentified business place; E.G. Miller's Harness shop. Across the street in the next block were the Chokio Hotel, Bartlett and Burt's General Store, a hardware store, a bank, McNally's store, and a few more unidentified businesses.
The house in the distance (upper right) is believed to be the first location of the Chokio Times. Charles McAllen, publisher and editor, lived there and printed the first newspapers in one of its back rooms.
114 years and still publishing
by Kay Grossman
The Chokio Review celebrated its 114th anniversary on February 17, 2011. The first Chokio Review (originally named the Chokio Times) went to press on Wednesday, February 17, 1897, and since that time has served this community with a weekly edition, without interruption of publication.
This newspaper has been called by several names. It has been published in many locations. It has had many editors and publishers.
It’s difficult for a newspaper to show its age because each weekly issue is a new birth. Each issue will be different from the previous. That’s the nature of the beast. A newspaper changes with the times. The newspaper lives and dies with its community.
The 114 years of continuous publication says something about the staying power of small towns – of this small town. Newspapers mirror their communities. As the town continues, so does its newspaper week after week, telling the town about itself.
There have been times we didn’t like what we read about ourselves. And there are other times when we celebrated our accomplishments, reveling in community pride.
The community is vested in its newspaper. Even though it is privately owned, a newspaper is one of the few private businesses in which local people feel they have ownership. When that occurs, a newspaper is successful.
The success and longevity of this newspaper can be attributed to many reasons – advertisers continuing to promote and market their products within the newspaper, which keeps a newspaper financially healthy; and dedicated staff who work odd hours to prepare each weekly issue, to name a few. Perhaps the most defining reason, though, is that its readers are still interested.
Each week, subscribers look to the Chokio Review for their news about local events. Did the school board hire the new teacher? Will the city council raise the water rates? What will the county board do about a regional jail? Which students were named to the honor roll? Where’s Mary?
It is only in your local newspaper where you will find the answers to these questions. The Chokio Review has been answering these questions for 114 years. Here’s to another 114!
Past publishers and editors of the Chokio Review should be recognized for carrying on a community tradition – the weekly publication of Chokio’s newspaper.
For 114 years, the Chokio Review’s publishers and editors have been the recorders for the community, filling the many pages of the volumes they printed with the prosperity and decline, triumphs and disappointments, births and deaths, the joys and sorrows and everyday life of the area residents.
Ann Dorweiler wrote in her 1973 Chokio Community History:
“The editors of our Chokio papers are among the unsung heroes of the pioneers. I did not realize the full impact of their contribution until the past year, as I read hundreds of old Chokio Reviews.
“Their style of writing varies. The early editors used little punctuation, sometimes beginning a full column with a capital letter and ending with the period. Some words used I have not been able to find in present day dictionaries. Regardless of style, they were an educational facility in our community and its development.
“They created an intelligent, informed and thinking media for the people through the years. They contributed to the cultural, economic, and political life of the community.
“They were our ‘Booster’ for the Old Home Town.”
The founder of the Chokio newspaper was Charles McAllen. He began his paper, the Chokio Times, in a back room of his home on February 17, 1897. In later years, the name of the newspaper was changed to the Stevens County Review and owned in order by Charles Seely, 1902; R.A. Johnson, 1904; and J.J. Maloney and E.A. Lee in 1907.
Irv Townsend bought the newspaper in 1910 and changed the name to The Chokio Review. Following Mr. Townsend as owners were: A.L. Bragg, 1915; F.A. Shipman, 1919; J. Leonard Manire, 1926; John Bollinger, 1928; George Townsend, 1930; Floyd and Bill Goulet, 1944; Gary and Jane Riba, 1966; Dean Brenner, 1968; Owen and Michele Heiberg, 1972; Nick Ripperger, 1997.
The owners were also the editors until 1968. Editors of The Chokio Review since then were: Joan McNally, 1968-1971; Charlene Grabil, 1971; Joan McNally, 1973-1978; Marion Amberg, 1978; Kay Grossman, 1979-1992; Tammy Dierks, 1992-1994; Rhonda Asmus, 1994-2001; Nancy Woodke, 2001-2005; Nick Ripperger, 2005-2006; and Kay Grossman, 2006- .