Top of page

Newspaper The Commoner (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923

View All Front Pages

About The Commoner (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923

In its various incarnations, the Democrat served the needs of the people of Valentine and Cherry County in north-central Nebraska. Previous titles include the Democratic Blade (1885-89), the Cherry County Gazette (1889-92), and the Cherry County Independent (1892-97). The paper first took the name Valentine Democrat in 1896 under the editorship of Robert Good. On September 1, 1898, Good changed the title to the Western News-Democrat, which it kept until May 3, 1900, when Isaac M. Rice took over as editor and publisher and renamed it the Valentine Democrat. Annual subscriptions were $2.00 for the Valentine Democrat and just $1.00 for the Western News-Democrat. Rice continued as editor until 1911, and the Democrat maintained its title until 1930, when it was superseded by the Cherry County News. Editions of the Democrat typically ran four to five columns on each of its eight pages.

Hoping to forward the region’s economic prosperity, the Democrat emphasized issues important to the largely agricultural community. During his tenure as editor, Robert Good published the cattle brands of more stockmen than any other newspaper in Nebraska, often devoting two or more pages to illustrate each brand. Though the various titles’ mastheads were largely simple, their subheadings were often more informative. Through “A News, Farm and Stock Journal,” the Western News-Democrat provided tips on threshing buckwheat, cutting corn, and housekeeping and maintained a vigilant eye on livestock and agricultural prices. After Isaac Rice took over as editor, noticeable changes followed. The Valentine Democrat‘s new subheading boasted that it was the “Official Newspaper of Cherry County,” likely in an attempt to bolster advertising funds. Additionally, the earlier focus on livestock and agriculture started to give way to a greater emphasis on political reform.

Under both Good and Rice, the Democrat followed closely the life and politics of presidential candidate and reformer William Jennings Bryan. On February 8, 1900, the paper went so far as to incorporate Bryan’s personal motto–“No question is ever settled until it is settled right”–as a subheading. Beginning on July 18, 1901, each issue provided extracts from Bryan’s own paper, the Commoner. The Democrat also covered broader political, social, and economic issues of the Progressive Era, incorporating political cartoons and reprinting national and international news articles. Rice introduced his readers to a larger, global system of events, while not losing sight of local and state developments. Combining the ideals of both the Democrats and the Populists, the Valentine Democrat encouraged participation in local and national Democratic Party efforts as well as supporting Fusion candidates in Nebraska.

Provided By: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE

About this Newspaper


  • The Commoner (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923


  • Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
  • Bryan, Charles W., 1867-1945

Dates of Publication

  • 1901-1923

Created / Published

  • Lincoln, Neb. : William J. Bryan, 1901-1923.


  • -  Middle class--United States
  • -  United States--Politics and government--1865-1933--Newspapers
  • -  Lincoln (Neb.)--Newspapers
  • -  Lancaster County (Neb.)--Newspapers
  • -  Middle class
  • -  Politics and government
  • -  Nebraska--Lancaster County
  • -  Nebraska--Lincoln
  • -  United States
  • -  1865-1933
  • -  United States--Nebraska--Lancaster--Lincoln


  • Newspapers


  • -  Monthly, Aug. 1913-1923
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 23, 1901)-v. 23, no. 4 (Apr. 1923).
  • -  Published in periodical format, Aug. 13, 1913-1923.
  • -  Editor and proprietor: William Jennings Bryan.
  • -  Publisher varies: Charles W. Bryan.
  • -  Issues for Feb. 21, 1902-1923 called also whole no. 57-768.
  • -  Available on microfilm from New York Public Library.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.


  • 23 volumes : illustrations ; 36-38 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper
  • AP2 .C6895

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 46032385

OCLC Number

  • 6085280

ISSN Number

  • 2163-6680

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The NEH awardee responsible for producing each digital object is presented in the Chronicling America page display, below the page image – e.g. Image produced by the Library of Congress. For more information on current NDNP awardees, see

For more information on Library of Congress policies and disclaimers regarding rights and reproductions, see

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Commoner Lincoln, Neb. -1923. (Lincoln, NE), Jan. 1 1901.

APA citation style:

(1901, January 1) The Commoner Lincoln, Neb. -1923. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Commoner Lincoln, Neb. -1923. (Lincoln, NE) 1 Jan. 1901. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,