Final Run of the Starbuck Times

This morning, we paid a visit to Quinco Press in Lowry. The company was started as a partnership between the newspapers in Elbow Lake, Benson, Morris, Wheaton, and Glenwood and has grown and expanded through the years and now prints about 35 west central Minnesota weekly newspapers and a few monthly editions as well from their presses in Lowry.

While it would be worthwhile to talk about Quinco and their importance to the area any day, today was a milestone day.

Today was the last printing of the Starbuck Times. The Times is the longest running newspaper in Pope County. The first issue was printed in December of 1898. We have a copy of that first issue on microfilm. The editor was understandably proud of his new paper and declared that it would be published until the crack of doom.

But as of next week, it will be combined with the Pope County Tribune.

The printing process today is very different from the days of hand set type. The computer files come to Quinco electronically and the full sheet printing plates are printed in-house. It takes about a half an hour to print the plates and install them into the press. The front / back page are printed in color, so there are four plates for that sheet. Once the presses start running, the Times takes only about 10 minutes to print.

Then the papers are taken into the next room where the inserts are stuffed by hand and mailing addresses are stamped in the corner. They are slipped into bags for the post office or bundled to be dropped off at stores.

The museum was given the last issue off the presses and a copy of the printing plate for the front/back page to add to our collection.

We are grateful to the team at Quinco and Tim Douglass of the Pope County Press, Inc. for letting us tag along today.

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