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Dakota Farmer Collection

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Collection Summary


MA 38


The Dakota Farmer Collection


Dakota Farmer (Aberdeen, S.D.)




4.79 linear feet (4 boxes) photographs, printing plates




South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item . The "Dakota Farmer" Collection. MA 38. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


The Dakota Farmer first published as a newspaper in 1881, supported all sorts of agricultural organizations and promoted the development of quality livestock and crops for the Dakotas. This collection is composed of plates, publications, reports, correspondence, and photographs used for publication of the Dakota Farmer.

Historical Note

The Dakota Farmer first began as a newspaper in 1881, eight years before North Dakota and South Dakota were granted statehood.

It was first published in Alexandria in what is now Hanson County, S.D. The first owner, James Baynes, sold it within the first year of existence to Augustine Davis, and the publication moved to Huron, S.D. Davis sold a half-interest in Dakota Farmer to William Bushnell in 1883. Bushnell became sole owner of Dakota Farmer in 1885.

As editor and manager, Bushnell led Dakota Farmer into its early prominence. The publication, moved to Aberdeen, S.D. in 1893, supported all sorts of agricultural organizations and promoted the development of quality livestock and crops for the Dakotas. Bushnell himself was active in politics and eventually became state statistician for South Dakota.

Over the next century, Dakota Farmer survived and thrived with farmers through good times and bad, and became a well-respected source of information.

Webb Publishing, which published The Farmer, saw Dakota Farmer as a natural fit and purchased the magazine in 1979.

Today, Dakota Farmer is part of Farm Progress Companies. Farm Progress publishes 18 state farm magazines similar to Dakota Farmer. It owns and operates eight farm shows across the nation, including the largest in the nation, The Farm Progress Show.

Contents Note

This collection is composed mainly of plates, publications, reports, a small amount of correspondence, and photographs. The plates consist of frames, cover mast-heads, article mast-heads, frames for photographs, and other artwork used for the publication. A more detailed description of these plates is found in the container list. The publications are mainly specialty publications aimed at advertisers and marketers. The reports are surveys conducted on farmers, bankers, merchants.

An item of note is the contracting for a new cover file. This material contains several examples of other publication covers with critiques of what works and what does not. Also included in this material is three sample covers for the Dakota Farmer and correspondence between the contractor and the Dakota Farmer staff.

Related Resources

The Dakota farmer
Aberdeen, South Dakota [Dakota-North Plains Corp.], 1881-1979
Call Number: Periodical/Lower Level: 630.5 D149; also in microfilm 1884-1979.

The Dakota farmer
St. Paul, Minn.: Webb Company, 1980-1992
Call Number: Periodicals/Lower Level: 630.5 F2291, also in microfilm 1980-1989.

Dear friends--: from the pages of The Dakota Farmer, Jennie's letters from the plains, Hutton, Jennie Senrud
Aberdeen, S.D., Dakota Farmer, c.1965.
Call Number: SD Collection: S521.H87 1965

Key Words

Dakota Farmer. (Aberdeen, S.D.)

Agriculture -- North Dakota -- Periodicals

Agriculture -- Periodicals

Agriculture -- South Dakota -- Periodicals

Agriculture -- United States – Periodicals

Container List

View container list on Open Prairie

Dakota Farmer Collection Container List. MA 38

11Back to the Dakota Farmer1916
13Dakota Merchant and Banker Survey1930
14The Dakotas as a market for Maytags (washers)1926
15Editorial comment, voluntary contributions1934-1936
16Farm Home Development in the Dakota Farmer Empireundated
17Feeding the Dakotasundated
18Interesting Facts about the Dakota Farmerundated
19James Baynes, founder information1924
110Preliminary report and recommendations on farm journals survey among farmers, merchants, and bankers in ND & SD1930
111Promotion of SD by Greater SD Association1937
112Publication information1946
113Publications that influence farmers of the Dakotas1931, 1935
114Publications that influence farmers of the Dakotas1934-1935
21Plates—Article mastheadsundated
26Plates—ND and SD mapundated
27Plates—Northwest farmstead (Santa)undated
31Clippings and tear-sheets, 1906-19181906-1918
32Contracting for a new cover1946
33The Development of the Dakotas Parallels the efforts of the Dakota Farmer1928
34First Assistant to Cooks1940-1941
35Why local dealers benefit by handling advertised goodsundated
4ItemsStray Shots by W.C. Allen, Traps and Trapping, Along Dakota Prairie Trails Wayside Observations by A. H. Pankow, undatedundated
4PhotosMA 38-0001—Bound Dakota Farmers standing uprightundated
4PhotosMA 38-0002—2 images mounted on tagboard. —“And this was Once a Bare Prairie” specimens of Ponderosa Pine, Blue and White spruce, and Scene at the home place of A. Norby, Madison, S.D.undated
4PhotosMA 38-0003—Trees on a hill from vol. 34 no. 14, July 15, 1914 issue of the Dakota Farmer1914
4PhotosMA 38-0004—team of 2 white work horses pulling flatbed of corn with man standing on flatbed holding the reins—used as cover for Nov. 15, 1921 Dakota Farmer1921
4PhotosMA 38-0005—person on horse with dead coyote hanging from saddle hornundated
4PhotosMA 38-0006—aerial view of a farmundated
4PhotosMA 38-0007—bison herdundated
4PhotosMA 38-0008—Dakota Farmer building and lot next to itundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: “Now You Tell One”undated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: “What’s in the Air” by Radio Rangerundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Advice from our Lawyerundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Along Dakota Prairie Trailsundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Bees and Honeyundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Breezes from the Westundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Country Life in the Dakotasundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Dairy and Creameryundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Dakota Farmer Young Folks Conducted by Aunt Claraundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Help One Anotherundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Horticulture, Trees-Fruit and the Gardenundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Incomes from Your Moneyundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Livestock Edited by John T. E. Dinwoodieundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Poultry Departmentundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Sheet with 6 article mastheads: Special Service Department, Subscription Department; Country Life in the Dakotas by Helen B. Russell Golden Valley Co. undated,undated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: Stray Shots by W.C. Allenundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: The Dakota Farmer Editorialundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: The Home, edited by Mabel Sensorundated
4PlatesArticle mastheads: What’s Doing in the Dakotasundated
4PlatesArtwork: 2 men on a sofa reading the Dakota Farmerundated
4PlatesArtwork: 3 separate border designsundated
4PlatesArtwork: Border with 3 photographs (Power on the Farm)undated
4PlatesArtwork: Car driving down road with dog in window going past a sign that reads, “Good Bye! Good Luck! Come Again!”undated
4PlatesArtwork: Farm scene with farmer shaking hands with men in suits while wife and son with dog look onundated
4PlatesArtwork: Farm scene with pigs and cows and car driving pastundated
4PlatesArtwork: Old Dakota Farmer Building (Elks Building) Aberdeen, S.D.undated
4PlatesArtwork: Postman in U.S. Mail truck delivering mail to farmundated
4PlatesArtwork: Sheet with 2 designs (bees and flowers, apple orchard)undated
4PlatesArtwork: Sheet with 4 designs (book shelves, bees and flowers, apple orchard, family reading paper)undated
4PlatesArtwork: Sheet with 7 designs (book shelves, family reading paper, corn shocks, threshing, horse/cow/pigs, apple orchard, bees and flowers)undated
4PlatesArtwork: The Dakota Farmer Building entranceundated
4PlatesFrames: 12 different sheets of framesundated
4PlatesMasthead: First bound volume of the Dakota Farmer—Current Bound volume of the Dakota Farmerundated
4PlatesMasthead: The Dakota Farmer1911
4PlatesMasthead: The Dakota Farmer1929
4PlatesMasthead: The Dakota Farmerundated
4PlatesMasthead: The Dakota Farmer Cover (blank)undated
4PlatesMasthead: The Dakota Farmer Cover (blank)undated
4PlatesNorth Dakota and South Dakota maps: Dakota Railroad/County/River Map1912
4PlatesNorth Dakota and South Dakota maps: North Dakota Railroad/County/River Map1912

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Arranged and Described by

Crystal J. Gamradt, 2003 June 11.