In 1902 the Flaxton Eagle was founded in the small northwestern North Dakota town of Flaxton. It was published there for a short time and then moved to Crosby June 9, 1905 by Julius Hage, where it was known as the Crosby Eagle. D.A. Gibbs acquired the Eagle in 1907 and published it until 1916, when he sold it to Divide County Publishing Co., which changed the name of the paper to the Divide County Journal.
The newspaper has been operated by three generations of the Andrist family since the fall of 1921, when Calvin L. Andrist and a partner, Nansen B. Henderson, purchased it and operated it until 1937, when Andrist bought out Henderson’s interest.
A competing newspaper, called the Crosby Review, was purchased by a group of pro Nonpartisan League farmers, and was renamed the Divide County Farmers Press. There was vigorous competition between the two newspapers for 25 years, with Andrist running The Divide County Journal and D.A. Gibbs publishing the Farmers Press. In 1946, however, Gibbs sold his assets to Andrist, and the Press ceased publication.
In the early 1950’s The Divide County Journal also purchased remaining assets of the Noonan Miner, to become the last surviving newspaper in Divide County. At one time there were 8 to 10 newspapers in the county — 2 each at Noonan, Crosby, and Ambrose, plus single publications for a brief time at Fortuna, Stady, and Willow Lake, among others.
Andrist was joined by his son, John, in 1950, and in January 1958 he leased the business to John, subsequently selling it on Jan. 1, 1961.
In the 1970s, John shortened the name of the paper to The Journal, reflecting a service territory that extended beyond the boundaries of Divide County. He sold the business to his son, Steve, in July of 1991. In October 1995, Steve purchased a second paper, The Tioga Tribune. Under the umbrella of Journal Publishing, Steve operated both papers until July 2012, when they were sold to longtime editor, Cecile Wehrman.
CALVIN L. ANDRIST
* Born April 10, 1888.
* First newspaper job — printer’s devil, fall of 1907, Kermit News, Kermit, N.D.
* 1908 — Published the Larson Leader, Larson, ND, which was destroyed by fire.
* 1909 — Employee of the Ambrose Tribune, Ambrose, ND.
* 1910-1911 — Employee of the Ambrose Newsman, Ambrose, ND.
* 1911-1921 — Publisher of the Noonan Miner, Noonan, ND.
* 1921-1958 — Publisher of the Divide County Journal, Crosby, ND
* 1954-55 — President of the North Dakota Press Association
* 1978 — Inducted into the North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame
* Died: Dec. 27, 1974
JOHN M. ANDRIST
* Born Aug. 1, 1932
* Grew up working part time for his father at the Divide County Journal
* 1950-1957 — Worked full time, learning the business.
* 1958-1961 — Managing Editor
* 1961-1991 — Publisher of The Journal.
* 1970-71 — President, North Dakota Press Association
* 1989 90 — President, National Newspaper Association
* 1992-2014 — Member North Dakota State Senate
* 2000 — Inducted into North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame
* 2002 — Received National Newspaper Association’s Amos Award for
distinguished service to the community press.
* Died: Jan. 17, 2018
STEVEN J. ANDRIST
* Born April 24, 1954
* Grew up working part time for his father at The Journal, Crosby, ND.
* 1976-1981 — Reporter, The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND.
* 1981 — Assistant News Editor, Winona Daily News, Winona, Minn.
* 1981-1986 — Reporter, The Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
* 1986-1991 — City editor, The Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
* 1991 to 2012 — Publisher, The Journal, Crosby, ND.
* 1998 to 2012 — President, Journal Publishing Inc., publisher of
The Journal and The Tioga Tribune, Tioga, ND.
* 2001-2002 — President North Dakota Newspaper Association
* 2007 — President North Dakota Newspaper Education Foundation
* 2013 to Present — Executive Director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association
CECILE L. WEHRMAN
* Born May 26, 1963
* Grew up reading The Journal in San Diego, Calif.
* 1985-1987 — Reporter and Noon Show host, KXMD-TV Williston.
* 1987-1989 — Reporter and Weekend Anchor, WDAZ-TV, Grand Forks.
* 1989-1990 — Reporter and Morning Anchor, KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kans.
* 1993-1998 — Various, including News Director, KUMV-TV, Williston.
* 1999-2012 — News Editor, The Journal and Tioga Tribune.
* 2012-Present — Publisher The Journal and Tioga Tribune.
* 2015-2016 — President, North Dakota Newspaper Association
* 2017-Present — 2nd Vice President, North Dakota Newspaper Association.