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Title: Prairie Farmer
City: Chicago, Ill.
History: Union Agriculturist and Western Prairie Farmer (1841-1842); Prairie Farmer (1843-1858); Emery's Journal of Agriculture and Prairie Farmer (1858); Prairie Farmer (1859-1882); People's Illustrated Weekly and Prairie Farmer (1882); Prairie Farmer (1882-present).
Available online: 1 January 1841 - 11 January 1941 (2476 issues)
Farm newspaper originally published in Chicago. By far the oldest, continuously published farm newspaper in the United States, the Prairie Farmer began in 1841 as the Union Agriculturist and Western Prairie Farmer. In its nearly 200 year existence, the paper has undergone a number of title and format changes. Considered to be one of the most important Midwestern farm newspapers ever published, not only for its influence on agriculture, but for its influence on rural life in general. It was, for example, one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the National Grange, and also an early advocate of "book farming" (the expression, in fact, appeared as the title of an article on the subject in the paper’s very first issue). In 1928, the paper bought a faltering Chicago radio station from Sears-Roebuck and Company, and turned it into a 50,000 watt, clear channel radio giant, capable of reaching listeners living anywhere between the Allegheny and the Rocky Mountains. Both the newspaper and its radio station (popularly called "The Prairie Farmer Station") played an important role in the daily lives of rural Americans, a point made by the dean of the University of Illinois’s College of Agriculture in a speech given during a special ceremony in 1938.