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Living history: Paying tribute to an old PJ newspaper man

Former publisher-owner of the Pioneer Journal, Sterling Knutson died Sept. 24, 1998. File photo.

20 years ago

Excerpts from the Oct. 1, 1998 Pioneer Journal

• Paying tribute to an old PJ newspaper man, Sterling Knutson

He served his family, his church, his community and country with loyal devotion.

Sterling E. Knutson, 84, was that individual who died Sept. 24, 1998 at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena.

Publisher and owner of the Wadena Pioneer Journal from 1955-1974, he succeeded his uncle, Harold Knutson, a US Congressman and publisher-owner of the PJ.

Sterling understood the importance of an aggressive newspaper in a rural community. He began as a printer's devil, knew what it was to operate a linotype machine, set type, meet deadlines and hustle down main street for ads and new subscriptions.

Knutson also anticipated the future of newspaper journalism, improving the PJ to keep pace with changing technology. It meant financial investment to go from "hot lead" and letter press to offset press in January of 1968. He was willing to make that commitment to his advertisers and subscribers.

Active in the newspaper industry, he was a member of the Minnesota Newspaper Association and as a publisher searched for the unique and unusual feature stories in the Wadena County area.

His involvement in the civic community was broad and intense. Sterling served the Wadena Lions Club as president, having 30 years perfect attendance. He was also zone chairman.

After retirement in 1974, he and his wife Margaret moved to rural Ottertail where he became a charter member and first president of the Ottertail Lions. He was an active member of the Wadena Chamber of Commerce.

45 years ago

Excerpts from the Oct. 4, 1973 Pioneer Journal

• Nissi's purchase Rule Office Supply

Ed Vuchetich's Rule Office Supply on Jefferson Street has been purchased by Howard and Gloria Nissi of Minneapolis, effective Oct. 1, Ed reported to the Journal Monday.

Ed and Mrs. Vuchetich began the management of Rule Office Supply in June of 1963. Ed is a member of the Wadena Chamber and local Rotary club.

The Vuchetich's plans for the immediate future are indefinite.

• Miss Hill to be poet-in-residence

Miss Robert Hill, a 1971 University of Wisconsin graduate, will be poet-in-residence at the Wadena Public and St. Ann's parochial schools Nov. 12-16.

The Wadena schools will enjoy Hill's services as poet-in-residence. She is sponsored by the Council of Arts and Sciences.

Earning a BA in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Hill earned a MFA in poetry from the same university in 1973. She studied with Richard Hugo and some of her published works include: Overflow, Salt Lick, Worksheet and Introduction to Poetry Northwest.