The first edition of the Griswold American was published on Feb. 18, 1880, by G. H. Ragsdale and D. H. Scott under the banner "Griswold Advocate".
The printing press was set up in a building that was only sheeted overhead and as soon as the editors began running off the first edition, "there came up a driving blowing snow and for all they had a red hot fire in the offices, the snow fell to the depth of an inch on the office floor".
The editor said in his first issue: "We expect to devote our attention almost exclusively to the building up of Griswold and to the material interest of the townships and counties of which it is not the trade center."
The first owners laid a solid foundation and the Griswold American proudly lays claim to being the oldest continuous business in Griswold. The newspaper is still dedicated to serving Griswold and surrounding towns and area comprising the school district.
The present publishers of the newspaper, Jim and Bill Lindvall purchased it from their parents, Bengt and Addie Lindvall in 1971. Mr. and Mrs. Lindvall had purchased the newspaper from Frank Hanton in 1946. Hanton owned the paper from 1911 to 1946 and Bengt Lindvall worked for him a number of years before purchasing it after World War II.
Scott bought out the interest of Ragsdale in 1881 and changed the name of the newspaper to "Griswold American" in 1885. Scott sold the paper to J. W. Wayne in about 1902 and bought it back in 1905, owning it until 1911 when Hanton became owner.
There have been only five owners of the business during the 100 years, attesting to the integrity and stable influence owners have contributed to the community. The present owners have been associated with the paper for 34 years, more than one-third of its existence.
February, 2004 - Update of owners and locations of the Griswold American newspaper. Jim purchased Bill's interest in the paper in 1983. In 1997, Jim sold the Griswold American to an out of state owner, Gary Pederson from South Dakota. In 2001, Pederson Publications, old the paper to Paula and Randall Jameson of Bridewater, Ia, who also bought the Fontanelle Observer, located in Fontanelle, IA. In July, 2003, the Jameson's sold the paper to Griswold residents Greg and Janet Reed. Location was moved to the Kim Kemp building (next to Dr. England's office) 503 Main Street. On August 1, 2011 the Griswold American was moved across the street to 519 Main Street.
On January 1, 2012 the Griswold American was sold to Donna Forsyth by Greg and Janet Reed.
Timeline of owners:
1880 - 1881 - G. H. Ragsdale and D. H. Scott
1881 - 1885 - D. H. Scott
1885 - 1902 - D. H. Scott
1902 - 1905 - J. D. Wayne
1905 - 1911 - D. H. Scott
1911 - 1946 - Frank Hanton
1946 - 1971 - Bengt and Addie Lindvall
1971 - 1983 - Jim and Bill Lindvall
1983 - 1997 - Jim Lindvall
1997 - 2001 - Gary Pederson
2001 - 2003 - Paula Jameson
2003 - 2011 - Greg and Janet Reed
2012 - Present - Donna Forsyth/Forsyth Publications LLC