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The first newspaper in the small town of Williams, MN, was printed in 1916 by Sam Sherman.

Because of the beautiful sky effect often seen in Northern Minnesota, Sherman named the weekly newspaper the Williams Northern Light. The publication sold for $1.00 for a one year subscription. That first Northern Light office was located behind Lundsten's Store on Main Street.

Sherman sold the paper in in 1922 to John R. Norris and his son Robert. The father/son duo successfully published the Williams Northern Light for four years. Robert bought out his father in 1926 and operated the business until 1951 when Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lockhart bought the newspaper. During the Norris years the Northern Light moved to a new office building located on Highway 11.

Joyce Lockhart continued to print the paper for six years after her husband's death but eventually retired and sold the newspaper to LaRae (Kroeze) Prosser in December, 1979.

During the Lockharts' tenure at the NL, the newspaper switched from hot metal to offset production and were the first in the area to do so, using phototypesetting.

On January 1, 1985, the Williams Northern Light again changed hands when it was sold to Julie (Nordine) and Paul Gillie. The Gillies built a new office building on the corner of Meloney and Main Avenue and switched to the desktop publishing process, one of the first newspapers in the region to do so.  In 1994 Paul Gillie sold his interest in the newspaper to Page 1 Publications owned by Rollin Bergman and Julie Nordine.

After many years of operating two offices, one in Williams and one in Baudette, the main office of The Northern Light was moved to Baudette in 2000.

One interesting fact about The Northern Light is that of the four of the publishers were under the age of 21 when they purchased the newspaper (Robert Norris, LaRae Prosser, Paul Gillie and Julie Nordine Bergman)

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