William W. Downie, editor and publisher of the Herald Advance, was a prominent figure in the newspaper industry. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1855, he moved to Michigan with his family before eventually settling in Big Stone City, South Dakota. Downie started the Herald, the first newspaper in Grant County, and later consolidated it with the Advance. Under his management, the Herald Advance became a leading Republican party organ and a reflection of current thought. Downie actively promoted the welfare of Milbank and Grant County, serving as mayor, justice of the peace, and postmaster. He was also influential in education and a respected member of various fraternal organizations.