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Full text of "Family legacies : celebrating Illinois newspapers' heritage"

THE 

CAMPBELLS 

OF CALHOUN 

COUNTY 






Celebrating Illinois 
Newspapers' Heritage 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

2 



Family Legacies 




Celebrating Illinois 
Newspapers' Heritage 



FAMILY LEGACIES 



Foreword 



This week — on November 20, 2003 — the Illinois Press Foundation cel- 
ebrates the retirement of the mortgage of the Illinois Press 
Association's new headquarters in Springfield. It is the culmination of the 
support of the members and friends of the IPA and symbolizes the strength 
of the newspaper industry in Illinois. 

One of the most generous contributors to the construction of the new building was 
the Shaw newspaper family, based in Dixon, Illinois. As part of the gift, the Shaws 
requested that we highlight and honor family-owned newspapers and community jour- 
nalism in Illinois. 

At the dedication of the new building just three and a half years ago, the first issue 
of the Family Newspaper Project was published, entitled "Family Values: Celebrating 
an Illinois Newspaper Tradition. The inaugural issue featured the McCormick family 
(McCormick Tribune Foundation), the Copley family (Copley Newspapers), the 
Chinigo family (Champaign News-Gazette), the Shaw family (B. F. Shaw Newspapers), 
the Macfarland family {Chicago Daily Law Bulletin), and the Small family (Small 
Newspaper Group). 

The second issue, "Family Traditions: Celebrating Illinois Newspaper History," fea- 
tured the Bliss family (Montgomery County News, Hillsboro), the Jenison family (Paris 
Beacon-News), the Jones family (Gold Nugget Publications, Virden) and the Oakley 
and Lindsay families (Hie Quincy Herald-Whig). 

We are pleased to present the third issue dedicated to four more families in Illinois: 
the Paddock family (Daily Herald, Arlington Heights), the Campbell family (Calhoun 
Publishing Company, Hardin), the Lewis family (Robinson Daily News) and the Seil 
family (Navigator Journal-Register, Albion). 

We hope you enjoy reading about the dedication, the sacrifice, the passion these 
families have for the communities they serve. 

David L Bennett 

Executive Director, Illinois Press Association 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

4 



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Table of Contents 




I. The Paddock Family 6-11 

II. The Campbells of Calhoun Count) 12-17 

III. The Daily News and the Lewis Family 18-23 

IV. Four Generations of the Seil Family 24-29 



FAMILY LEGACIES 



THE PADDOCK F \ M I L Y 



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Hosea C. Paddock refused to let challenges stop him from running a newspaper. He printed the 
early Palatine Enterprise on a hand press in the late 1800s. His tireless efforts led to what is the 
Daily Herald today. 

The Paddock Family 

ome people dream of traveling the world. Some fantasize about owning 
endless riches. 

Hosea C. Paddock, patriarch of the storied Paddock family, dreamed of 
having ink-stained fingers. 

A headstrong man with a bad foot and an unwavering will, Hosea was 
one of those rare people who had newspapering in his blood. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

6 



i II E P \ II II I) I k \ \ M I L V 



"He never waxed enthusiastic about news- 
papers — he just worked at it," said Hosea's 
grandson, the late Robert Y. Paddock, Sr., 
who was the Daily Herald's vice chairman and 
executive vice president. 

Started by Hosea in the 19th century, the 
journalistic history of the Paddock family con- 
tains enough drama to last several lifetimes. 

Over the past century, the Paddocks have 
endured death, fires, two world wars, and a 
calamitous economic depression. 

But the love of journalism kept the family 
involved in the unromantic world of ink, and 
the result of their work has produced the 
Daily Herald, now the third-largest newspa- 
per in Illinois. 

The Daily Herald has a circula 
tion of more than 150,000, and 
blankets more than 90 commu- 
nities across suburban 
Chicago. 

The paper's success 
seemed an unlikely pipe 
dream more than a century 
ago when its founder, Hosea 
Cornish Paddock, was riding 
his horse Bonnie across the 
marshy land surrounding 
Chicago, trying to sell subscrip- 
tions to farmers. 

The Paddock patriarch began his 
lengthy journalistic career as a 
reporter for several downstate 
newspapers, including the Sterling 
Gazette, the Prophetstown Spike and 
the Morrison Sentinel. 

He toiled in 1880 as editor at the Plainfield 
Enterprise, then three years later, with five 
young mouths to feed, Hosea bought the 
Wlieaton Ulinoisan. 

It was there that Hosea coined the iconic 
purpose statement that still appears in 
Paddock newspapers: "To Fear God, Tell the 
Truth and Make Money." 

For five years he struggled to make the 
paper a successful weekly, but he was forced 
to sell it after a friend defaulted on a loan 




Hosea Cornish 
Paddock 



Hosea had co-signed. 

Hosea then purchased the Rochelle 
Register, but he felt that wasn't going to lead 
him to the big time. So he and a partner start- 
ed the Waukegan Register. 

Hosea's Register waged a gallant battle with 
the larger Waukegan Gazette, but in 1892 
Hosea packed his bags and headed to 
Iibertyville. 

There, he began the Lake County 
Independent, hoping this finally would be his 
big move into the world of newspapering. 
The paper came to an end on Aug. 30, 
1895, when a massive fire raged through 
Iibertyville's business district. The flames 
destroyed the Independent's office, 
and Hosea's insurance had lapsed 
earlier that week. 

Hosea and wife Janette now 
had six children — and no 
source of income. 

He salvaged the printing 
press and tried to produce 
the paper from his home, but 
eventually Hosea was forced 
to sell. 
He worked as a school- 
teacher for a while. But jour- 
nalism burned in his veins, so 
he resumed his quest for a news- 
paper to call his own. 

He solicited subscriptions to his 
former newspaper and for Chicago 
papers, canvassing the local farms 
by horse and buggy. 
If a farmer didn't have enough money for a 
subscription, Hosea often would take a bag of 
potatoes or oats in lieu of cash. 

"Grandpa would sit on a farmer's plow and 
wouldn't leave until he got a subscription," 
said Stuart R. Paddock Jr., the Daily Herald's 
former chairman and publisher, who died 
April 15, 2002. 

Often, his work kept him out so late that he 
fell asleep at the reins, but he would awaken 
to find that Bonnie had trotted them both 
safely home. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 



THE PADDOCK FAMILY 




H. C. Paddock, fourth from left, and his printing crew pose in the old Herald office building. 
Included are sons Stuart, Sr, third from left, and Charles, far right. 



Over the course of his travels in 1898, 
Hosea learned that the Palatine Enterprise 
was for sale. 

The single-minded Hosea somehow came 
up with the funds, and so on Dec. 15, 1898, 
Justice of the Peace F. J. Filbert drew up a 
$150 chattel mortgage contract between 
Hosea and W.C. Williams, the erstwhile 
owner of the Enterprise. 

Filbert's handwritten document detailed 
the purchase of items including metal galleys, 
type racks, three stools and a stove. 

The deal was sealed, and the 33-year-old 
Hosea had his newspaper. But that didn't 
mean things got easier. 

Putting out the weekly paper (which soon 
became the Enterprise-Register) was an ardu- 
ous task, made even more difficult by a foot 
deformity, present from birth, that left Hosea 
with a limp. 

The two-page hand press required the 



labor of two men — Hosea would pull from 
the massive lever from one side while 16-year- 
old son Stuart pushed from the other side. 

After a few weeks, Hosea decided to print 
his paper downtown at the office of the 
Chicago Newspaper Union. So Hosea or son 
Charles would take a train and two streetcars 
to the office, lugging massive pages of hand- 
set type. 

"Those pages were heavy," said Hosea's 
grandson, the late Stuart R Paddock Jr. "They 
were all type," with most of the 100-plus 
pound load comprised of lead. 

Often, Hosea gave the train conductors 
movie tickets so they would let him and his 
weighty cargo aboard. 

Hosea wore many hats in his newspaper 
work, including renowned editorialist. He was 
known as a tough but fair man, as he showed 
in his writing about German immigrants: 
"There is no reason for criticizing our 



FAMILY LEGACIES 



THE I' I II I) (I I k F A II I L V 




Tlte Herald office on Davis Street in Arlington Heights was struck by fire in 1938. "Tliat 
Thanksgiving Day fire was the greatest bit of luck that ever happened to us, " Stuart. Sr. once said. 
"It forced us to find another larger location. " 



German Americans. They believe in freedom 
and liberty, they are religious and the large 
majority are of the better element and are 
temperate in all things." 

Hosea expanded his journalistic realm by 
purchasing the Cook County Herald in neigh- 
boring Arlington Heights on March 12, 1899. 

Soon thereafter, he bought the Arlington 
News, and a couple years later he acquired a 
building with a printing press. No more trips 
to the city. 

With sons Stuart and Charles now in the 
fold, the reach of "H.C. Paddock and Sons" 
soon spread across the flat suburban land. 

Over the years, the company acquired the 
DuPage County Register, the Franklin Park 
Beacon and the River Grove Herald, among 
others. 

In 1922, Hosea sold his papers to his sons, 
with Stuart working in editorial while Charles 
was in charge of production. 

That didn't mean, however, that the stub- 
born Hosea went quietly into retirement. He 
continued as senior editor, and retained his 
notoriously untidy desk. 

The 1920s were good to the Paddocks, and 
the Herald became a bi-weekly in 1926. (It 
went back to a weekly in 1930.) 



The market grew tough in the thin years 
following the Great Depression, and the 
Paddocks were forced to sell some of their 
newspapers. 

The family concentrated on the 
Palatine/ Arlington Heights/Mount Prospect 
area and enlisted Stuart's three children — 
Robert. Stuart Jr. and Margie — in the news- 
paper effort. 

The young Stuart worked as a "printer's 
devil," for instance, pouring molten "pig iron" 
into molds to make the letters for the press. 

The "grand old man" Hosea wrote his last 
words in 1935, when he died at the age of 82. 
On his deathbed, he spoke of his hope that 
his grandsons would stay in the newspaper 
field: "I hope Stuart and Bob will continue in 
the business." 

The two boys — and sister Margie — did 
indeed follow in the family's journalistic tradi- 
tion. AD three went to college (no small feat in 
early 20th century), and Robert and Margie 
came back to work for the newspaper. 

Stu, however, had more bohemian ideas. 
After graduating from Knox College in 
Galesburg, 111., he hit the road. 

"I was hitchhiking out to the West Coast to 
see if I could find a job," Paddock said. "I 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

9 



T 11 B P A I) DOCK FA N I L Y 




Under the leadership of from left, Robert 
Paddock, Sr, Stuart Paddock, Jr. and Margie 
Flanders, shown in this 1995 photo, the Daily 
Herald enjoyed phenomenal growth. 

made it as far as Cheyenne, Wyoming." 

Cold, tired and broke, Paddock was stuck. 
Intimidated by the hobos riding the rail and 
having spent "my last nickel on a sweet roll in 
the gas station," Paddock didn't know 
whether to forge on or turn back. 

He decided to place his fate in the hands of 
others, thumbing rides in both directions. 

If he caught a ride West, he could end up 
picking vegetables. If he caught a ride East, 
he'd stay in the family newspaper business. 

"I was throwing stones at a telephone pole 
when a car honked," he recalled. 'Two par- 
ents, two little kids and a grandmother. They 
were going all the way to Indiana." 

The family went out of its way to drop 
Paddock off in Clinton, Iowa, where he had an 
aunt who gave him $20 and a place to sleep 
until he could hitchhike back to Palatine. 

With Stu back in the fold, the Paddocks 
moved onward — until another disaster 
struck: a fire on Thanksgiving Day in 1938 
struck the Paddock's main office in Arlington 
Heights. 

This conflagration, though, turned out to 
be a mixed blessing. 



Ann M. Paddock 




P'That Thanksgiving 
Day fire was the greatest 
bit of luck that's ever hap- 
pened to us," Stuart Sr. 
once said. "It forced us to 
find another, larger loca- 
^^ tion." 

The company (which 
became known as 
Paddock Publications Inc. 
in 1948) built a new build- 
ing, and its journalistic 
reach spread even fur- 
ther. The Paddocks 
began producing week- 
lies in myriad suburbs, 
including Wheeling, 
Bensenville, Prospect 
Heights and Rolling 
Meadows. 
The paper came under attack in 1966, 
when Marshall Field and his Sun-Times start- 
ed a daily suburban newspaper called The 
Day. 

Over the next four years, the weekly 
Herald newspapers lost 40 percent of their cir- 
culation. A plan to publish three times a week 
bombed. 

"We either had to go daily or die," Stu Jr. 
decided. 

Following the deaths of Charles Paddock 
in 1967 and Stuart Paddock Sr. in 1968, Stu Jr. 
gained controlling interest of the paper by 
acquiring the stock owned by Charles 
Paddock's son-in-law Frank Stites and combin- 
ing it with his own. 

He shared ownership with brother Robert 
and sister Margie S. Flanders. 

Day Publications eventually surrendered 
and sold its newspaper operations to Paddock 
Publications on June 19, 1970. 

To buy Field out, the Paddock family had 
to bring in outside investors. Some of those 
investors put pressure on the family to sell the 
paper and make a quick profit. Larger news- 
paper publishers were eager to buy out the 
Paddock family. 

"I never considered that," Stuart Jr. said. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

10 



I II I I' \ II II (I I k I \ \\ I I. V 





Robert Paddock Jr. 



Stuart R. Paddock III 

"We're trying to 
see to it that this 
paper remains a 
family business.'' 

— Stuart Paddock Jr. 



But it wasn't merely his decision. Robert and 
Margie resisted that temptation, as well. 

Eventually, the company managed to buy 
back that stock, placing it in an employee 
retirement trust 

In his time as head of the company, Stuart 
Paddock Jr. constantly pushed expansion. The 
Herald became a five-days-a-week paper in 
1969, and the name changed to "Daily Herald" 
in 1977. (A Saturday edition began in 1975, 
and a Sunday edition was added in 1978.) 
Paddock added more weekly papers in Lake 
County in the 1970s that went daily in 1984. 

After that. Paddock oversaw nearly 20 
expansions into areas of Lake, DuPage. Kane, 
McHenry and Will counties. 

He often spoke of his hope that the paper 
would remain in the family after his passing 
and worked with lawyers to try to ensure it 
would. 

"We're trying to see to it that this paper 
remains a family business," he said repeatedly. 

Under the guidance of Stuart Jr., Robert 
and Margie, the paper grew exponentially. 
The paper now has a daily circulation 150,300 



and covers more than 90 communities 
throughout the greater Chicago region, from 
Naperville in the south all the way up to 
Lindenhurst in the north. 

In 1995, the Daily Herald's main offices 
moved to a modern building with a large, airy 
atrium in Arlington Heights — a far cry from 
the days of the cramped, musty wooden build- 
ing where Hosea toiled. 

And in 2003, the paper began printing 
at a new $50 million printing center in 
Schaumburg, featuring a state-of-the-art press 
built in Germany. 

The three Paddocks have since passed on - 
Margie S. Flanders died in 1997, Robert Y. in 
1999 and Stuart in 2002. A fourth generation 
of Paddocks, Robert Paddock Jr. and Stuart R 
Paddock III, continue the family's newspaper 
legacy. 

The paper still carries the Paddock family's 
can-do spirit, and it still works under the 
motto Hosea coined back when he was 
trekking across the suburban plains: "Local 
news first, the world next." 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

11 



THE n M P B E 



F A M I L Y 




In this classic photograph from the early years of The Calhoun News, C.C. Campbell was captured 
by professional photographer Robert Mortland hand setting type on a stick. The photograph is 
titled, "Deadline Every Thursday. " 

The Campbells 
of Calhoun County 

or three generations, the Campbells of Calhoun County have told the 
stories of west central Illinois - and have lived them. 

From C.C. Campbell who founded The Calhoun News in 1915 to his 
grandson, Bruce Campbell who launched a new weekly newspaper, 
Jersey County Journal, in June 2003, the Campbells have been journalists 
who see and celebrate the milestones of their friends and neighbors. 




FAMILY LEGACIES 

12 



T II E f I M P H F I I F I V I I. V 



Bruce Campbell remembers his grandfa- 
ther as a storyteller, a man who knew his 
readers on a personal basis and lived his life 
as part of the community they shared. 

"Their life was so self-contained in Calhoun 
County." Bruce Campbell 
recalls. A trip outside the nar- 
row strip of Calhoun, bor- 
dered as it is by the 
Mississippi and Illinois rivers, 
was an infrequent experience 
for C.C. Campbell, his employ 
ees or his readers. In large 
part, through the first half of 
the 20*" century, the Calhoun 
community worked, played 
and shared their stories 
together. 

"My grandfather was quite 
a storyteller. He always had 
stories to tell. People would 
come in and pay their sub- 
scription and they'd want to 
talk." C.C. Campbell was 
always ready to oblige and 
from these conversations 
sprang the spirit of his news- 
paper, a focus on the lives of 
readers that is emphasized by 
the newspapers of Campbell 
Publications to this day. 

Bruce Campbell began 
working with his grandfather 
at the age of six, assigned the 
Saturday job of sweeping out 
the pressroom. By this time, 
Bruce Campbell's father, 
James F. Campbell, was also 
part of the family business. 
Roles and responsibilities 
evolved over the years but three generations 
worked together until C.C. Campbell's death 
at age 87 in 1970. 

C.C. Campbell helped put out the newspa- 
per the day of his death. His obituary noted, 
"Publisher Campbell had worked at the office 
until 3 p.m., and when everything was fin- 




With the steady tick of the 
Regulator clock for company, 
C. C. Campbell worked with 
ink stained fingers to lock up 
the chase. The year was 1965. 

Hull's and 

responsibilities evolved 

over the vears but three 

generations worked 

together until ( .(. 

Campbell's death 

at a«e 87 in 1970. 



ished with that week's issue, walked to his 
home and sat down in his usual place on the 
breezeway sofa where he slumped over and 
passed peacefully to his heavenly home, after 
a long, useful and happy life, during which he 
had seen that thousands of 
issues were published, com- 
prised of millions of words of 
news, births, marriages, obitu- 
aries and everything that told 
of life in Calhoun County. 

"He felt people read 
enough sordid things in the 
daily papers so he tried to 
keep The Calhoun News mere- 
ly a chronicle of 'life as it hap- 
pened in Calhoun County. 

Except for a year in 
Chicago and a year in East St, 
Louis, C.C. Campbell lived his 
entire life in Calhoun County. 
His son, James F. Campbell, 
began working at the newspa- 
per as a child. He attended 
Shurtleff College in Alton and 
the University of Chicago. As 
a journalist, he was a tireless 
supporter of Calhoun County 
and generated thousands of 
words during his career about 
tourism, business and eco- 
nomic growth for the area. He 
owned and published a tourist 
magazine, "Hello Stranger," in 
southwest Florida during the 
1950s. 

"My dad was quite a story- 
teller, too, because he remem- 
bered so much from his father 
and was influenced by these 
stories," Bruce Campbell said. "I think this 
storytelling ability was translated through the 
written word into the news pages. It was a gift 
they both had which was well-suited for the 
profession." 

During his retirement years in Naples, Fla.. 
James Campbell would readily recall one of 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

13 



THE I t M P B E L I, F A \1 I I, V 




In 1965, C.C. Campbell worked at feeding the press. 



the biggest stories he ever covered - a 
botched bank robbery attempt at the Bank of 
Kampsville in the 1950s. 

Two armed men entered the home of 
Harry and Lela Waldheuser on a Sunday 
night with the intent of having Waldheuser, 
who was manager of the Bank of Kampsville, 
open the safe at the bank. However, the bank 
was on a timer and would not open until the 
next morning. Kampsville residents became 
suspicious and surrounded the Waldheuser 
house. Waldheuser was killed in a car acci- 
dent north of Kampsville as the men attempt- 
ed to escape with the Waldheusers as 
hostages. 

James Campbell died May 5, 2003. His 
obituary echoed that of his father: "Jim 
Campbell chronicled the birth, life and death 
of countless thousands of Calhoun County 
residents." 

For Bruce Campbell, the defining story of 



his journalism career was the rising rivers of 
the Flood of 1993, which effectively isolated 
Calhoun County from normal ingress and 
egress. He boated over flood-swamped fields, 
took pictures, wrote stories and made provi- 
sions for the weekly ordeal of getting his 
newspapers printed and delivered. National 
Guard troops were camped across the street 
and members of various relief organizations 
used his newspaper as the information source 
victims so desperately needed. 

"That's something we lived. It was like 
being right in the middle of a war zone. It had 
a psychological effect on me - devastating 
because we knew these people. They were a 
part of our lives. We lived it with them." 

The expansion of Campbell Publications 
began with the third generation. A graduate of 
Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., Bruce 
Campbell earned a Master of Arts degree 
from the School of Journalism at the 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

14 



T II E I 1 M P II E I I F \ M I L V 




The Calhoun News office in Hardin as it appeared in 1938 under the ownership o/C.C. and 
Gertrude Campbell. 



University of Missouri in Columbia. Following 
two years in the U.S. Army as a company 
commander, he returned to the family busi- 
ness and began an expansion of the commer- 
cial printing department. He also shepherded 
the newspaper into the age of offset reproduc- 
tion and later into computers and electronic 
pagination. 

His recollections of the evolution of The 
Calhoun News include detailed knowledge of 
the hot metal printing process gleaned from 
personal experience. 

Printing in the days of his father and grand- 
father was a dangerous operation. "We'd melt 
big pots of metal, scalding hot lead, using gas 
and open flames." A miscue brought painful 
consequences. "I still have scars on my feet 
from the hot lead that landed on my sock and 
burned through." 

Avoiding such "squirts" of hot metal meant 
chases of type needed to be tightly filled and 
locked. For both hot metal and handset type, 
writing to fill was an art 



'They had to hand set the newspaper each 
week. Each letter of every word was a piece 
of type. It would have to be individually 
picked out and placed in the stick. After the 
newspaper was published, it was returned to 
the type case. 

"My grandfather was, as most newspaper- 
men were in that era, excellent at writing as 
he composed on the stick. Not only that but 
filling the exact number of lines he needed in 
die chase. My father could do the same on 
linotype. Someone would say. We need a 
three line local' and he could fill it up." 

Not to be forgotten in the development of 
Campbell Publications are the women of the 
family. C.C.'s wife, Gertrude, came to Calhoun 
from Chicago. "She was a vital part of the 
business and learned to operate the linotype." 

Bruce's mother, Louise Campbell, was a 
stay-at-home mother for him, his brother and 
sister, but also found time to be heavily 
involved in the bookkeeping and accounting 
side of the business, also helping out with spe- 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

15 



T HE H M P B E L L F t \l I L V 



cial promotions. Now retired in Florida, 
Louise Campbell remains as both a sounding 
board and source of advice for her son. 

"Her Christian influence permeated our 
family," Bruce Campbell said. The greatest 
formative impact on his business philosophy 
has been "her Christian witness to me," he 
added. 

As the 20 tn century drew to a close, it 
remained for Bruce 
Campbell to take the family's 
passion for journalism 
beyond the borders of their 
beloved Calhoun County. 

He began the expansion 
with the purchase in 1990 of 
The Weekly Messenger in 
Pleasant Hill. In 1992, he 
added the Pike Press in 
Pittsfield to the company. 
The Greene Prairie Press in 
Carrollton and the Scott 
County Times in Winchester 
were purchased in 1998 and 
the newest publication, the 
Jersey County Journal in 
Jerseyville, was started in 
2003. 

The six newspapers have 
a combined readership of 
more than 75,000 persons 
every week and serve five 
contiguous counties in west 
central Illinois - Calhoun, 
Greene, Jersey, Pike and 
Scott 

The company newspapers 
have won numerous regional 
and state press association 
awards; Pike Press won the 
Harold and Eva White Memorial Trophy in 
1996 from the Illinois Press Association as the 
best weekly in its circulation category and has 
consistently won the general excellence 
award in various press association contests on 
the regional and state level. 

From his earliest day with a broom in the 
print shop to the upcoming six issues of his 




James F. Campbell 

Jim Campbell rJironii led 
the birth, life and death of 

countless thousands of 
Calhoun County residents." 

— James F. Campbell's obituary 



newspapers, Bruce Campbell continues to see 
journalism as the perfect melding of life and 
vocation. 

He recalls hearing about his grandfather 
working in a hot press room to put that 
week's issue to bed, then joining his employ- 
ees and the occasional passerby in a friendly 
game of horseshoes, just outside the newspa- 
per office. 

"They worked hard but 
they also had a lot of gratifica- 
tion and satisfaction by the 
personal relationships they 
had." This balance of hard 
work and taking time to play 
"helped relieve some of their 
stress which is naturally a 
part of newspaper deadlines." 
Today Bruce Campbell will 
often be seen encouraging his 
employees to step outside, 
take a break and simply 
observe a moment of the day 
God has given. 

"I try to conduct my busi- 
ness based on my Christian 
beliefs to treat everyone fairly. 
My employees are the reason 
I have been successful in the 
newspaper business for more 
than 35 years. Every employ- 
ee has contributed to the com- 
pany and each one has a spe- 
cial place in my heart. They 
are my family and I value 
each one." 

Bruce Campbell recom- 
mends a stint on a weekly 
newspaper as the best possi- 
ble postgraduate education for 
aspiring journalists. "In small communities we 
have access to every newsmaker such as 
police, school, government on a daily basis. 
The large dailies can't offer the same variety 
and experience." 

While Bruce Campbell doesn't claim to be 
the storyteller his grandfather was, or his 
father was, he says the vocation of journalist 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

16 



T II t: I \ M P II ti L L F \ VI I I, V 

"I try to conduct im business based on my Christian beliefs to treat everyone fairly. 

My employees are the reason I have been successful in the newspaper business for 

more than 35 years. Every employee has contributed to the rompanv and each one has 

a special place in my heart. They are my family and I value each one." 

— Bruce Campbell 




In June 2003, Bruce Campbell inspects the 
first issue of the Jersey County Journal, fresh 
off the press. 



is his both by birthright and experience. "I 
am a very inquisitive person. I definitely 
inherited the inquisitive nature of a journal- 
ist." 

And those who ask questions will hear the 
stories of the lives of their friends and neigh- 
bors, the stories that the newspapers of 
Campbell Publications strive to tell. 

"James Michener wrote something that 
sums up how I feel about having been able to 
live my life in newspapers," Bruce Campbell 
said. 

MASTERS IN THE ART OF LIVING 

Masters in the art of living 
make little distinction between 
their work and their play, 
their minds and their bodies, 
their labor, their leisure. 
their information, their recreation, 
their love and their religion. 
They simply pursue their vision of 
excellence at whatever it is they do, 
leaving others to decide whether 
they are working or playing 
because to them 
they are always doing both. 

"I love my life and I love what I do. They're 
intertwined," Bruce Campbell said. "I have 
loved my career every day and look forward 
to a new challenge each morning. I have a 
great life and the best job in the world." 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

17 



THE LEWIS F A M I L Y 




Circa 1955, Clyde Smith (right), Daily News commercial printing manager, goes over the fine 
points of a letterpress printing job with Larry Gullett, who still works for the Daily News in the 
advertising department. 

The Daily News 
and the Lewis Family 

In 1919, the Daily News hit the streets for the first time as a bold answer to 
the question, "Can Robinson support a daily newspaper?" 
Eighty-four years and three generations of Lewises later, the answer is 
still "yes." The Daily News was founded by F. Wood Lewis in 1919. At the 
time, Lewis was editor and publisher of the Robinson Constitution — a 
weekly that began publication in 1863, which the 38-year-old former teacher and 
lawyer bought in 1902. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

18 



T II E I E 11 IS M )\ I I V 



But could Robinson, a town of 3,300 in a 
township of 6,000, support a daily paper? 
Would there even be enough news to fill a 
paper each day? 

It didn't take long for these questions to 
be answered. Under the direction of Lewis 
and business manager John W. Dyer of Mt. 
Carmel, the paper flourished. Fewer than two 
weeks after the first issue on June 16, circula- 
tion reached nearly 800. Nine months later, it 
was 1,200. With city carrier delivery and rural 
mail delivery, subscription rates the first year 
were $5 per year in-town and $4 per year out- 
of-town. 

Of course, the look and content of the 
newspaper was a far cry from the Daily News 
of today. Besides the regular 
news of the day, the Daily 
News occasionally carried 
romantic adventure serials by 
well-known novelists, such as 
Booth Tarkington. 

Daily News headlines 
were different, too, before 
objectivity was a journalistic 
watchword. If an old couple 
got married, the headline usu 
ally read, "Old Enough to 
Know Better." If a 17-year-old 
and an 18-year old were mar- 
ried, it might read "Children 
Wed." Divorces were 
announced by 'Two More 
Couples Split Blanket." 

Lewis was indeed a colorful editor, in the 
style of the time. He and the editor of the 
Hutsonville Herald had a presumably friendly 
feud going in the summer of 1919 that started 
when a Hutsonville editor identified in the 
Daily News files only as "Anderson," printed 
the following: 

"The swimming season is in full blast and 
evidence of this fact is noticeable in more 
ways than one. Almost every day visitors to 
the beach at this place are seen parading out 
on the streets clad in scanty and ridiculous 
bathing suits and numerous complaints are 




Fernando Wood (F.W.) Lewis 



heard from our citizens who have some 
degree of decency. This practice should be 
stopped and violators of the following ordi- 
nance should take notice and heed before 
they find themselves brought up before some 
officer of the law. One or two arrests along 
this line will put a stop to this practice of inde- 
cency...." 

To which Lewis replied: 
"Evidently Editor Anderson is not of an 
artistic turn, otherwise he would see nothing 
but art in the classic display of which we 
begrudge him. Or perhaps he needs goggles. 
Speaking thusly, we of course, have in mind 
the young ladies of Robinson who want to 
visit the beach — Venus de Milo had nothing 
on them." 

Adding fuel to the fire, 
Lewis asked the young 
women of Robinson to read 
Anderson's attack on scanty 
swimwear and decide if they 
wanted to sue for libel. He 
said the girls could win their 
case because "any jury in the 
land would decide for you, 
providing you wore the suits 
in court." 

Anderson responded: "It is 
true that the Herald editor 
needs goggles when some of 
the Robinson girls appear on 
the streets here displaying 
charms that were never 
intended for exhibition purposes. He also 
needs blinders, a check-rein, and martingales 
if he is to continue to walk the straight and 
narrow path and every other man in this town 
needs the same thing if he is to visit Main 
Street on any warm Sunday afternoon." 

Fernando Wood Lewis, known as "F.W," 
the man who crafted this lively brand of early- 
century newspapering, was born in 1864 in 
Lewiston, Ohio. His parents moved to 
Crawford County near Porterville. 

F.W. attended the Porterville School until 
the family moved to Robinson: his father 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

19 



THE LEWIS FAMILY 



opened a general store, where Wood worked. 

In 1880, F.W. was one of the first students 
of Robinson Township High School, and was 
the first and only high-school graduate of his 
class. 

His first job was as a schoolteacher, until 
he was admitted to the ninois bar at the age of 
24. He spent four years as a lawyer, partnered 
with EG. Bradbury, until he was elected 
Crawford County State's Attorney — 
described as "no mean job," considering the 
number of murder trials in the county at the 
time. 

After his term in the courthouse expired, 
F.W. bought the Robinson 
Constitution from John S. 
Abbott. He would remain in 
the newspaper business for 
nearly 50 years until his death 
in 1950. 

Not one to shy away from 
civic involvement, F.W. also 
served as city clerk, alderman 
and mayor of Robinson. He 
was usually on the temper- 
ance side of hot elections in 
which liquor licenses were an 
issue. He was also instrumen- 
tal in securing a glass factory, 
a boiler factory, a cement 
block factory, and the old 
Wabash Refinery. 

The story of his role in saving the refin- 
ery paints Wood Lewis as a "mover and shak- 
er" in the volatile oil-boom years of Crawford 
County. 

The Wabash Refinery was started in 1917 
by the "Lowrey interests," mainly F C. 
Lowrey, his son, Forest and WE. Krohn. But 
in 1921 business was so bad the plant closed 
down. About 30 of the 125 employees were 
laid off, and the rest would be as soon as all of 
the stocks on hand were used up. 

In February of that year, the refinery had 
its first labor disturbance. Two successive pay 
cuts would have slashed wages 15 to 20 per- 
cent. Many laborers quit, but later about 60 




Kent Van Lewis 



percent returned. 

The refinery still had promise, though, 
and Lewis knew it He backed oilman Thomas 
Flynn, who bought the 20 acres and the com- 
plete plant, but not its 70 railroad tank cars. 
Finally in November 1921 a new opera- 
tion was organized. Lincoln Oil Co. was capi- 
talized for $1 million, was largely rebuilt and 
quickly had a 1,000 barrel per day capacity of 
crude. In late April 1922, a new cracking 
plant was built to recover gasoline and other 
more valuable products. The operating force 
of 41 men handled nearly twice the amount of 
crude the original 125 men had handled a few 
years earlier. 

The refinery was sold on 
June 6, 1924 to the Ohio Oil 
Co. and the plant was immedi- 
ately placed at full production. 
Two years later the plant was 
enlarged. 

Of course, the rest is history, 
with the purchase of the refin- 
ery by Marathon, now 
Marathon Ashland, constant 
expansion and a workforce of 
more than 600 employees 
today. 

FW's son, Kent Van Lewis, 
entered the University of 
Illinois in 1922 and earned his 
journalism degree in 1927. He 
edited the Daily Illini's literary magazine and 
worked at a suburban Chicago newspaper 
until returning to his hometown in 1929 to 
assume the role of editor and publisher of the 
Daily News. 

In 1943 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, 
served in the Facific and rose to the rank of 
major. In 1948, following his father's political 
footsteps, he was elected as a Democratic 
state senator. 

Vernon Heath, a member of another well- 
known Robinson family (the Heaths of 
English toffee candy fame), presented Lewis 
with the Robinson Chamber of Commerce 
Distinguished Citizen Award in 1965. His 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

20 



T II i: l E V IS I \ M I I V 




KK Lew/s />oses w;'</7 his family during a re-election campaign for his Democratic Illinois 
Senate seat. 



presentation highlighted many of Lewis' con- 
tributions to the community. 

"Through hard work and tireless effort, 
Kent was largely responsible for the 7-1 favor- 
able vote on the new county hospital in the 
1958 referendum," Heath said. "He backed 
the Washington School and other important 
school improvements and bond issues... as a 
member of the steering committee for the 
proposed junior college district for this area 
[Lincoln Trail College was established in 
1969], Kent has been a key spokesman at 
many of the public and state meetings.. .and 
has testified before the Junior College Board 
in Chicago and elsewhere in support of this 
project." 

While he continued his father's tradition 
of community involvement, Kent Lewis also 
continued his tradition of spirited journalistic 
give-and-take, with his columns and his "edi- 



tor's notes" following readers' letters to the 
editor. 

"He is noted for his sharp but fair 
answers to the 'Letters to the Editor' and he 
enjoys disarming many of his letter-writer crit- 
ics," Heath said, "as he is quick to challenge 
statements that he feels do not always state 
the issues or the facts correctly." 

Here's an excerpt from a Lewis "editor's 
note" circa 1965, responding to a letter com- 
plaining about loose dogs: 

"While we have every sympathy with per- 
sons whose sleep is disturbed, there has to be 
a compromise between those who want to 
keep dogs and those who are bothered by 
them... 

"Also, dogs which bark are not at all like- 
ly to be barking for food and water. Much 
more likely they are telling a passing cat what 
they would do if they had their freedom, 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

21 



THE L E W 1 S F A M I I, Y 

"Kent was not just my mentor, he was nn master mentor. I had lots of men- 
tors (I was a slow learner) but only Kent took a high-school educated kid and 
taught him to not only write, but later to edit, and more importantly 
how to put up with people, both good and bad." 

— Illinois Press Association Past President Byron Tracy. 



objecting to some stranger in the neighbor- 
hood or just discussing matters among them- 
selves, as is the nature of dogs. 

"Under the circumstances we would 
advise that the letter writer secure wax ear 
plugs and use them during sleep." 

Lewis also exerted his influence in more 
serious matters. As a chamber board member, 
Lewis saw that although some progress had 
been made in landing new industry, many 
other opportunities had been missed because 
volunteer efforts were either too small, too 
late, or overmatched by other areas' profes- 
sional organizations. 

He and a small group of other chamber 
members envisioned a county-wide organiza- 
tion, headed by a professional, working for 
industry in every part of the county. The 
group sparked the formation of Crawford 
County Opportunities, Inc., and the county- 
wide effort continues today as the Crawford 
County Development Association. 

Kent Lewis' legacy of community involve- 
ment has carried forward into recent years, 
when in the 1990s the Daily News played a 
part in the successful effort to attract a prison 
to Crawford County, and later in neighboring 
Lawrence County. In the Lewis tradition. Daily 
News personnel have a tradition of being 
active in the community, serving on various 
boards and committees. 

The Lewises expanded their newspaper 
holdings into Lawrence County in 1967, buy- 



ing the Lawrenceville Daily Record from the 
Armstrong family in January 1967, followed 
by the purchase later that year of the 
Lawrence County News. 

"Kent was not just my mentor, he was my 
master mentor," long-time Daily News editor 
and Illinois Press Association Past President 
Byron Tracy said. "I had lots of mentors (I 
was a slow learner) but only Kent took a high- 
school educated kid and taught him to not 
only write, but later to edit, and more impor- 
tantly how to put up with people, both good 
and bad." 

"I'll never forget his cigar, his scotch on 
ice, his dry and sometimes caustic humor," 
Tracy recalled. "Once, when I asked him what 
in the world he expected me to put in a sui- 
cide story he had assigned this cub reporter, 
he never missed a beat, "I want to know the 
last time he slept with his wife ... and how!" 

When Tracy "graduated" to reading 
Lewis' copy he once asked the editor, why, 
with all his education and experience, he 
couldn't spell 'occurred.' 

"That's why I have you around,'" Lewis 
said. 

"Kent taught me more about understand- 
ing people than anyone I've known through- 
out my many years," Tracy recalled. "Once I 
caught him putting a quarter under a desk. I 
asked what he was doing and he said he was 
testing a new cleaning lady to see if she was 
doing her job. Why not a nickel?' I asked, and 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

22 



i ii e i e w is r ni 1 1 v 




Larry H. Lewis, third-generation Daily News publisher, keeps his hand in the day-to-day operation 
of his newspapers by working in the backshop during a press run. 



he said, 'She might not pick up a nickel, but 
she damned will a quarter, no more than I pay 
her!'" 

Kent Lewis died June 22, 1975, leaving 
the paper to his son, Larry H. Lewis. 

Larry, now in his 28th year as publisher, 
has served on the board of directors for the 
First National Bank of Robinson, and followed 
in the activist footsteps of his father and 
grandfather, as president of Robinson 
Chamber of Commerce and working with the 
former Crawford County Opportunities and 
local businesses in promoting the communi- 
ty's economy. 

Lewis, while making sure the business 
continues to prosper, has also strongly sup- 
ported his editors and reporters in freedom of 
information, open meetings and other news- 
side issues — and has made sure they have 
the resources to maintain the newspaper's 



commitment to comprehensive local news 
coverage. 

Despite being one of the smallest daily 
newspapers in the state, the Daily News has 
kept on the cutting edge of technology. 

In the beginning, the paper was printed 
on an old Mehle flatbed press that had to be 
fed by hand, with the paper then turned over 
and fed through again. 

Today, the newspaper's six-unit offset 
press can produce 10,000 papers per hour, 
and editors and reporters work with comput- 
erized page layout, digital photography, e-mail 
and Internet resources. At this writing, the 
Daily News is expanding its use of process 
color, updating its pre-press workflow with an 
imagesetter, and its website. Daily News 
Online, is being "reborn" with greater func- 
tionality and revenue potential. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

23 



THE S E I L F A M I I- Y 



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m m 


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Noland B. Sell at Langley Field in 1919 



Four generations 
of the Seil Family 

By Leandra Sullivan 

Grayville is a small town with a big history, having risen along the banks of 
the Wabash River to offer fame and fortune, notoriety and despair. It has 
experienced the birth and decline of a rich oil boom; taken life from the 
river only to later see the Wabash change course and move away; and 
more recently, city leaders convinced state officials to site a new prison 
there, only to have construction halted by a budget crisis. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

24 



T II E S El L F I M I L V 

Between lather and son. William J. and \oland Seil encompassed 

nearly 80 years in the Grayville newspaper trade and were 

deeply involved in ( (immunity and regional affairs. 

Among \olaiid\ campaigns as editor, two considered the most outstanding 

were his drive for location of Interstate Route 64 through 

his community, and a lifelong battle lor Wabash Valley improvement. 



It is a community that is at 
once refined and hardscrab- 
ble, its uniqueness shaped by 
rowdy rivermen and oilfield 
tycoons and roughnecks. 
Chronicling and helping 
define this history has been a 
series of newspapers — the 
Mercury, the Independent, and 
the Navigator. And the men 
who have been largely 
responsible for their exis- 
tence constitute four genera- 
tions of the Seil family. 

Their tradition began with 
The Mercury-Independent, 
which was a consolidation of 
the Independent, established 
in 1857, and the Mercury, established in 1888. 
In 1919, the latter acquired the former, and 
was published by W.J. Seil and Son. That son 
was Noland Blair Seil. 

William J. moved to Grayville from Lacon 
in 1891, when the town, seated on the bank of 
the Wabash River on the Edwards/White 
counties line, was still a toddler, officially char- 
tered only in 1855. 

After 19 years, William gave up his editori- 
al position, but retained ownership. He then 
moved his family to California, where he took 
a position teaching printing in a Los Angeles 




Noland B. 

in the early 



trade school. In Grayville, two 
other men took turns as edi- 
tor of the local paper, stints 
that totaled less than three 
years. In early October 1912, 
William J. was again the pub- 
lisher and editor, with 17-year- 
old high school student 
Noland listed as local editor. 
Over the next few years, 
Noland attended business col- 
lege in Evansville, Ind., 
served on the staff of the 
Owensboro Daily Messenger in 
Kentucky, and joined the 
United States Army during 
World War I. By 1919, he was 
listed as a partner of the 
Mercury-Independent. He shortly thereafter 
took a bride, Margaret Schrontz. After a brief 
honeymoon in St. Louis, the couple returned 
to Grayville, and Noland began what has been 
defined as a 50-year love affair with the 
Mercu ry-Independen t. 

Between father and son. William J. and 
Noland encompassed nearly 80 years in the 
Grayville newspaper trade and were deeply 
involved in community and regional affairs. 
Among Noland's campaigns as editor, two 
considered the most outstanding were his 
drive for location of Interstate Route 64 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

25 



THE SEN, FAMILY 




Lt. William S. Sell (left) and his brother, Col. Manning Seil (right) 



through his community, and a lifelong battle 
for Wabash Valley improvement. 

Noland was posthumously honored as a 
"Master Editor" by the Southern Illinois 
Editorial Association and the Southern Illinois 
University Department of Journalism. His 
publication won numerous awards, and his 
editorials were reprinted in metropolitan 
papers including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

Noland's son, William S. Seil, graduated 
from Grayville High School in 1938, then went 
on to attend the University of Illinois in 
Champaign. Shortiy thereafter he joined the 
Army Air Corps, serving as a bomber pilot 
until the end of World War II. He served in 
the North African and Sicily campaigns, flying 
a total of 90 missions in a P-40 aircraft. 

His string of missions ended when he was 



shot down in Italy. The plane took a hit, was 
on fire, and after a few different maneuvers, 
the young pilot was finally able to eject, land- 
ing behind enemy lines. Discovered by a 
Scottish patrol, he was returned to safety and 
later sent stateside to recuperate. It was dur- 
ing that hiatus he met a dark-haired 
Massachusetts lass named Mary Mungovan, 
who would later become his wife. 

The couple returned to Champaign, with 
William taking a position at the News Gazette. 
Eventually, however, he returned to southern 
Illinois and his father's publication. Grayville 
was, after all, his hometown, and the Mercury- 
Independent had become a family tradition. 

Back at home, William continued to run 
the newspaper after his father's death in 1968, 
until his own demise from cancer and a heart 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

26 



T II E SKI L F \ II I L V 

William became a fixture in Grayville, putting out the town's home paper, 

serving as lire chief fur 33 years and raising three children — 

sons John and Patrick, and daughter Donna. 

W.S. Seil also earned the distinction oi "Master Editor." and pided 

the newspaper to several SIEA and Illinois Press Association awards. 



attack on June 21, 1987. During those years, 
he became a fixture in Grayville, putting out 
the town's home paper, serving as fire chief 
for 33 years and raising three children — 
sons John and Patrick, and daughter Donna. 
W.S. Seil also earned the distinction of 
"Master Editor," and guided the newspaper to 
several SIEA and Illinois Press Association 
awards. 

William Seil and long-time Albion Journal- 
Register publisher Dean Bunting jointly creat- 
ed the Prairie Post in 1981. While it served 
primarily as an area shopper, it also became 
known as the carrier of feature articles chron- 
icling the obvious and obscure happenings 
and inhabitants of southeastern Illinois. "At 
that point it was envisioned as more entertain- 
ing than anything," Patrick recalls. "Good 
news to make readers feel good." 

After William's death, the fate of the 
Mercury-Independent fell to his heirs. With lit- 
tle available cash, the paper was viewed as the 
last asset that could be liquidated to close out 
the late publisher's estate. It was sold to 
Bunting in 1988, who shordy thereafter sold it 
to Hollinger International, a Canadian-based 
conglomerate then actively buying up commu- 
nity newspapers throughout Illinois. Hollinger 
took possession of not only the Mercury- 
Independent, but also of the Albion Journal- 
Register and Prairie Post. Ironically, it was that 
year the Grayville paper claimed the Illinois 
Press Association's Verle V. Kramer Trophy 
— state recognition for outstanding accom- 



plishment by a small weekly. 

Patrick Seil, a 1981 journalism graduate of 
the U. of I., was the only one of William S. 
Seil's children to remain in journalism and 
returned to Grayville after graduation to work 
alongside his father. Patrick Seil continued as 
editor of the Mercury-Independent until 
January 1990, when he accepted a position 
with the Fairfield-based Wayne County Press. 
As reporter and photographer in Fairfield, he 
primarily covered "sports and courts." It 
proved to be an instrumental period for him. 
Despite having grown up in, and cutting his 
journalistic teeth on, the family business, he 
still admits he earned a good education at the 
Press. "And it gave me a realistic business 
model to aspire to," he says. 

His desire to return to the helm and 
reclaim family history was sparked in April 
1995 at an SIEA meeting in Carbondale. 
Patrick joined a group of 60 other newspaper 
people, most of them owners of their own 
publications. He sat there thinking "Self, 
you're no longer one of those guys. 

"So, I went home and whined bitterly to 
JoEUen (the former JoEUen Gaither, whom he 
married in 1985), who basically proceeded to 
tell me to do something about it," he says. 
"And that's when the great adventure began." 

He decided to begin another newspaper 
from scratch. Leaving the Press, he hit the 
bricks during the dog days of July and August 
1995 and began peddling subscriptions up and 
down the streets. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

27 



THE S E I L FAMILY 



With about $75,000 from small business and city revolving loans, the Migator 

was born. That money leased a building, bought three computers, printer, scanner, 

Ikon camera and developing tanks, among other things. Patrick Sei I knew then it 

was important to try and keep ahead of the technological curve. 



* 



With about $75,000 from small business 
and city revolving loans, the Navigator was 
born. That money leased a building, bought 
three computers, printer, scanner, Nikon cam- 
era and developing tanks, among other 
things. Seil knew then it was important to try 
and keep ahead of the technological curve. 

However, " The first issue was a gut- 
wrenching nightmare," Patrick recalls. 
"Everything that could go wrong went 
wrong." In fact, the new publisher at one point 
threatened to throw himself in the drink — 
the now stagnant bend of the Wabash River. 
Deadlines were missed, papers were late, and 
paperboys had gone home. Friends and fami- 
ly pitched in to toss the tabloid-sized publica- 
tion onto lawns — whether or not their own- 
ers were subscribers. That was Aug. 30, 1995. 

Many long nights and weeks were to fol- 
low building the newspaper's readership and 
advertising base. It was obviously time well 
invested, and apparent when in April 1996 
Hollinger's regional manager contacted 
Patrick hoping to sell him the old Mercury- 
Independent. Finally reaching a figure within 
his means, the youngest child of William 
reclaimed the family legacy. However, his new 
paper was doing too much business under the 
Navigator name to return to the old flag. Still, 
the acquisition was sentimentally satisfying, 
and the pot was made sweeter when Liberty 
Group Publishing, the successor to Hollinger, 
sold Seil the Albion Journal-Register and 
Prairie Post in July 1998. But it was a mixed 
bag. 

"On one hand it was great, because I was 
reunited with my old mentor (Bunting)," 



according to Patrick. "But the old building 
was in bad shape, equipment was antiquated, 
there was no staff, and there was only one 
point-and-shoot camera in the place." The AJR 
had fallen on hard times, with little advertis- 
ing base. It and the Post were diminished to 
only four pages each week. 

Seil folded the titles of the two paid news- 
papers into The Navigator & Journal-Register, 
paying homage to the history of the Albion 
paper, established in 1869. Eventually, the 
staff and buildings melded into one operation, 
with the Albion office serving as the primary 
business and editorial department and the 
Grayville facility focused on production. The 
NJR and the Post are printed off-site by the 
Olney Daily Mail. 

The Navigator put together a string of 
three consecutive first place awards for gener- 
al excellence in the annual SIEA Better 
Newspaper Contest, scoring in the small 
weekly category in 1998 and in the large 
weekly division in 1999 and 2000. 

On Jan. 1, 2001, Seil strengthened his prod- 
uct by taking on a partner, well-known com- 
munity newspaper publisher Jerry Reppert of 
Anna. Reppert, who would provide managerial 
expertise to the newly formed S&R Media, 
LLC, is a past SIEA and IPA president; is on 
the board of directors of the National 
Newspaper Association and chairman of the 
Illinois Press Foundation. 

The Navigator & Journal-Register now 
publishes an average of 22 pages per week, 
its news and advertising content expanded 
regionally around the central towns of 
Albion and Grayville. Circulation has grown 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

28 



T II E S E I L F \ M I I. V 




Patrick and JoEllen Seil with their daughter Jessica 

"You'll never learn as much as yon do from losing everything. And it's satisfying 
because I've reclaimed those touchstones that were so much a pail of my life." 



'« 



to 3,400. The Prairie Post has become a 
major area advertising vessel, and goes into 
13,100 homes each week. Insert business 
has grown nicely, according to Seil, and the 
company continues to take on more com- 
mercial design and specialty publication 
work. The staff, counted on one hand in the 
early days of the Navigator, has expanded to 
nine full-time employees, and four part-time. 
Seil is fond of saying, "I've always been for- 
tunate to find the best people at the best 
times." 

Patrick Seil has known from a young age 



that journalism was in his blood, though he 
never dreamed the trials he would endure to 
re-establish the family business. "But there is 
something to be said for building from 
scratch," he says. "You'll never learn as much 
as you do from losing everything. And it's sat- 
isfying because I've reclaimed those touch- 
stones that were so much a part of my life." 
It's been a meandering path for Seil and 
his newspaper. Nevertheless, with a cargo of 
history and a bow turned toward the future, 
it's now the Navigator & Journal-Register's 
time to sail. 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

29 



CELEBRATING I L L IN I S N E U S P A P E R S ' II E R I T A G E 



Contributors: 

PADDOCK FAMILY 

Jim Cook, Joel Reese, Ginny Lee 

Photos courtesy of the Daily Herald. 

LEWIS FAMILY 

Greg Bilbrey 

Photos courtesy of the Robinson Daily News. 

CAMPBELL FAMILY 

Bruce Campbell, Julie Boren 

Photos courtesy of the Campbell family and The Calhoun News. 

SEIL FAMILY 

Leandra Sullivan 

Photos courtesy of the Seil family. 

Chapter based on the book, "Country Editor — Influence 

of a Weekly Newspaper," written by Robert G. Hays, and published in 1974 

by The Interstate Printers & Publishers, Inc. of Danville. 

Printed by Havana Printing, Havana, Illinois 
Editor/designer: Mike Miner 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

30 



I E L E II II ■* T I M « I I I I V II I S \ I! \\ S I' I I' E I! S II E II I T I I, i: 



FAMILY LEGACIES 

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 



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