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Full text of "Family traditions : celebrating Illinois newspaper history"

amily Traditions 




Celebrating Illinois 
Newspaper History 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

2 



Family Traditions 




Celebrating Illinois 
Newspaper History 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 



Foreword 



It has been more than two years since the Illinois Press Association dedicated its 
beautiful headquarters on June 22, 2000. Its existence stands as a testament of 
the strength of Illinois newspapers. In the two years since then, many changes 
have taken place in the Illinois newspaper business. But, the IPA's commitment 
to its members and the bedrock spirit of community journalism remains strong. 
When the IPA building was constructed, we were fortunate to have the financial 
support of many members. At the time, one of those contributors was Shaw 
Newspapers based in Dkon/Sterling. As part of its gift, the Shaw family asked that 
we continue to honor the importance of Illinois newspaper families and community 
journalism. 

Initially, we produced a book titled "Family Values" to honor six newspaper families. 
Those sbc families — McCormick, Copley, Chinigo, Shaw, Macfarland and Small — 
represented the most generous donors to the building project, and their support of 
the IPA has continued since then. 

We are proud to offer the second publication to honor Illinois newspaper families - 
appropriately titled "Family Traditions." This successor to the inaugural book chroni- 
cles the history and contributions of four families. Included are the Bliss family of 
Hillsboro and the Montgomery County News, the Jenison family of the Paris Beacon- 
News, the Jones family of Virden and Gold Nugget Publications, and the Oakley and 
Lindsay families ofTJie Quincy Herald-Whig. 

Each of these families is rich in tradition. Each offers unique contributions to the 
grovi1;h and historical heritage of the state of Illinois. Very few professions are more 
intertwined in the social, cultural and historical fiber of Illinois communities than are 
newspapers. These four families and their newspapers are wonderful examples of 
that bond that exists between newspapers and the people they serve. 

We are very proud to make this latest chapter of Illinois family journalism available 
for your reading enjoyment. I am sure you will find the lives and contributions of 
these men and women, past and present, both rewarding and interesting. 

David L. Bennett 

Executive Director, Illinois Press Association 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

4 



^ I \ - f I J 



^'^^ Table of Contents 



The Bliss Familj 6-11 

The Jenison Family 12-17 

The Jones Family 18-23 

The Oakleys and Lindsays 24-29 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

5 



THE BLISS F A II I L V 




The News building on Sept. 2, 1909, during an exhibit ofBuicks on Courthouse Square. 

% % It was my innate sin that kept me from being 
a missionary or a preacher. I never intended 
to be either. I wanted to be a jonrnalist. ^ % 

—C.W. Bliss ^ ^ 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 




Charles Wesley "CW Bliss. 1846-1931 



I! I I S S F 1 H I I, V 

The Montgomery 
Coun^ IVews and 
the Bliss family 

Sometimes a story doesn't begin at 
the beginning — it begins later, after 
several chapters have been written to 
set the scene. So it is with The 
Montgomery County News. 

The direct ancestor of today's 
Montgomery News goes back to the period 
shortly after the Civil War. Charles L and 
Emma Bangs founded a small paper in 
Hillsboro, Illinois, in 1869 called the 
Hillsboro News Letter. Uncertain finances 
made publishing a newspaper a difficult 
occupation. The paper went through a suc- 
cession of owners until in February 1892, 
CW. Bliss purchased The Montgomery 
News. Since then, it has been all bliss. 

Asked later in life why he didn't become 
a missionary or foUow in the footsteps of 
his father, a circuit riding Methodist minis- 
ter. CW replied, "It was my innate sin that 
kept me fi-om being a missionary or a 
preacher. I never intended to be either 1 
wanted to be a journalist When I found I 
would have to buy a paper to be one, and 
didn't have the money, I studied law, but it 
was darn near the last resort with me." 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 



THE BLISS FAMILY 



Since that first paper on Febmaiy 15, 1892, a Bliss has heen editor or publisher of 

The^ews. For 110 years, tlie Bliss family has been intimately involved in writing, 

producing and often even delivering die newspaper tbey have created. 



C.W. had received a classical education from 
McKendree College in Lebanon. He taught 
school for two years at Hardin and at the same 
time "read law" at the firm of Irwin and Krone in 
Edwardsville. He was admitted to the bar in 1871 
and opened a law office in Hillsboro. Charles and 
Emma Bangs were among his first friends in 
Hillsboro. 

C.W. practiced law for 20 years, proba- 
bly keeping the News Letter in the 
back of his mind, and then, as he 
approached middle age, 
changed course and finally 
found a pulpit he could occu 
py, the editor's chair of a 
community newspaper 

From his first issue C.W. 
was immersed in the news 
business. It would be an all- 
consuming passion for 
him, for his son, his two 
grandsons and now his 
great-granddaughter Since 
that first paper on February 
15, 1892, a Bliss has been edi- 
tor or publisher of TTie News. 
For 110 years, the Bliss family 
has been intimately involved in 
writing, producing and often even 
delivering the newspaper they have 
created. 

While C.W. was the first, he was 
joined very soon by his son, Clint. 
The younger Bliss, unlike his schol- 
arly father, was "allergic" to school. 
He enjoyed pets and animals and kept many. He 
even taught a crow to talk. 

One day in February 1892, Clint, who had 
trouble with one teacher in particular, irritated 
her enough so that she reached into his coat 
pocket to see what he had hidden there. She 
found "a mess of wriggling white rats," he 




Clinton Phillips Bliss, 
1875-1958 



recalled. The next day, at the age of 16, he joined 
his father in the newspaper business, starting as 
a printer's devO. 

Clint stayed with his father only a short time 
before furthering his education at Morgan Park 
Seminary near Chicago and later at Austin 
College in Effingham, where his grandparents, 
the Rev. and Mrs. Alfred Bliss lived. Clint did see 
a bit of the world before settling back at 
the paper He served as a secretary to 
U.S. Senator Ben F. Caldwell in 
Springfield and then went to 
Washington to serve as secre- 
tary to Judge Thomas M. Jett, 
a member of Congress. 

He returned to Hillsboro 
and the newspaper in 1903 
and except for an eight-year 
stint as assistant director of 
the Department of 
Education and Registration 
under Illinois Gov. Henry 
Horner, Clint remained 
active until failing health 
forced him to retire. 
The third generation, 
Tliomas and Robert, enjoyed the 
longest span of being in the news- 
paper business. They both were car- 
rier boys from the age of six, getting 
their first jobs at the paper during 
World War I. Tom retired after near- 
ly 50 years in the business and Bob, 
even at the age of 90, still occasion- 
ally produces a column. He says 
that in his long, productive life, he has had only 
one employer, TTie News. 

The fourth generation, Nancy Bliss Slepicka, 
daughter of Bob and Patricia Bliss, often said in 
her early years that she would never return to 
Hillsboro to work for the newspaper. After grad- 
uating from Northwestern University, not in 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 



T im: b I, I s s f \ )\ I I. V 




Thomas Albert Bliss, 
1908-1985 




Hubert Revmilds Bliss, 
age 90 



Each generation overlapped with the 
previous, (lint shared his lather's love 
ol writing, o( writing the news. The 
two worked side bv side lor nearly oO 
years, until t.W. died on Oi toher 22, 
19:]1. Both Tom and Bob began tull- 
time involvement with the business at 
about the same time, in the earlv 
1930s. The\ shared the work with 
their father except lor the period he 
worked in Springfield. 



journalism, she and her husband, Richard, 
began graduate school in California. But when 
Nancy was informed that her uncle Tom was 
retiring, the couple moved back to "give the 
paper a try." TTiey worked for The News for two 
years, took a year off to do some traveling, and 
since 1974, they, too, have been totally involved 
with TIte News. 

Each generation overlapped with the previ- 
ous. Clint shared his father's love of writing the 
news. The two worked side by side for nearly 
30 years, until C.W. died on October 22, 1931. 
Both Tom and Bob began fuO-time involvement 
with the business at about the same time, in the 
early 1930s. They shared the work with their 
father except for the period he worked in 
Springfield. 

Clint died on December 29, 1953. 
Parkinson's disease had made it impossible for 
him to work after 1951. but he still made almost 
daily visits to the office. 

Tom worked with Bob until January 1970, 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 



THE B I, I S S FAMILY 



W 



Perhaps it was inevitable tiiat Nancy, too, would ultimately carry on after her 

father and uncle. Her birthday, February 15, could have been considered an omen. 

When C.W. Bliss walked into The^msQilm February 15, 1892, to begin work 

on his first issue of the newspaper, be probably little expected 
that four generations later, the family would still be at the same old stand. 



when he stepped down to enjoy a few years at a 
less hectic pace. During his retirement, Tom 
wrote one book and nearly completed a second. 
He also wrote a personal memoir for his children 
and other members of the family. 

The book he finished, 'The Goose 
Bone Papers," is a biography of 
grandfather, C.W. Bliss, told by 
Tom using material C.W. had 
written for the paper. The per- 
sonal memoir, "Big Shoes to 
Fill" is also about relation- 
ships, of the sons and 
grandsons to the work of 
C.W. and Clint. Tom's sec- 
ond book, "Hillsboro, A 
History," was nearly com- 
plete prior to his death and 
was subsequently finished 
by his wife, Dorothy. 

Bob has been a witness 
to one of the great centuries. 
As a young boy he enjoyed tin 
kering with machines, and 
when he and Tom became part 
ners in The News business, it was 
Bob who maintained the letterpress 
equipment, while Tom walked Main 
Street selling advertising. Both were 
skilled writers, often injecting the 
famous Bliss humor that had been a 
trademark of the paper since C.W.'s first issue. 

Nancy has overseen the conversion of the 
newspaper from letterpress to photo typesetting 
and later to computer desktop publishing. She 
has worked in all phases of the business, from 
billing to production to delivery. In addition to 
her responsibilities as publisher, she produces 



many of the photos seen in the paper, reports 
and writes, and when the week is over, does pay- 
roll and other bookkeeping. 

C.W was honored after his death by being 
named to the Editors' Hall of Fame at the 
University of Illinois, an honor he shares 
with Joseph M. Medill, Elijah P. 
Lovejoy and E.W Scripps. His 
involvement with the Illinois 
Press Association was carried 
on by his family, especially 
Bob Bliss, who was IPA presi- 
dent in 1971 and was named 
Illinois Editor of the Year in 
1971. 

Bob and Tom were both 

named Master Editors by 

the Southern Illinois Press 

Association in 1968. Their 

photos in the SIU Journalism 

School Hall of Fame were 

recently joined by one of 

Nancy Bliss Slepicka, named a 

Master Editor in 2001. 

Both Nancy and her father have 

served on the board of directors of the 

International Society of Weekly 

Nancy Bliss Slepicka. Newspaper Editors, and she is slated 

aee 55 ^^ "^ president m 2002-03. She and 

Clyde Wills of the Metropolis Planet 

will host the Society's 50th aimiver- 

sary conference at Pere Marquette State Park, 

where early ISWNE meetings were held. 

Perhaps it was inevitable that Nancy, too, 
would ultimately carry on after her father and 
uncle. Her birthday, February 15, could have 
been considered an omen. When C.W. Bliss 
walked into Tlie News office February 15, 1892, 




FAMILY TRADITIONS 

10 



T II h: BLISS F A M I L V 




The News building today houses the newspaper office and So Many Books, a retail store selling new books, maga- 
zines and daily newspapers, that is owned and operated by Vie Montgomery County News. 



to begin work on his first issue of the newspaper, 
he probably little expected that four generations 
later, the family would still be at the same old 
stand. In fact, since 1895, the Blisses have been 
reporting to work in the very same building. 

In those 110 years, they have reported on the 
happenings of the community, the folly and the 
failures, the feats and good fortune of their 
neighbors and friends. 

The Blisses have never failed to speak out 
when they believed it necessary. They have lost 
subscribers and advertisers when publishing 



news their associates and even friends didn't 
want in the paper, but they never lost the respect 
of the community. 

Will a fifth generation carry on the family tra- 
dition? Nancy and Richard's son, Pavel, is a 
senior majoring in journalism at Southern 
Illinois University, Carbondale, but he is not yet 
ready to choose what he knows could be a full- 
time, lifelong commitment. Regardless, Tlie 
Montgomery County News as published by the 
Bliss family is enjoying a good run. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

11 



T HE J F] .^ I S ^ V A Itl I I. V 




The Paris Daily Beacon composing room in the late 1890s 

Paris Beacon-News 
and the Jenison family 

The Paris Daily Beacon-News (in 2002) observes its 154tli anniversary. We are one of 
the disappearing number of family-owned independent small daily newspapers in 
Illinois — and the nation. The Jenison family has been at the helm as owners and 
hands-on managers of the newspaper for 76 of those years, or about half the life of 
the publication. 

TTie newspaper started as the weekly Prairie Beacon in 1848. This was just 25 years 
after the community of Paris was founded as the county seat of the new (1823) Edgar 
County. It was the second attempt at publishing a newspaper in the small village, and the 
first one to succeed. Advocating the Whig party, it switched to the new Republican party 
and vigorously supported the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln whose career as a circuit 
lawyer included Paris and Edgar County. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

12 



T II i: .) v. V I S \ ¥ \ )\ \ I \ 



In 1888 the newspaper began a six-day daily 
publication, in addition to continuing the "Semi- 
Weekly Beacon. "It also moved into its own two- 
story brick building, which continues as part of 
today's newspaper plant. As was the case for 
many county seat newspapers, the site chosen 
was a half block from the courthouse, a half 
block from the main train station, and a half 
block from the post office. 

The newspaper started under Jacob Harding, 
a Tennessee printer who desired to move west. 
His late 19th century descendent, A Austin 
Harding, began his musical career widi the 
Beacon Drum & Bugle Corps, and ended it 
as a famed bandmaster at the University 
of Illinois. He was a contemporary and 
friend of John Philip Sousa. Harding 
is credited with developing the first 
college marching band - now the 
nationally-famous Marching Illini. 

hi 1898 the Paris Beacon 
Publishing Co., Inc., a stock cor- 
poration, was formed. It continues 
today, with all shares family 
owned. 

Ernest M. Jenison began his 
newspaper career in the later years 
of the 19th century in Iowa and even 
tually became editor and minority 
owner of the Fon du Lac (Wisconsin) 
Daily Commonwealth. The majority 
stockholder sold his interests to a rival 
daily and Jenison chose to dispose of 
his holdings at the same time, rather than go to 
work for his staffs old rival. 

With this income he searched for a small 
daily newspaper to own and improve, investigat- 
ing properties in Iowa, Missouri (where he 
owned farm property) and Illinois. The choice 
was the Paris Daily Beacon whose majority own- 
ers were ready to retire. The purchase was com- 
pleted in 1926 in a community with three news- 
papers — the afternoon Daily Beacon, 
Republican in political advocacy; the Paris Daily 
News, a morning paper strongly Democratic; 
and the weekly Paris Herald, also leaning 
toward the Democratic party. 

Jenison retained F. M. Leath, one of the previ- 
ous owners, as editor and set about to bring the 
Beacon up to "metropolitan" standards. He pur- 
chased a used 16-page Goss semi-cylindrical 
press from the neighboring Danville 
Commercial-News, which had outgrovm its 




E.M. Jenison 



capacity. E. M. Jenison added a full-time United 
Press "wire" service. Cfrculation was aggressive- 
ly expanded into nearby counties and communi- 
ties without daily newspapers. The nearest daily 
competition was Champaign, Danville, and the 
two dailies in Terre Haute, Ind. 

Within a year, E. M. Jenison had also pur- 
chased the rival Paris Daily News and combined 
the papers into the present Beacon-News. When 
the depression struck, the Herald ceased publi- 
cation although remaining in business as a com- 
mercial printer Maurice "Bud" Wittick, a son of 
the Herald owners, later became sports editor 
for the new Beacon-News, a position he 
held for a half century despite being 
confined to a wheelchafr since his 
high school days. 

The merger of the papers, 
expansion of business and cir- 
culation, and the need to add 
regional news coverage caused 
E. M. Jenison to ask his son 
Edward to join him in Paris, 
shifting Ed's study of journal- 
ism from the University of 
Wisconsin to on-the-job training 
with his father 
Ed Jenison joined the paper as 
reporter, sports writer, cfrculation 
route driver, and whatever other 
chores his father thought to assign. 
The accelerated "college of practical 
knowledge" proved to be fortunate. 
Just two years after a completely rebuilt and 
fully modernized Beacon-News building was 
opened in 1936, E. M. Jenison died suddenly. He 
left behind a solid foundation and guide for a 
modern community newspaper, both in editorial 
philosophy and in technology. 

The economic depression in the 1930s did 
not prevent investment in the paper The 1936 
remodeling resulted in a modern "art deco" 
exterior, walnut-paneled interior, and a sfream- 
lined production layout. All of this continued in 
efficient use imtil the change to offset printing in 
the 1970s. 

E. M. Jenison's widow, Mary Lamb Jenison, 
served as publisher until her death at age 100 in 
1972. Ed Jenison became editor in 1938 and in 
1939 was joined by his sister. Ernestine Jenison, 
as associate publisher and business manager 
Another sister. Marguerite Pease of Urbana, was 
dfrector of the Illinois Historical Survey at the 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

13 



T II e J f. .\ I S \ F A M I I Y 



II 11 II J 

= THE KEA^ON-NEWS ^M 


t 


— ^ ^PT H 


i' 




■ 


1=^1 ..«-vi*^ 


M H 


III 




ui 







77?? Paris Beacon-News staff celebrates the opening of the remodeled and modernized newspaper office in 
1936, featuring an art-deco structural glass exterior A Western Union-controlled clock is over the entrance. 
Publisher E.M. Jennison is standing left, with his son Edjenison. 



University of Illinois for many years. She also 
served as an associate publisher. By 1940, Ed 
Jenison's son "Ned" began "hanging out" as a 
printer's devil in the back shop. 

World War II caused major changes for both 
the family and the newspaper — as it did for 
families and businesses throughout the nation. 

In the spring of 1942 Ed Jenison volunteered 
for the U. S. Navy and soon was in officers' train- 
ing at Quonset Point, R. I. This left his sister 
Ernestine, men over the age limit, and a number 
of women, to maintain publication. Ed and family 
moved to Washington, D.C. for the duration 
while he alternated between sea duty aboard air- 
craft carriers in the Pacific, and Office of Naval 
Intelligence assignments in Washington. 

The floodlights that illuminated the "new" 
building since 1936 were turned off and the 
paper tightened its belt for wartime. Then, late 
in 1943, disaster struck. 



About 5 a.m. on Nov. 2 the Beacon s janitor 
opened the building, lighted the gas fire which 
melted the lead used to cast the 50-pound page 
plates for the press, and started his cleaning 
duties. Moments later he heard a "whoosh," and 
found the entire pressroom in flames. A fire 
door and brick construction of the original two- 
story building which housed the business and 
editorial departments saved It, but the onestory 
frame building housing the composing room 
and press was totally destroyed. The fire was so 
Intense that lead in galleys of type and the brass 
linotype matrix flowed like water. Six Unotypes, 
all associated production equipment, job printing 
equipment, and the Goss press were in ruins. 

But, the Beacon published Its Saturday edi- 
tion that day — a one-sheet, two-page paper by 
courtesy of the weekly Kansas (111.) Journal 
plant, 15 miles away. 

On Monday, fellow publisher Ben Wler and 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

14 



T II K J K .\ I S \ I \ M 1 I V 



his Charleston Courier came to the rescue. One 
linotype was returned to service and relocated 
in a neighboring shop. Pages were locked up in 
Paris, carefully loaded onto trucks and driven 30 
miles to Charleston, which printed the Paris 
Beacon-News after the Courier's run was com- 
plete. 

Despite the wartime shortages, the Beacon- 
News received a top priority for rebuilding. 
Newspapers were judged essential to keeping 
the public informed of the war effort. Remains 
of the press were disassembled, loaded onto flat- 
cars, and shipped to the Goss plant in Chicago. 
Additional production equipment was found, a 
temporary composing room was set up in an 
adjacent building, and contractors started to 
rebuild the composing room and pressroom - 
this time with fireproof materials. 

In just over four months, Goss shipped back 
a rebuilt press. A new on^story concrete and 
masonry building replaced the charred remains, 
and the Beacon production staff moved back 
home. 

Victory in the Pacific sent all the naval 
reservists, including Lt. Cmdr. Ed Jenison, back 
to civilian life — but not necessarily to resume 
life as editor of the Beacon-News. Before the war, 
Ed had been active in several statewide organi- 
zations including the Illinois State Chamber of 
Commerce, and tlie Inland Daily Newspaper 
Markets, which promoted newspaper advertis- 
ing. In 1945 veteran Congresswoman Jessie 
Sumner from Vermilion County, just north of 
Paris, armounced her decision to retire and sug- 
gested Ed Jenison as a candidate to run for her 
seat The 23rd district, centered around 
Vermilion and Edgar counties on tlie north, 
Effingham, Crawford and Lawrence to the 
south, was considered a strong Republican dis- 
trict. Ed Jenison depended on the party to 
secure his nomination, but was discharged in 
time to campaign for the fall election. He won a 
seat in the 80th Congress — but with Harry 
Truman as president, not Tom Dewey as was 
generally predicted. 

Ed Jenison served tliree terms in Congress 
and still maintained his supervision of the news- 
paper — half a year in Washington, half back in 
Paris. Meanwhile Ernestine Jenison continued 
the "hands on" management in the office. Ed's 
son Edward "Ned" Jenison headed toward third- 
generation participation by enrolling at the 
University of Illinois to major in journalism and 
minor in political science and history. 

In the 1950 census, Illinois lost a congres- 




Ed Jenison, editor from 1936-1996, editor and 
publisher from 1962-1996 



Despite wartime shortaoes. the 

Bea('on-]ens\'m'\\d a top priorit} 

lor rebuilding. Newspapers were 

judged essential to keeping 

the publii inloruied 

of the war elToil 



sional district, and the redrawn map merged the 
23rd district with a predominately Democratic 
district reaching well into south and southwest 
Illinois. The district had a popular and veteran 
Democratic incumbent. It was a close election in 
1952, but the new district remained Democratic, 
and Ed Jenison returned to just newspaper pub- 
lishing - briefly. 

hi 1960 Gov. William Stratton appointed Ed to 
complete a term as director of the Illinois 
Department of Finance. Ed also served two 
terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, 
elected once during the infamous "at large" bal- 
loting when the General Assembly was unable 
to agree on new districts. He also served as a 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

15 



THE J K \ I S \ P A M I L V 




Ernestine Jenison, associate publisher 
from 1938-1994 



delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention 
in 1970, which met in the historic old state capi- 
tol in Springfield. 

Ned Jenison graduated in 1954 with a journal- 
ism degree, and four enjoyable years on the 
Daily Illini. He got married (three days before 
commencement), and entered the U. S. Army 
for two years duty. Ned was assigned, with rare 
good judgment on the Army's part, to intelli- 
gence interviews back in his alternate home 
town (1944-52) of Washington, D. C. His son 
Edward Kevin, who was to become the fourth 
generation managing the Beacon-News, took his 
first steps on the lawn at Mt. Vernon. Resisting 
all offers to "re-up" with the Army, Ned, wife 
Margaret and sons Kevin and Jim returned to 
Illinois. Although he planned to rejoin the family 
paper, Ned heeded his father's advise to "work 
for someone else" and, hopefully, learn a bit 
more pracdcal journalism. He accepted the 
opening as Farm Editor with the lindsey-Shaub- 
owned Urbana Courier and moved back to 
Champaign for two years. The most valuable 
result was a two-year study under Courier editor 
Bob Sink, a gaunt, driven journalist whose joy 
was the batde against the larger, and better 
financed, News-Gazette. Sink was a real-life char- 
acter straight out of the "Front Page." 

Ned Jenison returned to the Beacon-News in 
1959 as reporter and photographer, a step up 



fj-om previous duties as a "printers' devil." By 
1970 it was evident the old Goss letterpress had 
neither sufficient capacity nor reliability to live 
forever, and the choice was replacement with a 
newer letterpress, or to join the trend toward 
"offset," with the availability of the new small 
press lines, primarily from Goss and King. Ned 
Jenison was handed the task to research, plan 
and design the paper's first major production 
investinent since the tape-fed "Electron" linotype 
had arrived a decade earlier. The completed 
plan involved purchase of two adjoining busi- 
ness buildings and construction of a new press- 
room, purchase of a Goss six-unit Community 
press with double folder, and all the associated 
"first generation" equipment needed to "go off- 
set." One marvel of this new electronic age was 
the Compugraphic high-speed phototypesetter 
— a mysterious contraption of flashing lights 
and spinning tape that came complete with a 
suitcase-full of repair and support parts. When it 
was up and running it could "set" 60 lines a 
minute of "straight matter." 

The Beacon-News ran its final edition on the 
Goss rotary press on Saturday, April 13, 1974, 
and using its saine, but retrained production 
staff, successfully printed the first offset edition, 
complete with a process-color cover page, on 
Monday, April 15. 

Ernestine Jenison died at age 95 in 1994, and 
Ed Jenison died June 25, 1996, after a brief bout 
with cancer. He remained active at the paper 
each day through early spring, and signed his 
final payroll just two weeks before the end of his 
newspaper career Currentiy Ned Jenison 
serves as editor and publisher. His son Kevin 
Jenison joined the paper after studying journal- 
ism at Indiana State University, Terre Haute. He 
was editor of the college newspaper his junior 
year, and had the good foresight to "demote" 
himself to sports editor his senior year and trav- 
el with Larry Bird and team on the road to the 
NCAA championship game in Salt Lake City. 
Kevin Jenison is currentiy an associate publish- 
er, general manager — and technology expert 
for the newspaper. 

Ed Jenison's widow, Barbara, is active at age 
93 at the fainily home in Paris. She, together 
with Ned Jenison, and his sons Kevin, James 
and Stephen, currentiy comprise the Beacon 
Publishing Company board of directors. 

Ed Jenison had a personality far from the 
fiery and fractious editors of the 19th century. 
He presented a quiet, steadfast and determined 
outiook to help make Paris a better community. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

16 



T H K J K \ I S \ F A M I L \ 




The Jenisoii family looks over the first offset edition published April 15, 1974. From left, front row, are 
associate publishers Ernestine Jenison and Marguerite Jenison Pease, Mrs. Ed (Barbara) Jettison, 
and publisher Ed Jenison. Standing back, at right, is Edjenison's son Ned, and left, Ned's son Kevin, 
now the third and fourth generations managing the newspaper 



quick to praise and support good causes, slow to 
condemn and often a quieting influence on con- 
troversy. He was always modest about his own 
accomplishments, but others spoke for him. 
United Press-International recognized Ed 
Jenison as Illinois Editor of the Year in 1982. TTie 
Southern Illinois Editorial Association followed 
several years later by naming Ed a "Master 
Editor." Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson announced 
Paris would be the site for a new Department of 
Corrections Work Camp, a major economic 
boost for the area, and added that it would be 
named the "Ed Jenison Work Camp" in recogni- 
tion for Ed's service to the community and the 
state. Ed was gracious in thanking the governor, 
and added, "I guess as long as it has "work" in its 
title, it will be OK" 

The Beacon-News, like many smaller 
papers, has been the training ground for jour- 
nalists advancing their careers, and Ed 
Jenison was proud of his "alums." Among 
them were Bill Allen, a UI journalism gradu- 



ate who started on the "Beacon," moved on to 
the Champaign News-Gazette, and then 
became Secretary of Information for the 
Illinois Agricultural Association. Joe Sims, 
another journalism grad from Paris, started 
with the Beacon-News, and then joined United 
Press-International to become its leading 
South American bureau staffer Chris Sprague 
became an editor for the Kankakee Daily 
Journal. The list is extensive. 

The future for small, independendy-owned 
newspapers is challenging, to say the least 'The 
important thing to keep in mind," Ned Jenison 
reminds the staff, "is that we are in the informa- 
tion business, not necessarily the 'newspaper' 
business. People are always going to demand 
information, especially in close-knit communities 
found in east-central Illinois. We have the infor- 
mation-gathering skill and technology'. How the 
product gets delivered will be determined by the 
future. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

17 



r li K J ^ K S V A W I L V 




Charles Jones with his sons Nathan, Norris and Martin 

The Jones Family 
Mines a Gold AIngget 

If it hadn't been for a dry season and a failed crop, these descendents of Norris Goode 
might still be farming the land in North Macoupin County. Instead, they are heirs to 
a newspaper tradition that goes back almost 100 years. They have carried the mantle 
well, spawning Gold Nugget Publications, a family-run newspaper chain that now 
spans four generations. 

In 1903, while still in high school, Goode learned to set type at The Palmyra Transcript. 
Two years later, he responded to a call for help from The Carlinville Democrat when its 
labor force went on strike. "I learned quite a bit in the short time I was there, " he later 
related to a colleague in detailing his early years in the business. "I went to Girard and 
worked with Fred Tipton on The Girard Gazette from 1905 to 1906. Wanderlust took me to 
Tucumcari, New Mexico to visit a chum. I worked there a few months, then came home to 
help my parents on the farm." 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

18 



T II i: .1 \ K S F A H I I V 



of 



Drought and crop failure convinced him that 
"printing couldn't be worse than that," so he took 
off for Seattle to brush up on his typesetting 
skills. He served as foreman in a small newspaper 
office in Columbia Station, a Seattle suburb, and 
in 1910, went to linotype school in San Francisco. 
"TTie first job I was sent to was at Klamath Falls, 
Oregon. I did my assignment there and returned 
to the Bay Area where the International 
Typographical Union kept me busy so that I did- 
n't go hungry, long at a time. I came back to the 
land of my birth and took my "best girl" as my 
bride for a wedding trip to California." 

He and his bride, Sarah A. Smith 
Palmyra, tried farming for three years, but 
gave up after three years of drought. He 
left the farm in North Otter and 
moved to Virden in April 1916, buy- 
ing The Virden Reporter. In 1921, he 
and a partner, John Campbell, 
bought a competing newspaper, 
The Record and consolidated the 
two publications into one, renam- 
ing it Tlie Virden Recorder 
Campbell, a diabetic, died a few 
months later and Goode bought his 
part of the business. Learning tliat 
Fred Tipton wanted to sell The Girard 
Gazette, he bought that in 1925. 

"In due time, I had the mechanical side 
of the publishing business of the two 
papers all done in the Virden office." He 
was the sole editor and publisher for 
nearly 32 years, retiring in March 1948 and turn- 
ing over the operation to three of his daughters. 
Shortly after his retirement at age 62, Goode 
developed glaucoma and was left totally blind. He 
remained in good spirit until his death in 1974. 

In a letter written when he was 79 to Arthur 
Strang, then secretary of the Illinois Press 
Association, Goode said he had "a lot of fun dur- 
ing my years in the business" and even though 
glaucoma "threw a monkey wrench into the 
cogs," he was "keeping up with news of the world 
through radio, magazines on record and enjoying 
the many Services for the Blind that I had no idea 
existed." 

Being an editor and publisher in Goode's day 
wasn't easy. A special supplement published in 
1998 to mark his daughter Dorothy and son-in- 
law Charles E. Jones' 50th anniversary as news- 
paper pubbshers, noted that running a newspa- 
per back then was very physical work. "Tlie news 
stories were created by a linotype that spit out a 
slug of lead for each line of t\i)e. A page of type 




Norris Goode 



weighed over 100 pounds. Newspaper owners 
knew about recycling as each week, the local staff 
re-melted that lead into new ingots to be fed into 
another issue." 

During the Depression, Goode had to aban- 
don an old, unreliable folding machine but could 
not afford a replacement His family took on "the 
laborious job of folding them by hand." Another 
Goode household tradition was proofi^eading. 
Goode would bring the galley proofs home and 
the family would pair off to read and compare 
what had been typeset to the written articles. 
'That exercise embedded an appreciation for 
accuracy, spelling, proper word usage, 
simplicity, and unambiguous writing," 
When Goode retired, three of his 
daughters — ^Annabel Goode, 
Bertha Hoeflin and Dorothy 
Jones — took over the company's 
reins. That new partnership 
expanded with the addition of 
his sons-in-law, Charles E. 
Jones and Louis Hoeflin and 
continued until September 1959 
when the Hoeflins moved to 
California and Dorothy and 
Charles Jones purchased the 
Hoeflin shares. The Joneses estab- 
lished Tlte Fartnersville Press in 
September 1964 and The Northwestern 
News in June 1969. Annabel Goode, a 
schoolteacher who moved to Hawaii 
in 1956, was a silent partner in the 
family business until her death in June, 1971. 
When Annabel died, it left Dorothy and Charles 
with sole ownership and control of four publica- 
tions. They had five children — twins ,Nathan and 
Norris, Martin, JoD and Julie — and each took 
their turn helping out with the business. The 
boys helped stack the papers just as their mother 
had done as a child. 

Jones, a Virden native, learned the printing 
business in high school, teaching his wife how to 
run the Linotype machine, something her own 
father never got around to doing. The hours were 
long and everyone worked late on press days. 
Many times, the twins, Nathan, Norris and their 
brother, Martin, slept on the front desk or on 
bundles of old newspapers while waiting for the 
press run to get underway so the twins could 
feed the folder and Martin could catch the folded 
papers. "It took a lot more hours to get the paper 
out than it does now. We used to work all night, 
one night a week, sometimes two nights a week." 
Dorothv lones recalls. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

19 



THE J .^ E S F 4 M I L ¥ 




Lou Hoeflin and Charles Jones 



In a 1992 article about the Jones family in the 
Illinois Publisher. Norris Jones remembered the 
time Nathan knocked over a California job case in 
tlie back shop of the family newspaper. "The case 
held drawers that kept the tiny bits of type used 
on the press separated. Wlien the drawers tum- 
bled out of the case, every letter, space and punc- 
tuation mark scattered on the floor like loose 
marbles. His father handed him a diagram of the 
case showing the placement of each piece of type. 
It took the seven-year-olds a week and a half to 
locate, scrutinize and return to its drawer the 
thousands of pieces of type, some barely large 
enough to read. Their father's stern and watchful 
eye told them that this was an accident to be 
remembered and not repeated." 

When Virden's Central School Building at 169 
West Jackson Street went on tlie auction block in 
November, 1965, Charles Jones was the success- 
ful bidder. After remodeling it, the Joneses 
moved into the former schoolhouse, making the 
second floor their new family residence. Offices, 
the sales area and office supplies were on the first 



floor, the presses in the basement. Dorothy and 
Charles still live on the upper floor, a collection of 
classrooms, each retaining its blackboard and 
exterior room identification number. The setting 
was familiar. Dorothy and her sibUngs attended 
school there, as well as her sons. 

In 1976, the Joneses changed the name of Tlie 
Farmersville Press to The Panhandle Press. The 
move reflected expansion of news coverage to all 
the communities served by the area school dis- 
trict, including Farmersville, Harvel, Waggoner 
and Raymond. It was in the early 70's, however, 
that Charles Jones came up with a concept that 
would eventually shape the newspaper chain's 
operations and give the company a new corporate 
image and name. Gold Nugget Publications. 

Scanrung a Metro book — which in the pre- 
computer era, provided newspaper editors and 
advertising managers with clip art — Jones spot- 
ted a small illustration that spawned one of the 
largest and most unique classified promotions 
ever run. A small pirate cartoon started Jones 
thinking about a way that he could expand both 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

20 



I II i; J \ E S F \ « I L \ 




A school group wearing pirate hats tours the mailroom. 



subscriptions and his chain's classified section. 
TTie result was Vie Gold Nugget, a weekly tabloid 
section printed on yellow newsprint. Tlie Gold 
Nugget, which then as now runs common to all 
the newspapers in the chain, was billed as sym- 
bolic of the treasure trove to be found in the want 
ads. 

As part of the promotion, Jones created a fic- 
tional cast of characters that included an old cap- 
tain, his parrot and their treasure chest of gold. 
Once the staff was sold on the idea, Jones bor- 
rowed a live green parrot to entertain children 
and put on a parrot show at local fairs. Later, the 
Joneses would own six parrots that they used in 
promoting the section. Jones also collected 
marine items such as ship lights, fish nets, trea- 
sure maps, pirate pieces of eight, barnacles, port 
holes, model sailing ships, and treasure chests, 
some of which were displayed in a Captain's 
Room at the newspaper's offices, to the delight of 
area youngsters. In short order, it became a 
prime destination for school tours, the young vis- 
itors donning paper pirate hats which Jones dis- 
tributed to mark their visit. 

With the Gold Nugget name firmly 
entrenched, in 1980 the Joneses incorporated the 
four newspapers — The Panhandle Press, The 
Virden Recorder, Tlie Northwestern News, and The 
Girard Gazette — into Gold Nugget Publications. 




The current location in the former Virden Central 
School Building 

Apart from themselves, other stockholders were 
their children. Nathan, Norris, Martin, JoD Jones 
(Apitz) and Julie Jones (\Vesterhausen). In 1984, 
Nathan. Norris, and Martin formed a separate 
corporation with two other publishers to estab- 
lish Five Star Printing, a central printing plant in 
Virden. A year later, the four-unit offset press was 
in operation alongside the Virden newspaper 
office with Marty devoting full time to its success. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

21 



T II l<] J ^ H S FAMILY 

Taking an unpopular stand is never easy for a newspaper publisher. 
When a proposal to consolidate the Virden-Girard schools was defeated in May, 
1961, Jones almost took it on the chin. 
His newspapers had actively endorsed the plan, to the ire of a former Golden 
Gloves champion who challenged Jones to put on boxing gloves. At the time, Jones 
weighed about 125 pounds. 
Jones responded with a one-two punch to the funny bone. 

Addressing the issue in his column after learning some were suggesting boycotting 
the newspaper for its stand, Jones wrote: 

"That is community spirit, this will aid in Virden's progress. . .kill the newspaper. . .sock 
the editor in the nose. I did not realize this was the issue. K it were, I would feel obliged 
to hire boxers instead of editors and writers, linotype operators or pressmen." 



On the Joneses' 50th anniversary as publish- 
ers, Dorothy Jones said lier father's accomplish- 
ment of publishing a newspaper for 32 years gave 
her a personal goal. "But I just intended to edge 
his record slightly before retiring. Now, with 54 
years as publisher, I can certainly say I have the 
"tired" part down pat but I haven't quite figured 
out the "re" of it yet." Although much of the day- 
to-day operation of tlie newspaper chain has been 
turned over to her children, Dorotliy Jones has 
still to do the "re". 

"Mom, who just marked her 80th birthday, 
still pays all the bills, takes care of the legals, and 
orders all of the office supplies for the office sup- 
ply store," says Julie Jones Westerhausen, who is 
overseeing the day-to-day operations of the news- 
paper chain while her twin brothers Nathan and 
Norris, are on active duty with the Navy. 
Normally she would handle circulation and office 
managing. The mother of two children, 
Westerhausen had planned to go into teaching, 
moved to California and came back. "I just could- 
n't be away. We've been in it our whole lives." 
Some of Dorothy and Charles' 13 grandchildren 
are already active in the news business. Nathan's 
15-year-old daughter, for example, helps her aunt 
with the bookkeeping. Several other grandchil- 
dren are already pursuing journalism careers. 

Westerhausen's sister, JoD, who lives in 
California and worked for TTie Los Angeles Times, 
gives her "phone support everyday" and, says 
Westerhausen, everyone who works for the com- 



pany is putting in extra duty until Nathan and 
Norris return. Nathan, who is general manager 
and controller of Gold Nugget Publications, was 
recently reactivated and assigned to the 
Pentagon. His brother, who serves as editor, 
returned to the family operation this spring, after 
a 4-month Navy assignment in Central America. 
Both hold degrees from Southern Illinois 
University in Carbondale where they were 
named outstanding graduates in journalism. 
Their brother Martin, production manager for 
both Gold Nugget and Five Star, holds a degree 
in psychology. JoD also holds a journalism 
degree. 

Like his father before him, Nathan is a past- 
president of the Illinois Press Association, head- 
ing the IPA in 1998 and serving on tlie board of 
directors in 1999. Charles Jones served as presi- 
dent from 1983 to 1984. Nathan's grandfather, 
Norris Goode, was a member of tlie IPA for his 
entire publishing career, serving one term as 
treasurer The chain has been the consistent 
recipient of dozens of awards from the IPA. SIEA 
and in national competitions for virtually every 
phase of its operations, from editorials to adver- 
tising. Charlie and Nathan both currentiy serve 
on the IPA Foundation board of directors. 

Dorothy and Charles are both award-winning 
columnists, she for "the thing of it is...," and he for 
"Keeping Up With The Joneses" which he wrote 
until this past August when he underwent 
surgery. He plans to resume the column soon. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

22 



T II i; .1 .\ E S F \ \] I I V 




Three generations: Norris Goode, daughter Dorothy and her son, Martin. 



Dorothy, her desk swarming with papers, has 
no regrets about staging active in the newspaper 
business. "It's always satisfying work. That's what 
has kept us and our children in it. You feel good 
about what you do for the community and devel- 
op a real love of history and continuity. I feel great 
each day. There's something that pulls you to the 
challenge of today." 

The senior Joneses have a long relationship 
with the communities they serve and have played 
an integral role in the fabric of daily life. Both 
have been active in their church and in commu- 
nity organizations. In 1998, Charles was honored 
for a half-century of service with the Virden Fire 
Department. A year earlier, he was named 
Virden's first ever Citizen of the Year. 

In making that presentation, the president of 
the Virden Area Association of Commerce noted 
that Jones "has touched the lives, in some form or 
another, of every single person in Virden and the 
surrounding communities.. .every single person." 
That came as no surprise to Westerhausen. 



"Most of the town has been employed by the 
newspaper at one time or another," she says. 

Jones has also been honored by the Southern 
Illinois University School of Journalism, which 
named him a Master Editor. The designation put 
him in the institution's Journalism Hall of Fame, 
which is reserved for those who have given dis- 
tinguished service in the field of American 
Journalism. He also has served as president of 
the Southern Illinois Editorial Association, a posi- 
tion that also has been held by both Nathan and 
Norris. 

For the Jones family, life, community and 
newspapering have always been intertwined. 
Dorothy Jones summed it up best, in a column 
about the joys of sharing ideas and getting togeth- 
er with fellow journalists: "We could be preju- 
diced, but it really seems to us that editors who 
really try to do a good job for their community' 
are the hardest working, nicest bunch of people, 
anywhere." 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

23 



T H K (I \ K L K Y S \ N II I, I \ II S 1 V S 




CHARLES ElCHENAUER. RAY M OAKLEY 

EDITOR ^^^BBl^^ I^ANAGEFi. 



Hemwhqarere* 

SPQNSiBU FORi 

Mo BUSINESS 
TNllldlESOF 




^mspf 



ANBIWlDdiMe^ JOUfiNAU 



A. O. LINDSAY 

DIRECTOR or 5A1.E5 



CHARLEi) W.GAY 

„OFfICE MCR. 




F.M.LINDSAY 

D1R.ECTOR. 



The first board of directors ofQuincy Newspapers Inc., in 1926. 
It 

The Hemld-Whigm trace its roots to The Illinois Bounty Lmd Register. 

The owners, C J. Woods and Dnnbar Aldrich, published the first edition 

on April 17, 1835, seventeen years after Illinois achieved statehood. 

At the time, there were only three other newspapers in the state. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

24 



T II i: 



\ K L E V S 1 \ B L I \ y S \ V S 



The Oakleys, The Lindsays 
& The Company They Built 

The story of Quincy Newspapers Inc. (QNI) is a tale of two families and five gen- 
erations of leadership that nurtured a single newspaper into a multi-media com- 
pany now employing 940 people and serving markets in 14 states. 
Successive generations of the QNI founding families, the Oakleys of Quincy 
with roots in Rockford and the Lindsays of Decatur, guided that growth. Throughout 
the decades, family members have dedicated themselves and the resources of QNI to 
providing the news and to helping the communities and regions in which they operate, 
grow and prosper. 



QNI is a corporation that was formed in 1926 
to publish the newly merged Herald-WJtig, the 
sole heir to a long line of Quincy publications and 
a direct descendant of the first newspaper in 
Adams County. The Herald-Wlng printed its first 
edition on June 1, 1926. The Herald-Wng can 
trace its roots to The Illinois Bounty Land 
Register. The owners, CM. Woods and Dunbar 
Aldrich, published the first edition on April 17, 
1835, seventeen years after Illinois achieved 
statehood. At the time, there were only three 
other newspapers in the state, publishing in 
Jacksonville, Springfield and Galena. A year 
later, John H. Pettit of Cincinnati purchased the 
Register and renamed it Tlie Quincy Argus & 
Illinois Bounty Land Register In 1841 this name 
was changed to lite Herald, and in 1842 CM. 
Woods purchased back Pettit's interest and 
shared ownership with a nephew of Pettit's, 
Austin Brooks. The first daily edition was pub- 
lished in 1850. 

By 1890, The Herald had changed hands no 
less than four times and the original building it 
occupied on the southwest corner of Fourth and 
Maine streets had been destroyed by fire. TTie 
Quincy Herald Co. was incorporated that year 
and the stock was sold to Mrs. Ida Morris. In 
1891, the stock was acquired by Edmund M. 
Botsford, Hedley H. Eaton and Charles L. Miller, 
experienced newspapermen from Rockford. 
Miller's sister, Hannah, had married Aaron Burr 
Oakley in 1858. In 1895, A.B. Oakley joined his 



son, Ray Miller Oakley, at The Herald where Ray 
worked in the business office. AB. Oakley thus 
became the first of five generations of Oakleys 
involved as owners, managers or employees of 
what is now QNI. 

In 1893, The Herald changed fi-om a morning 
to an afternoon paper and, in 1896, Miller left 
Quincy to return to Rockford. In 1907 the old 
Congregational Church building at Fifth and 
Jersey was remodeled, becoming Herald Square 
and the paper's new home. Ray M. Oakley was 
taken in as a member of Tlie Herald corporation 
in 1909 and became business manager in 1913. 

In the meantime, Tlie Quincy Wliigbegan pub- 
lication as a weekly newspaper in May 1838, 
owned by Maj. Henry V. Sullivan, Nehemiah 
Bushnell and Andrew Johnston, and became a 
daily on March 22, 1852. Tlie Quincy Whig was 
incorporated in 1869, or 11 years after it had con- 
solidated with Tlie Quincy Republican, which was 
started in 1857 under FA Dallam. Tlie Quincy 
WItig also transferred ownership several times 
between 1869 and 1915. 

Across the state, the Lindsay family was gain- 
ing prominence as newspaper publishers in 
Decatur In 1874, John Lindsay began operating 
the Decatur Review and, in 1885, founded the 
Decatur Labor Bulletin. Tlie Labor Bulletin 
became the News and was consolidated with the 
Decatur Herald in 1898. Two of John and Edna 
Nicholson Lindsay's sons, Frank and Arthur, also 
pursued careers in the newspaper industry. TTiey 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

25 



THE (I \ k L K V S A \ 



I I .\ D S A ¥ S 





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Members of the editorial, business and mechanical staffs ofTlie Quincy Herald in a photograph dated June 
1896. Standing from left are John Stewart, reporter; Sherman Irish, pressman; Ray M. Oakley, bookkeeper; 
Charles Ritchie, printer foreman; Aaron B. Oakley, collector Seated from left are Major J.J.Linton, reporter; 
Edmund M. Botsford, associate editor; Charles L Miller, editor; HedleyJ. Eaton, business manager, and Eugene 
Browne, assistant editor and reporter 



would become key players when the business 
interests of the two newspaper families intersect- 
ed. That occurred in 1915, when Mrs. Anna Ellis 
sold Vie Whig to tlie two Lindsay brothers, with 
Arthur O. Lindsay moving from Birmingham. 
Ala., where he was assistant manager of Tlie 
Ledger, to become president and general manag- 
er of Tlie Whig. Frank remained in Decatur, 
where he became involved in the merger of The 
Herald with Tlte Review, owned by the Schaub 
family, and the formation of Lindsay-Schaub 
Newspapers Inc. That company eventually grew 
to include several newspaper and broadcast prop- 
erties, which were sold in 1979 and 1983 respec- 
tively. 

In 1920 The Wliig purchased The Quincy 
Journal, which had begun publication on Sept.U, 
1863, under a corporation organized by James H. 
Richardson, Hiram N. Wheeler and others. At 



this point, the company became The Whig- 
Journal. 

For six years The Quincy Herald and The 
Wlxig-Journal competed, each publishing evening 
city, morning rural, and Sunday editions. In 1926, 
the two decided to merge, forming The Quincy 
Herald-Wltig and its parent corporation, Quincy 
Newspapers, Inc. Tlie operating managers of the 
newspaper then were Charles F. Eichenauer, edi- 
tor; Ray M. Oakley, general manager; Arthur 0. 
Lindsay Sr., director of sales; and Charles W. Gay, 
office manager. Officers of Quincy Newspapers 
Inc. were AO. Lindsay Sn, president; Charles F. 
Eichenauer, vice president; Ray M. Oakley, sec- 
retary-treasurer; and Charles W. Gay and Frank 
M. Lindsay Sr., directors. 

Two of Ray M. Oakley's four sons would take 
on roles of increasing responsibility in the com- 
pany beginning in the 1940s, Allen M. Oakley in 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

26 



T im: II \ k l t; V s a \ ii l i \ d s \ v s 




This building becaiiu till luwliutiu oj I'lu Hi raid in I'JO, uftii tlic newspaper's owners spent $9,000 to remod- 
el a former church building on the site. A three-story addition to the back of the building was completed in 1928 
and housed the operations of The Herald-Wliig until 1962. when construction of the present building began. Tliat 
project involved demolishing the 1928 building to make room for a new office structure and remodeling of the 
1928 addition. 



the editorial operation and Thomas Crawford 
Oakley on the business side. 

Allen Oakley's career would span 60 years, 
beginning in 1924 when he joined Tlie Herald as 
a reporter two years before the consolidation. He 
retired as editor of Tlie Herald-Wliig in 1983. 

T.C. Oakley began working full-time at 77?^ 
Herald-Wliig in 1929. He was named secretary- 
treasurer of QNI in 1944, and in 1948 was named 
general manager of Vie Herald-Wltig and presi- 
dent of Quincy Broadcasting. In 1965, he was 
named executive vice president of QNI and vice 
president of Quincy Cablevision Inc. 

Ray Oakley died in 1948 and, with the death of 
A O. lindsay Sn in 1956, T.C. Oakley assumed 
overall responsibility for the company. T.C. 
Oakley's son. Thomas A. Oakley, joined the 
newspaper fiill-time in 1954. When T.C. Oakley 
died in 1969, TA Oakley became general man- 
ager of The Herald-Whig and executive vice pres- 



ident of QNI. hi 1971, TA Oakley was made 
president and CEO of QNI and publisher of The 
Herald-Wliig. Also that year, Frank M. Lindsay 
Jr., whose father was one of the founders of The 
Herald-Wliig, was named chairman of the QNI 
board and continued in that capacity until his 
death in 2001. AO. Lindsay's son, A O. Lindsay 
Jr., joined the company as an apprentice printer 
at Tlie Herald-Wliig during the Depression, retir- 
ing in 1974 after 44 years with the company. 

The building housing Tlie Herald-Wliig was 
expanded and modernized several times under 
the management of T.C. Oakley and TA Oakley 
to accommodate growth in the newspaper's oper- 
ations and advances in technology. The three 
story building now stretches for a half-block in 
the heart of downtown Quincy, a unique multi- 
level facility housing a state-of-the art publishing 
operation and the corporate offices of QNI. 

TTie company branched out into broadcasting 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

27 



T H K A K L E Y S A 



LINDSAYS 



The corporation, family members and senior management have contribnted 
in many ways to the markets in which they operate. 



under T.C. Oakley's leadership, establishing the 
first FM station to serve the Quincy area, WQDI, 
in 1947. hi 1948, QNI entered the AM radio field 
with the purchase of Quincy Broadcasting Co., 
which established WGEM, the area's second AM 
station, earlier that year. In 1953, Quincy 
Broadcasting launched WGEM-TV, the first tele- 
vision station in Quincy. QNI, along with 
Continental Cablevision, brought one of the early 
cable systems to the area in the 1960s, 
serving Quincy and soon afterwards 
Keokuk, Hamilton, Carthage and 
Kewanee. The company expand 
ed its newspaper operation in 
1969, joining with a group of 
publishers to purchase the 
New Jersey Herald in 
Newton, N.J. hi 1985, QNI 
became the sole owners of 
that newspaper. 

In 1974, the company 
under TA Oakley's leader 
ship sold its interest in 
cable television and began 
expanding its local free over- 
the-air television holdings. 
QNI purchased WSJV-TV 
(FOX) in South Bend-Elkhart, 
hid., in 1975, foUowed in 1976 with 
the purchase of KTTC (NBC) in 
Rochester, Minn., and in 1979 wdth 
WWA (NBC) in Bluefield, 
W.Va. The company purchased 
KIW (NBC) in Sioux City, Iowa, 
in 1989 and WREX (NBC) in 
Rockford, m., in 1995. hi 2000, 
QNI purchased the Shockley company, which 
owned ABC stations in five Wisconsin markets. 
Those stations are WKOW in Madison, WXOW 
in LaCrosse, WQOW in Eau Claire, WAOW in 
Wausau and WYOW in Eagle River. QNI is cur- 
rendy developing a Wide Area Network to pro- 
vide high-speed information sharing among all 
the properties that now comprise the corpora- 
tion. 

Both QNI newspapers are fully paginated, dig- 
ital operations employing the latest in pre-press 




Thomas A. Oakley, 
president of Quincy Newspapers Inc. 
and publisher of The Herald-Whig. 



and production technology. The QNI broadcast 
properties also have been in the forefront of tech- 
nological innovation, including the early intro- 
duction of high definition television into their 
markets. The company is presently developing an 
operations center that will serve all broadcast 
properties. This $2 million project represents not 
only a significant investment in the future of the 
company but in the downtown Quincy area 
where the center is located adjacent to 
WGEM AM-FM-TV. QNI is actively 
pursuing convergence opportuni- 
ties that bring together the 
resources of its broadcasting 
operations and newspapers to 
serve readers and viewers in 
all of its markets across aU 
platforms: print, radio, televi- 
sion and over the Internet 

The corporation, family 
members and senior man- 
agement have contributed 
over the years in many ways 
to the markets in which they 
operate. The Oakley-Lindsay 
Foundation, established in 
1969, has provided significant 
financial support to meet a wide 
range of social, cultural and infra- 
structure needs. The foundation is a 
consistent supporter of capital cam- 
paigns in the communities that 
QNI serves and, in many cases, 
company employees have led 
those efforts. One of the most 
significant series of contribu- 
tions occurred in 1992 and 1993, when the 
Foundation and family members contributed a 
total of $750,000 to consfi-uct what would become 
the Oakley-Lindsay Center in Quincy. TTie $7.2 
million civic center features a 30,000-square-foot 
exhibition hall, 520-seat theater and low-cost 
office space for several community organizations. 
The center revitalized a blighted area of the com- 
munity and has served as a venue for a wide 
range of activities including concerts, exhibits, 
and sporting events. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

28 



T II K II \ k L i; V S A \ D L I \ D S A V S 




The current building. 



T. A Oakley, QNI president and CEO, has 
played a sustained leadership role in fostering 
regional economic development and, most 
importantly, improvements to the transportation 
infrastructure serving West-central Illinois, 
Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa. That 
region of Illinois, once so ill-served and over- 
looked that it was dubbed Forgottonia, is now at 
the heart of a network of interstate and limited- 
access highways linking Chicago, Kansas City, 
St. Paul, Minn., St. Louis, Mo., and other cities 
across the Midwest. Oakley has been a tireless 
proponent of expanded airline service and 
improved river navigation, and has been a central 
figure in the activities of the Tri-State 
Development Summit. This gathering of top-ech- 
elon economic and political leaders from Iowa, 
Illinois and Missouri has been held regularly 
since 1996. Various committees ensure that 
progress continues on projects that will best ben- 
efit the region as a whole. 

QNI and its officers provide corporate and 
personal leadership in each market they serve. 
Such individual and corporate efforts have led to 
many awards and honors at the local, state and 
national level. Additionallv, members of the 



Oakley family have assumed important leader- 
ship responsibilities in the newspaper and broad- 
cast industries. 

Five generations of the Oakley family have 
played key roles in the growth of QNI as it 
evolved from a single newspaper to a multi-media 
communications corporation. TA Oakley and 
his brother, Peter A. 'Tony" Oakley, represent 
the fourth generation of the family to have 
worked for the company. A third brother, David 
Oakley, and his son, David Oakley Jr, also have 
worked for the company. TA Oakley's two chil- 
dren, Ralph M. Oakley and Mary Winters, rep- 
resent the fifth generation, along with David 
Oakley Sr.'s son, Tim, and Peter A Oakley's son. 
Peter. Peter A 'Tony" Oakley, who joined the 
company in 1959, served as cfrculation manger 
from 1966 to June 1995, when he was named 
community relations director Ralph M. Oakley is 
vice president and chief operating officer of QNI, 
and Mary Winters is assistant general manager 
at Tlie Herald-Wliig. Tim Oakley is national sales 
director at KTTV in Sioux City, and Peter Oakley 
works in maintenance for the Hotel Quincy and 
WGEM. 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

29 



Celebrating Illinois Newspaper History 



Writers: 

Nancy Slepikca The Bliss Family 

E.H. "Ned" Jenison The Jenison Family 

V'icky Katz Whitaker, Springfield The Jones Family 

Mike Hilfrink The Oakleys and Lindsays 

Editoridesigner: 

Mike Miner, Chicago Tribune 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

30 



Celebrating Illinois Newspaper History 



FAMILY TRADITIONS 

31 



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