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
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
^ 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
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 ^ ^
Charles Wesley "CW Bliss. 1846-1931
I! I I S S F 1 H I I, V
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."
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
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
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
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
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,
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
T im: b I, I s s f \ )\ I I. V
Thomas Albert Bliss,
Hubert Revmilds Bliss,
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
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,
THE B I, I S S FAMILY
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
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,
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.
T HE J F] .^ I S ^ V A Itl I I. V
The Paris Daily Beacon composing room in the late 1890s
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
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.
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
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
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
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
T II e J f. .\ I S \ F A M I I Y
II 11 II J
= THE KEA^ON-NEWS ^M
— ^ ^PT H
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
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-
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
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
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
THE J K \ I S \ P A M I L V
Ernestine Jenison, associate publisher
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.
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
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."
T II i: .1 \ K S F A H I I V
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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,
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.
A. O. LINDSAY
DIRECTOR or 5A1.E5
The first board of directors ofQuincy Newspapers Inc., in 1926.
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.
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
THE (I \ k L K V S A \
I I .\ D S A ¥ S
V Wi '/
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-
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-
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
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
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
T H K A K L E Y S A
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
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-
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.
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-
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
Celebrating Illinois Newspaper History
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
Mike Miner, Chicago Tribune
Celebrating Illinois Newspaper History
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An Illinois Vms Fnnrnlaiion Pnlilicalion