COLES COUNTY NEWS:

THE GATHERERS AND THE REPORTING

PART G

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The Oakland Section:  Oakland Section:  194    196    197   198


195.

OAKLAND'S OLD NEWSPAPER HISTORY 1875-1975

THE VILLAGE OF OAKLAND HAS A LONG HISTORY OF NEWSPAPER JOURNALISM

        Oakland's newspaper history started way back in 1875. The paper was called the Herald, and was printed by J. W. Crane. The Herald was an eight-page publication. Other partners in this first venture were Hiram Rutherford, M.B.Valodin and J.J.Pemberton. The business was named "The Herald Printing Company."  This little paper would be sold to A. Forsythe with a new editor, C. Dicks.

AMBRAW PILOT STARTED IN THE 1880'S

Oscar Ricketts would move to Washington D.C. and sold the Ambraw Pilot to the Uhler Brothers, who started printing the Oakland Pilot in 1891. Samuel Childress purchased the Ambraw Pilot and renamed it the Oakland Eagle.

OAKLAND WEEKLY LEDGER, 1876

       A small frame building south of the National Bank building served as headquarters for the Oakland Weekly Ledger. This paper was started by James S. and Lyman L.T. (Nixie) Yeargin (father and son). This paper would prosper and stay in the Yeargin family for three generations. L.T. Yeargin directed the paper for many years. His writing was described as "a unique style, which might in some instances be called bombastic."  L.T. was well known throughout the state and was described as having a "very colorful personality.

 

CECIL "POTTER"  YEARGIN  TAKES OVER PAPER AT FATHER'S DEATH

       Cecil also is described as having a "unique personality, but not   nearly as flamboyant as   his father."

In 1919, the Yeargins changed the paper's name to the Coles County Ledger. This paper merged with the Oakland Messenger in 1954.

 

OAKLAND MESSENGER IS BORN IN 1896

       Rev. W.W. McIntosh bought the business.  Other Oakland men became partners. Max West would take over the publishing of the Messenger until it would be sold in 1920 to W.E. Benoit. Mr. Benoit would publish the Messenger until 1953, when Mr. Glenn Norvel would purchase it.  Mr. Norvel had purchased the Coles   County   Ledger   from   Cecil   (Potter) Yeargin.  The two papers were combined and named the Oakland Ledger-Messenger.   This paper was a weekly paper, and up until 1976, was Oakland's only newspaper.

OAKLAND'S LEDGER-MESSENGER HELPED BY OAKLAND LIONS CLUB

In 1959, Glenn Norvel ceased publishing for a while.  Fred Pfeifer became the new publisher and the Oakland Lions Club would help by backing it financially. 

HELEN PARKES REPORTER

In 1960, Helen Parkes (pictured left wita political event) would publish the Ledger-Messenger until it was purchased by W.W. and P.L. Currid. The paper was again sold, this time to G.W. and L.M. Farthing of Sargent Township. Helen Parkes still pretty much ran the paper. The Oakland- Messenger was popular and considered interesting by many, and had a wide circulation.

MODERN DAY OAKLAND LEDGER-MESSENGER BECAME A SMALLER TABLOID

A couple from Arcola purchased the Ledger-Messenger and changed it from four large pages to a smaller sixteen page tabloid-type paper. The paper received several awards for excellence. In 1975, the paper was purchased by Jim Pinsker. Helen Parkes was business manager and news editor. Others involved with the 1975 paper were Randy Swartz and Debra Walters.

Oakland historical information from Coles County History 1876-1976, pp. 291-294

 

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