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BY MIKE AVITT
This photo was donated to the Mount Ayr Depot Museum by, “Friends of Old Redding,” and shows the Redding newspaper office and the old high school behind it.
The school building sat on the lots south of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The old school building was sold at public auction February 4, 1916 when the new brick school was ready for occupancy. The school was purchased by H. R. Crecelius for $360 who then sold it to J. A. Miller. Tom and Jim Miller were tearing the school down by February 18th.
Redding struggled to secure a permanent newspaper in the early years of the town. H. E. Pope published the first issue of the Redding Press about April first of 1895. This was Redding’s first newspaper since Frank Wisdom published the Redding Reporter in the mid-1880s.
C. L. Waldron issued the Redding Review in January 1897. Mr. Waldron started the Blockton Register in May 1897 but I have no further information.
In June 1899, Jessie Carter sold his Redding Rustler to C. J. Lewis. Mr. Lewis is believed to be Charles J. Lewis who later became a Ringgold County attorney and judge. This paper was followed by Overdell and Parker’s Redding Messenger in March 1904. The Messenger was discontinued in December 1904.
There was no newspaper in Redding in 1905 until J. W. Howe published the Redding Register in December 1905. Mr. Howe had published a paper in Ellston earlier in the year. Mr. Howe sold the newspaper plant in March 1908.
Early in 1910, J. G. Norris bought lots on the southeast corner of the Redding square for the purpose of building a printing office and by March work was underway. Mr. Norris is probably the gentleman on the right in this week’s picture.
G. A. Craig published the first Redding Herald in November 1912. Ralph Main, a former farmer, bought that paper in March 1914 after having no experience in the newspaper business. Mr. and Mrs. Main published the Redding Herald until its final issue on May 29, 1957. Ralph was 75 years old when he retired from the newspaper business. He also sold insurance.
Very few of Redding’s early newspapers survive so I obtained most of this week’s information from the Ringgold Record, the Twice-A-Week News, and the Mount Ayr Record-News.