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BY MIKE AVITT
In 1899, Randolph Beall left his brother Walter in charge of the Twice-A-Week News, and Randolph set out to compile his Ringgold County Directory of 1899.
It is said Randolph visited every household in Ringgold County to get a complete and accurate directory. Many copies of this book still exist.
The Mt. Ayr Journal began publishing two issues per week in 1902. This lasted a couple of years. Henry Clay Beard, who had resigned from the Ringgold Record in 1897 was hired by the Journal in 1905.
The Ringgold Record upgraded their building and their equipment in 1905.
Major changes came in 1907 when Tedford & Son, publishers of the Ringgold Record, sold a half interest in the paper to employee Sam Spurrier.
In the same business transaction, the Twice-A-Week News was merged with the Ringgold Record to form the Mount Ayr Record-News, with the business being located in the old Ringgold Record building at 119 N. Taylor.
Randolph and Walter Beall maintained ownership of their old building and equipment. Walter ended up buying a paper in West Union, Iowa, which he operated for the rest of his career.
Randolph formed a partnership with George Wyant in the Real estate and insurance business.
So, Mount Ayr was down to two newspapers……..for about two months!
H. C. Beard had purchased the old press from the Twice-A-Week News and started another Democratic newspaper in May 1907 called the Twice-A-Week Press.
Why two Democratic newspapers? I had read, in previous years, the Journal being criticized for being too “soft” and not having enough “bite.” So, I guess that was the reason. But, here is an interesting statistic from January 1910. The reported circulation of the three papers were listed as: Record-News, 1500; Twice-A-Week Press, 852; and The Journal, 846.
In 1911, Sam Spurrier bought the interest of Tedford & Son in the Record-News.
Sam was now sole owner of the Record-News, which was publishing two issues a week, just like the Twice-A-Week News had done. Rev. J. H. Tedford stayed on as an editorial writer.
In January 1912, H. C. Beard printed the last issue of the Twice-A-Week Press. Mr. Beard went back to his lawyer life and was appointed a position by the state on the new highway commission.
So, Mount Ayr was down to two newspapers: the Record-News and The Journal…..for about one year.
Let’s look at this week’s picture before we go. From left to right are: Reverend James H. Tedford, Sam Spurrier, Stanton Tennant, Alex Maxwell, Hattie Kelley, A. B. Worley, Carroll Spurrier, and James Lawhead.
Sam Spurrier had hired on as a foreman in 1895 and was sole owner in 1911. His son Franklin would join the business later.
Stanton Tennant ended up in Colfax, Iowa where he and his wife published the Tribune for 40 years.
Albert Worley was the composing room foreman. I’m guessing this picture was taken in March 1907 to commemorate the establishment of the Mount Ayr Record-News.
More next week.