50 Years, 50 Stories

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Published Sept. 17, 1968 in the Public Ledger

Both Maysville newspapers have been sold. The Public Ledger and The Daily Independent, which gave options in July, have been purchased by The Gadsden (Ala.) Times Publishing Corporation. The new owners will take over Oct. 1 and will publish morning and afternoon editions six days a week.

James M. Striplin, 32, business manager of the Gadsden Times for the past six years and President of the newly chartered Maysville publishing corporation, will be publisher of the two papers.

He has bought the Lesile D. Osborne home on Jersey Ridge Road and has his family here from Gadsden.

Mr. Striplin’s associates in acquisition of the Public Ledger and the Daily Independent are J. Frank Helderman, his father-in-law, who is secretary of the newly formed publishing corporation, and J. Frank Helderman Jr., the vice president.

Sale of the newspapers did not include the buildings housing them.

The new Maysville publisher has disclosed that his afternoon edition will continue to be known as the Public Ledger. His morning edition, serving the combined circulation of the two newspapers acquired, will have the names of both the Public Ledger and the Daily Independent in the masthead.

Until December 1, both editions will be published from 10 East Third Street, where the Public Ledger first came of the press more than three-quarters of a century ago and has been printed every single day since April 4, 1892, except Sundays and holidays. After that date the Maysville Publishing Corporation will publish from 43 West Second Street, having leased the building which houses the Independent plant and having sub-leased the building adjacent on the east for editorial and business offices.

Mr. Striplin said the West Second Street plant will be completely remodeled and that the latest and modern printing facilities available will be installed. The equipment, now in transit, will permit printing by the offset method. This is a recent technological revolution in newspaper publishing which not only cuts cost of production but increases the overall quality and appearances of the news-paper.

Most of the personnel of both newspapers will be retained, the publisher has indicated. Neither the Ledger’s publisher nor editor will be among them. They are retiring from newspaper activity after almost 45 years in the field.

The Gadsden publishing corporation bought the Public Ledger from William B. Mathews, its publisher and fourth sole owner in the paper’s 76 1/2 year history.

They acquired the Independent, a daily since June 23, 1910, from eight incorporators headed by publisher George B. Purdon. The seven others are the publisher’s sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Fried, Mrs. Martha Comer, Mrs. Marguerite (Peggy) Campbell; his nephews, Thomas Purdon and William Purdon; a great-nephew, James F. Purdon, and a great niece, Mrs. Kirby Elizabeth Rivers.

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