As we are preparing for our 50/50 years series we’ve been looking at old archives of our newspaper’s history. It’s priceless!
Our newspaper’s history goes back almost 160 years with ties to The Maysville Bulletin that was started in 1862 by James J. Ross and George S. Rosser. This entity which in later years became The Daily Bulletin was purchased by The Daily Independent in 1936. The Daily Independent and The Public Ledger are what makes up our name sake, The Ledger Independent when they were both purchased and merged into one on October 1, 1968.
Why do I share this with you? Well, the paper you have in your hands represents history in a written form, preserved for all time if taken care of correctly. I’ve looked at countless old papers bound for preservation and history’s sake, and it’s amazing to read. Many years of our past can be found at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center tucked away for those interested in looking at them. What’s struck me is our paper, like many others, has recorded significant historical events as well as local news and information for all time. And while times have changed with the evolution of the digital age, the importance of the local community newspaper and the written word remains of great importance. When you walk into a business you’ll often see newspaper clippings hanging behind glass or in a frame that announce their opening or awards that they’ve received. When you go into people’s homes you may see on the side of their refrigerator newspaper clippings of their children or grandchildren announcing their inclusion into the honor roll, a science fair that they participated in or a picture of them in a sporting activity. When someone passes away the obituary that appears in the paper serves as the marker of their death, preserved in time, telling generations to come of their lives. History recorded a day at a time published for all to see for generations to come.
From time to time, groups will come to visit us and I have the honor of speaking to them about what we do. In a lot of cases these groups are young people and I love to share a copy of The Maysville Bulletin, dated March 21, 1872. In their hands they’ll hold this newspaper that’s over 146 years old containing news and information from that time. The paper in their hands is often older than they are collectively and when I tell them that, the look on their faces is priceless. “Really?” is what they’ll say, and my answer is yes really. On the pages of this paper you’ll find news about a “Railroad Meeting,” a story about “A Curiosity of Nevada” and “Kentucky Salt Stalactites.” But one of my favorites is a story entitled “Home Friendship.” The first paragraph reads, “Our best friends are at home. Those who love us best, who would do most for us, who are most interested in our lives, and would weep the bitterest tears were we to die – dwell under our roof, eat at our table, and sleep under the shadow of our own protection. How, then should we feel towards them and treat them? If they are our best friends we should show it. Concealed friendship does not do us much good.” Words that still ring true today.
We record history, in real time, and on paper for today and for generations yet unseen, to see. We depend upon you, our readers and advertisers, to support us. In many ways you are “Our best friends at home.” Without your support it’s possible that we could cease to exist. Imagine if you will our community without a newspaper. Who would…Provide information on the local high school sporting events in detail? Tell the stories of little boys who would rather see animals at the shelter receive food than him birthday gifts? Record the life events, thoughts and words of a 97 year old man? Inform you of the happenings within our local government entities? Record our history so that in 150 years someone can stand and hold a newspaper from today and wonder what it was like in August, 2018. A “concealed friendship does not do us much good.” Pretty sound advice. May I encourage you, to encourage others to become our “best friends”?