Newspapers

Cassville Democrat
Cassville Democrat
Cassville Democrat Header

Cassville Democrat by Bob Mitchell from Back to Barry (1989)

Barry County, mother of eight southwest Missouri counties, has been served by the Cassville Democrat since 1872, making the publication one of the state's oldest newspapers. Originally the Cassville True Democrat, first appearing in 1871, the Cassville Democrat became a part of the Ray family in 1872 when Dr. John Ray, a physician, purchased the publication. Since that time, the Ray family, descendants of the pioneer Mason Pharis and Ray families, has been in complete ownership of the newspaper, now the only general circulation weekly newspaper in the county. As of this date, November 27,1988, the newspaper has served the interests of the county for 117 years. Dr. Ray, a native of Kentucky, the first publisher, was followed by his son, Charles Ray, who was publisher from 1888 to 1926. His widow, Aunt Jennie Ray, as she was affectionately known, took the reins of the newspaper in 1926, continuing until her death in 1945. A son, John P. Ray was editor of the newspaper from 1912 to 1954, being joined by his brother, Means Ray in 1940 through 1965. Means Ray, once mayor of the state's capitol, Jefferson City, also had been a staff member of the Springfield and Jefferson City newspapers. His career brought him recognition of being named as a possible state office candidate on several occasions, however, never chose to seek higher public office. The brothers, John and Means, were third generation editors of the publication. Since Dr. Ray, all succeeding editors and publishers were born in Cassville, further strengthening the family ties to the community. In 1946 the brothers were joined by their sister, Kathryn Ray Mitchell, in managing and publishing the newspaper. She became publisher of the newspaper in 1955. The fourth generation of the family, Bob Mitchell, joined the publication at the beginning of 1953 after four years of service in the United States Navy. Also as of this date, Kathryn Mitchell remains as publisher and Bob Mitchell is editor. He, along with past and present executives of the Cassville Democrat have been content to remain in Barry County, being important parts of the development and growth of the county. To this end, the Cassville Democrat has been constantly in the forefront of development in this part of the county, that has on a number of occasions been envied by other areas when considering recreation, industrial development, retirement and overall way of life. Cassville today boasts of manufacturing payroll numbers that are as large as the population of the county seat of Barry. Six times in recent years, the area in general has been chosen as among the top retirement areas in the United States. All these progressive movements have been promoted and supported by the Cassville Democrat. Recreation developments are highlighted in what is happening at Roaring River State Park and communities on the upper region shoreline of Table Rock Lake that are inside Barry County borders. Agricultural income, for a number of years resting in fescue seed production (fostered by the Cassville Democrat in the mid 1940s), cattle and dairying, is now looking toward opportunities in poultry. The Cassville Democrat, a leader in services to its readers, was the first to bring a web press to its readers. It was the first newspaper to up-date reproduction with offset printing processes. Education, health care and many social improvements in Cassville and Barry County have been achieved through the suggestions or support of the Cassville Democrat. There is no need to separate the annuls of the Ray Families and the Cassville Democrat, they are one and the same.

Cassville Democrat website
Cassville Republican
Cassville Republican

Cassville Republican from Early Barry County (1964)

The Valley Press published at Corsicana up to the summer of 1876, when it was moved to Cassville, with Sam W. Simpson, editor. The name Valley Press was changed to Cassville Republican, with Thomas Allen editor. Dr. John Homer edited the Cassville Republican 1882; B. W. Bennington 1888. As nearly as could be determined Geo. Harris bought half interest in the Cassville Republican in 1886, later Mr. Harris became sole owner. John Grimes later bought the paper from Mr. Harris and continued to publish the paper until 1908. Eli Meador became owner and continued to publish the paper until Dec. 3, 1949, when Emory Melton and Wayne Ennis purchased the paper from Meador. This weekly newspaper has a circulation of 2200, of which virtually all are in Barry County. The personnel of the paper are the owners, 3 full-time employees, Muriel Ash, J. W. Ennis, and Willard Burton; 15 or more country correspondents, recently Chas. Knouse was added to the list.

From The First 150 Years in Cassville by Emory Melton (1995)

In 1888 George E. Harris purchased the Republican and operated the paper until May of 1900 when he sold it to John M. Grimes. Grimes operated the paper until 1908 when it was sold to E.N. Meador who would be the principal owner until December 3, 1949, when it was transferred to Wayne B. Ennis and Emory Melton who operated the paper until the death of Ennis in 1963 when Lillian Ennis, the widow of Ennis, acquired ownership. After publishing the paper for a few years, it went through a succession of owners until it ceased publication in 1984.

Monett Times
Monett Times

From Back to Barry (1989)

Newspapers, past and present in Monett, by name and first date of publication include: The Weekly News, Dec. 15, 1887; The Monett Eagle, June 12, 1903. In 1904 publications names were; Evening Herald, Monett Daily Star, and The Semi-Weekly Times. The first copy of the present day Monett Times came off the press July 7,1908.

Monett Times from Early Barry County (1964)

The Monelt Times, was established in 1899 by D. A. Peters. His two daughters, Pearl and May, helped lay the first case and set the type by hand for the newspaper. Later Miss Pearl Peters, worked as reporter and bookkeeper. Mr. Peters passed away suddenly one evening after his day's work in 1917. Miss Pearl Peters shouldered the business of running a weekly paper and kept the wheels running very smoothly until her retirement in 1939 when she sold to Menzo Hainline, from Kingman, Kansas, who took charge Aug. 18, 1939. Later Mr. Hainline discontinued Monett Weekly Times, and continued to publish the M onelt Daily Times. Miss Peters had RubIished both the Daily and Weekly Times for a few years before retirement. In 1943 Ken Meuser bought half interest in the Monett Times. Later Hainline and Meuser bought The Lawrence County Record, located in Mt. Vernon. Later in the year Meuser became full owner of the M onelt Times and Hainline became full owner of the Mt. Vernon newspaper. When Mr: Meuser took over the Monett newspaper, 1943 the paper had a circulation of 1600 and in 1958 the paper's circulation totaled 4000 subscribers. Mr. Meuser employs 22 people.

Monett Times on Chronicling America
The Monett Times website
Barry County Advertiser
Barry County Advertiser

From The First 150 Years in Cassville by Emory Melton (1995)

In December of 1966, the Barry County Advertiser was started up as a hybrid weekly publication which combined the qualities of a newspaper and a "shopper" by Willard Burton and Jean Melton. After more than two decades of the publication, Willard Burton retired and Mrs. Melton continues as its publisher. The paper has a free circulation of more than 11 ,500 papers weekly

Barry County Advertiser website
Seligman Sunbeam
Seligman Sunbeam

Seligman Newspapers from Early Barry County (1964)

The first newspaper, the Seligman Sunbeam, was probably started about the time the town started in 1880, editor was Mauger. This paper was first printed in Marionville, Mo., and later by the Bentonville Democrat. Jon W. Murray brought the first printing press to Seligman, Aug. 1889, and published the Seligman News, for a few months, disposing of it to W. B. Baker. The News lasted about a year. The next man at the newspaper bat was Jacob B. Sanders, who published the Seligman Herald about 1900-1901. Then came the Seligman Times, published by G. W. Patterson. This paper got its start about 1914 and lasted about a year. Next, was the Outlook, by R. Estes, 1916 and lasted only a few months. About 1924 Sharp Dunaway of the Arkansas Gazette staff had a monthly paper called The State's Gazette published for Seligman. It was mostly a booster journal. Seligman's last newspaper, the Seligman Weekly, edited by Will Giffird and Tommy Tucker and had ceased publication before 1937.

Wheaton Newspaper
Wheaton Journal

From Wheaton Echoes (2007)

The small town, weekly newspaper that served as Wheaton's diary for more than 85 years closed its doors August 2005. Many were concerned that closing the business meant losing the town's history; that the detailed record of 20th century Wheaton would disappear; it would be lost.Wheaton High School graduates of the 1950s took steps to preserve The Wheaton Journal as a legacy for their children and grand children during their high school reunion held Saturday, September 3, 2005. Two hundred fifty classmates of the fifties and their spouses met to renew friendships and remember the impact of The Wheaton Journal on their lives. A proposal was made to purchase and preserve a set of microfilm of all available issues of this newspaper. A plan for making copies available to current and future generations was also developed. By the end of the day, complete support to purchase microfilm from the Missouri Historic Society had been pledged. The Wheaton Graduates of the 1950's donated a set of all available microfilm to the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library in Cassville by February 2006.

Barry County Democrat
Barry County Democrat

From Early Barry County (1964)

In 1937, Ernest Henbest, Cassville, was owner and publisher of a weekly paper in Monett known as Barry County Democrat for a short time and later operated a job printing press south of Cassville starting about 1937.

Purdy Herold
Purdy Herald

Purdy Newspaper history in Early Barry County (1964)

The Empire published by Tom Carlin was issued in 1886. Later the Purdy Herald and Barry County Beacon. Dates on these papers were not available. The Purdy Weekly News, edited by A. D. Ray was still in circulation as late as 1904.

Exeter Booster
Exeter Booster

Exeter Newspapers from Early Barry County (1964)

The Exeter Beacon was published in Exeter, 1888, by E. H. Benham, no record was found how long this paper continued. Another Barry County News, edited by W. J. Dow was edited in 1904. No other record. F. J. Cassity, long time resident of Exeter, remembers Harry Talbert edited and published a small newspaper in Exeter, known as Exeter Highlights as late as 1930.

Link to Scanned Newpapers in Documents Section
Historical Newspaper Extracts from MoBarry USGenWeb Site