Three Weekly Papers Combined for Daily

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Three Weekly Papers Combined for Daily


Three weekly Richmond newspapers were bought in 1917 by Shelton Saufley Sr. and combined into the first and only daily newspaper this county seat town ever had, The Richmond Daily Register. Circulation at that time was about 1,400, but the local people were so pleased at getting daily instead of weekly news that circulation increased to around 3,000 in about one year's time, without any particular subscription drive on the part of the publisher. At the beginning of 1919, it was expected that another year's growth would make the subscription list grow to 5,000. This made some changes necessary. The old four page press inherited from one of its predecessors could run at only 1,200 copies an hour at top speed, when they could get it up to top speed. That meant that it would take about four or five hours a day to run one issue. If they wanted another two or four pages, then that section had to be run separately the day before, after that day's regular daily press run. Already some mail schedules were being missed because of press problems. In February 1919, the lot at the corner of Second and Water Streets (behind the Elks Building on Main Street) was purchased, and the old wooden buildings on the site were demolished to make way for a new brick newspaper building "constructed solely to meet the requirements of a modern and up-to-date newspaper, such as is worthy of so splendid a community as this." On the main floor were the business and editorial offices: the presses and linotype typesetting machines were in an elevated section on the uphill side, and there were apartments upstairs above the office section of the building. A new "Duplex Perfecting Press" was purchased, to be delivered when the building was completed. It could have four, six or eight pages in one run, at speeds of up to 4,000 per hour. The papers came off the press folded and stacked so that they could be quickly bundled and delivered to the waiting newscarriers or the Addressograph machine for the mail subscribers. A new hot-lead linotype machine with choices of new type faces was also purchased at the same time. "When Richmond gets her new sewers, paved streets, a white way (new streetlights on Main Street) and other improvement, all of which are now assured at an early date," the February 8, 1919 Register declared, "there is no reason in the world why she should not have 10,000 population within the next few years." Fifty years later, that building on the corner of Water and Second had gotten to be very crowded and rather tired looking; and when the Register moved to its roomy new quarters on Big Hill Ave., the former Coca Cola bottling plant, the old building was torn down to make way for a bank parking lot.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “Three Weekly Papers Combined for Daily,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed June 15, 2024,