100 years of Southeast Missourian journalism

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A brief history of the Southeast Missourian and Cape Girardeau newspapers:

Sept. 22, 1904

George and Fred Naeter, brothers, took an excursion on the Mississippi River to Cape Girardeau, where they discovered The Daily Republican was for sale.

Oct. 3, 1904

Having purchased the defunct newspaper, the brothers printed their first issue in a room in the old Opera House, 302 Broadway; circulation was 579.

July 22, 1905

The Republican moved to the old Wilson residence at the corner of Broadway and Spanish Street. It was evicted from the Opera House because the noise of the press drowned out actors on stage.

April 18, 1906

The Daily Republican published the first extra in Cape Girardeau -- the San Francisco earthquake.

May 20, 1906

Began printing with electricity.

July 28, 1908

Ground was broken for new newspaper office at 225 Broadway.

Nov. 6, 1908

The Republican moved into new building; missed three publication days.

June 6, 1912

Branch office opened in Jackson.

June 5, 1916

Started United Press reports.

Feb. 22, 1918

Harry Naeter Sr. died.

March 1, 1918

Newspaper's name was changed to The Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian as a tribute to Harry Naeter Sr. Associated Press service started.

Dec. 31, 1920

Weekly publication of The Missourian ended.

July 8, 1924

In preparation for construction of new publishing house, Naeter brothers had old Doyle house razed at the southwest corner of Broadway and Lorimier Street.

Sept. 11, 1925

New Missourian building, 301 Broadway, was dedicated.

Oct. 1, 1929

James A. Jackson revived The Cape Girardeau News, which he had first started in 1901. Jackson was a partner in The News with H.W. Shaylor, and later with R.V. Marshall.


Missourian building was enlarged.

Sept. 10, 1935

The Missourian began assembly of an engraving department, which allowed the use of local photographs.

Oct. 12, 1937

The first color advertisement was printed in The Missourian.


The Missourian's Art Exhibition began, which became an annual event for many years.

Jan. 1, 1943

The News suspended publication until after World War II.

Oct. 3, 1944

Four murals, painted by Ary Murbain, placed in The Missourian offices.


Tile murals installed on east side of Missourian building.

March 7, 1950

James A. Jackson, owner of The News, died.

Dec. 1, 1950

Ernest M. Lawson of Fortville, Ind., purchased The News from the Jackson estate.

Jan. 3, 1951

Naeters bought the building at 313 Broadway; it was remodeled and used as a stationery store.

Aug. 23, 1951

Announcement was made of the sale of The News to Max O. Shipley of Minneapolis, Minn., by Ernest M. Lawson. Sale included the Cape News Printing Co., publishers of The Rural Messenger. Lawson remained at the newspaper as editor. Shipley changed the name to the Southeast Weekly Bulletin.

Nov. 1, 1953

W.G. and Beulah Hart of Springfield bought the Southeast Weekly Bulletin.

Oct. 30, 1957

Commercial printing department of The Missourian was sold to group of employees; it became Missourian Litho & Printing Co.

April 6, 1964

W.T. Hart died, but his widow, Beulah Robertson Hart, continued to operate the Southeast Weekly Bulletin.


The Southeast Weekly Bulletin moved from 8 S. Sprigg St. to 421 Broadway.

March 1967

Gary Rust purchased the Southeast Weekly Bulletin from Beulah Hart.

October 1968

Jackson Journal Inc. and Concord Publishing of Cape Girardeau merged the Jackson Journal and the Cape Girardeau Bulletin.

September 1973

The Missourian changed from hot-type to cold-type printing.

May 5, 1974

By adding a Sunday edition, The Missourian became a seven-day daily newspaper.

Aug. 9, 1974

The Missourian printed its last extra -- "Nixon Resigns."

March 27, 1976

Publication of a Saturday Missourian ended.

Nov. 24, 1976

Sale of The Missourian to Thomson Newspapers Inc. was announced.

Jan. 4, 1977

Two Jackson weeklies -- The Cash-Book Journal, a consolidation of the Jackson Post and Cash-Book and the Jackson Journal -- merged into one publication. The transaction involved a merger by Rep. Marvin E. Proffer, publisher and editor of the Cash-Book; Gerald Jones, publisher and editor of the Journal, and Gary Rust, publisher of the Cape Girardeau Bulletin-Journal.

Jan. 13, 1977

The Missourian published its first edition under the Thomson masthead.

Oct. 26, 1978

The Missourian building's decorative chimney was demolished.

February 1983

Gary Rust purchased the former Missourian Litho building on William Street with plans to move the Bulletin-Journal press and circulation divisions to that building.

May 1983

New press was installed at the William Street building.

June 23, 1983

The Bulletin-Journal was printed for the first time on the new 40-page Webleader Offset Press.

Oct. 2, 1983

The Missourian retired its old nameplate, replacing it with a more up-to-date typeface, and dropped "The" from newspaper's name.

July 1, 1984

The Journal, a Poplar Bluff, Mo., weekly newspaper that was part of the Bulletin-Journal group, began publishing a Sunday issue.

July 5, 1984

The Missourian published its first local, four-color photo produced and processed in-house.

June 26, 1986

Gary Rust purchased the Southeast Missourian.

July 10, 1986

With the combined staffs of the Bulletin-Journal and the Southeast Missourian, the first merged edition was published.

April 12, 1988

The Kennett Statesman began publication. It was a weekly newspaper published on Tuesdays by Sherm Smith and owned by Smith and Gary Rust.

September 1988

Sherm Smith and Gary Rust, publishers of the Daily Statesman at Dexter and the Kennett Statesman at Kennett, purchased half-interest in the Advance News.

March 1989

The Daily Dunklin Democrat at Kennett was purchased by Sherm Smith and Gary Rust. The Kennett Statesman and The Democrat merged immediately. The five-day publication of The Democrat was continued and retained its name.

Oct. 15, 1989

Three Southeast Missouri newspapers began Sunday editions -- the Daily Statesman at Dexter, the Daily Dunklin Democrat at Kennett and The Journal in Poplar Bluff.

June 4, 1990

The Southeast Missourian converted to morning delivery of its product.

Sept. 4, 1991

Gary Rust, co-owner of the Daily Statesman at Dexter and The Daily Dunklin Democrat in Kennett, purchased the shares of co-owner Sherm Smith.

Nov. 28, 1992

The Southeast Missourian launched a five-week trial run of Saturday editions.

March 8, 1993

Wally Lage began his duties as publisher of the Southeast Missourian.

March 31, 1993

Dan and Connie Sitze, owners and publishers of The Bloomfield Vindicator for four years, announced the sale of the newspaper to Gary Rust.

Oct. 2, 1993

The Southeast Missourian became a seven-day newspaper, adding a permanent Saturday edition.

May 1993

The Scott County News was purchased by Concord Publishing House Inc.

Dec. 13, 1993

Announcement was made of the formation of Rust Communications Inc., with founder Gary Rust as principal owner and president of the new company. The company networked several Southeast Missouri newspapers and printing companies. Included in the network were dailies: Southeast Missourian at Cape Girardeau, the Statesman at Dexter, the Daily Dunklin Democrat at Kennett, the Daily American Republican at Poplar Bluff and the Standard Democrat at Sikeston. Also included were three weeklies and four free publications, one of which was the Standard Democrat.

December 1993

Tennyson Publishing Co., which included newspapers in Blytheville and Osceola, Ark., as well as a printing company, affiliated with Rust Communications. Papers were the Village News at Blytheville and the Citizen-Journal at Osceola.

June 1994

Leland and Joan Flor sold The Banner-Press of Marble Hill to Rust Communications.

Oct. 14, 1994

Rust Communications acquired the Arkansas Daily Courier News of Blytheville, along with eight weekly publications from American Publishing Co. of West Frankfort, Ill. The Courier-News and the Village News were merged. The corporate name became Village News Inc., with Gary Rust, Dave Tennyson and Wally Lage as owners. Weeklies included in the sale were the Delta News at Malden, Mo., the Press Merit at Malden, the Tri-State Big Nickel, the Bootheel Beacon at Caruthersville, Mo., the Democrat Argus at Caruthersville, The Hayti Democrat Argus and the Stoddard County Delta News. Those newspapers were consolidated into the Rust-owned Delta Publishing Co. headquartered at Dexter, Mo.

August 1995

The Butler County Publishing Co. purchased The Prospect-News in Doniphan, Mo., from Chester "Bud" and Dorothy Ponder, making it the newest member of the Rust Communications Network of Newspapers.

May 9, 1996

Concord Publishing House added the Missourian-News, a weekly newspaper in New Madrid County, to its family of newspapers. The Portageville, Mo.-based publication was formerly owned by Erwin and Jean Lloyd.

May 16, 1996

Vyron and Cynthia Mitchell announced the sale of the Dyer County Tennessean to Concord Publishing House. The Tennessean was founded in 1888.

July 2, 1996

The Standard Democrat, published in Sikeston, Mo., was purchased by Michael Jensen and Don Culbertson, both of Sikeston, and Gary Rust of Cape Girardeau from American Publishing Co.

Aug. 1, 1997

Five weekly newspapers in northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri were purchased by Rust Communications from Ron and Nancy Kemp of Rector, Ark. The five weeklies were in Rector, Manila and Piggott in Arkansas and Campbell and Senath in Missouri.

Aug. 18, 1997

USMedia Group Inc. announced plans to sell four daily newspapers and five weeklies to Rust Communications. The deal included several shoppers and niche publications.

Oct. 14, 1998

Rust Communications acquired the Holiday Island Regional News, a direct-mail distribution newspaper of 14,000 circulation in Carroll County, Ark.

Feb. 1, 1999

Pathfinder Communications Inc. of Elkhart, Ind., announced the sale of the Greencastle Banner Graphic and the Spectrum to Concord Publishing House.

April 16, 1999

Rust Publishing, a family-owned subsidiary of Rust Communications, purchased the N.E.W. Vernon County Record in Nevada, Mo. Most of the content of the twice-weekly newspaper was absorbed into the Nevada Daily Mail/Herald newspaper.

Dec. 28, 2000

Rust Communications agreed to acquire two daily newspapers and five weeklies from Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Ky. The dailies were the State Gazette in Dyersburg, Tenn., and The Brazil Times in Brazil, Ind. The weeklies were The News in Salem, Ark., The South Missourian News in Thayer, Mo., and three shoppers serving Fulton, Izard and Sharp counties in Arkansas and Oregon County in Missouri.

Feb. 15, 2001

Gary Rust advanced to chairman of the board of Rust Communications. Jon K. Rust and Rex D. Rust were named co-presidents.

Jan. 25, 2002

Gary Rust received the Rush H. Limbaugh Sr. Award from the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce.

March 4, 2002

Rust Communications acquired two more newspapers in Iowa: the Cherokee Daily Times and the semiweekly Chronicle, both in Cherokee. The newspapers were merged into the Cherokee Times, publishing four afternoons a week.

July 28, 2002

The Southeast Missourian purchased a new press, constructing an addition to its production plant on William Street to house the new $2.5 million Dauphin Graphic Machine press.

Jan. 2, 2003

Rust Communications Inc. acquired several newspapers in northwestern Iowa and one in Indiana from Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., Birmingham, Ala. Newspapers in Iowa were The Spencer Daily Reporter, Northwest Iowa Shopper, Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune, Buena Vista County Shopper, Dickinson County News and Okobojian. In a separate transaction, Rust acquired the Linton Daily Citizen in Indiana.

April 2, 2003

Rust Communications purchased the Evening World, the daily newspaper published in Bloomfield, Ind., from William Miles.

Sept. 27, 2003

Rust Communications chairman Gary Rust was inducted into the Missouri Press Association's Hall of Fame.

Dec. 18, 2003

Rust Communications made an investment in Mississippi River Radio for purchase of 17 Zimmer Radio Group radio stations. Stations were located in Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, and Sikeston/Malden in Missouri and Carbondale/Marion in Illinois.

Aug. 2, 2004

Rust Communications acquired the Fort Scott Tribune-Monitor in Kansas.

Sept. 15, 2004

Wally Lage, publisher of the Missourian and chief operating officer of Rust Communications the past 11 years, was promoted to vice president of Rust Communications. He will continue as the company's chief operating officer. Jon K. Rust was named publisher of the Missourian. He continues as co-president of Rust Communications.

Oct. 3, 2004

The Southeast Missourian began a yearlong celebration marking its centennial.

Oct. 12, 2004

As part of its yearlong centennial observance, the Missourian debuted a weekly feature that looks back at events in the community's 100-year history through the reproduction of photos and stories.

Nov. 7, 2004

Mary Blue, former gardening columnist and food editor of the Southeast Missourian, died at age 87. Her husband, the late John Blue, was editor of the newspaper from 1961 to 1980.

February 2005

Bucking the industry trend, home-delivery circulation reaches the highest it has been in 10 years.

March 2005

The Missourian kicks off an anti-litter campaign.

June 1, 2005

The Missourian Building, built in 1924, is added to the National Register of Historic Places, even as the publishers formulate plans for extensive improvements to the structure.

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