Google tells me that National Newspaper Carrier Day was celebrated Sept. 4, although I doubt anyone in Cape Girardeau took note of the observance.
According to the website "There Is a Day for That," NNCD recognizes the anniversary of the hiring of the first paperboy, Barney Flaherty, in 1833 by Benjamin Day, publisher of the New York Sun. But, alas, the paperboy has gone the way of the tinker and the wagon maker. Papers nowadays are delivered by adults driving automobiles or by a postal employee.
But 75 years ago, that wasn't the case. In 1946 there were 45 paperboys delivering the Southeast Missourian just in Cape Girardeau.
The Missourian honored them on Oct. 5, 1946, on National Newspaperboy Day. G.D. Fronabarger memorialized the event with a photo published in that day's Missourian. And, wonder of wonders, the name of each boy was included with the photo. How many of these "little merchants" do you recognize as community leaders?
Published Oct. 3, 1946, in the Southeast Missourian:
Left to right, first row: Dickie Goehring, Clyde Byrd, Shelby Burford, Paul Stehr, J.L. Steinhoff, John Roth, Paul Heuring, Nevan Koeppel, Richard Heuring, Gerald McCullough, Larry Bode, Jerry Golightly, Larry Platt; second row: Billy Vandeven, Bill Yuracko, Ronald Shannon, James Baker, Kenneth Hargens, Kenneth Williams, Roy Drury, Ray Drury, Jerry Kendrick, Franklin Eaton, Allen Hilpert, Roy Griffth, Neal Hency, Truman Cotner, Gene Bierschwal, Robert Church Jr.; top row: Charles Hency, Robert Masterson, Michael Shannon, Joe Bess, Norman Hilpert, Junior Cotner, Carl Hente, Danny Ringwald, Don Brooks, Jerry Brown, Jack Brown, Pat Reynolds, Joe McNeely, Donald Stehr. Two newspaperboys were not present when the picture was taken. They are Rob Swink and John Edward Stehr. (G.D. Fronabarger ~ Southeast Missourian archive)
THE NEWSPAPERBOY IS AN IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE COMMUNITY — COOPERATE WITH HIM
Today is being observed throughout the United States as National Newspaperboy Day and in connection with the event The Southeast Missourian presents above the picture of 43 of the 45 newspaperboys who regularly deliver this newspaper to its 4,691 subscribers in the city of Cape Girardeau.
There are 41 other towns with a total of 4,307 subscribers in Southeast Missouri served daily by other newspaperboys whose pictures we regret we are not able to show here.
These boys are known as little merchants, they are in business for themselves, they buy their newspapers from The Missouri and sell them to their customers, the difference between the amount they pay for newspapers and the amount they collect from their readers being their profit. Each boy handles on an average more than 100 copies per day.
Each one of them is a real American boy, ambitious to grow up into a successful business or professional man, so that is why he chose as his first job a newspaper route, which teaches him responsibility, honesty, punctuality, how to meet and deal with the public and many other things that will be of benefit to him when he grows into manhood and is ready to settle down in his life's work.
Newspaperboy's work is not an easy task. He must go out into all kinds of weather -- rain, snow, bitter cold or extreme heat -- and make his deliveries and collections. He must be on time to get his papers, must deliver them promptly and regularly. He does his best at all times to get his job done without error. But, being human, he sometimes misses a reader. When this occurs he asks his customer to telephone him and report the miss and if the customer cannot reach him to call the newspaper office and report the miss so he can make the delivery. And for this service he asks his customers to pay him promptly and regularly so he can meet his bills as they come due weekly.