A brief history of The Tipton Times

“The history of The Times is necessarily the story of the greater and the most important period of the existence of the city of Tipton. Of course there was a Tipton before this paper was established.”
-from The Tipton Times Special Anniversary Edition, Aug. 21, 1925

And so it was believed, at least since The Times’ 50th anniversary edition, that any history of The Times could not be written that didn’t parallel the history of our little city. We breathe together, after all. If one’s heart stops beating, both will die.

Picture this, a description of The Times’ beginning from the 1925 anniversary edition.

“It was during the depression and distress of that period (the panic of 1873 and the slow recovery afterwards), that a stranger, unheralded, appeared in this community with the avowed purpose of establishing a newspaper in Tipton. He made no concealment of the fact that he was without capital, but this deficiency was overcome by determination and energy.

According to the story of oldtimers, this stranger, while of rather pleasing and intelligent appearance, was poorly garbed; in fact, some tell us that notwithstanding it was winter, he wore a straw hat and linen duster. This unique character was Rev. Abel Marcy, hailing from Tumkhannock, Pa. Unlike most men seeking financial assistance in a business venture, Mr. Marcy did not go to men of reputed wealth, but began holding meetings in the churches and school houses where he preached or delivered temperance lectures, or gave readings as seemed best adapted to the locality and the time. After furnishing the evenings entertainment, he explained his project and enrolled as subscribers to an unborn paper, all those who were interested and were willing to part with their coin in faith, and made friends with many others. It was through this travail and patient persistent effort, The Tipton Times was born fifty years ago, while the star of hope lent is radiance and brightness to the otherwise discouraging prospect.”

The first office of The Times was housed in the upper story of a frame building standing at the west end of Moniteau Street. (Don’t know if it was north or south side.) The office was reached by an open stairway on the outside of the building.

Abel Marcy died a few years later and he was succeeded by his sons, James L. and Beverly Marcy, who followed their father in death just a few years later. Their mother became publisher, hiring others to do the actual work. In 1885, Walt M. Monroe moved to Tipton from a farm and assumed control of the newspaper, facing the task of resurrecting a near dying business. After 12 years of arduous labor and to engage in other business he sold the paper to his son, Russell Monroe, and Joe H. Goddard, and in 1901 Russell sold his interest to his partner. Goddard published the newspaper with his wife, Clara, until his death and in August 1907 The Tipton Times was purchased from Mrs. Goddard by Everett Pizer.

In addition to building the subscription list and making improvements to the linotype equipment and presses being used to produce the newspaper (due to the arrival of electricity to Tipton), Pizer moved the office to a two-story brick building purchased in 1920 east and also on Moniteau Street (we believe the 123 W. Moniteau location). Everett’s son, E. N. “Norris” Pizer joined him in the business at that time. He succeeded his father as publisher when the elder Pizer died in 1950 with a newspaper career that spanned 63 years.

Norris was active in the community, having membership in several local civic organizations and serving on several boards, including the Tipton School Board. Norris followed his father’s philosophy of community newspapering, “It isn’t so much what you put into a paper, it’s what you leave out that counts.” In 1969 Norris sold the newspaper to his daughter and son-in-law, Mary Jane and Tommy Miller, and maintained a role in the operation of the paper, keeping daily hours and writing weekly columns. The building was remodeled in the early 1970s (space the paper, keeping daily hours and writing weekly columns. The building was remodeled in the early 1970s (space across the street where TV & Stereo World is now located was used during the remodel). At about the same time the operation was changed from the old hot lead linotype to the up-to-date offset print method and a Compugraphic was purchased for typesetting. Printing on the old Times’ press was discontinued and completed Times’ pages were taken to Eldon for printing on the Vernon Publishing press each week. Bundles of newspapers were returned to the Tipton office in the trunk and backseat of Tom Miller’s car for addressing and vendor bundling.

In March 1984, the Millers sold The Tipton Times to longtime business associates, the Vernon Publishing family of newspapers led by Wallace and Marge Vernon and Dane and Sharene Vernon. After Wallace retired Dane and Sharene led the corporation until their retirement in ?? when their oldest son, Trevor, took over as publisher. The company now includes two other newspapers in Miller and Camden counties.With expansion of the press at Eldon, the printing of full color became possible in 2003. Other improvements have been made in the work of preparing the newspaper for printing, and in the summer of 2007 The Times began sending pages electronically to Eldon where they go directly from computer to metal plates which are put on the press.

In 2004 Vernon Publishing purchased a lot just east of Commerce Bank, and in July 2005 broke ground for a new office. Over the Christmas holiday the office was moved to its new location, 113 East Morgan Street.

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