You certainly don’t need us to tell you that 168 has been a heckuva year.
Yes, we know the calendar says it’s 2020, but if you look on the front page of today’s issue–on the masthead just under “The Journal-News,” you find the numbers “Volume 169, No. 1.”
That means this issue is the first in the newspaper’s 169th year of continuous publication. The Journal-News traces its roots back to the publication of The Prairie Beacon in 1838, and has been published continuously since The Prairie Mirror in 1850, followed by The Montgomery Herald in 1854, The Democrat in 1862, The Anti-Monopolist and then The Blade both in 1874, then The Hillsboro Journal in 1875, and The Journal-News in 2004.
You hold in your hands–or read on your screen–a newspaper that in 1858 covered Abraham Lincoln’s campaign stop in Hillsboro in his run for U.S. Senate. It’s pages contained stories of the folks from Montgomery County who fought in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in Korea and Vietnam, and in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. The newspaper was there when Hillsboro joined the coal boom in 1888, when the Coffeen Power Station began operation in 1965, and when it ceased operation in 2019. No less significant than the big events that shape lives, the newspaper has recorded the monumental events in our families–the new arrivals, graduations, marriages, anniversaries, career milestones, and obituaries, that along with the countless other events over the decades, when woven together make up the history of our communities and our families.
As the issues of Volume 168 began to tick down, we have done our best to record the impact of another history-changing event that has impacted every life on the planet. We have been at work to record when the first cases of COVID-19 coronavirus crept into our communities, and we have been an integral tool to our health officials and community leaders to spread the information needed to keep families safe. We have shared how the pandemic has impacted those daily family milestones–new arrivals, graduations, marriages, anniversaries and obituaries–and we have shared with pride the extra effort by the members of our communities to help fight the virus.
We continue to take pride in the fact that as a local, family owned publication, we remain responsible and committed to our community–not some distant shareholders. Each and every issue of the 104 we publish every year is packed with news stories and dozens of photos by the newspaper’s award-winning local staff.
And as the events of the pandemic continue to unfold, the staff of The Journal-News will be on the job–God willing–to press on to match the tradition of service to our community, continuing with Volume 169, No. 1.