by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
While Grain Valley has not always had a local newspaper, several papers have carried news of Grain Valley over the last century. From January 7, 2021 through March 11, 2021 there was a series about the papers which ran in this column. While the articles reported history of the various papers, there was little information given on the content of the news, features and advertisements.
On a recent trip to the Oak Grove Historical Society, I perused several volumes of The Oak Grove Banner. Grain Valley News was a regular feature during the first few decades of the last century. Over the next few weeks, I hope to bring you some excerpts from 100 years ago!
It appears that for many years, Mr. J. W. Snodgrass (1854-1931) reported the news for Grain Valley. John W. Snodgrass was appointed Postmaster in Grain Valley on July 11, 1919 and we can assume he was the correspondent. I was unable to find much information about him, but I can tell you that his nephew Allen was a grocer in Grain Valley for many years.
Like most papers in the 1920s, the Grain Valley News in the Banner consisted of local “news,” more like a gossip column or society page, and lots of advertisements.
Mr. C. W. Childers ran a weekly ad for his car dealership located on the west side of Main Street, just north of the Bank of Grain Valley. Yes, cars were sold on Main Street for nearly 20 years. Mr. Edward Williams had the building constructed around 1910 using bricks from his brickyard across the street on the creek that runs through town. He was the first to sell cars in Grain Valley. It appears I have many more newspaper to read before I can give a more precise picture of automobile sales in our town! Stay tuned, as I try to tell you “the rest of the story.”
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society