Looking Back: The Grain Valley Herald
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The Sni-A-Bar Voice offered limited national and state news along with the local news to Grain Valley beginning in 1901. D.C. Herrington, the founder and publisher sold his interest in 1912 to W. L Hall and his wife, the paper’s editor at the time. Records indicate this newspaper continued to be published in Blue Springs until 1923.
In 1913 a separate newspaper, The Grain Valley Herald, was introduced to the citizens of Grain Valley. Information from the mast head revealed the paper was published every Friday by W. L. Hall & Son of Blue Springs, Missouri. The owner and editor of the paper was J. W. Snodgrass of Grain Valley and he received a mailing permit on June 20, 1913. Volume 1, Number 1 would have been published at that time.
This information came from Volume 4, Number 29, which was published on January 4, 1918. Robert and Earlene Mueller, long-time residents of Grain Valley had the edition put under Plexiglas and gifted it to the Historical Society.
Here are some highlights from the edition:
The cost of a subscription was $1 per year or $ .50 for six months. Evidently, when people subscribed, it was printed in the paper, as I learned that “Miss Grace Johnson (later Mrs. Ellis Storms) left a renewal dollar at the Herald office on New Year’s Day with instructions to send our paper during the year 1918 to her uncle, J. H. Daniels at Tempe, Arizona.”
I wonder who paid to mail the newspaper and if the cost of postage would not have been greater than the price of the newspaper!
“The Red Cross Christmas drive for membership resulted in about 300 new members in and near Grain Valley.”
This may have been part of the war effort.
“There are a few cases of smallpox in Grain Valley, but all are under strict quarantine and it is not believed that the disease will spread further. The contagion appears to be in a very mild form, as no one has been seriously ill with it.”
The year was 1918, however, there was no mention of the flu pandemic which was making headlines through the U. S.
A dinner was held at the Busy Bee Café following an event at the Grain Valley Masonic Lodge which was attended by Masons from Mount Washington and Blue Springs.
One headline read “Two More Boys Across” and stated cablegrams had been received by the parents of Thomas Storms (stationed in England) and Hurst Shrout (stationed in Paris, France) letting them know both boys had “reached the other side of the Atlantic.”
“Otis Williams, Riley and Mark Lynch are training near London, England. Joe Graham was last heard from near Morrison, Virginia. These four boys are members of aviation squadrons.”
The newspaper also has wedding announcements, a birth announcement and some obituaries along with a page of agricultural news (mostly about sheep and fowls), and a chapter from a book which I can only assume was a weekly feature.
I found it interesting that along with the Spanish Flu, there was also no news regarding WW I. I’m guessing at least some citizens must have subscribed to The Kansas City Times and/or The Kansas City Star for state, national and world news.
And one final note, from The Kansas City Times, Saturday, December 7, 1918:
The Grain Valley Herald Quits
The Grain Valley Herald, a weekly newspaper at Grain Valley, has ceased publication. R. C. Hague, editor and proprietor, gives two reasons—the high cost of white paper and the fact he is ill of influenza. He has sold his subscription list to The Oak Grove Banner and will edit a “Grain Valley page” in that paper. The Herald was established five years ago by J. W. Snodgrass, who four months ago sold it to Mr. Hague, a mail carrier.
Next week: Highlights from the Grain Valley page in The Oak Grove Banner
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society at 506 S. Main on Wednesdays or visit us online at ww.grainvalleyhistory.com and Facebook (@grainvalleyhistory).
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