Looking Back: Valley News
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Last week I wrote about the first Valley News, a newspaper printed in Grain Valley during the 1980s. A day or two after I pressed “send” and sent the article to be printed, I found a copy of the newspaper at my house. I had saved the paper because it had an article about Sni-A-Bar, along with a photograph of my father and some other men who worked there.
The volume, number and date told me I was a bit off on the dates of publication. It must have begun in August of 1983 and ended before 1986. I did learn that the paper was $ .25 per week.
The yearly subscription rate was $7.50 per year for senior citizens (65 or older) $10 per year for residents of Jackson and Lafayette counties, $12.50 for residents elsewhere in Missouri and $15 per year for out of state residents.
Thirty-seven years ago the paper was available at nine locations; the Valley Inn, the Corner Store, Valley Hardware, The Country Stove Shop, Sho-Me Gun Shop, Bernie’s Liquor & Deli, Save-Rite Foods, Potters Liquors, and the Bank of Grain Valley.
It is interesting to note that of the nine locations only the Bank of Grain Valley exist today. Can you even remember all of those businesses and their location in Grain Valley? Before becoming the Historical Society, Sho-Me Gun Shop was doing business at 506 Main Street.
The August 15, 1984 edition of the paper welcomed a new Conoco station north of I-70 adjacent to the Hen House restaurant, (currently where Casey’s is located). It also welcomed Bud Young as Grain Valley’s new football coach.
Before the start of a new school year, the newspaper printed the R-5 annual newsletter, from Dr. Tom Hightower, superintendent, recapping the previous year. On the educational front, the highlight from the 1983-84 school year was notification of AAA classification by the State Department of Education.
On the financial front, “R-5 district is now a fiscally sound, growing district which will continue to improve and serve its students admirably.”
On the student front, the R-5 schools served an enrollment of 800 students during the 1983-84 school year.
And finally, on the professional staff front, Jim Jenkins will become the new high school principal, replacing Richard Burns who left to take a principalship in Westran, Missouri.
The newspaper ran a school supply list, anecdotes from the Democratic Convention, news of the re-enactment of The Battle of Lone Jack, a list of recent St. Mary’s hospital patients, and a bran-muffin recipe. (Yummy)
In addition to the full-page advertisement for the new Conoco station, one-half page of the 4-page paper featured an August Calendar announcing the events and meetings which would occur during the month. And, there was an advertisement for the Grain Valley Fair which would be held September 27-30, along with a story about the 2nd Annual House Show featuring 27 classes of competition.
Finally, an article which I found most timely today: College Students Should Plan Now for Ways to Repay Student Loans. In 1984 the average debt of a college graduate was $5,000, a burden that calls for monthly payments of $64 dollars per month over a 10-year period under the Guaranteed Student Load (GSL) program, which accounted for 85% of all education loans. Would $5,000 pay for a semester of college today?
As always, I invite you to visit the Grain Valley Historical Society on Wednesday from 10 AM – 3PM (or by appointment.) In addition to old newspapers, we have lots of photographs and interesting artifacts for you to enjoy!
Next Week: I really will write about The Pointe!
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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Grain Valley News
Grain Valley News is a free community news source published weekly online.
PO Box 2972
Grain Valley MO 64029