End of an Era

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This past week was bitter sweet for me. My family's business has been sold. My uncle Harold Ellinghouse sold the business to Greg Hoskins, owner of Better Newspapers Inc. of Illinois. Although I have not worked there for several years, I still have many fond memories working there as a youngster in Jr. High and High School, in college during summers and a few years after that. For that I thank my uncle Harold and my mother for that opportunity.

There was a time that I had planned to move back and take over the business, retire there. But after my mother had retired and moved away, and my father passing, besides all of the changes to the city and new people coming in, it just would not be the same.

I will always cherish learning my trade from this family business. I wish my uncle Harold and his wife, Brenda the best in this new journey for they have certainly deserved it.

Although, it is sad to have lost that connection, it is from that connection that has me where I am today. For now, I am the only family member of Ellinghouse blood still in the publishing business.

An Ellinghouse has been helping publish a newspaper in Wayne County for over 100 years and in Reynolds County for 57 years.

Harold first visited a newspaper as a small boy in Greenville. He walked to the Greenville Sun office from his home, which was located about two blocks from the office. As he got older, his job was to sweep out the office and do whatever was asked of him. When he was about 12, Ellinghouse worked part-time at the newspaper as a "flyboy" who straightened printed sheets as they came off the press. He learned to set type by hand, arranging the letters in a type stick.

He credits his successes in business and life from lessons learned from his father and uncle, newspapermen he describes as great civic leaders who set an example for him to follow. Ellinghouse has been active in his community, region, and state. He has served on the Highway 67 Corporation, Black River Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, the Clearwater School Board, Piedmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Industrial Development Authority, Three Rivers Community College Advisory Board, and other organizations. He also participated in Leadership Missouri, a program sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of the Piedmont Rotary Club and Friendship Baptist Church.

Ellinghouse was inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He served as the Missouri Press Association President in 1996 and the Southeast Missouri Press Association in 1980. He received the Mildred Wallhausen Friend of SEMO Press Award in 2001. In 1995, he was the first recipient of the Piedmont Area Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year Award.

As a matter of fact, it was I that wrote both letters of submission for my grandpa and Harold that got them into the Missouri Press Hall of fame.

I hope that I can obtain the bar set forth by my grandfather as I continue in this business.