Twelve months from a milestone anniversary.
This week, The Landmark Newspaper begins its 149th year of continuous publication. The Landmark is one of the oldest newspapers in the state of Missouri and one of the oldest continuously published newspapers west of the Mississippi.
The first issue of The Landmark came off the press in 1865 in Weston during the closing days of the Civil War, and the newspaper has been published each and every week since that time.
The Landmark began with the motto “Remove not the ancient landmarks,” with Harry Howard as publisher and C.L. Wheeler as editor.
In its early days, The Landmark espoused the cause of the Confederacy and promoted the cause of the Democrat party.
After six years of publishing in Weston, The Landmark moved its office to Platte City, where it has remained.
The Landmark had a few different locations in Platte City before moving into its current location at 252 Main St. 114 years ago in March of 1899.
The newspaper’s beginning was hectic and required the efforts of journalists who were unafraid. Along the way, a couple of other early newspapers in Platte County--including the Reveille and later the Advocate--consolidated with The Landmark.
The Landmark’s current location was constructed in 1869 as a drug store and a post office. In later years, a grocery store and hardware store occupied the building.
In 1899 when The Landmark moved in, the newspaper installed a large sheet-fed press that would be used until 1979. A gasoline engine originally furnished the power to run the large piece of machinery until an electric motor was installed in 1928. That press can still be viewed in the back of The Landmark office today.
Max Jones, who had started as a printing apprentice at the age of 16 in 1892, purchased The Landmark in 1918 and became editor and publisher. He served in that capacity until his death in 1956. After Max Jones’ death, his widow, Lucile L. Jones (more commonly known as Lucy) took over as editor and publisher. Mrs. Jones ran The Landmark for 23 years before selling it to Dwayne Foley in November of 1979.
Dwayne Foley died in 1980 but his widow, Ethel Mae Foley, continued to own the paper. Clay McGinnis, a veteran newsman who had edited newspapers such as the Independence Examiner, served as editor from 1980 until 1993. Ivan Foley, Dwayne Foley’s youngest son, began working at The Landmark as a reporter in 1982, taking over as editor after the death of McGinnis in August of 1993.
Ivan Foley purchased The Landmark and the building from Ethel Mae Foley in 2002.
With work performed in the fall of 2008, the exterior of The Landmark building was restored to is original look by removing paint from the original brickwork, retuckpointing and waterproofing. Large specially-crafted arch-shaped windows were installed in the second story.
The Landmark has become known statewide for its journalistic content and aggressive approach to covering local news, with an editorial section that is designed to be unafraid, informative, and entertaining.
The newspaper is an annual winner in the Better Newspaper Contest held by the Missouri Press Association, including in the categories of general excellence and best editorial pages.
The scope and reach of The Landmark has grown with technological advances in the industry. The Landmark’s web site, plattecountylandmark.com, is often linked by statewide bloggers and its news reports are often sourced by major metropolitan media.
In June of 2009, The Landmark became the first Platte County newspaper to open a news and commentary feed with its account at Twitter.com/ivanfoley, where breaking local news, commentary, occasional clowning, and interaction with the public takes place 24/7.
Foley was named in the Top Five of Kansas City’s Most Powerful Newsies of 2012 by Tony’s Kansas City (tonyskansascity.com).