The Monroe Evening Times was founded by Emery A. Odell, with its first publication printed 123 years ago today: Oct. 13, 1898. At the time there were four other weekly newspapers (and one daily) in the city, which had a population of just under 4,000 people.
Over those 12-plus decades, the Times is the only surviving Monroe newspaper. It has covered history both local and abroad. Its stories cover the entire map — world wars, presidents assassinated, and devastating local disasters, like tornadoes, floods and house fires. The Times has logged the criminal history of some of its wayward community members, while also showcasing the positives, like the athletic and scholastic feats of its children, local festivals and uplifting stories of those overcoming personal tragedy. It has memorialized those that have been cherished within the city limits and those throughout the region.
For 123 years this newspaper has captivated its readership with a wide variety of stories and photographs. It has chronicled the daily lives of its citizens — informing its readers of pertinent information, while also creating thousands of time capsules. Capsules that can be unlocked and perused decades, if not centuries from now, by future generations of intrepid historians or just those who want to look back on the history of their hometown and surrounding communities.
The newspaper offers news and community stories over multiple formats. For those that cherish the longstanding sensation of the crinkling of paper and fingers smudging with a hint of ink, the newspaper’s print product is available. For those who need their news on the go, live far outside the distribution area, or just enjoy the convenience of viewing stories over the internet on a browser or mobile device, hopping onto www.themonroetimes.com does the trick. The Times also has a budding social media presence, gaining new followers every day. Viewers on Facebook can swipe through photo galleries of local events, as well as get information on breaking news about hazardous weather or severe motor vehicle accidents. On Twitter, Times followers can catch score updates and in-game analysis on their favorite high school football or basketball teams.
While the website’s E-Edition (viewable PDFs of the newspaper) only goes back to June 2018, there is an outlet to view more copies — a lot more, actually. The Monroe Public Library holds microfilm of all 123 years of the Monroe Times — as well as other former Monroe newspapers, which date back to the 1850s.
Recently, the Times turned to the Monroe Public Library, asking for assistance on a special project — and the library delivered. Inside today’s edition you will find front pages from every year in the Monroe Times’ existence. While most are in October, which coincides as the paper’s birthday month, many front pages include major events in world history: Like the end of major wars, the assassination or resignation of presidents, as well local content.
All front pages seen in this edition are available for viewing on our website in a photo gallery, as well as on Facebook, free of charge.
We here at the Times would like to thank all of our current and former employees that dedicated a gracious chunk of their lives in producing a quality product that has been distributed over the years. From publishers, editors, reporters and photographers, to sales representatives, circulation workers, drivers and printing press hands, to the young children that hand delivered the paper to front doors for more than a century until the use of the U.S. Postal Service took over — we are proud to call you a member of our team.
The thank-you’s continue to our advertising partners, schools, and local non-profit and community groups.
And lastly, to you, our loyal readers. Without you, we might as well be yelling into a void. You have stuck with us since before electricity ran through every block in this town. You have taken in our stories and followed us through thick and thin. We are forever grateful, and we will continue to give it our best effort in order to keep you, our readers, informed and inspired, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Here’s to another 123! Prost!
— Adam Krebs is the editor of the Monroe Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.