By Don Rush
Inside this week’s Oxford Leader is a special section that is near and dear to my heart. The section is a celebration of Oxford area history and in particular of the Oxford Leader. This past December, the Leader turned 125 years old.
We have been thinking and prepping for this section for months and this week we present it to you. It’s been a labor of love and we hope you like it!
The first edition of the Oxford Leader was Dec. 9, 1898. Did you know before that edition, the paper was called the Oxford Intruder? It’s true, the Intruder’s first edition was April 15, 1898. You can read all about it, inside.
Inside are stories on our own history and some of the history of the area. There are stories on business, the schools, churches, law enforcement and Oxford newspapering in general. (Did you know the first newspaper in Oxford was owned and operated by a woman? It’s true and it’s in the section.) There are lots of old pictures, some which were published in the Leader’s pages over the years, and some we just found in the nooks and crannies of the Leader office. One of the coolest pictures is of the Oxford High School graduating class of 1894 – all three young women and all three young men!
While the styles of writing, layout, format and ownership of the Leader have changed over the years, the Leader is still a locally-owned newspaper with a mission of informing, educating and entertaining the community.
We thank all those businesses and groups who helped us bring this section to the community. Thank you for your support! Thank you to our sales team who sold the advertisements inside. Thank you to the design team for putting together such a nice looking section. Thank you staff writers, Megan Kelley, Shelby Stewart-Soldan and Wendi Reardon-Price for your work. Thank you to local resident and member of the Northeast Oakland Historical Society, Drew Holt. On occasion Holt writes and posts online short articles about local history. He allowed us to use some of his articles in this section.
And, finally thank you readers. The story of Oxford is long and still growing. We didn’t have enough room to write the entire history of the community and its people, but we think you will appreciate what we are publishing today.