The final edition of the Ripon Record was printed this week after owner Marie Raymus indicated it would cease publication after 107 years.
The announcement was atop the six page weekly edition on Wednesday.
“Thank you for all the support in the past; unfortunately we need to discontinue The Ripon Record. This will be our last edition of the paper. Happy Holidays from the staff.”
Record editor Jagada Chambers resigned last week after six months, leaving two office staffers Marge Franscella, office manager and Evelyn Locarnini, advertising manager.
“I think it’s very sad we are losing a local Ripon paper,” Ripon Mayor Leo Zuber said.
Ripon Chamber of Commerce President Tamra Spade echoed the mayor’s sentiments saying she was saddened to see it close.
Community leaders John Mangelos, Gary Medeiros and Don Schaapman have been working together in an attempt to save the past issues of the Record by having them scanned and put on an electronic source where they can later in the year be archived by the general public by entering the name of any given person and bringing every reference to them within the history of the paper.
Schaapman provided two of his workers to retrieve the papers from the attic above the Ripon Record’s office on West Main Street where they had been wrapped in brown paper. Connie Jorgenson of the volunteer museum staff has been examining the stacks of past newspapers.
Mangelos said it will cost some $18,000 to complete the project with some of the cost being paid through the museum foundation and the remainder from public donations. The paper’s hardcopies were donated by the Record to the Ripon Museum Foundation, Mangelos said. He added that the existing micro-film will remain in the owner’s possession in case of a last minute sale. If it is not sold, he said, they would probably go to the museum sometime in the future where they would also be transferred to an electronic medium.
One of those most touched by seeing the paper shut down is former owner Betty McBrian, 94, who ran the paper for over 20 years with her husband Leo after he left the U.S. Air Force after World War II. The paper had been in the McBrian family since 1912, when “Papa Charlie” purchased it from its first owner J.A. Snow who started printing in 1908.
Papa Charlie was Snow’s partner for awhile before he bought him out, she said.
From 1950 until 1980 Betty and her husband Leo were pretty much a staple around town. Betty took care of the counter in the office and wrote the social news as well as setting type for the flat bed press across Main Street from where it is now located.
Mrs. Clementine Mulholland (Mul) took care of the city council and school board reporting while Leo handled sports and also set type. It was in 1982 that the paper was sold to Ripon Real Estate and the couple retired.
Leo’s mother Mary McBrian could always be seen around the newspaper office in the 1960s when she had run the paper after her husband R.D. McBrian had suffered a stroke in his early 60s, Betty recalled.
She continued to operate the paper while she and Georgia Fields cared for her husband at home. Mary had the night shift and Georgia took care of him during the day – without even one bed sore developing while he was trying to recover. She added that Ripon’s own Dr. Ben would bring physicians from Modesto to see how proper home treatment could keep an invalid from developing those feared sores.
Betty remembered those early days when their 6-year-old grandson Ken Newberg would take 20 papers to the Mar Val Market in his red wagon. His grandmother had told him he had to know his “eights” times tables so he would know what to charge his vendors. On the same side of the street, he would also take papers down to the post office to be mailed to subscribers, she said.
Mar Val Market got 20 papers to sell from their counters. The market staff was so impressed with the boy’s work ethic that when he was old enough he was hired as a box boy.
“He thought he was pretty hot stuff,” Betty said in his learning the power of money.
The other McBrian Children, Sharon, Katie and Bob all worked in the newspaper office from handling layout to setting type that they would see go into print. They spent much of their days working around the paper doing specialized jobs. Bob, like his dad Leo, joined the Air Force.