By 1900, the main newspaper in Mayfield was “The Mayfield Messenger.” It was first called this in 1900 by Lee Elmore, who ran the paper for four months. It was then bought out by J.R. Lemon, who remained editor until 1919, when his three sons took over the business.
The April 19, 1901, issue of the Messenger showed it was printed on 6th Street. That spring, new issues were printed Monday through Saturday at 4 p.m.
Although the Messenger now had a daily edition, though, that didn’t mean it didn’t also have a weekly edition at the same time. At least three-quarters of the country’s newspapers published weekly editions made up chiefly of materials already published in daily editions. The weekly edition was essentially a digest made up of bits of information from the past week. Mayfield had The Daily Messenger and The Weekly Messenger.
Meanwhile, the newspaper continued to grow. On December 10, 1901, it moved into a building on the south side of Broadway, between 7th and 8th streets, renting from landlord S.B. Wright and conducting business with Harry J. Wright. The paper remained there before moving again Oct. 1, 1914, and published a notice about the move into the new building, saying, in part, “Through all of our struggles for existence through the first years of our residence here, during the strike, the panic and the hard times necessary to the making of the Daily and Weekly Messenger a success, Mr. Wright was one of our best friends.”
On Friday afternoon, Sept. 7, 1923, the newspaper appeared as “The Mayfield Messenger” with the slogan “Obedience to law is liberty” and “It’s Circulation that Tells -- It’s Advertising that Sells!” The newspaper boasted that year, 1923, that it had 15,000 readers every day.
Sometime in the 1920s the Messenger bought out the Monitor. Messenger Editor Scott Lemon supposedly told the Monitor’s owner, W.K. Wall, that he would give him 80 $100 bills for it. At the same time, Mr. Lemon estimated that Mr. Wall had about $22,000 tied up in the Monitor. Mr. Wall took the money, and the Monitor merged into the Messenger.
Scott Lemon bought The Mayfield Times in 1923 from editor Bert S. Berry and merged it with the Messenger to create the present day newspaper.
On July 31, 1925, the Messenger ran the announcement of new owners and publishers George Covington and George Bingham, who would take over the next day.
George Covington appointed George Bingham as editor. George Covington continued on until May 1930, when Frank O. Evans became publisher and Roy C. Evans the manager.
Frank Evans continued to lead the Messenger as publisher throughout the ‘40s and into the ‘50s. In 1950, Jess G. Anderson was editor. Subscription costs had gone up to $6.50 per year. A headline included, “Beautiful new Church of Christ open here Sunday.”
Mr. Evans decided to sell the paper and retire in 1957. Ray Edwards became editor and publisher that year representing a two-family ownership group based in Virginia and the Carolinas.
In April 1967, the Messenger got a new press, transitioning from the old letter press methods to offset printing. Ray Edwards remained as publisher, but Walter Apperson was named editor beginning in 1968. The Messenger’s office was on West Broadway, one block off the court square, where the letters remain embossed in stone over the door.
The Messenger next moved to its then brand-new building at 201 N. 8th Street on July 13, 1979.
In the 1980s, the Haskell family of Martinsville, Virginia, secured control. The family retained ownership until June 1, 2015, when Paxton Media Group purchased the Messenger. Finally, on Sept. 11, 2017, The Mayfield messenger moved into its new building at 111 S. 7th St.