The following is a newspaper article by Mary Hyre titled "25 Years At The Messenger Brought Laughs, Tears" from The Messenger, in Athens, Ohio. It appeared on Monday, May 8th 1967. She also mailed a clipping of this article To John Keel on the same day:

25 Years At The Messenger Brought Laughs, Tears

by Mary Hyre

Point Pleasant Correspondent

POINT PLEASANT - Tuesday will mark the 25th anniversary of my affiliation with The Messenger, and, although it has been a pleasant 25 years in many ways, there are often sad notes in many events, such as when one has to write a story about a good friend getting killed, or just an obituary.

I believe the saddest part of the job is when I have to talk with parents or the wife who have had a loved one killed during a war.

When I first started with The Messenger, it was in the Circulation Department, and for several years I was in charge of carrier boys. My relationship with them was a most rewarding one, as I watched them grow, and have seen what they have done with themselves as citizens.

Start accounts

Many newsboys started their first bank account, some saving for their college education, went on to college education, went on to college education, went on to college, and now have god jobs. These boys have gone into many different fields including medicine, law, architecture, engineering and the ministry. Many, of course, have served their country in one of the branches of the Armed Forces.

In the 25 years I have worked, I have met many people and have enjoyed working with them. Without their help, it would be impossible to find something to write every day, and I really appreciate their cooperation.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me or cooperated with me for so many years in the news. department and to the parents and boys who worked as carriers in the early part of my work with The Messenger.

When I was transferred to the News Department I moved into a new life that has been interesting, to say the least, but one that has been filled with the pressures of deadlines, the burden of so often being close to human tragedy, yet abundant with the privilege of sharing the joys of success of many of our citizens.


It would be impossible to relate, or even recall, all the outstanding news stories I have covered, but some have made such as indelible mark that I shall never forget them.

There was the day I watched as a physician fought to save a child who had drowned in a water-filled sewer line excavation. The doctors labored as spectators, police and firemen watched. Then he turned to them and indicated there was nothing else he could do. The doctor then bowed his head and walked away. There was Dr. Don A. Hatten and the boy he could not save was his 10-year-old son, Don Franklin.

With thousands of others I have often admired the beauty of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Their majesty never ceases to thrill me, but many times I have stood on the river banks as rescue workers searched for bodies.

I remember the family outing that ended in tragedy. The family went for a boat ride, the craft capsized and the mother and two sons were lost.

Strange Event

One of the strangest events was when John Wayne McKinney, 6, Gallipolis Ferry, left his home to play with his dogs. He became lost in the woods and it was six days before his frozen body was found. At one time 1,000 persons were searching for the child. While I was covering the story I lost my car key in the barnyard. Someone found it and turned it into the sheriff's office, a rare stroke of luck for me.

Perhaps the busiest time came when the grand jury indicted 43 persons for election fraud. That was enough to keep me busy, but the same week Roy Jackson was murdered. He was fire chief, as well as operating the cab company. While Mr. Jackson's funeral was being conducted fire broke out at what was then Point Pleasant Register building, destroying the interior.

I played a hunch while covering the Jackson murder and Lonnie Stafford, who has done much of my photographic work, got an excellent news picture. Officer were searching in a creek and I told Lonnie to get down on the bank as close as he could. He took my advice and was there a few minutes then the murder gun and Mr. Jackson's jacket were found.

Sad Experience

one of my saddest experiences came at the county jail when a man and his daughter came in to seek information about a wreck. He was told his wife and three children had been killed and a fourth child critically injured.

Another accident I covered took the lives of a man, his wife and two children. In my column I wrote how they had been a Christian family and nightly had prayed together. Later, members of their family told me how much consolation the column had brought them. At times like this, the job has its rewards.

Any reporter could go on and on about experiences. There most certainly would be the covering of the Marietta Manufacturing Co. explosion when six men were killed, one of our many floods, any number of fires or trails.

However, not all my time has been spent with grief, tragedy or loss. There have been countless times when I've had the pleasure of writing about the success of some resident. Each year it is a pleasure to report the names of top students in each graduation class and give them credit for their fine school work. And there are times when I can tell of a man or woman getting well-earned promotion, or relate the story of a new industry or business settling in our community.

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