HISTORY OF THE TIMES-PRESS
A Brief History of the Times-Press
By Ellen Piehl Duffy
The Seymour Press began as a weekly on 8 July 1886, published by Henry J. Van Vuren. He received little community support after several issues. He packed up his printing equipment intending to go to Hortonville, Wisconsin where he had been offered a small bonus to start a newspaper. The machinery was at the station ready for the train to arrive when all of the town businessmen appeared and persuaded Van Vuren to remain in Seymour. He did stay and after 43 years passed on the editorship to his son Clyde.
Clyde took over in 1929. His career as publisher and editor continued for 15 years. He had worked with his father, then left the paper in 1916 to sell Maxwell cars in Seymour. After turning the paper over to Clyde, H. J. continued to write his column “The Crow’s Nest” until his death in 1939.
Clyde’s son Keith became the editor after 15 years. Keith, the third generation of the Van Vuren publishing family, worked in partnership with his father until the latter’s death in 1953. Keith changed the title to the Seymour-Black Creek Community Press on 1 January 1964. The newspaper office was on West Wisconsin Street where Don’s Quality Market parking lot is now. A disastrous fire on 25 April 1966 burned the office to the ground taking with it the archival newspapers.
On 1 July 1966, Shellman Publishing Company of Oconto Falls, Wisconsin bought the newspaper with Fritz Shellman as the editor. This ended 80 years of publishing in the Van Vuren family. The new office was located on the northwest corner of Main and Factory Streets. It became the Times-Press when it combined with The Bonduel Times in 1971.
Local residents Tom and Ann Duffey bought the newspaper in 1979. They were co-editors and co-publishers for ten years. They started The Shopping Bee, a weekly free advertiser, to compete with another local weekly free advertiser, the Buyers’ Guide.
In January 1989 they sold the Times-Press and The Shopping Bee to Jason Wilett from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. After six months Wilett sold it to the publishers of the Buyers’ Guide, Add Inc., of Waupaca, Wisconsin. The Shopping Bee was discontinued. The office was moved to the Buyers’ Guide location at 209 North Main Street (the north corner of Main and Morrow Streets.) The printing side of the business was sold back to the Duffeys who sold it to their son Dave Duffey and to Deb Marsh for their business Express Printing.
Both the Times-Press and the Buyers’ Guide continued to be held by out-of-town interests when Add, Inc., was bought by Journal Communications in 1989. A division of the company, Journal Community Publishing Group, published both papers.
Competition arose with a new, free, weekly, the Advertiser Community News. It began publishing on Monday, 3 August 2009 serving Seymour, Black Creek, Shiocton, and Nichols. Ken Hodgen, manager of the Times-Press and Buyers’ Guide from 1986 to 2009, was its publisher. Rick Cohler, editor of the Times-Press from June, 1998 to 2009, joined him.
The Times-Press meanwhile changed its title on 30 July 2009 to the Seymour Area Times-Press and gained a new editor, Shirlie Rae. Its last day of publication was Thursday, 27 May 2010. Both papers were sold to BlueLine Media which then sold them to the Advertiser Community News. The combination became the Advertiser Community News & Times-Press, Seymour’s current newspaper. The Buyers’ Guide ceased operation with the sale.
Presently, the only complete access to archival copies of the Press and the Times-Press is through the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin. Scattered issues are available on microfilm there from 1899 to 1906. Complete volumes begin in 1943 and go through 1999, also on microfilm. The issues starting with the year 2000 have not yet been filmed and can be viewed at the archives division of the Historical Society.