ABOUT THE STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
In 1882 German immigrant Joseph A. Ernst started a little four-page weekly, printed in German and in English. The newspaper made a sensation in Ste. Genevieve. The first issue of the Ste. Genevieve Herald was delivered by mail — a free copy bearing the message that the newspaper was being sent “to all the friends whom we can call to memory.” It included an appeal for those who liked the paper to subscribe. They did.
Ernst ran the newspaper with a feisty, aggressive approach for more than three decades, until he finally stepped down in 1916, leaving the leadership of The Herald to his son, Frank J. A. Ernst. Frank ran the paper with his two sons, Frank and Valle, until about 1936.
The final member of the small newspaper dynasty was Katherine Ernst, the widow of the founder’s grandson. In 1969 the paper was sold to Paul Pautler, and for the first time the family-owned and operated paper passed into other hands.
Under Pautler’s leadership the paper was incorporated, and Arthur Meyer, Marvin Harman and Jess Martin took the helm. Shortly after Pautler acquired The Herald, he sold out to Meyer, Harman and Martin, who owned it until 1976, when the newspaper was merged with Ste. Genevieve’s other weekly publication, the Fair Play. Robert Burr and Raymond Melcher joined Meyer, Harman and Martin as owners of the corporation. Later, In 1981, the paper was sold to Eugene Mace, who created the corporate entity Ste. Genevieve Newspapers, Inc. For more than a decade the newspaper was operated by his widow, Janet Mace, with Robert Burr as publisher. In 2013, Ste. Genevieve Media was formed by Editor Toby Carrig and his wife Patricia and closed on the purchase of the newspaper in July of that year. The paper was purchased by Better Newspapers, Inc., of Mascoutah, Illinois, on February 28, 2020.
It continues to be a true “hometown” product — the only paper produced and published in Ste. Genevieve County. Most members of the staff are county residents; many are lifetime members of the local community.
The Herald has changed with the times — moving from hand-set type to high-tech computer systems, and quaint solicitations by purveyors of buggy whips to ads for cell phones.
However, the newspaper continues to be dedicated to printing local news and dealing with local issues; stimulating discussion of local problems and helping find local solutions; promoting the interests of the community … and maintaining an interest in all aspects of community life.
Almost half a century ago, when the paper was marking its 75th year, publisher Katherine Ernst described the newspaper as “always a champion, without fear or favor, [of] all worthwhile projects pertaining to the social and commercial life of Ste. Genevieve City and County.”
In 1882 Joseph Ernst put it this way: “The Herald is devoted to the interest of Ste. Genevieve County and neighborhood, and no effort will be spared to make it a welcome guest at every home and fireside.”
Today and always, The Herald pledges to maintain that proud tradition. After nearly 14 decades, The Herald continues to provide comprehensive coverage of this community and its residents. The most widely-distributed publication in the county, The Ste. Genevieve Herald is read in more than 2,000 households each week.
Averaging more than 18 pages per week, The Herald carries advertising primarily from local businesses. The editorial focus has also remained local. More than 90 percent of the content is directly related to the Ste. Genevieve County community.
Presently, The Herald has a staff of nine full and part-time employees.
In 1999, The Herald closed down its partner firm, the Fair Play Printing Company. However the newspaper staff still provides custom copywriting, typesetting, graphic design, and layout services. In addition, the company offers mailing services to organizations and businesses, publishes and distributes a weekly “mailbag” advertising vehicle, and provides affordable promotional and public relations services for small businesses and organizations.
Over the years, The Herald and its staff have received recognition for the newspaper’s quality and dedication to serving Ste. Genevieve County and its citizens from a variety of organizations.
THE HERALD’S EDITORIAL MISSION
The Herald is dedicated to providing unbiased and accurate reporting about the events, issues and people that affect Ste. Genevieve County and its residents. Local government, school, church, social and sports activities, the work of various organizations and associations, business news, health and welfare reporting, births and deaths … in fact all aspects of community life are part of our weekly beat.
It is our goal in reporting on complex issues to offer more than headlines. Rather, we attempt to give our readers sufficient information to allow them to form their own opinions about important matters. We invite them to share those diverse opinions on our editorial page.
In addition, as a small town newspaper, we are committed to playing a role in the life of the community. We demonstrate that commitment by participation in and support of various activities and projects that address the well-being of our readers and customers.
We, too, are citizens of Ste. Genevieve County. It is our obligation to do our best to serve our friends and neighbors well.