The Davis Clipper Prints Final Newspaper After 129 Years
WOODS CROSS, Utah — A local newspaper that has been in business for 129 years has printed its final paper, the result of years of financial hardship and a pandemic that offered no relief.
“So many mixed emotions,” said Lorie Matern, the office manager at The Davis Clipper, a paper that’s served the Davis County community every week. “Just because you know we’ve been doing this for so long and we have heard the impact it has had on the community.”
Matern’s great grandfather is John Stahle Sr., who threw its first paper on the press in 1891. This kicked off a family business that would last four generations and 129 years.
Through it all, the Clipper has offered a weekly paper to thousands of Davis County residents.
“We’ve been a big part of Davis County,” Matern said. “It just got to a point that you have to stop the bleeding somewhere.”
Two weeks ago, Matern’s father and the paper’s publisher Gail Stahle made the difficult decision to send their final paper to the press this week.
“It breaks our heart to see how much this is affecting the community,” Matern said.
The Clipper’s financial troubles began with the recession in 2008.
A lot has happened since 1891. Through it all the @DavisClipper has been there for the community. But after this week all that’s left will be a legacy and 129 years of history. It’s been struggling for years but covid left it with no choice. Our story on @KSL5TV at 10 pic.twitter.com/9bKOMxB5ah
— Matt Rascon KSL (@MattRasconKSL) December 3, 2020
Stahle sold the building and part of his estate to keep the paper in business and staff employed, but it still never fully recovered. And 2020 offered no relief. The pandemic hurt businesses that had helped keep the paper afloat for so many years. Many struggling companies were forced to cut advertising and the paper suffered.
“With COVID stepping in, it didn’t really leave us any option,” said Matern.
On the final week of printing, Matern asked her aging father what he wanted her to tell the people they had served for so many years.
“And he said, I just wish that I could have made it work,’” Matern said. “So, it’s a real heartbreak for him.”
There isn’t much left to see in the hallways at the Clipper. But there’s a history 129 years in the making and a legacy that will be there for the community even after they’re gone.
“It’s really a tender moment for all of us because there is so much history,” Matern said. “But at the same time, it’s a legacy. It’s a legacy that’s been left to the people.”
Its final paper will go out to customers’ homes on Friday.
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