It Happened Years Ago: Newspapers of Miami County’s past and present

Courtesy photo

The new Miami Valley Today editorial offices north of Troy.

How do you keep up with the news of what’s happening in the world, the United States, Ohio or even locally? Obviously, if you are reading this column, then you’re reading the Miami Valley Sunday News, either a hard copy or digitally, or perhaps a reposting on Facebook. No matter which source of news you prefer, more and more news coverage is dispensed electronically. Even some periodicals are going solely to an online presence. But years ago, most people received their information on current events and happenings by reading the weekly or daily newspaper, which was owned, compiled, printed and sold locally.

During the past 200 years, there have been too many newspapers in Miami County to recount in an article such as this. In Troy alone, there were over 30 newspapers published during that time, with most of them only lasting a few months to a year. The three major ones were the Troy Times, the Miami Union (a county paper published in Troy) and the Troy Daily News. In Piqua, the Miami Helmet, Piqua Leader Dispatch and the Piqua Daily Call were the main sources of news. Tipp City had the Tipp Herald since 1869. Last year, the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call were merged by their common parent company to form the Miami Valley Today newspaper, which also includes news from around the county. Following soon after the merger was the relocation to a new facility on North County Road 25-A.

Prior to the move, Troy’s papers were published in several building around downtown, including the Wasserman building on East Main Street, the 1841 courthouse-I.O.O.F building (formerly the Flash Restaurant and Bamboo Grill), an early post office building and, of course, the location on South Market Street. In Piqua and other locales, the process was similar.

Just as the newspapers of the county have had numerous locations, so the new consolidated office of the Miami Valley Today has a history prior to becoming a news editorial headquarters.

According to the Miami County Auditor’s website, the structure was erected in 1934. It was about the time in which V.E. Neal was opening Dairy Stores and a Dairy Products Co. During those years the Neals had a thriving business, not only in Miami County, but also in several cities in the Midwest. Both a Neal’s Dairy Store and a Neal’s Dairy Products Co. are noted in the Miami County directories for this location through several years. At this time, it is not known if the Neals constructed the building.

In the early 1960’s, Gormley’s Building Supply, owned by John M. Gormley, made this their business location for a few years. Similar to Troy Lumber, Montross Lumber, etc., Gormley’s sought to provide commercial and private builders with the materials they needed.

The next commercial use of the building at 1001 North County Road 25-A is one which many people will remember as a longtime Troy business. Price Typewriter Co., Inc. was established by Thomas and Stella Price about 1956, and in 1969, they made the move from West Main Street to their new location. They sold and repaired various well-known brands of typewriters and other business machines and accessories. They operated out of this location for almost 20 years before closing the business around 1987.

For the next several years, a couple fitness centers used the building. Then, there was a brief stay by a computer company prior to Miami Valley Heating & Cooling occupying the structure from 1995-2000.

A Miami County senior service group and a limousine business came, inhabited and then vacated during the next few years, followed by another three years where nothing is listed at the address.

From 2006 until 2014, Miami Valley Mechanical (A.C. Control & Systems), and the New Life Baptist Ministries shared the building for their particular purposes.

During the last several years before the purchase by AIM Media Midwest, parent company of Miami Valley Today, Miami Valley Mechanical was still noted as the occupant of the structure.

Long past are the days when small local newspapers need large multi-faceted buildings to house presses, large staffs and produce their papers. For the Miami Valley News, the paper is printed off site and pretty much all the work is done electronically now, so the need for a large building has greatly diminished.

While we wait to see what takes place in the old Miami Union-Troy Daily News building, here’s hoping the Miami Valley Today enjoys many years in their new digs providing us with local news and information.