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0:34 - Newspaper printing

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Partial Transcript: Mr. Simpson, I'd like to start off the interview by asking where you were born, when you were born, and some other person history.

Segment Synopsis: Simpson discusses the changes he has witnessed in paper printing and layout.

Keywords: Wayne County Outlook

Subjects: Newspaper layout and typography Newspaper presses

5:04 - Wayne County Outlook

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Partial Transcript: With a paper such as yours, what do you see as the community responsibilities?

Segment Synopsis: Simpson gives an overview of the Wayne County Outlook, including what a typical week is like.

Keywords: Wayne County Outlook

Subjects: Deadlines Newspaper employees Newspaper presses Newspaper reporting

11:03 - Reporting

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Partial Transcript: What about the editorial policy of the paper?

Segment Synopsis: Simpson discusses the most memorable stories that he reported. In particular, he talks about two sheriffs who were brothers that were killed right after the other.

Keywords: Bootleggers; Moonshine; Wayne County Outlook

Subjects: Distilling, Illicit Murder Newspaper reporting Sheriffs

23:07 - Advertising

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Partial Transcript: More and more of the small weekly papers now are being purchased by the chains.

Segment Synopsis: Simpson discusses advertising revenue and the percentage of ads to reports.

Keywords: Wayne County Outlook

Subjects: Advertising, Newspaper Newspaper layout and typography Newspaper publishing--United States Newspaper--Circulation

28:00 - Wayne County

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Partial Transcript: Who have you seen, or who to you have been some of the leading decision makers in Wayne County over the past few years?

Segment Synopsis: Simpson discusses influential people in Wayne County and issues that the county faces.

Keywords: County Judge; County Judge Executive; Wayne County

Subjects: Bankers Mayors Roads--Construction


The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Mr. Bill Simpson, editor and associate publisher of The Wayne County Outlook by David Smith for the Oral History Center at Eastern Kentucky University. The interview was conducted at Mr. Simpson's office on February 8, 1979, at 7 p.m.

Smith: All right, Mr. Simpson I'd like to start off the interview by asking where you were born, and when you were born, and some other personal history.

Simpson: OK, I was born July 2, 1918, in Wayne County, Monticello.

Smith: That's same day as mine. Born...born on the same day.

Simpson: [Laughing] Lived here all my life.

Smith: Here in Wayne County?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Went to school here in...

Simpson: Yeah. Graduated from Monticello High School.

Smith: And what did you do...have you always been in...uh...I noticed that, I believe, your...was it your father?

Simpson: Yes. My father owned the...he started in 1904. And, he died in 1969.

Smith: Have...have you always worked in the...

Simpson: Yes. Always.

Smith: Been associated with the paper as soon as you got of school you started with...?

Simpson: Yes. Uh-huh.

Smith: Went to work for the paper. Did he...what did he due prior the...

Simpson: My father?

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: He had several jobs. I think he worked for the Post Office, and sold insurance, and...oh...just a f

Smith: Several things. Had he...had he wanted to be a newspaper man to your knowledge?

Simpson: Not to my knowledge. No. He went in it with two other fellows.

Smith: about your mother. What was her maiden name?

Simpson: Robinson.

Smith: Was she from Wayne County?

Simpson: No, she was from...uh...Berea. What county is it?

Smith: Madison County. My county?

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah.

Smith: Say her name was Robinson?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: What was her first name?

Simpson: Uh...Eleanor.

Smith: I know some Robinsons up there. [Unclear] Do you know of any kinfolk that you've got up around Berea?

Simpson: Uh...not now.

Smith: Did you have any other brothers and sisters?

Simpson: Had two sisters.

Smith: Two sisters.

Simpson: Uh-huh.

Smith: And, I guess one of them was married to...

Simpson: One of them married Clyde. Clyde [unclear]. The other older sister forgotten...I figure about 1934. Somewhere along there.

Smith: How about your father? Was he from Wayne County?

Simpson: Yes. He was born here.

Smith: He was born here. Was his...was your grandfather born here?

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: How long have your family members been around in Wayne County?

Simpson: Oh...long time.

Smith: Long time. Do you know how far back it goes?

Simpson: I really don't know off hand.

Smith: But's several know your grandfather...

Simpson: Oh, yes.

Smith: That would put it quite...put it a long time ago. Uh...What did you first start doing when you started working for the paper? Can you remember that far back?

Simpson: I really don't remember, no. Course, it's a long....

Smith: Have you done...I guess you've done just about everything ... at one time or another.

Simpson: Yeah...up until the last. Of course, it's changed, you know, through the years. Processes have changed.

Smith: Uh-huh. What kind... What have been some of the...the biggest changes that you've seen?

Simpson: Oh, I imagine...well, of course the linotype. Going from handset type to linotype. And, then...

Smith: Hand set is that were you [thump, thump, thump].

Simpson: Yes, you pick up each letter individually.

Smith: Individual letters. That's...that's quite a chore. Isn't it?

Simpson: Oh, yeah. [Laughing]

Smith: How fast can...did you become at setting type by hand?

Simpson: By hand? Oh, I...

Smith: Did you do a lot of that?

Simpson: I...I don't know. I didn't do too much of that. I don't believe they set over two or three galleys a day. Then the linotype came along, and of course you can set about...oh...fourteen, sixteen galleys a day on that. And offset come a long. Of course, they don't go by galleys now. They's on paper. And, oh, they can set two or three times as much as a linotype.

Smith: Made it...much, much quicker now?

Simpson: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Smith: Um, what other change? Can you remember... I guess that's the most dramatic change. Just the speed in which...

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: can can get a paper out now.

Simpson: Yes, uh-huh. Yes, uh-huh.

Smith: Are there any other changes that you can...

Simpson: Of course, the switch over type to cold type, which is, of course, that's offset. And, uh...photographs. And, of course, we couldn't do much with photographs. We didn't have any way to change a photograph into a...a...a plate.

Smith: To where you can...

Simpson: To where we could...

Smith: Print it.

Simpson: Print it. Yeah.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: But now, of course, they just use the photographs. And, I really don't know too much about this new process.

Smith: You're kind of more familiar...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...with the old processes. Uh... How big of paper is the Outlook?

Simpson: You mean circulation?

Smith: Circulation. Yes, sir.

Simpson: I...right...a little over 5,000.

Smith: Is it primarily just for Wayne County?

Simpson: Oh, yes.

Smith: Or, do you get...

Simpson: Oh, well, of course, we have subscribers now who lived...lived here and...

Smith: Moved off.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: So, it's primarily just Wayne County for subscriptions.

Simpson: Oh, yes. Yes.

Smith: Except for those who live away.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Uh... With a weekly paper such as yours, what...what do you see as some of the community responsibilities or purpose of the paper?

Simpson: Well...progress, I guess, is the main thing.

Smith: And...and inform the people, tell them about what's going on.

Simpson: Hm-hum.

Smith: How many...uh...reporters have you got?

Simpson: Ah...well, we've got one straight news reporter, and one sports reporter, and then, my son, who does most of the makeup and mechanical work on it, he does some reporting.

Smith: But, he knows about...

Simpson: And, then, Clyde does some reporting, my brother-in-law.

Smith: Uh-huh. So, your son's kind of involved in the more current processes...that....

Simpson: Oh, yes, yes.

Smith: The newest things've kind of let him take...take that. What are your main responsibilities now with the paper?

Simpson: I really don't have much to do with it now. [Both laughing]

Smith: Did you at one...Did... In previous times did you...were you more active in...

Simpson: Oh, yes, yes.

Smith: Did you...were you kind of responsible for getting the paper out then?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Hm-hum.

Smith: Whereas now you don't...

Simpson: Oh, yeah...

Smith: don't take quite as active...

Simpson: No. [Laughing]

Smith: Are you...what do you do?

Simpson: Now? Not very much of anything.

Smith: Just kind of come by and check on it.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Do you come by usually every day?

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: In your office?

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: When is...The paper's printed on Wednesday?

Simpson: Yes. Hm-hum.

Smith: That's... Printed on Wednesday with a Thursday date?

Simpson: Yeah. Hm-hum.

Smith: Could you kind of describe basically what goes on during the week that you have to go through in getting that paper out on...on Wednesday. Uh... What do you tomorrow and Mon...I guess it's Monday and then Tuesday.

Simpson: Well, of course, Monday usually when the ads come in and start on...uh...set up the ads. Of course, we have a typist, and she does the typing, the news typing. My son does most of the ad typing. We work all Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on that.

Smith: On the ads?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: They come in on Monday usually, you start...

Simpson: Usually, yes.

Smith: ...set up on Monday...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...and then check 'em out on Tuesday. And, then, I guess Wednesday's the printing day.

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah. We have it printed on Wednesday afternoon. And, then we put some in the mail Wednesday...late Wednesday afternoon, and the rest of it on Thursday.

Smith: Thursday.

Simpson: Um-hum.

Smith: So, how about the news reporting. What basically goes on? Is that kind of more like the ads. Just...what stories you've got...

Simpson: Well, of course, some of the stories he gets on Friday. And, of course, you can't ever tell when the news story is going to break.

Smith: When... Yeah, yeah, you kind of have to...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: You're at the mercy of whenever it happens.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Uh. What was I going to ask you ...slipped my mind. Uh... Do you use any reporters from out in the county? Like them kind of...[unclear]...

Simpson: Correspondents?

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: Yeah. We have a few. We have a few.

Smith: Not too many? So, the...the primary news reporting comes from the...the ones...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: just mentioned. The news...main news writer and the sports writer and your son or Clyde or whoever else is around.

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah.

Smith: So, you do use... Did you in the past run more on the correspondents?

Simpson: Oh, yes.

Smith: Or, just mainly...

Simpson: Yes. We didn't even have... Up until we went offset I don't guess we had a reporter, really.

Smith: So, just...How many...uh...correspondents did you use then?

Simpson: Oh, I'd say ten or twelve roughly. Of course, it varied. Sometimes they'd send it in one week and miss a week, you know. It's hard to...

Smith: Yeah. just... If they had something to send in they'd...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...they'd do it. Or, if you needed something did you ever go out and contact them and say what...have you got anything for me this week or...?

Simpson: Not back then.

Smith: They'd just...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: How big a paper was it usually many pages would you usually...just as average.

Simpson: When...I mean what?

Smith: When...when you kind of were in charge of it. Or, when...when precisely were you...?

Simpson: Oh well, of course, during the war, in the war, World War II, when was that over? '40...

Smith: '45.

Simpson: '45.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: So, from '45 through...uh...what '60. We went offset around '70.

Smith: And that's kind of when you...

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: Say, during the '50s. How big a paper would you...

Simpson: Oh, I'd say around two thousand. Maybe twenty-five hundred.

Smith: So, it's...uh...kind of doubled in the past.

Simpson: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Smith: Uh...Did you do much job printing and...

Simpson: We did. We...we phased that out now.

Smith: To where you don't...don't do much?

Simpson: We do some. We farm it out. We don't do any actual printing.

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: We take jobs in, but we farm 'em out.

Smith: Did the...uh...did that form of printing...sizable amount of the paper's income?

Simpson: used to be. I...I don't think it did...did in the latter years.

Smith: And, that...I guess that's kind of why you...gradually...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Didn't take as active a...

Simpson: Uh-huh. Yeah.

Smith: Now the paper itself, you don't print that either. That...

Simpson: No. Not the actual printing.

Smith: Is that...that printed at Somerset?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: I think Clyde mentioned that when he took us on a tour of the building and showed us.

Simpson: Yeah. We get it ready for press and put the plates on.

Smith: And then take it over to Somerset?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: I...I...does make a whole lot more sense. What do you...How long does it take to run a ...?

Simpson: I don't think it takes about a half hour. I've never seen it printed. [Laughing]

Smith: But, you know a half an hour would won't really be wise to have a...expensive...

Simpson: Oh, no. You couldn' couldn't purchase a press for...

Smith: How expensive are they? Did you ever look into it?

Simpson: Oh... They use to be $25,000 a unit. That would print four pages, and of course that was several years ago and I'm sure they've gone up.

Smith: Bound to.

Simpson: Yeah, I'd say about $35,000 a unit.

Smith: That's just not economically feasible.

Simpson: No, uh-huh. See we...oh, I guess we'll average sixteen pages a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes...

Smith: Now, would you need a...a press for each?

Simpson: Yeah. You need a unit for each four pages.

Smith: For each four pages, so that would'd have to have four presses.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: If you're going to print a sixteen.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: What about the editorial policy of the paper? Did you...

Simpson: Well, we never did have...we never went very editorial.

Smith: Just mainly reported the news?

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: And didn't...let provided people the information and let 'em make up their own minds.

Simpson: Yeah. Um-hum.

Smith: You could make yours up and they could make...make theirs up. So you didn't endorse political candidates or get...?

Simpson: No, I don't think we ever endorsed political candidates.

Smith: What about affiliation with press associations? Where you...did you belong to any?

Simpson: Uh...recently we have. We...oh, I think we did every once in a while.

Smith: Are they provide much of a benefit to the paper?

Simpson: I don't really think so.

Smith: There's doesn't really help that much in getting that paper out.

Simpson: No. No. Un-uh. What primarily they're for is to give you information. Which they do give you good information, I guess. There's so many regulations any more.

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: But, primarily, I guess, the ads. They give you ads. And they do the billing and things like that.

Smith: Can you remember, what...what have been some of the interesting stories that you reported on during...during your years when you more or less headed the paper?

Simpson: Hmm... Murdered a couple sheriffs here one time. Brothers. One right after the other, you know.

Smith: Both of them you... Can you recall much of what went on there?

Simpson: Been quite a while ago. It's been thirty or more years ago, I guess.

Smith: You remember any of the little...any of the main outlines of the story? Or who...did they...uh... arrest anybody for the murders?

Simpson: Oh, yes. They...they...they knew who had murdered them. I mean, it wasn't...

Smith: It wasn't...

Simpson: [Laughing]

Smith: Well, was the circum...what led to the murders? Do you remember what...

Simpson: Oh, the...I think both of 'em were bootleg...uh...raids.

Smith: They went on a...

Simpson: Bootleg raid. And, uh...the first one I know was. And, I can't remember the second one. Can' It was the other way around. The second one was. No, the first one was...he was murdered down here in the, oh...territory of town they call the Sheep Lot. And, ...he was walking down the lane, I think, somebody shot him from out a house. Bushwhacked him.

Smith: Did they catch any?

Simpson: Yeah. And, he served several years in the penitentiary. I don't remember...

Smith: Did he...did he come back here when they let him out?

Simpson: Oh, yes. I see...he's still around...

Smith: Is he still around?

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: Is he behaving himself now?

Simpson: Yeah. [Both laughing] As far as I know.

Smith: As far as you know. How about the...the second? You think it was a...a bootleg raid?

Simpson: No, the first, uh....the first. Yeah, this...I'm getting mixed up.

Smith: Well, that's all right. What was, uh...was there...was there moonshining going on in...?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Back in those days.

Smith: Was there a pretty good bit of it going on?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Uh-huh.

Smith: Was it...uh...

Simpson: First one, that's when it was. And, they had a...quite a ring going on and they was just about to take over the county.

Smith: Really? What was... How many of 'em were in on it?

Simpson: Oh, it was family. Uh...the father...and three sons, I believe.

Smith: Did they act as a unit or were they spread out?

Simpson: No, they acted as a unit.

Smith: central operation?

Simpson: Yeah. Of course, of course, they furnished it to other...

Smith: Bootleggers?

Simpson: Yeah, in the county. Yeah.

Smith: How much bootlegging was going on?

Simpson: Oh, I wouldn't...I wouldn't know...have any idea about the volume. But, just...quite a few...

Smith: Quite...quite substantial?

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: Did the...What about the reaction of the people?

Simpson: Oh, they were up in arms, of course, after they murdered the sheriff.

Smith: But, now, up...up until then they weren't quite as...

Simpson: Well, of course...they knew it, but, they, of course, I...

Smith: As long as they kept it...

Simpson: Sort of under control. But, then it got out of control, you know, and just got to going wild.... [Both laughing]

Smith: What were they doing? Do you recall at all?

Simpson: Just making so much money and just getting out in the open with it, you know.

Smith: Yeah.

Simpson: And, everybody knew about it.

Smith: And, then they said, that's...that' then the sheriff went up there?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: To close them down, and he got shot?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: What... Did that kind of...put a...pretty strong...uh...quiet on the bootlegging? Did they...

Simpson: Not really. [Laughing]

Smith: That didn't...even after...

Simpson: No.

Smith: They just sent the fellow off to prison?

Simpson: Oh, it might have for a...a...

Smith: Put 'em back underground.

Simpson: ...few years maybe or something, of course, it came right back.

Smith: You say that was about thirty, thirty-five years ago?

Simpson: Yeah. See transportation was different then. And, then he can jump in the car and run over to of the whiskey selling counties.

Smith: Which...what's...what's the closest?

Simpson: Richmond I guess. Lebanon might be. Richmond or Lebanon. Of course, Lexington's not too far.

Smith: Yeah. So, then you couldn't...roads weren't good enough....

Simpson: No.

Smith: So, it was more...

Simpson: And, automobiles, of course, weren't like they are now.

Smith: Yeah. So it was more of a local...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...local operation.

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: Did they produce very good moonshine according to what people said?

Simpson: Well, some did and some didn't. [Both laughing]

Smith: Depended on your taste, I guess. [Both laughing] How about the sheriff shooter, was he a...?

Simpson: I...

Smith: Were they...

Simpson: I'd say they were. They also whiskey, too. They'd go out of town and get it.

Smith: And get it.

Simpson: They'd bring it back in...uh...huge volume, you know.

Smith: Yeah.

Simpson: But, uh...individuals back then wouldn't go out and get it like we do now. I mean, it's easy to run up to Lexington when you're going to Lexington or someplace now all the time.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: Put a case in your car and bring it back.

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: And, you know, of course, that's legal. Back then, why, it was just too far to go. People didn't travel like they do now.

Smith: Yeah. I guess that was a pretty big trip to go to Lexington.

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: Forty years ago, wasn't it?

Simpson: [Laughing] Lot different than it is today.

Smith: Yeah. Well, is there there much moonshining going on now?

Simpson: No. Very little.

Smith: Not that much. If somebody wants something they...they know somebody going to Lexington or Richmond and they can...they can...they can supply their own...own needs.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Not...not that much anymore.

Simpson: Oh, no. I don't guess there's much bootlegging at all any more. Very little.

Smith: Can you recall many other inter...what other stories did...did you remember?

Simpson: Of course, back in those days you didn't have too many big stories, you know.

Smith: Yeah, but I guess... Was it mostly just reporting of...of the local news?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Correspondents?

Simpson: Yes. Uh-huh.

Smith: Where you the main reporter when you were the...?

Simpson: At one time, yeah. Uh-huh. When I was a young man.

Smith: Now, you're listed as publisher and you're also still the...listed as the editor.

Simpson: Yes. Uh-huh.

Smith: But, the main operations are carried on by Clyde and...and your son and the....and the...uh...

Simpson: Employees.

Smith: Yeah. Main writers. Did you ever have much difficulty in getting the paper out? Back when you were the...

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: What...what...

Simpson: Every week. [Laughing]

Smith: What are the problems that you have when ...dealt with when you...when you have to get a paper out?

Simpson: Well, the mechanics of a linotype was very complicated, and I didn't know too much about 'em. Although, I guess I ran a linotype for twenty-five years. But, they're so complicated. If one little part goes wrong, you know, you broke down. And, there's no...

Smith: Exactly how...what is the proc...that linotype process? How does it...?

Simpson: Well, it...uh... I don't know whether I can explain it to you or not. It...uh... It's metal...this metal pig goes down in this pot. It melts that...that pig, you see, and it's got a, what they call a plunger in there. It plunges that hot metal on to those know, individual mats, which of course you get 'em by typing. It's different from a typewriter, but the keyboard is practically the same, but it's not, you know...arranged different.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: And, they...this metal hits the back of those mats, which are indented, and those raise... letters are raised on the slug that comes out. These [unclear] form those slugs into a...a galley...what they call a galley of type back then...a column of type. And you have a whole set up when you...take you about an hour, half hour to set a galley.

Smith: Say you get that hot metal and then use your, I guess, your keyboard with the letters on it to type that in and then that pushes the hot metal into the...

Simpson: Yeah. Into the letters.

Smith: Yeah.

Simpson: And, it comes out raised type.

Smith: Raised on the ...

Simpson: So it would print.

Smith: So, when you...

Simpson: Uh-huh.

Smith: All right...well, I never did really know exactly what a...

Simpson: [Laughing] It's a little complicated.

Smith: Well, I...I believe you explained it pretty well. I...I basically understand what.... So the linotype. That's one problem that could...

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: ...break down on you.

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: What other?

Simpson: And, see that was the only linotype anywhere around here.

Smith: And, I don't guess there weren't any...any linotype repairmen in Monticello?

Simpson: No, uh-huh.

Smith: So, when it...when it broke down you had to get it going again.

Simpson: [Laughing] Yeah, I remember one time during the war when I was gone Dad had to send it to Cin...send it to Cincinnati to have it printed.

Smith: Sent the copy up there and let them print it.

Simpson: Um-hum.

Smith: How was... I that...that's quite a journey to send it to Cincinnati. Wasn't it?

Simpson: Yeah. Back then.

Smith: How...Do you know how long it took him to get it back? And get it...

Simpson: Ahh...I really don't know.

Smith: Was the paper late that week?

Simpson: I imagine. [Both laughing]

Simpson: The presses...of course, they...they were old presses when we got 'em. Of course, they'd last for years and years and years.

Smith: Just take care of 'em then.

Simpson: Yeah. Why, yeah, they'd last fifty or sixty years. But, they weren't as complicated. But, when they did break down that's when you needed it most.

Smith: Yeah. They would pick the worst time to happen, wouldn't they?

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah. It's all together different now.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: [Laughing]

Smith: Uh... Did you ever lack for news? In trying to get the paper out?

Simpson: No, usually had too much. [Laughing]

Smith: Had too much so you could pick and choose what you wanted...what you wanted to put in there.

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh. Yeah.

Smith: Would you usually put in if somebody came to you with a story and asked you to put it in? Would you...?

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: Did anybody ever come to you and ask you to not put something in?

Simpson: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Smith: Where...what would you use...

Simpson: It depends on what it was.

Smith: On what... What did... Do you recall any of the more interesting times when somebody would come to you? Or situations that you didn't think were justified?

Simpson: Well, there was a murder...yeah, I guess it was a murder. These fellows were all out drunk...four or five of 'em in an automobile, and they ran over...they were drunk, you know, out there arguing among themselves, and ran over one of 'em and killed him. And, of the fellows in there is fairly nice, come from a nice family, you know, and I think his father wanted to keep it out, but told him I wouldn't.

Smith: I can't. Couldn't. Did he come to you and ask you?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: What did you tell him? Just couldn't... Couldn't keep that kind of story out?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: What was his reaction?

Simpson: I really don't remember. They were pretty nice people, he just got...happened to be in the wrong...

Smith: Wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. What did they do to him? Do you recall that or was it...has it been too long?

Simpson: I believe maybe one or two of them served a prison sentence. I can't remember.

Smith: Did the fellow whose father came to you remember if he?

Simpson: I just can't remember.

Smith: So on occasions you would...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...if you thought the circumstances justified it.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: You'd keep that out.

Simpson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Smith: Big news, like a wouldn't...

Simpson: No.

Smith: Didn't... Couldn't go with that. Could you? [Pause] More and more of the...of the...these small weekly papers now are...are being purchased the groups...

Simpson: Yes. Uh...I don't know...not so much in Kentucky, I don't think, but I understand outside...I mean in other states.

Smith: Other states. It's a....bigger...

Simpson: Yeah. Operation.

Smith: Yeah.

Simpson: They're real... I guess the papers in Kentucky are smaller and nobody with the big money has yet to come in, you see.

Smith: And, I...I've heard that in a few of them they are now in...buying up a few of the papers. Do you think it good for the weekly papers? That process? Is that gonna...

Simpson: I don't think so, no.

Smith: What do you do you think might suffer as a result?

Simpson: I don't...I don't think they get out the news like the...the personally owned newspaper would.

Smith: Do they lack the knowledge of the community? Or, don't...

Simpson: No, I think they're trying to make money too fast. They just...they, uh... scam the news.

Smith: And just throw...and they put...

Simpson: All they want to do is put a paper out and make money.

Smith: And they're not really concerned with...

Simpson: No.

Smith: ...providing news to the... What there any kind of balance you can arrive at between making money through advertising and...and concentrating on news?

Simpson: You mean, I don't...

Smith: Ah, well, like the chains, they just want to make money, they don't really care so much about the...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...about the news. And, I've...I've talked to other newspaper people in other counties and they seem to more or less echo that same sentiment that they're...that they're businessmen and they want to make...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...make money.

Simpson: Um-hum.

Smith: And you've got to have ads in order to...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...survive. Is there any kind of... How did you go about balancing the two? Or, did you?

Simpson: Uh...uh...percentage wise. Is that what you mean?

Smith: Yeah. Or, any...yeah.

Simpson: Well, I think sixty/ run sixty percent ads and forty percent news.

Smith: News?

Simpson: Uh-huh.

Smith: And the...the chains, you think they're cutting that forty down and...

Simpson: I don't necessarily know that they're cutting it down, but they're...

Smith: The forty percent...

Simpson: They're picking up any kind of news and putting it in there to fill up the paper.

Smith: And, the forty percent they do print isn't as good of news as the forty that...

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah.

Smith: ...that you use to print. And, so that's what you meant...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: scamming the news. They have news...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: might be good, or might be bad, but it...

Simpson: They put it in to fill up the paper.

Smith: It goes in.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: So, it's more filler...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...filler news then.

Simpson: And, they work on a smaller scale. I mean, they don't have the...the...personnel that uh...personally owned newspaper has because they can...they don't do this digging into the news. Of course, they...they can throw...of course, you can throw a paper together pretty fast these days, you know. 'Cause you get so many slicks, you know, handouts...

Smith: What's a slick?

Simpson:'s a news article that people send in or companies send in...

Smith: Oh, it''s something like a press release that a company will put out.

Simpson: Yeah. But, you don't even have to type it up. All you've got to do is paste it on your page. You're ready.

Smith: You take their copy and...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...and put it down there and all you have...

Simpson: Politicians they know this. They'll send you slicks and all you've got to do is just paste it...

Smith: Put it down.

Simpson: Don't have to type it, proof it, or anything.

Smith: It's all set.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: You just take your ads and...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...the slicks that you've got and use...uh...the new offset...

Simpson: Process.

Smith: Process. And, it doesn't take half an hour, you'll get it set up and it prints itself in half an hour. So, you wouldn' don't want to see too much of the...

Simpson: No.

Smith: ...of the chains...and the chains or...

Simpson: Now, that's the chains I the big chains may be different, I don't know.

Smith: Why, uh...I was asking about the smaller chains, about their effect. What is...was your main source of it from advertising?

Simpson: Yes. Um-hum. That's the only source.

Smith: Well, I guess you've got, what circulation...circulation is a small, small percentage.

Simpson: [Laughing] You'll quit getting your paper so you can eat something.

Smith: [Laughing] Yeah. Uh...and then the job...

Simpson: Job work. Yes.

Smith: But, then over time you said that got...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: wasn't...

Simpson: Use to...actually job work use to be better than the...

Smith: Than the advertising?

Simpson: Use to.

Smith: Did it?

Simpson: Yeah. Um-hum.

Smith: What kind of job work did you...

Simpson: Any kind.

Smith: Any kind? Well, what...I'm not that knowledgeable.

Simpson: Oh...Letterhead and envelopes. Books.

Smith: Political?

Simpson: [Not clear] Just anything.

Smith: Any...anything anybody wanted printed.

Simpson: Anything brought in. Yeah.

Smith: One of the aspects of...of this project that we're going to take, is that we're interviewing what we consider to be leading decision makers and...and more influential people in the county.

Simpson: Uh-huh.

Smith: Now you''re a lifelong resident of Wayne County and you've been in a position of...uh... responsibility as being editor and publisher. Who have you seen...or who to you have been some of the lading decision makers in Wayne County over these past few years?

Simpson: You mean for the whole county or...

Smith: Hm-hum. Well, for the whole can answer it any way you want. Uh...uh... People who can get things done when...and... In Monticello, if you want something done who ...who are the people that...

Simpson: Well, of course, in Monticello I'd say your mayor or your councilmen. In the county, of course it'd be your judge or your magistrates. Which they've got this new judge system.

Smith: Well, what do you...

Simpson: I'm really not familiar with it.

Smith: What do you think of that? Of the new system?

Simpson: I really don't know enough about it to...uh...know...

Smith: What have you heard? What are most of the people around...around Wayne County they talk about the new system much?

Simpson: When it first came in I heard quite a bit against it. But, I haven't heard much lately.

Smith: They're not saying too much...

Simpson: Not now.

Smith: Were they...what was the main...what were they mainly complaining about? Uh... Increase in the fines? Or, the take...the new judge, or you know...

Simpson: I think the salaries mostly.

Smith: The salaries that they're paying. [Laughing] Pay them pretty good salary, don't they? [Both laughing]

Smith: Because I...there's been a lot of that up in Madison County where I live.

Simpson: If there's any changes, people are usually against, at first.

Smith: At first till they get... But, you've noticed now they're not quite as...

Simpson: No, I haven't heard anything hardly that I know.

Smith: Here lately. So, in the county it's been the...the county judge...

Simpson: Magistrates.

Smith: Magistrates. The's...the...the political...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...leaders have...have been pretty influential.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: How about the school superintendents? Have they...

Simpson: Oh, yes...yes.

Smith: What... How influential have they been?

Simpson: In which way? Of course, you mean toward the youth, or...?

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: Of course, I'd say they have more influence on the youth than anyone. The...uh...teachers and the principals and the superintendents.

Smith: How about in other decisions affecting as a whole?

Simpson: The superintendents?

Smith: Uh-huh. Or, uh...have they mainly been confined to school matters or have they involved themselves in other...other areas?

Simpson: Uh, I believe they're more inclined toward the school matters. Of course, there's some other motives...political motives. But, it used to be it was actually about as much politics as it

Smith: School?

Simpson: But, I believe it's leaning the other way now.

Smith: You think there's less, less and less...

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: ...of the political influence...

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: ...on the superintendent or political influence that he exerts?

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah.

Smith: Uh... How about the bankers? Have they been... [Tape stopped and restarted]

Smith: About the bankers. Have they been very influential here in Wayne County?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Yes. Couldn't operate without the bank. [Both laughing]

Smith: They're the ones with the money. Have they been...have...uh...maybe not generous isn't the word, but have they've been cooperative in helping the...the community grow?

Simpson: Yes. Um-hum. I guess they always have.

Smith: Pretty civic minded?

Simpson: Far back as I can remember. Yes.

Smith: Uh... Are there any others? Any other people that...?

Simpson: Well, of course, there's several individuals.

Smith: You can men... You can mention them if you want.

Simpson: Garnet Walker is a...well, of course, he used to be a school teacher and a principal. But, he was a... sort of a historian. Knew all about Wayne County. I guess really more than any one person in the county.

Smith: He's the authority on...

Simpson: Yeah. Yeah. And...uh...Edwards. I can't think of his name. City clerk. He's a historian. He's...he's written books and Garnet's written books, you know.

Smith: About Wayne County?

Simpson: About Wayne County. They're both real...real well informed about it. Both are. Especially about the older aspects of it.

Smith: What are some of the...the major problems that...that are...facing Wayne County today?

Simpson: Problems?

Smith: Are there any can think of right away? Are there areas that you'd like to see improved or things that could be done to...?

Simpson: Uh... Not off hand. Of course, we get a lot of federal money. We have people...the county...ex-county agent, Fred Collins, is doing some work now on a high rise for elderly people downtown. And, uh...

Smith: Have you gotten some money build one yet?

Simpson: Not yet.

Smith: They're working on it.

Simpson: It's such a long process.

Smith: Yeah. Uh-huh. But, he's working on it?

Simpson: He's working on it. Along with several others.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: And they have several...well the council will appoint committees. And, uh... Well, the Women's Club. They're very progressive.

Smith: What have are they helping? Or, what have they...

Simpson: Well, they're into this town uplift right now. Of course, they always have projects.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Simpson: Different projects every year. And, I...I remember that one most because they're working on it now. Getting the buildings remodeled in town so it'll look modern.

Smith: Make 'em look a little bit nicer.

Simpson: Yeah. And, Kiwanis Club.

Smith: Ser...Service clubs.

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: Organ... Business organizations. Are you...are most of the people pretty...pretty civic minded and progressive in their outlook in trying to...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: improve? fast is this area growing? I think it's pretty...actually growing out, isn't it?

Simpson: Yeah, yeah it is.

Smith: What...what is the population of Monticello? Do you know offhand? Or, just about...I...

Simpson: I'd say between five and six thousand. Roughly.

Smith: Has it grown much in the past ten years?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Yes. More in the last ten years than ever before.

Smith: This is the fastest growth.

Simpson: Oh, yeah.

Smith: Are you having any problems from that growth?

Simpson: Traffic. [Both laughing]

Smith: Is the traffic getting bad...getting bad?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Of course, we only have the main artery.

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: And, the side streets are just...people won't travel them. Narrow...

Smith: Are they narrow and...?

Simpson: And, uh...well, uh...even if they were wide I don't think people would travel them. They like to go through town. Like to see the other people, I guess. [Laughing] I'd say that's a big problem. But, they're...there's surveys on it all the time. And, trying to bypass, of course, go around, which we haven't got yet. Been promised to us for ages. [Laughing]

Smith: But, nobody's delivered on the promise yet?

Simpson: No. [Both laughing]

Simpson: And, of course...we have a good road from here on to Somerset. And, uh... It's what they call a corridor road. I'm sure you've heard of them. Go to these super highways.

Smith: Um-hum.

Simpson: But, then it stops there and from Somerset to...I believe it goes to Mount Vernon or London, I forgot.

Smith: London

Simpson: London.

Smith: They haven't gotten that...that one's not quite done yet.

Simpson: No.

Smith: But, they're working on it.

Simpson: They're working.

Smith: Yeah.

Simpson: Of course, they've been working on it for twenty years. [Both laughing]

Simpson: And, the one from here to Albany's not finished, and they're working on it.

Smith: Once those get done...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...and then maybe they'll start working on your bypass.

Simpson: Yeah. But, I don't think the bypass will really help a whole lot. It'll...of course, it'll get the big trucks out, but we really don't have that many trucks. It's local people.

Smith: Hm-hum.

Simpson: Of course, we've got two new shopping centers. And, I thought that would empty the town, but it...

Smith: Hasn't done it yet has it?

Simpson: No, more.

Smith: It's just more...more congested than it has.

Simpson: Oh, yeah. Exactly.

Smith: If I can go back to that question I asked you about influential people...have the preacher's been...

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: Ministers?

Simpson: Yes, they're very influential. Especially when a disaster or something like that occurs.

Smith: They kind of come out...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...and take charge. And, help in the...

Simpson: Of course, everybody wants to...

Smith: Yeah. Pitches in then.

Simpson: Uh-huh.

Smith: Uh... Are there any other comments you'd like to make about being a...being in the newspaper business? Have you enjoyed...

Simpson: Yes.

Smith: ...your years in...

Simpson: Yes. Been a little long, but.... [Laughing]

Smith: The years or the hours you put in?

Simpson: The years, I guess. I was born upstairs.

Smith: Oh, were you?

Simpson: That's all I ever knew.

Smith: So, this is...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...this has been your home then, has it, for a long time?

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Working...and then...I...did you grow up...grew up here.

Simpson: Oh, yes.

Smith: Worked here.

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: Still work here.

Simpson: [Laughing]

Smith: Paper's kind of been your life then.

Simpson: Oh, yes. Yes. Actually wasn't born upstairs. I moved...We moved up there when I was five years old. But, that's first remembrance.

Smith: Yeah. This is the first home that you...

Simpson: Yeah.

Smith: ...remember. I think that...that covered most everything I...I could think of right now. There may be some more things, but I can't...they don't...

Simpson: [Laughing] It's hard to think of them all at once, isn't it?

Smith: Yeah. Uh-huh. Can you...uh...any other comments you'd like to... Would you...I guess you'd like to see the paper remain in the family, wouldn't you?

Simpson: Oh, yes. Um-hum.

Smith: And your works here in the paper so he...

Simpson: Oh, yes. He works all the time.

Smith: So, that's...he...that's what he's going to do, isn't it?

Simpson: I imagine. Yes.

Smith: Oh, that's good. That's good that it's going to stay in the family.

Simpson: If we can keep it rolling. [Laughing]

Smith: Yeah. Well, I believe you'll manage...manage that, won't you?

Simpson: I hope so.

Smith: Well, I thank you very much.

Simpson: All right, sir. [Tape ends at 37:44]

NOTES RE THIS TRANSCRIPTION: Bill Simpson's obit is online at Simpson-dies-at-age-89/print. His wife was Eileen. Two sons, Stuart and Jim. Brother-in-law was Clyde Underwood. Sister was Lytha. William H. Berge Oral

History Center interview with Garnet Walker (who was mentioned in interview) at: