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Clay City Times (Clay City, Kentucky)
The Clay City Times was first published on November 28, 1901 in Powell County by J.E. Burgher, Jr. Burgher began his publishing career in 1896 with the Spout Spring Times, a four-page circular based in neighboring Estill County. That paper thrived until a fire in September 1901, after which Burgher moved his family and the newspaper to Clay City. From this tragedy was born the Clay City Times. The two newspapers ran concurrently for a very short period with Burgher at the helm of each until the Spout Spring Times folded for good in April 1902.
Because it cost more than its predecessor, the Clay City Times aroused public displeasure from the beginning. Burgher tried to deal with the jump in price by calling out old debts in the paper's first issue: We are astonished the way some of our delinquents ignore our appeals. Some of them we know are in much better circumstances than we, still they will not pay a cent they owe us. Like the Spout Spring Times, the Clay City Times contained a mix of local news and gossip. Testimonial advertisements were woven between small news nuggets including a section for each of the surrounding communities as one-line tidbits about travels, illnesses, deaths, and other pieces of individualized information. In allegiance to his long-time Democratic position, Burgher and the Clay City Times engaged the political feelings of its readers with ample Democratic Party fodder.
The Clay City Times operated out of several buildings in Clay City before occupying a two-story brick building on the corner of Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue. Ever the prudent businessman, Burgher and his family lived in an apartment above the newspaper's office, both of which were powered by an electric generator that was part of a franchise he owned. Burgher's two children earned their keep by rolling the newspapers for weekly mailing, while Burgher personally carried the papers to the post office for distribution.
Burgher served as publisher of the Clay City Times until he retired. He sold the Times to M. P. O'Mara who ran the paper from 1914 to 1915, after which it returned to Burgher. Upon retiring a second time, Burgher handed control of the newspaper to his children, Edmon and Elsie, who operated it until 1964 when they sold it to William C. Caywood, Jr. of Winchester.
Caywood served as publisher of the Clay City Times while also acting as editor and advisor of the University of Kentucky student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. After several years of changing publishers, as well as cities from whence it was published, the Clay City Timeswent back to the hands of a former editor, Jerlene Rose. It is currently printed on Thursdays in Stanton and runs under the masthead "Serving Stanton, Clay City & Powell County, Ky. for more than 100 years."
Provided by: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY