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The Laclede blade. : (Laclede, Mo.) 1890-1945
Place of publication:
Laclede, Mo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Laclede, Linn, Missouri  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
A.J. Caywood
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 56, no. 33 (Dec. 28, 1945).
  • Began in 1890.
  • English
  • Laclede (Mo.)--Newspapers.
  • Missouri--Laclede.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01305260
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 25 (Oct. 25, 1890).
sn 89066129
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The Laclede blade. July 12, 1902 , Image 1


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The Laclede Blade

Albert J. Caywood published the first issue of the Laclede [Missouri] Blade on May 10, 1890. Caywood had lived in Laclede since 1880 when his family moved there from Livingston County, Missouri. Shortly after settling in Laclede, Caywood started in the newspaper industry. He worked as a printer at the Laclede Laconic in March 1886. After a year, he moved on to the Norborne Leader and the Brookfield Argus. On April 1, 1890, Caywood decided to strike out on his own. The Laclede Laconic had changed ownership and left town, opening up an opportunity for a new paper in Laclede without any competition from an established paper. It was under these conditions that, at age 24, Caywood bought a small printing outfit and launched the Laclede Blade. He published the weekly eight-page paper for the next 55 years.

Caywood quickly established himself as a political writer and used his editorials as an opportunity to promote the interests of the Republican Party. In a Blade editorial from May 7, 1910, he wrote, the Republicans had "redeemed our country from an unstable, unreliable and dangerous financial system and built up the best banking and currency system ever enjoyed by any country on earth." Caywood enjoyed a long career as proprietor and editor of the Laclede Blade. He retired in June 1945, selling the Blade to Charles E. Hastly. Soon thereafter, Hastly sold the paper to Edgar C. Nelson who merged it with the Meadville Messenger. The first issue of the Blade and Messenger appeared on January 1, 1946, with the final issue of the Laclede Blade published on December 28, 1945. A respected journalist, Caywood received the golden anniversary honor certificate from the Northeast Missouri Press Association and the 50-year Newspaper Service Award from the Missouri Press Association. He was also a member of the Half-Century Club of the American Press.

According to his obituary published on March 7, 1946, Caywood was active in the community. He served 16 years as postmaster of Laclede, 12 years as city clerk, and 10 years as secretary and member of the school board. In 1911, Caywood assisted in the organization of the Laclede Electric Light Company and served as its president. In 1936, Caywood, along with other civic leaders in Laclede, promoted the General John J. Pershing Memorial Park.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO