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The Daily Events moves to corner of Patton & Walnut

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by Melissa Wilson

SBJ Staff

One of the oldest newspapers in the Springfield area will soon have a new home. The Daily Events, published continuously since 1881 and housed at 327 S. Patton in the John W. Williams Building since 1975, will quadruple the size of its office when it moves a few doors down in the same building to the corner office at 301 W. Walnut.

The Williams Building is owned by the Washam family also owns Student Book Exchange, 633 S. Kimbrough and 852 S. National. The Washams are currently using the corner office as storage space.

The Daily Events will rent the 1,800-square-foot space from the Washams, who have owned the building since 1971.

The move was originally slated for Nov. 1, but has been pushed back and may not happen until spring, publisher Jeff Schrag said.

A legal notice and courthouse records newspaper, The Daily Events is the successor to The Springfield Express.

"The paper was called The Springfield Express until 1928, when it was bought by the Ray family. Mr. Ray was an attorney who saw a market for publishing legal notices daily, and switched it to a daily paper in '28. That family had it for awhile, then it changed hands a few times and was bought by Ernest Young in the mid-'50s, who owned it until he sold it to me four years ago," Schrag said.

Schrag said the paper's readership consists of banks, law firms, real estate professionals, investors and larger local businesses with credit departments.

"The best way to describe what we do is that we summarize, or extrapolate public records. We try to provide very consistent information, and we're always interested in what information our subscribers want," Schrag said.

Schrag said it might seem public records are simple, but the records can be complicated.

"There's actually so much on a public record ... a deed can be 30 pages long and very confusing," Schrag said.

The staff of six at The Daily Events is trained equally in courthouse reporting and, other than Schrag and editor Leslie Pruitt, all share the title of courthouse news reporter.

"Everyone here is cross-trained so we can all go get anything, and everyone knows what type of deed information we provide, what type of courthouse information we provide," Schrag said.

The staff is also responsible for the printing of The Daily Events, which is done in the office.

The Daily Events accepts, but does not solicit, advertising from businesses.

"We have a couple of display ads that run once a week. Our revenue comes mainly from two sources, our subscribers and paid public notices, such as foreclosures or legal notices required by probate or circuit court," Schrag said.

The paper has recently expanded to include Christian County legal notices, city business licenses and building permits, as well as City Utilities customer lists and federal notices. "We're now planning our third expansion, in which we'll add more notices and offer customized information electronically," Schrag said.

With the expansion of services will come additions to The Daily Events staff. "What we're hoping to do, for example, is be able to provide the new homeowners record in Greene or Christian County to someone who wants only that information. I'll have more people doing things like that," Schrag said.

Schrag worked for two small weekly newspapers before purchasing The Daily Events from the Youngs in 1994. "I came to The Daily Events because it was for sale. The Youngs were 65; their goal was to sell that year. Ernest had worked for the paper for 50 years, since he was 15 ... pretty amazing, don't you think?"

PHOTO CAPTION:

The Daily Events will move a few doors down to this location in the spring.[[In-content Ad]]

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