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October 30, 2013

Traces of Laurel: The Sentinel-Echo is born

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — E.C. Linney purchased The Mountain Echo in March of 1904 from Russell and Will Dyche, but kept it for less than eight months.  He sold his interest in the paper “to others associated with him” according to Russell Dyche in “Laurel County History.”  These associates seem to have been L. B. McHargue and D. C. Edwards and they hired J.W. Stevenson (who already worked on The Mountain Echo) to run things.

Dyche writes:  “Mr. Stevenson remained the head of the Echo throughout the hectic days of the Bull Moose – Standpat Republican campaign and until . . . Judge Geo. C. Moore secured control through re-organization.  At that time Mr. Stevenson went with The London Sentinel, which had been established in 1907 with Russell Dyche as editor.” 

The London Sentinel consolidated with The Mountain Echo that same year and became known as The Sentinel-Echo with Russell Dyche as junior partner, editor and manager.  Other partners were Wm. Lewis, Hiram J. Johnson and Geo. C. Moore.  Dyche goes on to say:  “Within a couple years, control was with the editor and soon it was individually owned by Russell Dyche, who had his brother, Will H. Dyche, as an associate.  A.R. Dyche resumed the editorship on Jan. 14, 1915, and continued as editor some years.”

The Dyche family continued to own The Sentinel-Echo up until recent times – long past the era that I plan to cover in this column.   Russell’s son, Martin, ran the paper for many years and was succeeded by his daughter, Margaret Keith, and her husband, Luke.  The Keiths sold The Sentinel-Echo to Al Smith in 1981, who sold it to Roy H. Park of Park Communications Inc. in 1985.  It changed hands two more times before the present owners, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI), one of the largest newspaper companies in America, acquired The Sentinel-Echo in 1998.

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