Frankston Citizen History — 1910-2019

Editor’s Note: On Sept. 5, 2019, The Citizen suspended publication, ending more than 109 years of community service through its print version. The Citizen began a website just prior to the turn of the 21st Century, highlighting some main stories and publishing an archive of obituaries. Also year-end summaries were published on the website. The domain, remained active but not updated for a time after the suspension, but later would transition to become The Frankston Citizen Online website as a possible successor to the print version, under the auspices of  THE Frankston Citizen LLC. Included in this section is a portion of the newspaper printed upon the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication. A complete history of the newspaper and its ownership is featured, as of the date of the anniversary. (See HERE ). An article appeared in the Sept. 5, 2019 edition of The Citizen, announcing the suspension of publication and updating the years of ownership by the Graham family since the anniversary edition. The article updated the aforementioned history for the time after the 100th anniversary in which the Grahams continued ownership, culminating in its suspension. The article stated in part:  "J. Tom Graham .  . . was publisher until he passed away in 2015. His son took over ownership of the paper at that time. Jay Graham has served as its editor since early 2007 when he joined his father.” The younger Graham continued active business operation until the September 2019 suspension when he  began supporting efforts aimed at developing The Frankston Citizen Online project amd leading to the formal change of ownership.

Most of the copies of the print newspaper thru Sept. 5, 2019 are available for reference and research at The Frankston Depot Library

From The Frankston Citizen — Sept. 5, 2019

For 109 years, The Frankston Citizen newspaper has created and distributed a weekly newspaper covering events and stories about the area.

This week it will suspend publication.

Publisher Jay Graham announced today that the paper is, at least for the time being, closing its doors.

Graham said the decision has not been made lightly, but that a number of factors has contributed to its suspension.

“I have been looking for someone to take over this paper for two years now and cannot afford to keep publishing it any longer,” Graham said.

Former Publisher Joe Tindel, among others, is hopeful that alternative ideas can be found to continue the paper’s services to the community, including someone stepping up to continue the tradition.

The Citizen was started by Donella Small in 1910. It was then sold to J. M. Emerson.

In 1912, the McKee Sisters ran the paper for more than 16 years on Miller Street.

It was later owned by J. E. Laney who ran it for a year and then sold it to J. H. Willard.

In 1931, the paper was sold to O.T. Foster and T. W. Terry. Quanah Price took over Terry’s half interest later that same year and purchased the other half in 1932.

It has been at its location on West Main Street since 1949.

Price owned and published the paper for 42 years before selling it in 1973 to the Joe W. Tindel family, publishers until September 2005. (32 plus years)

J. Tom Graham purchased the newspaper from Blake and Kimberly Foster and was publisher until he passed away in 2015.

His son took over ownership of the paper at that time. Jay Graham has served as its editor since early 2007 when he joined his father.

“It has been a wonderful and rewarding portion of my life,” Graham said. “Having the opportunity to work alongside my father for nine years will always be remembered as some of the best years of my life.”

“I want to thank everyone who allowed us to fill these pages with your stories and achievements. This newspaper has been able to tell many great stories.”

Graham also thanked all of the subscribers and readers who helped make the Citizen a success for all of these years.

He also wants to thank all of the businesses who bought advertisements in the newspaper as those are what primarily funded local news through the years.

“Without those businesses that advertised through the years, there would be no paper,” he said. “Virtually all locally owned businesses advertised in the paper. I hope people will support the local businesses and will always aim first at spending their money in Frankston and its neighbors.”

Graham said he loves Frankston and its neighboring communities very much.

“I will continue to do business in Frankston and will continue to send my son to Frankston schools. I am not going anywhere, but I will have to seek different employment,” he said.

— Downtown Mural by Stacie Saunders