Article excerpt

125 years old, and going strong

Today marks the 125th anniversary of this newspaper. Few American newspapers have a more interesting story to tell or better cause to celebrate.

This newspaper, which began life in 1872 as the Cook County Herald, has been published since 1889 under the continuous ownership and visionary guidance of the Paddock family. And while the newspaper has quite a story to tell, so do the communities it serves. No mere coincidence there. Paddock Publications and the suburbs have grown in remarkably similar ways, particularly since World War II drew to a close.

At that time, of course, the landscape beyond Chicago consisted of large expanses of farmland dotted by a few small towns. The scenery began to change as soldiers back from the war looked outside of the city for new and affordable housing. The pace of change accelerated dramatically in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the construction of tollways and the rise to pre-eminence of O'Hare International Airport. Those elements, along with a rail network already in place, spurred a tremendous increase in population, jobs and influence for the suburbs.

Paddock Publications has been there every step of the way, to report and help shape the evolution. While writing about all aspects of suburban government, education, business, sports and lifestyles, the newspaper has championed growth balanced by zoning and planning to protect and enhance the quality of life residents enjoy.

In 1967, the Herald went from weekly to tri-weekly publication. Two years later, the newspaper began publishing five days a week. Saturday editions were added in 1975, four years after Woodfield Shopping Center opened, and Sunday editions were added three years later. With a circulation of more than 132,000, the Daily Herald is today the third largest newspaper in Illinois and 84th largest newspaper in the country.

But as we all know, the past is prelude. The suburbs will continue to expand, prosper and assume stewardship of increasing economic and political clout. …