Mexico Missouri Message

The Mexico Missouri Message ran from 1899 to 1918. Published each Thursday, the Message was founded by John Beal who was the sole proprietor and publisher for its entire run. Although it began as a four-page paper, it was later expanded to eight pages.

The inaugural issue, published on November 9, 1899, states, “The MESSAGE will always be found standing up for Mexico, Audrain County and Grand Old Missouri.  The paper will be Democratic in politics, sound to the core. ‘16 to 1 [referring to the relationship between the value of silver and gold currency], an income tax, ‘anti-banknote despotism, and anti- imperialism are among our deepest political convictions.”

John Beal originally co-founded a newspaper called the Laddonia Enterprise which was later renamed the Laddonia Herald. He published that paper with his brother, Grant, until John decided to move to Mexico, Missouri. Grant Beal continued to publish the Laddonia paper until his death while John Beal began the Message shortly after moving to Mexico and published the paper until the United States entered World War I.

In 1918, Beal discontinued the Mexico Missouri Message, moved to Washington D.C., and took a position as an editor in the Public Printing Office.   Beal was extremely proud that in all its years of publication, the Message had neither missed an issue nor changed managers or editors. 

The October 31, 1918 issue declared that the “editor of The Message has given nineteen of his best years toward the up building of a clean, moral, newsy, live home paper, and it stands today as an actual demonstration that there is a large field for a newspaper that carries only such reading matter and such advertising matter as is consistent with clean editorial policy.”

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