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updated: 8/6/2017 11:49 AM

Editorial: The courage and devotion of Hosea Paddock

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  • Hosea C. Paddock: He was in his 40s in 1898 when he bought the Palatine Enterprise, which evolved into the Daily Herald.

    Hosea C. Paddock: He was in his 40s in 1898 when he bought the Palatine Enterprise, which evolved into the Daily Herald.
    Daily Herald File Photo

 

We try to make a point each year of remembering our founder, Hosea C. Paddock, on the anniversary of his birth. Please bear with us.

He was born 165 years ago on a Thursday -- August 5, 1852 -- and grew up on a farm in upstate New York.

As with anyone's life, what we don't know about him regrettably amounts to much more than what we do.

So we don't know what prompted his family to move to downstate Illinois while he still was young, but we know that it did and that as a teenager he embarked on what was intended to become a career as a teacher.

That much we know because the story of it has been told and retold over the years and because it has been written down.

Among the other aspects we know of who Hosea was is this: He had a certain courage about him.

That much we know not because we have been told it was so, but because his life's story reveals it.

He had the courage to shift from his planned life as a teacher to a less stable career in newspapers.

And he had the courage, even after his first newspaper ventures foundered, to keep pursuing success despite the risks of more failure.

Early on, at age 30, he bought his first newspaper, the Wheaton Illinoisan, and he would go on to buy and sell newspapers seemingly every other year.

He owned them in Wheaton, then Rochelle, then Waukegan, then Libertyville, but margins were always thin and resources always tight.

Eventually, he ended up in Palatine, buying a 28-year-old weekly newspaper called the Enterprise in 1898. That is the newspaper that over time evolved into what is now the Daily Herald.

Exhibiting a characteristic that has been true also of the three generations of Paddock family members who have followed him, Hosea poured himself into the newspaper with single-minded devotion.

"His energy," wrote Thomas C. Hart, a contemporary colleague, "seemed unbounded. Hours meant nothing to him."

We try to make a point each year of remembering Hosea C. Paddock on the anniversary of his birth.

As with anyone's life, what we don't know about him regrettably amounts to much more than what we do.

That, ultimately, is the primary reason we make a point of remembering. To share and sustain what part of his life story we can.

And to honor his memory, his contribution, his legacy. To be inspired by his courage.

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