Editorial: The Paddock heritage
On a wall that leads into the newsroom hang framed photos of the four generations of Paddock family members who provided leadership for this newspaper company for the past 120 years.
Under each is a small biography that strives to make them human and to summarize their roles in the history of the company.
Elsewhere in today's edition, columnist Burt Constable touched on the lives of those Paddocks who bequeathed to Chicago's suburbs this newspaper and embedded in it a genuine concern for the well-being of the community.
Hosea Paddock, the first-generation owner, came up with the motto we carry atop the Opinion page. "Our aim: To fear God, tell the truth and make money." Over the years, the expression gained such popularity that it became a big part of the Daily Herald's identity. It has survived all these many years largely because each generation of Paddocks has believed unabashedly in the candid mission it describes.
As fourth-generation family members Robert Y. Paddock Jr. told Constable, he translates that expression to mean: "To try as a company and as owners to live a moral, compassionate life. To do good journalism based on the belief that truth is a service to our communities. And to find the financial means to do so."
As of a week ago, the Daily Herald is owned by the employees, not the Paddocks. But the Paddocks remain an important part of our roots.
Among that row of framed photos of Paddock family members leading into the newsroom, is a framed explanation of the exhibit with a title declaring, "The Paddock Heritage."
Let us share with you the text, recently updated, under than title:
"When called upon to speak about the Daily Herald, Publisher Doug Ray used to recount how people would ask him if family ownership was a good thing.
"'It depends on the family,'" he would answer.
"From 1898 to 2018, that family was the Paddocks, who blessed us with a relentless tradition of community service.
"Across four generations of ownership, the Paddock family was steadfast in its devotion to the newspaper and a source of inspiration for journalism excellence in our newsrooms.
"That spirit endures. It is our heritage."
That is quite a service, quite a precious gift. To the Paddocks this morning, we say with smiles on our faces and hearts in our throats: