COLUMN: Express hosts a special visitor

John Doxsee (left) and Mark Spensley.
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   Back in 2015 when we celebrated the Express turning 150 years old, our sesquicentennial issue showed the history of ownership of the newspaper over the past 150 years.

     One of the families involved in ownership was the Doxsee family. From 1883 through 1954, the Doxsee family ran the Monticello Express, a span of 71 years. They hold the distinction of being the longest proprietors of the Express, followed second by the Goodyear-Spensley family, now in its 43rd year.

     While working on the 150th issue, I came across a gentleman by the name of John Doxsee. John’s father Wilbur ran the Express from 1948 to 1954. His grandfather Charles was the publisher from 1915 to 1948.

     John’s great-grandfather J.W. Doxsee owned the Express from 1883 to 1915. Charles holds the distinction of holding the publisher’s position for the longest tenure, 33 years.

     When John was about 8 years old, his family moved from Monticello to Minnesota. Even though he was at a young age when he moved away, John has not let the fact that his family played an important role in the history of the Monticello Express be forgotten.

     John and I have kept up, corresponding thru Facebook, and this past winter he let me know he was planning an early summer trip back to his hometown. On Friday we finally met, along with Dan and Bob Goodyear.

     Some of John’s memories include the Express being located above the building now housing the Gingham Dog and F&M Bank. While back, John also visited his former home on Jackson Street and made sure to stop and see where his grandparents lived on N. Gill Street.

     He also stopped out to Oakwood Cemetery, where most of his relatives have been laid to rest.

     Back in 2015, John introduced me to his father Wilbur, who has since passed away. I interviewed Wilbur at the time, through email, and learned a little bit about his time running the newspaper. I still have that email and will probably save it until my computer meets an untimely demise.

     I have often wondered since meeting John where the Express history might have taken itself had the family not moved away. Would any of John’s siblings, or himself, been interested in owning the paper?



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