In the early days, The Cleveland American carried some of its social news on page one. Marriages were perhaps the most prominent social event on page one, however.
Since travel by motorcar was becoming more extensive throughout the nation and accidents were happening more frequently, the American ran syndicated articles on state highways, highway improvement and hints on how to avoid accidents on highways.
A rather humorous article appeared in the American on April 28, 1921. The headline read “Undies in Tints,” and told about women’s undies and lingerie in many different colors. These pieces of clothing were new Paris fashions. The story said the lingerie could be purchased in pale orange, light mauve and pearl gray crepe de Chine. Such articles also could be purchased with monograms and lace frills.
The paper was gaining ground in the community. It was largely filled with advertisements of local and county merchants, proof that it was forging ahead.
The paper was sold April 13, 1931 to Jo O. Ferguson and Robert H. Breeden. At the time that it was sold, the American had a circulation of 560.
The equipment purchased in the sale included a drum cylinder press, a model L Linotype machine, two jobber presses, both open, sizes 10 x 15 inches and 8 x 12 inches. The staff included E.D. Powell (former owner), a printer-operator and a boy after school.
The paper was still 8 pages set up in six columns. Ads remained plentiful for the period 1920 to 1930 as this period was a good one in Cleveland because of the oil boom in the area.
Ferguson wrote editorials for the paper under the title, “In the Cool of the Evening.” Page 3 of the July 30, 1931 issue of the American was more than three-fourths filled with editorials. One was by Ferguson which filled four columns. Two other editorials were run on the page also, filing two more columns for over half the length of the page.
From the very beginning of the paper, both of the editors and owners had advocated the church and religious meetings. Under the new editor, the paper ran a church column with a 30-point headline, “Go to Church Sunday,” which appeared above the outlined programs for Cleveland churches.
An attempt was made to carry news from the local high school. In the Nov. 26, 1931 issue, a full-page round-up of Cleveland High School news was printed on page 8. The name of the high school column was, “The Tiger’s Tale,” after the school’s mascot namesake. The “Tale” contained book reviews, jokes, school organization news, class news, grade school news, poetry and sports stories. The news source was the students of the school.
Striving to gain more readers, the editor of the paper came up with the idea of giving away a free prize to persons buying a subscription or renewing an old one. A full-page advertisement was printed on page 7 in the Feb. 11, 1932 issue which offered two, one-year-old rose bushes for anew or renewed subscription.
On page 4 of the same issue, the American carried another advertisement which was seeking to sell more advertisement space in the paper. The ad stated that the paper went into 575 homes in Cleveland and into 1,000 or more in the immediate vicinity. It also compared this 575 with 563 resident electric light meters, 554 water meters, 543 gas meters and 503 telephones. The ad went on to say that, “Coverage Gets Results -- We Guarantee Coverage.”
Robert H. Breeden, editor, also wrote an editorial column. It was called, “Musings from the Easy Chair,” by Bob. Here he wrote on the everyday happenings in the community for local readers to enjoy.
Jo O. Ferguson, business partner, announced in the May 5, 1932 issue that he has filed for re-election as state senator, on the Republican ticket. Ferguson was unopposed in the primary election, but was beaten later by Henry S. Johnson, former governor, against whom impeachment charges had been sustained by the Senate of which Ferguson was a member. Ferguson had been a state senator for eight years.