As someone who grew up reading the Kansas City Star every day before school all the way through middle school and high school, this story warms my heart.

I know the newspaper industry, at least in its traditional printed form, is in big trouble and that makes me very sad, but it’s people like Carl Butz who are keeping the tradition alive.

Butz is a retiree who recently stepped in and saved California’s oldest newspaper, the Mountain Messenger from shutting down. The paper has been around for 166 years in Downieville, California, and, get this, even Mark Twain once wrote for the Messenger.


Don Russell has been the owner and editor for the past 30 years and he said about Butz,

“I’m just delighted that I found someone stupid enough to take it over.”

Butz retired to Downieville about ten years ago and decided to buy the newspaper instead of taking a long vacation.


He said,

“I thought, ‘God, if I’m going around the world and the paper is gone, I’m going to feel guilty for the rest of my life for not stepping up and, and doing something.'”

Butz added,

“Local papers can be something to bind together a community.”

Yes they can, sir.

Here’s a video about Butz saving the Mountain Messenger. Enjoy!

What do you think?

Are you sad to see the decline of the printed newspaper?

Talk to us in the comments!