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City of McGregor honors 117-year legacy of The McGregor Mirror newspaper

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 12:14 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The City of McGregor on Monday honored and celebrated The McGregor Mirror after it printed its final edition this month following an impressive 117-year run.

Newspapers printed by the paper for more than a century lined the walls at the Exchange Center near downtown McGregor for the “Remembering the Mirror” event.

“I think recognizing the McGregor Mirror for 117 years of service for this community was really an important component to be able to not only show some appreciation but also just to say “thank you” for being the voice of our community,” said McGregor Chamber Executive Director Marissa Maguire.

The McGregor Mirror is ending circulation after the death earlier this month of Charles Mooney, its longtime editor.

Since 1992, the local newspaper had been owned and operated by Bonnie Mullens, brother Charles, and sister Mynette Taylor.

The siblings were the third generation to own the paper and both sisters in attendance for the farewell party said losing the paper was like “another death in the family.”

“It’s real humbling that the City has gone out to do this for us, but it’s also sad because it’s like another death in our family in this month,” Bonnie said.

Dozens of citizens gathered for the program, including McGregor ISD Superintendent James Lenamon, McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering, and avid readers of the newspaper.

“What really stuck out to me is that everyone seems to have their own personal story of how the Mirror has really made an impact in their life or how it celebrated an achievement that they or a family member or friend had so I think that’s why so many people have volunteered their time and why so many people wanted to show up to celebrate that,” Maguire said.

The program began with a reading of the history of The McGregor Mirror.

McGregor has been served by four newspapers: the McGregor Herald, the McGregor Observer, the McGregor Herald-Observer and, finally, The McGregor Mirror, which absorbed the Herald-Observer.

The Mirror has had many highlights over the years, and while Bonnie said it’s tough to pick the biggest story she’s covered, she said SpaceX making its home in McGregor has been unforgettable.

“Maybe SpaceX ... SpaceX was a big one,” Bonnie said.

Bonnie said she’s also proud that a front page of their newspaper remains on display today in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The issue announced the presidential win for George W. Bush with a headline that read “Local ranch owner George W. Bush elected nation’s 42nd president.”

Bonnie corrected herself when saying she was the Managing Editor of the paper.

“Former,” she hesitantly added.

She said she’s going to miss the work she’s done for as long she can remember on South Main Street.

“Oh, a lot.” she said. “It’s who I’ve been. I don’t know who I’m going to be after this because this is what I’ve done for the last 40 years.”

While the paper has no plans to continue there are rumblings in the small town that there’s interest from potential buyers outside of the area to purchase the paper.

All agree, they hope someone can continue providing local news to the town of 5,000 that’s depended on it for generations.

“I think there is a strong presence in the community of wanting to see the work in the community continue on so I’m very hopeful,” Marissa said.

“We loved covering The Mirror and we’re excited to see what may happen,” Bonnie added.

The Mirror received an historical marker from the State of Texas in December 2016.

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