Stop the presses! Saying goodbye to a true newspaper man

Lana Hamilton

Cecil Smith was a true newspaper man. He moved to Salem to be editor of the Salem newspaper, planning to just stay a couple of years. He quickly fell in love with the county and stayed until his death on Dec. 24, 2020.

In 1965, he took the reigns as editor. He stepped down from that position, 35 years later in 2000.

He was respected for covering stories at all hours of the day and night. He was truly on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When he wasn’t covering county news, he was sharing bits of his personal life through his column, The Dripping Faucet. Readers fell in love with the LRT (little red truck) that was featured in many columns, as were his brothers, Art and Father Alberic. Many tales were also told of his wife, children and grandchildren.

He shared with readers the ups and downs of living in a 13-room older home, and his love of the Monon Railroad.

He made readers laugh and realize that they weren’t alone in their daily struggles, as he, too, was muddling through those very same things.

During his tenure at LPC, he shed light on the good things within the county, as well as things that needed to be looked into and improved upon.

He continued his column sporadically after his retirement, sharing with readers some of his travels, a hobby he thoroughly enjoyed during his retirement years.

He also compiled a book of stories and pictures of things he covered during his 35 years as editor, entitled, “News Beat.”

He was a friend to everyone he came into contact with and he sharpened the skills of many newspaper writers that came through the Leader doors.

He will be missed, but he leaves the community a better place, just by being in it.

For Cecil’s obituary, see page A-3.


Please Login for Premium Content

Site Login Help

For current subscribers to The Salem Leader and The Salem Democrat, you can login to the site using the following information:

Username: Please use your full email address associated with your account
Password: Please use your last name. Passwords are case sensitive, so please capitalize your last name (eg: Smith)