A Brief History of The Vedette

The Vedette has been covering Dade County communities and surrounding areas since 1866. 

The Vedette of today is successor of the original publication, The Greenfield Vidette (Est. 1866), as well as The Dade County Advocate (Est. 1874), The Greenfield Advertiser (Est. 1954) and The Miller Press (Est. 1956).

"The Greenfield Vidette" was established in August 1866 by John W. Murphy, who also served as Dade County Assessor. Just two years later, the paper was sold to its employees, Mason Talbutt and John Griggs, with Talbutt taking full ownership not too long after. Talbutt sold the paper in the summer of 1870 to (Maj.) Charles W. Griffith, a native of Ohio, who would anglicize the name of the publication from the French "Vidette" to the English "Vedette." It has retained that name since, and the Griffith family continued to own and operate The Vedette for over 80 years. Phil S. Griffith succeeded his father Charles when he died in 1893, and when Phil Griffith died of a heart condition in 1918, he was succeeded by his brother Arthur C. Griffith, who would operate the paper until his death in January 1955.

The Dade County Advocate was founded by Mason Talbutt in 1874, after he sold the Vedette, and The Advocate became The Vedette’s in-county partisan political rival in their early days. Talbutt later also became a county judge, and "Judge Talbutt" became the title by which he was commonly known. The mostly cordial competitors finally merged in 1951 to form “The Greenfield Vedette and Dade County Advocate.”

The Greenfield Advertiser, long owned by James "Jim" and Hilda (McConnell) Wallace, provided competition to The Vedette-Advocate, but it, too, was eventually combined with The Vedette-Advocate in 1981. At that time, the trade name of the publication was shortened to The Vedette, with the Advocate and Advertiser names retained on the masthead for several years afterward as well.

In 1983, The Miller Press of Miller, Mo., came under common ownership with the Vedette, and the two staffs were slowly combined and some content shared between the sister papers. The Press was owned and operated for many years by Kenneth and Flavia Friar, who remained in the printing business in the Miller community for some years after selling the newspaper. The decision to fold The Press into The Vedette was made by a previous ownership group, occurring with the first edition of The Vedette in 2001. 

Today, The Vedette continues to provide news and information in print and online (and through TMC product The Lake Stockton Shopper) to all of Dade County, northern Lawrence County, and parts of Greene, Barton, Cedar, Jasper and Polk counties in Missouri. It is now a part of Lewis County Press, LLC, a growing company focused on providing quality news coverage to communities across Missouri and Mid-America.