Papers here! We’ve got your news coverage right here folks! Don’t miss today’s headline!
Evening folks. The name’s Elmer, Elmer Stover, like the store name here and my father before me. My granddad, Christopher, founded Stover’s News Agency when he purchased the newsstand in 1886 from Richard Eckman, back when it was on 3rd and Walnut. He then moved it here to 24 North 3rd in 1926. The business was passed along to my father Elmer, and he handed it off to me when he retired in ‘62. It’s my hope my sons will take it on one day as well. A strong family business passed through the generations is always something to be proud of. I think the community admires the camaraderie and durability that comes with a family oriented business.
Now of course, a good ole mom and pop shop will always keep ya on your toes when on the managing end of things. My father had some run-ins with some thieves every now and then; Snagging candy, chewing gum, cigarettes; the easy pickings, you know. But he never let it overcome him and he made sure the folks got their Sunday papers just the same. That’s important.
My biggest hurdle was the warehouse fire behind the news agency in ‘76. Lost nearly 3000 comic and women’s sections for the following day’s paper. Had to request new sections to be sent in, but other than that and some wiring damage to the building, it didn’t devastate business too badly. We had about 75 Columbia firemen here to help battle the blaze that morning. That I’m thankful for and luckily no one got hurt. And of course the papers got delivered the next morning.
The news business is quite an operation, you see. Folks want to feel included, be in tune with proceedings around them. It’s important for those Sunday news articles to be laying on their stoop first thing in the morning, and a lot of people take it for granted. I’ll tell ya how we did it. Out-of-town papers arrived in Lancaster by train and were placed on the first trolley making a run to Columbia on Sundays. Lancaster newspapers were loaded right along with them. From the tolley, the papers were piled on our wagons to be delivered throughout town. Now let me tell ya, we dropped over 4000 Sunday papers in the peak years. That’s an accomplishment to be proud of, I’d say. Hey, I oughta get back at it. Thanks for stopping by. Come around again some time. We’ve got a little bit of everything here at Stover’s. Big headlines included.
Now, if you head this direction you’ll be on your way to the Shannon Armory.
Best of luck to you all!
Stover’s News Agency is one of the borough’s oldest businesses. Stover’s has been owned and operated since Christopher H. Stover founded the business in 1886. The original location of Stover’s and also the Lodge was on the corner of Third and Walnut streets, site of the Chamber of Commerce office. The building was torn down in the 1940’s.
Stover’s is a fourth generation business, previously managed by Mr. Stover’s son, Elmer H Stover, then his grandson, Elmer C. Stover and presently by Mr. Stover’s great grandsons’ James R. and Richard L. Stover. Stover’s is a one stop store where local residents can purchase newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, lottery tickets and much, much more.
Today, Stovers still exists as a convenience store for all of your local needs.