#11 Follow the Leader

#12 Kansas Star
4 x 4 quilt block

Founded on Feb. 4, 1955 as the Landrum Leader, this weekly newspaper celebrated its 50th anniversary with its original founder J. W Lawrence, age 94, still working.


The prolific author of 14 books, J. W. worked for 27 years in the printing business in several South Carolina and North Carolina towns before realizing his dream of starting his own newspaper. Floyd Daniel, owner of The Daniel Company, a local clothing store is credited with naming the newspaper while brainstorming with J. W. and several others.  


During their tenure as owners, J. W., his wife Dorris Hughes Lawrence and sons Jerry and John never missed a publication deadline in spite of mechanical difficulties and even a fire that destroyed valuable equipment. John, a graduate of the University School of Journalism, joined the newspaper staff as editor and general manager in 1975. Jerry worked with the newspaper and printing business as production manager for many years. As would be expected in a small family owned business, all members were cross trained and could run a linotype, printing press, camera or later a computer as needed.


The News Leader office was first located on East Rutherford Street in Landrum. After a few years property at the corner of North Shamrock and Durant Street was purchased followed the site at 146 N. Trade Avenue. Located on this property was an old two story clapboard style house which served as the office until a fire destroyed the building in 1965. Soon after, the present office was built. 


The name was changed to The News Leader when coverage was expanded to the Inman area and what is now the Polk County News Journal was acquired by John and his wife, Cam. Along with Robert Tribble, they founded Upstate Newspapers, Inc in 1987. 


The purpose of the The News Leader has always been to serve the diverse population of the area with comprehensive, accurate, unbiased coverage. 


In 2005, after the untimely death of John, the family sold their interest in Upstate Publications to Trib Publications of Manchester, Ga. 

Kansas Star

This block was selected to pay tribute to the Kansas City Star newspaper which promoted quilting to its readers.  


From the fall of 1928 until 1961 this newspaper published quilt patterns. The newspaper's rural editions reached several states throughout the Midwest and many of the published quilt patterns were submitted by its readers. 


For many years one pattern per week was published, then diminishing to only one pattern each month.   Records show that the Kansas City Star published 1,001 of these classic patterns.

Hung June 2013

Funded by The News Leader and the Mary F. Kessler Fund/Polk County Community Foundation, Tryon, NC