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The Apopka Chief turns 100

Longstanding weekly newspaper chronicles Apopka's history for over a century


The year is 1923.

The first issue of Time magazine is published. Warner Brothers Film Studio is formally incorporated in the United States as Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. The first Yankee Stadium opens its doors in the Bronx, New York City. The Hollywood Sign is inaugurated in California. Roy and Walt Disney found The Walt Disney Company.

It's also the year that a longstanding business in Apopka got its start.

"The Apopka News had not survived the 1918 tornado, and the board of trade once again took the initiative in securing a newspaper. William Edwards headed a committee that worked for nearly two years, finally arranging with Albert M. Hall to publish the Apopka Chief. With Hall as editor and G. Elwood Kalbach as business manager, the paper issued its first number on April 20th, 1923."

--History of Apopka and Northwest Orange County

According to its website, The Apopka Chief is independently-owned and family-operated. The Apopka Chief is a subscription-based publication that is delivered each Friday by U.S. Mail. It features up-to-date editorial content with opinion, lifestyle, and sports pages, as well as classified and legal sections each week.
It is both a chronicler of Apopka history, and a part of the city's history itself.
John Ricketson bought the paper in 1979. In that time he and his staff have published a weekly newspaper without fail for over 43 years. That accounts for over 2,200 editions in Ricketson's publishing tenure.
One of his fondest memories? Witnessing the Apopka Little League's historic run in the 2001 Little League World Series. 
John Peery, the longstanding Editor-in-Chief who retired in 2022, had fond memories of his time at The Apopka Chief as well.
"Working at The Apopka Chief nearly my entire adult life, I really enjoyed covering the community where I grew up," he said. "Yes, there were plenty of times when the job was tough with long hours but the satisfaction of seeing the paper come out each Friday was always worth it. We always strove to cover the community in a timely and fair manner as best we could. Even with all the changes in how we get our news, I will always believe that nothing can replace a local newspaper that’s entrenched in the community."
With its 100th birthday, The Apopka Chief accomplished a milestone that very few companies in the United States have managed. There are only an estimated 1,000 companies in the US that are over 100 years old. That's around 0.8% of the over 126,000 companies across the US in 2023.
Congratulations JR, JP and the entire Apopka Chief staff.
The Apopka Chief, Apopka, Apopka Little League, John Ricketson, John Peery, History of Apopka and Northwest Orange County


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • MamaMia

    Happy 100th Birthday Apopka Chief! So very glad I spelled the word "chief" correctly, LOL. That's the running joke around here, you know. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Ricketson, you both do a great job publishing the Apopka Chief Newspaper. I love the logo of the Indian chief too, on the newspaper.

    Thursday, April 20, 2023 Report this

  • JimNisbet


    Thursday, April 20, 2023 Report this

  • MamaMia

    I enjoy the.Apopka Chief newspaper, and have for a long long time, and appreciate that you all choose not to print all the lies spread by the so-called "truth-teller" who calls your publication a fish wrapper. His nose must be growing longer, and longer, and longer.

    Monday, April 24, 2023 Report this