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Ann (Smalley) Jordan, 94, was a special guest at the Historical Society dinner. Her father and brother owned and operated the Perham newspaper for more than a half-century.

Perham newspaper family represented at Historical Society meeting by 94-year-old Ann Jordan

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Perham newspaper family represented at Historical Society meeting by 94-year-old Ann Jordan
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

The Smalleys, Perham's longtime newspaper publishing family, were represented at the Otter Tail County Historical Society annual meeting Oct. 15.

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On hand for the dinner, held on the east end of the county instead of closer to the countywide organization's headquarters in Fergus Falls, was Ann (Smalley) Jordan.

From a long line of newspaperpeople, Ann is the daughter of the late Harvey Smalley senior, who bought the newspaper in about 1911. Ann's brother, Harvey Jr., later owned and operated the paper into the 1970's--when it was purchased by the Parta family.

At age 94, Ann still keeps active and has a positive outlook.

A career public health nurse, Ann kept busy after her retirement--serving 30 years as a volunteer at the Historical Society's facility in Fergus Falls.

"But in my heart, I'm really an 'east-sider,'" smiled Ann, referring to the well-known "east or west" Otter Tail County question.

Though she came from a newspaper family, she didn't follow into the profession.

In fact, the kids didn't spend a lot of time at the Perham newspaper office, at least when they were young.

"Dad didn't want us around the shop that much...because they would let some bad language fly every once and a while," she said, with a chuckle. Usually, the source of the angry language was an uncooperative linotype machine or some other deadline complication.

But in her later youth she remembers well assembling East Otter Tail County fair booklets, and editing the newspaper on occasion when her parents were gone.

She is retired in Fergus Falls, where she has lived for about 30 years.

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