VOICE of the Valley Celebrates Its 50th Birthday on Aug. 21

This photo is the front page from the first issue of the VOICE of the Valley
This photo is the front page from the first issue of the VOICE of the Valley

The VOICE of the Valley is celebrating its 50 years of service to the community.  August 21, 1969 was the first issue of the VOICE of the Valley published by Bill and Ruby Ziegner.

The History of the VOICE

Many people think the VOICE of the Valleywas the first paper in Maple Valley, when actually there were two other papers. The MapleValley Messenger (Maple Valley was spelled as one word in those days) was founded by Chester Gibbon from 1921 to 1923 in cooperation with the Cedar Grange. The Messenger’s slogan read, ‘Smallest in size, but not in pep, punch and personality’.

 

In 1964, the Maple Valley Lions Club subsidized the Maple Valley NEWS, which lasted about a year and supported many worthwhile community activities.

Then on August 21, 1969, William (Bill) and Ruby Ziegner put out their first edition of the

Village Drug was owned by Rich Flint until it was sold to what is now Bartell Drugs. Village Drug was the place to go for just about anything as there were not that many options back then.

VOICE of the Valley. They both were school teachers for the Tahoma School District. Bill and Ruby did the paper out of their home on the lower Dorre Don.

In their first issue they asked for community and merchant support to keep the paper going. ‘Keeping the VOICE alive and vibrant will demand the wholehearted support of our merchants and readers’ was what Bill wrote in that issue.

Merchants were contacted for advertising to help support the paper and residents were urged to put classified ads in the paper to keep the paper going as well. Subscriptions were available for anyone wanting to support the paper and of course donations were always welcome to help with the printing and mailing costs.


As the paper grew employees came and went along the way. In July 1982, Bill hired Sandy Hipple as the bookkeeper because Ruby’s health was failing. Ruby passed shortly afterwards and Bill began to show Sandy how to do the layout of the paper.

After Ruby passed Bill began traveling with a few of his friends on a very regular basis. Sandy would take over and do the paper while he was gone. He was so impressed with her dedication to the paper that they became partners in 1985.

Bill and Sandy hired Sandy’s daughter, Donna in 1987 who worked along side of them, learning everything she could about the paper.

Bill and Sandy worked side by side on the paper until Bill’s untimely death in 1992. Sandy kept the paper going and eventually had her daughter, Donna, who then became Sandy’s partner in 1995.

Sadly on June 19, 2008, Sandy passed away. Donna has continued doing the paper both in print on online with the help of her staff that includes her sister in-law, Traci Hipple, her daughter in-law, Amanda Hayes and family friend Sherrie Acker who has been working with the VOICE for over 30 years.