Richards have seen Maple Leaf growth
Roger Boyd believes this year's Maple Leaf Festival parade's grand marshals are true community leaders.
"They have been very supportive of Baldwin," Boyd, a Baldwin resident and Baker University professor, said. "They are pillars of the community."
Jane and Dean "Tut" Richards have been fixtures in the Baldwin community since the early 1950s. Former owners of the Baldwin Ledger for about 20 years, the husband and wife reported and followed the Maple Leaf Festival for years from its inception nearly half a century ago.
"We ran everything in the paper we could about it," Jane said.
But it was their coverage of the entire town and its events and happenings that made the Richards stand out.
"When they ran the Baldwin Ledger, they were tremendous Baldwin boosters," Boyd said. "They certainly have been community leaders."
The Richards bought the Ledger in the mid-1950s. At one point, the Richards also owned the Wellsville Globe and Eudora Enterprise. They also did commercial printing and printed the Baker Orange for the local university.
Dean, who is full of stories about his days with the Ledger, said much of he and Jane's life focused around the newspaper and Baldwin events until the couple got out of the business in 1973.
But the Richards said they stayed active in the community, and Jane even served a term on both the Baldwin City Council and the Baldwin Board of Education.
Jane and Dean, who are both in their 80s, said they aren't very active in the community now, but still look forward each year to the festival they once so thoroughly covered.
"It's been kind of nice to see it grow like it has," Jane said.