Tom Mayhill, 95, died on Tuesday evening, June 26, 2012, at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield. He was one of Knightstown’s most industrious and prominent residents.
He was born April 18, 1917, in Delphi, where his parents, Bert B. and Dora L. Mayhill, edited and owned The Delphi Journal. Their role in newspapers aided tremendously in sparking his interest in the business.
Mr. Mayhill was the longtime owner of the Knightstown Banner, which he purchased in 1946. He served as publisher of the weekly newspaper for more than 40 years and expanded the Mayhill Publications operations to eventually include Farmweek and AntiqueWeek.
He began his long career in journalism in 1928 at the age of 11, when he covered sporting events for the Delphi Journal and in 1930, he published a children's newspaper, the Delphi News. While in high school, he became sports editor of the Delphi Journal.
Mayhill graduated from the University of Illinois, where he was managing editor of the highly-regarded Daily Illini college newspaper his senior year and represented the university at the opening of the New York World's Fair in 1940.
He was a proud member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and was inducted into the Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity while at Illinois. After graduation from Illinois, he worked briefly as a pollster and investigator for the Gallup Poll.
During WWII, he served as Lieutenant (senior grade) and gunnery officer on troop transport ships.
He married the former Peggy Kreisle from Tell City, Ind. on Dec. 26, 1944. After the war, Mayhill became assistant publisher of the Hoopeston, Ill., Daily Chronicle-Herald, and owner and publisher of the Camden, Ind., Record-News.
It was late 1946 when he purchased the Knightstown Banner, and become editor and publisher. During his tenure, the Banner won many state awards for newspaper excellent, including the best weekly newspaper in Indiana. He was chosen as Knightstown’s Citizen of the Year in 1967.
During his long and illustrious publishing career, Mr. Mayhill served as president of the Indiana Republican Editorial Association and as a delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention. He is a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, inducted in 1991.
The Mayhill’s have four children: Julie (Dan) Long, John (Sally) Mayhill, Janice (Denny Dicke) Menke, and Merry (Gary) Tho; and 12 grandchildren: Molly (Long) Bain, Katie Long, Billy, Jenny, Hunter Menke, Christy (Menke) Traub, Andy, John, Ruthanne, Corby Thoe, Emily (Mayhill) Shoop, and Tommy Mayhill. The Mayhill’s also have 10 great-grandchildren.
Tom was preceded in death by grandson, Robert Long in 1993.
Friends may visit the church from 11 to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012, with the funeral following at 2 p.m.. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Todd Funeral Home in Knightstown with the calling and funeral being held at the Knightstown United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Glen Cove Cemetery. Those who plan to attend upcoming services may check the funeral home’s website (www.toddfuneralservice.com) for further information.
Contributions can be made to: Hoosier Gym, 355 N Washington St, Knightstown, IN 46148, or Historic Knightstown, 22 N. Washington St., Knightstown, IN 46148, or Hancock Regional Hospital Hospice, 801 N. State Street, Greenfield, IN 46140.