Ragon, age 63, admitted that failing health makes his retirement necessary. He said that he hated to quit.
Ragon, one of Lake County's oldest newspaper men in point of service, will go to Florida early next week for a long rest, after which he will then return to Lowell and take things easy. He said that he is afflicted with a heart ailment and that a vacation is necessary.
The Lowell Tribune, one of the oldest papers in Northwester Indiana, has been in the Ragon family for 62 years, having been purchased by Ragon's father, H.H. Ragon in 1886, just six months after it was founded.
The retiring owner and editor, who was born in 1885, joined the Tribune's staff as a printers devil in 1898 at the age of 13. He learned the trade and, after three years of practice, became the paper's one and only printer.
He continued in this capacity until 1912, when he and his brother, L.W. Ragon, purchased their father's interest. They continued to operate the paper jointly until seven years ago, when L.W. Ragon sold his interest to a nephew, Charles L. Surprise who is now becoming sole owner of the Tribune.
An Ardent Republican
Ragon has long been known as one of the best newspaper men in Lake County and during his long career has made many friends. An ardent republican, Ragon, has kept the fires of the GOP aglow in southern Lake County regardless of whether his party was celebrating victories or mourning defeats.
Funeral services for Cordie Ragon, former Lowell Tribune publisher and lifelong resident, who passed away in St. Mary's Mercy Hospital last Saturday were conducted Monday, August 31, in the Eskridge Funeral Home. He was 79 years of age. Reverend Edson Worley of Sheldon, Illinois, a family friend, officiated at the rites. Burial was in the Lowell Cemetery.
Survivors of the deceased include his wife, Myrtle; three sons, John of Lowell, Howard of Lakewood, California, and Larry of Las Vegas, Nevada; one sister, Mrs. Myrtle Buckley of Sebring, Florida; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
As son of H.H. Ragon, early founder of the Lowell Tribune, who for thirty years was a teacher and school superintendent in South Lake County, Cordie came into the printing business at an early age. His father became publisher of the newspaper after purchasing it from Horace Beebe who was publisher for six months. At the time of the purchase Cordie was six months old.
In early years two brothers of Cordie's held partnerships in the business, Elmer Ragon, partner to H.H. Ragon. During that time Cordie was learning the printing business in the back shop of the plant. His sister, Mrs. Myrtle Buckley, was the Tribune's first linotype operator.
When Elmer Ragon retired in 1903, Cordie became a partner to Len. Cordie's son, John, worked in the Tribune plant from 1938 until 1948. In 1941 Charles L. Surprise, a nephew, purchased Len's partnership and continued in partnership with Cordie until Cordie retired in January of 1949 after fifty years of service and Charles became sole owner of the family paper. Up until his illness Cordie kept his hand in the printing business by his daily visits to the Tribune office and plant.
Early residents of Lowell will recall the dedication and love of service to the community Cordie Ragon displayed throughout his lifetime, and the principals of honesty and fairness by which he lived. His main hobby has always been local history of Lowell and he kept records of the town dating back to its early beginning.
Cordie married the former Myrtle Hale of Lowell on May 29, 1916, and for three years the couple lived in the old H.H. Ragon home on Clark Street, then moved into their home at 230 N. Clark Street where they have resided for the past forty-four years.
The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the Ragon family in their bereavement.
Go to Cordie U. Ragon, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
Return to Lowell Biographies.