Joseph George Willard, born December 9,1863 was founder, editor and publisher of "The Kent and Sussex Post" in England where he had been a craftsman printer for 30 years. Shortly after the turn of the century he decided to follow the Barr Colonists to Lloydminster. In 1905 he founded its first newspaper, "The Lloydminster Times". He remained editor and publisher until his death on November 4, 1938 ending his 63 year involvement in the newspaper business. The first issue of the "Times" was printed on April 25,1905 and the paper has been published weekly since that date. Presently it is a daily paper.
The history of Lloydminster and its people is reflected in every issue of the "Times". In a book written about Dr. C L. Cooke by W. Blaire, the author continually referred to quotes by the Lloydminster Times. This was a real tribute to Mr. Willard and Mr. Baynton. Fortunately each issue was preserved by Mr. Willard and later by his daughter Dorothy Evelyn Baynton. She was the wife of George Baynton, who took over as editor and publisher of the paper shortly after J. G. Willard's death. Sales of extra issues of these papers has helped with the cost of microfilming. This is the most factual record of Lloydminster's history today.
J. G. Willard was not just the publisher of the newspaper, but was involved in all aspects of public life in this pioneer community. He was a founding member of the First Baptist Church Justice of the Peace, and a leader in the community. These and similar roles were later assumed by his family. Because his homestead was southwest of Marshall Mr. Willard originally walked to work each Monday morning and home Friday evening. After a couple of years he built a home on the "outskirts" of Lloydminster. It was located one-halt block east of Broadway (now 40th Avenue) on what is now known as 47th Street.
Following in his fathers and grandfather's footsteps was Fred Baynton who started working at the "Times" at a young age. In the mid to late sixties Fred took over publication of the paper. In 1979 the Lloydminster Times was sold to Sterling News ending 64 years as a locally owned family business. Fred worked for Sterling News for a couple of years before retiring from the newspaper business. To long-time residents the names of Willard and Baynton are synonymous with local news and history.
Times was the longest running business in this city.