A block and a half after you turn off South Shields Boulevard, you’ll see it on your left.
The quiet, unassuming building is nestled next to Lola’s Thrift Shoppe.
Above the entrance on three white blocks, it reads “job printing” to the left, to the right it says “newspaper,” and on the center block it reads, in large letters it reads “BEACON publishing company.”
Welcome to The Capitol Hill Beacon. David Sellers has been running the weekly paper since 1967. In its heydays, the paper had a circulation of 40,000, but that was when Capitol Hill had doubled in size and then doubled in size again. Nowadays, it circulates 2,000 articles.
Located on the area’s famous Commerce Street, Sellers’ paper is pretty popular among the locals. The Beacon, 124 SW 25th St, was started in 1905, and Sellers’ father and his father’s business partner took over in his youth.
Under David Sellers’ management, the paper now distributes on a weekly basis and highlights the positive and more obscure successes of residents in Capitol Hill. Sellers creates the layout, publishes the stories, writes an editorial from time to time, and takes the photos.
Sellers believes it’s his job to give everyone a chance to be in the spotlight. The Wewoka native has published pieces about debate teams, choirs, bands, academic teams, and even a person with an extensive bug collection, who eventually went to work for the Smithsonian Institution.
For the last 900 weeks, on the second page of The Beacon, Sellers has excerpt articles about historical events that have taken place in Capitol Hill. All of the facts come from old editions of the paper, and Sellers thought it would be a cool idea to show people what the area used to be like.
Sellers points out no one has ever defined Capitol Hill’s boundaries. After reading a study done by a class of Oklahoma University students, it became apparent to me that even today the answer is unclear. The only defining boundary is the North Canadian River.
When the boundaries become clear, however, I imagine Sellers will publish an article about it. For now though, the OU grad runs The Beacon with his wife and hasn’t really decided what he’s going to do when he retires.
He said might write a book to set the record straight on a few things, but he hasn’t really figured it out just yet. He joked that his wife will probably sew quilts in her free time.
Occasionally, a few national stories have had the privilege of being published in The Beacon, but usually that’s because they pertain to somebody from the area. Until Sellers retires, his paper will focus on what really matters to Capitol Hill residents.
And that’s their community.