HISTORY OF THE OVID BELL
Proudly serving our customers
Over 90 years of publication printing expertise
The Bell family first came to Missouri from Virginia in 1855. Son John Peter moved to Fulton in the 1890’s and began production of his weekly newspaper-The Missouri Telegraph. His son, our founder Ovid Bell, learned the printing trade and continued in the business with his own paper – The Fulton Gazette – but Ovid Bell began to see his business evolving from a daily paper into more and more print jobs.
With the acquisition of his first periodical client in 1924, he realized that his future lay in publication printing. He sold the paper and opened shop in 1927 as The Ovid Bell Press – printer of magazines, books and law briefs. With success and growth, he constructed a new building in 1936 which housed the production facility on the lower floor and administrative offices above.
After the war, Ovid’s son, Ovid H. came to work alongside his father and took over running the family business after his father died in 1953. In turn, John O. Bell began working alongside his father in 1977 and became President and then CEO after his father’s death in 1999.
Since those early days, The OBP has experienced remarkable growth and expansion, incorporating the latest technology and building upon the strong foundation of honesty, integrity and printing excellence. The plant has grown to almost 100,000 square feet.
As founder Ovid Bell wrote in a letter to his very first periodical client, “If we are given the job, I shall be glad to give it my personal attention …” Just as Ovid promised that first client, we promise each and every client we serve today. We will be present in the production of your magazine. We will work hard to guide your publication efficiently and successfully from digital files to printed page, and deliver to you and your customers a product we can all be proud of. If questions or concerns arise, we will listen and answer. And what about that very first client we made our promise to in 1924 you may be wondering? That promise was made to The Journal of the Missouri Medical Association. We are proud to still serve this client today – a testament to the loyal and confident relationships we develop with our clients.
In preparation for his retirement, John O. Bell sold The Ovid Bell Press in 2012. We continue to operate with the same principles this company was founded on as a subsidiary of Walsworth Publishing Co, which has plant locations in Marceline, MO and St. Joseph, MI.