Back in the 1930s, being a Brainerd Daily Dispatch newspaper carrier meant "big bucks."
This allowed Douglas Merrill Henderson to purchase his first car, a green 1928 Chevrolet coupe with a black top, for $85 when he was only 17 years old. The car also had disc wheels.
Henderson, who is a Bethany Good Samaritan resident, purchased the car from a northeast Brainerd resident. The car did have to have a new piston installed by a mechanic.
At the time of the car purchase, Henderson had 140 customers, including the offices of the Crow Wing County Courthouse and other upstairs offices in downtown Brainerd. He began carrying papers in north Brainerd at age 11.
Doug's car parked at a farm looked like a scene from the television program, "The Waltons."
In early May 1939 upon his high school graduation, Henderson accepted a position as the circulation manager for the Cherokee Daily Times in Cherokee, Iowa. He held this position for two years before being transferred to the Daily Herald in the Chippewa Falls, Iowa, to fulfill the same position.
He worked there until June 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Air Force. His two and a half-year tour of duty was at the 9th Air Force Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. He was discharged in 1945 as a Tech Sergeant.
Upon his return to Brainerd after his discharge, he purchased the first new 1946 Ford off the Detroit, Mich., assembly line from Mills Motors.
A picture of the late co-owner of Mills Motor, Claude Holden, and Henderson also was taken. Holden carried it with him always and often showed it to Henderson.
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