The oldest business in Gustine, in continuous operation, is our community newspaper, The Gustine Press-Standard. Founded as the Gustine Standard, the publication published its first issue on Nov. 4, 1910, under the guidance of Publisher William C. Perry. The mast proclaimed that the Gustine Standard was "A Standard Paper for an Above Standard Community."
For the first five months, the paper was apparently published upstairs in the Miller and Lux Building, where Pioneer Drug is now located, and touched on many of the same news topics to be found in a typical issue of today's paper. The headline for the second issue proclaimed, "Gustine to have branch library." A week later the story was headlined, "Irrigators will hold next meeting here."
The Standard followed by one year the short-lived Gustine News. When just three weeks old the Standard wanted to know "whether or not it expected to pay for the alleged sins of its predecessor, the defunct Gustine News." The publisher had been out selling subscriptions and evidently had encoutered some resistance or distrust.
The Standard reportedly moved from its original location to the Johnson-Ames Building, located "near the hall of justice, west of the railroad" in 1913. Around 1915 the paper moved yet again to the McLaughlin Building, on the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Third Avenue -- but not before the office site was used as the first home for Gustine High School in 1913. The McLaughlin building was eventually town down and a new building built in 1948 by Luther Headings at a cost of $15,000. The Standard would remain in that building until 1987, when it moved down the street to 461 Fifth Street. "We are pleased to be able to have relocated The Gustine Standard office in this new location," then general manager John Sheilds said in an interview at the time.
The Gustine Standard went through a number of ownership changes over the years, with the last owner being the Lesher family of Merced County, who owned several newspapers throughout the region including the defunct Newman News. In 1990 the paper merged with the Gustine Press, which was started in 1984 by Mattos Newspapers, Inc. as a competitor to the Standard. The paper became the Gustine Press-Standard, which remains the name it is published under to this day.