Clyde Leslie Stanley was born November 18, 1887, in Henry County, Missouri. At age 11, he moved to Colorado, attending schools in Boulder and La Fayette. He graduated in 1903 after the tenth grade. That same year he began his publishing career, buying a print shop in Erie, Colorado, and soon producing the first issue of the Erie News.
Stanley's life in Weld County started in 1910 when he joined his family in homesteading 320 acres near Keota. The next year he moved his printing presses to Keota so that another homesteader, A. C. Hammond, could use them to produce the Keota News.
Stanley spent most of his adult life in Keota, providing a wide variety of services for the community. He took over publication of the Keota News in the fall of 1911. As publisher and editor of this local newspaper, he was the major chronicler of the history of Keota until the paper ceased publication in 1922. Stanley was a busy man always; he ran the Wayside Press from Keota for 20 years. In time, he took over the Keota general store and the post office. He served as the U.S. Land Commissioner for four 5 year terms. He was on several of Keota's civic and commercial boards and was one of the last residents remaining in Keota when its population declined sharply after the Great Depression.
In the early 1970's, James A. Michener visited Keota many times while researching and writing Centennial. In fact, John Kings, author of In Search of Centennial: a Journey with James A. Michener, maintains that the characterization of the Land Commissioner in Centennial, Walter Bellamy, was based on Clyde Stanley and that the town of Line Camp was drawn from Keota. Michener dedicated Centennial "to three distinguished newspapermen," crediting each with contributions important to the creation of his novel. One of the three was Clyde Stanley who, Michener said, "introduced me to the prairie."
Clyde Stanley lived in Keota for 63 years, leaving in 1973 because of deteriorating health. Stanley died on January 8, 1976, in Greeley and is buried with family and friends in the Keota Cemetery. In 1975, the railroad tracks which had brought service to northern Colorado and Keota since 1887 were taken up. The population dwindled and the town of Keota was disincorporated in 1991.
Stanley's career in the newspaper and printing business included: Founder and co-owner and editor of the Erie News, 1903-04; Owner and editor of the Lafayette News, 1905-1911; Owner and editor of the Black Diamond World in Louisville, 1908-1911; Owner and editor of the Keota News, 1911-1925; Owner and printer of The Wayside Press, Keota, 1910-1964.