The company has its origins in 1967, when Gary Rust and his wife Wendy purchased the small Cape Girardeau Weekly Bulletin. In 1982, he purchased his first daily paper, the Dexter Statesman. In 1986, he purchased the Southeast Missourian, the daily paper in town, from Thomson Newspapers.
In 2001, Gary Rust retired from daily management of the company, and turned over the reins to sons Jon, who is on the Board Of Directors for the Associated Press, and Rex Rust, as well as COO Walter Lage. In 2003, Rust was inducted into the Missouri Press Association's Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Holdings of Rust Communications include the following daily newspapers:
- The Brazil Times (acquired 2001)
- Greencastle Banner-Graphic (acquired 1999)
- Greene County Daily World (formed 2007)
- Fort Scott Tribune (acquired 2004)
- McCook Daily Gazette (acquired 1997)
- Gary Rust to be inducted into Newspaper Hall of Fame, Nevada Daily Mail, July 1, 2003
- Tribune-Monitor Sold to Missouri Company, Fort Scott Tribune, August 2, 2004
- Newspaper added to Daily Sentinel's parent company, Le Mars Daily Sentinel, March 12, 2009
- Rust Names Regional Vice Presidents, Editor & Publisher, September 1, 2010
- Randy List moving to Iowa as his Publishing Duties Expand, Greencastle Banner-Graphic, September 28, 2012]
- Newspaper Group to Purchase Gazette, McCook Daily Gazette, August 18, 1997
- Rust Publishing Buys Fort Scott Tribune-Monitor, Nevada Daily Mail, August 3, 2004