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The Stanford Interior Journal, Semi-weekly Interior Journal and The Interior Journal
Stanford's longest running newspaper, the Interior Journal was founded by newspapermen F.J. Campbell and D.W. Hilton in 1872. Col. William Pulaski “W.P.” Walton bought Campbell’s share of the paper in 1875 and Hilton’s share in 1881. By the time Walton was sole owner, the weekly Democratic paper had reached a readership of nearly 4,000 in Lincoln County. In 1881, Walton doubled the rate of publication and changed the paper’s name to the Semi-weekly Interior Journal. In 1905, W.P.’s brother, Edwin Claiborne “E.C.” Walton bought the paper and restored the original weekly rate and title.
The Walton family controlled the Interior Journal for over 70 years. Colonel Walton, a railroad contractor from Virginia, was known for his staunchly Democratic beliefs, as his editorials proved, so there is little surprise that the Journal was quick to endorse local and national Democratic candidates, including James B. McCreary, twice governor of Kentucky as well as a U.S. congressman and senator. Colonel Walton began a tradition of “courageous opinion” and seemingly inexhaustible Walton family editorial copy. E.C. Walton, who became the editor in 1900--five years before taking full control of the paper--followed firmly in his brother’s footsteps.
E.C. Walton owned and managed the paper from 1905 until 1910, when he sold it to Shelton M. Saufley, the former editor of the Lexington Democrat (sometimes referred to as the Lexington Morning Democrat).Saufley ran the Interior Journal for four years (renamed the Stanford Interior Journal in 1911-12), until it returned to the hands of E.C. Walton, who then edited the paper with his son, Claiborne C. Walton, until 1948. Saufley’s tenure represented the only interruption in seven decades of Walton control over the paper. After the Interior Journal left the Walton family in 1948, it was owned by a number of editors including Richard and Martha Ferguson, William Caldwell, and Tom and Sharman Moore.
The Interior Journal included an assortment of local and national affairs. Despite its political leanings, the paper did not neglect developments in the Lincoln County communities of Crab Orchard, Hustonville, and Stanford, as well as in nearby Garrard and Casey Counties. Agriculture, the area’s leading industry, was always of particular interest; columns such as "Land and Stock” reported market prices and other farming news.
The Interior Journal is still published in Stanford, the county seat. Established in 1780, Stanford was first known as Logan’s Station--the second oldest settlement in Kentucky. The famed Wilderness Road is today Stanford’s Main Street, which runs past the first courthouse west of the Allegheny Mountains and the Interior Journal's offices. Since the paper began nearly 140 years ago, it has grown from four to sixteen pages and remains a weekly.
Provided by: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY