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“The town that was built on a railroad,” Chipley is the seat of Washington County, located inland in Florida’s Panhandle, just south of the Alabama state line. First known as Orange, this small West Florida community was founded in 1882 in anticipation of the arrival of a railroad that would connect the farming area with markets in Pensacola and Tallahassee and in neighboring Alabama and Georgia. Shortly after the line was completed, Orange was renamed Chipley in honor of William D. Chipley, vice-president of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, a notable figure in the political and economic history of the area and an aggressive lobbyist for railroad land grants.
The town’s first newspaper, the Intelligencer, edited by J.C. Langley, also began in 1882. The Intelligencer was renamed the Chipley Banner in 1893 and published under this name until 1943, when it merged with the Washington County News.
Provided by: University of Florida