The Library of Congress

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

Pages Available: 10,176,001

The first issue of this ongoing weekly appeared on July 26, 1879 under the title Florida Telegraph. It was published by William Wyatt Moore, a native Floridian and a staunch Democrat. Moore had previously worked for a paper in Tallahassee and had also published newspapers in Jacksonville, Lake City, Cedar Key, and Pensacola.

After appearing for a short time as the Weekly Florida Telegraph and reverting back to the Florida Telegraph, the paper’s name was changed to the Starke Telegraph. In 1887, Moore sold a half-interest in the newspaper to I.C. Webb, who became sole owner within a few months and changed its name to the Bradford County Telegraph. In 1893, Eugene S. Matthews, who had previously worked for newspapers in Gainesville and Ocala, purchased the Bradford County Telegraph with Ben J. Farmer, who sold his interest to Matthews five years later.

Matthews published the Bradford County Telegraph for the next forty years. He was also elected to the state legislature in 1904, 1907, 1911 and 1923. His son, Eugene L. Matthews, a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, took over the publication in 1933, matching his father’s record of forty years as publisher. The Bradford County Telegraph continues to the present.

Provided by: University of Florida