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The first issue of the Gainesville Star appeared on May 1, 1903. D.E. Godwin was its publisher, and the paper appeared semiweekly at least through October 4, 1904, by which time W.L. Hill had taken over its management. Some issues bear the heading “Twice a Week,” and publisher’s information occasionally referred to the “Gainesville Twice a Week Star.” The Star appears to have been affiliated with the Democratic Party.

The Gainesville Star carried reprinted stories from around the world while providing a good share of local news as well. Among the issues discussed regularly in its pages was the adoption in 1904 of a “dry ticket” and the resulting closure of the town’s saloons. The prohibition of alcohol would contribute the following year to the relocation in Gainesville of the University of Florida, the state’s college for men. Gainesville was known for its good drinking water and the lack of any other beverages or activities that might get young men into trouble.

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