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The DeLand Weekly News, The Volusia County Record and The DeLand News
The DeLand Weekly News was founded in 1887 and succeeded by the DeLand News in about 1907. Christopher O. Codrington served as editor for both newspapers. A well-known DeLand newspaperman, Codrington also published the Florida Agriculturalist; he was also involved in a 1908 libel case (Steward v. Codrington, et al.) involving railroad owner and county judge Isaac A. Stewart.
The interests of the railway loomed large in DeLand--the seat of Volusia County. First settled in 1874 and originally named Persimmon Hollow after its persimmon trees, the community was at first accessible only by steamboat. This situation changed with the visit in 1876 of Henry DeLand, a New York industrialist, who renamed the town and re-envisioned its future as a center for agriculture, particularly for citrus, and for tourism. Soon afterward, the tracks of the Georgia, Florida, and Key West Railway Company came to DeLand, running south from the Georgia state line to New Symrna on the Atlantic coast.
DeLand enjoys a reputation as a city of firsts. It was the first community in Florida to have electricity. It was home to the state’s first private university, Stetson University. Later, it would host Florida’s first law school, established in 1900 at Stetson University. DeLand was known as the “Athens of Florida” because of its outpouring of cultural activities--extraordinary for Florida at the turn of the century. The town’s influence would later wane as political and economic power shifted toward Daytona Beach.
Both the DeLand Weekly News and the DeLand News provided extensive coverage of local developments, and the papers duly noted the comings and goings of prominent visitors, including John B. Stetson, the Philadelphia hat manufacturer and philanthropist for whom Stetson University is named.
In 1921, the DeLand News merged with another local weekly, the Volusia County Record founded in 1888. The product of their union was the DeLand News and Volusia County Record.
Provided by: University of Florida