About The De Soto County news. (Arcadia, Fla.) 1898-1924
Arcadia, Fla. (1898-1924)
- The De Soto County news. : (Arcadia, Fla.) 1898-1924
- Alternative Titles:
- DeSoto County news
- Place of publication:
- Arcadia, Fla.
- Geographic coverage:
- De Soto Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1898; ceased in 1924.
- Arcadia (Fla.)--Newspapers.
- De Soto County (Fla.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 6, no. 37 (June 12, 1903).
- Latest issue consulted: Vol. 29, no. 12 (Oct. 9, 1924).
- The De Soto (FL) County News [LCCN sn95026908] began publishing from Arcadia, Florida, in 1898 approximately twelve years after the city was incorporated. The De Soto County News had been preceded by the Arcadian [LCCN not known to exist] (Arcadia, FL), which began publishing in October 1887, the year that DeSoto County (FL) was born out of Manatee County (FL). The Arcadian was rechristened as the De Soto County News with the newspaper's sale to Judge Ziba King, John L. Lewis, and J.H. Treadwell. Ziba King, born in Ware County, Georgia, was a pioneer settler of Arcadia, Florida. In 1862, during the Civil War he enlisted with the Confederate Army, though muster rolls indicate that he was "absent without leave since Dec. 17, 1864." By 1868, he had moved to Tampa, Florida, selling dry goods. Soon thereafter, however, he moved to Arcadia, where King became a cattle rancher, served as president of the First National Bank of Arcadia. Manatee County records of 1873 through 1876 indicate that he'd also served terms as a Justice of the Peace, affiliated with the Conservative Democratic Party. From 1888 through 1891, however, he was known to have been registered as an Independent. The County's Independent Party was opposed by its Populists. The chief spokesman of the Populists, later the Farm Alliance, was Thomas J. Pepper, the publisher of the Arcadian. Bitter political differences between King and Pepper continued. In 1896, Pepper supported the Populist Party candidacy of William Jennings Bryan for the presidency of the United States, in opposition to King's Democratic Party candidate, Oscar T. Sanford. This was, literally, not to mention the Republican Party candidate, William McKinley, who actually won the election. Following the election, the Democratic Party commissioners of the newly formed DeSoto County, suspended the Arcadian's county printing contract. And, Pepper's creditors subsequently sold the newspaper to King, Lewis and Treadwell. The resulting De Soto County News thereupon was awarded the county printing contract. Though Judge Ziba died in 1901, the De Soto County News continued to reflect his character. Little is known of John L. Lewis and little more is known of J.H. Treadwell. Treadwell was one of Arcadia's leading lawyers. The De Soto County News ceased publication in 1924, merging with the Arcadia (FL) Enterprise [LCCN sn95047229] to form the present-day (ca. 2008) Arcadian (Arcadia, FL) (1924- ) [LCCN sn95047230]. In 1905, the De Soto County News was a weekly six-column broadsheet-sized publication full of local news, including news from outlying communities. Local news of the day reported the news of Thanksgiving Day 1905: a fire originating in the mid-town livery stable burnt Arcadia to the ground. From 1917 through 1922, various reports of the U.S. Army Air Service's Carlstrom Field were published. Pilots serving in World War I were trained on Carlstrom's grass airfield. The Arcadia, Florida, of this period served as the seat of government for DeSoto County (FL). In 1921, Arcadia would see its political power diminished through the separation of Charlotte County (FL), Hardee County (FL), Glades County (FL), and Highlands County (FL) from the territory of DeSoto County. DeSoto County was largely agricultural and much of its wealth was generated by cattle ranching. This is not the John L. Lewis of union organizing fame.--E. Kesse, University of Florida Digital Library Center.
- Walter Graham, editor.
- sn 95026908
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De Soto County News
The De Soto County News began publishing from Arcadia in 1898. The News had been preceded by the Arcadian, which dates back to 1887, the year DeSoto County was founded. The Arcadian was rechristened the De Soto County News after its sale to Ziba King and his partners, John L. Lewis and J. H. Treadwell.
King, born in Ware County, Georgia, was a pioneer settler of Arcadia. A veteran of the Confederate Army, King moved after the Civil War to Tampa, where he sold dry goods. Soon thereafter, King settled in Arcadia, where he became a cattle rancher and served as president of the First National Bank. Between 1873 and 1876 King was elected to several terms as Justice of the Peace. Although affiliated with the Conservative Democratic Party, King was registered as an Independent from 1888 through 1891. The county’s Independent Party was opposed by its Populists--later known as the Farm Alliance--whose chief spokesman was Thomas J. Pepper, the publisher of the Arcadian.
Bitter political differences between King and Pepper ensued. In 1896, Pepper supported the Populist Party candidacy of William Jennings Bryan for the presidency of the United States, in opposition to King’s Democratic Party candidate, Oscar T. Sanford. After the election was won by the Republican William McKinley, the Democratic Party commissioners of DeSoto County suspended the Arcadian’s printing contract. Pepper’s creditors subsequently sold the newspaper to King, Lewis, and Treadwell, who also received the county’s printing contract. Though King died in 1901, the De Soto County News continued to reflect his character.
By 1905, the De Soto County News had become a weekly six-column broadsheet-sized publication full of local news, including reports from outlying communities in this region known for its ranching and farming. One of the newspaper’s biggest stories was its coverage of the fire of Thanksgiving Day 1905 in which Arcadia was burnt to the ground. During the First World War, the De Soto County News reported on the training of pilots at the U.S. Army Air Service’s Carlstrom Field.
Provided by: University of Florida