About The Lexington advertiser. (Lexington, Miss.) 1904-1985
Lexington, Miss. (1904-1985)
- The Lexington advertiser. : (Lexington, Miss.) 1904-1985
- Alternative Titles:
- Times advertiser
- Place of publication:
- Lexington, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- Advertiser Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Ceased with Sept. 17, 1985 issue.
- Vol. 66, no. 40 (Jan. 7, 1904)-
- Lexington (Miss.)--Newspapers.
- "Principles and men: Truth--the weapon we use in their defense."
- Editor: <1942-1985>, Hazel Brannon Smith.
- For a short period published as: Times-advertiser.
- Special "Anniversary edition" published Dec. 1937.
- sn 84024271
- Preceding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Lexington Advertiser, The Progress-Advertiser, The Lexington Advertiser and The Holmes County Times and The Advertiser
The Lexington Advertiser, established in 1838, was one of the earliest newspapers in the seat of Holmes County, Mississippi. Its early political affiliation is unknown, but in 1860 it supported the short-lived, moderate Constitutional Union Party that took a neutral stance on slavery and opposed secession; many of its members were former Whigs. After the Civil War the Advertiser switched loyalties to the Democratic Party. Like most Democratic newspapers in Mississippi at the time, the Advertiser was critical of Reconstruction policies and Republican politicians such as Governor (1868-70; 1874-76) and U.S. Senator (1870-74) Adelbert Ames. Unlike other state newspapers, however, the Lexington Advertiser's attitude towards Republican Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress (1870-71), seemed supportive: "As to the election of Revels, we have little regrets to express." Sometime after April 1874 the newspaper's name was officially shortened to the Advertiser, but by 1894 the original title was again in use.
The Lexington Advertiser underwent several changes in the early 20th century. In February 1900, the newspaper was incorporated as the Advertiser Publishing Company; among the original stockholders were Cass Oltenburg and his son-in-law, Roland Austin Povall, both prior editors and owners. In 1902, theAdvertiser merged with the Holmes County Progress (1900-02) to form the Progress-Advertiser, an eight-page weekly; two years later it was again the Lexington Advertiser. Oltenburg left the Advertiser in January 1906 to join Povall in producing the Democratic, eight-page Holmes County Times that carried local news from Lexington and nearby Durant, Tchula, and Shaddon. On November 22, 1906, two editions of the Lexington Advertiser were published. The first announced that a fire had destroyed the newspaper's building, while the second edition, entitled the Times-Advertiser, advised subscribers that the Lexington Advertiser and the Holmes County Times had consolidated and the title Times-Advertiser would be used temporarily. Subsequently, the newspaper would be known as the Lexington Advertiser for the rest of its existence.
While later issues included more national and international coverage, the Lexington Advertiser always favored local news and, at times, declared itself the official journal of Holmes County. A unique example of local content is the 48-page November 12, 1909 issue which provided readers with a glimpse of the community and its prominent citizens through photographs. A favorite topic was Lexington lawyer, politician, and another original Advertiser Publishing Company stockholder, Edmund Favor Noel. Noel’s political career included a stretch as a Mississippi state senator (1895-1903) where he worked to change legislation passed during Reconstruction and authored the Primary Election Law of 1902, which excluded African Americans from voting in a primary. The Advertiser supported Noel's policies as governor (1908-12).
Two years after Roland Povall sold the Lexington Advertiser in 1941, Hazel Brannon, who later married Walter Dyer Smith, purchased it. In 1964, Brannon Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for her editorials supporting the Civil Rights Movement. In 1985, after many financial hardships brought about by her views against racial discrimination, the Lexington Advertiser ceased publication.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History