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The Magnolia gazette. [volume] : (Magnolia, Miss.) 1872-current
Place of publication:
Magnolia, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Magnolia, Pike, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.D. Burke
Dates of publication:
  • Began with Dec. 7, 1872 issue.
  • English
  • Magnolia (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Magnolia.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01238583
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 6 (Jan. 11, 1873).
sn 85034447
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The Magnolia gazette. [volume] December 14, 1872 , Image 1


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The Magnolia Gazette

Located in southwestern Mississippi, Pike County was created in 1815. The county seat moved west from the declining community of Holmesville on the Bogue Chitto River to Magnolia, a newer railroad boom town, in June 1873. Seven months previously, a Confederate veteran, Captain James D. Burke established the four-page Magnolia Gazette. Known as quiet and agreeable, Burke had edited a newspaper in Brookhaven, Mississippi, before moving south to Magnolia. For reasons that are unclear, the Gazette was not published between August 1874 and September 1879; it resumed publication on October 24, 1879. For the remainder of the century the Gazette reflected the prevailing attitudes of conservative white Democrats in the state.

Upon Burke’s sudden death in January 1885, his friend, John S. Lamkin, purchased the Gazette and ran it for two years before returning to his law practice. The last editor/proprietor during the 19th century was D.M. Huff, a strong temperance advocate. Beginning in 1894, Huff published the paper twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday, a practice that continued after he left the Gazette in 1900. The newspaper returned to a weekly format in 1920. The Magnolia Gazette is still published in 2017 as a weekly; it is Pike County's oldest continuously operated business.

In its early years, the Magnolia Gazette was an excellent source of state and local news. Beginning in October 1873, the newspaper was the official journal of Pike County, a role it continued for the next several decades. Local coverage included marriage announcements, obituaries, advertisements, and legal notices. While all levels of political and legislative news predominated, entertainments, such as the local Mardis Gras celebrations, also were chronicled. Although not a consistent feature, the Gazette frequently printed news from neighboring towns such as Holmesville, Osyka, and Summit, and from the recently established community of McComb, where the maintenance shops of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, bought by the Illinois Central in 1874, had been relocated from New Orleans. Extensively covered between February and May 1873, was the upcoming election to decide which town, Summit or the resort community of Magnolia, would become the new county seat. The June 6th issue of the Gazette announced Magnolia as the winner of the contest.

For a time in the early 1880s, the Gazette was the official journal of the chancery clerk plus the town of Magnolia. One unique feature, appearing from July 30, 1880, to February 11, 1881, was the prisoner of war recollections of Confederate veteran and future Gazette owner, Captain John Lamkin. Under Editor Huff's leadership the Magnolia Gazette became a major proponent of the state Prohibition movement. By the end of the 19th century the Gazette also provided an abundance of advice for farmers: warning against relying too much on cotton, suggesting alternative crops such as sugar cane, and promoting the raising of fruits and vegetables to be shipped by rail to northern cities.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History