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The Manning times. [volume] : (Manning, Clarendon County, S.C.) 1884-current
Place of publication:
Manning, Clarendon County, S.C.
Geographic coverage:
  • Manning, Clarendon, South Carolina  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
S.A. Nettles
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1884.
  • English
  • Clarendon County (S.C.)--Newspapers.
  • Manning (S.C.)--Newspapers.
  • South Carolina--Clarendon County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217334
  • South Carolina--Manning.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01228666
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 43 (Oct. 7, 1885).
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 131, no. 17 (Apr. 25, 2013).
sn 86063760
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The Manning times. [volume] October 7, 1885 , Image 1


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The Manning Times

The weekly Manning Times reflected on changing times in Clarendon County, South Carolina, starting in the late 19th century. The cultivation of cotton had once dominated the local economy, but by the 1890s, new markets for lumber, tobacco, and turpentine were opening. Signs of community pride--literary societies, a new courthouse and public library--were also evident.

The Manning Times began as the Sumter Spirit of the Times, a self-described “conservative” and “independent” Democrat newspaper in Sumter. In 1884, the newspaper was moved to Manning, the seat of Clarendon County. The first mention of the Manning Times appears in the December 23, 1884 issue of the Sumter Watchman and Southron; the editors herald it as “first class” and “exceedingly creditable” to its proprietor, Horace Laidler Darr. The earliest available issue is dated October 7, 1885.

Several individuals who were involved with the Manning Times played significant roles in their community. Abraham Levi served as director of the Manning Oil Mill and Illuminating Company and as president of the Bank of Manning. Stephen Abraham Nettles served as a Methodist minister, principal of Manning Academy, and editor of the Southern Christian Advocate, a periodical published for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Louis Appelt served as city treasurer, commissioner of elections, postmaster, and probate judge in Clarendon County. He also represented his community as a state senator (1899-1902, 1907-16), serving on the finance, medical affairs, military, and railroads and internal improvements committees.

Stephen Nettles and Louis Appelt in particular influenced the editorial tone of the Manning Times in its formative years. Before purchasing the Times, Nettles had edited the Clarendon Enterprise; he would establish another weekly newspaper, the Sumter Herald, in the early 1890s. Nettles was also actively involved in the local prohibition movement. During his tenure as editor, the Manning Times covered prohibition efforts in a decidedly sympathetic manner, referring to liquor sales as a “giant evil” and “great curse to our country.”

In 1894, Louis Appelt, a native of Troy, New York, took over as editor. Whereas Nettles sought entry into the ministry, Appelt harbored political ambitions. He was also a close friend of state senator John Lowndes McLaurin, a controversial figure who dared oppose fellow South Carolina Democrat “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman and who frequently sided with Republicans on issues of subsidies, tariffs, and the gold standard. Within the pages of the Manning Times, Appelt defended McLaurin’s politics and reputation, earning in the process the dubious appellation of “McLaurin’s Cuckoo” from the Spartanburg Piedmont Headlight and the disapproval of the Charleston News and Courier.

When Louis Appelt died in 1915, his son Isaac Ingram Appelt took over as proprietor of the Manning Times. The newspaper stayed in the Appelt family through the mid-20th century. At times, it was edited by Isaac’s wife, Clara Harvin Appelt, and Louis Appelt’s daughters, Sarah Valentine and Martha Burgess Appelt. The Manning Times continues to this day as one of South Carolina’s longest-running weekly newspapers.

Provided by: University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC