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The Brandon news. : (Brandon, Miss.) 1892-1961
Place of publication:
Brandon, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Brandon, Rankin, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
E.B. Tabor
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 114, no. 11 (Nov. 23, 1961).
  • Began in 1892.
Weekly 1937-
  • English
  • Brandon (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Brandon.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01227056
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 13 (Mar. 23, 1893).
sn 86074053
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The Brandon news. May 29, 1902 , Image 1


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The Brandon News

The Pearl River, a natural barrier, divided the original Hinds County, Mississippi in two, making it difficult for citizens on the east side to conduct business at the county seat, Jackson, on the west bank. To alleviate this problem, in 1828, all Hinds land east of the Pearl became Rankin County. Located in the fertile prairie of central Mississippi, agriculture was the primary livelihood where cotton, grains, and fruit were grown and livestock raised. Abundant woodlands supported a lumber industry. Starting out as a quiet village at the intersection of two territorial roads on the river's east bank, Brandon, the county seat, became an important trading center and cotton shipping point. Despite proximity to Jackson, also the state capital, Brandon remained a small community until after World War II when population burgeoned.

Two influential Democratic newspapers consecutively served Brandon. Many Mississippi newspaper editors and publishers in the second half of the 19th century learned their trade from Colonel Andrew Jackson Frantz who ran the Brandon Republican (1850-94?) for most of its existence. Frantz died April 5, 1892; ten days later, in the Yazoo Herald, his sons advertised the Brandon Republican printing office for sale. Overlapping with the Republican for at least four months, the Brandon News began publication in early 1892. Editor and perhaps founder, Edward Bissell Tabor, was able to produce a successful newspaper in the void left by the Republican despite speculation to the contrary. After Tabor's return to the mid-west, civic-minded, native-Mississippian Wayne Sutton May became proprietor and editor of the News. May ran the paper for over 20 years until his untimely death, due to an accident at the office, in December 1921. To better reflect the intended audience, in 1961 the paper changed its name to the Rankin County News; in 2020, it is still being published under this title.

For nearly the first forty years, the Brandon News was a four-page weekly usually published on Thursdays. From its inception through the early 1920s, the journal was devoted primarily to county and community news often including both a "Local News" column with Brandon content and a "Rankin County News Notes" column. At various times, it also featured news of other county towns such as Pisgah, Puckett, Fannin, and Goshen Springs. Coverage ranged from a June 15, 1922 article advocating for all night street light service in Brandon to a July 26, 1923 front page item on a liquor raid in Rankin County where arrests were made and a moonshine still was confiscated.

The Brandon News regularly covered the Piney Woods Country Life School, which taught young African Americans trades as well as academic subjects. Raised in Missouri and Iowa, Laurence Clifton Jones founded the school in southern Rankin in 1909 after learning of the high rate of illiteracy in the area. News from the school ranged from event coverage, such as a Thanksgiving Day fair in 1917, to a biography of Dr. Jones. In 1918, during World War I (1914-19), the paper followed the development of a Red Cross auxiliary at Piney Woods "… to do sewing and knitting and help raise funds for our poor soldiers who are on the battle field." The Piney Woods School still exists today as a historically African American boarding school for grades nine through twelve.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History