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The Southern star. : (DeKalb, Miss.) 1898-1908
Place of publication:
DeKalb, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • DeKalb, Kemper, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.T. Gewin
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1898; ceased in 1908.
  • English
  • DeKalb (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--DeKalb.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01232702
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 3, no. 44 (Oct. 24, 1900).
sn 87065057
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The Southern star. October 24, 1900 , Image 1


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The Southern Star

East-central Mississippi, where Kemper County is located, was Choctaw homeland. Nanih Waiya, which the Choctaw traditionally regard as their ancestral mound, is located just over the line in adjacent Winston County. Agriculture thrived in this region originally dominated by long- and shortleaf pine: cotton, corn, oats, wheat, field peas and other vegetables, plus raising livestock, contributed to the economy. Incorporated in the 1830s, the county seat of DeKalb occupies the site of an older Choctaw town. Notable personages from Kemper County were Fire-Eater Civil War Governor John Jones Pettus (1859-63) and U.S. Senator John Cornelius Stennis (1947-88).

The Southern Star (1898-1908), a four-page weekly published on Wednesdays, began in DeKalb in 1898; by 1900, Alabama-born J.T. Gewin was the editor and proprietor. In 1908, the Star merged with the Kemper Herald (1875-1908) to form the Kemper Herald-Star (1908-21), which by 1910 was edited and published by Gewin's son, Crawford. While there are no extant issues of the Herald-Star for 1921 to 1932, the title may have reverted to the Kemper Herald and moved back to the nearby railroad town of Scooba, the largest settlement in Kemper County at the time. After absorbing another local paper, the DeKalb Sentinel (1926?-34?), Crawford Gewin changed the Herald's name to the Kemper County Messenger in 1932. Between him and his brothers Mercer and John, Crawford Gewin managed the paper until 1940. As of 2015, the Messenger is still published in DeKalb as a weekly.

The Herald/Herald-Star was generally regarded as a Democratic newspaper; however, in 1900, the Southern Star supported the Populist Party, the political arm of the late 19th-century agrarian movement. The October 24, 1900 issue of the Star, the only known extant issue, re-printed an article entitled "How a Christian Should Vote," which seemed to denounce the Democratic Party. The Populist electoral ticket appeared in the same issue announcing Wharton Barker of Pennsylvania as candidate for president and Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota for vice president, as well as district representatives for the party. The national Populist Party disbanded after the 1900 election, and the Star probably switched its support to the Democratic Party, as did many other Southern Populist newspapers. In fact, the majority of the Southern Star's content was not devoted to politics, but instead consisted of advertisements for businesses in nearby Meridian, professional cards, general interest items, and world and national news. Little local news and few legal notices appeared in the paper.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History