About DeSoto times. (Hernando, Miss.) 1879-1898
Hernando, Miss. (1879-1898)
- DeSoto times. : (Hernando, Miss.) 1879-1898
- Place of publication:
- Hernando, Miss.
- Geographic coverage:
- W.S. Slade
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1879; ceased in Sept. 1898.
- Description based on: Vol. 14, no. 25 (Nov. 6, 1879).
- Merged with: Promoter, to form: Times-promoter.
- sn 87065180
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DeSoto Times and Times-Promoter
The corridor within which Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his expedition most likely crossed the Mississippi River in spring 1541 includes a stretch of the Mississippi county that bears his surname. What appellation could there be for the county seat other than the explorer's first name, Hernando? Tucked into the very northwest corner of the state, DeSoto County was a prime cotton growing area, producing an average of 5,000 bales per year in the early 20th century.
The longest running newspaper in Hernando, Mississippi, most likely began in 1846 as the People’s Press (1846?-67). Suspended for four years during the Civil War, publication resumed with the February 15, 1866 issue, with William S. Slade as editor. The title changed twice in the next 13 years, first to the Hernando Press (1867-72), then to the Press and Times (1872-79). By the time the title changed to the DeSoto Times (1879-98), Slade was the proprietor. He continued publishing the newspaper until 1898 when the Times merged with the Promoter (1897-98), another four-page Democratic weekly, to form the eight-page Times-Promoter (1898-1970). The newspaper underwent several more title changes after 1970; since 2008 it is published tri-weekly as the DeSoto Times-Tribune.
While the DeSoto Times featured the usual late 19th-century mix of poetry, general interest articles, news, and advertisements, it was best known for its editorials, usually on William S. Slade's favorite topics: politics and history. Frequent letters to the editor also focused on political issues. Local news included marriage announcements and death notices, legal notices, and occasionally a column on the nearby community of Horn Lake. Advertisements and professional cards often featured businesses in Memphis, Tennessee, 22 miles north of Hernando. Agricultural news, primarily about cotton, and educational articles, such as one in the January 9, 1890 issue on the value of osage orange as a hedge plant, filled the last page. In 1890, news and editorials in the DeSoto Times focused on the upcoming Mississippi constitutional convention. The resulting constitution effectively disenfranchised African American citizens and codified white political supremacy in the state for decades to come.
The Times-Promoter carried more national and international news and fewer general interest stories than the DeSoto Times, although political and legislative news and instructional articles on farming remained important. State coverage increased with two additional columns: "Mississippi Matters" (1898-1906) and "Mississippi State News" (1902-05). Timely topics in 1903 included the dedication of the new state capitol in Jackson and the final removal of the Choctaw to Indian Territory. The Times-Promoter covered various topics of importance to a cotton-producing river county such as levee maintenance and the impact of the boll weevil, which made its first appearance in the state in 1907.
Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History