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The hummer. : (Houston, Miss.) 1914-19??
Place of publication:
Houston, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Houlka, Chickasaw, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Houston, Chickasaw, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Dates of publication:
  • Began in May 1914.
  • English
  • Houlka (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Houston (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Houlka.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01874799
  • Mississippi--Houston.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219467
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 14 (Aug. 27, 1915).
  • Published in Houston, Mar. 1915-1917; in Houlka, Miss. thereafter.
sn 87065205
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The hummer. March 12, 1915 , Image 1


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The Hummer

Located in north Mississippi, Chickasaw County was established in 1836 from land ceded to the United States by the Chickasaw through the 1832 Treaty of Pontotoc. Cotton was the primary cash crop of the county, but corn, wheat, oats, peas, potatoes, sorghum, and rice were also produced; livestock included hogs, cattle, and sheep. The many indigenous hardwoods led to a thriving lumber industry. Houlka, originally a Chickasaw village, was the oldest town in the county; Houston, 10 miles south and incorporated in 1837, was the county seat.

When the weekly Democratic Hummer (1914-18??) began in May 1914, Rad Harrill Reed, its colorful editor/proprietor, printed the paper in Memphis because he could not afford a press and mailed copies to subscribers each Thursday. In the March 12, 1915 issue, Reed explained that the paper had been ". . . published under the name of the Houlka Hummer but business demands that it be moved to the county seat--Houston." The paper's publication day changed almost yearly, and the page count also varied from four to ten. Originally, the Hummer's motto was "Boost and Help the Other Fellow." When Calvin Baxter McAbee progressed from co-editor to editor and business manager in 1916, the Hummer" motto became "The Paper that Gives the News without Bias; Everything, Every Time." Sometime after September 1917, the newspaper moved from Houston back to Houlka. The last year the Hummer was listed in N.W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual & Directory was 1919.

Most of the non-local news in the Hummer was about the "Great War," as World War I (1914-18), was known. After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Hummer carried reports on local efforts. For example, an article in the September 21, 1917 issue described Red Cross distribution of "comfort bags" to county soldiers headed for Europe. Columns also covered state and local politics, particularly Governors Earl Brewer (1912-16) and Theodore G. Bilbo (1916-20). The Hummer included farm news, such as how to raise pigs, sheep, and horses and the status of the boll weevil infestation, and serialized dramas like "The Exploits of Elaine." Much space was given to county and local news, including the importance of good county roads, board of supervisors and city alderman proceedings, high school news and sports results, and notices about local organizations such as the United Confederate Veterans. The paper announced the establishment of a corn club for youth, a precursor to the 4-H club that started in nearby Holmes County, Mississippi. Separate columns covered Houston and Houlka social news. The most unique content in the Hummer was alliterative captions and descriptions of places; for example, a piece entitled "Majestic Mississippi," which consisted entirely of words starting with the letter "m," appeared in the March 12, 1915 issue.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History