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The Kosciusko star. : (Kosciusko, Miss.) 18??-1898
Place of publication:
Kosciusko, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Kosciusko, Attala, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Nelson & Anderson
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1898.
  • English
  • Kosciusko (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Kosciusko.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01229635
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 18, no. 15 (Feb. 15, 1884).
sn 87065300
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The Kosciusko star. July 13, 1894 , Image 1


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The Kosciusko Star

The terrain and soil of Attala County, in central Mississippi, were well suited for growing cotton; by 1890 the county shipped around 22,000 bales annually. Wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, peas, peanuts, and sorghum were also profitable crops. Large tracts of timbered land supplied oaks, hickory, pine and cypress to local saw mills. In 1874 the first railroad finally came to Kosciusko, the county seat.

As early as 1866, a weekly Democratic newspaper was re-established in Kosciusko. In 1875, when Captain H. P. Johnson became sole owner of the paper, he changed its name to the Kosciusko Star (1875?-1898). Proclaiming itself to be the "Official Organ of Attala County" and the "Official Organ of Kosciusko," by July 1894 the Star was usually eight pages long. After Johnson's death in 1883, the paper was sold, but by 1895 two of his sons, Frank P. Johnson and H. M. Johnson, were back in control as editor and business manager. In 1936, the Star, by then the Star Ledger (1898-1919), merged with the Kosciusko Herald (1900-1919) to form the Star Herald (1920-) which is still being published as a weekly in 2015.

With editorials about local issues, some national and foreign news, and a few general interest stories, the Kosciusko Star included lots of county and local news. For example, it covered the board of supervisor meetings and reported on the 19th Century Club, a local social club. There were columns for state, county, town, personal, and social news. Obituaries included one in the July 13, 1894 issue for state legislator, United States Congressman and District Judge, Jason Niles. There were few, if any, legal notices.

Editorials and articles frequently discussed cotton production and possible ways to improve the economy particularly when cotton prices were low. For example, in the January 11, 1895 issue the Star reprinted Mississippi Governor John M. Stone's address to the Cotton Growers Protective Association urging Mississippi to follow the lead of other Southern states to produce products from cotton, not just grow the fiber. In the next issue, January 18, a secondary headline read "They Urge Establishment of Small Factories and Packing Houses and Reduction of Cotton Acreage." Articles about cotton cultivation, crop diversification, cotton prices, the harmful effects of the credit system on farmers, and other issues of local concern filled the pages of the Star.

The paper also covered state wide issues. For example, a January 18, 1895 article reported that the current state house in Jackson was ". . . in a dilapidated condition and fast going to decay without human efforts to stay the ravages of time," and a February 22, 1895 reprint supported the poll tax enacted by Mississippi's 1890 constitution. Around elections the news naturally focused on politics, with detailed county and state political news, schedules of public appearances by Democratic candidates, analysis of Democratic accomplishments, and election results. Prior to the 1895 election, biographical sketches of Democrats running for county office appeared in the September 27th issue. The November 1st issue carried an address in Kosciusko by Governor-elect Anselm J. McLaurin.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History