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The Starkville news. : (Starkville, Miss.) 1902-1960
Place of publication:
Starkville, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Starkville, Oktibbeha, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
News Print. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 59, no. 20 (Oct. 28, 1960).
  • Began in 1902.
  • English
  • Mississippi--Starkville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219298
  • Starkville (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 35 (Nov. 7, 1902).
sn 87065612
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Succeeding Titles:
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The Starkville news. November 7, 1902 , Image 1


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East Mississippi Times, East Mississippi Tmes and The Starkville News

After the Civil War, Oktibbeha County in east-central Mississippi, became known for breeding livestock and raising dairy cows. With active backing from the state chapter of the agrarian organization Patrons of Husbandry, the state's original land grant institution, the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College -- now known as Mississippi State University, first opened its doors to white students in 1880. The college was located just outside of Starkville, the county seat and commercial center.

Perhaps established in 1860 under another name, according to the 1876 George P. Rowell and Company's American Newspaper Directory, the East Mississippi Times (1870-18??) was published under that title by 1870. In 1926, a probably related newspaper with the same name (19??-1926), was absorbed by another four-to-eight page Democratic weekly, the Starkville News (1902-1960). Although the Times began publication on Thursdays, by 1908 both it and the News came out on Fridays except for two months in November and December 1910, when the Times changed to Saturdays. The November 19, 1910 issue of the East Mississippi Times may explain this shift, stating that the newspaper was temporarily being printed in Memphis until their broken press could be repaired or replaced. The longest serving publisher/editor of the Times was William Ward who ran the newspaper for around 30 years until it ceased publication in 1926. Meanwhile, respected lawyer Thomas J. Wood bought the Starkville News shortly after its establishment in 1902 and operated it until 1916, when he unexpectedly died. In 1960 the weekly News became a daily, and it is published in 2017 as the Starkville Daily News.

The East Mississippi Times and the Starkville News had similar content. Both carried the usual mix of national and international news, editorials, general interest stories and serialized fiction and excelled in state and local coverage, sometimes offering different perspectives on the same topic. Although neither title claimed to be the official newspaper of Starkville or Oktibbeha County, both carried Board of Supervisor meeting minutes and other official news, but few legal notices. Local news included social happenings for Starkville and nearby Sturgis, marriage announcements, obituaries, church news, professional cards, and advertisements for products and services. Timely columns appeared in the Starkville News such as a "Temperance Department" starting in 1909, the year state prohibition began, and in 1918, a "Weekly War News Digest."

Among local topics covered were public health issues such as the "Spanish flu" epidemic which killed 30 college students as well as other Starkville residents, as reported in the November 11, 1918 issue of the East Mississippi Times. Repeatedly featured was news about the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. Farm news also predominated as the Grange and the college relied on the press to fulfill their mission of educating farmers in modern scientific methods needed to increase agricultural production and improve profitability. Topics ranged from how to build a model cow stall to discussions of why farmers needed to reduce cotton acreage and diversify their crops. A September 26, 1913 Times editorial underscored the importance of dairy farming and the contributions of Colonel William B. Montgomery, who introduced Jersey cattle to the county: "his development of the Jersey ... place this town in the lead as a center for good dairy cows." A June 28, 1912 announcement in the Starkville News about organizing a cooperative creamery was the first of many articles concerning this logical and major addition to the A & M College.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History