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The Camden chronicle. : (Camden, Tenn.) 1890-current
Place of publication:
Camden, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Camden, Benton, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Travis Bros.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 25, 1890)-
  • English
  • Benton County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Camden (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Benton County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207246
  • Tennessee--Camden.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01227252
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Publishers: Travis Bros., 1890-1908; J.V. Travis, 1908-1915; J.V. Travis and Son, 1915-1918; J.V. Travis, 1918-<1930>; P.A. Travis, <1932>-1939; Mrs. H.T. Bradley, 1939-1961; R.C. Johnson, 1961-1984; Camden Pub. Co, 1984-1994; D.M. Richardson, 1994-
sn 89058013
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The Camden chronicle. April 25, 1890 , Image 1


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The Camden Chronicle

In print for over 120 years, the Camden Chronicle became known as the “Old Reliable” of Benton County, Tennessee. Established by Charles Newton Travis and James Virgil Travis (sons of a local doctor, Robert Bruce Travis), the first issue was published on April 25, 1890. The Chronicle’s founding premise wasthat it would be “conducted on thoroughly Democratic principles, and will always be full of news—local news especially—and will work for the upbuilding of Camden and Benton County.” Published every Friday, the Chronicle’s annual subscription fee was set at one dollar and remained so for several decades.

Under the Travis brothers’ ownership, the Chronicle published articles about local, state, and national politics. Many stories were reprinted from other newspapers both in and out of state. The brothers’ Democratic bias was evident in the anti-Republican stories they chose to print and in their own editorials. For example, on several occasions in 1890 the Chronicle denounced the Republican Party’s support for the McKinley Tariff bill, contending that the bill would harm farmers while helping manufacturers amass fortunes. Given the Chronicle’s rural location, it reported widely on agriculture matters.

The “Local and Personal” section of the paper featured family visits, lost and found property, and a variety of general announcements. Light entertainment was provided in the form of fiction and poetry. As the turn of the century brought advances in printing technology, the number of illustrations in the Chronicle began to increase. Many formed part of advertisements, for local merchants as well as national. One ad in December 1900—for a local drugstore—is of particular note as it featured a depiction of a ‘modern’ Santa Claus delivering gifts on rooftops.

In 1901 the Chronicle expanded from four to eight pages. A previous attempt to do this in 1896 had proved unsuccessful. The expansion meant more room for specialized columns such as a “Children’s Department,” a women’s column, and a humor column. Much of this content was comprised of ready-print (pre-compiled news and advertisements purchased by editors and integrated into the newspaper).  

J.V. Travis became the sole proprietor/editor of theChronicle in 1908. His brother had left Camden in 1893 but retained his interest in the paper. J.V. Travis continued as proprietor/editor until his retirement in 1930, when his son Philip took ownership of the paper. Philip Travis sold the newspaper in 1939 to Sallie Norris Bradley. Ownership of the Chronicle has changed hands several times over the decades but, at the time of writing (2014), it remains in print and is accessible online.

Provided by: University of Tennessee