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Savannah courier. : (Savannah, Tenn.) 1885-1979
Place of publication:
Savannah, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Savannah, Hardin, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
C.L. Hefner
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 17, 1885)-v. 95, no. 17 (Apr. 26, 1979).
  • English
  • Hardin County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Savannah (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Hardin County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01229016
  • Tennessee--Savannah.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01228149
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Publishers: C.L. Hefner, 1885-1889; C.L. & Jennie E. Hefner, 1889-1894; Hinkle Bros., 1895; John T. Hardin, 1895-<1896>; Hardin & Hefner, 1897; H.C. Thompson & A.J. Fowlkes, 1897-1898; H.C. & E.G. Thompson, 1898-1900; C.L. & Jennie E. Hefner, 1900-1904; Mrs. C.L. Hefner, 1904; O.L. Barlow, 1905-1908; Mangum & Thomas, 1908; W.O. Mangum, 1908-1913; Courier Pub. Co., 1913-1953; R.B. Mangum, 1953-1956; W.W. Craddock, 1957-1971; Kathryn Craddock, 1971-1979.
sn 89058248
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Savannah courier. September 17, 1885 , Image 1


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Savannah Courier

Established in 1885 by attorney and businessman Columbus L. “C.L.” Hefner, the Savannah Courier served the town of Savannah and surrounding Hardin County, Tennessee. Hefner purchased the press, type, and printing materials from Mrs. Victor Thompson of the recently defunct Tennessee Transcript.The Courier was published on Thursdays and professed to be non-political, “not advocating the cause of any political ring, click [sic] or individual, but always supporting measures of importance to the commonwealth including Temperance and Education.” The paper’s apolitical stance was reflected in its lack of party news. Instead, the Courier focused on issues pertinent to Hardin County’s residents, publishing school and church announcements, offering advice on planting and harvesting crops, and including correspondence from several small towns around the county.Poetry and short stories provided light-hearted material for readers. In 1887, the paper introduced a small section entitled “Colored Department,” which carried news and announcements for the town’s African American citizens.

Although the Courier strived to be apolitical, it took a strong stance on some social and political issues, endorsing, for instance, prohibition and women’s suffrage. Hefner was a member of the Temperance Alliance and used his newspaper to publish the organization’s notices and further its cause. Hefner also published information about local suffrage meetings, as well as stories about other women’s groups throughout the country.

Savannah’s proximity to the Shiloh battlefield meant that the Courier took a special interest in publishing announcements and reporting events related to reunions and veterans’ visits. On April 4, 1895, the Courier published a special Shiloh Edition commemorating Congress’s creation of the Shiloh National Military Park in December 1894, to memorialize the battle that took place around Shiloh Church and Pittsburg Landing in April 1862.

In November 1889, Hefner’s wife, Jennie, became the Courier’s joint proprietor and editor, and the couple ran the paper until January 1895. The Courier saw several different owners over the following years before the Hefners returned to the helm in 1900. When C.L. died in 1904, Mrs. Hefner became sole proprietor for a brief time. Although the Savannah Courier passed through several owners during its early years of operation, the nature of the content was relatively unchanged. The paper remained non-partisan and provided entertaining stories and regional news. Its informal tone and the lack of competition within its geographical area meant that the paper would survive into the 21 century. It is still published today (2014) as the Courier.

Provided by: University of Tennessee