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The commercial. : (Union City, Tenn.) 190?-193?
Place of publication:
Union City, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Union City, Obion, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Marshall & Baird
Dates of publication:
Weekly <Mar. 6>, 1925-<Nov. 30, 1934>
  • English
  • Obion County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Obion County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226005
  • Tennessee--Union City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226846
  • Union City (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 12, no. 16 (Apr. 19, 1901).
sn 89058321
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The commercial. April 19, 1901 , Image 1


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Commercial and The Commercial Courier

According to the 1891 edition of Rowell's Newspaper Directory, the Commercial was established in 1890 in Union City, Tennessee. Located in Obion County in northwest Tennessee, the town exported lumber, grain, tobacco, flour, and cotton. In its earlier years, the Commercial was published and edited by William R. Andrews. There is some evidence that Andrews published the West Tennessee Courier, and that the two papers merged in 1897 to form the Commercial Courier. The only known extant issue of the Commercial Courier is the Great Trade Edition from September 1899, which features many photographs of Union City and its prominent citizens. By spring 1901, the Democratic weekly was known simply as the Commercial, and was published and edited each Friday by John A. Baird and Ed Marshall.

Much of the column space within the Courier's eight pages was taken up with ads for local companies and services, many of which took up half, and sometimes whole, pages. The paper featured national and international news, but with a strong focus on local news, particularly agricultural information. Reports from surrounding communities such as Rives and Troy were provided by residents, often using pseudonyms.

Obion County and the surrounding area was witness to serious unrest. Disputing the ownership of land held by the West Tennessee Land Company, groups of masked horsemen--Night Riders--rode around carrying out violent acts. In October 1908, a group of Night Riders kidnapped West Tennessee Land Company officers, murdering one of them. The Night Riders' activities were widely reported in the Commercial. The paper also covered in depth the trial of Ed Marshall, the local farmer accused of the murder (not to be confused with the editor and publisher of the Commercial).

Throughout World War One, the Commercial provided news of the conflict and carried public service announcements from federal agencies encouraging readers to do their bit for the war effort. Letters from local men serving in Europe were featured prominently, often on the front page.

In the 1930s, the Commercial became the Obion County Commercial. It is believed that the paper ceased publication in 1944.

Provided by: University of Tennessee