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Grainger County news. : (Rutledge, Tenn.) 1917-current
Place of publication:
Rutledge, Tenn.
Geographic coverage:
  • Rutledge, Grainger, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Jefferson City, Jefferson, Tennessee  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
F.G. Asquith
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 15, 1917)-
  • English
  • Grainger County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Jefferson City (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Jefferson County (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Rutledge (Tenn.)--Newspapers.
  • Tennessee--Grainger County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216912
  • Tennessee--Jefferson City.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221474
  • Tennessee--Jefferson County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219228
  • Tennessee--Rutledge.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224323
  • "Jefferson City" replaces "Rutledge" on masthead, Apr. 16, 1959-June 30, 1966.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Published in Jefferson City, Tenn., Mar. 12, 1959-June 23, 1966.
sn 99065781
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Grainger County news. February 15, 1917 , Image 1


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Grainger County News

On February 15, 1917, publisher Fred G. Asquith of Knoxville, Tennessee, printed the inaugural issue of the Grainger County News. "The Grainger County News makes its bow to the good people of this noble county, seeking a full measure of your support in order that it may give the best possible newspaper that can be produced," the 26-year-old publisher told readers in the first issue. "It is our purpose to print all the news, all the time." Before establishing the newspaper, Asquith had visited Rutledge, the seat of Grainger County, to determine the feasibility of putting the paper into operation. "We met only with the kindliest treatment at the hands of everyone with whom we came into contact," he wrote. "Support came in the form of subscriptions, printing, and advertising." Asquith used the scouting trip to hire Samuel Robert Wester as manager-editor for his new venture.

Although Grainger County had been home to the first paper mill in the South, it lacked a community newspaper, which Asquith considered to be a "necessary means of communication and enlightenment." With Wester's help, Asquith brought the county's 13,000 residents a weekly newspaper, which the masthead declared, was "Devoted to the Upbuilding of Grainger County." The newspaper stood for the "best and most economical county government, good roads, good schools and everything that goes to make good citizens and a good place for them to live in."

For an annual subscription rate of one dollar, the Grainger County News offered news from around the county, with a particular focus on agricultural markets and lumber businesses. The front page was usually dominated by local news and "personals" (the comings and goings of the county's residents), but also featured ads, humor, and comic panels such as Mickie Says by cartoonist Charles Sughroe. Even during World War One, the Grainger County News covered the minutiae of community life alongside world-changing events. For example, on April 5, 1917, the announcement that the Senate had voted to declare war on Germany shared the front page with reports of the appointment of a new postmistress at Lea Springs and news of various illness and injuries in the county. From 1920 onward, the Grainger County News featured more photographs and national news on the front page, the latter provided primarily by the McClure Newspaper Syndicate.

Asquith continued to publish the paper until the middle of the 20th century. In 1956, Tom Gentry purchased the Grainger County News, along with the Dandridge Banner and the Jefferson County Standard, both in neighboring Jefferson County. In the mid-1960s, Gentry sold the Grainger County News and merged the other two papers to form the Jefferson County Standard-Banner.

Provided by: University of Tennessee