We constantly get calls about back issues of The South Reporter.
“How far back can I access online?” one called asked last week.
Our website, www.southreporter.com, includes archives only since 2005.
We have bound copies of old newspapers here at the office, that are in good enough condition to go through, that date back to the 1960s. Others are available at the Marshall County chancery clerk’s office.
Research further back than that can perhaps successfully go through the Marshall County Library or the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
One recent caller wanted a copy of an obituary from the 1970s. They weren’t sure of the exact date. Fortunately, we found it, took a photo of it on a cell phone and sent it to the caller via text.
The South Reporter is Marshall County’s history book. The community newspaper is in its 154th year, having gotten its start in 1865.
When I think of that and my 35 years in the newspaper business, it makes me realize the importance of what I do.
We’re blessed to be in a community that still supports its community newspaper. There are challenges, from social media and elsewhere, but we’re tackling those challenges, with your help.
I do have some words of advice. It seems more and more people are ignoring the newspaper when it comes to things like engagement/wedding announcements, bridal and baby showers, birth announcements, accomplishments and so on. Don’t do that. Get those special occasions to us.
Remember, we’re the history book. On down the road, your grandchildren or greatgrandchildren or great-greatgrandchildren may call the newspaper office, too, wanting information about you.
Remember, we’re all about community. We’re 100 percent local. That’s our purpose.
A few weeks back, there was a front page story headlined, “Project preserves history of schools.” I appreciate the hard work of Sue Watson on the story. She had valuable help, particularly from Russell and Johnnie Johnson.
The Johnsons came by the office a couple of times when Sue was working on the story, and as they’ve done before, they dug out some of the old bound copies of The South Reporter.
All of us here on the newspaper staff joined them at certain times. The research had our interest, too.
As they looked through the newspapers from 1969, they saw news of military graduates from Holly Springs, news of the county’s sports teams, election results, guest speakers at club meetings, grocery ads when chuck roast was 69 cents a pound, engagement announcements, honor rolls, obituaries, ads in support of an urban renewal project, groundbreakings for new businesses and much more. Dollar General had boys jeans for $2. Red Barn Furniture advertised a recliner for $44. A dedication ceremony was held July 27, 1969, for the new, 60-bed Marshall County Hospital.
One front page headline, on Thursday, July 3, 1969, caught my eye – “Cucumber crop will exceed $250,000 this year.” About 646 acres were planted in Marshall County.
Like I said, we’re the history book. We’re your newspaper.