The South Reporter is a history book of Marshall County.
Many times in a month we get a phone call like this – “How far does your newspaper go back? I’m trying to find something from the 1940s.”
Or someone will walk in the front door of our office on South Center Street in Holly Springs and say something like this – “I’m trying to find an obituary of my great-grandfather from 25 years ago. Can you help?”
The other day my wife Pam was searching through some old issues of the newspaper here in the office when Diane Greer walked in.
Quickly, Diane joined in, and they started looking at and talking about “days gone by” in Holly Springs via the old editions of The South Reporter.
They were finding wedding announcements, sports team photos, award winners and other photos and stories of acquaintances now well into their adult life.
One of the most popular items in your community newspaper is the “Pages from the Past,” which is printed on page 5. It is compiled by longtime newspaper employee Linda Jones.
A couple of weeks ago I received a nice letter from Virginia Jones of the Mt. Pleasant community.
“I love the Pages from the Past” section in your paper and look forward to reading it every week, before reading the rest of the paper.
“I love family genealogy and was wondering if you actually have papers saved from even earlier dates that you could add to the paper. Like so many of us who are into family genealogy, I would love to see new sections each week on genealogical interest. Most of my family were in Marshall County as early as 1900. I’m sure lots of people would find a genealogy section very interesting and informative. What do you think?
“I just found at the bottom of the page that you have been our community newspaper since 1865. That’s wonderful. It means that you really may have records of those papers since then. This would be a gold mine of info, from obits, births, deaths, marriages, etc.”
Then I had a delightful follow-up phone conversation with Ms. Jones Friday.
Here at the newspaper office, we have bound copies of The South Reporter, which the public can view, which date back as far as the 1960s. We do have earlier bound copies in our back shop, but those pages are too fragile. Turning the pages makes them crumble.
For earlier editions (prior to the 1960s), we refer people to the Marshall County Library or the Mississippi Archives. There are also bound copies of old South Reporters available at the chancery clerk’s office in the courthouse.
Just last week, someone came into our office with a specific date of an old article, from the 1980s, they wanted. We found it quickly (because they knew the date), and the person simply took a photo of it with her cell phone. It’s that simple.
A word of advice - cut out clippings from future newspapers. Save them. I still cherish mine that my mother clipped for me.