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Sequachee Valley News

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1893 to 1952
Location: Marion, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Floyd
Profile manager: Wes Miller private message [send private message]
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The Sequachee News and Sequachee Valley News Thomas H. Hill established the Sequachee [Tennessee] News in 1893. Hill and his son, William C., published and edited the paper until the former's death in 1915. William continued as publisher and editor until his death in 1952. Reportedly, the News did not miss a single issue in its six decades of continuous publication.

The News was published in Sequatchie, Marion County. In July 1896, the name was changed to the Sequachee Valley News to reflect its service to the surrounding valley. The paper was temporarily published from Whitwell, Tennessee, in spring 1897, then from South Pittsburg in late 1898, before returning to Sequatchie for the remainder of its time. In South Pittsburg, the News merged with the South Pittsburg Banner. The Banner'seditor, Charles B. Woodfin, continued to edit the South Pittsburg section for the News.

The primary focus of the paper was local news, interspersed with 'news'(advertisements) from local businesses. The News printed dispatches from correspondents in towns and small communities throughout the county including Sequatchie, Whitwell, Jasper, South Pittsburg, and Victoria. These reports were often signed with unusual noms de plume such as Wide-Awake, Bluebell, A Little Bird, and Granny Bearwich. Occasionally reports were sent from towns further afield, apparently from Sequatchie residents who had moved away from the area. In the late 1890s, the paper temporarily expanded to six pages, with the front page devoted to poetry and serialized fiction but returned to the four-page format shortly after.

The News did not declare allegiance to any particular political party, but it did print announcements of meetings and conventions for both Democratic and Republican parties. While the News did not explicitly support one party, it carried advertisements urging readers to subscribe to (or combine subscriptions with) other strongly Democratic newspapers such as the Nashville American, the Louisville [Kentucky] Courier-Journal, and the St Louis World. The News'editors occasionally made brief statements in support of temperance, but otherwise the paper was predominantly apolitical with an apparently neutral voice. However, in 1899, the News showed its support for the Regents of the White Shield (R.W.S.), an organization which promoted white supremacy in the South. In the two weeks prior to the July 4th holiday, the News ran a half-page advertisement on its front page for the R.W.S. Independence Day picnic in Sequachee. The week after the picnic, the front page declared the event had been an outstanding success. The guest speaker, Major William H. Hunter of Birmingham, Alabama, Supreme Recorder of the Order, had been introduced to the crowd by presiding officer, Thomas H. Hill, publisher and editor of the News. Hill published the virulently racist speech in full on the front page and later, in August, again in a two-page special R.W.S. supplement.

Confusion over the various spellings of the town's name was addressed in the October 26, 1899 issue of the News. Under the heading, "Sequachee, Sequatchie, Sequaw-chee," the editors offered a lengthy explanation of the name's origins and concluded, "[…] as long as the News has any respect for itself or its convictions, it will spell the name of its town Sequachee, and in no other way […]."

The Sequachee Valley News ceased publication after William C. Hill's death in 1952.

Provided by: University of Tennessee

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