Archiver > TNWEAKLE > 2000-08 > 0965783478

From: "Joe W. Stout" <>
Subject: [TNWEAKLE] W.C. Newspapers part 7
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 20:11:18 -0500

Page Eight: A little over three columns were donated to an article
entitled, "An Old-Time Magistrate," by W.A. Dunlap, Esq. of Paris, which
featured Sam Kendall, Esq., who served as constable, magistrate and mayor
of Paris, Tennessee at different times.

Another column "Over The State," listed various facts and statistics about
Tennessee. One such entry reads: "Jackson consumes 120 kegs of beer every
week." The remaining two newspaper columns were covered with several
interesting ads of the time.

Later Developments With The Enterprise
Although the files of the earliest newspapers are incomplete, the first one
found to be entitled The Dresden Enterprise, rather than just The
Enterprise, was February 28, 1890. The reason for the change is not indicated.

By 1891, the appearance of The Dresden Enterprise had changed considerably.
The pages were widened to 20 inches, with eight 2 1/2 inch columns. Over
half of the front page was used for advertisements.

Under Lewis' editorship, the front pages contained more editorials on
national, state and local events, as well as news stories from the West
Tennessee area, rather than actual facts about happenings in Weakley County.

The original site of publication is said to be in the courthouse, but the
newspaper office was later moved to the general vicinity of the present
business known as The Home Spot, located on the east side of the courtsquare.

Lewis, who was one of the leaders responsible for banning liquor in
Dresden, gave ample space in his newspaper for articles condemning "demon

The date of Robert Lewis' death, and the subsequent editorship of The
Dresden Enterprise by his widow, Mrs. A.C. Lewis, is clouded by
misinformation and the passage of time; but he is believed to have died on
March 19, 1895.

Mrs. Lewis was quite in step with the woman's movement that preceded the
turn of the century, but her professional involvement that made her an
integral part in the "man's world" of politics, government, and business in
Weakley County must have been an uphill battle for the newspaper's first lady.

In spite of the obstacles she faced, Addie Cardwell Lewis published a
newspaper that was just as good, if not better, than it was under her
husband's editorship.

This fact is evident by the jump in circulation from 600 paid subscribers
in 1895 (while her husband was running the paper), to 900 in 1896.

The look of the paper changed under Mrs. Lewis' editorship, to the patent
paper format. This was a single sheet 30 x 44 inches, which was folded
twice. The news was printed on four pages that opened like a traditional
newspaper, a reader then lifted from the bottom to reveal four more pages
printed on the backs.

Advertising greatly increased in Mrs. Lewis' paper, with the top half of
the front page (sometimes more) devoted to advertising.

She also continued a column, begun by her husband, called "Town and
Country," which prior to her editorship, contained little other than local

Mrs. Lewis wrote an editorial each week commenting on a variety of local
topics; and detailed accounts of social events, such as weddings.

Since her paper had more room for copy, she found room not only for the
additional advertising and news, but also ample space for temperance articles.

Her most ambitious undertaking - the publication of an eight-page
Centennial Edition, marking the 100th birthday of the state of Tennessee -
is likely the most historically valuable editions produced by either of the

In addition to her other duties, Mrs. Lewis also served as correspondent
for the Nashville Banner.

On March 1, 1901, Mrs. Lewis sold the newspaper to one of her employees,
Joe Holbrook, who succeeded her as proprietor and editor. He served in this
capacity for 44 years.

Holbrook began working as a printer (known within the profession as a
"printer's devil") at age 13, with a single year's schooling.

Holbrook's first experience with writing news came in 1898 at the age of
18, when he filled-in for Mrs. Lewis, who went on vacation. During her
absence, he also submitted articles to the Nashville Banner in her stead,
which sold handily.

At the time Holbrook purchased The Dresden Enterprise, circulation had
dropped to 550 paid subscribers.

For a short time, Finis J. Garrett was listed as co-editor of the paper,
before he moved into public office as the Clerk and Master of Chancery
Court. Garrett was later elected to the United States Congress as a
Democrat, where he served for 24 years.

Under Holbrook's editorship, the appearance of the paper began to change.
While maintaining the patent paper format, the first four pages were used
exclusively for local news, with the front page devoted to "hard" news,
such as: crimes, accidents, court reports, and political happenings.
An editorial column was established on page two, and the death notices were
arranged on page four. The four inside pages were still devoted to
temperance columns and state news.

On January 2, 1945, The Dresden Enterprise, which at that time, had a
circulation of 3,500, was sold to J. Frank Barlow for the sum of $7,000.

On October 1, 1947, Barlow sold the paper to Burroughs Brothers, Inc.,
which included Fred, Alfred (known as "Red"), and Roy Burroughs. All of the
brothers were local men, schooled and trained in the Enterprise office.

The most historically significant edition under the ownership of the
Burroughs Brothers was the Mid-Century edition, published on January 17, 1950.

The newspaper's ownership reverted back to J. Frank Barlow on November 24,
1950, who also owned the McKenzie Banner and divided his time between the
two newspapers.

* Note - Barlow purchased the McKenzie Banner from Harry Williamson on May
30, 1949 and moved to McKenzie with his family.

The Enterprise changed hands again on April 5, 1968, when it was purchased
by Karl Barlow and James Washburn.

In 1973, Jeff Washburn, son of James and Ramona Washburn became general
manager and editor of the Dresden Enterprise.

In 1980, James Washburn purchased Karl Barlow's interest in both
newspapers, known as Tri County Publishing, Inc., as well as his interest
in Associated Publishers, Inc. (API) of Huntington. API is currently the
printing plant for six West Tennessee newspapers, including the Enterprise
and Banner.

James Washburn died in 1985, leaving his wife, Ramona, as president of the
family corporation and publisher of the Dresden Enterprise and the McKenzie

Under the management of Ramona Washburn, and her two sons, Jeff and Joel
Washburn, both papers have continued to prosper and increase in
circulation, while keeping subscribers informed about local news events,
area happenings, and community activities, as only a local newspaper can do.

Other Weakley County newspapers
Other Weakley County newspapers of the 19th century which we plan to
feature in upcoming columns during 2000-2001 include: The Martin Exchange
(1879-1881); The Baptist Gleaner (1881-18??); The Martin Star (1881-1884).
The Martin Mail (first published in 1885), which, in 1921, was renamed the
Weakley County Press (1885-present), The Greenfield Gazette (1895-1930's),
and The Greenfield Sentinel (1880-18??); The Primitive Baptist (first
published in 1886, then moved to Nashville); The Sharon Tribune (1890, sold
to Dresden Enterprise in 1915); The Greenfield Times (1893-1908); and The
County Times (1930's, then sold to The Weakley County Press).

TO BE CONTINUED..............

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