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Herald Offers Prize For Oldest Newspaper

Beat This… Emily Childs is leading the Herald’s earliest-issue contest after producing a 1902 special edition of the North Mississippi Herald. The contest continues through the first week of April, with the winner receiving $100.

Water Valley’s oldest business will celebrate its 120th year of operation in conjunction with Water Valley’s sesquicentennial observance in April.

The North Mississippi Herald will complete 120 years of continuous publication with the April 25 newspaper, according to David Howell, editor.

As part of the Herald’s birthday observance, we are looking for the oldest copy of the newspaper still in existence. “We’re offering a $100 prize to the person with the earliest dated paper,” Howell added.

To be eligible for the prize, the date must be before 1902, which is the current leader.

A copy of an 1893 Herald is currently on display at the office on Main Street. That paper came from the collection of long-time historian Bruce Gurner.

The Herald would like to frame the winning entry and put it on display. It will be returned to its owner or it can be put on loan so that visitors to the newspaper office can see it.

Also eligible for the prize is any copy of The Central, which was the Herald’s predecessor. The Central began publication in 1869 and was purchased by Judge T. J. McFarland, who changed the name to The North Mississippi Herald in 1888.

Former editors of the Herald include J. D. Peacock, Louis Barber, Bramwell Davis, Jack Dale, Edward B. Shearer, and Ed Shearer III. The Shearer family owned the newspaper for the longest period, 1943 until 2004.

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