The Portal to Texas History

The colorful, the cute, and the crazy.

If you ever enjoyed the segment Small Town News on The Late Show with David Letterman, you know that our nation’s tinier newspapers are filled with gems of stories. As Letterman once said, they contain pieces that are “wistful,” “thought-provoking,” and others that are “downright hilarious” whether it’s important reporting on a school board conflict or an ad offering two Persian cats to trade for a pool table in good condition.

But sometimes just the name of the paper says it all, and, with that in mind, we’ve selected our favorite 20 small town newspaper names in the South. Some are funny, some are fierce, and others, well, perplexing.

DeQueen Bee

DeQueen, Arkansas
Founded: 1897
Obviously, we have a winner. The idea to start the DeQueen Bee didn’t start in Arkansas, but rather on the steps of the Nashville courthouse steps where Walter A. Boyd, a printer, and J. W. Bishop, a lawyer, decided to start a newspaper in what was a promising, brand new city of 15,000 people on the railroad.

The Daily Siftings Herald

Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Founded: 1920
Just like flour or field peas, the news needs to be sifted too. Fun fact: Arkansas State Representative Andy Mayberry was a sports editor for The Daily Siftings Herald.

WATCH: The South's Best Small Town 2017: Beaufort, SC

Jefferson Jimplecute

Jefferson, Texas
Founded: 1848
An outstanding use of alliteration, but sadly the Jefferson Jimplecute has been embroiled in drama since 2015 when the entire staff quit due to pay disputes. It continues now as a weekly and persists as the 5th oldest newspaper in the country. What is a Jimplecute? We may never know, but theories abound that it might be a Civil War-era term of endearment or an acronym for Join Industry, Manufacturing, Planting, Labor, Energy, Capital (in) Unity Together Everlastingly.

Foley Onlooker

Foley, Alabama
Founded: 1907
The word Onlooker has a certain connotation to it doesn’t it?

Columbus Packet

Columbus, Mississippi
Founded: 1991
While the Columbus Packet might not necessarily be the most colorful name on this list, the contents are indeed a variety pack of interests. We’re big fans of Big Mike’s Business Briefs in which Big Mike Livingston checks up on local establishments (sometimes with his mama), but The Packet also excels at on-the-ground reporting in regards to crime and civic matters.

Sea Coast Echo

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Founded: 1982
Even during Hurricane Katrina, the Sea Coast Echo did not miss a single issue. Instead, they produced their issues with a sister paper in Kentucky and trucked the issues back to Bay St. Louis.

The Gazebo Gazette

Pass Christian, Mississippi
Founded: 2006
Named after the city’s emblem, the Gazebo Gazette was created after Hurricane Katrina devastated Pass Christian and residents needed a form of basic communication. It’s now the subject of the book Pass Christian and the Gazebo Gazette: A Gulf Community's Post-Katrina Triumph.

Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cape Coral, Florida
Founded: 1961
The first issue created by resident Dick Crawford was a one-page, mimeographed sheet featuring birth and wedding announcements.

Delray Pineapple

Delray, Florida
Founded: 2014
Consensus: more newspapers should be named after fruits.

Dahlonega Nugget

Dahlonega, Georgia
Founded: 1890
In the 1940s, The Nugget was owned by William M. and Mary Lou B. Smith who wrote some very controversial editorials against keeping chickens and pigs within the city limits, which led many residents to cancel their subscriptions. They also missed three issues during their tenure (the only ones in the paper’s history) as they spent much of their time opening The Smith House restaurant and inn, which is still open today.

The Polk Fish Wrap

Polk County, Georgia
Founded: 2014 (Merger of two papers, one of which dates back to 1869)
We are still standing deep in the mystery of The Fish Wrap. While it goes by the name of the Polk County Standard Journal today, a visit to www.thepolkfishwrap.com redirects you to the newspapers site. The paper also goes by @polkfishwrap on Facebook, but any mention of the history or etymology behind this name remains illusive. We are left only to speculate.

Troublesome Creek Times

Knott County, Kentucky
Founded: 1980
Their self-deprecating tagline reads: under a million copies sold each week.

Tulane Hullabaloo

Tulane University, Louisiana
Founded: 1902
While it may be published in New Orleans (which some may argue to be a very big small town), The Hullabaloo serves the smaller community of Tulane University. The paper changed its name from the Tulane Weekly to The Hullabaloo on January 16, 1920. A staff editorial stated, “The staff favors the new name because it is representative of Tulane and is original above all else.”

The Yadkin Ripple

Yadkin, North Carolina
Founded: 1893
The Ripple’s unique name is said to have peaked the curiosity of President Harry S. Truman and Colonel” W.E. Rutledge (who were attending a groundbreaking ceremony for nearby Wake Forest University) so much so that they came to visit the staff.

The Monroe County Buzz

Monroe County, Tennessee
Founded: 2005
The local love for this paper inspired a small but still notable Facebook group called “Friends Who Like the Monroe County Buzz.”

Sewanee Mountain Messenger

Sewanee, Tennessee
Founded: 1985
The University of the South helped start the Mountain Messenger and continues to support the free weekly.

Alpine Avalanche

Alpine, Texas
Founded: 1891
One of the oldest newspapers in Texas, The Alpine Avalanche serves Brewster County, which is the largest by land area in the state (three times the size of Delaware) and home to Big Bend National Park.

The Big Lake Wildcat

Big Lake, Texas
Founded: 1925
Winner for the fiercest newspaper name, John Hibdon named the paper in 1925 after the Wildcat oil wells that dotted the area, hence its mascot on the front page.

The Facts

Brazoria County, Texas
Founded: 1913
Home to Texas’ first capital Velasco, Brazoria County’s newspaper originally started as the Freeport Facts, but now stands simply and boldly as The Facts.

The Pflugerville Pflag

Pflugerville, Texas
Founded: 1980
Winner for alliteration (the competition was clearly contentious), the Pflugerville Pflag continues as a weekly under the Austin Statesman.