Newspapers Published in Choctaw County, Alabama

by Ann Harwell Gay

These single issues of newspapers are in the libraries at Duke University and the University of Alabama. I have obtained xerox copies and have indexed them for names and dates: (I will check for names if the information can be sent by e-mail. I have found very few obituaries before 1900-1920, and these only if the person was very prominent or wealthy. Most are brief and of very little help.)

The Choctaw Messenger and Journal 31 July 1849
The Choctaw County Reporter 15 August 1850
The Alabama Standard 17 February 1851
The Southern Democrat 8 August 1859 and 24 November 1860

Our courthouse burned in 1850 and again in 1871.

These papers have been identified but no copies have been located:

The American Statesman V.2 #43 published at Butler 27 Dec. 1855 Published by S. B. Paschal In 1891 J. P. Phillips sent a letter to the Choctaw Advocate, saying he had a copy of this old paper and listed several names from 1855.

Chancery Court Order Book B lists several notices to be placed in:
     The American Statesman (1854-1857) and
     The Choctaw Herald 1866

The Butler News 1861-1864, Pascal and Cooper Printers printed annual meeting minutes for Liberty Baptist Association

These newspapers are in our courthouse's PROBATE OFFICE:

Compiled by James D. Evans

     The Choctaw Herald 1884-1898, and 1900-1902 (1891 missing)
     The Choctaw Alliance 1893-1901
     The Choctaw County News 1879-1881
     The Bladon Springs Herald 1871
     The Butler News 1876-1878
     The Butler Courier 1882-1886
     The Choctaw Advocate- 1890 to date

These are on microfilm at Alabama Department of Archives and History:

     The Choctaw Herald 1868-1900
Update by Bennie White, 12 Aug 2007: Some Issues for the years 1868-1876
     The Bladon Springs Herald 1871-1874
     The Butler News 1877-1879
     The Choctaw County News 1879-1884
     The Courier 1881-1884
     The Choctaw Advocate 1890 to date
     The Choctaw Alliance 1892-1901      The Veil is Rent- religious paper published by The Prophet Bob Sims 1889-1891

AL Archives & History has identified these, and is seeking copies to microfilm:

     The Negro Searchlight, published at Yantley/Pushmataha 1900-1906
     The Cocoa Times, published in Cocoa 1896
     The Torchlight, published in Yantley/Pushmataha
     The Mt. Sterling Gazette
     Racial Endeavors, published at Yantley, 1907

Sources: Ellison. Check List of Alabama Newspapers 1807-1870
     Ellison. History and Bibliography of Alabama Newspapers
     Gay. Choctaw Names and Notes
     The Choctaw Advocate 22 June 1989
     The Choctaw Advocate 1891 (letter about The American Statesman)

For that part of Choctaw that was in SUMTER County before 1847, there are several early Sumter County newspapers still in the Livingston courthouse and at Archives and History.

For that part of Choctaw that was in WASHINGTON County before 1847, there are no early papers that survived the 7 moves of their courthouse location; no earlier ones are available in Archives and History to my knowledge.

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