The Times and Democrat is a daily newspaper that serves the city of Orangeburg and the surrounding community. It was formed in 1881, the result of a merger between the Orangeburg Times and the Orangeburg Democrat. These two papers were formed from mergers of several post–Civil War newspapers.
The Orangeburg Times was a weekly paper founded in 1872 under the editorship of J. S. Heyward and F. P. Beard. It merged with the Orangeburg News (founded in 1867) in 1875 and was briefly called the Orangeburg News and Times before reverting to Orangeburg Times in 1877. James L. Sims purchased the Edisto Clarion in 1878 and changed the name to the Orangeburg Democrat. The next year the Orangeburg Democrat appeared as a weekly under the editorship of Sims and H. G. Sheridan.
The Times and Democrat began publishing twice a week in 1908 and by 1953 was publishing every day including Sunday. The newspaper became the first daily newspaper in the state to convert to offset printing in 1965. In October 1972 the newspaper’s printing facility was destroyed by fire, but with the help of other newspapers the Times and Democrat continued to publish on schedule. The newspaper was able to repay the favors after Hurricane Hugo in 1989, when it assisted the Sumter Item after that newspaper’s plant was without power. In 1981 the Times and Democrat was purchased by Howard Publications of Oceanside, California, and in 2002 Howard Publications was acquired by Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, Iowa.
McNeely, Patricia G. The Palmetto Press: The History of South Carolina’s newspapers and the Press Association. Columbia: South Carolina Press Association, 1998.