The newspaper retained its forthright style throughout the twentieth century. William Walton Mims assumed control of the newspaper in 1937, and the staunchly conservative newspaper was not afraid to take unpopular stands on local issues.
(2003 circulation: estimated 500 weekly). The Edgefield Advertiser began publication on February 11, 1836, making it the oldest newspaper in South Carolina to publish continuously under the same nameplate. The newspaper’s history, however, stretches back to May 27, 1811, when Thomas M. Davenport began publishing the Anti-Monarchist and South-Carolina Advertiser at Edgefield Court House to support President James Madison’s plans for stronger national defense. After the War of 1812, Davenport sold the newspaper to Benjamin McNary. McNary changed the name to South-Carolina Republican and moved the newspaper to nearby Pottersville, where it was bought in 1824 by John Lofton and Abner Landrum.
Five years later the Republican was purchased by Francis Hugh Wardlaw, John Bacon, and Warren Mays. They returned the newspaper to Edgefield Court House, where it was bought in 1836 by Maximillian LaBorde and James Jones. That year the name was changed for the final time, to Edgefield Advertiser. Under the leadership of William Francis Durisoe, the newspaper became an ardent advocate of southern rights prior to the Civil War. After the war, the newspaper protested new freedoms given to African Americans and backed Wade Hampton.
The newspaper retained its forthright style throughout the twentieth century. William Walton Mims assumed control of the newspaper in 1937, and the staunchly conservative newspaper was not afraid to take unpopular stands on local issues. Mims retained the editorship through the end of 2002. On January 1, 2003, Suzanne Gile Mims Derrick became the editor and the Advertiser reoriented itself as a weekly newspaper devoted to community news and concerns.
Edgefield Advertiser. Sesquicentennial edition. March 5, 1986. Mims, Eleanor Elizabeth. “The Editors of the Edgefield Advertiser: Oldest Newspaper in South Carolina.” Master’s thesis, University of South Carolina, 1930.