Cordele daily sentinel. (Cordele, Ga.) 19??-1920



Cordele daily sentinel.

Place of Publication:

Cordele, Ga.

Geographic coverage:

  • Cordele, Crisp county



Dates of publication:



  • Ceased in May or June 1920.


Daily (except Sunday)


  • English


  • Cordele (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Crisp County (Ga.)--Newspapers.


  • "Official Organ County of Crisp and City of Cordele."--page [4], Volume 1, number 121 (May 20, 1920).
  • Appears to have merged with: Cordele dispatch (Cordele, Ga. : 1916) to form: Cordele dispatch and daily sentinel.





Cordele daily sentinel. May 20, 1920


The burgeoning city of Cordele gained its first newspaper when Terrell J. Brooks published the South Georgia Sentinel in July 1893. Before the Sentinel, Cordele residents relied on newspapers from Vienna, Georgia, for local news. Incorporated in 1888, Cordele earned the moniker “Hub City” for its role in the wiregrass region’s rail commerce. This growth, however, put the city at odds with Vienna, the seat of Dooly County, and the Sentinel chronicled this rivalry. The eight-page Sentinel circulated weekly and aligned politically with the Democratic Party. This Democratic support continued from 1893 until the paper ceased publication in 1920.

In 1894, Brooks organized the Sentinel Publishing Company and renamed his paper the Cordele Sentinel after acquiring local competitor the Cordelean. In April 1897, A. A. Rose joined the Sentinel as editor and part owner, spurring expansion through the hiring of additional staff and the introduction of a daily edition. Rose left in August 1898. His departure was followed with brief editorships by H. D. Smith and A. J. Tison, with John William Bivins taking over in March 1899. By then, the unprofitable daily edition was discontinued.

Bivins played a significant role in the Sentinel's success, making it Dooly County's paper of record in March 1899. W. A. Snow served as associate editor until October 1899, when G. A. Ballenger became Bivins' long-term partner. Under Bivins' leadership, the Sentinel's editorials aligned with Democratic Party policies, supporting school and labor reforms but also advocating for white supremacist measures such as segregation and whites-only primaries.

The Sentinel lost its status as the county's official paper of record to the recently established Vienna News in March 1902. However, Bivins managed to keep the Sentinel afloat, possibly due to Cordele's outsized economic importance in Dooly County. In 1904, Bivins sold the paper to Charles Jackson Shipp, brother of Cordele's founder, John Edgar Dawson Shipp. Charles Shipp brought the Sentinel under the News Publishing Company's umbrella and published it as the weekly edition of his daily paper, the Cordele Daily News. Shipp later founded the Cordele Rambler, which eventually became the county's official paper of record.

By 1905, Alvin Roberts, the future founder of the Cordele Dispatch, served as editor in chief of both papers, with C. M. McKenzie, a business partner of Charles Shipp, editing the Sentinel. The editors actively supported the movement to divide Dooly County and establish a new county with Cordele as the county seat. This led to editorial feuding between the newspapers of Cordele and Vienna, but the movement ultimately succeeded, and Cordele became the county seat of the new Crisp County in 1905.

In 1906, both the Cordele Daily News and the Cordele Sentinel ceased publication, only to be revived by Bivins in 1913. He managed the revived Cordele Sentinel for the next six years before selling his shares to business partners J. C. Brown, John L. Herring, and G. Q. Christian. The paper operated as part of the Sentinel Publishing Company until I. P. Cocke acquired it in 1920 and attempted to transform it into the Cordele Daily Sentinel. This daily edition only lasted a few months as Charles E. Brown of the Cordele Dispatch purchased the Sentinel and merged it with his publication. The paper's title became the Cordele Dispatch and Daily Sentinel. Brown reverted to the Cordele Dispatch title in April 1926, and the paper continues to serve as Crisp County's legal organ today.