The forest news. (Jefferson, Jackson County, Ga.) 1875-1881



The forest news.

Place of Publication:

Jefferson, Jackson County, Ga.

Geographic coverage:

  • Jefferson, Jackson county


Jackson Co. Pub. Co.

Dates of publication:



  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 12, 1875)-v. 6, no. 32 (Jan. 14, 1881).




  • English


  • Georgia--Jackson County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216851
  • Georgia--Jefferson.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01273151
  • Jackson County (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Jefferson (Ga.)--Newspapers.


  • Also issued on microfilm: Athens, Ga. : University of Georgia Libraries.





The forest news. June 12, 1875


On June 12, 1875, the newly formed Jackson County Publishing Company printed the first issue of the Forest News in Jefferson, Georgia. Malcolm Stafford, of the Southern Watchman, served as the managing and business editor of the four-page Democratic publication. The Forest News’ prospectus indicated a dedication to the principles of State Rights and State Sovereignty. Within the first year of its founding, the newspaper was Jackson County’s legal organ. In 1876, keeping with its politics, the paper supported Samuel J. Tilden for president and A. H. Colquitt for governor. Stafford managed and edited the News until January 18, 1878 when he stepped down from his managing position and was replaced by J. N. Wilson. The newspaper began to form a more modern division of labor with Stafford on staff as an editor, J. N Wilson as lead editor, and W. C. Howard and Robert S. Howard as business managers. Wilson’s tenure as chief editor was short-lived, however, as Robert S. Howard moved into the position on March 10, 1878, and he would remain in that position for seven years. In late January, 1881, the Forest News offices suffered a fire, and, by the end of February that same year, the paper was retitled the Jackson Herald. The Herald’s next editor, John L. Asbury, took over after Robert announced his departure on January 16, 1885. Asbury acted as editor for only seven months before selling the publication to a partnership consisting of J. P. Thompson, G. W. Mabry, and Jeff D. Pike. The Herald changed ownership again when John N. Ross purchased it on July 30, 1886. Ross managed the paper for three years, bringing on his father as a partner on January 21, 1887 and then his brother on May 4, 1888. On March 22, 1889, Ross sold the newspaper to J. H. Williamson and W. H. Craig; the new owners continued the Herald’s traditionally Democratic politics, but Williamson and Craig aligned more specifically with Bourbon Democrats. On July 10, 1891, the Herald came under the ownership and editorial management of John N. Holder. Holder was the paper’s longest running owner, maintaining control into the mid-20th century. Holder, the grandson of former Jackson County Publishing Company owner N. H. Pendergrass, states he was given the Herald by his father, Thomas Holder, as a wedding gift. Other reports, however, suggest the paper was purchased by John N. Holder for 3,000 dollars. The paper regularly published four-page issues to its 1,200 subscribers by the time Holder took over management. In his early days as editor and proprietor, Holder showed an interest in supporting the Farmer’s Alliance movement, but moved away as the Alliance fell under the populist faction of Democrats. Displaying this opposition to populism, Holder’s newspaper supported William J. Northen for a second term in 1892 and Grover Cleveland for president. On August 26, 1898, Holder entered Georgia politics as a representative for Jefferson, Georgia’s district, and remained actively involved in politics until 1932. John Holder’s wife, Ada took over editing responsibilities alongside Andrew J. Bell and W. H. Williamson during John’s foray into politics. W. H. Williamson served as business manager and part owner in 1901 and remained with the newspaper until his death on August 17, 1939. On December 14, 1905, the Herald published its largest issue to date that included a history of Jackson County. In 1906, the publication further modernized by acquiring a folding machine and doing away with the hand-folding process. While the Herald itself wasn’t formally a temperance journal, the owners consciously did not run liquor ads and explained this decision in the January 31, 1907 issue. By February 13, 1908, the paper’s continued growth was displayed by a subscriber count of 2,100. The Holders retired from editing their newspaper but retained ownership until the 1950s. The Herald passed through several managing hands after the Holders before it was organized under the ownership of MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.. The paper continues publication today as Jackson County’s legal organ.