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It was first established as The Humboldt Messenger in 1885 and later merged with the West Tennessee Leader led by C.W. Rooks in August, 1891. In 1896, another merger formed the Messenger-Review.
Under new management, the Messenger-Review changed to the Journal and then to the Chronicle following its purchase by O.P. Wilson. The Courier, Humboldt’s other weekly paper, was established by Jake Bledsoe and merged with the Chronicle when C.W. Rooks bought both papers in 1901.
The Courier Chronicle was purchased by Warmath Communications, owned by J. Frank Warmath, in 1956, from Rooks. In addition to Humboldt newspaper, Warmath acquired the Tri-City Reporter in Dyer.
Growing up in small town Humboldt provided Warmath with a definite outlook on how to appeal to people. He often said, “Knowing people on a first name basis is your greatest asset in successfully publishing a newspaper.” Warmath’s desire was to see the city and county move forward, and he always made it very clear to his editors, “We don’t want to use negativity in reporting, especially in our headlines.”
The name reverted to The Chronicle in early 1995 and then The Humboldt Chronicle in 2005.
This philosophy of focusing on positive headlines continued with editor Martha Dodson, who assumed her position in 1978 and retired in 1999.
Current publisher of both newspapers is April Garner Jackson, who worked at the Chronicle newspaper as associate editor with Dodson in the 80s. Jackson is also a former associate editor of the Trenton Gazette and the former editor of the Tri-City Reporter. Managing editor is Danny Wade, a lifelong newspaper man with a background in printing, photography and reporting. Beverly Ward is advertising director and Lee Ann Butler is office manager. Several contributors help the small staff produce a timely and informative newspaper each week.
“Nobody covers Humboldt like the Chronicle,” says Jackson. The newspaper is located at 2606 East End Drive, its home almost half a century.
American Hometown Publishing (AHP) of Franklin, Tenn. purchased the Humboldt Chronicle and The Tri-City Reporter in 2007.
The Goss Community press in Humboldt was shuttered in 2008, which brought the end to another sister company, West Tennessee Publishing. Both the Humboldt Chronicle and the Tri-City Reporter are currently printed by the Chester County Independent in Henderson, another property of AHP.