July 31, 2014

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History of Bolivar Bulletin-Times

The first newspaper in Hardeman County appeared in 1829 and was called the Bolivar Palladium. Others that followed were the Bolivar Herald; the Sentinel in 1839; the Bolivar Free Press and Farmer’s Herald, which was edited in 1835 by James B. Walker; and the West Tennessee Democrat, which was founded in 1845 by John J. Neely. This publication continued until the Civil War. All of these were the forerunners of the Bolivar Bulletin-Times.

In 1865, the Bolivar Bulletin was founded by Moses R. Parrish, who was the editor until 1874, when it was managed and published by several owners. The name was changed briefly to the West Tennessee Star. A competitor for the weekly from 1895-1918 was The Hardeman Free Press, which was operated by J.R. Reaves.

R.H. Green and Hugh Williams bought the publication in 1888 and the name was changed to the Bolivar Bulletin. In 1946, Alan and Estelle Sexton purchased the weekly journal and combined it with the Hardeman County Times, which they had bought in 1940 from Bert Hodge, who established it in 1936.

In September 1974, the Sextons sold the newspaper to Delphos Herald, Inc. of Delphos Ohio.

Serving as publisher is Richard Fry. The Bulletin-Times has a staff of 13 full-time and part-time employees. In the past three decades, the Bulletin-Times has enjoyed a period of continuous growth and refinement of its publications and services to readers and advertisers, combining localized management and editorial decision making with the shared experience of its sister newspapers in six states.

The Bulletin-Times has been widely recognized for its quality news coverage, public service and innovated advertising techniques. Its special publication includes a weekly shopper. The Bulletin-Times and Shopper enjoy a combined circulation of over 16,000 copies each week.

Other publications include annual The Hardeman County Guide. The magazine- style publication is used for newcomers, industrial recruiting and in the classroom as a resource guide to Hardeman County. The Bulletin-Times also publishes special sections on high school and community sports, hunting and fishing, high school graduation and other topics of special interest, as well as a hardbound pictorial history book published in late 1995.