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From Courier to Times-Journal

Alabama’s second-oldest newspaper, The Selma Times-Journal, has gone through many incarnations since its founding Nov. 2, 1827 by Thomas Jefferson Frow as a four-page weekly.

In the following years, the Selma Courier, as it was first called by Frow, became the Selma Free Press, Selma Reporter and the Selma Daily Times before its merger with another weekly Dallas County-based newspaper, the Selma Messenger to make the Times-Messenger, which rose from the ashes after Union troops burned the newspaper and all its equipment as they torched downtown Selma after defeating Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Selma and the rest of the South began to rebuild after the Civil War. The Times-Messenger­ went through several incarnations by merger with Dallas County weeklies, including the Selma Argus, which resulted in the Times-Argus. Then came the merger of the Selma Evening Mail under the ownership of the Kincey brothers, which became the Selma Times.

Yet another purchase in 1889 resulted in another name change to the Morning Times. The Selma Journal started at the same time as a rival weekly owned by Capt. S.F. Nunnelee and his sons.

The final name change came during World War I when Frazier T. Raiford and his wife, Mary H. Raiford, had purchased the Morning Times. They sold it to a stock company, which also bought the Selma Journal. The two newspapers were consolidated under the present-day name of The Selma Times-Journal.

– Leesha Faulkner,

Director of Digital Media