Masthead of The Maryville Times

History of the Maryville (Daily) Times

First published in 1884 by A.J. Neff & Sons, the Maryville [Tennessee]Times has been in continuous operation under a family ownership model for more than a century. Colonel Andrew Jackson Neff moved his family from his native home of Indiana to Maryville, Tennessee, in late 1883–a year that had seen the closure of several Maryville newspapers. With several years of publishing experience in Indiana, Neff saw a prime opportunity to start a new paper in Maryville. Neff was a Republican and had served in the Indiana legislature (1856-57) and state senate (1871-75), so, unsurprisingly, his newspaper reflected his political leanings. Neff was an ardent supporter of the temperance movement and fought for the strict restriction of alcohol in the region.

Under the leadership of Neff & Sons, the Maryville Times–published on Wednesdays–delivered national, state, and local news ranging from politics and taxes to agriculture and even sports. Advertisements for local merchants featured prominently, sometimes taking up a third of the front page. For the $1.50 annual subscription rate (later the price dropped to $1.00), readers received an honest, intelligent, aggressive, Christian family newspaper, as the publication’s first masthead asserted. On January 13, 1886, editors reminded readers that the weekly was a “Republican journal devoted entirely to the best interests of Blount County.” To better serve those interests, and perhaps the family’s own bottom line, a daily edition was printed–the Maryville Daily Times–during the week of the 1884 Blount County Fair. The weekly paper’s circulation continued to grow and by 1890, its masthead claimed it was, “The largest and cheapest family newspaper in the state.”

In 1890, Neff & Sons sold the Times to G.S. Bishop and Andrew Goddard. Goddard’s son, Leonard, was appointed local editor. One particularly notable issue from this time was printed on May 6, 1891. The entire front page was taken up with just fifteen words below the masthead: Now is the time to subscribe for the Maryville Times, the best newspaper in Tennessee. Bishop left the partnership in 1891, and in 1898, Andrew Goddard’s other son, W. Clyde Goddard, became editor while Leonard fought in the Spanish-American War. In September 1914, Clyde Goddard sold the weekly newspaper to John H. “Doc” Mitchell, a local drug store owner, and H.J. Greenlee. The salutatory piece stated that although Mitchell was a Democrat, the paper would be under Greenlee’s editorial control and would remain Republican. The arrangement was apparently unsuccessful because after only a few months, the Times was sold to Clyde B. Emert, who served as the newspaper’s owner until 1955. In his salutatory article, Emert made no mention of politics and the paper subsequently was devoid of any political news. Under Emert’s ownership the Times dropped the ready-print articles and boasted on each of its eight pages that it was “All Home Print.”

Since the 1950s, the newspaper has been operated by several family newspaper groups and continues to be published today as the Daily Times.

To view editions since 1961 please see how to order these records from the Tennessee State Library & Archives under our Blount County Tennessee Newspapers Page.

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