“Few people, as they read their town newspapers realize that they are reading perhaps the only contemporary history of their community it is possible to read. It is doubtful too if they realize that as each issue gets old the more valuable it becomes and that the old files of a newspaper are from a historical standpoint, of incalculable wealth.
The newspaper files are the most authentic history of the community available. They tell the story of a community’s life as it happens. Past history is important to those who live in the present. Those of us who live in the modern surroundings are sometimes apt to forget the sacrifice of those who made the community what it is today ...”
-The Press and Local History eighth in a series of editorials from October 1943 as published in Palatka Daily News.
A newspaper of record can chronicle Putnam County’s history as far back as 1843. There have been at least 14 newspapers and a number of political broadsheets dating back to 1843 with the Whig Banner.
George W. Pratt, a circuit-riding Methodist minister, founded the Eastern Herald in 1869. That became the Times-Herald, which eventually merged with the Daily News.
The Putnam County Journal appeared in 1881 and in 1885, Alex Wattles founded the Palatka Advertiser, believed to be the forerunner to the Palatka Daily News. In 1902, Wattles sold it to William Russell of Crescent City and M.M. Vickers, changing the name to the Palatka News and Advertiser.
The Palatka Daily News in its current incarnation as a daily newspaper can date to October 11, 1919 when the News and Advertiser changed to its current name. It was published every afternoon at South Second Street.
In 1958, John H. Perry Newspapers purchased both the Times-Herald and the Palatka Daily News and merged the two papers.
The Palatka Daily News left its home near the river on April 17, 1967 to its current home at 1825 St. Johns Avenue.
November 1970, the paper was purchased by Cowles Communications, and 13 months later was purchased by the New York Times Co.
In 2000, Community Newspapers Inc., headquartered in Athens, Ga., purchased the Palatka Daily News.
Palatka Daily News officially celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2010, proudly serving the communities of Putnam County.
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