Photos in slideshow: 1) The Tattnall Journal office around 1912 was in a wooden building. 2) The brick building photo was around 1915 of the Journal office as well as the following two photos of the inside. 5) That same building was occupied until early 2002. Because of the deterioration of the structure, it was sold and torn down and is now the side parking lot of Cheney & Davis P.C. 6) The current Tattnall Journal office is located in the IGA Shopping Center, next to Georgia Power. It was purchased in 2002 from the Whittaker family.
The Tattnall Journal is a weekly newspaper (published every Thursday) that serves Tattnall County, Georgia. The office is located in Reidsville at 114-B North Main Street in the IGA shopping center. In addition to the newspaper, there are two other divisions of the business — Tattnall Printing and Tattnall Ballot Solutions. Although the actual newspaper is not printed at the Journal office, a variety of printing services are available locally including books, pamphlets, brochures, business cards, envelopes, banners, carbonless forms, programs, invitations, posters, etc. Design services are available as well. Through Tattnall Ballot Solutions, thousands of absentee election ballots are printed for various cities and counties throughout the state of Georgia.
In a book written by John P. Rabun, Jr., “Stories From The Tattnall Journal: 1905 to 1950″, he stated that on the September 14, 1933, edition of the Journal first appeared the slogan, “Tattnall’s Leading Newspaper since 1879.” That slogan still appears on the newspaper today. Rabun explained that since there are no early editions of the Journal remaining, it was hard to determine the exact date it began or much else of its early history. He does confirm two other papers in publication in the late 1870s and early 1880s: The Reidsville Democrat and The Reidsville Enterprise. One of Rabun’s theories is that the Democrat and Enterprise could have combined sometime between 1882 and 1888 and perhaps the name was changed to The Tattnall Journal in 1890, as the third name for the same newspaper that was first published in 1879.
Following is a summerized account taken from John Rabun’s book concerning the owners/publishers of The Tattnall Journal …
The Rhoden family has owned and operated The Tattnall Journal since 1915. Lassie Melvine (L.M.) Rhoden began working for the Journal in January 1907 and purchased the newspaper from George Folsom in July 1915 at the age of 27. He served 26 years as editor of the Journal and retired in 1941. His son, Russell B. Rhoden, then became editor at that time and remained with the paper the rest of his life. Russell Rhoden died in 1999 at the age of 82. He was still editor/owner of The Tattnall Journal at the time of his death, 68 years following his first employment by the newspaper in 1931 and 58 years since purchasing the paper from his father in 1941. Russell’s sons, Charles Rhoden and Wilton Rhoden both made their careers working for The Tattnall Journal. Charles had been associate editor for 20 years at the time of his death in 1994. Wilton served as managing editor from 1962 to 2000. On April 17, 2000, Russell J. “Russ” Rhoden, son of Wilton and Harriet Rhoden, purchased the Journal. The newspaper is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the Rhoden family to own the newspaper since 1915.
(Those interested in John Rabun’s book, which includes a lot of early history of the cities and growth in Tattnall County, may purchase a copy at The Tattnall Journal office.)