Advocate focal point of meeting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 20, 2002

The long history of Butler County's oldest business-The Greenville Advocate-will be celebrated at the latest quarterly meeting of the Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society(BCHS).

The organization's July program is slated for Sunday, July 28 at 2 p.m. at the Greenville City Hall. One of the members of long-time former editor Gene Hardin's family is expected to present the informative program.

The Advocate was founded by an ambitious 20-year-old Confederate veteran named James Berney (J.B.) Stanley in 1865.

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A private in the Confederate army, Stanley later became a brigadier general in the state militia and carried the title of "General" in the U.S. Confederate Veterans organization.

General Stanley was a hands-on' daily fixture in the newspaper office right up until his death in 1934 at the age of 90.

One of the founders of the Alabama Press Association (APA), he served two terms as president of the organization, beginning an Advocate tradition of leadership in newspaper publishing in the state.

His son, J. Glenn Stanley also served as president of the APA, as did succeeding editors Webb Stanley and Gene Hardin.

"No other newspaper in the state… has had more than two of its members to hold that office." (The Greenville Advocate, March 31, 1977)

The Stanley family set a record for Alabama newspapers with its father-son editorship adding up to an amazing 102 years.

The paper was locally owned and published for 130 years under the leadership of the Stanleys and the Hardins and remains an active voice for the community today.

"We feel this will be an exceptionally interesting meeting and we encourage all our members and other interested parties to come and join us on the 28th," noted BCHS's Annie Crenshaw.