The Advocate’s history revisited

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 22, 2003

Don’t know how the late Mr. Glenn Stanley would react if he should materialize today and visit his Greenville Advocate pressroom.

You see, Mr. Glenn always printed his weekly periodical on a flatbed press, probably never dreaming there was a rotary-type press in his newspaper’s future.

He took great delight in the production process of the paper in the old &uot;not lead&uot; days, making sure the lineage was type-high and properly locked into the chases before pulling proofs and positioning them on the press.

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Those were the days when the printer’s ink really got into the bloodstream and all over the printer’s clothing.

Mr. Glenn remained active in the entire operation of the newspaper until his death in 1967.

Wednesdays back then were press days and there was always a thrill in store for the staff when the finished product came &uot;hot&uot; off the press.

The same excitement existed when the production process concluded and the mailbags were filled and delivered to the post office.

Way back when the paper was founded by Gen. James B. Stanley in 1865, the type was set by hand – by the printer’s &uot;devils,&uot; and it was ground out at a slow pace indeed.

The year 2003 marks the 138th year of the Advocate’s operation. That operation in 1990 coincided with the 125th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities of the War Between the States.

Although there have been uncounted refinements in the newspaper’s production processes, the printed word that conveys its news content and advertising space have remained constant, and likewise have continued to hold an all-consuming interest for its readers.

Over the lifespan of The Advocate there have been but four chief executives: the general, Mr. Glenn, W.E. (Gene) Hardin and the current chief, Jim Boone of Boone Newspapers Inc. Their tenures have covered, respectively, 70 years, 32 years, 29 years and nine years. Boone took over in 1994. Dennis Palmer currently serves as The Advocate’s publisher.

The newspaper has always rated at the top of the weekly list in Alabama, has won so many awards over the years that everyone connected with it has lost count.

In today’s sophisticated era, the readers’ fascination with the printed word continues unabated.

The Advocate is one of the outstanding amenities our city has to offer.

Buster MacGuire is copy editor and columnist for the Greenville Advocate.

He may be reached by calling 334.382.3111.