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Advocate honored by ARA for 145 years of business

BIRMINGHAM – The Greenville Advocate, a twice weekly community newspaper serving Greenville and Butler County, was honored today by the Alabama Retail Association (ARA) as an Alabama Centennial Retailer, a retailer with 100 or more years in business in Alabama.

“For businesses to survive despite the dramatic changes of the past century is a remarkable achievement,” said ARA President Rick Brown. “It is fitting to celebrate the enduring contributions The Greenville Advocate has made to its community.”

The Greenville Advocate was honored at the 2010 Retail Day Luncheon at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham. The business received a bronze plaque to place outside the newspaper’s office and a certificate suitable for display inside.

Founded in 1865 by James B. Stanley, the newspaper has been a foundation of its community for almost a century and a half. For three generations before being sold to Boone Newspapers Inc. in 1994, The Greenville Advocate was a family-run business.

James B. Stanley served as editor and publisher for more than 70 years until 1935. John Glenn Stanley assumed control in 1935 and served as editor and publisher for 32 years until his death in 1967. J.G. was succeeded by his son-in-law, W. Eugene Hardin, who served as editor and publisher for 27 years until The Advocate was purchased by the Boone group.

The Alabama Press Association Hall of Honor at Auburn University includes three of the newspaper’s editor-publishers: James B. Stanley, Foster Webb Stanley and John Glenn Stanley.

Ashley Vansant is the current publisher and president.

Sue Arnold, city clerk/treasurer for the city of Greenville, nominated The Greenville Advocate as a Centennial Retailer.