The Times
by
Albert Pendleton


Wherever Major P.C. Pendleton settled in Georgia, he bought and published a newspaper. In Macon and Savannah he published a literary magazine, The Magnolia. Major Pendleton moved his family to Valdosta during the Civil War, after his discharge from service. He had been with the Georgia 50th Regiment with Lee in Virginia, Maryland, and the bitter fighting in Gettysburg. Major Pendleton purchased an old printing press from a printer at Troupville and part of his equipment came from Savannah. He founded and published The South Georgia Times in Valdosta on March 20, 1867. The Times was a weekly, six columns wide, and only four pages. The first edition sold for 10 cents a copy, or $3 for an annual subscription, "invariably in advance."

The first issue includes a description of Valdosta rising up again from the effects of war, and there is an explanation of the derivation of the name of Valdosta. Major H.B. Holliday, father of the famous dentist who went west, advertised buggies for sale, and Joshua Griffin and C.C. Varnedoe were "dealers in family groceries, corn, yarns, calicoes, potash..." while a new store in town with "dry goods, ladies dress goods, silver and plated ware, gentlemen's furnishing goods..." was opened by A.H. Darnell.

Major Pendleton was killed in a buggy accident in June of 1869, and his sons Philip Pendleton, Jr. and W.F. Pendleton published the newspaper. Philip, Jr. died in 1870, and W.F. and the youngest brother, Dandridge, moved to Pennsylvania where they ultimately became the first and second Bishops of the Swedenborgian Church in America. Charles and Louis Pendleton, the last a writer of some note, published the paper as a bi-weekly, changing the name to The Valdosta Times. In 1896, Charles and Louis moved to Macon after Charles purchased the majority interest in the Macon Telegraph.

In 1889, Mr. E.L. Turner, the son of a Hawkinsville printer, gave up his job at the Thomasville newspaper to come to Valdosta. As printer, his salary at The Times was $40 per-month. The publishing company was incorporated that year with Charles R. Pendleton as the president and W.D. Peeples as vice-president. Later D.C. Ashley, president of the First National Bank, became president of the publishing company. In 1905, Mr. E.L. Turner was business manager and because of a local interesting murder trial decided to publish the paper daily; thus it became The Valdosta Daily Times. Until his death in 1967, at the age of 103, Mr. Turner had spent more time with The Times, published more news about wars, depressions, and local history than anyone. He was active in the paper almost up to the time of his death.