Emanuel County’s Official Source For Up-To-The-Minute News!
Gail Williamson – firstname.lastname@example.org
General Manager/Sales Manager
Trudie Kasper – email@example.com
Halei Lamb Newsroom Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Whittaker – email@example.com
Whitley Clifton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Melva Kirkland – email@example.com
Kendall Peebles – firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Forest-Blade
As early as 1913, owners of The Forest-Blade claimed the newspaper had its beginnings in 1859, but modern day historians are at a loss as to how to substantiate this claim.
The earliest newspaper now known to have been published in the limits of what is now Emanuel County was the Swainsboro Herald, established in 1876. The Pine Forest, established in 1877, was consolidated with the Wiregrass Blade in 1903 to form The Forest-Blade.
The modern-day newspaper gets its name from the consolidation of The Pine Forest and the Wiregrass Blade in 1903 in a series of rather rapid developments on the local newspaper scene.
In the early spring of 1903, Alfred Herrington, editor of The Pine Forest, sold his interest in the newspaper to W.W. Larsen and Seaborn Bell. Mr. Larsen was named editor and Mr. bell was listed as business manager.
A second newspaper was in existence in Swainsboro at the time. It was the Wiregrass Blade, established in 1898, and was edited by George H. Bell.
The Forest and The Blade continued to compete until May 11, when it was announced that Larsen and Seaborn Bell of The Forest had purchased The Blade. In doing so, they stated they would continue to publish both newspapers. This practice was apparently continued, with Ernest Camp, who had been an employee of Messrs. Seaborn Bell and Larsen, serving as editor of The Blade.
On Sept. 25, 1903, purchase of the two newspapers was announced by W.E. Boatright, who had served as superintendent of the printing departments of the newspapers, and by S.J. Tyson. In the following week’s issue, Mr. Larsen confirmed the sale and stated that he still owned half of the Stillmore Dispatch, another newspaper in the county.
The lives of The Blade and The Forest, as the newspapers were affectionately called, were short lived under the guidance of Mr. Tyson and Mr. Boatright. On Oct. 29 of that year, they combined the newspapers into one, naming it The Forest-Blade.
On May 2, 1907, Mr. Tyson purchased Mr. Boatright’s interests. Mr. Tyson continued as editor until Nov. 3, 1910, when J.D. Mathews assumed this post. Two years later J.E. Miller and W.E. Boatright became editors of The Forest-Blade. They had previously published the Swainsboro News, according to an announcement of the sale, which also stated that Mr. Boatright would be editor of The Forest-Blade and Mr. Mathews editor of The News. Less than two months later, The Forest-Blade masthead carried the names of Seaborn Bell and W.E. Boatright as editors.
Then, on Dec. 12, 1912, Charles Durden Rountree and W.E. Boatright became the owners and publishers. They served in these capacities until April 20, 1916, when Franc Magnum was listed as president and editor.
Mr. Magnum’s leadership was short-lived, however. On Aug. 31 of that year, W.E. Boatright again became editor.
Mr. Boatright served as sole editor until April of 1928, when the name of H.M. Flanders joined Mr. Boatright’s under the title of “Editors.”
This arrangement continued until 1933, when the name of D.D. Boatright replaced that of Mr. Flanders. Upon the death of W.E. Boatright in September of 1935, Judge George Kirkland became administrator of the Boatright estate and was responsible for the operation of the newspaper until Feb. 6, 1936, when Wensley H. Hobby of Sylvania purchased it for $8,000.
Mr. Hobby served as editor until Oct. 28, 1946, when it was purchased by Milton Beckerman, who was to serve as editor, and by W.E. Gray, Sr. and Bobby Gentry. Mr. Beckerman continued to edit the publication until April 28, 1949, when he sold his interest to Mr. Gray and Mr. Gentry. It carried the name of Bobby Gentry as editor of manager until his death in September of 1954.
Mr. Gray then became editor, but due to other business interests, he turned the actual operation of the newspaper over to others.
In early February of 1959, Mr. Gray sold the newspaper to William C. Rogers, Sr. and Roy Chalker of Waynesboro. Mr. Rogers became the editor and served in that capacity until 1993. Mr. Chalker later sold his half-interest to James H. Morgan and in 1974, Mr. Rogers purchased Mr. Morgan’s interest. Mr. Morgan, however, continued his association with the paper until recently.
In 1993, Mr. Rogers retired and sold the paper to his son, Bill Rogers, Jr. Smith Newspapers Inc. bought the publication in November 1999 from Mr. Rogers, Jr. Wally Gallian served as the publisher and editor until 2011, when Gail Williamson was named Publisher and Editor and Madelyne Meeks was named General Manager.