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The Florida Times-Union

Mark Nusbaum

"We are at an exciting juncture in our industry’s history as we transition to digital-first and audience-first media companies."

The Florida Times-Union

Newspapers in Jacksonville date to the mid-1830s. In 1864, an olive grower named J.K. Stickney teamed with W.C. Morrill to start the Florida Union. The two parted in April 1865. Stickney kept the paper and established physician Holmes Steele as editor.

Steele smashed other Jacksonville papers - the Herald, the Mercury, the Times - in the year following the war.

In 1867, Stickney sold the paper to Edward M. Cheney, a Boston lawyer and Union army captain. Cheney tried unsuccessfully to turn the Union from a three-times-a-week paper to a daily, but it didn't work out. He sold the Union in 1873 to Walton, Fowle & Co., headed by Canadian newpaperman, Charles H. Walton. The paper nose-dived. It abandoned daily publication. It appeared doomed. Soon it was sold to Baptist preacher H.B. McCallum and a partner.

Charles H. Jones, who had run away from home at 14 to be a Confederate drummer boy, tried to buy the Union. When that failed, he recruited an old friend from Chicago and started a rival paper. The Florida Daily Times began in November 1881.

By 1883, the professionally produced Times had eclipsed the preacher-edited Union. McCallum, ridden by illness, sold to the interlopers. The first edition of The Florida Times-Union came out on Sunday, Feb. 4, 1883.

The newspaper, along with the afternoon Jacksonville Journal, the St. Augustine (Fla.) Record and the weekly Courier Journal in Crescent City, were purchased by Morris Communications Jan. 1, 1983, from Seaboard Coast Line Railroad.


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