OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — The end of an era for perhaps the oldest continuing business in Dale County, and possibly the Wiregrass.
The Southern Star Newspaper in Ozark is billed as Alabama’s oldest family newspaper. Since its first edition came out in 1867, two years after the Civil War, the paper has been owned and operated by the Adams family.
The Southern Star has been in the Adams family for 154 years. 88-year-old Joe Adams’s great-grandfather in 1867 started the paper. Joe is the fourth and final generation of his family to operate the weekly paper, which has served Ozark and Dale County.
This week, Perre Little, the owner of a Maine-based newspaper chain, announced it was purchasing the Southern Star.
For Adams and his wife of 63-years, Dorothy, it was a very emotional, heart-wrenching decision, but, they believe it was the right decision.
“Here’s this week’s paper announcing the sale of the Southern Star to the Maine publisher,” former owner of the Southern Star, Joe Adams said. “As I say, I will remain emeritus status, editor-publisher.”
The times’ they are a-changin’. And according to staff members at the Southern Star, they will continue the print version of the paper, but also go to a more digital platform.
“I really think he needs to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for 64 years of being a publisher-editor,” Associate Editor Christina Faulkner said. “However, moving into the 21st Century with the digital age has been a long time coming for the star, and I feel it will benefit our community.”
Over the 154 years of his paper’s history, the Star is often credited with helping create Camp Rucker, which would later become Ft. Rucker. In the 1930s, the paper took a stand of farmers selling more than
60,000 acres back to the government. A few laters, the Pearl Harbor attack took place and President Roosevelt Administration created the base during WWII.
As now publisher emeritus Adams plans to continue his popular column, Star Scribe’s Scribblings, which he has written every single week for 62 years.