A Century of Service / Four Generations of Sheltons
A Century of Service
The Decatur Daily newspaper began publication in the basement of a building on the northeast corner of Moulton Street and Second Avenue on Feb. 26, 1912 to serve the adjacent towns of Decatur and New Decatur. Its web press printed eight-page issues. It was The Albany-Decatur Daily from 1916 until 1927 when the towns were consolidated by legislative act. A two-story brick building with presses in the basement was completed at 101 Johnston St. in 1928. One of the nation's first offset newspaper presses was installed in 1964 with a 40-page capacity and later expanded to 64 pages. The newspaper offices moved across First Avenue to its current facilities in 1972. The cast-iron columns at the entrance were salvaged from a building on Bank Street. Editorial operations were computerized in 1978 with with Harris MicroStore equipment. An online edition began in 1997. The weekly Moulton Advertiser was purchased in 2007. Since the TimesDaily in Florence was purchased from The New York Times Regional News Group in 2009, the three newspapers have been printed in Florence.
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Four Generations of Sheltons
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The Tennessee Valley Printing Co. was organized in 1911 by 37 of "the
leading business men and industrial concerns" to publish a newspaper to succeed the Twin City Telegram. Tennessee native William Randolph Shelton was the first editor and served until his death in 1924. Son Barrett C. Shelton returned from studies at Washington & Lee College in Virginia too begin a career as editor and publisher that spanned 60 years. He was a champion of regional industrial development and worked closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the state's congressional delegation to attract manufacturing plants. His son Barrett Shelton Jr. because publisher in 1984 and continued to advocate education issues, economic development and downtown revitalization. Barrett Clinton Shelton III, great grandson of the founder, became publisher in 2010 and pursued civic growth policies. In recognition of the family's leadership in the community, the Spirit of America Festival Board presents the Shelton Freedom Award each July, The newspaper celebrated its centennial in February 2012.