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Local Histories


Local history, in the aggregate, is as important as that of a country, and is of far greater interest to the majority. In comparison its bulk is huge, but little of it was recorded until the daily newspaper incidentally took up the job of preserving a record of the happenings of the community. The pioneer settlements of Florida had no newspapers of course, for with the first issue of a paper any village became a town overnight. The settlement of Florida can be considered as beginning with its cession to the United States (and this is not to start a controversy) and for more than half a century afterwards there was virtually no daily newspaper. The weekly paper recorded some of the general but little of the local news. You would be surprised at the often total absence of local news in the files of these early Florida newspapers. Why is this so? Little may have happened in these small towns from week to week, but did not the editor, who was reporter as well, ask himself why laboriously set up an account of an incident that every child in the place had known of for perhaps a week. And these newsless newspapers or any other kind were few in Florida.