The Vicksburg Post – a brief history
John Gordon Cashman published the first edition of the Vicksburg Evening Post on May 4, 1883, in a second-floor office on Washington Street. At the time he was working for a morning newspaper and became weary of the arduous night work, as it was injurious to both eyesight and health. He told Fannie, his wife, that his new venture would be “an evening paper, and we will have little if any night work. He named it the Vicksburg Evening Post to distinguish it from the dominant daily morning newspaper of the day. The type for his first newspapers was tediously set by hand from handwritten copy and laboriously printed on a hand-powered flatbed press.
Since that day, The Vicksburg Evening Post has survived depressions, wars, floods, tornadoes, bad economic times, many competitive newspapers and assorted ups and downs. In 1883, Cashman’s newspaper was a bold undertaking. Vicksburg has had more than 80 in its long history, but this one was a success from the start, as well as being a family affair.
As the sons of John G. Cashman grew, each joined his father in working in the business.
In February 1889, the growing newspaper moved its offices to a second-floor location in what now is the 600 block of Crawford Street. After a few years, it moved again to a nearby, larger building in the same block of Crawford Street. Over those early years, that old hand-powered press gave way to electric power, and hand-set type was put to rest by the invention of the Linotype, a revolutionary machine that took the molten lead and transformed it into a column-wide line of type as fast as eight lines a minute. That machine forever changed the newspaper industry, and the mass circulation of newspapers became a reality.
The fierce competition of the Vicksburg Evening Post and The Vicksburg Herald finally was subdued when the Cashman family purchased the Herald on February 7, 1925. For a quarter of a century after that Vicksburg had a morning and an afternoon paper, which was combined on Sundays as The Sunday Post-Herald. In 1951, The Post designed and built a modern two-story building at the corner of South and Cherry, the first issue at the location being printed on April 7, 1952.
In December 1953, tragedy struck Vicksburg that will forever be remembered by those who lived it. A violent tornado killed dozens of citizens. It destroyed the building from which the newspaper had just moved. It also offered the newspaper staff a challenge. Under the most difficult conditions, Publisher Cashman’s staff, improvising without the gas to fire the Linotypes, worked to publish the newspaper and keep citizens informed as to the fate of their friends and families. They worked tirelessly to quell rampant rumors that spread in a darkened city, most of which was without power and communications. For its efforts, the newspaper was awarded the most coveted prize in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize.
In 1961, following the death of his father, Louis P. Cashman Jr. became editor and publisher. During the decades of the sixties and seventies came some of the most radical changes in printing methods, and the newspaper entered the electronic age.
The decade of the nineties was met with a new mirrored facade at the nearly 40-year-old building, more interior refurbishing, and a canopy added to the Cherry Street side. Once again, technology challenged the newspaper, and Cashman embraced the modern computer revolution. As the methods of producing a modern newspaper changed, so did the demands on the building at South and Cherry. The newspaper was now receiving as many as eight 18-wheelers a day loaded with pre-printed advertising circulars, and newsprint (the paper on which a newspaper is printed) to feed the presses at a rate of 20 tons a week.
After a feasibility study by renowned newspaper architects and engineers of the Austin Company, in 1994 the Cashman family purchased a deteriorating shopping center along 1-20 which formerly housed a K&B Drug and Kroger grocery store. The newspaper moved to the location at 1601 N. Frontage Rd. and remained there until 2020.
A new era
The newspaper continued as a family run organization when Pat Cashman sold The Vicksburg Post to James B. Boone, Jr., owner and chairman of the board of Boone Newsmedia, LLC. The Boone family comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with James Buford Boone, Sr. who personally won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for his editorial “What a Price for Peace,” originally published in The Tuscaloosa News in 1957. In 2019, Boone’s daughter, Catherine Boone Hadaway moved to Vicksburg to publish the newspaper. The Boone family introduced new products to the market, including the community favorite lifestyle magazine, Vicksburg Living.
In 2020, the Boones sold the interstate building on N. Frontage Rd. to Action Properties who had plans to put a Harbor Freight in the shopping center. The Vicksburg Post moved to downtown Vicksburg and began operating out of a storefront in the 1600 block of Washington St. The Boone family saw being a part of downtown revitalization efforts and in the center of downtown festivities as a good “fit” for The Vicksburg Post.
The Vicksburg Post seeks to produce the highest quality product the economics of the community served can support. And then, by ingenuity and imagination, we strive for a higher quality in an effort to serve and build that community.
Quality products, and quality profits, are inseparable over time. Achieving such requires being associated with quality people in quality facilities.
Quality products relate to news and editorial content, advertising, composition, printing and distribution. Our aim, when our product is compared to another’s in a comparable market, is to be judged superior. The communities we serve deserve no less, and doing so is vital to the future of our community and our company.