NTH Birthday: Newspaper building got start as farm supply store
By W. WINSTON SKINNER
The Newnan Times-Herald has been located at 16 Jefferson St. in downtown Newnan since 1966.
The brick building was constructed as a store in 1914 by Newnan businessman Thomas G. Farmer. The store sold meat and all sorts of farm merchandise in the early days — cow feed, salt blocks, shoes, overalls, kerosene, anvils.
The upper floor of the building was used for a variety of offices through the mid-1950s. The local Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation met there.
Servicemen returning from World War II took classes upstairs — taught by Henry Kitchens and Sarah Robertson.
When Newnan High School — then located nearby on Temple Avenue — became crowded, classes for eighth graders were held on the upper floor of the building. Elizabeth Dean was among the teachers, and students included Jane Bass, June Rutledge Duncan and Joel Hyde.
Bobby McDonald ran Economy Auto Store, which later became Otasco, in the portion of the building that is now the advertising and composition area of the newspaper.
Lindsey Barron and his brother-in-law, Willis Edwards, bought the Farmer building in 1955. Barron, who later went into the real estate business, operated an electrical and plumbing contracting business at 16 Jefferson St. Appliances were sold, and furniture was added with upper floor space being used as furniture storerooms.
James J. Thomasson and E.W. Thomasson, publishers of The Newnan Times-Herald, purchased the building on June 7, 1966. Open house was held on Oct. 15 of that year. Prior to the move to 16 Jefferson St., the newspaper offices had been diagonally across Jefferson Street.
Renovations have been made several times since the old store building became the newspaper’s headquarters.
For many years, the pressroom was located in the building, but it was moved when the newspaper began daily publication in 1997.
The printing is now done at a warehouse in Newnan South Industrial Park.