The Herald-News began service to Rhea County as the Weekly Herald in 1898 under the direction of veteran Rhea County
newspaperman F.M. Morrison and a Mr. Painter. Morrison took control of the paper shortly thereafter, and the Weekly Herald
quickly became the most influential paper in Dayton, forcing two other competitors out of business.
In 1900, T.J. Campbell (author of Records of Rhea) and T.A. Gross purchased the paper from Morrison. Gross retired two
years later. The name of the paper was changed to the Dayton Herald at that time.
Campbell served as president of the Tennessee Press Association in 1907. In 1910 Campbell sold the Herald to John
Gilbreath of Chattanooga.
In 1936, Col. Cox of the governor's staff formed the Upper Cumberland Publishing Co. and purchased the Dayton Herald
from Ray Alden Smith, a staunch Republican. Col. Cox wanted to establish a network of political newspapers in Tennessee to
support Democratic causes.
Cox twice approached Smith about purchasing the paper, since Smith was delinquent in his mortgage payments on the paper.
Finally, Cox went to the holder of the mortgage, purchased it, and once again offered to buy the paper or foreclose on
Smith. Smith sold the paper immediately.
One of Coxs' confederates in the publishing company was Beecher Gentry, owner of the Cookeville Herald. The new editor
and manager of The Dayton Herald was Beasley Thompson, who had just married Gentry's daughter, Reba.
Thompson went to work for his father-in-law and Col. Cox. running the newspaper and promoting Democratic interests in a
At the time there were two Democratic factions in Tennessee. The Crump faction out of Memphis held sway throughout most
of the state, while there was a splinter group of the party holding out in East Tennessee. Col. Cox and Gentry supported the
Crump faction, but Thompson suddenly switched and backed the Democratic opposition ticket in the 1938 elections.
Not one to consort with the enemy, Col. Cox sold his stock to Gentry in exchange for stock in the Cookeville Herald.
Soon after, Gentry arranged the sale of the Dayton Herald to Thompson and his pressman, Mr. Haynes, but Haynes eventually
backed out. Gentry then sold the paper outright to Thompson and his wife in 1938.
July 15, 1941, Franklin Glass purchased the newspaper from Thompson and began a new dynasty in Rhea County journalism.
The Glass family was to operate the premier media outlet in the county for 40 years.
Born in Montgomery, Ala., Glass was destined for the newspaper business, his grandfather being the publisher of the
Montgomery Advertiser. Glass moved to Memphis in 1927, where he attended Rhodes College for two years before the Depression
He finally wound up working for a printer in Memphis and received his journeyman printer's card in 1931 after five
years. He then tried to run a newspaper in Alabama, decided he didn't have enough experience and went to the University of
Illinois for a degree in journalism.
The proud new owners of a newspaper in debt, Frank and Mary Glass rolled up their sleeves and went to work. During the
day Frank "worked the street" digging up news and selling ads for his struggling paper. In the evenings he ran the
linotype machine himself. Mary ran the office, did the bookkeeping and wrote the society news. Mr. Haynes stayed on to
On production nights, Frank ran the press, Mary ran the folder and Haynes operated the baling machine. They produced
their six-page weekly paper like this for about a year before they were able to hire more help. Their weekly gross income at
first was just $45.
After deleting some 200 delinquent payers from the subscription list, Glass started with just 350 paying customers and
built his customer base up to more than 6,000 in the late 1970s.
In 1950, Glass built a new home for the Dayton Herald for the next 30 years on 2nd Ave. In order to save money, the
Glass family lived in part of the large building, while leasing their home. Also in 1950, Glass was elected president of the
Tennessee Press Association.
Not one to sit back and enjoy his success, Glass went back to school and got his law degree from the University of
Tennessee in 1959. He served as Dayton's attorney and supervised the formation of the Dayton Housing Authority.
For the next 20 years, Glass then served as law clerk to several different federal judges in Knoxville and Chattanooga,
while his son, Franklin Glass Jr., ran the newspaper.
The paper was owned and published by the Glass family until February 1981 when Franklin Glass Sr. sold the paper to John
M. Jones Sr. of Greeneville, Tenn. Franklin Glass Jr. stayed on as publisher for six months.
In 1982, the Dayton Herald, Rhea County News and Rhea County Shopper all merged to form The Herald-News under Publisher
Ed Emens. The weekly began publishing twice a week in 1985.
After eight years at its Main Street location, The Herald-News moved to its present location at 3687 Rhea County Highway
where all its operations were consolidated under one roof in 1992.
In 1998, The Herald-News introduced the county's only Internet news source with Rhea County Online (www.rhea.xtn.net).
Rhea County Online has been expanded and improved to include a wide variety of information about Rhea County.
The Herald-News has maintained its position as the newspaper of record for Rhea County and the source that more Rhea
Countians turn to for news and information for the past century. The paper is on the cutting edge of technology and has
received numerous awards through the Tennessee Press Association's annual press contests that attest to the high standards
of quality maintained at The Herald-News.
The Herald-News and its 26 employees are a part of Media Services Group, Inc., owned by the Jones family of Greeneville,
Tenn. Media Services Group operates three daily newspapers, four nondaily newspapers, four magazines and three Internet