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Shelandra Y. Ford
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Commercial Appeal

This newspaper began in 1839 as THE WESTERN WORLD & MEMPHIS BANNER OF THE CONSTITUTION. In 1840 Col. Henry Van Pelt bought and renamed it THE MEMPHIS APPEAL. During the Civil War it published on the run from Union troops. Because of this loyal effort to keep printing, it was nicknamed "Old Reliable". When the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic reduced the entire staff to only two, THE APPEAL never missed an issue. An 1890 merger created THE APPEAL-AVALANCHE. A later merger brought THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL to the masthead on July 1, 1894. It became a part of the Scripps Howard newspapers in 1936. (see Other Side) Publishing Locations Beginning in a wooden building on the Wolf River bank, The Commercial Appeal and its ancestors have had various homes. In 1845 The Appeal was located over Browning's Grocery at Poplar & Main. In 1860 the prospering newspaper built its own building at Union & Front. During the Civil War it published from Grenada, Jackson & Meridian, MS; Montgomery, AL; and Atlanta & Columbus, GA. Back in Memphis its homes included the Appeal Building at Main & Jefferson, and in 1894 the building at the SE corner of Second & Court. In 1932 it bought the Ford Motor plant, located on these premises and demolished after completion of this building in 1977.