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BHS student finds 1918 newspaper

JULIA V. PENDLEY / BHS journalism teacher, JoAnna Sproles (left), looks over papers dating back to 1918 that Haley Shassion (right) found in Walthall county.

JULIA V. PENDLEY / BHS journalism teacher, JoAnna Sproles (left), looks over papers dating back to 1918 that Haley Shassion (right) found in Walthall county.

When a Brookhaven High School senior volunteered to help organize the Walthall County record room, she never thought she’d find a stack of old newspapers from the 1910s.

Haley Shassion and her mother were participating in some community service when Shassion found a wooden box under a stack of old records book. As she began to look through them, she realized what a treasure she had found.

“It was amazing, but I was really upset at the same time because they should have been out where people could see them,” she said.

This is one of the several newspapers Haley Shassion found in the Walthall County records room.

This is one of the several newspapers Haley Shassion found in the Walthall County records room.

Shassion said the old papers show a different kind of history than taught in school.

“History tends to be general,” she said. “This happened at this time in Mississippi, not this specific town.”

Shassion, a student in BHS’s journalism class, also found it interesting to learn how much newspapers have changed, and Shassion’s journalism teacher, JoAnna Sproles, hopes to be able to keep the papers as a learning tool.

“They’re not organized like they are today,” Sproles said. “You’d read a news brief, then a funny column.”

Another noticeable difference was the inclusion of news such as visitors to Brookhaven or illnesses of locals.

“It was almost like a gossip column,” Sproles said.

Shassion, who received permission to show them to her journalism class, is still searching out whether or not she’ll be have to return them. If not, Sproles will have the papers laminated and use them during her journalism history unit.