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Newspaper The Lakeland Evening Telegram (Lakeland, Fla.) 1911-1922 Evening telegram

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About The Lakeland Evening Telegram (Lakeland, Fla.) 1911-1922

Lakeland, Florida, was founded by Abraham Munn, a Kentucky native, who purchased 80 acres sight unseen in 1882. Located in Polk County, Lakeland acquired its name in 1883 and was incorporated two years later. In 1891, Lakeland Light & Power Company built a power plant, making Lakeland the third city in Florida with electricity. During this time, Lakeland’s railroad station had a monthly payroll of 2000 dollars and some 20 trains stopping daily.

Producing nearly 25% of the country’s citrus, Lakeland suffered immensely when the Great Freezes of 1894-95 nearly destroyed all groves statewide. Despite these losses, the town thrived during the Spanish-American War when the city served as an embarkation point for roughly six thousand troops. Lakeland further developed its military ties with the establishment in 1940 of the Lodwick School of Aeronautics, a training site for the U.S. Army Air Corps.

The town introduced its first telephone exchange in 1902, fire department in 1908, and mail service in 1912. In 1922, Florida Southern College relocated to Lakeland after a devastating fire destroyed the original campus in Sutherland. Today, the college holds “the largest collection of buildings in one location” designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is one of several Lakeland treasures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Lakeland’s economy continued to thrive. In 1930, the town became home to Publix Super Markets, Inc. headquarters, and in 1934 the Detroit Tigers established their spring training camp in Lakeland, where they continue to train today. With its prime central Florida location, nearby multiple tourist attractions such as Disney World and Busch Gardens, Lakeland continues to prosper.

The Lakeland Evening Telegram was published by Michael F. Hetherington as Polk County’s first daily newspaper. It began in 1911 with the motto “published in the best part of the best town in the best state.” The Lakeland News ran as its weekly counterpart. Hetherington remained the sole publisher/editor until 1920 when he retired and sold the paper to Harry L. Brown, former editor and publisher of the St. Augustine Evening Record.

In 1913, The Lakeland Evening Telegram was one of five papers in Florida (and the only inland paper) receiving service from the Associated Press. The following year, the paper moved into its own building. For the entirety of its run, the paper acknowledged its unforeseen success every year on its birthday. The Lakeland Evening Telegram covered international and national news related to World War I, the women’s rights movement, and presidential elections. It also reported on local events including agricultural news with emphasis on the citrus industry, local school events, and other happenings like personal travels, church notes, and fashion tips.

In 1922, The Lakeland Evening Telegram merged with the Lakeland Morning Star to become the Lakeland Star-Telegram. Samuel Farabee,who started the Lakeland Evening Ledger in 1924, bought the Star-Telegram in 1926 and merged them, forming the Lakeland Evening Ledger and Star-Telegram. Another title change came in 1941, when the paper was sold to Cowles Communications Inc. and called itself the Lakeland Ledger. The paper changed title and ownership one last time; it was renamed the Ledger in 1967 and was purchased by its current owner, the New York Times, in 1971.

Provided By: University of Florida

About this Newspaper


  • The Lakeland Evening Telegram (Lakeland, Fla.) 1911-1922

Other Title

  • Evening telegram

Dates of Publication

  • 1911-1922

Created / Published

  • Lakeland, Fla. : [s.n.], 1911-1922.


  • -  Lakeland (Fla.)--Newspapers
  • -  Polk County (Fla.)--Newspapers
  • -  Florida--Lakeland
  • -  Florida--Polk County
  • -  United States--Florida--Polk--Lakeland


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily (except Sunday)
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1, 1911)-v. 11, no. 252 (Aug. 31, 1922).
  • -  M.F. Hetherington, editor.
  • -  Also issued on microfilm from the University of Florida.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Weekly ed.: Lakeland news (Lakeland, Fla.).
  • -  Lakeland morning star (Lakeland, Fla. : 1921) (DLC)sn 95047221 (OCoLC)33413886
  • -  Lakeland star telegram (DLC)sn 88061210 (OCoLC)18486666


  • 11 v.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn95047222

OCLC Number

  • 33414061

ISSN Number

  • 2574-5670

Succeeding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Lakeland Evening Telegram Lakeland, Fla. -1922. (Lakeland, FL), Jan. 1 1911.

APA citation style:

(1911, January 1) The Lakeland Evening Telegram Lakeland, Fla. -1922. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Lakeland Evening Telegram Lakeland, Fla. -1922. (Lakeland, FL) 1 Jan. 1911. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,