Cookeville Chamber




About Us

The Herald-Citizen began as the Putnam County Herald, and its first edition was printed Feb. 11, 1903 by Elmer Lincoln Wirt and his son, Ralph Wirt, in their small printing shop across from the west side of the Putnam County Courthouse, where the historic Arcade building is now. Cookeville native John R. Mott started a weekly tabloid newspaper, the Cookeville Citizen, in 1954, and the two papers merged on Feb. 1, 1960, temporarily becoming the Herald and Citizen before the name changed to Herald-Citizen Jan. 14, 1969.

On May 1, 1969, the Herald-Citizen began publishing an edition Monday through Friday, rather than the twice weekly paper produced prior to that.

S. Hershel Lake became publisher Oct. 16, 1969, and Charles Denning became the editor in June 1970.

In December 1974, Harold Martin sold the newspapers to Cookeville Newspapers Inc., whose shareholders were Lee Walls Sr. and his son C. Lee Walls Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama.

The son of the founder of the H-C, Ralph Wirt, passed away Jan. 25, 1976, and Joe Albrecht became the publisher of the Herald-Citizen in June 1976. Albrecht served as president of the Tennessee Press Association and oversaw the addition of the weekly Sunday edition of the Herald-Citizen on Aug. 19, 1979.

The Herald-Citizen office moved from 145 S. Jefferson Ave. to 124 S. Dixie Ave. in May 1980, and Sam Thompson Jr. became publisher in January 1990. Bill Shuster became publisher in October 1995, and in August 1998, the H-C moved to 1300 Neal Street in Cookeville.

Mike DeLapp became publisher of the Herald-Citizen in April 2007 following the re