The Poplarville Democrat, while celebrating its 35th year of existence this year, traces its lineage through 80 years from its parent paper The Weekly Democrat. During those 80 years both papers have served the citizens and businesses of the city of Poplarville and the surrounding area with a local flavor in the best traditions of small town America. Begun in 1933, by P.A. Tims, Sr., the Weekly Democrat was sold in 1940 to Murphy Weir who operated the paper for 37 years. In 1975 Weir sold the paper to the Boone newspaper group and the name of the paper became The Poplarville Democrat. Several years later the paper was again sold to Donrey Media Group which in turn sold the paper to Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. In November 2013 the newspaper was purchased by Boone Newspapers, Inc.
The city of Poplarville is located in northern Pearl River County in south Mississippi at the junction of Interstate Highway 59 and Mississippi Highway 26. Located in a rural landscape known for timber and pasture land, Poplarville boasts Mississippi’s oldest community college, Pearl River Community College. Begun in 1909 as an agricultural high school, the school became the first public two-year college in the state. Today it is one of the premier community colleges in Mississippi. Poplarville also claims the title of Mississippi’s Blueberry Capital and celebrates the title each June with the Blueberry Jubilee.
Poplarville is the county seat of Pearl River County and the county courthouse, completed in 1920, is on the state’s register of historic buildings. The Pearl River County Fairgrounds hosts many rodeos and 4-H events and is the site of the county fair and livestock show each September.
With its prime location at the meeting of the two highways and the north-south Southern Railway line, Poplarville is poised for more growth. Thirty miles to the north is the growth of Hattiesburg and the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. To the south is Picayune, on the edge of the Stennis Space Center. The Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans, La., are only an hour’s drive away.