History of the Fort Mill TimesThe Fort Mill Times was founded by William Bradford Sr. in 1892. In 1943, William Bradford Jr., who passed away in 2013, purchased the paper from his father and became its second editor and publisher.
Under the leadership of William Bradford Jr., the Fort Mill Times became a true voice of the people and the paper championed a number of important causes. Using the paper as a bully pulpit, Bradford was credited with getting the state to build a new bridge linking York and Lancaster counties on Dobys Bridge Road. He crusaded against a poultry processing plant that was unpopular with residents. The plant closed and left town.
In 1965, Bradford sold the paper to TriCounty Publishing of Lancaster, a subsidiary of Leroy Springs & Co., the textile firm that was the center of town for more than a century. Bradford remained editor under new publishers Julian Starr Jr. and Paul League. Bradford reacquired the Fort Mill Times in 1970 and once again served as publisher until 1979, when he sold the paper to the Camden Co. Fred Sheheen, Camdens owner, became publisher of the Times.
Sheheen sold the newspaper to Linda and Mike OHara in 1986 and Linda OHara was named publisher. In 1988, the OHaras sold it to John and Carol Mantle and John Mantle became publisher. The Mantles introduced full color photos and ads to the newspaper, which over the next decade won dozens of top journalism awards, including a national award for coverage of Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
The Mantles sold the Fort Mill Times to McClatchy Newspapers in 1997 and Nancy Chapman became publisher. Patricia Larson became publisher in 1998. In the first 10-plus years of the 21st century, the Fort Mill Times remained on the cutting edge of journalism, winning dozens more top awards, including best in state for its website, Facebook page and use of Twitter.
The Fort Mill Times, with a circulation of more than 24,700, is published on Wednesday. It serves all of Fort Mill Township, which includes the town of Fort Mill, city of Tega Cay and Indian Land Panhandle areas. It is carrier delivered free to area homes and is also sold in racks. The newspaper is also available online at fortmilltimes.com.
The Fort Mill Times sister newspapers in York County include The Herald in Rock Hill, the Lake Wylie Pilot and the (York/Clover) Enquirer Herald. In 2007, Debbie Abels became publisher of the newspaper group. In 2004, Michael Harrison became editor of the Fort Mill Times.