About The Franklin Sun

The primary news source of Franklin Parish since 1856.

 514 Prairie Street
Winnsboro, LA 71295
Phone #: 318-435-4521 Fax #: 318-435-9220


Established in August of 1856, The Franklin Sun is the oldest business in Franklin Parish.

Records of The Franklin Sun's early existence are practically nonexistent, but it is known that Lewis W. Zim was the founder of the newspaper and published it for 25 years.

In 1880, The Franklin Sun was acquired by Captain William Phillip Power, a "former gallant member of Price's Command Missouri Volunteers." He operated the newspaper until his death in 1905.

The operations of The Franklin Sun during the War Between the States and the ruinous post-war years of a prostrate South were not consistently documented.

After the death of Captain Powers, the Winnsboro Rising Star appeared. S.L. Brashear and M.L. Bell were in charge of this enterprise.  Brashear’s grandson, Sam A. Hanna Sr., later bought The Franklin Sun in 1974.  

About 1912, a rival newspaper, The Winnsboro Reporter, made its appearance under the leadership of Mr. Crowell, who later sold it to J.W. Womble. It was about 1919 or 1920 that the Rising Star bought the Winnsboro Reporter.  The newspapers were merged, becoming the Star Reporter under Joseph Meyer.

Records show the present Franklin Sun emerged on July 22, 1922, as a combination newspaper and printing establishment. A.L. Price, a former sheriff, and H.H. Hanna were joint owners with L.R. Nielsen as manager. Mr. Nielsen had worked at the former Franklin Sun from about 1908 until he went to work at the Star Reporter in 1915.

Innumerable details of the history of the parish were lost when a fire destroyed The Franklin Sun’s office in the early summer of 1927.

In 1928, Price and Hanna sold their interests to A.O. Strahan and The Franklin Sun bought the Franklin Parish News in Wisner from Edwin Rice and J.P. Wade. The following year The Franklin Sun bought the Star Reporter and in 1930 Strahan sold The Franklin Sun to J.H. McQuerry, who led the newspaper until 1938.

At that time, McQuerry sold The Franklin Sun to Calvin G. Scott of Bastrop. Scott said after the purchase, "I thought I had retired from the newspaper field when I sold The Enterprise in Bastrop in 1937, but got homesick for the smell of printer's ink, resulting in the purchase of The Sun.  I employed my young friend, Jas B. Tisdale Jr., a graduate of LSU School of Journalism, as editor, with the view of turning over to him the management of the paper when he had acquired the necessary experience and eventually selling to him, if he desired.

"I had practically turned the management of the paper over to him just prior to World War II, and had returned to my home in Bastrop. Our plans all went by the board when Tisdale became first in the parish called by the draft."

It was then in June of 1941 that Scott sold The Franklin Sun to Marion T. and Marvin N. Lipp of Oak Grove. Marion Lipp moved with his family to Winnsboro and served as active publisher and editor of The Franklin Sun until 1953, at which time he became a special assistant to 5th District Congressman Otto E. Passman.

During his tenure as publisher and editor, The Franklin Sun reached new heights, becoming the state's most frequent "top-spot winner" in the Louisiana Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contests. He returned to Winnsboro to edit the newspaper in 1966 and continued in that capacity until his death, July 18, 1969.

Mrs. Louise Robertson Lipp became managing editor and publisher after Lipp's death and was actively involved in the newspaper until her death in 1970, at which time the ownership of the newspaper was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Lipp's daughters, Marilou Womble, and her husband, John Thomas Womble.

While Mrs. Lipp and the Wombles were publishers of The Franklin Sun, it continued to earn top journalistic awards, winning general excellence and sweepstakes awards many times in the LPA Better Newspaper Contests.

Although The Franklin Sun had been owned by the Lipp family for 33 years, the Wombles found it advisable to relinquish ownership of the newspaper in October of 1974. At that time they sold The Franklin Sun to Sam A. Hanna Sr.

A Winnsboro native, Hanna Sr. was a graduate of Winnsboro High School and he earned a bachelors degree in journalism from Louisiana State University, later named the Manship School of Mass Communication.  In 1993, Hanna Sr. was inducted into the Manship School of Mass Communication Hall of Fame.  

Hanna owned and published the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday and the Catahoula News-Booster in Jonesville when he acquired The Franklin Sun.  He bought the Concordia Sentinel in 1965 and the News-Booster in 1967.  Hanna Sr. sold the News-Booster in 1988.

In 1996, Hanna Sr. and his son, Sam A. Hanna Jr., bought The Ouachita Citizen in West Monroe.

Hanna Sr. died in 2006.  Following his death, ownership of The Franklin Sun as well as the Concordia Sentinel transferred to Hanna Sr.’s wife, Mary Sue Hanna, and their children.  

Mary Sue Hanna became publisher of The Franklin Sun and the Concordia Sentinel after Hanna Sr.’s death and holds that position to this day.  Lesley Hanna Capdepon, one of Sam A. and Mary Sue Hanna Sr.’s daughters, became general manager of The Franklin Sun, the Concordia Sentinel and The Ouachita Citizen.  Hanna Jr. moved into an editorial/management capacity for The Franklin Sun and the Concordia Sentinel following Hanna Sr.’s death.

Hanna Jr. also is the owner and publisher of The Ouachita Citizen.



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