The Wilson Daily Times celebrated its 100th anniversary Feb. 18, 1996, with a gala celebration and open house. From humble beginnings in a building on an alley behind the county courthouse, the Daily Times had overcome competitors and become one of the few surviving family-owned daily newspapers in North Carolina.
A year later, the newspaper leaped off the printed page onto the Internet's World Wide Web at wilsondaily.com.
The Wilson Daily Times is the offspring of the Primitive Baptist publication, Zion's Landmark, established in 1867 by Elder P.D. Gold, pastor of the Wilson Primitive Baptist Church.
Gold founded the P.D. Gold Publishing Company. His son, John D. Gold, joined his father in the company, which published Zion's Landmark and operated a job printing shop.
In 1896, John D. Gold founded The Wilson Times, a weekly newspaper, which later became a semi-weekly, and then, in 1902, became The Wilson Daily Times.
Gold remained active until 1946, when the newspaper was leased by H.D. Brauff with an option to buy. Even after his retirement, Gold visited The Times frequently and continued to take an interest in its progress and expansion. His daughter, Elizabeth Gold Swindell, was the paper's business manager. In 1954 Brauff offered Mrs. Swindell a one-fifth interest to continue in that position. She accepted.
Two years later, Mrs. Swindell announced her purchase of the paper from the Brauff family. This transaction made Elizabeth Swindell the sole owner of the paper, which she served as editor and publisher until her death in 1983.
In 1957 Morgan Paul Dickerman II of Wallingford, Conn., joined his mother-in-law as associate publisher. Beginning in 1959, DIckerman assisted in three major expansions of the paper, and in 1967 he and Mrs. Swindell purchased an adjacent 40,000 square foot building and installed a new 40-page capacity offset press.
Dickerman remained associate publisher and general manager of The Daily Times until his death in July 16, 1974. At that time Mrs. Swindell was joined by her daughter, Margaret Dickerman, in overseeing the operations of the paper.
Morgan Paul Dickerman III joined the company as vice president in 1979. He was named president and publisher on Mrs. Swindell's death.
In 1983 The Wilson Daily Times moved to its present location, occupying a $2.6 million 30,000 square foot building that included the latest in electronic editing and classified systems, as well as expanded facilities for all departments.
The Wilson Times Company has evolved since it's P.D. Gold Publishing Co. days when it printed The Wilson Daily Times (1902) two editions daily, The Wilson Times - Tuesday and Friday - (1896) and Zions Landmark (1867) semi-monthly. It also had first-class commercial job printing, book and catalogue work plus ruling and bonding. Now, the Wilson Times Co. prints The Wilson Times, has wilsontimes.com and The Wilson County Phone Directory, and continues the Gold Press tradition of publishing books.