Name Residence: W. W. Mims Edgefield,SC Date of Death: 02/12/2007 Notice W.W. Mims EDGEFIELD ù The ôbold editorö of The Edgefield Advertiser (so called by Bass and Thompson in their book on Thurmond), William Walton Mims, after fighting hard at the end of his life with several stays in the hospital, relinquished the fight to pass peacefully into death on the morning of February 12, 2007. Mims ended his four years of retirement from editorship of the Advertiser with his death at age 95. Mims assumed the position of editor of the oldest newspaper in South Carolina at the death of his father in May of 1937, to remain in this position for 66 years. Born to Florence Adams and Julian Landrum Mims on September 11, 1911, William Walton Mims was baptised into the Edgefield First Baptist Church at an early age. His education was at Edgefield County public schools, Randolph Macon Academy in Virginia, and The Citadel, leaving there to marry Sue Padgett of Edgefield, deceased Nov. 19, 2003 (they celebrated 70 years of marriage before her death). In 1943, he entered the Navy: first as an editor of a Navy publication in Newport News, Va.; later on board the USS Randolph which met with open battle in the Pacific arena in World War II. Returning home from the war, he began anew his work with the Advertiser, in his off-time seeking to help develop Edgefield County. He served on a committee that chose the name for the Central Savannah River Area. In 1949, Mims acquirered the Savannah River farm that was called the Pickens-Bauskett River Plantation. As he developed part of this land into a cattle farm, his lifetime interest in nature, hunting and fishing grew. He joined others in restocking the county with deer and wild turkey, some of those animals going to the wilds of his farm, always seen informally as a wildlife preserve. He offered himself for political office several times, but lost each time. Through his editorial columns he strongly supported and pushed for new industry, local control and less government intervention, agricultural development and better schools, but ones that were community based. This put him in opposition to the large comprehensive high schools that developed away from community centers, an unpopular stance at the time. One of MimsÆ greatest struggles was with the local governmentÆs wish to develop a water line coming from the Savannah River, first mentioned in the late 60s. He wished it to be directed to areas of the county for development. Those working to get the waterline were allegedly an influence in boycotting the advertising in his newspaper. Mims sued the ôpowers that be,ö and won on an anti-trust verdict that awarded him a sum of money and the chance to reclaim his advertising, which he never did. Mims will be laid to rest in a family cemetery, behind the site of a monument that he built and dedicated to ôThe Great Triumvirateö — Dr. Richard Furman, Dr. Wm. Bullein Johnson and Dr. Basil Manley. He developed Academy Gardens, the monument site open to the public, doing most of the work himself. After the early 80s, his newspaper moved more from a community newspaper to that of a conservative political organ that reached beyond the county, where his conservative views gave voice to many as the ôun-politically correct newspaper.ö In 2003 he transferred the ownership to a family member who has since returned the Advertiser to a more community spirited publication. He is survived by his daughter, Suzanne Mims Derrick, present editor of the Advertiser, and William Walton Mims Jr., MD, of Orangeburg. W.W. Mims will be buried beside his wife and close to two children who preceded him in death: Florence Mims Bryan and Thomas Adams Mims. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren. From these grandchildren are 20 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Mercantile Funeral Home is handling the services: a visitation at the Edgefield Advertiser building (formerly Baptist Association building), 117 Courthouse Sq., Edgefield, from 5 to 7 p.m. Wed., Feb. 14; burial designated private on Thursday morning at Academy Gardens. Contributions may be made in his memory to The Edgefield Hospital, P.O. Box 590, 29824.
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