The Enterprise-Journal’s roots begin with the McComb City Enterprise, a weekly newspaper established in 1889 by R.B. May. His son, R.E. May, later became the publisher until he sold the Enterprise to John Oliver Emmerich Sr. in 1923.
Meanwhile, in 1917, N.P. Bonney, editor of the Summit Sentinel, acquired a competing weekly newspaper, the McComb Journal, from R.D. Quin. In 1919 Bonney’s son H. Rey Bonney, a World War I veteran, took over management of the Journal.
By 1945 both the Enterprise and the Journal had become daily newspapers. Oliver Emmerich purchased the Journal from Bonney and merged the two newspapers into the Enterprise-Journal. His finest hour was during the civil rights movement in 1964, when he wrote a number of editorials and columns urging calm, and published a Statement of Principals, signed by several hundred local residents, that played an important role in easing local tensions.
Emmerich’s work earned his awards for editorial writing and public service from Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism society.
Oliver Emmerich operated the newspaper until his death in 1978 at age 82. Charles Dunagin, who joined the newspaper as managing editor in 1963, succeeded Emmerich as editor. Under his leadership the Enterprise-Journal added a Sunday edition in 1978, moved into its present building near Interstate 55 in 1987 and unveiled its website in 1999.