There have been at least four newspapers in Fairmont prior to The Times-Messenger -- The Fairmont Times, the Fairmont Messenger, the Fairmont News, and the Fairmont Review.
The Fairmont Messenger was established in 1907 by S. F. Thompson and sold later that year to E. W. Floyd. In May, 1911, Floyd sold the newspaper to Wilson Publishing Company, owned by S. P. Wilson and published by his sons, Percy H. Wilson and Lawrence Wilson, ages 16 and 15 respectively. The Wilson brothers published the paper until the late teens. No records exist regarding its disposition. A copy of only one issue is known to exist, an August 13, 1914 industrial edition touting various businesses in the community. (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9, Page 10, Page 11, Page 12)
A copy of the Fairmont Review published in 1920 was found in 1961. No ownership or editorial information was available, but apparently this paper existed. Perhaps it was an offshoot of Messenger.
A copy of The Fairmont News from May 4, 1927 has been discovered. On the masthead it reads "Vol. II, No. XV", or Volume 2, Number 15. Edited and published by H. C. MacNair, the four page paper contains advertisements for E. V. McDaniel, C. W. McCormick, Standard Service Station, Gulf Service Station, Stephens & Barnes, C. P. McGirt, Star Theater, Grantham Insurance, Floyd Grocery, Fairmont Motor Company, Ernest Jones, Robeson Drug Company, P. R. Floyd & Company, Webster Motors, Robeson Hardware Company and Floyd & Floyd.
The Fairmont Times was published in the 1930's if not earlier. Only one known issue exists, a February 24, 1933 issue. The paper was owned by Young Publishing Company and was edited by R. B. Young. It proclaimed itself "the largest weekly newspaper in Robeson County" on its masthead.
The Times-Messenger came into being in 1935. The exact date is not certain. It was owned and published by J. B. Wiggins. Wiggins operated the paper until February, 1946 when it was sold to Dougald Coxe of Red Springs. Coxe operated the Times-Messenger with several local editors while he remained in Red Springs, where the paper was printed.
In 1948, Billy Whitted became editor of the paper and remained so until June, 1950 when he resigned to edit a tourism magazine in Ft. Myers, FL. By February, 1951 he was back, having purchased an interest in the paper from Coxe. In May of the same year, he and his wife Jane bought the remaining stock to become sole owners.
Billy and Jane owned the paper until Jane's death in December, 1966, and Billy operated it by himself until he sold to Herald Publishing Company of Dillon, SC on April 1, 1977. They published until discontinuing the Times-Messenger in 1997.