In April of 1893, before Barrow County existed, The Jackson Economist began publication. At that time Winder was a part of Jackson County. Thus, The Barrow County News, through its predecessors, is the oldest continuous business in Winder and Barrow County. In April of 1908 The paper changed its name to The Winder Weekly News. The paper was eight pages and published every Thursday.
In February of 1913 the name changed again to The Winder News. It carried the slogan, " We are building a city here." In July of 1913 a bill was introduced in the state legislature to form Barrow County. It would be cut from Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett counties. The fight for its creation was led by Judge Dick Russell. That year the bill was defeated, but in 1914 the fight was successful and Barrow County was born. The masthead of The Winder News showed "Official Organ of the City of
Winder and Barrow County".
In October of 1915 The Winder News had a subscription contest and awarded a pony to Willie Hill for selling the most subscriptions. In February of 1921 The Winder News and The Barrow Times were merged. At that time a subscription cost $1.50 and there were 1968 subscribers. In 1934 The Winder News was sold to Thomas N. Sewell of Clinton, NC. C. H. Cook remained a part owner. In May of that
year they bought out The Winder Leader and merged the circulation into The Winder News. In 1939 Sewell announced the sale of The Winder News to John Stoddard and Harry O. Smith. In August of that year Smith moved to Winder to run the paper, but a year later he was called up to active duty with the Army for the duration of the war.
In September of 1946 he returned to Winder to assume his duties as Editor and Publisher of The Winder News. Mrs. Lou Cronic, the former Lura Lee Abner, joined the news staff soon after finishing high school in 1944. Beginning with the Christmas issue of 1952 The Winder News moved publication from Thursday to Wednesday. In June of 1953 John O. Mobley joined the staff as a reporter.
Smith was very involved in the community and in the Georgia Press Association. He remained at the helm of the newspaper until 1972 when he announced his retirement and the sale of the paper to The News Company, headquartered in Gwinnett County.
Kenneth Hudgins was named the new publisher of The Winder News. Under Hudgins tenure the paper grew to exceed 30 pages weekly and consisted of four sections. Hudgins would resign in early 1980 to become part owner of The Franklin Press in Franklin, NC.
Myles Godfrey became publisher in May 1980. Godfrey had more than 20 years experience in newspaper advertising with The Times of Gainesville and The Gwinnett Daily News.
Current publisher Debbie Burgamy joined the staff of The Winder News in 1980 in the advertising department. She had worked previously at The Gwinnett Daily News.
In November of 1982 the single copy price of the newspaper rose from 25¢ to 35¢. LeAnne Turner Akin, current editor, joined the staff in May of 1983 as a staff writer. Burgamy was promoted to Advertising Manager in 1983. In 1987 The New York Times purchased The Winder News as part of The News Company. Godfrey left the paper in February of 1989 and Harry Benedict was named General Manager. Upon Benedict's resignation, Burgamy became General Manager in September 1989 and was named publisher the next year.
The New York Times sold The Winder News and The Forsyth County News to Swartz-Morris Media, Inc. in January of 1994. Dennis Stockton was named group publisher and remains in that position. On June 16, 1996 the newspaper took the leap to become a bi-weekly publishing on Wednesdays and Sundays. Readers were urged to "double your pleasure, double your fun".
The Winder News bought out The Barrow Eagle at the end of February 2000 and merged the two. On March 5, 2000, the newspaper unveiled a name change to The Barrow County News. The new name would better reflect the coverage of all of Barrow County that the paper provides.
Akin moved to a sister publication in Braselton in mid-2010 to serve as editor. Lona Panter, on staff since July 2008, was promoted to managing editor in June 2010. Panter was named editor in May 2012.
Throughout its history the newspaper has been an active corporate citizen. Through its staff and its coverage the Barrow County News is involved in community events, civic groups and charitable organizations.