The Prescott Daily Picayune was the oldest newspaper in Nevada County. For over 140 years, it chronicled the lives of Nevada County’s citizens. Its long history was marked by frequent name changes and numerous owners. When it ceased production in 2018, it left a legacy of reporting the news for the people of Nevada County.
In 1875, brothers Eugene E. White and W. B. White established Nevada County’s first newspaper, the Prescott Banner, in Prescott (Nevada County). Over the next two years, the paper’s name changed from the Prescott Banner to the Prescott Clipper, both closing after a short publication run.
Meanwhile, Eugene E. White opened the Nevada Picayune on February 14, 1878, as owner and editor. He remained until he left for Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1883 to open the Daily Herald. At that point, his brother, W. B. White, took over the paper.
The Nevada Picayune was both a Democratic and Populist paper over its tenure. It had a seven-column folio and was printed on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In January 1906, editor C. B. Andrews lost everything in a fire that destroyed the newspaper office. Employing the honor system, Andrews asked all subscribers and debtors to contact him. He reopened the Picayune in the Brooks building on East Front Street.
The most notable Picayune employee was Frederick W. Allsopp. He worked for free at the Nevada County Picayune for thirteen weeks in the late 1880s in the printing department before moving to Little Rock (Pulaski County) to begin his forty-year career at the statewide Arkansas Gazette. From the mailroom, Allsopp worked his way up to secretary and business manager of the Gazette before building a hotel, opening a bookstore, and publishing five books.
Over the years, the title on the masthead changed, first as the Nevada Picayune, then the Nevada County Picayune, and later the Daily Picayune. Despite the name changes, the newspaper continued to publish news of southwestern Arkansas Monday through Friday. As the newspapers entered the digital age, the Picayune struggled to continue. In 2016, it cut its publications to twice a week. This was not enough to keep the newspaper afloat, and the Nevada Picayune closed its doors in September 2018, after 140 years of publication.
Beginning in 2017, the Arkansas Digital Newspaper Project (ADNP) team at the Arkansas State Archives partnered with the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to digitize historic Arkansas newspapers, including the Picayune and its successors.
For additional information:
Allsopp, Frederick W. History of the Arkansas Press for a Hundred Years and More. Little Rock: Parke-Harper Publishing Co., 1922.
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1890.
“Daily Picayune.” Chronicling America, Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89051256/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
Dougan, Michael B. Community Diaries: Arkansas Newspapering: 1819–2002: Little Rock: August House Publishing Inc., 2003.
“Nevada County Picayune.” Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87091048/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
“Nevada County Picayune.” Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90050306/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
“Nevada Picayune.” Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87091047/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
“Times-Picayune.” Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90050304/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
Arkansas State Digital Newspaper Project
Arkansas State Archives
A version of this entry was initially published on the website of the Library of Congress and is used here with permission.
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