White County Record

The White County Record was one of the longest-running newspapers in White County. Published in Judsonia (White County), it operated for almost one hundred years. Surprisingly for a paper with such a long history, it had few ownership changes. When the paper closed in 2014, it had a long record of solid news reporting.

Ralph C. Mann Sr. purchased the Judsonia Weekly Advance newspaper in 1915 and ran it as a Democratic paper until 1920. After purchasing the paper, Mann installed new printing machinery, including a cylinder press and linotype machine, and was able to increase his subscribers by the hundreds. In 1921, Mann changed the Weekly Advance to an independent affiliation and, in 1922, began publishing on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays. Mann’s final change was a major one: In 1922, he combined the Advance with the Bald Knob Eagle (1921–1922) to form the White County Record, published by the Mann Printing Company.

Through the 1930s, the paper’s ownership went through several changes. Ralph Van Meter and William Ewing Orr purchased the paper in 1937, before selling it to T. H. Young and Guy Epps in 1939. Orr continued to write for the paper for the next twenty-five years.

In 1976, Orr came out of retirement to edit the paper. He retired again in 1979. In 1994, Barth Grayson bought the paper and ran it until 2014, when hard financial times in the publishing industry made running the paper too difficult and it closed. He attempted to restart the paper in 2015 by combining it with the Bald Knob Banner, the White River Delta Dispatch, the Searcy Sun, and the Sugarloaf Sun as the North-Central Arkansas Eagle. The title ran only for a few months before closing in early 2015.

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 White County Record.

For additional information:
Allsopp, Frederick W. History of the Arkansas Press for a Hundred Years and More. Little Rock: Parke-Harper Publishing Co., 1922.

Goodspeed Publishing Co. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas. Chicago, St. Louis: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1890.

White County Record.” Chronicling America, Library of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84002111/ (accessed December 15, 2023).

Staff of the Arkansas Digital Newspaper Project
Arkansas State Archives

A version of this entry was initially published on both the website of the Arkansas State Archives and the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America project and is used here with permission.


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