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Sharp County record. : (Evening Shade, Ark.) 1877-1976
Place of publication:
Evening Shade, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Ash Flat, Sharp, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Cave City, Sharp, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Evening Shade, Sharp, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.W. Buckley
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 100, no. 25 (June 24, 1976).
  • Began in June 1877.
  • English
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 4 (July 6, 1877).
  • Published at Cave City, Mar. 9, 1950-1973, and at Ash Flat, 1973-June 24, 1976.
sn 87091045
Succeeding Titles:
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Sharp County record. July 6, 1877 , Image 1


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Sharp County Record

Sharp County, established in 1868, is in northeastern Arkansas bordering Missouri. Lying in the Ozark Mountains, it was known for its good hunting and timberlands. At the end of the 1800s, the county primarily produced cotton, corn, wheat, pork, butter, and livestock. Tourism was another revenue source; caves and rivers attracted visitors to Cave City. Evening Shade served as the county seat until 1963, when it moved to Ash Flat.

In 1877, John W. Buckley founded the Sharp County Record in Evening Shade to serve the southwestern section of the county, which included Ash Flat and Cave City. He published the four-page, Democratic paper on Fridays to a circulation of less than 500, out of a town of less than 300. Despite challenges from publishing news encompassing a large rural area, the Record was described by other newspaper men as "a magnificent news gatherer." In 1881, Buckley established another county paper, the Izard County Register (1881-19??), in the next county over, in the city of Melbourne. Buckley became editor for the Register and hired David Craige in 1882 to manage the Record in Evening Shade.

Craige had moved to northeastern Arkansas in 1852, where he worked at half a dozen newspapers during his lifetime. Craige took only brief breaks from the newspaper business, working as a farmer only after his paper folded due to the Civil War. At various times, he took work breaks for his health, which had always been poor. Craige returned to work after one of his health hiatuses to manage the Sharp County Record for Buckley. In 1885, Buckley sold the Record and the Register, and Craige moved from the Record in Evening Shade over to the Register in Melbourne. The Register was the first paper Craige owned, and he remained there until his death in 1907.

Over in Evening Shade, E. G. Henderson purchased the Record from Buckley and ran it for a decade. Henderson learned the printing trade at a newspaper in Little Rock. After moving to Evening Shade, he worked first at the Sharp County Herald as the compositor setting type keys. He later bought the paper and served as editor. In 1874, with co-owner J. W. Clarke, they renamed the paper the North Arkansas Democrat. Their paper ceased publication in 1876, and Henderson joined the Record as associate editor in 1879. Henderson held several additional jobs during this time, working as postmaster, grocer, stationer, and county treasurer.

Henderson sold the Record in 1896 to Claude L. Coger, who, at 17 years old, served as publisher and editor. Coger ran the record for more than twenty years. From 1914 to 1915, he also published the Batesville Guard (1877-1932) after its editor took a break due to ill health. In 1919, Coger moved to Hardy, selling the Record at Evening Shade, and purchasing the Hardy Herald (1891-1936). Owen Caruth Shaver took over the Record in 1919. Shaver had previously worked as a schoolteacher and farmer. The Record continued publication through the 1970s to serve the small-town mountain communities in southwestern Sharp County.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives