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Arkansas echo. : (Little Rock, Ark.) 1891-19??
Place of publication:
Little Rock, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Arkansas Echo Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Jahrg. 1, Nr. 1 (31 Dec. 1891)-
  • German
  • Arkansas.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204809
  • Germans--Arkansas--Newspapers.
  • Germans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00942100
  • Little Rock (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • In German.
sn 88084068
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Arkansas echo. December 31, 1891 , Image 1


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Arkansas Echo

Little Rock, the state capital and Pulaski County seat, was home to one of Arkansas's first German communities. In the 1830s, a German colony was established in Pulaski County, marking the beginning of German immigration to Arkansas. German communities grew through the nineteenth century, peaking in the 1880s.

The Arkansas Echo, an all-German language newspaper, began publication in 1891. It was published in Little Rock under the Arkansas Echo Publishing Company, composed of John Kaufman, Adolph Arnold, Andrew Rust, Father Bonaventure Binzegger, Friedrich "Fred" Hohenschutz, Herman Lensing, Charles "Carl" Meurer, J. P. Moser, and Nic Peay. The Echo publishers purchased an existing newspaper plant from Der Logan County Anzeiger (Logan County Gazette), run by Conrad Elsken in Paris, Arkansas. At the time of purchase, the Anzeiger had a circulation of 400 in Logan County, but on the direction of a Catholic priest in Little Rock, the newspaper plant was moved to Little Rock to reach a wider audience. In Little Rock, the paper was renamed the Arkansas Echo and the Anzeiger's subscribers were shifted over. The Echo was a Democratic, eight-page paper, originally published on Fridays with a circulation of 850 subscribers. Over the years, the paper grew to 1,300 subscribers.

The Echo had an unsteady start as their inaugural issue was sabotaged. Before the papers could be printed, someone broke into the Echo's newspaper office and destroyed the forms laid out for printing. Instead of their planned eight-page issue, the Echo's first issue was a half-sheet page on December 31, 1891. In that issue, the Echo blamed the sabotage on Philip Dietzgen, editor of the other German newspaper in Little Rock, the Arkansas Staats-Zeitung (1869-1917). The Echo related to its readers that the saboteur had cut themselves when destroying the Echo's office and left a trail of blood drops to the Zeitung's office. This event spurred a year-long newspaper war involving fistfights, threats, and lawsuits, making national news. The impetus for the rivalry seemed to be competition for German customers, as the Staats-Zeitung had been publishing in Little Rock since 1869.

In spite of anti-German sentiments during World War I, the Echo persisted in publishing the news for German readers in Arkansas. Unlike other German newspapers across the U.S., the Echo survived and continued printing in German, even as many German businesses shifted away from avowing their German heritage.

The driving force behind the Echo was Carl Meurer, a German Catholic who immigrated in 1881. By 1892, he was the sole editor of the paper. Meurer worked at the Echo until he died in the newspaper office in 1930. Meurer's headstone is inscribed: "His life's work: editor of 'Arkansas Echo.' Motto 'For truth and justice will be remembered throughout the years.'"

After Meurer's death, the Echo Publishing Co. appointed Meurer's son, Carl J. Meurer, Jr., as his successor. Despite staying in the family, the Echo ceased publication just two years later.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives