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The Newark journal. : (Newark, Ark.) 1901-1959
Place of publication:
Newark, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Newark, Independence, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
O.F. Craig.
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1901; ceased in 1959.
  • English
  • Arkansas--Newark.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01292884
  • Newark (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 2 (Jan. 10, 1902).
  • Suspended with Oct. 2, 1908 issue; resumed with Jan. 29, 1909 issue.
sn 89051084
Succeeding Titles:
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The Newark journal. January 3, 1902 , Image 1


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The Newark journal

Newark is in Independence County, in northeastern Arkansas. It is one of the larger towns in Independence County and was prominent early in the 1900s. Members from the community of Akron founded Newark, as Akron often suffered damage from the overflow of the White River. Additionally, the Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad had planned to route its new railroad through Akron, but instead built it on higher ground a mile north, which became Newark. Newark relied on the railroad to transport goods and people, with the main town business center facing the railroad tracks. People from other towns in Independence County traveled to Newark to do their shopping. The town weathered the Great Depression as people were used to living simple lives and the local merchants let people make purchases on credit. Even though Newark was a bustling county center, there was only one newspaper that managed to run for more than a few years.

Oscar Franklin Craig established the Newark Journal in 1901. He published the four-page paper once a week on Fridays. The paper was briefly suspended in October 1908, but resumed in January 1909. Craig originally created the Journal as a local paper, with no stated political leaning. After a few years the paper was listed as Democratic, reflecting the political views of much of the town's populace.

Newark was an active Democratic community and the town held many large political rallies and community picnics. These activities drew people from around the state, including prominent politicians. One visitor in 1904 was then-Governor Jeff Davis. Davis was campaigning in Newark and he insulted Craig, who attempted to attack the Governor in the newspaper. This caused Davis to leave town quickly. In a later election, Davis lost in Newark by two-to-one even though he was a Democrat.

On November 7, 1918 the Journal prematurely printed a headline that the World War I armistice had been signed. On November 14, the Journal printed the same headline, correctly announcing the Allied triumph on November 11.

In 1915, Craig purchased a Linotype machine, which enabled faster typesetting for the paper. Craig's thirteen-year-old son, Roy Monroe Craig, ran the machine. Roy Craig was the youngest person in the United States to be trained at the Mergenthaler Linotype School in New Orleans. With Roy's help, Oscar Craig continued to publish the Journal until his death in 1941. Afterwards, Roy Craig ran the Journal for years, followed by his grandson Roy Rawlings Craig, who published the paper until 1959.

The Journal was the longest running newspaper in Newark, publishing for 58 years. However, in the 1950s and 60s, the town declined. This led to business closings and people moving away, and the railroad shut down its passenger services. Though the Journal ended its run in Newark, the business was bought and consolidated into the Jackson County Democrat (1936-1963), and the equipment moved to Newport where the Democrat was located.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives