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De Queen bee. [volume] : (De Queen, Ark.) 1897-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Daily citizen
  • De Queen advertiser
Place of publication:
De Queen, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • DeQueen, Sevier, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Bishop & Boyd
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1897.
  • Choctaw
  • English
  • Arkansas--Sevier County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216693
  • DeQueen (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Sevier County (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Absorbed: Times-record (Horatio, Ark.) (non-extant), and: Horatio times.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 4 (June 25, 1897).
  • Published a column in Choctaw, Oct. 8-Nov. 5, 1897.
sn 89051293
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De Queen bee. [volume] June 25, 1897 , Image 1


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De Queen Bee and De Queen Daily Bee

In 1897 Arthur Edward Stilwell founded the town of De Queen in southwestern Arkansas. He established it along his railroad line though Sevier County. Stilwell's railroad was funded by Dutch coffee merchant Jan de Goeijen. To honor his financier, Stilwell named the town after him, modifying the name for English speakers to "De Queen," much to de Goeijen's displeasure. Thanks to the railroad, De Queen was a hub for exporting local agricultural products, and the town soon grew into the county's largest city. In 1905 De Queen became the Sevier County seat.

The De Queen Bee was De Queen's first newspaper, beginning publication on June 4, 1897, a day after the town was incorporated. Walter A. Boyd and J. W. Bishop created the Bee as an 8-page, Democratic paper issued every Friday. Boyd and Bishop printed just three issues before selling to E. C. Winford, who later brought on A. T. Evans to help edit and publish the paper.

In October 1897, De Queen welcomed some special visitors: Stilwell, Jan de Goeijen and his wife Mena, and several other stockholders in Stilwell's railroad company. The Bee reported that the town was especially pleased to welcome "Mr. De Queen" and that the newspaper was indebted to him, as during his visit de Goeijen "transformed the Bee from a local to an international Journel [sic], he left $26 with us and had the Bee sent to quite a number in France, Germany, Holland and England." The editors also welcomed Stilwell as a kindred spirit, remarking that he had "been a typo in days gone by and drew his chair to the case and proceeded to stick type in a manner that was conclusive proof that he had been an expert at the business." The railroad party finished their visit with Mena de Goeijen buying 4 large Texas cowboy hats as curiosities.

In 1897, the Bee published three issues with articles in Choctaw on the front page. De Queen was about ten miles from the Choctaw Nation's land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). On October 8 and 15, the "Choctaw Items" column had dispatches from Eagletown, which was about 5 miles into Indian Territory. On November 5, the final Choctaw column was titled "Choctaw Council," with news from Tushka Homa (now Tuskahoma), the Choctaw Nation's capital. Council member James Dyer reported that a timber company was attempting to buy up the timberlands in Choctaw Territory and monopolize the industry.

In 1898, Evans and Winford sold the paper to James L. Cannon and Othello Thomas Graves, who reduced the Bee to four pages. In October 1899, a fire destroyed most of the businesses in downtown De Queen, including the newspaper office. The next morning Cannon and Graves posted a sign where their office had stood, stating, "The Bee will appear this week, as usual." And the Bee was published that week, but not as usual. Cannon and Graves traveled to the nearest printing office in Winthrop, about 20 miles south, where they set the type and printed the Bee using a Washington hand press. On the way back to De Queen, they folded the papers as they waited on the train depot platform and addressed the mailing list while riding on the freight train's caboose. In De Queen they were able to mail the newspapers at an interim post office. By the end of the year, the Bee had built a new printing plant in De Queen to produce the paper locally again.

Soon after the fire, Graves moved to Lockesburg to work for The Lockesburg Enterprise (1???-19??), and Luke A. Pearre took Graves's place at the Bee. Cannon and Pearre published together for about 15 years, returning to printing an 8-page paper. During this period, the Bee had about 1,000 subscribers in a town of 1,200. In 1909 Cannon and Pearre added a daily edition of the Bee, the De Queen Daily Bee, a 4-page paper released every day except Sundays. The Daily Bee ran concurrently with the De Queen Bee until it was discontinued in 1914. In 1915, Cannon left to serve as the De Queen postmaster, leaving Pearre to run the paper alone for 11 years. In 1926, Pearre, who was in his 60s, sold the Bee to a company composed of Virgil W. St. John, Ernest Warner St. John (publishers of The Mena Star (1898-1904), D. D. Clement, and E. B. Smith. Smith took over as editor of the Bee.

In 1933, Ray Kimball and Almon Lonzo Kimball purchased the Bee and combined it with their paper, the Sevier County Citizen (which had just absorbed The Horatio Times (1910-19??), keeping the De Queen Bee name for the weekly paper, and adding the DeQueen Daily Citizen (1933-1942) as a daily paper. Other papers briefly published in De Queen, but the Bee was the only successful, long-running paper, and it is still published today

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives