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The weekly soliphone. : (Paragould, Greene County, Ark.) 1907-1918
Place of publication:
Paragould, Greene County, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Paragould, Greene, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Soliphone Co.
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 28, no. 6 [i.e. 7] (Nov. 28 [i.e. Dec. 5], 1918).
  • Began in 1907.
  • English
  • Arkansas--Greene County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206960
  • Arkansas--Paragould.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216814
  • Greene County (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Paragould (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 25, no. 16 (June 21, 1907).
  • Numbering is irregular.
sn 89051436
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The weekly soliphone. January 1, 1915 , Image 1


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The Daily soliphone, The weekly soliphone, and Paragould soliphone

Paragould, Arkansas is situated just across the Missouri border in the northeastern region of the state in Greene County. At the time of settlement it had few roads and many obstructions, including swampland and an abundance of timber. Sitting atop Crowley's Ridge, early pioneers took advantage of the lush terrain and uncommon hardwood trees to create a booming timber industry. As the railroad moved in, so did the people, flocking to town to work in timber mills and factories.

As a result of the booming economy, in late 1886 J. R. Taylor founded the Paragould Press. After successfully working on newspapers in Jackson and Memphis, Tennessee, Taylor settled in Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1883, where he became editor and part owner of the Jonesboro Democrat, followed by a stint as mayor. After resigning from politics and selling off his interest in the Jonesboro Democrat (later to become The Jonesboro Sun), Taylor moved to Paragould. There, he owned the paper until 1888 when he sold it to W. A. H. McDaniel in order to, once again, run for and return to the state senate. Only a short time later, after pulling out of his run for senate, Taylor went into competition with McDaniel when he established The Greene County Record in 1889. During this time period, according to historian Myrl Rhine Mueller in A History of Green County, Arkansas, "there was a succession of small newspapers published in Paragould. So fast did they rise and fall, exchange publishers and editors, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to sort them out chronologically." The News-Letter, edited by Charles E. Stewart, eventually combined with McDaniel's paper.

In 1893, Greene County mill owner and farmer Ross Coffman went into business with editor W. P. Adams and together they formed The Daily Soliphone. Adams invented the word soliphone by combining the Latin word for sun (sol) and the Greek word for phonics (phone) and joining them with an "i," making "soliphone." Despite its unique title, the paper was poorly managed and lacked sufficient funding. In order to raise capital, Adams mortgaged the publishing equipment with his rival, McDaniel. Later the two came into conflict and McDaniel foreclosed on the mortgage. Adams's paper was left without a press. With no ability to produce the paper, McDaniel sought the help of local Paragould businessman and bank official, M. F. Collier. With financial backing, he was able to continue publication, under the editorship of P. W. Moss until, despite his best efforts, McDaniel was forced to sell the paper. The paper was once again purchased by Taylor and was subsequently turned into two separate papers – The Paragould Daily Press, sent daily to city subscribers, and The Weekly Soliphone, which had a weekly rural circulation.

After Taylor's death in 1917, Griffin Smith became the very well-respected and successful editor of both papers. Upon his retirement, Smith said, "I have been in the newspaper business almost twenty-five years; during that period no successive six months have passed by during which my papers have not engaged in a fight of some kind." The papers continued to change hands and on July 1, 1959 the paper consolidated with the Paragould Daily Press and was subsequently issued as the Paragould Daily Press-Soliphone, a morning rural edition. The Paragould Daily Press was then issued concurrently as an afternoon, city edition.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives