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The Dermott news. : (Dermott, Ark.) 1910-1977
Place of publication:
Dermott, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Dermott, Chicot, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J.A. Watkins
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 17, 1910)-v. 68, no. 48 (Oct. 20 [i.e. 27], 1977).
  • English
  • Arkansas--Dermott.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219995
  • Dermott (Ark.)--Newspapers.
sn 90050260
Succeeding Titles:
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The Dermott news. October 2, 1913 , Image 1


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The Dermott news

Dermott is located in Chicot County, which is in the southeastern corner of Arkansas bordering Louisiana. The town was founded in a bayou in the 1840s and grew in the 1870s and 80s when railroads began passing through. In the early 20th century, Dermott's economy focused on timber and agriculture, and the town was thriving. It remained a major economic center until the Great Depression, and flourished again during World War II, with several mills and gins operating in the area. The town started declining in the 1950s when timber mills left and farms began mechanizing.

Dermott did not have its own newspaper until decades after it was founded. In 1910 J. A. Watkins created a local newspaper, the Dermott News. The Dermott News had many different publishers during its almost 70-year run. In 1911 alone, the paper changed hands several times. The next year, Gilbert Earle Kinney purchased it, bringing stability to the paper. He remained editor and publisher until his death in 1938.

In 1939 Joe W. Sitlington purchased the paper and worked as the publisher until 1946. The paper changed hands rapidly again, from the Dermott News Publishing Company to W. W. Mundy in 1947. Mundy stayed with the paper until 1958, when he sold it to F. N. Carnahan. In 1961, LeRoy Tyson and his wife purchased the paper, and Tyson worked as the editor.

Another local Dermott paper began in 1909, the Dermott Industrial Chronicle (1909-1921). This was an African American paper started by A. R. Raiford and later published by I. J. Bailey. In 1914, the Dermott News office was destroyed in a fire, but the paper remained in publication thanks to the Chronicle. The Chronicle allowed the Dermott News to use its offices for publishing until it assembled a new office. Fires were common at the time, and the Chronicle's offices burned in 1921. Unlike the Dermott News, the Chronicle ceased to exist after its disastrous fire.

The Dermott News published every Thursday about local and state news, as well as national and international events. Local news included updates about people traveling, moving to the area, and attending activities like the theatre. One page of the paper had a new chapter of a novel for readers to follow every week. The Dermott News supported its local community by hosting contests and offering prizes, such as a Meyer & Sons piano. It had advertisements for wider events, such as the Chicot County Fair and Arkansas State Fair. Editors were vocal about supporting the temperance movement and keeping alcohol out of Arkansas. The paper supported the Democratic Party and even helped collect money for the Wilson-Marshall presidential campaign. The Dermott News also kept its readers informed about important international events, including World War I.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives