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Cleveland County herald. : (Rison, Ark.) 1888-current
Place of publication:
Rison, Ark.
Geographic coverage:
  • Rison, Cleveland, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Sallie I. Robinson
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1888.
  • English
  • Cleveland County (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Rison (Ark.)--Newspapers.
  • Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 25 (Aug. 16, 1894).
sn 90050296
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Cleveland County herald. April 11, 1918 , Image 1


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Cleveland County herald

Rison is the Cleveland County seat in southeastern Arkansas. The county, created in 1873, was originally called Dorsey County. It became Cleveland County in 1885 after a change in the reputation of U.S. Senator Stephen Dorsey. It was renamed after US President Grover Cleveland.

Samuel Wesley Fordyce, surveyor for the Texas and St. Louis Railroad, chose the location and town name of Rison. The town was incorporated in 1890, and the following year, people voted in a special election to move the county seat to Rison from Toledo after a fire destroyed the courthouse there. The Cleveland County Courthouse was built in Rison in 1911. The railroad continued to be the foundation of the town as the economy was based on selling cotton and lumber down the railroad line. Eventually, the soil nutrients were depleted, and cotton and other large-scale farming declined in the area.

In 1888, George H. Tisdale started the Cleveland County Herald at Rison. It was a Democratic paper published on Thursdays. Sallie Irene Robinson worked briefly as editor for Tisdale, and then she purchased the paper by 1893.

Robinson learned the newspaper business from her uncle Leon Roussan, who ran The Osceola Times (1870-current) in Osceola, Arkansas. Robinson moved to Rison in 1892 or 1893, and she quickly took over the Herald. In 1895, she married lawyer William "Billie" Joseph Stanfield and become Sallie Robinson-Stanfield. She is the first recorded woman in Arkansas to hyphenate her last name after marriage. Together they had five children, and Robinson-Stanfield taught them all the newspaper business. In 1897 Stanfield took over managing the newspaper while Robinson-Stanfield focused on raising their children. In 1906, William died suddenly, likely from tuberculosis. Robinson-Stanfield briefly resumed running the Herald, then sold to James Monroe Raines. Raines leased the paper to various editors.

In 1912, Sallie Robinson-Stanfield bought the paper back and she again worked as manager and editor. In 1915, she married John Clayton Riley, editor of The Blade (1???-1929) in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. She then changed her name to Sallie Riley. She sold the paper for a final time to Henry Burgess Dixon, Sr. in 1915, and she moved up to Walnut Ridge.

Dixon ran the Herald for a few years, but he died in the 1918 influenza pandemic. Annie L. Hughes Dixon, his widow, sold the paper to the local News Publishing Company. Ethel M. Sumerow worked as their editor until her death in 1922.

Calvin Alpheus Stanfield, son of Sallie Riley, ran the paper for a year before selling to Guy Mack Sadler and Harold Davis Sadler in 1923. The Sadlers sold their interest to Leland Callaway Ackerman by 1929, but in 1933, Guy Sadler bought the paper back. The Sadler family (Guy Sadler, William "Bill" Sadler, Stan Sadler) ran the Herald until 2002, when they sold to Britt Talent. Stan Sadler continues to work as editor. The Herald is the longest-running newspaper in Cleveland County.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives