History of Greene County Press

Transcribed by : Tina Easley







Delta Plains.

The first newspaper published in Greene County seems to have been the Courier, published beginning in 1873 or 1874, at De la Plains, the birthplace of W. Jasper Blackburn. Its editor and publisher was James D. Wray, who died many years ago. The Courier lived only a few months.


The Gainesville Times was started by J. D. C. Cobb, in 1875, but in 1876 was removed to Jonesboro.

In 1879, the Democratic Press was started, at Gainesville, by F. M. Daulton and Dr. M. V. Camp. In the fall of the same year, Mr. Daulton's interest was sold to John M. Johnson. In 1880, Mr. Bull became its owner and editor. Johnson repurchased it in 1880 and continued to edit it until April, 1882, when D. B. Warren became editor and C. H. Ford publisher, but changed its name to the Press.

The Gainesville Events was started in 1883 by F. M. Daulton. It was moved to Paragould in 1885.

The News, at Gainesville, was started in 1898, by Frank Daulton.


The Messenger, at Marmaduke, was started in 1908. L. A. Sullendix was its editor for some time.

The Cackler, at Marmaduke, was a new newspaper in 1912. published weekly,- by R. B. Dunn.

The Observer, at Marmaduke, was recently started by Ben F. Daulton, but it soon suspended.

Mound City.

The Mound City Post, by John McLaughlin, was published for about a year in 1973-34.


The Paragould Linch-Pin was being published in 1880.

The Paragould Daily Times was also one of the newspapers of 1880 or thereabouts.

The Paragould Events was being published in 1882 by F. M. Daulton.

The Paragould Press was founded in 1883 by J. R. Taylor. who afterward bought the Soliphone. Geo. E. Critz bought it in 1884, but was succeeded by P. W. Moss in the following November. W. A. H. McDaniel was connected with this newspaper in 1885, and T. C. Mays in 1894. It was finally discontinued, but the name was revived in 1911 by J. R. Taylor as the name for the daily edition of the Soliphone.

The Paragould Democrat, by W. A. H. McDaniel, was being published in 1884, but it was soon consolidated with the Press.

The Paragould Record was founded by Taylor & Carter. in 1889.

The Soliphone, at Paragould, was founded January 1, 1893. by W. P. Adams. It soon afterward became the property of J. R. Taylor of the Press. He conducted the Daily Soliphone up to 1911, when its name was changed to the Press, and the Weekly Soliphone up to the time of his death, October 30, 1917. His name stood at the mast-head of the Soliphone for more than 20 years. He was an able editor and a man of fine character, who had been connected with the Jackson, Tenn., Whig, and the Arkansas Gazette. When he took charge of the Soliphone, he said that Paragould was then nothing but a village and the country was thinly settled. It required systematic effort and great concentration of thought to fight the wolf from the door and to prevent the sheriff from exercising the rights of foreclosure. But Mr. Taylor had friends who stuck to him. He is said to have often borrowed money to meet the pay roll Saturday evening, and again borrowed money the following Thursday to get c. o. d. packages of newspaper from the express office. At one time, becomirg bold in the matter of finance, and realizing that if local business was to be attended to properly he must have a new press, Mr. Taylor ordered a printing machine, which unfortunately came "collect on delivery." He worried an entire night over the problem, finally instituting legal proceedings, as a result of which the press was taken from the freight office and a bond given for costs. Long before the original owners of the machine had time to cause trouble, the bill was paid and the incident closed. Good management and the confidence of the public soon enabled Mr. Taylor to accumulate considerable of an estate.

Like the entrance to the Catholic church, Mr. Taylor's printing office was left unlocked at all times. He often remarked that some tramp printer might come in at night on a freight train and need shelter. During bitterly cold weather a fire was kept in the office until late at night, for the comfort of any journeyman who might chance to stop at Paragould. The same tramp who used the Soliphone office as a lodging place was fed by him the next morning. If the man was in want, he was put on the pay roll and kept at work until he was able to go elsewhere, regardless of the needs of the office.

Griffin Smith became the editor of the Press and the Soliphone after Mr. Taylor's death. Mr. Smith came to Arkansas from Tennessee and went with the Paragould Press. The job printing plant was bought from the Taylor estate by A. M. Owen in 1920, but Mr. Smith continued to conduct the newspaper. Griffin Smith sold July 1, 1921. The Press Gossip said:

"One of the best known newspaper men of the state is retiring from business. Griffin Smith has sold the Daily Press and Paragould Soliphone to Rupert C. Wright, who took charge July 1. Mr. Smith announces that he will enter Columbia University for a three-year law course. In his farewell, Mr. Smith said:

"The play is over, the curtain drops.
Slow falling to the prompter's bell.
A moment yet the actor slops.
And turn  to say farewell."

"I am tired! 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 Soliphone is now issued on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It and the Daily Press are both published by Rupert C. Wright.

The Pathfinder, at Paragould, was started in 1896, by C. E. Richardson.

The Forest Blade, at Paragould, started a short time before, was in 1896 absorbed by the Press Democrat.

The Herald a labor paper, began publication at Paragould in 1912.

Source - History of Arkansas Press