Artifact of the Month

Printing Press Blocks
Donated by Charles E. Sanders

Springdale News type blocksIn 1887, John P. Stafford bought Springdale's local newspaper, the Springdale Locomotive, from James Van Butler. Stafford renamed his paper the Springdale News. He soon established himself as a tireless promoter of the town. As he wrote in a 1893 editorial, "Those of us here know what a beautiful town and country we have, but there are many people in this broad land who do not know this, and it shall be the mission of this paper to tell them of this fact."

The first home of the News was a small upstairs room in a building on Emma Avenue. During its inaugural year of publication, there were 182 subscribers to the News, which at that time was a weekly paper.

Over the next five decades John P. Stafford would upgrade to the newest printing equipment, employ his family in the business, enlist the help of country correspondents to relay the news from rural communities, and expand the News to a daily paper.

When Stafford died in 1933, his son, Edward R. "Marty" Stafford became managing editor, aided by his wife, Glaphyra "Bucket" Stafford.  They ran the News for the next 24 years, assisted by brothers Robert, Charles, and T. C. Sanders, Maudine Farish, and Jim Morriss, who worked his way up from "printer's devil" to executive editor of the News before retiring in 2003. 

After Marty Stafford's death in 1957, Bob Sanders became editor, Maudine Farish (who married T. C. Sanders in 1960), secretary, and Bucket Stafford, publisher.  By 1963, T.C. and Maudine Sanders were majority owners of the newspaper.  They ran the paper until 1973 when they sold the News to Donrey Media. At that time, the News offices and production plant were located on East Emma Avenue (in 2013, the site of Orscheln's Hardware). 

Stephens Media purchased Donrey Media in 1993. The Springdale News and Rogers Morning News merged to become the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas in 1994. In 2013, the Springdale Morning News is one of four zoned editions produced by its parent company, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.

Springdale News plant, circa 1900
Springdale News pressroom, circa 1900. Maudine Sanders Collection (S-87-1-4)

 

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