"Stump Town News"
The first newspaper ever issued in Paragould written with pen and ink, and bore the undignified caption "Stump Town News." An undated clipping from the Soliphone described the first news sheets.
Mrs. Bonner Davis has left at the Soliphone office some old manuscripts found
among the papers of the late Dr. John M. Davis, her father-in-law. The
manuscript is copies of the "Stump Town News," the first newspaper ever issued
in Paragould, and is about 25 years old. Gentry Newsome was the editor, and there
were several contributors, among them being Miss Nannie Davis, eldest daughter of Dr.
Davis, long since deceased, and who was the wife of P. W. Moss and the mother of
Miss Aurie Moss. Paragould was in the woods then and was a village with few good buildings
of any kind, but the people who composed the colony were a sociable set and greatly
enjoyed social gatherings, which were not conducted with much pomp and splendor, but in
which a large degree of hospitality made them all the more pleasurable. Among the items
found in the "Stump Town News," which was written with pen and ink, we quote as
"A drummer was heard to say the other day, while walking away from one of our city hotels, that the rooms were most too small for bedrooms and a little too large for a coffin."
"We had the pleasure of attending the social given by the Methodist Aid Society on Friday afternoon at the home of Mr.John N. Johnston. Never did we see young ladies look prettier, and we must not forget to compliment the young gentlemen. They looked splendid, Among those present were Misses Norvell, Ware, McCrea, Davis, Hale, Dickson, Dalton, Dacus, Gardner, and Bennett; Messers. Frazier, Dalton, Davis, Meriwether, Carter, Reeves, Knox and Hale.
"Miss Ethel Tansil, one of our fairest,left the 10th for her old home in Tennessee. May her joys be as deep as the ocean and her sorrows as light as the foam."
The manuscript from from which the above items were taken bore at its head the name of Gentry Newsome as editor and the politics of the publication was Democratic. Another manuscript of about the same age, no date being given on either one, bears the name of Nanny Davis as editor, from which we make the following extracts: "Mr. Willis Pruet, Capt Meriwether and others are out on a hunt this week over in the Cache bottoms."
"Paragould Sabbath school is on the boom. Hope it will continue."
"A certain young lady made the remark that when the train pulled out of the station
Sunday morning she could not help crying. We do not wonder at Miss Lee Dickson crying, as
Mr. Long left on that train."
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