Esther Bindursky


Photo Courtesy of Betty Sharp

http://community.webshots.com/user/bssharp100

Esther Bindursky helped put Lepanto on the map. She was born January 28, 1905 in Drew MS. She served as the editor of the Lepanto News-Record" from its inception in 1937 until her death in 1971. Her contribution to Lepanto is chronicled in Lepanto's Sesquicentennial publication Tribute to Esther Bindursky, published by the Lepanto Museum Committee in 1986.

While Esther won many awards for her journalism, talents, her proudest achievement came in 1960 when she was named Lepanto's Woman of the Year. The townspeople raised $1575.00 to send her on a trip behind the Iron Curtain with 52 other American journalists.

Her stories about Lepanto's famed "Terrapin Derby" were published all over the country, and her story about local WWII hero Sgt. Jimmy Hendrix was published in "The Saturday Evening Post" on October 20, 1945. But Esther was already making her mark on Lepanto long before she became editor of the "News Record:. She used to play the piano in the town's movie theater in silent picture days.

While her literary and musical talents were known to many, some of the contributions she made to Lepanto were never known to anyone but herself, the people whose lives she touched and the American State Emergency Relief Commission.

After the flood of 1927, which had a direct effect on the Bindursky family, a devastating drought came. The plight of farm families near Lepanto was so desperate that they sought rescue from "actual hunger and want" (Commercial Appeal, Sept. 6, 1930). Esther, secretary of the Red Cross, received one letter from a man in Michigan offering to send a "truck load of food: if the community could scrape up $60 to finance it. As a case worker for the AR Emergency Relief Commission by 1934, Esther saw even more suffering and soon earned the trust and respect of the farm families around Lepanto whom she visited and helped.

By the time, she became the editor of the Lepanto News-Record" she had developed the kind of sensitivity to human experience necessary for a life of public service. And that is what Esther Bindursky gave Lepanto- a life of human service. She never married and remained editor of the paper that she loved so well until her death.

Commercial Appeal Newspaper Obituary read: Miss Esther Bindursky, veteran newspaper woman and a self-described "graduate of the school of hard knocks", died Friday night at the Baptist Hospital in Memphis TN at the age of 66.

Born in Drew MS, she started her newspaper career in 1930 as Lepanto correspondent for the "Memphis Evening Appeal" Later she became a correspondent for the "Commercial Appeal", contributing more than 1,000 published articles.

Among her stories was a feature about Army Sgt. Jimmy Hendix of Rivervale, AR near Lepanto. A WWII Medal of Honor winner, which was reprinted in the Oct. 20, 1945 "Saturday Evening Post".

She also was 1 of 52 American journalists to interview then Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan in Moscow in 1960.

Miss Bindursky received numerous AR press awards during her career and in 1960 designated Lepanto Woman of the Year.

She was a member of Temple Israel, AR Press Women, the AR Press Association, the National Editorial Association and the Lepanto Chamber of Commerce.

She leaves a brother, Albert Bindursky of Lepanto. The family requests any memorials be sent to the Lepanto Student Aid Fund, Inc. or to a charity of the donor's choice

~ written by Eve B Coleman for the Poinsett County Families History Book ( 1987) & A History of Lepanto Book

Submitted by Kaye Holiman ~ mkgholiman (at)yahoo.com