There is a saying that goes "The local paper is the fabric of a town, they give small towns their identity."
Here is some history on the newspaper of our town.
- In February, 1878, the MARION REPORTER was founded by J. J. Nall, R. H. Adams and James M. Clement. It was ran under this management until October 1878, when it was turned over to C. F. Champion and R. C. Walker to see if they could increase advertisement subscription, the lifeblood of an infant newspaper. But unable to put the Reporter on a profitable basis by the end of the year, the paper was returned to its owners. Murrell Adams issued one number in January 1879.
- R. C. Walker founded the CRITTENDEN PRESS, May 28, 1879, on a five-column outside patent as a weekly. Like the other Marion businesses it experienced an amazingly rapid growth from 1879 to 1894, and it grew to a seven-column outside patent to an eight-column all-home- print patent by 1894. Press subscriptions grew from two hundred (200) to five hundred (500) in the first few years to fourteen hundred (1,400) in 1886 to eighteen hundred (1,800) in 1894. The PRESS no doubt prospered on a similar scale under Walker until it was sold to S. M. Jenkins about 1903.(The paper was first known as "Crittenden Press", when Mr. Jenkins took over the paper in 1894 the word, "The" was official added to the title.)
- A few years later the MARION MONITOR made its appearance before the public, B. F. Copeland being the editor and publisher of the new paper. After a short and financially unsuccessful run, Mr. Copeland sold out to S. C. Haynes and at the death of Mr. Haynes a year later, the paper passed into the hands of A. C. Moore and W. S. Adams, and finally into non existence and restful oblivion, the Press taking over the type and fixtures of the plant.
- On July 15, 1904, the firm of James E. Crittenden and C. H. Whitehouse founded The CRITTENDEN RECORD which was greeted with almost instant success by the growing community as is shown by the subscriptions which grew from fifteen hundred (1,500) soon after it started to over two thousand (2,000) by the time of dissolution of the Crittenden-Whitehouse Firm in November 1905. In 1912 the homeless Crittenden Record merged with S. M. Jenkins' Crittenden Press and Jenkins edited and published The Crittenden Record Press through 1917. The name was eventually changed back to just The Crittenden Press as we know it still today.
Although The Crittenden Press has changed hands several times through the past years the name has stayed the same. And although many of the younger generation prefer to get their subscription to the paper on line, many of us still love to be able to hold our beloved Crittenden Press in our hands and leaf through the pages to read about our town and community.