Stories in local newspapers from 100 years ago offer a glimpse into life in early twentieth-century.

Stories in local newspapers from 100 years ago offer a glimpse into life in early twentieth-century. One hundred years ago, on its front page, Arkadelphia’s Southern Standard announced changes in postal services, described a large pumpkin grown in the county, and reported that a new “gasoline filling station” had been installed in Arkadelphia.
The articles are indicative of the growth and modernization taking place: In Clark County as a whole, agriculture remained important; new roads and businesses were being constructed to accommodate the ever-growing number of automobiles; and government at all levels continued to increase its involvement in the lives of ordinary citizens. The three stories that follow are from the front page of the October 11, 1917, edition of the Southern Standard.
“Postage Raise for Government Tax: The post office here has received instructions as to the new postal requirements which go into effect on Nov. 4. After that date every letter mailed out of Arkadelphia for delivery elsewhere, except on rural routes, must carry three-cent postage. The pale-faced pink stamp of the two-cent denomination will take the place of the one-cent stamp, and the one-cent stamp will be used only for “change.”
A postcard, postal card, or other mail which formerly traveled through the country at the rate of one cent each will carry two-cent postage. Drop letters and letters intended for delivery in the same city in which the letters are mailed will carry only two-cent stamps, under the provisions of the new act. Packages to soldiers in France may be mailed only at main or classified offices, like the station at Argenta [now known as North Little Rock] and may not be mailed at sub-stations.
The rate is the same as in this country. Parcel post packages, subject to examination, will be carried at 12 cents per pound.
“A Big Pumpkin: Walker Nash brought in a large pumpkin last Saturday which weighed 94½ pounds. He raised it on the Jim Richardson farm up across the river.
“Installed Filling Station: Frank DeLamar has installed a gasoline filling station in front of the Chevrolet headquarters on Sixth Street.”
To read more news from the early twentieth century, see the Clark County Historical Association’s new book, “Clark County Chronicles: 1911-1920.”
For a copy of the book or additional information about Clark County history, visit or contact the Clark County Historical Museum (www.clarkcountyhistory.org or (870) 230-1360) or the Clark County Historical Association’s Archives at the Ouachita Baptist University Library (www.obu.edu/archives or (870) 245-5332).