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Newspaper The Spectator (Ozark, Franklin County, Ark.) 1917-Current

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About The Spectator (Ozark, Franklin County, Ark.) 1917-Current

Ozark, one of the oldest cities in Arkansas, was founded in 1836 in the northwestern part of the state. The city was established at the northernmost bend in the Arkansas River, which creates the southern border of the city. The river gave the city its name, from the French “Aux Arc,” which means “at the bend.” The city is bordered on the north by the Ozark Mountains and is part of Arkansas Highway 23, also called the Pig Trail Scenic Byway. Ozark was incorporated in 1850 and, along with Charleston, is one of the two county seats in Franklin County.

Ozark opened its first post office in 1837, built a courthouse by 1840, and obtained its first telegraph in 1862 during the Civil War. By 1888, Ozark had a railroad and its first industrial business: a vegetable canning factory. Compared to these early businesses, The Spectator newspaper opened late in the history of Ozark. The Spectator was founded in 1911 by R. H. Burrow, who also owned three other newspapers. Burrow claimed he began running his first paper without any newspaper experience, and he had to learn as he worked. He passed down this knowledge to his daughter, Elizabeth A. Burrow, who eventually became part owner and editor for the Spectator.

The Spectator was published twice per week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, which led to its unofficial moniker, the Twice-a-Week Spectator. The paper changed names briefly in 1916 to The Ozark Spectator, when Burrow published the paper with Edward F. Cox. Cox managed the paper while Burrow was busy in Alma, Arkansas working as an editor for a paper there. Cox published the paper on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In 1917, the paper returned to being published solely by Burrow and was again named The Spectator. Although many papers preceded the Spectator‘s arrival in Ozark, The Spectator is the only paper still in existence from Ozark’s early history.

The Spectator published local, national, and international news. The paper published daily schedules for Ozark’s four passenger trains and entertainment news about the Ozark Opera House. The Spectator informed its readers of the Democratic nominees for local and national appointment. It reported on major international events, such as World War I, and advertised American war propaganda films. It also published chapters of various novels for readers to follow, along with entertaining fictional stories.

The nationally renowned editor, Elizabeth A. Burrow, worked for the Spectator for 30 years. She reported the news in the local area and gave editorial comment. She held to her beliefs on right and wrong and conveyed them to the Spectator‘s audience even when her opinions were divisive or unpopular. In 1957 she won a National Editorial Association award for her editorial defending the admission of African Americans to the Ozark high school. She wrote that the Ozark community was responsible for all of its citizens, regardless of color. She described the people protesting about desegregation of the school as “a malignancy worse than my cancer and I wouldn’t swap with you.” In 1962 Elizabeth Burrow did pass away from cancer, but she left a lasting mark on Ozark through her work at The Spectator.

Provided By: Arkansas State Archives

About this Newspaper


  • The Spectator (Ozark, Franklin County, Ark.) 1917-Current

Dates of Publication

  • 1917-current

Created / Published

  • Ozark, Franklin County, Ark. : R.H. Burrow


  • -  Franklin County (Ark.)--Newspapers
  • -  Ozark (Ark.)--Newspapers
  • -  Arkansas--Franklin County
  • -  Arkansas--Ozark
  • -  United States--Arkansas--Franklin--Ozark


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly, Nov. 11, 1960-
  • -  Began in 1917.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 44 (Dec. 28, 1917).


  • v.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn90050361

OCLC Number

  • 22950438

ISSN Number

  • 2693-0773

Preceding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Spectator Ozark, Franklin County, Ark. -Current. (Ozark, AR), Jan. 1 1917.

APA citation style:

(1917, January 1) The Spectator Ozark, Franklin County, Ark. -Current. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Spectator Ozark, Franklin County, Ark. -Current. (Ozark, AR) 1 Jan. 1917. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,