The Camden News
Originally located at 116 Jefferson Street, the newspaper was founded in 1920 by Curtis B. Hurley as the Camden Evening News.
Hurley sold the paper in 1929 to the Palmer Group, headed by Clyde E. Palmer, a native of Iowa, who renamed the publication The Camden News. Over several years, Palmer also acquired the larger Texarkana Gazette in Texarkana, Texas. His other publications included The El Dorado News and The El Dorado Times in El Dorado, Arkansas, and The Hot Springs New Era and The Hot Springs Sentinel Record in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1949, Palmer sold The Camden News to his son-in-law and daughter, Walter E. Hussman, Sr. and Betty Palmer Hussman.
On Palmer's death in 1957, his wife, Bettie Palmer, and daughter, Betty Hussman, inherited most of the stock in the company. The paper was then relocated to 113 North Madison Street across from the Camden Municipal Building. Through a reorganization in 1968, The Camden News technically became the parent company of the Palmer operations. Hussman, Sr., became head of the firm that published the then two Texarkana newspapers, morning and afternoon, as well as the other Palmer holdings.
In 1970, Walter E. Hussman, Jr. (born 1947), became his father's administrative assistant and then general manager of The Camden News. He moved to Hot Springs in 1973 to become vice president and general manager of the overall Palmer Newspapers, which became a division of WEHCO Media. In 1981, after a career that spanned more than fifty years, the senior Hussman retired.
Hussman, Jr., still publishes the Palmer flagship newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, popularly referred to as The Democrat, in Little Rock. This paper is the combined Arkansas Democrat and the former Arkansas Gazette. Like the Democrat-Gazette, the Texarkana Gazette remains a subsidiary of WEHCO Media, an acronym of "Walter E. Hussman Company". In addition to The Camden News, WEHCO Media still publishes the other daily newspapers in Little Rock, Hot Springs, El Dorado, and Magnolia, Arkansas.
Maud Crawford case
In 1957, The Camden News began an investigation into the disappearance of Camden attorney and former city council member Maud Robinson Crawford, who was also a law partner of U.S. Senator John McClellan, a close friend of Walter E. Hussman, Sr. The case, perhaps the most sensational of the 20th century to come from Camden, attracted statewide and national attention but was never solved. In 1986, the former Arkansas Gazette, prior to its purchase as the Democrat-Gazette by the Hussmans, began an 18-part series on the case. The stories ended without resolution. In 1969, Crawford's husband, Clyde Crawford, died in Camden. She was ultimately declared dead in 1969 of unknown "foul play" as of the night of her disappearance, March 2, 1957.