Our Beginnings Date Back To 1949

The History of APW

In June 1949, Arkansas Newspaper Women organized as an auxiliary to the Arkansas Press Association.

Roberta Fulbright, publisher of the Northwest Arkansas Times, invited women journalists from around the state to attend a session in conjunction with the annual APA meeting to discuss forming a women’s newspaper group. Alita Tidrow of Smackover presided at the first meeting, where the group voted unanimously to organize.

Charter Members

Charter members, according to a book by Dorothy Stuck and Nan Snow about Roberta Fulbright, included:

Roberta Fulbright
Lessie S. Read
Maude Duncan
Isabel France
Edith Sweezy
Esther Bindursky
Mrs. John Troutt

Mrs. Howard Stuck
Gladys Edwards
Marian Love
Mrs. W.L. Love
Mrs. C.H. Rice
Mrs. Guy Phillips
Eloise Castleberry

Mrs. M.P. Jones
Mrs. Walter Raney
Mary Louise Wright
Marjorie Crabaugh
Mrs. C.A. Verbeck
Kate Gillespie
Alita Tidrow

Mrs. R.L. Fisher
Mrs. C.C. Elrod
Mrs. Max Hampton
Mrs. Val Zachariah
Ethel Hale Cox

The First Officers Were:

  • President: Mrs. M.P. Jones Jr. of Searcy
  • First Vice President: Esther Bindursky of Marked Tree
  • Second Vice President: Mrs. Ray Kimbrell of DeQueen
  • Secretary: Mrs. Ells L. Huff of Newport
  • Treasurer: Kate Gillespie of DeValls Bluff
  • Board members: Mrs. Tom Allen of Brinkley and Mrs. Walter Raney of McCrory

The first official meeting of the Arkansas Newspaper Women took place Jan. 14, 1950 in Little Rock. The organization had 75 members. The association became an affiliate of National Federation of Press Women in 1954 and officially changed its name to Arkansas Press Women on Jan. 16, 1954. APW incorporated Jan. 13, 1975. The first male members of APW were admitted in 1977 – Terry Hawkins and Melvin Schexnayder of Dumas.

Presidents of Arkansas Press Women

1949 – Jamie Jones, Searcy
1950 – Esther Bindursky, Lepanto
1951 – Dorothy Allen, Brinkley
1952 – Eunice O’Baugh, Pocahontas
1953 – Dorothy Stuck, Marked Tree
1954 – Josephine Carroll Jones, Batesville
1955 – Charlotte Schexnayder, Dumas
1956 – Margaret Woolfolk, Marion
1957 – Craig Lovesy, Russellville
1958 – Louise Hampton, Booneville
1959 – Mattie Causey
1960 – Roberta Martin, Little Rock
1961-62 – Mary Louise Wright, DeWitt
1962-63 – Margaret Larimer, Green Forest
1965-66 – Betty Magie, Cabot
1967-68 – Maude Halley, Stuttgart
1969-70 – Janet Weisner Perry, Springdale
1971-72 – Maudine Sanders, Springdale
1973-74 – Louise Boyette, Carlisle
1975 – Lola Ross, Glenwood
1976-78 – Carol Griffee, Little Rock
1979-80 – Kay Powers, Little Rock
1981-82 – Brenda Blagg, Fayetteville
1983-84 – Julie Longnecker, Marion
1985-86 – Janet Nelson, Oakland
1987-88 Carol Dawson, Monticello
1989-1992 – Eva Marie Pearson, Pine Bluff
1993-94 – Linda Webster, Monticello
1994-96 – Debbie Miller, Batesville
1996-98 – Carol Sanders Reiner, Little Rock
1999-2000 – Helen Sheffield Plotkin, Little Rock
2001-02 – Jennifer Fulford, Fayetteville
2004-05 – Audrey Lott Watkins, Jonesboro
2005 – Helen Sheffield Plotkin, Conway
2007-2008 – Helen Sheffield Plotkin, Conway
2009-2012 – Mary Hightower, Little Rock
2013-2017 – Debbie Miller, Bentonville
2017-Current – Kristin Netterstrom Higgins, Bryant

APW Communicator of Achievement (formerly known as Woman of Achievement)

1960 – Bobbie Forster*
1970 – Charlotte Schexnayder* (2000 Woman of the Millennium)
1973 – Mary Louise Wright
1977 – Margaret Woolfolk*
1983 – Kay Powers
1985 – Anale Yarbrough
1989 – Carol Dawson
1992 – Linda Webster
1993 – Carol Sanders Reiner
2000 – Eva Marie Pearson*
2002 – Pearl Serbus
2007 – Terry Hawkins
2010 – Debbie Miller
2017 – Helen Sheffield Plotkin
2020/2021 – Tammy Keith

*Also named NFPW Woman of Achievement

Our First Website: APW went online in 1998 at http://www.uark/ALADDIN/apwomen

Contact Arkansas Press Women

We are always available to discuss membership, news, events, and any other questions you might have. Thanks for stopping by!