Longtime Newport Newspaper Publisher Dies

MAY 5, 2006 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CST

NEWPORT, AR - Orville I. Richolson, longtime publisher of the Newport Daily Independent, has died at the age of 81.  Richolson, born April 25, 1925, at Terre Haute, Indiana, died Monday at the White County Medical Center in Searcy.

He attended Purdue University and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  He also obtained a history degree at Missouri, after becoming interested in the field when he took a course on the Early Middle Ages.  During World War II, he served in France with the 100th Infantry Division, suffering a wound at the Battle of the Bitche.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

After graduation from college, Richolson went to work for radion station KITE at San Antonio, where he met Betty Jo Wilkerson, whom he married in 1952.  After living a year in Hannibal, Missouri, the couple moved to Newport, and Richolson went to work for the Daily Independent.

He managed the daily newspaper for more than three decades, along with several weekly newspapers and a commercial printing operation.  He retired when the parent corporation was sold in 1988.

A funeral was held yesterday at First United Methodist Church of Newport.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)