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Overton Press to close June 2

The Overton Press, the newspaper of record for the City of Overton and Overton Independent School District, will close next month. June 2 will be the last issue.

Founded in 1930, The Press was the eighth – and most successful – newspaper of the town, following The Enterprise (1880), The Overton Opinion, The Overton Observer, The Sharpshooter (1886 to 1888), The Overton Herald (late 1800s), The Overton Eagle (1905), and The Telegram (1922).

Press editor Charlotte Heldenbrand will transfer to sister publication The Longview News-Journal to cover the Kilgore area. After majoring in journalism at Kilgore College, Heldenbrand began her professional journalism career at The News-Journal, working there from 1986-1989.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler in 1991, and worked five years for The Big Sandy & Hawkins Journal before transferring to The Overton Press in 1999. Since that time, The Press has won 10 first place awards from the Northeast Texas Press Association and five first place plaques from the Texas Press Association. The sixth will be presented next month at the TPA convention in Rockwall.

“It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially after making so many friends in the communities of Overton, New London, Arp and Leverett’s Chapel,” Heldenbrand said. “The Press is just one more casualty of a tough economy and I’m sorry to see this town lose its newspaper. I look forward to working in my hometown, where I graduated from high school and attended college.”

5 Responses to “Overton Press to close June 2”

  1. Suzi Page says:

    What sad news about the Overton Press. I have really enjoyed reading the paper and getting the news from my hometown. Charlotte Heldenbrand has been so helpful to the Overton Ex-Student Association. Her efforts are truly appreciated. Thanks for the many years of reporting news from a great town.
    So, now it’s goodbye to the Overton Press.

    Suzi Page
    President, Overton Ex-Student Association

  2. Diane Villyard Johnson says:

    When I heard the news of the Overton Press closing its doors on June 2, I felt sad as I remembered all my years as a student at Leverett’s Chapel. I graduated from L.C. in 1966, and it seemed that the Overton Press always featured some photos of our students’ activities and sports. While I played basketball, volleyball, tennis and was a cheerleader, it was exciting to read our articles and see our photos in your newspaper. My brothers, who graduated five and seven years before me, played football and basketball and they too looked forward to reading about their games you had reported. I only wish I had saved some of those articles and pictures. Thank you for supporting all of us who were students at Leverett’s Chapel, Overton, New London, Gaston, Carlisle and other small schools in the East Texas area. You played a very important role in our teenage years, and I simply wanted to let you know that we appreciated you.

    Diane Villyard Johnson
    Longview, Texas

  3. Charlotte Heldenbrand says:

    Thanks, Mrs. Page, for your nice message. I truly enjoyed meeting the Overton Ex-Students and your variety show at last year’s reunion was priceless! Laughed a lot and decided I would attend my class reunion next year, just because of the camaraderie (hope I spelled that correctly :) of your organization. It was quite evident that you loved one another and your alma mater. You set a fine example and I hope future classes of all the E Tx schools can do the same.
    And I appreciate your comments as well, Ms. Johnson. If you email with the names and years of your participation at Leverett’s Chapel School, I will look and see if we have a bound copy of one of those years. Who knows, we might be able to touch base with one another and I can arrange to meet you at The Press office and we could make copies.
    To tell the truth, I’ve been somewhat shocked that NO ONE ELSE has mentioned their children’s or grandchildren’s school days and if we had an extra copy of a newspaper they were featured in.
    These will be going, going, gone.
    And once the papers are cleaned out of the office, they’re history. Both literally and figuratively.
    Godspeed to everyone who has made my 11 years with The Overton Press a blessing.

  4. Lauren Ciarochi says:

    I just found this article that the Overton Press closed its doors last month. Although I never lived in Overton, my mother was born there, and her family has a long history in that area of East Texas!! My grandfather, Dr. Paul Monaghan, was a frequent subject in your news. I would do anything to get copies of many papers in your archives. My mother & her sister lived in Dallas/Fort Worth but both maintained a subscription to the Press through the mid-90’s.

    I feel like a little part of history will be lost as this very meaningful newspaper shuts down. Please contact me if anyone from the newspaper sees this post!!! Hopefully an archive will be kept at UT in Austin.

    Best wishes to all of you who were a beautiful part of my family’s past!!!

  5. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks
    for providing this information.


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The Press

The Overton Press is published weekly by East Texas Community Newspapers.