Stillwater News Press


May 23, 2013

Dr. Durward Earl Newsom

Dr. D. (Durward) Earl Newsom, age 94, of Stillwater, passed away on May 15, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.  Earl was best known as a writer and historian, but he was honored for many other achievements during his long career.

Earl was born on Jan. 9, 1919, to Jessie Earl and Ruth Louise Newsom in Drumright, attended Drumright High School and graduated in 1936.  Earl began his journalism career at this time, when his high school journalism teacher, who was part owner of the Drumright Journal, employed Earl as a reporter and sports writer when he was only 16.  Earl remained with the Journal for four years after graduation, becoming editor and then manager.

During World War II, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class and was stationed at El Paso, Texas, and Treasure Island, Calif.  After the war, U.S. Congressman Lyle H. Boren  selected Earl as his chief administrative aide in Washington D.C.  After 18 months, Earl resigned from the Congressman’s staff to pursue his bachelor’s degree.

In 1948, Earl received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from Oklahoma A&M College.  He was named outstanding graduate for scholarship in journalism and chosen for membership in Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary scholarship fraternity.  While at Oklahoma A&M, Earl was the commercial manager of radio station KSPI. Earl then pursued a masters of science degree in journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.  Upon graduation in 1949, Earl received the Harrington Memorial Award as the outstanding student in his graduate sequence. Earl taught journalism at Texas A&M College from 1949 until 1954.  In 1952 he received the Battalion Award for “teaching that requires maximum effort and at the same time maintains the students’ friendship and respect.”  During summers, he worked at the Stillwater NewsPress, filling in for vacationing staff members.

In 1954, Earl left Texas A&M to pursue a doctorate in education at Oklahoma State University.  Upon graduation, he joined the Lamar, Colo., Daily News as managing editor. In the fall of 1957, Earl accepted a position as a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland.  In 1975, the Maryland yearbook, The Terrapin, was dedicated to him, and in 1971, he received an award for Distinguished Service to the Press from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.  While at Maryland, he worked part-time on the Washington Star copy desk, and wrote a monthly column for the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association newspaper.  Earl retired from the University of Maryland in 1979.

After retiring from the University of Maryland,  Earl was chosen by the National Newspaper Association to compile a book updating the community on the newspaper business.  At the age of 62, Earl wrote his first book, titled “The Newspaper, Everything You Need to Know to Make It in the Newspaper Business,” which was published in 1981 by Prentice-Hall.

Earl returned to Stillwater and authored nine books on the history of Stillwater, Payne County and Oklahoma.  These include two volumes on the Drumright oilfield, a history of the Cherokee Strip; Stillwater: One Hundred Years of Memories (1989) which was written for the Land Run Centennial; and Stillwater: A Cradle of Oklahoma History (2007) which was written for the Oklahoma Centennial.  His special historical articles have appeared in the Stillwater NewsPress and The Chronicles of Oklahoma. Earl worked closely with the Oklahoma Press Association and conducted extensive research into local histories.  His extensive collections of writings, papers and photographs were donated to the OSU Library Special Collections, the Sheerar Museum and the Drumright Oil Field Museum. Earl maintained an office at 408 S. Main for more than 30 years.  For many years, he was a member of the Stillwater Toastmasters Club, and was its president in 1984. Dr. Newsom was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Roy Ray and Coy Lee, and his sister, Neva Mary.  Survivors include his sister, Bernice May, of Oklahoma City, nieces and nephews in Calif., Tenn., Ga., and Saumur, France.

At Earl’s request, no services are to be held, but rather Earl requested any gifts or donations be made to The Oklahoma League For The Blind.

Dr D. Earl Newsom’s published body of books:

The Newspaper, Everything You Need to Know to Make It in the Newspaper Business (1981)

Kicking Bird and the Birth of Oklahoma (1983)

Drumright! The Glory Days of a Boom Town (1985)

Drumright II – A Thousand Memories (1987)

Stillwater: One Hundred Years of Memories (1989)

The Cherokee Strip: Its History and Grand Opening (1992)

The Story of Exciting Payne County (1997)

Hilarious History: The Funniest True Stories and Legends of Stillwater and Payne County (1999)

Stillwater History: The Missing Links (2000)

Stillwater: A Cradle of Oklahoma History (2007)


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Linda Harris Shrum

    Linda Harris Shrum, 74, of Glencoe passed away Friday.

    April 18, 2014

  • W. Stanley Newcomer W. Stanley Newcomer

    W. Stanley Newcomer, 94, passed away April 15 in Stillwater. His funeral service will be 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Stillwater. Rev. Jim Cook will officiate.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frances Faye (Rice) Gray Frances Faye (Rice) Gray

    Frances Faye (Rice) Gray, a lifelong Payne County resident and first grandchild of the original “Pistol Pete,” passed away April 16 in her home in Perkins at the age of 98.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Paul Bland Efaw

    Paul Bland Efaw, 87, died April 8 in McAlester. Graveside service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Fairlawn Cemetery, Stillwater. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

    April 17, 2014

  • Marcia Luker

    Marcia Luker was born Feb. 11, 1958, and died April 15 at the age of 56.

    April 17, 2014

  • Georgie Gay Shirley

    Georgie Gay Shirley was born Nov. 2, 1925, in Ada to John Harvey and Mary (Molly) Jane Gay.

    April 17, 2014

  • Thomas-Michael-obit.jpg Michael Adkins Thomas

    Michael Adkins Thomas, 60, passed away April 7 in Stillwater.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stamper-Harold-obit.jpg Harold R. Stamper

    Harold R. Stamper, 81, of Terlton, went to be with his Lord and Savior April 12 in Claremore.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Homer Lee Jones

    Homer Lee Jones, 72, of Osage, passed peacefully from this life April 14 with his loving family by his side.

    April 16, 2014

  • Edwards-obit.jpg Abby Grace Edwards

    Abby Grace Edwards, a former Stillwater resident most recently of Oklahoma City, passed away April 15 at the OU Medical Center, Oklahoma City, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident April 12.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Must Read