Brief history of the Overton County News
"We will make every effort to see that our reporting of events
is unbiased, unwarped and unslanted, and we will strive to attribute
no undue praise or disrepute to any individual, group or organization.
In short, we promise you the very best that in us is."
These words, published in the first edition as an open letter and
mission statement to the people of
Overton County, created the foundation on which the Overton County
News is built.
When the NEWS was purchased by Carson and Vicki Oliver in 1983,
the mission did not change and still remains.
But some things must change, and on September 11,1998 OCN changed
location, moving into a new 7,200 square-foot building at 415 West
Main Street. An open house was held at the new office 2 months later.
Hundreds visited and toured the facility.
"Ever increasing reader and customer support prompted the
need for a larger facility," publisher Carson Oliver said.
"We always want to give a quality product in whatever we do,
be it printing, office supplies, or the newspaper. The public's
response has shown we are doing something right, and we appreciate
The NEWS strives to be the most reliable source of news for Overton
County. Community events and society happenings are given ample
coverage, as is sports, and humor is also a part of the weekly newspaper's
"North County Lines" by Bob, a mix of humor and social
commentary written by an anonymous middle-aged man wearing a ball
cap with a face that looks strangely like a book, began in the September
16,1992 edition. The column has won 2 first place awards and 1 second
place award in the Tennessee Press Association's annual contest.
The NEWS has won numerous awards for advertisements, including
eight first place awards in the TPA's Annual Ideas Contest.
In the 1998 UT-TPA State Press Contest alone, Overton County News
won awards in General Excellence, Make-Up and Appearance, Sports,
News Story, News Photo, and Local Features.
From that first edition of May 11, 1967 to the present day, the
NEWS staff and management have strived to give Overton County the
best and most reliable news coverage.
Along with the newspaper, OCN also offers office supplies, custom
printing, and graphic design.
J.D. Eldridge had given more than 20 years to the newspaper business
before he, his wife, and his son and daughter-in-law established
the Overton County News. J.D. and Stella along with Larry and Sue
published not only news, community events, and society happenings,
but also printed down home humor in the form of the "Cracker
J.D.'s "Cracker Barrel News", an assortment of tales
with a local connection, was a weekly staple in the NEWS until the
newspaper sold in 1983 to Carson and Vicki Oliver. According to
J.D., the tales were stories he had heard around country stores.
Carson Oliver began operating the newspaper on Monday, April 4,
1983. He started his career in the newspaper business working at
the Dale Hollow Times, a newspaper operated by Ralph Prather. In
1957, Carson was a freshman at LivingstonAcademy. He joined the
Livingston Enterprise in 1959 and worked there until he and his
wife bought the Overton County News and printing plant.
A career in newspapers and printing did not seem likely for Carson
as a pupil at McKinley Elementary School in Muncie, IN. Though academically
always in the top 20 percent, he failed an industrial arts printing
class in the seventh grade, receiving a D. After the family moved
back to Livingston in 1959, Carson attended Livingston Academy and
graduated in 1960.
The Overton County News no longer operates out of the 2,400 square-foot
building J.D. Eldridge built in 1964 to house the printing business,
but the goal of giving the very best has not changed.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570