Jo O. Ferguson

Inducted: 1981

JO O. FERGUSON (1889-1982) is another of the editorial giants coming from the ranks of community newspapers in Oklahoma. A state editor and publisher for more than 50 years, he wrote many editorials for the Pawnee Chief “even from a hospital bed, if necessary.” His editorials championed equal rights and conservation long before either were popular causes. Starting with the Willow Spring News in 1911, he founded three other state newspapers, the Pawnee Courier-Dispatch in 1922, the Cleveland American in 1931 and the Pawnee Chief in 1941. He also published the Vinita Star and Ripley Review while publishing the Cleveland and Pawnee newspapers. Long active in the Republican party, he came within a few hundred votes of election to governor in 1950.