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Orville E. Priestley collection

Identifier: Ms-0026

Scope and Contents

Most of the items contained in the Orville E. Priestley collection concern his purchase of the Sun-News and the incorporation of the Sunshine Press, Inc. All the items in the collection relate to Priestley’s career in New Mexico and do not cover his entire career in journalism. Basically, the collection materials were created during the last 1940's although there are Wallace Perry’s building specifications from 1936 and tax records up until 1962. Many of the items are legal documents such as articles of incorporation, promissory notes, and co-partnership papers. In addition to the legal items, there are business letters, annual reports, minutes of the Artesia Advocate and tax records. (The tax records folder is restricted from research use.)


  • 1936-1962

Biographical / Historical

Orville E. Priestley, newspaper publisher and editor, was born in Trading Past, Kansas in 1899. He received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1925. He was city editor of the Lawton (Oklahoma) Constitution in 1925 and then of the Perry (Oklahoma) Journal, 1926-1930. He was editor and publisher of the Crowley (Louisiana) Daily Signal, 1930-1945. He became the publisher of the Artesia (NM) Advocate in 1945 and publisher and editor of the Las Cruces Sun-News, which he and James H. Skewes brought from Wallace Perry and the Las Cruces Sun Publishing Company in 1946. In 1947, Priestley and Skewes transferred the paper to the Sunshine Press, Inc. (incorporated 1947). He and Opal Lee Priestley were the officers and directors of Sunshine Press, Priestley was also treasurer and past owner of the Optic Publishing Company and publisher of the Las Vegas (NM) Optic until 1949.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



Newspaper publisher and editor (Las Cruces Sun-News, Artesia Advocate, Las Vegas, NM Optic). Business correspondence, newspaper sales documents, incorporation certificate, annual reports, tax records (RESTRICTED), minutes, by-laws, building specifications and other items relating to the newspaper business.

Related Materials

Wallace Perry Papers. Ms 0009. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Opal Lee Priestley collection of Faithist materials. Ms 0437. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Separated Materials

Removal List- A recital program (A75-65) which had been added to Ms 26SC has been removed, and will be processed separately.

Processing Information

Pam Fleek, August 1975 and updated by Merleen Dibert, June 1980
Guide to the Orville E. Priestley collection
Pam Fleek, August 1975 Merleen Dibert, June 1980
Updated June, 1980
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA