J.V. Rockwell volunteered to serve our country in the United States Navy. He enrolled in Tufts University’s V-12 Navy College Training program in Medford, Massachusetts and became a Naval Officer. He wanted to serve overseas during WWII, but the war ended before he was ready for deployment.
Thelma Johnson, who was a Registered Nurse and graduate of Missouri University in Columbia and Drury College of Nursing in Springfield, Missouri, married J.V. in 1950. Shortly after their wedding he volunteered to serve in the Korean war.
When he returned from Korea, he earned his Journalism degree from Missouri University in Columbia and later worked as a Journalism professor at the University of Houston, Texas. Thelma, J.V., and their infant son Steven moved to Marceline, Missouri, the birthplace of Walt Disney, where the couple published the Marceline News. Once again, his country called J.V. to service. The Rockwells and their three sons, Steven, Stuart, and Mark, lived in Arlington, Virginia while J.V. worked for the Pentagon during the Cuban missile crisis. It was the third time that that the Korean War veteran volunteered for Naval service.
He possessed an ardent desire to own and operate a small town weekly newspaper. He completed his Naval service. Driving his 1952 MG sportscar he departed Arlington intending to buy The Star-Herald newspaper in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Along the way he stopped in Corning, Arkansas for breakfast. After telling the waitress that he was on his way to buy a newspaper, she informed him that the local paper was for sale … and that the owners of the Clay County Courier, W.W. Estes and his wife Lucille, were seated at the table next to him!
However, he didn’t quite make it to Kosciusko. They bought the Clay County Courier and during the 1962 Christmas holidays the family of five moved to Corning.
Corning Publishing Co., Inc. was formed in 1966 and continues today publishing magazines and newspapers including the Clay County Courier and the Pocahontas Star Herald.
While notably owning various newspapers over the years, Corning Publishing Company created a sister company in 1980, J.V. Rockwell Publishing (JVR). JVR acquired the southwest region of Homes Magazines from the R.L. White Company, founders of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), of Louisville, Kentucky. JVR quickly expanded into new markets launching real estate and automotive publications across the United States.
Corning Publishing entered the high-quality publishing market when it certified its first commercial quality web offset press in 2000. The press line was equipped with an ultraviolet coater, a pre-folder, a signature folder, and a high-speed sheeter. The highly flexible press enabled the companies to produce a variety of roll-to-fold and roll-to-sheet products at speeds rated at 50,000 per hour. In 2005 Corning Publishing purchased a new Goss Sunday 2000 high speed, wide format, press line. The press line produces high fidelity color with its digital press control systems. The Sunday can run continuously hour after hour to produce 24-page standard magazine or 48-page digest signatures at its top speed of 60,000 signatures per hour, or 16.7 signatures per second.
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