When Editor and Publisher W.W. Casteel produced the first edition of the Sampson Independent on March 13, 1924 he proved that he was a booster of both his own fledgling publication and of the Sampson County market. Casteel built his newspaper by both acquisition and competition. First he purchased the subscription lists of two predecessors, The Sampson Democrat, founded in 1894, and the Sampson News Dispatch, founded in 1908. Then he augmented this reader total through a subscription drive that culminated in one lucky subscriber winning a brand-new Studebaker Six Special automobile worth $1,624.
Within a month he was able to report success at reaching a pretty lofty circulation. The April 10, 1924 issue of the Independent reported that the newspaper’s subscriber total “now exceeds 4,000, making us the largest circulation weekly or semi-weekly newspaper in North Carolina.”
From its first edition, The Independent has promoted a strong business community in Sampson County. Almost immediately, Publisher Casteel pushed for the formation of a local Chamber of Commerce and, by 1937, the Sampson County Chamber was born.
Over the years, the county, the chamber and the Sampson Independent have grown together. The Independent has kept up with the technological changes necessary to remain the county’s Number One disseminator of news and information. We grew into a daily newspaper in the 1960s and added process color a decade later. In the 21st Century many Sampson County residents acquire some or all of their news from the internet and we’re keeping pace. The Sampson Independent website, clintonnc.com, complements our printed newspaper, providing news and information updates throughout the day. It can be accessed from a computer, electronic tablet or smartphone.
Check us out for all your local information needs. We’re your newspaper, your website: The Sampson Independent