Joseph Barrye Wall, 86, the longtime editor and publisher of The Farmville (Va.) Herald who lent editorial support to Virginia's massive resistance movement to school desegregation, died Oct. 4 at a hospital in Farmville. The cause of death was not reported.
Mr. Wall bought The Farmville Herald in 1921 and was its publisher and editor emeritus at the time of his death. He was a past president of the Virginia Press Association and recipient of the organization's W.S. Copeland Award for community service in 1955. In addition to his career in journalism, he served 26 years on the Farmville Town Council.
Mr. Wall had a colorful career marked by his editorials over more than a half-century that touted conservative causes and Democratic politics. In the early 1950s and 1960s, his editorials reflected local government's opposition to integrating public schools, which he considered a violation of the "separate but equal" doctrine.
The newspaper backed the 1961 closing of Prince Edward County schools, which refused to integrate. Mr. Wall noted after the federal court ordered the school open in 1964 that the courts must be obeyed "reluctantly and under duress."
In addition to attracting attention to the newspaper with his editorial stand on massive resistance, Mr. Wall guided The Herald in its growth from a weekly newspaper with a circulation of 1,000 to one published three times a week with a circulation of 9,000.
Survivors include a son, William, who is general manager of The Herald, and a grandson, W. Bidgood Wall Jr., who is the paper's editor.