The Adair Citizen was established in January, 1915, at Adair, Oklahoma, by Charles W. Norton, who edited the paper only briefly before it became the property of James Robert Carselowey, a Cherokee. Born at Vinita, Cherokee Nation, on February 15, 1875, Carselowey had been educated in the Cherokee public schools and at Willie Halsell College at Vinita. He had worked as a telegrapher and newspaper correspondent and had owned and edited The Adair Weekly Ledger.*1 Carselowey claimed that the Citizen was his old paper and that it had changed names three times since he had owned it. It may have been the same plant, but the volume sequence indicates a different publication.
Carselowey owned and edited the paper until April, 1917, when he became simply the editor and his teenage son, James M. Carselowey, was listed as publisher. This arrangement continued until August, 1920, when Carselowey became editor and publisher once more. Throughout Carselowey's editorship the format remained basically the same: four pages, occasionally expanded to eight, of six columns each.
Carselowey sold the paper in the fall of 1923. For a few months it appeared as a supplement to the Mayes County Republican, edited at Pryor, Oklahoma, by Roy Harding. In December, 1923, it became a separate publication again when Harding sold the paper to A. J. Gibson, who edited it until the spring of 1927, when he sold it to G. L. Parker, who owned and edited the paper until October. Gibson took the paper back and was its owner until it ceased publication, apparently in 1938.
Throughout its lifetime, the newspaper's editors emphasized local, county, and state news.