Charles K. Devall’s father, Charles R., was editor-publisher of the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald and taught his 12-year-old son to set type after school, on Saturdays and during summer vacations.
Born Nov. 7, 1908, at Mount Vernon, Devall, 63rd president, attended John Tarleton State College at Stephenville and worked for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune as Linotypist.
He worked his way through the University of Texas and received his journalism degree in 1930. He was Linotypist for the Austin American-Statesman and ad salesman for The Daily Texan.
When his father died in 1931, he left graduate work at UT to return to Mount Vernon as publisher. In 1934 he bought the Morris County News and the next year he founded the Kilgore Herald, converting it to a semiweekly a year later.
In 1941 he purchased the Hughes Springs New Era. The Morris County News, the New Era and the Optic-Herald were all sold in 1950.
In 1940 he bought the Kilgore Daily News and consolidated it with the Herald, calling it the Kilgore News Herald.
He served from 1942-45 in the U.S. Naval Reserve on active duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres of War. During his absence his wife, Lyde Williford, published the Kilgore News Herald and the three weeklies.
He served on the State Democratic Executive Committee and was a presidential elector in 1940. He was president of North and East Texas Press Association in 1936-37.