109th Summer Convention, June 24, 1988, The Four Seasons Hotel, Austin
Milton Autry, publisher of the Chronicle & Democrat-Voice in Coleman, began his career in newspapers in January 1933, when he helped his dad get out the first edition of the Coleman County Chronicle. He's been associated with the newspaper since, except for five years while he was either in school or in the military.
Autry grew up in newspaper offices. Previously, his father, the late R.A. Autry, had published the Blanket Signal from 1918-1923, and the Cross Plains Review from 1923-1928. Milton performed several chores around those offices, but he was hardly called a staffer at the time.
At age 13, his family moved to Coleman and he worked in the print shop and in the editorial department. He occasionally sold ads, which is typical of small weekly operations. His writing began with sports, but before long he served as editor. He went on to attend The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University.
Autry served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, reaching the rank of Major. When he returned home after the war, in late 1945, he became a partner in the newspaper with his father. Later, his brother, Roy Autry Jr., joined the business.
In 1951, the Coleman Democrat-Voice was purchased and in recent years has been merged with the Chronicle into the semi-weekly Chronicle & Democrat-Voice. Currently, Milton is in partnership with his nephew, Brett Autry, and his niece's husband, Stan Brudney.
In April, Milton was honored with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award, presented at the local chamber of commerce banquet. The award was based on many years of varied civic involvement.
He is a former member of the Kiwanis Club (he found it necessary to drop that membership when the newspaper began publishing on the same day the club met); a charter member and past president of the Rotary Club; past president of the Coleman Country Club; president of the museum board for 15 years; member of the Coleman County Historical Committee for several terms; and chairman of the Coleman County Centennial Committee (held in 1958).
Autry also served three terms as a director of the local chamber of commerce, two years as an officer; was campaign director of the United Fund twice; and was a board member of the Coleman County Red Cross.
He worked with a local group which secured approval of the existing State Highway 206 from Coleman to Cisco, and was involved in securing the National Guard Armory back in the 1950s. Autry has been active in industrial development since 1960 and is currently vice president of Coleman Development Co.
William L. "Bill" Howe, publisher and editor of The Shamrock Texan, accepted his first newspaper job just two years after graduating from high school. He began selling subscriptions to the Minden (La.) Herald in 1934.
One year later, Howe became Webster Parish editor for the Federal Writers Project in Minden. He was responsible for writing copy about his area of the state for use in the Louisiana Guide Book.
With this bit of writing experience under his belt, Howe took advantage of an opportunity (unusual during the Depression) to become a clerk in the Chief Engineer's Department of the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway in Minden and later in Shreveport. He worked his way up to the position of private secretary to the chief engineer.
The Military Railway Service sought his services in 1941 and provided him continuous employment in Louisiana, Ohio, Africa and Italy for the next five years as chief warrant officer. In addition to serving as personnel officer of the 753rd Railway Shop Battalion for most of four years, he was named managing editor of the battalion newspaper, Scraps, which he described as "a delightful experience."
While serving in the U.S. Army, Howe met Margaret Haaser in Bucyrus, Ohio, where his unit rehabilitated and operated the New York Central Railroad shops. Following the war, Bill and Margaret were married. They celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on April 27.
After his discharge from the service in 1945, Howe moved back home and accepted a job as editor of the Minden Herald and the Webster Review in Louisiana. He held those jobs until entering the University of Missouri, during the summer session of 1946, to study journalism.
As a student at Missouri from 1946-1948, Howe worked as an ad salesman and reporter for The Columbia Daily Missourian, published by the journalism school. He received a bachelor of journalism degree in advertising, with a minor in news, in 1948.
Howe joined The Shamrock Texan in August 1948, as advertising manager. He became editor of the weekly in 1971, upon the death of his partner, Arval Montgomery.
A member in Kappa Thu Alpha, the scholastic journalism fraternity, he is also a member in Alpha Delta Sigma, professional advertising fraternity, and the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.
As a community leader, Howe served 12 years as chairman of the troop committee of Boy Scout Troop 76. He was elected to four terms as a member of the board of directors of the Shamrock Chamber of Commerce. He has also been a director of the Panhandle Press Association, in the 1950s.
Howe is best known around Shamrock for his personal column, "Here's Howe," the St. Patrick's Day edition of the The Texan, which is printed on green newsprint, and the green Donegal beard he wears to promote the annual Irish celebration.
William H. Klusmeier, management consultant and recently retired director of advertising and marketing for the Kerrville Daily Times, began his career in the advertising department of the Evansville (Ind.) Evening Press while a student at the American Academy in Chicago.
A native of Evansville, he joined the retail advertising staff of the Evansville Morning Courier upon graduation in 1938. After the merger of the Evansville newspapers in 1939, Klusmeier stayed on the combined advertising staff as art director until 1941.
Klusmeier joined the Rockford (Ill.) Newspapers in June 1941 as staff artist and retail advertising sales rep. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and served in the special services division until he was discharged as a tech sergeant in 1946.
He returned to Rockford and to the advertising department of the Register-Republic and Morning Star.
In 1947, he was named promotion manager, a position he held for 10 years.
During this period, Klusmeier conducted civic events and sports promotions for the newspapers and the Rockford Newspaper Charities. He served as secretary treasurer and a director of that organization. While promoting the City of Rockford, through the newspaper's various campaigns, he originated the character "Rocky Rockford" and the slogan "Remarkable Rockford."
Klusmeier became director of circulation and promotion in 1957. He was circulation director for five years.
In September 1961, he was promoted to business manager of Rockford Newspapers Inc. and was executive vice president of radio station WROK, when operated by the newspapers. He was elected assistant secretary of Rockford Newspapers on Jan. 4, 1962, and made general manager in May 1967, shortly after the newspapers were purchased by the Gannett Co.
Klusmeier was a long-time member of the National Newspaper Promotion Association, serving as central region vice president and then president. He was active in the Central States Circulation Managers Association and the International Circulation Managers Association. He also served on various committees of the Inland Daily Press Association.
After 31 years in Rockford, Klusmeier retired in 1972 as assistant secretary and general manager of the daily Morning Star and Register-Republic.
But after a year, Klusmeier and wife Betty moved to Austin where he became publisher of the new daily Austin Citizen. After eight years, he resigned in 1981 and accepted the Kerrville job in his first love, advertising and marketing. He retired April 1 as director of advertising and marketing of the Daily Times, but remains on staff as a management consultant.
Samuel S. Malone, columnist for the Sabine County Reporter/Rambler in Hemphill and a correspondent for the Beaumont Enterprise, also began his newspaper career in the 1930s.
A native of Abilene, Malone attended public schools there, Seminole High School and Texas Technological College in Lubbock. He majored in journalism and worked as sports editor and associate editor of the bi-weekly student publication, The Toreador.
He started working with his father at the Seminole Sentinel in 1938.
Eventually, Malone would serve as editor of the Wise County Messenger in Decatur, the Carson County Review in White Deer, the Seminole Sentinel, the Lovington (N.M.) Press, and Drill Bit Magazine in Odessa.
He was sports editor of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen and managing editor, sports editor and farm editor of The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches.
Malone and his wife, Margaret, established the weekly San Augustine Rambler in 1967, and later founded the Hemphill-Pineland Rambler. They sold the newspapers in 1981, but he remained on the editorial staff, contributing his column "Ramblin' Round." He has won numerous writing and editing awards from the TPA and the North and East Texas Press Association.
A member of the U.S. Marine Corps, he served during World War II as an aerial radio-gunner in the South Pacific.
Malone has been named an Honorary Lone Star Farmer by the Texas Association of Future Farmers of America, and a Distinguished Individual Supporter of Texas 4-H Club Youth by the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation.
He served as first executive secretary of the Deep East Texas Development Association, is a past president and a life member of the Texas Outdoors Writers Association. He also remains active in the Outdoors Writers of America.
Malone was a county coordinator for the Texas Sesquicentennial Committee and chairman of the Bicentennial Constitution Committee. He is commander of the Bill Blacksher American Legion Post No. 387, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a 50-year member of Lions International. He also serves as Emergency Manpower Management Coordinator for San Augustine County.
For 25 years, Malone has been a staff member of the Beaumont Enterprise as correspondent. In 1967, he began daily news broadcasts from his San Augustine office over radio station KDET and over a cable television station. He continues those broadcasts today.
He is active on the Bishop's Committee of Christ Episcopal Church, serving as senior warden and a delegate to the Texas Diocesean Council.
The Sons of the Republic of Texas have benefitted from Malone's service as well. Over the years, he has been elected president of the Alexander Horton Chapter; worked as co-editor of the SRT Texian for two years; and has served as executive committeeman and secretary general. He also made the President General's List and published the SRT Sesquicentennial Yearbook.
He and his wife Margaret have two children and four grandchildren.