2017 award recipients
announced June 19, 2017 at the TPA Leadership Retreat in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
2017 award recipients
announced June 19, 2017 at the TPA Leadership Retreat in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
2016 Golden 50 Award recipient was Glenn Rea. The award was presented June 18, 2016 during the TPA Summer Leadership Retreat held at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery
2014 award recipients
announced June 21, 2014 at 135th TPA Leadership Retreat in Corpus Christi, TX.
2012 award recipients
Photographer Don Rice joined the Borger News-Herald in April 1962 at age 23 and never left. Now 73, he has no plans to retire. During his 50 years at the News-Herald, he has visually documented thousands of events and people throughout Hutchinson County.Â
Besides being an avid photographer, Rice also enjoys flying miniature airplanes. He was a featured photographer on several covers of a model airplane magazine in the 1990s. A number of his photos have also been recognized by the Texas Press Association and Panhandle Press Association.
Rice was inducted into the Panhandle Press Association Hall of Fame in 2010. The Borger News-Herald celebrated his 50th anniversary on March 23. Many members of the community attended to express their thanks.
Rice moved to Borger from Spearman, where he worked as a photographer. Former publisher J.C. Phillips hired him to work at the News-Herald. He was born in Wellington and raised in McLean.
Rice and his wife, Linda, have been married 43 years. The couple has two sons, Donald Lynn Rice and Daniel Kent Rice, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
From the darkroom to the Mac, Rice has captured 50 years of memories for the Borger community. He looks forward to many more years of excellence in journalism.
2013 award recipients
announced June 21, 2013 at 134th TPA Leadership Retreat in Houston, TX.
J. Tom Graham
His newspaper career began at the age of eight in Knox City, and J. Tom Graham remembers that he was offered a quarter for a day's work, pulling the papers off the press, and that seemed like far better money and less work than his toil in the cotton fields that he had been used to. He worked at the Knox City paper until he graduated high school in 1960. His boss and publisher of the Knox City paper took him to Denton and introduced him to the owner of the paper there saying that the young North Texas State University freshman would be an asset to that paper as well.
Graham graduated North Texas State in 1964 with a journalism degree. While attending school, he worked his way up to the position of city editor of the Denton Record Chronicle.Â After graduation, he became the managing editor of the Gonzales Inquirer and then joined the Abilene Reporter News in 1966.Â He served as AP wire editor and later state editor before entering the Army in the fall of 1966.
In the Army, he served as news bureau chief of Pacific Stars and Stripes' Korea bureau and covered the North Korean attempt to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung-hee, and the Pueblo incident in 1968.
He also worked on Stars and Stripes in its Tokyo headquarters and as a correspondent in Vietnam.Â After his two-year service in the Army, he traveled through the Far East and spent a year with two Australian newspapers before returning to the U.S. and rejoining the Abilene Reporter News in November of 1969 where he worked his way to the position of Assistant Managing Editor.Â Next, he became the publisher of the Huntsville Item where in 1974 he led a news team in covering the Carrasco hostage situation in the prison which would later earn the team a national press award and a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.
Graham also began a series of articles that gained nationwide fame at the Huntsville Item covering a competition between a weather-forecasting cow and the National Weather Service.
After leaving Huntsville, Graham served as publisher in numerous cities including Del Rio, Burnett, Mineola, Lindale and New Boston, Pasadena. Graham loved the challenge of getting community newspapers out of the red and making them relevant to their communities.
After taking the reins in Pasadena in 1998, he worked to merge Westward and HCN into one company. He became the chief operating officer for AP Westward where he oversaw more than 60 newspapers in the Houston area, Austin area, East Texas and Colorado.
Since 2006, he has been the owner and publisher of The Frankston Citizen.ÂÂ Graham has served on numerous press association committees and has written several books, plays and songs.
Wesley W. Burnett
When Wesley W. Burnett died unexpectedly on March 28, 2013, it was the end of journalism career that started in the late 1950s.
Burnett spent two years working on the staff of The Screaming Eagle, the student newspaper at Brownsville (Texas) High School. Little did he know it would be a precursor of his life's work.
Burnett attended Texas A&M where he majored in journalism. He joined the Air Force in 1961. After basic training, he was stationed at military bases in Texas, California, Washington, Alabama, Nebraska and Oregon. Throughout most of his military career, he worked as an information officer and was heavily involved with the base newspapers.
In 1973, Burnett left the military and took a job with the Bryan Daily Eagle. After a year with the Harte-Hanks paper, he transferred to the corporation's Hamilton, Ohio, publication, The Journal-News. Burnett next took a job at a paper in New Iberia, La., and followed that by partnering with two acquaintances to start up a weekly newspaper. It would be another year before Burnett returned to Texas, moving to Sonora to be a part of West-Com Inc., which owned and operated Burnett, working as a newspaperman while serving in the U.S. Air Force.
As West-Com added newspapers, Burnett was charged with revamping the struggling publications. He spent two and a half years at The Devil's River News in Sonora and worked with both the Stephenville Star and The Dublin Progress for two years. That was followed by a stint at The Ballinger Ledger.
"He enjoyed flipping papers; going in and taking a paper, building it up and making it successful," his son, James Burnett, said. "And he was really good at it."
While in Ballinger, Burnett decided it was time to strike out on his own. In 1982, the family moved to Post and took over The Post Dispatch. Burnett dedicated the next 26 years to the South Plains weekly publication.
"He loved writing," Kimberly Dolberry said of her father. "When he sold advertising, he was one of the best. He was a salesman, he did photography, he did darkroom work, but he loved writing."
While in Post, Burnett used local cable access to deliver live broadcasts of Post High School's sports, as well as community news and rebroadcasts of local government meetings.
"In a way, he was pioneering something that many other small communities weren't doing at the time," Burnett's wife, Pat, said. "He was always looking ahead."
In 2008, Burnett decided he wanted a new challenge. The Dispatch was sold and the Burnett family moved to Rockwall, where he took over another weekly, the Rockwall County News. He remained active with the publication until his death.
Burnett proudly displays a fresh edition of The Post Dispatch, a weekly he operated for 26 years.
His son, Tim Burnett, who has taken over operations in Rockwall, said his father was a journalist who saw the industry transition through many changes.
"He started in the industry at the time when they were still doing hot type," Tim said. "Then the industry moved on to wax-and-paper paste-ups before switching over to on-screen layouts made possible through computer technology. He witnessed the newspaper industry undergo a lot of growing pains."
Louis C. Stas
Louis Stas was born northwest of Watonga, Okla., and received the first five and a half years of his education in a one-room schoolhouse. Yes, young Stas walked the three miles to school. In 1949, he moved to a farm eight miles southeast of Geary, Okla., and attended school in Hinton, Okla.
He traces his interest in newspapers back to an early age when he was happy to find a blank page in the newspaper that he could use for drawing. He recalls being fascinated with a Sunday school book with two covers.
Stas remembers as a sixth grader noticing a redheaded fifth-grade girl standing in line at the lunchroom. A few years later at 16, this same girl was his first date the evening after he obtained his drivers' license. At age 20, Barbara Porter became his bride.
After finishing his sophomore year in school, Stas needed a job to pay for gasoline and other expenses. With years of experience chopping and picking cotton, cleaning cornrows and milking cows, he knew he did not want to be a farmhand. So he went to town and got a job at The Hinton Record as a Linotype operator—job printing. For the next two years, he authored School Chatter, keeping everyone informed of what was going on at school.
In the fall of 1957, Stas enrolled in Oklahoma State University, formerly Oklahoma A&M, and worked at the O'Collegian as a Linotype operator while attending classes in an effort to obtain a degree in architecture.
At the end of the summer in 1959, he married and returned to college with his bride. At the end of the first semester, they learned they were going to be parents in September and took a job in Wheeler with the intention of returning to school after one year. His boss at The Hinton Record recently had purchased The Wheeler Times and a Linotype operator was needed. Their move to Wheeler lasted more than one year: Feb. 1, 2013, marked 54 years.
In September 1962, the couple, now parents of two children, bought half interest in the Times with its Linotype, handset type, casting box, four-page press, folding machine for the paper and job presses. The most modern machine in the office was 1250W offset press that had been purchased rebuilt in 1961. By this time, Barbara had become an employee of Wheeler Abstract Company, a job she held for more than 30 years.
The July 18, 1963, edition of The Wheeler Times listed Stas as owner and publisher. At his first opportunity, the printing was switched to offset in December 1963. Using offset, the paper could be printed cheaper than the extra personnel necessary to continue printing in-house. Plus, paper, ink and machine repairs were eliminated.
The paper was carried to Hereford, a distance of 140 miles, to be printed for the next 30 months. A plant was later opened in Amarillo and the paper was carried there via bus and returned later the same day or early the next. Over the years, the paper has been printed at Clinton, Okla., Southwest Offset in Amarillo and Childress. The paper is presently carried to Elk City, Okla., a distance of 45 miles, one way.
The Linotype, handset type and job presses continued to be used for some job printing, but the paper was set up using a Varityper for copy and a head machine for headlines and ads. The pages were pasted onto a layout sheet, boxed and carried to the printer. The Varityper required copy to be set line by line. The line was set first to determine the spacing needed to justify the copy and then the line was reset for the correct spacing automatically for justified copy. A Varityper D8 was used to set headlines and ad copy. The press, Linotype, folder, casting box and some handset type and drawers were donated to the Roberts County Museum at Miami in 1981.
The Wheeler Times modernized its method of setting copy over the next few years. In 1985 an IBM typewriter was used and the copy was not justified. On July 22, 1976, the first paper was printed using a Compugraphic Jr. The first computer, a Commodore, was purchased in 1986. With the switch to Apple computers in 1994 and purchase of larger screens, the paper is set up entirely on computer. Mistakes and misprints cannot be avoided. The worst oversight was a missing "g" in a revival story: "The preacher holding the service led group 'sining'."
In 1975, a third child was born and 12 years later a friend of this child was brought into the home to become a part of the family.
Barbara presently does some proofreading and gives the paper its final check before being sent to press. She is also the bookkeeper.
Stas had interests other than the newspaper. There are several homes in and around Wheeler and elsewhere that he either designed completely or planned the remodeling. One office building and a convenience store/gas station in Wheeler are his design.
In 1975, the local funeral home announced its intention to cease operation of the ambulance service in July. Wheeler County, in connection with the Texas Panhandle EMS system, offered an EMT class for volunteers to become ambulance personnel. Training required 40 hours classroom at Shamrock and 20 hours of emergency room in Amarillo. Stas became an EMT and served the county for 23 years. Louis was a member of the first graduating class of paramedics in the Texas Panhandle. Paramedic training required classroom work each week in Amarillo for a little over a year, additional emergency room time and six ambulance runs. This status was maintained for 12 years. The North Wheeler County Ambulance averaged three-to-five calls per week with several being transfers to Amarillo, 110 miles one way.
In April 1969, Stas was elected to the Wheeler City Council. He remained on the council and was elected mayor in 1992. After two terms as mayor, he went off the council. During this time the last of the Wheeler streets were paved with curb and gutter and an airport was built. Stas was also active in the local service clubs. In 2007, he was awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Wheeler Chamber of Commerce after more than 40 years of service. He was named Wheeler's 1981 Outstanding Man and was a member of the Wheeler Kiwanis Club until it was disbanded.
Stas is and has been a reporter for the National Weather Service for the past 30 or so years. He also was the local reporter and shot film for KVII-TV Channel 7 in Amarillo for a short time. The Stases have four children and spouses, seven grandchildren (two married) and one great-grandchild. One of the grandchildren, Stormie Meriwether, age 10, has a column in the paper, Storm Report, which has been carried in the Times since she was four years old.
It’s the end of an era for Bob Brincefield. His term as 2010-2011 TPA president is coming to a close, along with his 50th and final year in the newspaper industry. This summer he retires as vice president and regional manager of American Consolidated Media, and vice president and publisher of the Brownwood Bulletin.
Over the years, Brincefield has worked in nearly every aspect of the business. He grew up in Detroit, and at the age of 16 he was hired part time by the Detroit News to assist the circulation district manager at a neighborhood substation.
Two years later, he was offered a full-time position with the paper. He started in the stockroom as a shipping and receiving clerk, but soon transferred to the circulation department, where his flexible work schedule allowed him to attend college at Wayne State University in downtown Detroit.
After graduating with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology, Brincefield was promoted to the home delivery department as a district manager. He worked in the city and suburban areas until 1976 when he was promoted to a supervisory position, managing 15 district managers and about 30,000 subscribers on the east side of the city.
In 1978 Brincefield and his wife, Carol, decided it was time for a change of scenery, and he accepted a position with Woodson Newspapers as the circulation manager in Stephenville. For the next 10-and-a-half years he managed the circulation department and also served as assistant publisher.
In 1981 he assumed management of two weekly newspapers purchased by Woodson, the Dublin Progress and the Hico News Review. When the recession hit Texas in the mid-1980s, Brincefield was named marketing director and given the responsibility of managing the advertising department.
Woodson sold the papers to Boone Newspapers Inc. in 1989. Three years later, Boone purchased three daily newspapers in Minnesota, and Brincefield was promoted to publisher of the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune.
He worked in Albert Lea until 1997, when he was given the opportunity to return to Texas as publisher of the Brownwood Bulletin, a position he still holds. Boone is now owned by American Consolidated Media Inc. As vice president and regional manager of ACM, Brincefield has direct responsibility for 8 newspapers.
Brincefield has served on TPA’s board of directors since 2000. He served as president of the West Texas Press Association in 2007.
Glenn McNeill has covered football for 50 years. During his 38 years as the owner of the Wills Point Chronicle and the Canton Herald, he never missed a Friday night game in Wills Point.
McNeill and his wife, Betsy, bought the Wills Point Chronicle and the Canton Herald from Betsy’s mother after the death of her father. The couple also founded the Canton Guide and the Van Zandt News, and kept a commercial printing operation going.
When McNeill and his wife sold the Wills Point Chronicle, the Canton Herald, Van Zandt News and the Canton Guide to Van Zandt Newspapers LLC in 1996, McNeill continued to work several days a week as an advertising sales person and as a back-up pressman when needed.
McNeill began working for his father-in-law on July 11, 1960, the birthday of his wife. He and Betsy bought a half-interest in the Chronicle before 1963. In 1963, McNeill and Thomas Campbell bought the Canton Herald from Jack Campbell, Tom’s brother.
When he started in the newspaper business, McNeill was setting type by hand, using the Linotype, and running the flatbed Miehle letter press to print the newspapers with heavy, hot-metal type. During his newspaper career, he and his father-in-law bought one of the first Compugraphic typesetting computers in the state. They bought a Chandler & Price offset newspaper press. In 1980 after the death of Thomas Campbell, the McNeills and Ellie Campbell bought a five-unit offset Goss Community press.
McNeill raised registered Charolais cattle and hay to sell until he sold the newspapers and went into semi-retirement. He now works three days a week selling advertising.
Born Oct. 3, 1936, in Stephenville, McNeill graduated from North Side High School in Fort Worth. He attended North Texas State University, Arlington Junior College (now UT Arlington) and SMU night school.
He has a hobby of senior basketball competition. He has won the state basketball free-throw championship eight times. He has won second place five times and third place once. He has placed the last five years in a row, hitting 123 out of 125 free-throw shots during the five years. He once shot 146 free throws in a row in his church gym, and he has a witness. - Betsy McNeill
Van Thomas says there is no smell like the smell of ink in a newspaper building. He should know since he began working as a reporter for the Arkansas Central Leader in 1950. Since that time he has covered news from the Olympics to the battlefields of Vietnam.
“I grew up on a cotton, corn, hay, cattle and swine plantation in Northeastern Arkansas where I was taught to work. My father taught us how to work and only rest on Sunday,” Thomas said.
His present boss, Alvin Holley, publisher of the Polk County Enterprise can attest to the fact Thomas is just like his father, he never quits. He works day and night.
After graduating from high school Thomas joined the U.S. Army where he served the last 18 months of his duty in Germany under the direct command of General Gerald Lillard and General Stokes. Thomas worked for them helping with division papers.
Following his years in the service he enrolled and graduated from the University of Arkansas before becoming the sports editor of the Roseville Press Tribune in Roseville, Calif. After two years at Roseville, Thomas took a job as sports editor at the Henderson Daily News in 1961. Two years later in May of 1963, Thomas became the sports editor of the Longview Daily News and Morning Journal.
In 1967 Thomas took an assignment, unrelated to sports, to cover news in South Vietnam for the Longview Daily News and Morning Journal to learn how the giant earthmoving machines invented by the late R.G. LeTourneau of Longview were used to clear acres and acres of trees and undergrowth during the war. While there Thomas did stories on Army, Marines and Air Force men from East Texas.
“I missed the 1967 Texas Coaching School, the only one I missed in 50 years, because I was in Vietnam,” Thomas said.
Thomas joined the Nacogdoches Sentinel in 1974 as sports editor and later he moved to Livingston to take the sports editor position at the Polk County Enterprise. Since 1979 he has held that position.
In July 1994 at the Texas Coaching School in Houston, he was honored with the second Putt Powell Award. In 1999 he was selected the Sports Writer of the Year by the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Through the years he has covered many games and watched many of the best athletes and coaches in Texas perform. If you have an afternoon, Thomas can recall games he covered than involved coaches like Luke Thornton of Palestine, Ty Bain of Longview High, the late Watty Myers of Texas High, Frank Broyles of Arkansas, Darrell Royal of the University of Texas and many more.
“I have staffed 12 to 14 games per year for more than 50 years and most of those games I walked the sidelines,” Thomas said. “I’ve seen some of the best of Texas perform on the field or in the gym.”
Some of those outstanding athletes Thomas recalls include James Street, Earl Campbell, Rodney Thomas, Bill Bradley, all players who led their teams to the state championships.
Thomas believes athleticism is only the door to an opportunity for having a bright future. He has helped numerous East Texas athletes gain both athletic and academic scholarships throughout the nation. - Alvin Holley
By Paul Whitworth
I was sitting on a bench in Houston’s Hermann Park reading the Help Wanted ads on a Sunday afternoon in August 1961, when I saw an ad listing an available position as an advertising salesman with the Temple Daily Telegram.
My five-year experience as assistant store manager with the S.H. Kress Company had recently come to an end and I decided to try something new. I mailed in an application and soon forgot the whole thing.
In early November, I got a phone call from William S. “Bill” Moore, the Telegram’s advertising manager. He said, “Can you be here Monday?” I replied, “Sure, but don’t you want me to come and interview first?”
He responded, “I see you are from Harlingen and I am from Alice (two South Texas cities), and that’s good enough for me.”
That was 50 years ago and it is still hard to believe.
I worked at the Telegram until January 1963 when my wife, Edie, persuaded me to apply for a similar job with the Houston Post. Again, I sold advertising and called on the Sharpstown Mall area of southwest Houston.
Two kids later, I needed to make more money and again, I saw a Help Wanted ad in the paper advertising jobs at the Daily Oklahoman & Times in Oklahoma City. This time I had to interview, and Hal Deadman, the retail advertising manager, made me spell “restaurant” and a couple of other words before he agreed to hire me.
“I hate applicants who can’t spell,” he said.
I worked there for two years selling ads in the downtown area including John A. Brown (now Dillard’s).
While at the Oklahoman & Times, I learned about Rotogravure magazines and sold ads in Orbit for Clyde Blythe, the roto ad manager. I also worked with Rollie Hyde in Oklahoma City.
When the Houston Post decided to begin publishing a roto magazine in the Sunday paper, I returned there in 1967 to be the advertising manager. Tempo Magazine lasted three years and folded because we had too many local ads at a low rate and not enough national ads at a high rate.
I was made assistant retail advertising manager after the magazine ceased publication and did that for three years. When Conrad Kloh left to become retail manager at the San Antonio Light, I tried for his job, but Mrs. Hobby decided to bring in someone from New Jersey to take the job. That was in August 1973.
I got my feelings hurt and decided to look for greener pastures. It was at that time that I got the idea that I would be better off if I could buy a weekly so that there would be no bosses to report to. The only problem being 1) I had no money and 2) I didn’t know anything about running a small newspaper.
For that reason I took a job with Casa Grande Valley Newspapers in October 1973, where I worked as advertising director for one of the best in the business, Donovan “Don” Kramer. He was my boss and mentor for three years and taught me everything I know about the small daily and the weekly business. Don operated newspaper in Casa Grande, Eloy, Coolidge, Florence and at that time Gila Bend, Ariz. Later, Don bought the paper in Showlow, Ariz.
My family loved Arizona and we would be there still, except for the fact that the paper in Raymondville became available. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Miller, operated the Raymondville Chronicle & Willacy County News for 35 years, from 1941 until 1976.
After my wife and I bought the paper in October 1976, we ran it together until 2001 when she passed away. I am still here ten years later and will probably be here for a while longer. Raymondville is a great place to run a newspaper. The readers are easy to please and we have a good staff.
I travel more than I used to but still put in three or four days a week at the paper. We haven’t won many prizes for excellence, probably because we don’t enter the contests, but our 3,200 readers plunk down $1 a week at the newsstand or $40 per year for a subscription, and that tells me everything I need to know.
Raymondville is 20 miles north of my hometown, Harlingen, so I guess I’ve come home. 50 years in the business and 35 years here. I feel blessed.
Frances Bridges Brelsford, Nixon News
Warren Flowers, Gainesville Record
Victor Fain, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel
James Roberts, Andrews County News
Ben Ezzell, Canadian Record
B.M. Nelson, Castro County News
Jay Cullen and Vera Browning, Orange Leader
Irvin and Bernard McWhorter, Beeville Bee-Picayune
George W. Hawkes, Mansfield News-Mirror
Arthur Kowert, Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post
Allein White, Riesel Rustler
Ed Leach, Longview News Journal
Don Scarbrough, Williamson County Sun
William Rawland, Cleburne Times-Review
Donald McDonald, Itasca Item
Afton Richards, Ralls Banner
Carter Snooks, Kenedy Times
Ima Jo Fleetwood, Del Rio News-Herald
Donald Bryant, Seguin Gazette-Enterprise
Gerald Knape, Texas Posten
Willie Pitts, Orange Leader
Ellie Hopkins, Longview News-Journal
George Baker, Fort Stockton Pioneer
Henry Strauss, Shiner Gazette
James B. Oswald, Plainview Daily Herald
Norman S. White Sr., Riesel Rustler
Gonzalo R. Uriegas, Uvalde Leader-News
L.A. Wilke, Austin
May Kavanaugh, Round Rock Leader
Roy M. Craig, Stamford American
Lowell C.Welch, Three Rivers Progress
L.B. Smith, Brady Standard-Herald
Don Reid Jr., Huntsville Item
Robert C. Ford Sr., Bartlett Tribune
Earl Morin, Houston Daily Court Review
W.H. "Bill" Cooke, Rockdale Reporter
Alma Holekamp Dietel, Fredericksburg Radio-Post
Norman J. Dietel, Fredericksburg Radio-Post
Ruel Morris Smiley, Panola Watchman
Wendell Wallace Wright, Rosebud News
Jack Hawkins, Groesbeck Journal
Jack Franklin, Groesbeck Journal
Herschiel L. Hunt, El Campo Leader-News
Howard J. Behrent, Falfurrias Facts
Bob Bray, Marble Falls Messenger
George Bridges, Flatonia Argus
Sam Wood, Austin American-Statesman
Ray Nichols, Vernon Record
J.C. Phillips, Borger News-Herald
William Turner Harwell, Hays Co. Citizen
C.E. Stannard, Austin American-Statesman
J.B. Quigley, Orange Leader
Mrs. F.L.Weimar, Alto Herald
Mamie Lee Carter, Alto Herald
Harlan Fentress, Waco Tribune-Herald
1973 no award
Olin E. Hinkle, Journalism Department, The University of Texas at Austin
Phill McMullen, McKinney Courier-Gazette
Frank P. Hill, Lynn County News
Kathleen Hill Becknall, Rains County Leader
J.E. Laney Sr., Bowie County News
Paul Ord, Childress Reporter
Silas B. Compton, Mount Enterprise Progress
James F. Bray, Kingsville Record
Barnes H. Broiles, Cherokee County Banner
William Weeg, Austin American-Statesman
George R. Huckaby, Iowa Park Herald
George W. Grant, Deport Times
Hal Hiller, Childress Reporter
Edgar R. Hays, Nocona News
1966-1970 no awards
James E. Byrd, Brenham Banner-Press
Mrs. Ross Woodall, Huntsville Item
Mrs. Sam Fore Jr., Floresville Chronicle-Journal
Camp Ezell, Beeville Bee-Picayune
L.R. Ables, Cleveland Advocate
J.L. Suits, Petersburg Journal
Nev Williams, Winkler County News
Claude C. Travis, Garrison News
Margaret Moore, Beeville Bee-Picayune
L.H. Bridges, Luling Signal
Walter Buckner, San Marcos Record
Sam Fore Jr., Floresville Chronicle-Journal
Luther Harbin, Texas Mesquiter
O.C. Harrison, Baylor County Banner
R.B. Haynes, Miami Chief
Webster F. Hays, San Augustine Tribune
Barney Hubbs, Pecos Independent-Enterprise
H. M. Stanley Mohle Sr., Lockhart Post-Register
J. Louis Mohle Sr., Lockhart Post-Register
Annie Reese, Gonzales Inquirer
Henry C. Richards, West Side Reporter
R.N. Robison, Royse City American
Mrs. Frank L. Weimar, Alto Herald
J. Claude Wells, Memphis Democrat
W.S. Foster, Waco Citizen
Charles B. Hall, McGregor Mirror
Edward B. Harris Sr., Graham Leader
108th Summer Convention, June 26, 1987, The Hershey Hotel, Corpus Christi
William E. Berger, Hondo Anvil Herald
Jeanelle Bryant, Real County American
William H. Dozier, Kerrville Daily Times
Nan Outlar, Wharton Journal-Spectator
Virginia Robey, Wellington Leader
Thomas R. Stagg, Crane News
J.L. "Mike" Werst Jr., Big Lake Wildcat
Bill Berger bean his career during the depression when he started a daily newspaper route in his hometown of Carthage, Illinois. He was 12 years old at the time.
He took the next step up the ladder by becoming a correspondent for Chicago and Peoria daily newspapers. He was in high school then and earned the going rate of a few cents for each column inch that appeared in print.
Bill later attended Carthage College, located in his hometown. At that time, he worked as the college's publicity writer, submitting copy to the local newspaper, the Hancock County Journal.
Following his college years, Bill worked for several Midwestern publications. Included among these re newspapers in lola, Kansas; Rolla, Missouri; and Yankton, South Dakota. He served as circulation manager of each of those newspapers.
His experience during that time included the job of city district manager for the Topeka State Journal, a rather large daily.
Following 18 months in the circulation business, Bill became advertising manager, and later managing editor, of the Tuscola Review, a weekly newspaper in Central Illinois.
About the time he had made a decision to purchase a newspaper, along came World War II, and Bill was sent to Texas for his basic training.
"No man could have been subjected to a worse fate than basic training," Bill thought. But things looked much brighter shortly thereafter when he met a University of Texas coed by the name of Jerry Barnes. She became Mrs. Bill Berger several months later.
Bill was then sent to the South Pacific for a two-year tour of duty as an Army warrant officer. But he kept his hand in journalism by publishing a camp newsletter.
He then returned to the U.S. and Gonzales, Texas, where Jerry was teaching home economics. Bill took a temporary job with the Gonzales Inquirer. A short time later, the Bergers purchased the Hondo Anvil Herald from retiring publisher Fletcher Davis. Their first issue of the Anvil Herald was dated June 7, 1946.
During the next 20 years, additional newspaper purchases by the Bergers included the Zavala County Sentlnal, Carrlzo Springs Javelin, Seguin Enterprise, Waelder Home Paper, Schert-Cibolo Valley News, Randolph AFB Wingspread and the Sabinal Times. They also took this time to have three children.
The Bergers have since sold all of their properties except the Hondo and Sabinal newspapers.
Bill has also had considerable experience in government service. In 1965, he was appointed to the Texas Water Rights Commission by Gov. John Connally. Following that service, he held subsequent jobs with the Water Quality Board, the State Insurance Commission and the Texas Railroad Commission.
But Bill continued to serve as publisher of the Anvil Herald during those 15 years of work with various state agencies. He also helped establish the weekly magazine supplement, the Texas Star during that time.
Meanwhile, Bill refuses to be retired. With his son, Ed, he now owns and operates Associated Texas Newspapers, Inc., an Austin-based newspaper brokerage and consulting firm.
This recipient of TPA's Golden 50 Award actually represents more than a century of service with Texas newspapers.
That's because Mrs. Donald B. (Jeanelle) Bryant was preceded in the receipt of this award by her husband, who was presented his own 50-year award back in 1982.
Jeanelle's entire newspaper career, in fact, has been associated with that of her husband, Donald B. Bryant. They're currently operating the Real County American in Leakey.
The Bryant association first commenced in Tom Bean, Texas, when 15-year-old Jeanelle asked the editor (Donald) of that town's newspaper, The Times, to talk to the school's newspaper staff about journalism. She was editor of her school newspaper at the time.
The years passed, and their acquaintance slowly blossomed from the publication in The Times of various articles by Jeanelle until New Year's Eve of 1935 when they had their first date. They joked later that he had kept her out for an entire year.
A few weeks later, they recall, she and The Times editor were going steady. Then 18 months later, on June 11, 1937, 50 years from this month, they were married.
Returning home from their honeymoon at the Pan American Exposition in Dallas, the Bryants commenced what has been their occupation ever since getting out a newspaper. Their first joint publishing venture was a 4-pager which was totally hand-set.
They've since worked for, owned and/or managed a number of Texas weeklies, semi-weeklies, and small and medium-sized dailies.
In addition to the Tom Bean Times (which they owned), newspapers along that journey have included the Alba Reporter, Mineola Monitor-Record, Leelland Herald Sun-News (which Donald helped convert to a semi-weekly and later, a small daily), Hamlin Herald, Rosenberg Herald-Coaster, Sinton Enterprise, Del Rio News-Herald, Seguin Enterprise, Seguin Gazette-Enterprise andfinally, the Real County American.
Each stop has been an incredible experience.
The Bryants had planned to retire on April 1, 1984. But the very next month, they went to Leakey to temporarily "run" the weekly American. This "running" is now in its fourth year.
Over the years, Jeanelle has done it all, from news and column writing, to composition, to running the presses. There was a time, in fact, that she handled the entire operation of the Sinton Enterprise for almost eight months after her husband suffered a broken arm.
But writing has been her principal responsibility, a chore she's done in the highest of newspaper traditions. She has covered plane, train and car crashes, hurricanes, police news, and politics along with the routine less dramatic but often more important news fronts.
And Jeanelle is good. In fact, her writing won a major first place South Texas Press Association award in 1984.
Says husband Donald: "She was and still is, my good right and left arm."
The Bryants are the parents of four children.
The illustrious career of one Golden 50 Award was hardly forecast 50 years ago when 13-year-old William E. (Bill) Dozier began as a printer's devil on his hometown newspaper in Delhi, La.
But when he became that newspaper's editor two years later, at the ripe old age of 15, the ultimate course of a successful journalistic career started falling into shape.
Bill attended college at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana, graduating cum laude. The next change of scenery occurred when he entered the Navy to serve as a communications officer during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater.
Returning home, he then joined The Times-Picayune in New Orleans to serve, first, as a rewrite man and reporter, and later as state editor of community correspondents.
Next, it was back to the Armed Forces and active duty in Korea in the early 1950s.
Returning home after this second hitch, Bill next became editor of the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph, a position he held for 12 years. It was during those years that the community-strength side of Editor Bill first made itself known.
While in Tyler, he served as president and board member of such organizations as the YMCA, Youth Foundation, Red Cross and American Cancer Society. He was also a board member of the Marvin United Methodist Church.
In 1964, Bill and his wife, Eleanor, purchased the Kerrville Daily Times, as the first step in a soon-to-be multiple ownership of newspapers in the Hill Country. In addition to the Daily Times, newspapers now included in that ownership are Pearsall Leader, Cotulla Record, Dilley Herald, Boerne Star, Bandera Bulletin and Real County American.
Despite the task of operating these newspapers, Bill also finds time to actively serve such organizations as the Texas Press Association, Texas Daily Newspaper Association, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the American Newspaper Publishers Association. He is a past president of TPA and has served on the TDNA board of directors. He is currently serving his third term as president of TPA's Texas Newspaper Foundation.
Dozier's personal community service has spanned many areas, as ll., including such varied interests as a regional symphony association, the Red Cross, health associations, work with the Methodist Church, United Fund, a safety commission and the Tyler Rose Festival. He is a past president of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce.
Bill has received too many awards and honors from newspaper and civic groups alike to be listed. But, among the most meaningful to him have been the following:
· George Washington Medal of Honor for editorial writing;
· Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities;
· Outstanding Citizen for contributions made to Kerrville and the Hill Country area;
· 1984 Distinguished Friend of Schreiner College; and
· TDNA's Pat Taggart Award as the 1986 Texas Newspaper Leader of the Year.
Bill and his wife, Eleanor, have two daughters. Carolyn is assistant to the publisher of the Daily Times, and Rebecca is press secretary of the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C.
Nan Outlar has spent the past 50 years carrying on a love affair with her community of Wharton.
The stage for that half-century affair was actually set ten years before she took up pen and paper to begin the Wharton Journal's popular "Nan About Town" column. That occurred when Nan and her young doctor husband first moved to Wharton where he began his medical practice.
Nannie (Nan) Stafford Bennett has always been someone special, even back during her college years at The University of Texas at Austin. That's when she was named the university's "Bluebonnet Bell." Texas A&M, about the same time, appointed Nan as one of their "Vanity Fair" participants.
But along came a young doctor, Leonard Bolton, and the two were married in October 1927. They immediately journeyed to New Orleans for a year's stay before returning to his hometown of Wharton where he commenced practicing medicine.
It was then that Nan, who had family ties to the community, first began a lifetime dedication to betterment of the community. Those family ties date back to the owners of the Wharton newspaper in the early 1880s. Those owners, Dr. Stephen Foote and J.R. Foote, later sold the newspaper to Guy Mitchell in 1893.
A more recent, well-known cousin of Nan's was Horton Foote, the Wharton playwright who penned such works as "Baby The Rain Must Fall," "To Kill A Mockingbird," "Tender Mercies," "Trip to Bountiful" and numerous other hits.
Nan, herself, became an immediate smash hit in Wharton when she commenced writing "Nan About Town" in the Fall of 1937. Her college major was English; therefore, it was an easy task for Nan to combine that knowledge of letters along with an interest in people to produce her readership-compelling column.
The Journal-Spectator's Connie Mabry points out: "Nan's column is a 'must' for Wharton natives and newcomers alike. It is the hope of many to see their names appear in 'Nan About Town,' a signal that they have 'arrived,"
Nan makes this point: "People love to see their names in the paper, and I love to write about people. Can you think of any subject more interesting?"
Nan's column is not your standard "little old lady column," Connie said. For even though Nan is now in her 80s, she's "very hip on what is going on in this old world. She fears no subject, not even the Penthouse pictorial on Vanessa Williams back in August of 1984."
Connie concluded with this observation: "You haven't 'arrived' on the Wharton scene unless you've had your name in Nan's column. Last September, we held a reception for her and over 300 loyal readers made it by the newspaper between 5 and 6:30 p.m to pay homage. Many sent cards, brought remembrances and wanted their photo made with this great lady."
It's obvious that neither Nan, the community nor the newspaper regrets her decision back in 1937 to "put some of her thoughts about people on paper for everyone to read."
Virginia Robey has two unique distinctions in joining the ranks of TPA's 50- year service award winners.
First, she has worked for one newspaper, the Wellington Leader, for the entire half century; and second, she has held the position of editor for that entire period.
Virginia, a native of Oklahoma, first came to Texas during the Depression to attend West Texas State Teachers College at Canyon. She majored in government and minored in pre-law.
Following her graduation, she taught in a rural primary school for one year. That's all the time it required for Virginia to discover that teaching youngsters wasn't exactly her "thing."
She subsequently jumped at the chance to work for and be trained in the newspaper business by the late Deskins Wells, publisher of the Wellington Leader. Her first and only title with the newspaper was, and continues to be, that of editor.
Wells, at that time, held another responsible job. He was serving as executive director of the Texas Press Association, a position he held until the arrival in Texas of the new TPA general manager Vern Sanford in 1947.
TPA was headquartered at Wells' newspaper in Wellington. He also served as publisher of the TPA Messenger and Virginia was the associate editor. She recalls that TPA and Texas Newspaper Publishers Association (now TDNA) held joint conventions during the years of World War II.
Virginia has covered, reported and edited every type of news story imaginable during her career with the Leader. She says the most dramatic change to come to the newspaper industry during her tenure has been the transition from hot type to cold type, and the age of lithography and offset printing.
When she first joined the Leader, most newspapers in the small to medium size communities wre printed on a sheetfed Miehle flatbed press or on an 8-page duplex. Today, the Leader is printed at a central offset plant owned by the Childress Index.
Virginia has also more than earned her stripes as a community leader. She has worked tirelessly with all local organizations and is a past president of the chamber of commerce. She remains a member of the Collingsworth General Hospital Auxiliary.
Henry Wells, son of Deskins and current publisher of The Leader, says: "Virginia has probably covered more board meetings of every description than anyone could possibly imagine. She's a walking book of records, an encyclopedia of city and county history.
"A former mayor once told me that 'this city couldn't possibly do without your editor.' She knows more about past meetings than even our records reveal. She's the authority to whom we go for the real information."
Besides editing the Leader, Virginia also writes the very popular "I Saw" column for the newspaper.
Publishing four weekly newspapers during World War II provided the proof that Thomas R. (Dick) Stagg did indeed have "ink in his veins."
And in case you wonder why, then just consider the conditions under which Dick produced a quartet of weeklies:
· His father had died in October, 1941.
· His older brother, Gilpin, had joined the Navy.
· His sister, Elynor, was away at college.
· And most of the employees, including two printers, had joined the Armed Forces to fight the Axis powers.
So Dick and his mother were left with the job of reporter, editor, ad seller, compositor, printer and distributor for those four newspapers in Thomson, Illinois. But Dick had a rich background of experience to do just that... and then some.
While still in grade school, for example, he worked in the backshop doing such things as melting the lead for the Linotypes and casting boxes of hot type production. He also ran the folding machine and even carried the 120-pound finished pages in steel chases to the press for printing. During those years, he became quite familiar with the long hours that are so traditional with publishing, having spent many a Wednesday working all night long to "get the papers out by Thursday morning deadline time."
After World II, Dick's brother, Gilpin, returned to the plant. This allowed Dick to enroll as a journalism student at the University of Missouri. However, that education was interrupted after three years when he was drafted by the Army during the Berlin Airlift. Two years later, Dick was discharged and returned to the family-run newspapers.
The family finally sold these newspapers in 1967, and Dick came to Texas to buy The Crane News from L.C. Welch. He operated The News until January of this year, when he retired.
In the true tradition of all "retired" newspapermen, Dick still keeps his hands in the operation.
J.L. (Mike) Werst Jr. could have claimed his TPA Golden Award for 50 years of newspaper service nine years ago.
That's because this member of the three-generation newspaper Werst family actually started working in a printing plant in Temple in the summer of 1928. The plant, co-owned by his father, J. Lee Werst, was the Central Texas Publishing Co.
But Mike's first regular full-time newspaper job started in 1933 when he became a proofreader for the Temple Morning News. He was attending Temple Junior College at the time. The proofreading job lasted until 1935 when the News was sold to the Temple Daily Telegram.
Following his college years, Mike moved to Dallas to work for the Texas Typesetting Co. for a short period of time.
The next few years saw him taking a journeyman's course in community journalism as he worked his way up the ladder on a variety of newspapers before holding the reins as publisher.
Those moves, which were almost traditional for newsmen and printers during the earlier, lean years of newspapering, saw Mike:
· Move to Hondo in 1938 to work for Fletcher Davis at the Hondo Anvil-Herald;
· Move to Thorndale in 1941 to publish the Champion for V.F. Norris;
· Move to Taylor in 1942 to work for the Taylor Times, which at the time was a wekly owned by Don Scarbrough;
. Move to San Angelo in 1943 to work for the Standard-Times, and finally,
· In November 1945, together with is wife Maurine, purchase the Mertzon Weekly Star from L. L. McFall.
Mike continued working several days a week for the Standard-Times while he operated the Star. On May 1, 1947, Mike and Maurine leased the Big Lake Wildcat from Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Wilson.
They continued operating both newspapers until mid 1947 when they sold the Star back to the McFalls.
Meanwhile, the lease on the Wildcat continued until 1953 when the Wersts purchased the newspaper from Mrs. Wilson following her husband's death. They continued operating the Wildcat together until their son, third newspaper generation David, returned to Big Lake.
Maurine has since retired, but Mike still remains active as publisher of the newspaper.
Mike's career has extended far beyond his own newspaper publishing activities, a statement made obvious by his record of outside professional and civic work.
A past president of the West Texas Press Association, Mike also has been a director and committee member of TPA. He is a long-time member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi.
Mike's civic work has included an 18-year directorship and 10-year presidency of the Reagan Hospital Board. He served as chairman of the Big Lake Sesquicentennial coordinating committee, the Reagan County Historical Commission and the Big Lake Salvation Army Service Unit. He has chaired the latter for the past 18 years.
He served as past president and zone chairman three different times for the local Lions Club. He is now serving his 11th year as secretary of that organization. Mike's other memberships include the First Presbyterian Church and the Big Lake Masonic Lodge.
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.
110th Summer Convention, June 23, 1989, Sheraton Centre Park Hotel Arlington
Harlan Bridwell first experienced the fatal attraction of the newspaper business at the age of nine, in a communist colony in Louisiana.
Harlan's father was plant superintendent of the colony's newspaper and print shop and Harlan was put to work there doing odd jobs and learning the art of bandsetting type.
The Bridwell family lived in the experimental colony for a little less than a year in the 1920s, long enough for Harlan to feel the flow of ink in his veins, and for the family to learn the socialist philosophy did not coincide with the principles of free thought and personal responsibility they cherished.
Later in his adolescent years, Harlan worked on his uncle's newspaper, the Dumas (Ark.) Clarion.
In 1938, Harlan started his own newspaper at Forestburg, Texas, population 75. The Forestburger (named by a local woman after Harlan asked residents to suggest a name), chronicled the births and deaths, business and social activities of the area.
The press and three cases of used type used to produce the paper were bought on credit for $30. The first issue of The Forestburger contained $3.17 worth of advertising.
The 10x14 inch newsprint had to be handfolded before it could be printed on the 7x10 inch foot pedal press, and printed one page at a time. It was then folded back the other way to print the other two pages.
Harlan, 20-year-son of L.H. and Elizabeth Bridwell, did all the work getting out the newspaper, from handsetting the type, which later had to be replaced in the typecases one letter at a time, to selling the ads.
Virtually all the advertising came from merchants in Bowie, Gainesville, Muenster and Saint Jo. Harlan was without a car much of the time and hitchhiked rides from obliging neighbors to area towns. When he hitched a ride on the milk truck going to Muenster, he always helped unload the cans so he wouldn't feel like he was bumming the ride.
Bridwell enlisted in the army in 1940. During the years of World War II, the Forestburger was published by his sister, Dorothy, and, for a time by his brother, Dario. After Dario left for army duty in 1942, Dorothy, with help from her parents, assumed the responsibility of the paper until Harlan's release from military duty at the end of the war.
Shortly after his return, Harlan, who had by this time acquired a wife and baby, bought an 11x17 platen press and enlarged the size of the newspaper page. Later, he started publishing the paper weekly rather than every two weeks. He moved his family into the back of the shop for wife Rosemary's convenience in alternating care of infant son, Keith, with her new job as typesetter.
Next, Harlan introduced a new front page feature he called Shootin' Blind, a column he has continued to write in newspapers he has published over the years.
The Forestburger ceased publication in 1952, when Bridwell moved to Bellevue, in Clay County, to establish the Bellevue News.
Bridwell's six years in Bellevue were active and fruitful ones. He was elected mayor in 1954 and was serving his second term when he resigned in 1957 after purchasing the Bridgeport Index. He served two terms as Master of Bellevue's Masonic Lodge.
When Bridwell, now the father of four children and feeling the need to seek wider fields that might prove more profitable, decided to buy the Index, Bridgeport was getting ready to enter a period of long-awaited prosperity.
The severe drought of the 1950s had depleted the area resources. Wells in a newly discovered gas field had been capped, awaiting Federal Power Commission approval for Natural Gas Pipeline Company to construct a pipeline from Bridgeport to Fritch in West Texas.
In March 1956, Mayor George Harwood led a delegation of Bridgeport businessmen to Washington to appear before the FPC, stating the importance of opening the gas field to Bridgeport's economy. On December 4, 1956, the commission granted approval. Boom times were ahead for Bridgeport.
At the Index, however, the Depression still reigned and four-page papers were the norm. Advertising, at 30 cents a column inch, was regarded by most merchants as a luxury benefiting nobody but the owner of the newspaper. Bridwell's campaign to enlighten the business community on the advantages of advertising was to be a long and arduous one.
Over the years, the tab size paper gained support in the community, and Shootin' Blind had maintained a high readership rating.
In 1960, Bridwell converted from hot-type to the offset method of printing, the first newspaper owner in a wide area of North Texas to do so.
These were exciting times for Bridgeport, when drilling crews poured into the Minute Coffee Shop at all hours of the night, primed for coffee and a hot meal, garnished with plenty of exuberant horseplay. Money flowed along with the gas and oil in what was believed to be a never ending abundance.
The Index published several Progress editions (one a hefty 96 pages) during these prosperous years, with most features, pictures and ads focused on oil related businesses and the rock crushing industry, a large contributor to the Bridgeport area's economy. Downtown retail businesses got their share of publicity, as did the hospital, schools, churches, etc.
As spokesman for his newspaper, Harlan has always met issues head-on, speaking the truth as he saw it even when he knew his position was at odds with popular opinion. His outspoken editorials gained him the reputation of "the fighting editor," a political conservative, and some other labels that, he says, wouldn't do to print.
As recently as last year, one of hid detractors told him, "You've been holding this town back for the last 20 years."
"That's not right, "Harlan replied. "It's been 30 years."
The Bridwell humor that Harlan will probably be most remembered for has more than once had untoward repercussions. In a Shootin' Blind column 15 to 20 years ago, he described a giant jackrabbit he claimed to have seen leaping over oak trees two stories tall. The animal had rampaged through the country and had been guilty of slaughtering 15 calves belonging to a farmer near Paradise, among other outrages. The incidents were described in terms so blatantly unbelievable, Harlan was stunned to find that many people took the story for the truth. Even the Index employee who set the type for the story and was in on the joke from the start, grew quite nervous and upset that such a creature was abroad.
All of the Bridwell's children-Keith, Doug, Stan and Melanie-have worked on weekly newspapers and both
Keith and Doug are former Index editors. Keith, the oldest son, is editor and publisher of the Frisco Enterprise where Stan works in the printing department.
In addition to the three newspapers he now publishes the Index, the Chico Texan and the Wise County Shopper. Harlan has owned the Tioga Herald, the Iowa Park Rocket, the Frisco Enterprise, the Celina Record, the Ryan (Okla.) Leader, the Bellevue News and the Forestburger.
Harlan is a past president of the North and East Texas Press Association; a former director and first vice president of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce; and has served two terms as president of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. He is chairman of the Bridgeport Public Library Trust Fund Committee, which is currently involved in building a new library in Bridgeport.
William K. "Bill" Todd's 54-year career in journalism can literally be described as a nationwide venture that has spanned from the farmlands of Illinois to the logging camps of Oregon, from the snow drifts of Michigan to the tropics of South Texas.
Bill Todd began his journalistic career in 1935 when he joined the Rockford (Ill.) Register Republic as a cub reporter. He remained in Rockford only one year however before moving to Chicago in 1936 to work for the Chicago Herald Examiner. During this time, he also attended Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. (1935-36), and Loyola University in Chicago (1936-37).
Bill's career shifted from reporting to circulation in 1937 when he moved to the timberlands of Oregon to become circulation distribution manager of the Portland News Telegram. To his credit, circulation figures were noticeably increased simply by assuring that evening editions were off the press and on the final train heading into the logging camps.
While circulation seemed to become his niche in life, Oregon didn't. His desire to return to the Midwest took Bill back to Illinois where he became circulation manager of the Wheaton Daily Journal in 1938, and then co-circulation manager of the Gary (Ind.) Post Tribune in 1939. It was while he was in Gary that Bill claimed Dorothy Marion Davies as his bride. Their marriage produced a family of six children, two of whom are currently involved in the family newspaper and printing businesses in Texas.
The outbreak of World War II sidelined Bill's newspaper career when his National Guard unit was activated in 1941. Bill became a member of the U.S. Army and advanced to the rank of major while serving in the Pacific Theater.
In 1947, Todd returned to civilian life and rejoined the Rockford (Ill.) Consolidated Newspapers as circulation promotion manager. During his tenure there, he advanced to circulation manager, business manager and associate publisher under his publisher-father, E. Kenneth Todd. In 1952, the Todds purchased Rockford Consolidated Newspapers from the McCormick family of Chicago and retained ownership of The Rockford Morning Star and the Rockford Register Republic until 1967 when both papers were sold to the Gannett Corp.
Bill remained with the Rockford papers under Gannett ownership, serving as president and publisher until 1971 when he "retired" and began planning his Texas newspaper venture. In April 1972, Bill moved his family to Austin and established Todd Publications, Inc. Within one year, he purchased The Cuero Daily Record, The Smithville Times, The Schulenburg Sticker and The Round Rock Leader. In addition, he established two central printing plants, one in Cuero and the other in Smithville. Currently, Bill serves as president of Todd Publications, Inc., which includes The Round Rock Leader and Todd Web Press in Smithville.
In addition to his newspaper interests, Bill has been active in Texas politics and has served an elected term as chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. Through the years, Todd served on numerous committees of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Inland Daily Press Association, the Texas Press Association, the Central States Circulation Manager's Association and the International Circulation Manager's Association.