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HOUSTON  COUNTY  NEWSPAPERS

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Newspapers have always served as a valuable reflection of the history and way of life in any given area.  The Fourth Estate established its role in the history and development of Houston County during the very earliest days.  Few major newspapers were established in Texas before 1850.  As late as 1846, Crockett was still merely a settlement.  The earliest newspaper that can be found is Oscar Dalton's Crockett Printer. It's first issue is dated December 6, 1853.  From that time forward, Crockett has had at least one newspaper, and, at times, more than one.
The following account of Crockett newspapers is reprinted with permission from Houston County History, by Eliza H. Bishop.
Crockett Argus , began publication in 1857.  John C. Hepperla, publisher, died of typhoid fever at Camp McLeod, Va., in 1861.  His office was located on the SW corner of the public square and he shared with W. A. Stewart and James M. Hall, who owned the building.  Hepperla favored H.R. Runnels for governor in 1857, and opposed Sam Houston.  "Come Now and Let Us Reason Together" was this paper's motto.
The Quidnunc, was published by Judge James R. Burnett from 1864-1866.
Crockett Sentinel, began publication about 1867.  A.D. Elam was editor who married Sara Jane Monroe, oldest daughter of A.T.M. Monroe.  Leaverton and Hall were the publishers.
Houston County Herald, was a democratic publication which was published between 1870-1880.
Crockett Patron, was founded in 1880 by E. A. Gause and carried on by Dr. P.W. Archer.
The Economist, was begun by Prof. G. J. Nunn in 1880. It was carried on by Judge A. D. Lipscomb, Gause and Aldrich, Dabney White, and Albert Wortham until 1890.  Under Wortham the paper ceased.
The Crockett Courier, was established by Hon. W.B. Page in January, 1890. Giles M. Haltom was the publisher.  It was at first named The Crockett Weekly Courier. The best known editor-publisher was W. W. Aiken, bachelor, who guided the paper for 60 years. Page brought him to Crockett from Pine Hill.  He had learned the trade in print shops at San Marcos, San Antonio, Greenville, and Palestine.  After becoming state senator, Page agreed to sell to Aiken.  The paper merged with the Crockett Democrat  in December, 1958, and became the Courier Democrat in 1959.  The paper's name changed to the Houston County Courier in 1960.
The Crockett Enterprise, was established in 1896 by Tom M. Bowers.
The Grapeland Messenger,  began in 1897.  Phil H. Blaylock was the first editor.  Originally called The Grapeland Times and Farmer's Journal, it was bought by D. McNaughton of Palestine and edited by Riley T. Runyon until 1899.  At that time, the paper was sold to W. B. Johnson, Mose Spence, George E. Darsey, Sr., and Dr. H.S. Robertson, who was editor.  The name was changed to Grapeland Messenger, and the plans were to use the profits of the paper for the building of a Methodist parsonage.  In 1904-05, Lee Satterwhite operated the  paper and sold it to George E. Darsey , Sr..  At that time, A. H. Luker became editor.  Luker leased the business for five years in 1910 became sole owner until his retirement in 1953.  His sons, Merle and Henry Ed continued with Merle as business manager and Ed, editor.  In 1959, Merle left to begin a new paper in Vidor.  Ed operated form 1950 until 1968 when Weldon Kerby purchased the paper.
The Lovelady News, was begun in 1903.  It was owned and published by the Rev. A.J. Frick.  T.N. Mainer purchased the paper and published for several years.
The Houston County Herald, was published every Thursday at Ratcliff  from 1906 through 1910.  It was published by the McCelvey brothers, with H.A. McCelvey serving as editor.
The Houston County Times, was established in 1906 by Gus Goolsby, owner and publisher. At his death, the paper was carried on by his widow, Clara Callier Goolsby until she married Thomas J. Welch, who published the paper until his death in 1940.  His son, T. J. Welch, Jr. carried the paper forward until he entered the U. S. Navy during World War II.  When T.J. returned to work, he became  shop foreman for The Crockett Courier. He was involved with the merger of the Courier and the Crockett Democrat, as was long-time newspaper writer, Brewer Bennett.
The Lovelady Light, was published from 1913-1914 with Val Harper as editor.  McComb and Matney were publishers, H.A. Matney, manager.
The Lovelady Star, began a short run of publication in 1928.
The Lovelady Enterprise, was first published in 1932, and then attempted a second run in 1936.
The Crockett Democrat, began as a daily in 1940.  It was owned and operated by Henry J. Paul of Mart and Groesbeck.  It converted to a biweekly and then every Thursday.  The original force included R. V. Hendrix, shop foreman; Eliza Bishop, editor, layout and managerial; Charles Davenport, advertising; H.J. Paul, publisher.  The paper passed to Mrs. Ross Woodall in 1947;  Jeff Davis of New Orleans, La., and San Augustine in 1950; to Lufkin Publishing company in 1956 when John W. Lewis became editor.
Today, two excellent newspapers present in print all the news of Houston County:
The Houston County Courier, published bi-weekly in Crockett.
The Grapeland Messenger, published weekly in Grapeland.

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