February 6, 1903, in the face of competition from the two other papers, he
changed the name of the paper from The Industrial West to The
Clarendon Chronicle and changed its frequency to twice a week.
spent considerable time as an active member of the old Northwest Texas
Press Association. He served as its president in 1901 and was also active
in state and national press associations.
number of local newspapers again shrank from three to two in July of 1904
when Cooke’s Banner-Stockman absorbed and discontinued the News.
Cooke was always a force for positive change in Clarendon. He worked for
every positive enhancement of “The City Beautiful” and was
instrumental in encouraging the passage of bonds for a sewer system and
promoted the development of a fire department.
sold The Banner-Stockman to R.C. Dial on January 8, 1909. Cooke
moved first to Brady and later to Rockdale where his family continues to
publish an award-winning paper today. Within months of Dial’s purchase
of the Banner-Stockman, there was contention again in the local paper
business. In May, Alvis Weatherly, assisted by former Banner-Stockman
printer James Trent, launched The Clarendon Times.
October 23, 1909, Blake announced the sale of the Chronicle to A.M.
Beville. Blake opened a job print shop; and Beville and his son, Harwood,
took over the paper on November 1, 1909, and restored its original title, The
maintained the schedule and format set by Blake and gave the paper a new
motto, which would be carried on the nameplate for more than 30 years –
“All the local News — while it is news.” He also put the emphasis on
local news and hoped his product would be something people simply could
not do without.
fact,” Beville wrote, “we want to make the News a household necessity
in every home in the Clarendon trade territory; so much so that it will be
like a famous patent medicine – that even the children cry for it.”
Your sin will find you out
away, Beville found himself covering what remains one of the biggest news
stories in the history of Clarendon. In March 1909, G.R. Miller had shot a
boy in the head as the train they had hitched a ride on neared Giles. The
boy, Floyd Autry, died the next day, and Miller was soon captured and
charged with the crime. Beville’s inaugural issue carried the jury’s
verdict of guilt and the sentence of death. After unsuccessful appeals,
Miller was executed in Clarendon on the morning of June 3, 1910, and a
crowd of about a thousand people was there to watch.
took no pleasure in the big news of the day and placed the story on page
two of the paper. He gave a thorough but not overly detailed account of
the hanging and wrote "Be sure your sin will find you out."
was the only execution to take place in Donley County, and today it is
noted for being the last legal hanging in the Texas Panhandle.
the end of 1910, the News consolidated with its only competitor, The
Clarendon Times, and ended what had been two decades of competition in
the local newspaper business. Beville
then returned the paper to a once-a-week schedule and altered the
nameplate by adding “And Clarendon Times Combined” beneath The
October 1, 1911, Beville sold the newspaper to Joe M. Warren, who, after a
short time as publisher, removed the Clarendon Times from the nameplate
and added “Established 1878” to the cover.
gathered ads and news and enlisted the help of his eldest daughter, Leta,
and his eldest son, Harry, in setting type and running the press. Ed
Boliver, who later ran the newspaper at Hedley, served as editor of the
Leta,” as she was fondly known, also helped gather the news from around
town. Other community members contributed items to help fill the columns.
G.W. Antrobus sent letters to the News when he toured the Old
South, and Mrs. Cornelia Adair’s visits from England were big news also.
Warren and Leta were both active in the Texas and Panhandle press
associations. Warren also later implemented one of the biggest
technological changes in the News’ history. Previously all type was
painstakingly set one letter at a time by hand. But Warren introduced
“hot metal” type with the installation of a used Model One Linotype,
one of the earliest such machines in the area. Modern historians say the
Linotype, which cast a line of type in molten lead, reduced printing time
by as much as 85 percent in some shops.
Braswell purchased The Clarendon News from Warren on July 19, 1917.
Braswell increased the subscription rate to $1.50 and set about
making other changes. In September of 1918, a little more than a year
after taking over, the new publisher had a brand new Model 14 Linotype
installed to displace the old Model One. The new machine set seven faces
of type to the old machine’s two faces and surpassed the Model One in a
ratio of one hundred to one in “general satisfaction.” It was the
latest model Linotype between Fort Worth and Denver except for one in
Amarillo, but Clarendon’s machine was five months newer and therefore
had “a few adjustments not on that one.” Braswell said the reason for
the new machine was to make sure Clarendon had the best paper in Texas.
News took another step forward just 18 months later and installed a
new printing press. The new press allowed Braswell to increase the size of
the News from six to seven columns. He also joined the growing
trend of newspapers around Texas in banning ads from the front page – a
feature which had always been commonplace before. Both the new press and
the new ad policy drew wide praise from other papers. Braswell’s
prohibition on front-page ads is a policy which has endured into the 21st
Braswell’s direction, the News continued to play a prominent role within
the community and the newspaper industry. Braswell was an active member of
the Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the Clarendon Lions Club.
He served as president of the Panhandle Press Association in 1920-1921 and
was president of the Texas Press Association in 1923-24. He was also named
as a lifetime member of the TPA.
also led the News to win many awards in the 1920s for advertising and job
printing during annual conventions of the Texas Press Association.
1920s were a time of growth for Clarendon. From his position in the
editor’s chair, Braswell recorded such progressive events as the
city’s first paving project, and he was a booster of Clarendon College
as the Methodist-sponsored institution evolved from a junior college to a
brief life as a senior institution.
it was also on Braswell’s watch in 1926 that Clarendon suffered the sad
news that the Methodist conference had elected to remove the college to
another town. Local citizens rallied around, and the college became a
municipal junior college in 1927.
Copyright © 2003, The Clarendon Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.