The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 207
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Frontier Journalism in West Texas
places by the necessity of both to push farther west as a result
of the encroachments of the "actual settler" brought in by the
railroads. The country gradually changes from a cattle range to
an agricultural section; towns grow up, and journalism becomes
a profession, claiming the entire time of its followers. The editor
settles down to tranquil existence in one locality and often loses
much of his individuality. It is, however, with some of the char-
acteristics of West Texas journalism in its earlier periods that we
are to deal here.
The cattle industry exerted a strong influence upon the migra-
tions of the local newspapers during the late 70's and early 80's.
After the removal of the Indian menace in 1875 and the exter-
mination of the buffalo in 1876 and 1877, the cattle industry
spread over the western part of the state with great rapidity. The
cow towns, as they were called, offered good opportunities for a
newspaper. They were live, hustling, busy places. The cattle-
man used the local newspaper to advertise for his strays. The
local merchants advertised their goods lavishly in order to bring
their wares before the notice of the cattleman.
The best illustration of the tendency of a newspaper to move
westward with the cattle industry is that of the Frontier Echo.
It was established in 1875 at Jacksboro in Jack County. At the
time Jacksboro was a frontier cow town, and for two or three
years the Echo thrived, but the cattle industry was hastily moving
on. The story of the wanderings of the Echo can best be told by
citing a few items from its files, which, fortunately, have been
preserved. The following article appeared, December 1, 1878:
For nearly one year, we have had in mind that a newspaper pub-
lished in the live stock interest of Northwest Texas would meet
with public favor. This proposition being settled in the affirma-
tive the next question is, where is the best point to issue such a
paper; at one of the leading shipping places or near the center of
the stock range. Good arguments could be adduced in favor of
each place. We have determined upon the publication of such a
paper. After careful thought and advising with many of the
leading stockmen of the country, we are fully satisfied that the
range is a better location for it than the railroad.
But a few years ago, Jacksboro was headquarters for stockmen
of Northwest Texas, but the settler, the small farmer, has driven
the stockmen with their wealth clear to the outpost of civilization,
close upon the track of the Indian. The cowboy is a picket-guard,
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/212/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.