Palestine History 1936
Newspapers. "The oldest copy of an Anderson County newspaper known to be in existence is Mr. Ewing's copy of the Trinity Advocate of August 8, 1866, published at Palestine. In this is a call for a railroad convention at Tyler in which is plainly seen the beginnings of the Great Northern. Says this Advocate in 1866: 'There are twelve dry goods stores in this place and all doing a good business; six grocery stores where anything may be had from a stick of candy to a barrel of Bourbon; and three saloons; there are three drug stores, one hotel, one cabinet shop, one watch maker's shop, three blacksmith's shops, shoe shop, barber shop, saddler's shop, tailor's shop, two printing shops, any number of doctor and lawyer's shops, etc. We can't boast of any very fine brick buildings yet, except the court house, the clerk's office, and two or three other buildings'.
In this paper published in 1866, the reference to "two printing shops" shows that another plant, other than the Advocate, was in operation. Mr. Mark Hamilton of the Palestine Herald informs the writer that, both before and after the Civil War, his uncle, Bill Hamilton, published a newspaper in Palestine. (The name and facts not available.) This doubtless was the other "shop" referred to. The Trinity Advocate was changed to the Palestine Advocate about 1872.
In 1875 the Advocate said: "Ours has been a one-horse town long enough, and now it is time to become a four-in-hand team. In less than eighteen months from date, the population of Palestine will have doubled, and instead of having a population of 2500 as at present, we will have 5,000 or 6,000." Then he pleads for larger plans and united action. Until 1892 the Palestine Advocate was owned and published by A. E. McClure and J. W. Ewing. Associated with them was a native of Anderson County, R. H. Small. The Palestine Advocate is a weekly paper. W. M. Imboden acquired it in the late 90's, running it for several years. Hamilton and sons still publish it.
In 1892 two young men, John Small, nephew of R. H. Small, and Rutledge Rutherford, printers working for the Advocate, established the first daily newspaper, The Palestine Daily Press. Getting permission to print their paper on the Advocate plant they started out, without capital and made a success of the venture for a time. Everybody subscribed. Type was set by hand, paper printed on an old drum cylinder press, with a negro for motive power. Paper was six column folio. After a year or two Demming and Ewing relieved the boys of the "white elephant" their paper had become, and continued publication under a changed name, The Visitor. Mr. and Mrs. Demming succeeded to ownership, running the Daily Visitor until 1926 when it was purchased by Mr. Woodson, who changed the name back to the Press. Mr. Woodson sold the Press in 1935 to W. M. Hamilton of the Daily Herald who has combined the two sheets in this way: on week days the Press comes out each morning, the Herald every afternoon. On Sundays the two are combined into one big issue, the Herald-Press, serving subscribers to both papers.
The Palestine Times-News, published by Mr. Frank Price is a consolidation of the two papers, the Times, which Mr. Price has run since November 1934 and the. News which was established by Mr. Amos Harper about the same time. It is a live semi-weekly sheet, and with the Hamilton Publications assures Palestine of a very complete newspaper service.
A Centennial History of Anderson County, Texas, 1936 by Pauline Buck Hohes.