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Fort Worth Weekly Gazette
The Fort Worth Weekly Gazette published an issue once a week (initially on Saturday, later on Friday and even Thursday) from 1882 to 1891. In the words of an early Gazette advertisement, “its purpose is the enlightenment of its readers on matters of State and National interest, and to convey information concerning the Empire State of the South and Southwest.” Like its sister paper, the Fort Worth Daily Gazette, the Weekly Gazette started life as a publication of the Stock Journal Publishing Company, but its ownership changed frequently over its nine-year existence.
Although affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Weekly Gazette maintained that “its mission is to give the news, and to this end the best efforts of the management will be directed.” The paper prided itself on its statewide battery of correspondents, as well as its comprehensive complement of telegraphic news. Circulating “along a belt of thriving settlements 870 miles long and from 300 to 700 miles wide,” the Weekly Gazette aspired to be more than just a local paper.
By 1887, the Weekly Gazette had a circulation of 11,210 readers, charging an annual subscription rate of $1.50 for eight pages measuring 17 x 24 inches each. The subscription rate, however, changed as often as the paper’s ownership. The Gazette's nameplate employed, like many newspapers of that era, hand-tooled gothic lettering in a distinguished, uncluttered front-page banner. No advertisements flanked the paper’s title.
Captain Buckley B. Paddock served as editor of the Weekly Gazette for two years (after having edited the Weekly Gazette's preceding title, The Fort Worth Democrat, for nearly a decade). His successor Walter Malone began his career as a “printer’s devil” or apprentice at the Fort Worth Whig Chief and also served as editor and publisher of newspapers in Texas, Mississippi, and Missouri. Malone brought fresh yet experienced leadership to the Weekly Gazette, adding special features such as short stories and ladies’ columns and succeeding in departmentalizing the news in some respects.
Another associate of the Weekly Gazette should also be noted. George B. Loving, as general manager of the Stock Journal Publishing Company, which owned the newspaper, placed the concerns of the stock raiser and rancher squarely within the Weekly Gazette's editorial focus. For instance, each week the Weekly Gazette would publish an extensive list of “estrays,” or stray cattle, from all over the state. The listings were organized by county and included any brands found on the wandering cattle. Such a feature made the local Fort Worth weekly a must-read for any rancher. Loving also played a central role in helping keep the Gazette solvent during its many changes of ownership.
Despite Loving’s best efforts and the praise of its peers and subscribers, the Fort Worth Weekly Gazette struggled financially until 1891, when it was suspended and incorporated, along with the Daily Gazette into the Fort Worth Gazette.
Provided by: University of North Texas; Denton, TX