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Established in May in 1892, the Chickasha Express is as old as the town whose name it bears. Named after the Choctaw word for Chickasaw, an indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, Chickasha was a rough and barren prairie community founded in Indian Territory with the arrival of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railways.

The Express was a small Saturday newspaper founded by W.R. Orme, but it was shortly taken over by A.M. Dawson, one of the town's pioneers. The success of the weekly led the publisher to launch a daily edition on December 28, 1899. The Chickasha Daily Express supported the Democratic Party and appeared every evening except Sunday.

By May 1901, Dawson had sold his interest in the Express to the paper's business manager, William Granlee. In November of 1903, George H. Evans, the city editor of the Enid Daily Wave, purchased one-half interest in the Express for $1,500. Four years later, Granlee sold his remaining interests in the paper to Bryce P. Smith, former co-publisher of the Enid Daily Eagle.

Evans was sole owner of the Express from 1915 to 1934, at which time he sold half of his interests to Dave Vandivier. Evans served as editor until an illness forced his retirement in 1952; he died 15 months later. On July 1, 1956, Mrs. Evans and Vandivier sold the Chickasha Daily Express to the Donrey Newspaper chain.


Provided by: Oklahoma Historical Society