| English native George Robinson (1820-1888), formerly of the Galveston News, moved to Huntsville by 1846 and began printing the Huntsville Item on August 20, 1850. He was able to employ an apprentice printer that year. In 1859 Robinson and Dr. H. Morton, a dentist, built a two-story building. Dr. Morton's office was on the first floor, and the second floor housed the Item's printing operation and office. By 1860, Robinson employed a Canadian printer named R. H. Griffin. George Robinson served six months in the Texas state troops during the Civil War and then returned to Huntsville to continue publishing the Item. His work with the paper was again interrupted during an epidemic of yellow fever and the economic conditions of Reconstruction from 1867 to 1869. The newspaper office burned in 1878 and again in 1884. That year, George's youngest son, Fred Robinson, took over publication of the paper. He moved operations into a building on the town square and into another structure in 1885; that building burned in 1892. After another fire in 1902, Fred Robinson sold the paper to J. A. Palmer, who merged it with another Huntsville newspaper and renamed it the Huntsville Post-Item. The names, publishers and owners changed several times in the following years, but by 1914 it was the Item again, operated by Ross Woodall. His family continued to operate the paper after his death in 1943. In 1967 the Woodall family sold the paper to Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., which owned the Item until 1986. Later owned by several other companies, the Huntsville Item is one of the oldest newspapers in Texas. (2000) |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Related Themes: Texas C.S.A., Texas Confederate States of America, Confederacy
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