Hood County News – September 23, 1971

Transcribed by Mary Maxwell

A county newspaper was one of the early businesses established in Granbury with the first paper being established in December, 1871.

There have been numerous papers in Granbury over the years. Names include the Vidette, Graphic, Graphic-Democrat, Tolar Tablet, Hood County Tablet, Graphic-Truth, Granbury News, Hood County News-Tablet, Hood County Informer-News, and now the Hood County News.

Three names, Crockett, Gaston and Crawford, stand out in this century of newspapering in the county. Ashley W. Crockett, grandson of David Crockett of Alamo fame, was involved in publishing from early in 1880 to sometime in the 1940’s. Frank Gaston entered the business in about 1887 or 1888 and continued until 1930. His family continued until 1945. Mrs. and Mrs. A.B. Crawford bought their first paper here in 1937 and continued until his death in 1956 and Mrs. Crawford’s retirement in 1970.

Captain W.L. Bond is credited with establishing this first paper, The Granbury Vidette. On December 26, 1874 The Vidette was operated by F. Ed Garland and Charles A. Price.

The Granbury News was established in the 1880’s by J.D. Ballard. Historians set the date of the paper’s birthdate as 1886. This is the volume we carry now. But, in 1930 the volume number on an old Granbury News we recently discovered, was XLVI, making the founding date 1884.

T.E. Bailey purchased The News shortly after it was established and in 1888 Frank Gaston purchased the paper. He and his family published the paper until 1945, when the A.B. Crawfords merged it with their Hood County Tablet.

While The News was rolling along, there were numerous competitors starting, merging and disappearing from the county scene.

Crockett began his long newspaper career in the 1880’s when he took over The Vidette and changed the name to Granbury Graphic. This paper was published for about 25 years. In the 1880’s the paper was published upstairs over Hannaford’s Drug Store in the building that is now Nickel’s Department Store.

Sometime in the 1890’s Newt Gresham became editor of the Granbury Graphic and either he or W.A. Binyon changed the name to Graphic-Truth. Binyon was editor in 1903 and the paper carried a volume number that made it a successor to the old Vidette.

Crockett did not stay out of the newspaper business, for in 1901 he was publishing the Granbury Democrat.

In 1906 the Graphic-Truth and the Granbury Democrat were merged and Binyon was editor of the paper in 1908 and 1909.

A piece of an April 2, 1915 Graphic-Democrat lists S.T. Compton as publisher. The paper apparently died between then and 1919.

In that issue of the paper a story lists Crockett as assistant Postmaster of the Granbury Post Office.

Apparently Crockett could not stay out of the newspaper business, for in 1919 he is listed as the publisher of the Tolar Tablet. This paper became the Hood County Tablet in 1921. Crockett continued to publish the paper until 1937 when he sold it to Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Crawford. He continued to work for the Crawford’s and died when he was over 90 years old.

Frank Gaston, who is reputed to be one of the men who set the type for the first newspaper published in Fort Worth, operated the Granbury News until his death May 10, 1930.

Gaston apparently was a community builder. Compton, his competition, paid tribute to Gaston in the 1915 issue of the Graphic-Democrat for almost 30 years of work in the community.

After Frank Gaston’s death in 1930, his son, Edwin, and his sister, Mrs. Wray continued.