Cherokee County, as it was

by Penny Hawkins

If you like history, local history, reported as it happened, then there is a wealth of fun reading waiting for you on the Cherokeean Herald website. I just randomly went to an issue from 1928 and was swept back in time before the Great Depression and WWII when Cherokee County was a rural area and the front page granted equal space to a huge fire and a purse snatching. Here are a few samples:

From the Feb. 16, 1928, issue on the front page:

“Mrs. L.D. Guinn was a weekend guest of friends and relatives in Port Arthur and Houston. Mrs. Guinn was made the victim of purse snatchers, while in the latter city, but when they found a picture of Judge Guinn in the receptacle it was restored to her.”

Also, on that front page was an article about Johnnie Williams, manager and chairman of the local Ford Distributing agency, taking an airplane to Houston to pick up a new product and drive it home Friday evening. And “C. D. Poe’s Store Badly Damaged by Fire. The big dry goods, clothing and furnishings store, located on the southwest of the square was the scene of a disastrous fire, Monday evening.” The article goes on to say that at first it looked like the adjacent two-story Moseley Drug Store was doomed and that would “have meant the destruction of the entire business block.”
It goes on to praise the fire department and volunteers for thirty minutes of “hard and heroic fighting” that brought the flames under control and “they saved a goodly portion of our town.”
Interesting to note that huge story was wedged in between “Attend Big Kiwanis Meeting at Denton” and “It Can Be Done – Will We Do it?” which was all about “the periodical and spasmodic agitation of the mosquito question.” Also, on that page was an article about work on the new post office building getting under way, on the corner of Second and Magnolia streets.

For more fun and informative reading about our past, go to and chose Special Pages; on the dropdown menu, choose Archives. The Cherokeean Herald goes back to 1990 and The Rusk Cherokeean currently has issues back to 1920, the Alto Herald has some back to 1908!