175 Years of Cherokee County News

by John Hawkins john@thecherokeean.com

Excitement is growing within this local newspaper and our community as The Cherokeean Herald marches toward its 175th anniversary on Feb. 14, 2024. We bought this paper precisely to carry on and preserve this Texas heritage. When you consider all that has happened since its beginning, the changes are incredible.

From horse and buggy to automobiles, electric lights, telephones, indoor plumbing and more were developed during the early years. Now they talk about flying cars, we have LED bulbs, cell phones and brain implants, but thank goodness we still have indoor plumbing.

We have been here through the War Between the States, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, the Afghanistan War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and more.

Even though we may be a small company, we take our job very seriously and know our readers expect us to be fair, honest and unbiased, for which we feel that accomplished that goal.

We’re proud to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us and to be able to continue with the history and heritage of this great publication.

Times are definitely changing. In the 1800’s the paper started out with a lead smelter that was used to create letters, words and graphics. It progressed to a Linotype that made setting up the paper easier but still difficult and time-consuming. When I first came the paper in the ’80s, Sherry Blankenship would lay out the paper by hand, cutting out pieces and taping them to a media before then using a plate-burner that would actually go on the printing press.

Now, all our work is created on computers, using material from readers sending emails to us with stories, announcements and photographs. Instead of giant machines, we sit at our iMac desk computers and create the paper each week. Once we have the product finished, it’s emailed to our printer, who, in a matter of hours, produces a print edition and delivers it the same day. This allows us to put the latest edition online and via the website, send out alerts for breaking news as it happens.

A community newspaper such as The Cherokeean is essential to keeping our readers informed of local events, notices, meetings, the achievements of their neighbors, while also keeping a spotlight on public servants.

We are following in the footsteps of so many who came before us and we’re just the latest caretakers of The Cherokeean Herald. We are proud to be able to continue with the history and heritage of this great publication.

A very special Thank You to all our loyal readers and, of course, to our advertisers that support this community. I feel confident that we’ve earned your trust every week.

Proud? You bet we are ... to own that part of Cherokee County and Texas history. We still have to pinch ourselves to make sure this amazing journey is real.