In 1866, a Union Army Regular, Harry Hall (H.H.) McConnell (1837-1895), left Pennsylvania and traveled to Fort Belknap near Jacksboro. A natural journalist, he was a talented writer with an inquisitive mind and sense of humor. Along with his partner, R. Chandler, McConnell began a newspaper in Jacksboro called the Frontier Echo on June 30, 1875. Later that year, Captain George W. Robson (1837-1918), a Union officer from Kansas, bought The Echo. In 1878, Robson relocated to Ft. Griffin and renamed the newspaper The Fort Griffin Echo, and from 1883-1884, it was named The Albany Echo. Robson's newspaper was a success with much to say about crime, religion, politics, civic responsibility and public morals. In 1879, Edgar Rye, a Kentucky man who briefly worked with Robson, began a newspaper called The Albany Tomahawk. For four years, Robson's and Rye's newspapers rivaled each other through print. Finally, in 1884, Rye purchased The Echo, merged with The Albany Star to form The Albany News (also known as The Albany Weekly News from 1891-1894). With the talents of Don H. Biggers of Breckinridge, Rye's newspaper was lively, unusual and excellent for the west Texas journalism world of the 19th century.175 Years of Texas Independence ★ 1836 2011
The 20th century editors, Paul Baker from 1908-1917, Col. Dick McCarty from 1917-1944 and John McGaughey from 1939-71, gave the newspaper more creativity and stability. Many historians regularly use these noteworthy newspapers for historical research and to gain insight into west Texas history. These significant publications and contributors gave future Texans knowledge and understanding of frontier life, people and events.