We are pleased to announce the completion of a grant whose goal was to build newspaper content for counties that previously had little or no newspaper content in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. As a result of this award, we have digitized 25,300 newspaper pages from 13 border and near-border counties, including titles published in Spanish and French as well as English. The bulk of the newspaper collection spans from 1860-1869, with the decades from 1900-1920 prominently featured, as well.
The largest number of issues are represented by The Daily Ranchero from Brownsville, started by Henry Maltby in 1859 as the Corpus Christi Daily Ranchero. The Ranchero publishing office moved through a variety of South Texas and border cities during the Civil War, after which it settled in Brownsville.
Arguably one of the most unique titles, “The Oklasodak was the official newspaper of Bullard’s Brigade on the Mexican Border” (Ramsay, p. 314, 1920) and the issues from this title are from 1916-1917. Bullard’s Brigade was the South Dakota Infantry Regiment, which served along the Rio Grande from June of 1916 to March of 1917 (South Dakota National Guard Museum).
South Texas can boast nationally-famous products that had their beginnings in the early 20th-century. From Falfurrias, Texas, we have added early issues of the Falfurrias Facts, a newspaper title representing the city that has also given the world Falfurrias Butter. If you have ever eaten Falfurrias Butter, you should know that butter production in May 1913 for Falfurrias was 800lbs per day.
From Uvalde, the Uvalde News of November 17, 1898, provides an account of the recent history of area elections from Uvalde County to its neighboring border county of Maverick, with the argument that never before have elections been as hotly contested as they were in 1898 between the Democratic Party and the Independent Party. This history touches on past elections of similar acrimony, and the people discussed as running for office are citizens who helped build and settle the area, after whom various area cities, landmarks, and neighboring counties have been named.
A few hours researching this collection will lead you to many more treasures, and the Texas Digital Newspaper Program is proud to be able to host these issues and more in the Texas Borderlands Newspaper Collection. Teachers, students, and researchers of all ages can use these newspapers to better understand how Texas became the state it is now by researching the voices and viewpoints of people who built the counties represented by this collection.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to the State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.