- Annual Meeting
- Get Involved
LAREDO TIMES. The Laredo Times was founded by James Saunders Penn as a weekly newspaper on June 14, 1881. Penn had moved his printing equipment from Austin to Laredo in three prairie schooners shortly before the railroads reached the town. It was a four-page weekly, three columns on the front page being devoted to news items and editorials. A second page also carried editorials, news items, and legal notices, while the back pages consisted of advertisements and local items. All the type was set by hand. The first sensational story carried by the Times was the assassination of President James A. Garfield on July 6, 1881. In September 1883 the weekly edition had grown to twelve pages, and Penn began publishing the Laredo Daily Times. Through his editorials Penn became a leading voice for municipal reform. In the news section he launched investigations of the county jails, city construction projects, and the city's ferry franchise. After his father's death in 1901, James Saunders Penn, Jr. (Justo), followed his father in the management of the paper. He improved the equipment, changed the format, and devoted the front page to local, state, and national news. The paper grew into one of the most influential publications in South Texas.
In 1926 Penn sold the Laredo Times to a corporation headed by H. J. Hanway, with William Prescott Allen and Oliver W. Killam as major shareholders. Shortly thereafter the weekly edition was discontinued. A new feature of the Times was the daily Spanish section, "El Tiempo de Laredo," which consisted of two pages on weekdays and four on Sunday. In that day the Times was the only English-language paper on the border to carry a Spanish section. In 1928 it became part of Newspapers, Incorporated, of which Allen was a major stockholder. As the publisher, Allen was awarded the Águila Aztec Medal by Mexican president Manuel Ávila Camacho for his work in Mexican-American relations. Herschiel L. Hunt became the editor in August 1934. In 1970 the Times was sold to the Jefferson Pilot Corporation. James H. Hale was the publisher and editor at this time. In 1979 William H. Baker became the publisher, and in March 1981 Mike Herrera III was the first native Laredoan to become publisher. Herrera at this time was the only Mexican-American publisher of a major daily paper in Texas. In December 1984 the paper was bought by the Hearst Corporation. In 1986 William Green became the publisher. The Spanish section continued to be a part of the daily and Sunday paper.
The first Laredo Times office was located at the southeast corner of Flores and Farragut. The newspaper later expanded to larger quarters on the south side of Jarvis Plaza and in the 1930s moved to Matamoros Street in downtown Laredo. It moved again in 1972 to a location just off Interstate 35 on Esperanza Drive.
Kathleen Da Camara, Laredo on the Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1949). J. W. Falvella, A Souvenir Album of Laredo, the Gateway to Mexico (Laredo, Texas, 1917). Laredo Times, August 20, 1934, November 8, 1981. Jerry Don Thompson, Laredo: A Pictorial History (Norfolk: Donning, 1986). Jerry D. Thompson, Warm Weather and Bad Whiskey: The 1886 Laredo Election Riot (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1991).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Violet Cearley, "LAREDO TIMES," accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eel04.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 16, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.