HOILES, RAYMOND CYRUS

George N. Green

HOILES, RAYMOND CYRUS (1878–1970). Raymond Cyrus Hoiles, newspaper publisher, was born in Alliance, Ohio, on November 24, 1878, the son of Samuel and Phoebe Ann (Ladd) Hoiles. He apparently attended public school in Alliance, and he taught there in 1898–99. After graduating from Mount Union College in 1902 he worked as a printer's devil for the Alliance Review, a newspaper owned by his brother Frank. He and Frank eventually formed a partnership and began acquiring small newspapers. Hoiles moved to California in 1935 after purchasing the Santa Ana Register, which became the flagship of his Freedom Newspapers, Incorporated. By fall 1951 he owned seven papers, including the Odessa American and the Pampa News in Texas. At that time he spent $2 million to buy the three leading papers in the Rio Grande valley-the Brownsville Herald, the McAllen Monitor, and the Harlingen Valley Morning Star. Described in 1957 by Time magazine as "a crabby, Bible-spouting zealot," Hoiles criticized public schools, police departments, libraries, hospitals, churches, unions, the National Association of Manufacturers, integration, paper money, and majority rule. Democracy, he thought, was mob rule. His bitter, continuous assault on what he regarded as the socialism of the public schools triggered opposition in the Valley and occasionally elsewhere. Roy M. Hofheinz of Houston, a former judge and later mayor of that city, began a series of broadcasts on his radio station, KSOX, to counter Hoiles, telling the public that schools were no more socialistic than highways or the weather bureau. In February 1952 Hoiles and Hofheinz debated each other about whether public schools should be closed; some 5,000 people listened. Hofheinz believed that he could drive Hoiles out of the Valley, but Hoiles-hard pressed by massive subscription cancellations-began softening some of his controversial stands and thereby kept his newspapers. At the time of his death the Freedom Newspaper chain published twenty newspapers in seven or eight states with a combined circulation of about 500,000. Hoiles married Mable Crumb on February 16, 1905. They had three sons and a daughter. Hoiles died in Santa Ana, California, on October 30, 1970.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Daily Texan, February 24, 1952. George N. Green, The Establishment in Texas Politics (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1979). Newsweek, November 9, 1970. New York Times, October 31, 1970. Edgar W. Ray, The Grand Huckster: Houston's Judge Roy Hofheinz (Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1980). Texas Press Messenger, December 1970. Time, December 31, 1951, July 15, 1957, November 9, 1970. Who Was Who in America (Vol. 5).

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Handbook of Texas Online, George N. Green, "HOILES, RAYMOND CYRUS," accessed December 11, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho89.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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