RUDOLPH, CHARLES FRANCIS
RUDOLPH, CHARLES FRANCIS (1859–1929). Charles Francis Rudolph, newspaper editor, was born on February 4, 1859, in Marietta, Ohio. He moved to Texas at the age of sixteen with his younger brother, Frank, and lived for a time in Gainesville. Later he moved to St. Jo, Montague County, and taught school briefly. In 1882, at the age of twenty-three, Rudolph began a successful weekly newspaper that he turned into a daily three years later. On December 9, 1884, he married May Jerusha McGregor, with whom he had six children. Stories of the fertile, sparsely-settled Panhandle, with its prospects for development by the approaching Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, intrigued Rudolph and influenced his decision to move there. In the summer of 1886 he moved his family and his newspaper plant to Tascosa, where he established the region's second paper, the Tascosa Pioneer.
As an editor Rudolph became a booster for his adopted town. He envisioned Tascosa as the new metropolis of the Panhandle and was optimistic that the railroads would build through there. He was an ardent Democrat and through the Pioneer expressed his strong opposition to the prohibition movement and the legislature's leasing of school lands to the big cattlemen for grazing purposes at the expense of small ranchers and farmers; on occasion he rebuked other editors whom he suspected of being noncommittal or hesitant in their support of the Democratic party. After the FW&DC missed Tascosa by a mile, Rudolph momentarily vented his wrath on Grenville Dodge, president of the line, but in 1889 he expanded his printing facilities to Amarillo, where he began publishing the Amarillo Daily Northwest on Christmas Day. He promoted Amarillo with the same zeal as he had Tascosa and engaged in a bitter rivalry with Henry H. Brooks, publisher of the Livestock Champion. In 1890 he formed a two-year partnership with J. L. Caldwell, who subsequently published the Amarillo Weekly News. Rudolph discontinued the Tascosa Pioneer in 1891 and moved his family to Channing and later to Hartley, where he started the Hartley County Citizen. He continued publishing the Daily Northwest until 1893, when he sold the paper to Frank Cates and A. R. Rankin, who then renamed it the Amarillo Northwestern.
Rudolph and his family remained in Hartley County until 1896, when they filed on land in the southwestern corner of Sherman County. There they established a ranch on which they grew much of their food, opened a rural school, and ran cattle bearing a C Bar N brand. Rudolph continued editing various area newspapers, most notably the Sherman County Banner, which he published at Coldwater; he also served there for several years as county clerk. In 1901 he moved his family to Stratford. According to family accounts, Rudolph was once jailed for misappropriation of funds belonging to Joe Williams, who was speculating in real estate in the vicinity of Texhoma. Rudolph died on June 8, 1929, and was buried in El Reno, Oklahoma.
Della Tyler Key, In the Cattle Country: History of Potter County, 1887–1966 (Amarillo: Tyler-Berkley, 1961; 2d ed., Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1972). Sherman County Historical Survey Committee, God, Grass, and Grit (2 vols., Seagraves, Texas: Pioneer, 1971, 1975).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.H. Allen Anderson, "RUDOLPH, CHARLES FRANCIS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fru28), accessed May 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.