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Country: United States
City: Beaumont, Tex.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 32
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 268
Earliest Date: 26 August 1904
Latest Date: 14 October 1904
ohn W. Leonard started the Beaumont Enterprise as a Saturday weekly in 1880. In 1897, the Beaumont Enterprise Publishing Company added a daily edition with the same name. Renamed the Beaumont Daily Enterprise in 1898, the paper sometimes appeared as the Sunday Enterprise. The title became The Daily Enterprise during 1898-1902, then reverted back to being the Beaumont Daily Enterprise, which it still retains. In 1903, the weekly edition ceased publication.
The paper featured national and local news, notices of local events, classifieds, agriculture tips, sports news, and editorials. Mort L. Bixer edited the paper from 1898 to 1904. A single issue cost ten cents and a year’s subscription cost five dollars. In 1904, the paper was eight pages long, had a size of 17 x 22 inches, and enjoyed a circulation of 2,500.
The Enterprise was known for its Democratic leanings. In 1904, Bixer endorsed Democratic nominee Alton B. Parker for president, while condemning Republican vice-presidential candidate--and Beaumont resident--George W. Carroll. He also backed future governor Oscar Branch Colquitt in state politics, opposed prohibition, and ran editorials publicly criticizing the Beaumont City Council. Walter A. Myrick, the head of a construction and business supply company, bought part interest in the paper in 1904. He had large contracts with Jefferson County and the city of Beaumont and was subsequently elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat.
On January 10, 1901, the Spindletop Oilfield was discovered in a salt dome just south of Beaumont, marking the beginning of the Texas oil rush. Thousands of people moved to Beaumont to take advantage of the new industry, spurring the city’s growth. The news covered by the Enterprise reflected this, with every front-page story for months after the discovery mentioning oil. An article published on January 25 lamented the sudden spike in land prices, saying “we know of one good tract of land leased yesterday for one eighth, which could not have been touched last week for less than 50 per cent.” The oil dried out at Spindletop around 1904, but in 1925 more oil was discovered in surrounding domes, starting a new era of speculation. After the first oil rush, future Texas governor William P. Hobby started managing the Enterprise, soon becoming part owner. He left in 1914 after his election as Lieutenant Governor, but returned in 1921 after completing his term as Governor. He continued to run the Enterprise for a decade.
The Enterprise is still published today with a circulation over 70,000. Having run for a continuous 132 years, the paper is recognized as the oldest business in Southeast Texas.
Provided by: University of North Texas; Denton, TX