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Country: United States
City: Corpus Christi, Tex.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 1,016
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 8,615
Earliest Date: 1 July 1918
Latest Date: 30 September 1921
Eli Merriman, Ed Williams, and William P. Caruthers, with the help of wealthy ranchers Richard King and Mifflin Kennedy, consolidated the Corpus Christi Free Press and Semi-Weekly Ledger creating the Caller Publishing Company and publishing the first Corpus Christi Caller on January 20, 1883. A morning publication, the Caller ran daily between 1891 and 1896, and then weekly after 1905. In 1911, it became a daily paper again, changing its name to the Corpus Christi Caller and Daily Herald. Once again, in 1918, it became known as the Corpus Christi Caller. Yearly subscription rates rose from two dollars in 1883 to six dollars in 1919. Within a year of its creation, the Caller claimed the “largest circulation of any weekly newspaper published in Southwest Texas,” with 1,132 subscribers. Although the paper was not associated with any political party, city politics were a major focus and it routinely supported Democratic candidates.
The Caller’s column, “Field and Pasture,” promoted farming and ranching and publicized civic improvements. From the outset, editors called for a railway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, completed in 1886. Roy Miller, editor from 1907 to 1910, reinforced the paper’s civic and coastal boosterism; then as mayor in 1913, he wrote articles promoting a deepwater port (finished in 1926).
The devastating hurricane of September 19, 1919, caused over 400 deaths and destroyed much of Corpus Christi's business district. With its offices damaged, the Caller did not publish on September 20, 1919, but was back in print the following day. A 54-page “Come Back” edition for Thanksgiving 1919 highlighted the city’s renewal.
The paper supported candidates associated with King Ranch and offered vocal criticism of other candidates, calling one opposing party, on November 4, 1914, “nondescripts . . . who band together for no other purpose than to make scramble for a few county offices.” Robert Kleberg and associates of the ranch provided financial support to the Caller into the 1920s. Henrietta King, Richard King's widow, purchased the paper in 1920 to rescue it from debt accrued following the 1919 storm. Walter Pope, a political opponent of Kleberg and Miller, purchased the Corpus Christi Times, the rival paper to the Caller.
After 1920, investors reorganized the paper into the New Caller Publishing Company. Houston Harte and Bernard Hanks, both experienced in the Texas newspaper business, purchased the Corpus Christi Times in 1928 and the Caller a year later. On November 13, 1929, they reorganized the company into the Caller-Times Publishing Co. Both papers were published daily, in the morning as the Caller and in the evening as the Times, and together on Sunday as the Caller-Times. This arrangement lasted until 1987, when the paper became the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. In 1997, the Scripps-Howard Group assumed control and continues to publish the paper.
Provided by: University of North Texas; Denton, TX