Herbert M. Baggarly, Jr., journalist, son of Herbert Milton and Flora Henry (Parker) Baggarly, was born at Plainview, Texas, on January 1, 1915. He grew up in Happy, where he completed elementary and secondary school. After earning a B.A. at West Texas State University and an M.A. at the University of Missouri, he taught at Tulia High School, from 1938 to 1943. During World War II he served as a junior aide to Adm. Chester W. Nimitz in the Pacific. After the war he returned to Tulia, where he taught school and worked at the newspaper.
From 1950 to 1979 Baggarly was editor and publisher of the Tulia Herald, which published his column, "The Country Editor." The Herald had a weekly circulation of 4,500, with subscribers in every state as well as several foreign countries. This popularity was due in large part to Baggarly's column, which provided sharp, down-to-earth commentary on political issues. His editorial and column writing won numerous state, regional, and national awards. The first of two awards from the National Editorial Association came in 1957, a first-place ranking granted to the Herald for column writing. The second, a 1961 award for editorial writing, named the Herald as one of the top three newspapers of all sizes and frequencies of publication in the nation. Additional honors for editorial and column writing came from the Texas Press Association, the West Texas Press Association, the Panhandle Press Association, and the journalism departments at Texas Tech University and West Texas State University. In 1966 Baggarly received the first Editor of the Year Award granted by the Texas Farmers' Union; the next year he was named Tulia's outstanding citizen of the year. In 1968 he declined a personal invitation from Lyndon B. Johnson to join the president's Washington staff as advisor and speechwriter.
Selected columns from "The Country Editor" were published as The Texas Country Editor in 1966 and The Texas Country Democrat in 1970. After selling the Herald in 1979 Baggarly continued to write a weekly column until his death. He never married. He died at Tulia on September 7, 1985, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.
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Eugene W. Jones, ed., The Texas Country Democrat: H. M. Baggarly Surveys Two Decades of Texas Politics (San Angelo: Anchor, 1970). Eugene W. Jones, ed., The Texas Country Editor: H. M. Baggarly Takes a Grassroots Look at National Politics (Cleveland: World, 1966). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Editors and Reporters
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Eugene W. Jones,
“Baggarly, Herbert Milton, Jr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994