Cherry, Wilbur H. (1820–1873)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Wilbur H. Cherry, soldier, printer, and publisher in the Republic of Texas, was born in Oswego, New York, on January 4, 1820, and at the age of fifteen ran away from home to join in the Texas Revolution. On November 21, 1835, he joined Capt. Andrew Briscoe's company of Liberty Volunteers and subsequently participated in the siege of Bexar. After the Texas Revolution Cherry joined the Army of the Republic of Texas, on December 24, 1839; he received a bounty payment of thirty dollars for enlisting as a private in Second Lt. R. W. Lee's Company F of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Infantry. He served briefly in Capt. Benjamin Y. Gillen's Company I and on May 19, 1840, transferred into Capt. Adam Clendenin's Company A at Galveston.

For a time thereafter Cherry worked as a printer in Austin and in Liberty. He moved to Galveston in 1843 and there, in 1844, with Michael Cronican, whom he had first met during the siege of Bexar, became a publisher of the Galveston Weekly News. Its first issue appeared on January 6, under the editorship of Richard D. Sebring, who soon bought out Cronican's interest in the paper. Although the News claimed to be politically independent, it was in fact staunchly anti-Houston in its editorial stand, largely in response to the Houston administration's antipathy toward the Texas Navy, whose home port was Galveston. When Sebring died in July 1844, Cherry brought Benjamin F. Neal into the partnership to form the firm of Cherry, Neal, and Company. These two men then hired Willard Richardson as their new editor. Within a year, however, Cherry and Neal sold their shares of the paper to Richardson and printer Gideon K. Lewis. In February 1850, at age thirty-one, Cherry joined John M. Gibson in publishing the Galveston Democratic Journal, a Whig newspaper. Robert H. Howard was their editor. Cherry bought out Gibson in July 1851 and left the paper himself in June 1853.

Cherry was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. On August 8, 1847, he married Mrs. Catherine French, the Irish-born widow of George H. French. The couple had four children. Cherry died in Galveston on June 12, 1873. At the time of his death he was working as a printer at the Galveston Weekly News.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Defenders of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Laurel House, 1989). Galveston Daily News, April 11, 1842, June 13, 1873. Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Telegraph and Texas Register, August 16, 1844.
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Cherry, Wilbur H.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994