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Colorado County Citizen

Diana J. Kleiner General Entry

The Colorado County Citizen, a weekly newspaper, was established in Columbus in 1857 by James Davis Baker and named the Colorado Citizen by Rev. J. J. Scherer. Baker's younger brothers, Benjamin Marshall and A. Hicks Baker, owned minority interests in the newspaper. The paper supported Sam Houston for president in 1860. The paper also opposed the abolition of slavery and the dissolution of the union but became ardently secessionist when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. All three brothers joined the Confederate army; publication of the newspaper ceased during the Civil War. Hicks Baker was killed during the war, and James and Ben returned to Columbus to resume publication of the paper. When James became ill, the paper was sold to Fred Barnard, and its name was changed to the Columbus Times. In 1869 Barnard, who had subsequently sold the Times, started a second paper, resurrecting the name Colorado Citizen. The Citizen eventually ran the Times out of business. Barnard sold the paper to three Columbus law firm partners, Robert Levi Foard, Wells Thompson, and George McCormick, in 1871; they sold it back to Barnard the following year. Ben Baker, who had been hired by Barnard to work on the new Colorado Citizen, bought the newspaper in 1873 and served as its editor and publisher until his death in 1907. The yellow fever epidemic in 1873 and a fire in 1880 caused brief suspensions of the publication of the paper. After Baker's death the Citizen survived repeated changes of ownership. Henry Hurr purchased the paper from W. L. Pendergraft in 1924 and changed the name to Colorado County Citizen in 1927. Since February 17, 1993, it has been published by the Citizen Publishing Company, a group of local citizens. In the 1990s the paper had a circulation of 4,292.

Colorado Citizen, August 15, 1857, May 6, 1869, April 28, 1911, December 30, 1926. Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Colorado County Citizen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 21, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995
August 10, 2020