In 1899 William C. Edwards, son of James R. and Elizabeth (Cunningham) Edwards of Denton, purchased and consolidated the Denton Chronicle (founded in 1882) and the Denton County Record (1898) to form the weekly Denton Record and Chronicle. The paper published its first daily edition on August 3, 1903. Robert John Edwards joined his brother as part owner and editor in 1906. At one time five local newspapers were competing with the Record and Chronicle, but by 1912 the Edwardses' daily, delivered by carrier boys on ponies, survived as the only paper providing local and state news to Denton County residents.
The Edwards brothers were active in state politics and county affairs, and the Record-Chronicle (the and disappeared in 1915) reflected their political interests. William served one term in the state legislature (1922–24) and lost the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in a primary runoff in 1924. Robert was a member of the state Democratic executive committee and served a two-year term on the Texas Prison Board (see PRISON SYSTEM). The newspaper, reflecting the concerns of its owners, consistently supported Democratic candidates and policies and was a public booster for the city of Denton.
"Mr. Bob," as Robert Edwards was affectionately called by Denton residents, became publisher and managing editor in 1927 when his brother left Denton to work for the Hearst newspaper chain. In April 1945 Edwards sold the newspaper to Riley Cross, former publisher of the Marshall News Messenger. Few changes took place under the new owner. The thirty-nine-year-old Cross discontinued the Saturday edition and added a Sunday paper, but, in a new plant in Denton, the Record-Chronicle continued the tradition established by the Edwards family of focusing on local and state news, supporting Democratic politicians, and boosting the city of Denton. The paper benefited from Denton's growth. In 1945 it had 4,000 subscribers; by 1960 that number had increased to almost 11,000. During the twenty-five-year tenure of Riley Cross the newspaper received numerous awards from the Texas Press Association. In the late 1950s the Record-Chronicle supported the racial integration of North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), located in Denton. J. C. Matthews, president of the university, credited the peaceful integration in part to the editorials and reporting of the Denton Record-Chronicle.
After suffering a heart attack in 1957, Cross gradually withdrew from managing the daily publication of the newspaper. On March 11, 1970, he died. His wife, Vivian Griswold Cross, continued to own and publish the paper, as well as to oversee the operation of a local television cable station, until her death. In the early 1990s the Patterson family bought the paper. In 1994 the daily circulation was 18,000, and the Sunday circulation was 21,000.
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C. A. Bridges, History of Denton, Texas, from Its Beginning to 1960 (Waco: Texian Press, 1978). Denton Record-Chronicle, July 28, 1963.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1994