Estes, Carl Lewis (1896–1967)

By: C. Richard King

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

Carl Lewis Estes, newspaper publisher and industrial leader, was born in New Market, Tennessee, on November 10, 1896, the son of Joseph Guinn and Della Marshall (Loy) Estes. He attended the public schools of Commerce and Denison and East Texas State Teachers College (now East Texas State University). As editor of his college newspaper, he became interested in journalism as a career, and he subsequently worked for the Commerce Journal, the Denison Herald, and the Tyler Courier-Times. As a foreign correspondent for the International News Service he spent 1927 in Paris and Stockholm. He founded the Tyler Telegraph in 1930 and four years later bought the Longview Daily News and the Longview Morning Journal. At Longview he also owned and published two weekly newspapers, the Longview Lens and the Greggtonian. During the 1930s Estes was publisher of the Van Free Press, the Carthage Panola Watchman, East Texas Oil Magazine (later the Texas Oil Journal), East Texas Dairyman, the Wood County Record, and the Mineola Monitor.

He served in the cavalry in World War I and was a lieutenant commander in the navy during World War II. He was a delegate to the national Democratic convention in Houston in 1928 and a delegate-at-large to the national Democratic convention in Chicago in 1932. He later served as confidential adviser to Arthur H. James, Republican governor of Pennsylvania. Estes was an originator of the Texas Rose Festival at Tyler, originator and first president of the East Texas Land and Royalty Owners Association, vice president and secretary of Van Oil Royalty Association, and an originator of the East Texas Dairy and Milk Products Association. Upon returning to Longview after World War II, he was effective in helping persuade a number of major industries to locate plants in the Longview area. As chairman of the Sabine Watershed Association, he was active in the development of the water resources of East Texas for industrial, recreational, and transportation uses.

Estes was a Mason and a Methodist. He married Margaret Virginia McLeod in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, in 1943. He died at his vacation home in La Jolla, California, on May 29, 1967, and was buried in Memory Park, Longview, Texas.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Dallas Morning News, May 31, June 1, 1967. Texas Press Messenger, June 1967. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives

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

C. Richard King, “Estes, Carl Lewis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995