The Galveston News claims April 1842 as its founding date and Samuel Bangs, an early Texas printer, as its founder, but the facts are in dispute. What is known is that on April 11, 1842, Bangs's brother-in-law, editor George H. French, began printing the Daily News on equipment that was probably owned by Bangs. But the Daily News, as operated by French, had expired by June 1842. In June 1843 Wilbur H. Cherry and Michael Cronican leased the equipment French had used in publication of the Daily News from Bangs and began publication of a semiweekly, also named the News. Willard Richardson assumed editorship of the newspaper the next year and in 1845 became its sole owner. Under his guidance the News became a major voice in the Republic of Texas and later a critic of the policies of Sam Houston as both United States senator and governor. In 1858 Richardson had a four-story building constructed for the paper. During the Civil War the News published its editions in Houston. It returned to Galveston Island in 1866.
Alfred Horatio Belo, a Confederate veteran, joined the staff in 1865 and by 1875 was the newspaper's principal owner. In 1876 he linked the News building and his home with the state's first telephone connection. The Dallas Morning News was founded in 1885 as a satellite publication. The Belo interests sold the News in 1923 to William Lewis Moody, Jr., a Galveston banker and insurance man. In 1927 Moody also acquired the Galveston Tribune, an afternoon newspaper. Both were published from a central printing plant designed by architect Nicholas J. Clayton and located on Mechanic Street in downtown Galveston. In 1963 both newspapers were sold to the William P. Hobby family of Houston. The Tribune was abandoned in favor of an evening News published five days a week and Sundays. A mainland newspaper, Today, was printed at the same facility. In June 1967 the Hobbys sold the newspapers to a corporation of southern newspaper interests headed by Carmage Walls and Les Daughtry, who soon restored the News to daily morning publication.