Loughery, Robert W. (1820–1894)

By: Max S. Lale

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 29, 2019

Robert W. Loughery, newspaperman, son of Robert and Sarah Ann (McMullen) Loughery, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 2, 1820. His parents were both natives of County Armaugh, Ireland. In 1825 his widowed mother took him to Bardstown, Kentucky. Loughery studied briefly at St. Thomas Academy and St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, then learned the printer's trade and moved to Louisiana, where in 1840 he began publishing a newspaper at Monroe, which he continued until 1846. In April 1847 he became editor of the Jefferson, Texas, Democrat and two years later of the Marshall Texas Republican, which he had purchased from Trenton A. and Frank Patillo by the end of 1851. Loughery associated himself, probably in April 1867, with A. D. McCutchan, publisher of the Jefferson Daily Times, from whom he subsequently bought the paper. He merged the Marshall and Jefferson papers in June 1869 but discontinued them in 1872. In 1874 he began the Galveston Times, in 1875 the Marshall Tri-Weekly Herald (as editor), and in 1880 the Jefferson Democrat. He later worked on the Austin Statesman (see AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN), and, in 1883, wrote his last editorial for the Shreveport (Louisiana) Standard.

As a journalist Loughery compared favorably with Charles DeMorse, Hamilton and Ben C. Stuart, and George Wilkins Kendall. His support in the Texas Republican was credited widely in Texas for the election of his fellow townsmen James Pinckney Henderson and Louis T. Wigfall to the United States Senate. He defended the plantation culture and was unwavering in his support of states' rights and, after secession, of the Confederate cause. However, he advocated conciliation and submission once the issue was settled, though he altered this position after congressional Reconstruction was imposed. His last great journalistic fight occurred in connection with the Stockade Case at Jefferson, in which a number of citizens were held without formal charge and finally tried by a military tribunal.

Loughery was twice married, first in 1841 to Sarah Jane Ballew of Louisiana, by whom he had one child; and second in 1853 to Elizabeth M. Bowers of Hopkins County, Kentucky, a niece of Texas attorney general Thomas J. Jennings. Loughery had three children by his second wife. In the mid-1880s he was appointed United States consul at Acapulco, Mexico; he was credited with reversing strong anti-American sentiment at that important port and coaling station. At the expiration of President Grover Cleveland's term Loughery returned to Marshall, where he continued to live until his death in the spring of 1894. He is buried in Marshall Cemetery.

John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Max S. Lale, "Robert W. Loughery: Rebel Editor," East Texas Historical Journal 21 (1983). Traylor Russell, Carpetbaggers, Scalawags, and Others (Waco: Texian Press, 1973). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives

Time Periods:

  • Reconstruction

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

Max S. Lale, “Loughery, Robert W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/loughery-robert-w.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 29, 2019