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Newman, Simeon Harrison (1846–1915)

S. H. Newman Biography Entry

Simeon Harrison Newman, newspaper editor, son of Dr. Simeon Theodore and Elizabeth Newman, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on January 6, 1846. In 1856 Newman's parents took him to St. Louis, where he received his education. He set out on his own in 1866 and went to New Mexico as a schoolteacher. In 1871 he was an apprentice newspaperman for Ashton Upson on the Las Vegas Weekly Mail. Upson sold the paper to Newman after only six weeks. Newman, as a twenty-five-year-old editor-in-chief, had to learn the trade by himself. He spent ten turbulent years in New Mexico fighting against the "Santa Fe Ring." On October 12, 1881, several businessmen from El Paso paid him $1,000 to move his paper and rename it the Lone Star. El Paso already had two other newspapers, the El Paso Times and the El Paso Herald. Newman's character had been formed, and he chose "Hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may," for the Lone Star's motto. He was a reformer, strong-willed, irascible, acerbic, libel-prone. In nearby Mesilla, New Mexico, he had actually had a public fist-fight with a rival editor. El Paso in 1881 had just become a railroad stop for the Southern Pacific. Tinhorn gamblers, saloon keepers, gunmen, and other undesirables drawn by new prosperity became targets against whom Newman, a staunch Methodist and Democrat, aimed his editorials; but the editors of the rival newspapers and some of the businessmen who had formerly helped him also suffered attacks from his pen when he discovered their corruption. Many withdrew their support for the Lone Star and, on January 12, 1886, six days after Newman's fortieth birthday, the newspaper folded. Newman married Jessie Geck of Doña Ana, New Mexico, in 1881. He spent the rest of his life in El Paso as an insurance man, working as the general agent for New York Life. He died in El Paso on March 2, 1915, survived by his three children.

El Paso Herald, March 6, 1915. John Middagh, Frontier Newspaper: The El Paso Times (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1985). John Middagh, "S. H. Newman-The Fighting Editor of the Lone Star," Password, November 1957. J. L. Waller, "S. H. Newman: Editor of the Lone Star of El Paso, Texas," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 14 (1938).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters

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

S. H. Newman, “Newman, Simeon Harrison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 24, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.