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Sulphur Springs News-Telegram

Diana J. Kleiner General Entry

The Sulphur Springs News-Telegram traces its development to the Texas Star, which originated in Tarrant, then the county seat, in 1854. William A. Wortham purchased the printing presses of the Texas Star and moved to Bright Star (Sulphur Springs), where he founded the Independent Frontier in 1855. Wortham, who renamed the daily paper the Sulphur Springs Gazette in 1862, retained ownership until 1898, when he sold the company to Bascom and Mack Thomas. Over the next three decades the paper had six owners, the last of whom in 1928 were John S. and Eric Bagwell. In that year the paper was absorbed into the Daily News-Telegram, a paper founded by the original owners of the Hopkins County Echo.Ezra Tate founded the weekly Echo in 1876 to compete with the Sulphur Springs Gazette and subsequently acquired two other local publications, the Evening News in 1894 and the Morning Telegram in 1915, which he combined to form the Daily News-Telegram. John S. Bagwell purchased the weekly Hopkins County Echo from Tate in 1917, acquired a local paper established by O. B. Briggs and John Rhodes called the Sulphur Springs Daily Gazette in 1928, and later obtained the Weekly Gazette from two brothers named Jones. Tate retained ownership and operation of the Daily News-Telegram until 1924, when he sold it to the publishers of the Echo. With the purchase of the Daily News-Telegram, the Echo, the Sulphur Springs Gazette, and the Daily Gazette, Bagwell eliminated his competition. The Bagwell family operated the newspapers until 1951, when a central printing company called the Echo Publishing Company, headed by Kenneth H. Kraft, Edwin W. Dean, and F. W. Frailey, acquired it. After 1954 Frailey and Kraft maintained the firm. By the 1970s the Daily News-Telegram was known as the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram. In the 1990s the paper was known as the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram, published by Frailey family relative Clarke Keys. The Echo Publishing Company owned three newspapers, a commercial printing company, a shopping guide, and a television guide and served as printer for fifteen newspapers for other companies. Circulation of the News-Telegram totaled 6,602.

Texas Newspaper Directory (Austin: Texas Press Service, 1991).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Sulphur Springs News-Telegram,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 20, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.