Some Reporter issues now available online
Editor's Corner by Mike Brown
Rockdale Reporter - 2016-03-10
Good news about the news. The Rockdale Reporterís past news, that is.
After years of anticipation, the first archival issues of The Reporter are now available
online at the University of North Texasís Portal to Texas History.
UNT, in connection with the city library and the Tocker Foundation has started the
laborious process of transferring more than 100 years of Reporter (and Messenger) pages
from microfilm to Internet page, thanks to a Tocker Foundation grant.
Hereís the address:
If, like me, you could never enter that into a browser without making a mistake, or doing
a copy-and-paste, weíve included a free link on our webpage and Facebook page.
(We had to pay an extra penalty fee for posting something on Facebook thatís true, but we
love our readers.)
Only a fraction of The Reporters are posted. Itís promised by UNT that more are being
added all the time.
Now, a caveat ó no thatís not the guy who used to be on late night opposite Johnny
To get them in more-or-less order, click on decade, then year, then month.
While there are a lot of Reporters in the UNT archive they arenít nearly all in there,
For instance, as near as I could figure when writing this column (Thursday), the decade
with the most Reporters online so-far was the 1950s with about 1,000.
And thatís less than a fifth of the 5,200 papers, give or take a couple, published in the
Eisenhower-N-Elvis decade during which the greatest people of all time were born.
The city library, courtesy of The Reporter, has sent UNT its files, itís just a matter of
getting transferred. It will take some time.
Whatís interesting is that UNT has access to some really old newspapers that we donít
even have in our microfilm file archive.
For instance, the very first (chronologically) file in the Portalís Reporter section is
one page ó yes, one page ó of the Rockdale Messengerís June 29, 1876, edition.
(The Milam County Messenger dates from 1873, one year before Rockdaleís official
founding. It became the Rockdale Messenger, which merged with The Rockdale Reporter. The
Messenger name is still listed on our masthead.).
At the top of that page is a poem by Mary F. Hunt of Caldwell who wrote:
ďSoft clouds of rose and amber; floated over wood and wold.
White lights of kingly purple; blended with the sunset gold.
And nature seemed a priestess; kneeling at the vesper hour;
To offer up sweet incense; from the chalice of each flower.
Sheís talking about the sun going down.
We never became known as a poetry publication.