History and Genealogy


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Newspaper Archives


Burleson Newspaper Archives


Sometime in 1900, Burleson businessman E.M. “Good Roads” Wilson (1872-1956) began publishing The Burleson News. In 1932 Wilson sold the paper to Robert Garland Knox Deering and John Searcy, but Deering and Searcy dissolved their partnership and Deering became the sole owner in 1935. Shortly after World War II, Deering modernized the newspaper by purchasing a Model 14 Mergenthaler Linotype, which is currently on display at the Burleson Visitors Center. In 1958, the newspaper became The Burleson Dispatcher after a contest was held to rename it, and the final edition was printed on September 25, 1985.

The Burleson Star began publication in October of 1965 with Al White as publisher, who was also the publisher of the Johnson County News in Cleburne. Wayne Hutson joined him and eventually became sole owner, sending “camera ready” papers to Fort Worth for printing until 1976, when ABC Publishing Co. was formed to print the Burleson Star and other weekly newspapers in Cleburne.  The Burleson Star ceased publication in 2019.

When the Burleson Star changed locations in 2014, library staff discovered that thousands of pages of local history were being stored in an attic, a storage shed, and closets at the old newspaper offices. There were already copies in storage at the Library and the Burleson Heritage Foundation Museum. Working in conjunction with the Burleson Heritage Foundation, the Friends of the Burleson Public Library, the Crowley Public Library and the Alvarado Public Library, staff and volunteers moved all of the newspapers into the historic Baker house and then sorted and cataloged them. After the inventory was completed, library staff transported all of the papers to the University of North Texas archives so that they could be stored properly and protected from natural disaster or further deterioration. 

In 2016, thanks to a generous grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation, the Library and the University of North Texas were able to preserve and make accessible 43,231 pages of newspapers from the Burleson area, Johnson County and southern Tarrant County.  Those newspapers include dates from 1980 to 1999 and they are fully digitized and keyword searchable.

In 2019, The Burleson Public Library was awarded a TexTreasures grant by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  The TexTreasures Grant program aids and encourages libraries to provide access to their special or unique holdings and to make information about these holdings available to library users across the state.  This $25,000 grant will provide the funding to digitize approximately 24,000 newspaper pages and preserve this treasure trove of Burleson history. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Grant Number TXT-20002). (2020) 


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