Jacksonville History 1934
The Jacksonville Times, published by D. A. McNaughton, had a brief existence in the early '90s. About 1894, S. R. Whitley, Sr., published the East Texas Reformer, afterward the Jacksonville Reformer. Before the paper was discontinued in 1914, H. W. Whitley, C. F. Drake and A. A. Lyford were associated with him in the business. After leaving Jacksonville, Drake was connected with the Manufacturers' Record of Baltimore.
In the beginning the Reformer was a Populist paper. Preceding it two other Populist papers had a brief existence. The Cherokee News was suspended after thirteen weeks. In 1894 the Sun was reported appearing semi-occasionally.
The first daily newspaper, the Jacksonville Journal, made its initial appearance June 15, 1903. A. K. Dixon was editor. Its life was limited to weeks. In 1904, J. E. McFarland published the Daily Banner. He, too, found the town too small to support a daily. The Banner failed to survive its first birthday. In June, 1909, Roy Phillips and Gus Mecklin, two transient printers, ventured starting the Daily Progress. After several changes in ownership S. R. Whitley, Jr., sold it to McFarland & Davis in 1918. Since then it has been the daily edition of the weekly Cherokee County Banner. In September, 1933, Whitley established the Jacksonville Daily News.
In recent years the Newburn Sanitarium and the Nan Travis Memorial Hospital have gained for Jacksonville wide recognition as a hospital center. [footnote: The Nan Travis Hospital was opened as the Cherokee Sanitarium in 1919, the name being afterward changed in honor of the mother of Doctor J. M. and Doctor R. T. Travis. It is the only hospital in East Texas with A. C. S. approval. In addition to some 5,000 emergency and minor injury cases, over 10,000 patients have been admitted to rooms.]
The past twenty-five years [1909-1934] have been characterized by growth which not even the depression following the Wall Street crash in 1929 could stop. Outstanding features of the past five-year building program have been the city hall, the Williamson Funeral Church, the Texas State Bank and the $135,000 post office. In 1933, through the efforts of the Federated Clubs, a public library was established. On March 8, 1934, the municipal airport was used for the first time, a tri-motored, sixteen-passenger plane making the first landing.
In 1932 Jacksonville celebrated her fiftieth anniversary with the Golden Jubilee. In 1932 she was hostess to the Third District Federated Clubs ; in 1933 to the Seventh Annual Convention of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce. In 1934 she staged the first Tomato Festival.
Among the organizations which have contributed to the city's development have been the Young Men's Business League of the first decade of the century, the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs and the Chamber of Commerce, of which W. Y. Forrest is now president and C. K. DeBusk secretary. Civic pride is an outstanding Jacksonville characteristic.
A History of Cherokee County, 1934 by Hattie Joplin Roach