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The History of Del Rio News-Herald

March 20, 1929 - a day to remember.

On this day, the late Julian LaCrosse and a group of associates took the forward looking step of inaugurating the Del Rio Evening News, which later became the Del Rio News-Herald.

The Evening News wasn't Del Rio's first newspaper. That honor goes to the short-lived Del Rio Dot, founded in 1894 by Miss Lottie Lyons, with William J. Lyons as its first editor.

The evening News was not even Del Rio's first daily. The Daily Mirror, founded in 1895 with A.N. Chopin as editor and publisher, printed and gave away 500 copies a day. The Del Rio Daily, founded in 1906 by W.K. Jones and Bill Easterling, had a press run of 186 copies. Both of Del Rio's earlier dailies, however, failed to survive.

Interestingly, however, the Del Rio News-Herald can trace its ancestry directly back to the Del Rio Dot. Thus, if we cared to count our volumes like some newspapers do, the News-Herald could be in its 119th year instead of 76.

The second newspaper published in Del Rio was the Del Rio Record, founded in 1887 with C.C. Thomas as editor.

The Val Verde County Herald succeeded the Del Rio Dot in 1889. W.W. Price once owned and published the Herald (and other papers) and sold it to L.M. Huffman. Huffman, in turn, sold the paper to Ed. C. Daniel in 1916.

The other half of he News-Herald ancestry belongs to the West Texas News, a weekly started in 1908 with L.A. Lacrosse as publisher from 1911 until he died in 1925. After he died, his son-in-law, Charles Pingenot, assumed active management.

Pingenot, whose son Louis Edward continued to work for the News-Herald until his death, was one of the stockholders when his brother-in-law Julian LaCrosse, formed the corporation to publish the Del Rio Evening News in 1929.

The new company bought out the Val Verde County Herald from Daniel on May 20, 1929. The daily continued to publish the Val Verde County Herald as a weekly until the 1940s.

Louis F. Leurig was publisher after the founders had sold the paper when on Saturday, Feb. 17, 1940, the first issue of the Del Rio News-Herald under that name came out with the Evening News Vol. XI, No. 287.

An announcement on the front page that day stated in part: "As the News-Herald it will be more quickly recognized as 'the Del Rio daily newspaper'.

"As the News-Herald, it will combine two names identified with the most successful journalistic efforts in Del Rio newspaper history." "The first copy of the News-Herald actually is today's issue of the Del Rio Evening News. Nothing has been altered except the name ...Louis F. Leurig, publisher."

C.C. Woodson and his brother, Ross Woodson, acquired the paper in 1942. C.C. Woodson's son, Ben Woodson, came to Del Rio as publisher in 1958. In 1960 the News-Herald doubled the size of its plant and offices with its new familiar blue metallic building. Woodson kept the News-Herald abreast of newspaper "technology" installing high-speed tape operated typesetting machines. In 1967, the News-Herald made another major advance, abandoning old-fashioned letterpress operation in favor of cold-type offset production. In later years, sophisticated computerized production equipment was added as it developed.

The 36 years of Woodson ownership ended on May 1, 1978, when the News-Herald was sold to a predominantly Del Rio group headed by Jack Crosby, a native son, and J. Tom Graham came to Del Rio as publisher.

The Del Rio News-Herald moved to its new offices at 2205 N. Bedell Avenue in April 1997 after having based its plant at 321 S. Main St. for many,many years.

In May 2001, it was purchased by Southern Newspapers, Inc., a Houston-based company, and it remains the News-Herald's current owners.