Your recent article on the 125th edition of the Panhandle Herald was of particular interest to me because I was working at the Herald as a freshman in High School when we published the 50th edition. Dave Warren was the owner and Sam Goodner was the shop foreman and I was the “printer’s devil” for the newspaper.
I helped move the Herald from the building you showed in your recent article to its present location. My pay at the time was $2 per week. After a couple of weeks it became $1.98 a week because Mr. Warren had to take out two pennies for Social Security tax. Since we published on Fridays, I worked very late on Thursday nights helping to get the weekly edition finished. My high school teachers were very understanding and would not wake me up on Fridays when I sometimes fell asleep in class.
As the printer’s devil one of my jobs was casting lead block pictures for printing in the paper. Part of the process was sawing the edges off these blocks of lead so they would have the shape we needed for the presses. Dave Warren, Junior would frequently come in for these scraps of lead which he took home and melted and poured into molds to make his lead toy soldiers. Nobody ever heard of lead poisoning in those days.
The 50th edition took almost two weeks to publish and was approximately 50 pages! My job was all of the menial tasks that had to be done in a print shop. I worked every afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. except Thursdays and eight hours on Saturdays. I worked for the newspaper for four years and was being paid $5 per week by the end of that time. I only stopped working when I went off to college in 1941.
I enjoyed sharing the history of the newspaper with my family when the 125th edition reached me here in Roanoke, Va. where I now live and receive it by mail. I always enjoy keeping up on the news in Panhandle. Thank you for continuing to keep me up on the activities of North Texas and best wishes for another 125 years of publishing.
Howard N. Cox
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