(from Erma L. Taylor)
Newspapers were published in I.T. soon after the removal of the Choctaws to Oklahoma. Caddo’s first known paper began January 14, 1874 and was the first to use the word Oklahoma in its title. The editor was W.J Hemby, a practical printer. He employed Granville McPherson as editor. His policy stated in the April 3, 1874 issue read, “My aim and object will be to conduct the Oklahoma Star in what I conceive to be the interest of the I.T. as a whole, and the local interests of the Choctaws and Chickasaw especially, without subversing (sic) the ends of any particular party or faction. His motto, “Progress and a Higher Civilization”. McPherson bought the paper in 1876, but in 1877 consolidated it with the Star-Vindicator, Rev. J.S. Morrow, joint-owner. It was then moved to McAlester.
Two other papers in Caddo’s early days were the Caddo-International News, 1877, published by Hunter Brothers, and the Caddo Free Press, established in 1878. The November 25, 1878 copy gave Neely Thompson as editor and Israel W. Stone as publisher.
A fourth paper, the Caddo Banner, seemingly the beginning of the permanent one later known as the Bryan County Star, was established in 1891 by J.Y. Shencke as editor and publisher. He sold it in 1895 to John S. Hancock who named it the Caddo Herald. He was editor until 1900 when George McQuaid became editor. G. A. Crossett became the publisher in 1901 after the death of Hancock. At that time it was described as the “Pride of the Town”. During the next two years its circulation was estimated at 1,000. It remained the one and only paper in Caddo until shortly before the death of Crossett in December 1948, when the Durant Daily Democrat bought and published it for a few months. It was not revived until about 20 years later.
Then in September 1961 Alvin J. Morris of Antlers bought it and placed E.D. (Pop) Atterbury as editor. The first issue came out Sept. 18, 1961. The name was changed to The Caddo Star, then to The Bryan County Star in 1967.
The Star staff was joined in the early 60’s by Joe Meadows, Caddo rural mail carrier, to help the aging editor. Upon his retirement, Meadows and his wife, Kathy, along with their three daughters took over the publishing of the paper. They were joined in 1970 by Joes’ brother Max, who bought it in 1971. He ran it until Bob and B.L. Swearengin bought it. The latter sold the paper to Charles Murray about the last of 1977, and he was editor and publisher until he sold it to the Plyler Printing Co. of Durant about 1980.