In the early 1880s, Dallas was a rapidly growing city, but it did not yet have a thriving daily newspaper to report on the life of the community. That need was fulfilled by The Dallas Morning News. A sister publication of the Texas’ oldest periodical The Galveston News, owned by A.H. Belo, The Dallas Morning News was bringing modern printing technology and distribution methods to North Texas.
Published on October 1, 1885, the first issue of The Dallas Morning News contained eight pages and was printed on the high capacity Liny Bullock Press, which could produce 10,000 copies an hour.
Two years later, the newspaper started leasing special trains on the Texas & Pacific railroad to distribute copies to McKinney, Dennison, Sherman and Houston. Within ten years, its average daily circulation grew to about 15,000 copies.
Located in a new construction on Commerce Street in downtown Dallas, The Dallas Morning News plant was illuminated with incandescent lamps, a novelty for Texas at the time. The building’s three floors included departments such as the pressroom, engine room, composition room, and editorial offices. Col. A.H. Belo, the newspaper’s owner moved his family to Dallas soon after the publication was founded here by G.B. Dealey, its first managing director, who would eventually become the owner of the parent company.
Under Belo’s and Dealey’s leadership, The Dallas Morning News established the reputation of a forward thinking and influential publication, which put journalistic integrity above anything else. This stood true even when the newspaper’s stance came at odds with the views of some of its readership base and threatened to lose some subscribers, as it was the case with its years long anti K.K.K. campaign in the 1920s.
A staple in the Dallas community, the newspaper added supplement publications such as The Dallas Journal and the Semi-Weekly Farm News. Throughout the decades, it also branched out beyond the print medium into radio and television broadcasting. In the 2000s, an online version of the print newspaper was established.
The Dallas Morning News collection, a part of the Belo records, includes archival documents, photographs, oral history interviews, and artifacts. Contact Ada Negraru, librarian, for additional information about the collection and accessing the materials.
Visit the DeGolyer Library website to learn about our library’s holdings of rare books, archival and manuscript collections, photographs, maps, ephemera, and other materials.