Comanche County, Texas
31 53.903' N 98 36.314' W
Text: Army engineers laid out a military road in this area in 1850. By 1855 thirty to forty families had settled in the vicinity. Comanche County was created in 1856, and Comanche became the second county seat in 1859. Its citizens, who entertained dreams of greatness for their town, envisioned a newspaper. Geraldo Alonzo Beeman, an experienced newspaperman, obtained an idle printing press and became the first editor of "The Comanche Chief." Its first issue published on August 21, 1873, the "Chief's" main goals were to draw more settlers to the area and to lobby for the protection and improvement of the lives of Comanche residents. The paper was instrumental in securing a Texas Ranger force for the area and in promoting legislation for placing public school lands on the market. By 1873, after the last of the Comanche tribe in the area was relegated to a reservation in Oklahoma, the town began to grow. "The Comanche Chief" was influential in social and political life, from chronicling the daily events of the neighborhood to lobbying for proper representation in the state legislature. It found its way to other regions of the country, advertising the advantages of the Comanche area and attracting new settlers. Sixteen-year-old Robert Thomas Hill (1858-1941), later called the Father of Texas Geology, began working at the "Chief" with his brother Joe in 1874. The Hills became co-editors of the paper and operated it together until Robert went to Cornell University in 1882. Other newspapers were organized and discontinued over the decades, but "The Comanche Chief" thrived; it was sold to the Wilkerson family in 1925. One hundred and forty-two years old at the dawn of the 21st century, "The Comanche Chief" is recognized as the oldest business in Comanche County.