The Vindicator is two weeks away from her 133rd anniversary, Wednesday, Dec. 9. Despite a few upsets in recent years and a few changes in direction, this newspaper is back in the black and turning a healthy profit. It is even growing, slowly, gaining readers and expanding coverage. Hopefully, The Vindicator will continue to grow and prosper, and soon more locals will again realize the old gal’s value.
Whatever becomes of it in the future, The Liberty Vindicator has kept a record of the goings on here since 1887, and for that it deserves to be valued and protected. There is information in its pages to be found nowhere else, from the grand to the minute, about the people and events of this place.
On how Judge Hightower conducted proceedings in 1892, The Vindicator says:
“Since court opened Monday morning, judge Hightower has been rushing business, not to the hurt of anyone’s interests, but there is no dilly dallying and unnecessary wait on lawyers and litigants as has been too often the rule in our courts. He seems bent of dispatching business without unnecessary delay which all will admit is proper.”
On a murder in 1894:
“Last Tuesday morning, at the Stripling place, 16 miles north of here, Jim McCreight cut and killed Jack Preacher, while the two men were in a fight.”
On progress in 1895:
“In two weeks the new bridge over the Trinity will be finished. then we can look for the Mogul engines to run on this division. Their time is 70 miles an hour, if allowed their full speed.”
There is history recorded even in its advertisements. From one edition, June 1, 1894, we learn Miss Mamie Lacour kept a boarding house “North of court house square, Liberty, Texas,” and Alfred Weed kept one in Devers. Willie R. Collier was the local dentist then, and Dr. J.W. Bailey was the local physician and surgeon. “Calls promptly attended, at all hours, day or night, from residence,” his ad said.
From that same edition, anyone interested in knowing it can learn that “Mr. Frank Holmes, a leading citizen of Wallisville, was in Liberty last Monday.” Why anyone would want that information, we cannot guess, but should it prove important to someone one day, it is there to be found.
A couple of inches below that, is this tidbit of daily life in 1894:
“A party of several families went up to Josey’s bayou Wednesday, for a fish fry and a day in the woods. The fish “didn’t bite worth a cent, but, oh, golly” said the boys, “the mosquitos put in their bills for any deficit, and don’t you forget it.”
It is your history and your newspaper to save or lose as you choose.
In its Feb. 1, 1895 edition, founder and first editor of this newspaper Jeff Chambers wrote, the “Vindicator believes the truth should be told, no matter where or how it hurts.”
The truth has always been a hard sell and always will be. Best of luck to anyone who has only that to sell.
Be just and fear not.