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Elgin Courier
Phone: 512-285-3333

Physical and Mailing Address:

111 W. 2nd St. Suite 101, Elgin, Texas 78621

Our Staff

Jason Hennington – Area Editor

Vikki Blackman – Office Manager 

Fernando Castro – Senior Reporter


Subscribe to the Elgin Courier by sending us your name, address and phone number. Subscriptions are $41 in Bastrop County; $44 outside Bastrop County and $49 out of state. Prices effective as of December 1, 2009.



Any erroneous reflection upon character, standing, or reputation of any individual, firm or organization that may appear in the columns of this paper will be corrected if brought to the attention of the publisher. We do not hold ourselves responsible for the views of our correspondents. News and ad copy deadline is Fridays at 5 p.m. Letters to Editor deadline is Friday at noon.


About This Web Site

This Web site was not designed to replace your newspaper. That's not its purpose.

Instead, our online edition is a compliment to our print issue.

It won't replace your newspaper but it should replace your current home page quite nicely.

Letters to the Editor Policy

The Elgin Courier accepts timely, original Letters to the Editor on topics of local interest. The deadline is 12 noon Friday for the following week's edition. The letter must be signed and it must include a daytime phone number for verification. Letters may be edited.

Address letters to: Letters To The Editor, The Elgin Courier, P.O. Box 631, Elgin, TX 78621 or email to:


Deadlines for The Elgin Courier are: Weddings and Engagements, 5 p.m. Friday; Letters to the Editor, 12 noon Friday; Classified ads and all other advertising, 5 p.m. Friday; All other news items, 5 p.m. Friday.

Please note: Because of space and time constraints, simply making the deadline for news items does not ensure it will be in that week. The earlier a news item is brought in, the better the chance it will be published.

How to get your news in the newspaper

Your boss wants to get a piece into the paper about your new office manager. The club has elected you publicity chairman and there is a fish fry coming up. Your daughter just graduated from college.

Take heart. It's easy to get your news in The Elgin Courier even if you've never done this before. It's all a matter of knowing how the newspaper operates, whom to contact and where (and when) to mail (or fax) your news releases.

You may even find yourself making new(s) friends.

Who we are

First, it's important to explain that most of the information in our newspaper is supplied by people just like you. We are a vehicle for you, our neighbors in Elgin, McDade, Coupland and rural Bastrop, Travis and Williamson Counties, to communicate with each other and to learn about what's going on just down the street. The news you and other individuals supply to The Courier is our lifeblood.

Because we publish each week, we must adhere to some firm deadlines and we ask that you consider them when you submit information for the newspaper. The deadline for advertising and news copy is 5 p.m.

What is News?

What is news? What is advertising? This is a fine line, and it is one that is often subject to different interpretation. For the most part, announcements of upcoming meetings, special events and other planned activities from groups and organizations that perform service to the public, fall under the news area. Announcements that are designed to bring a company or individual personal gain, tend to be advertising. Items that must appear in a specific issue and/or those that must appear in more than one issue, are also classified as advertising. News is run free. There is a charge for advertising.

The Basics

Your club is planning a fish fry at the community center on August 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Carry-outs are available and the cost is $5 for the boxed meal. The proceeds will help purchase new books for the library. Your group needs volunteers to help and they can sign up by calling Mary Smith at 512-285-3333.

So how do you go about putting that into words? You just did!

The biggest non-secret in getting your event published is to send it to the newspaper in the simplest, most direct form. Tell us about your event. Don't embellish. Don't elaborate. Don't write four paragraphs when one will do. If you get stuck on the wording, remember, "Keep it simple." If your press release answers WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY, you've succeeded.

We prefer the items be typed but handwritten notes, if neat, are acceptable. Fax and e-mail are also acceptable. Be sure to include your name and telephone number on every release, so we can contact you if we need more information.

We will run telephone numbers if you wish, but they should carry a name or an organization. Don't just write, "call 512-285-3333." Instead, write "call Mary Smith at 512-285-3333." And make sure Mary doesn't mind having her name and number in the paper.

Also, be sure to include first and last names. Say Bill and Irma Klondike, not just Mr. and Mrs. Bill Klondike. And don't guess at the spelling of names or the listing of phone numbers. Please! Smith isn't always spelled S-m-i-t-h. A wrong phone number or a name misspelled is a problem for everyone involved.

Remember: Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.

And another suggestion: Read the paper and look for items like the one you want to submit. Note the form, how long the news items were and in what section of the paper it appeared. Those can all help make your task easier.


Pictures are welcome. Especially when new presidents of clubs and other organizations are elected. When pictures of this type are submitted, many times they will be used only as headshots. Pictures may be color or black and white. Professional photos are best, but if you snap your own, make sure the face on the picture isn't too small. Use a school photo as a guide. No photos will be used unless they are in sharp focus. Fuzzy photos don't make either of us look good.

ALWAYS write the name of the person, or people, on the back of the picture (left to right, and by row).

Pictures will be returned if a self-addressed stamped envelope is included when you turn it in. Otherwise, photos should be retrieved within a week of their appearance in the paper. After a week, we do not guarantee their return.

Digital Photos: We also accept photos taken with a digital camera. However, we caution you that the "normal" setting of most digital cameras take low-resolution photographs. Low-res photos do not reproduce very well in the newspaper. If you would like to use a digital camera, set the camera on the "HQ" or "Super HQ" setting.


We are happy to accept help covering sports, especially the leagues for the little guys and girls. Please call in your sports scores, leading offensive and defensive players and who's next on your schedule to Valerie Hopkins. She also accepts action, sports photos of the games if they are in focus, the ball is in the picture and all the local individuals are identified. Coaches and league organizers are also encouraged to contact the newspaper to provide their contact information in order to regularly communicate and relay information about their teams.

Church News

Your church news and photos including youth events, special programs and new clergy are very important news items. We encourage you to become active in letting the public know the good things that are going on at your place of worship.

Thank You Letters

This is another area where it is often difficult to distinguish between news and advertisements. We know that you need to thank those who have helped your organization with a project or event. However, if the list grows beyond three named businesses, we suggest that you purchase an advertisement. These letters will be run on a space available basis only, perhaps another reason to consider running it as an ad.

Obituaries and Memorials

Information for obituary notices are usually supplied by a funeral director. In some cases, when a former area resident has died, information is accepted from friends or family members. Call the Elgin Courier for pricing information to place you loved one's obituary.

News Tips

If you see news happening, we want to hear from you, whether it's a bad traffic accident, zoning dispute or someone's 100th birthday. We have reporters covering Elgin and the Tri-County area, so tips are a great source of breaking news. Free-lance photographs of breaking news are also sought.


Will the wording of your announcement be changed? Maybe. The meaning will not be changed, but most releases are tightened and edited to conform to newspaper style. You may not be happy to see your press release shortened, but remember that many other events also vie for space.


Still confused after all this? Don't worry. Pick up the phone and call. Someone here at the newspaper should be able to help you or direct your call.

We are a small newspaper so rarely do you have to talk to a specific person. Usually, the person who answers the phone can help you with basic questions.

Remember, we're here to help. Your news is valuable to you and to us. If we are working on a deadline, we may not be able to help immediately, but we will get back to you.


For 123 years, the Elgin Courier has been a hub of activity in Elgin -- collecting hometown news, photographing local happenings and generally keeping the people of the Elgin community abreast of the news.

The Courier was not the first newspaper that Elgin supported; however, it is the one that has survived. Newspaper publishing first began in Elgin in 1879 and numerous publishers and papers dotted the scene until the Courier was established in 1890.

Many publishers and locations later, the Courier has survived through the depression and other bad times. Publishing methods have changed over the years with new technology and now the Courier gets printed in Taylor and maintains a presence on the Internet.

Miles H. Hill, a lawyer, was the Courier's first owner, but almost a year later, Dr. S.T. Cain purchased the paper. In 1897, Dr. Cain sold it to S.T. Isaacks and C.W. Webb, both school teachers who later became lawyers. Webb sold his interest to Isaacks a year later. Dr. W.C. Smith and his son, J.O. Smith, bought it from Isaacks and when Dr. Smith died in 1908, J.O. Smith became the sole owner.

The Courier ownership under the younger Smith, is credited with substantial growth of the newspaper, the development of the City of Elgin and being a positive influence in public life, according to an anonymous 1972 article. In 1948 Smith retired, selling the paper to Don Scarbrough. By this time, the Courier has been housed in at least seven different locations in Elgin. Scarbrough sold the newspaper to W. Gregory Hale in 1950. Hale sold the Courier after only four months to C.A. and Bonner McMillion.

Two years later, the McMillions sold to Edwin Bronaugh, who died in 1954. His wife continued to operate the paper until 1956 when she sold it to H.H. Bredlow. During Bredlow's ownership, the offset printing method was begun in 1957. His son, Robert Bredlow, became the managing editor at the newspaper.

A group of young men purchased the paper in 1964, one of whom was Bob Barton. Barton and his father, R.C. Barton, became owners in 1967. Barton sold the paper to Orville Mosher, but took ownership back in 1967, after 18 months with Mosher as owner.

At least two moves were made by the Courier during this period. The newspaper's current home, 105 Main, was purchased by Barton in January, 1975. Taylor Newspapers Inc. purchased the Courier in 1977. Charles A. Schulz Sr. and his son, C.A. Schulz Jr. were stockholders of the corporation. C.A. Schulz Jr. died suddenly in 1990.

Jim Chionsini bought Blackland Publications Inc., which included the Elgin Courier, Hill Country News, and Taylor Daily Press from the Schulz family in 1993.

The Elgin Courier has been a driving force in bringing issues to the citizens, from fighting for a public water system through the Depression years, two World Wars, building schools and streets, reporting on the election that brought Austin Community College to town as well as the arrival of big box retailers and other economic growth.

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