History of Bryan Weekly Eagle
"Originally settled by members of the Stephen F. Austin colony in the 1820s, Bryan, Texas, became an influential cotton-shipping hub in the early 20th century. Several newspapers competed for the area's readership--which grew after the Houston and Texas Central Railroad reached town in 1867--but the Bryan Eagle outlasted its many competitors. The region's preeminent paper today, the Bryan-College Station Eagle, traces its roots to this original publication.
Attorney Richard M. Smith began the Eagle as an eight-page Thursday weekly in 1889. A four-page daily edition, the Bryan Daily Eagle, debuted in December 1895. Smith sold the paper soon after its establishment, and by late 1894, Malcolm Carnes, W. P. Connelly, and Jess Parker controlled the Eagle, with Carnes serving as editor until his death in 1908. The Eagle solidified its influence in Brazos County by purchasing the Brazos Pilot--founded in 1877, also by Smith--after a fire consumed that paper's office in 1909. Measuring 15 x 22 inches and costing one dollar a year, the evening Bryan Daily Eagle and Pilot reached 700 subscribers the following year. The paper was published under several names, but it ran consistently as the Bryan Morning Eagle from 1898 to 1909 and the Bryan Daily Eagle from 1895 to 1898 and 1918 to 1969.
The Eagle printed national and international newswires from the Associated Press as well as local reports. In its early years, the paper criticized blacks' involvement in politics and supported white Democratic candidates. Editorials promoted the development of town services and the area's several educational institutions, with special attention devoted to Texas A&M University, which it described in 1906 as ""the mother of development and prosperity."" The paper produced several booster editions to promote Brazos and Bryan counties including a September 1895 joint publication with the Brazos Pilot and the September 1910 ""Progress"" and April 1913 ""Prosperity"" editions. In the early 1900s, editorials supported a proposed interurban rail system between Bryan and nearby College Station, with an October 1909 ""Trolley Issue"" devoted to the cause.
In 1920, Col. Lee J. and Frances Rountree purchased the Eagle. Although Col. Rountree initially edited the publication, Frances Rountree assumed full editorship after her husband's death in 1923. The Eagle flourished under her auspices. The paper reflected Rountree's extensive involvement in community events, which ranged from leading the Bryan Chamber of Commerce to serving in the Texas House of Representatives. In addition to writing a widely read ""Pavement Palaver"" column--later the ""Pavement Pick-Ups""--that chronicled area gossip and events, Rountree used the paper to advocate for Bryan's Carnegie Library and other local causes.
Rountree edited the Daily Eagle until her death in 1956. The paper has changed hands several times in the recent past, most recently purchased in June 2012 by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The Bryan-College Station Eagle continues to serve the region."