History of Canyon Stayer
"Attorney George A. Brandon bought the Canyon City Stayer in 1903, when the town boasted a mere 500 residents. Later described by resident Grace W. Warwick as someone who ""could foresee the possibilities of greatness in the small community,"" Brandon used the newspaper to champion Randall County and help transform Canyon City into a vibrant frontier town.
Named in defiance of Randall County's inhospitable newspaper market, the Stayer began as ""A Newspaper Devoted to Stock Raising"" in 1896. In 1903, founder Mitte Morgan sold the paper to Brandon, who renamed it but retained its weekly format. He issued the four-page Canyon City News on Fridays and charged one dollar per annum. Brandon's son Walter R. Brandon originally edited the paper, but the elder Brandon later assumed full editorial control. Circulating throughout Randall County, the News reached 350 subscribers in 1904 and 475 by 1908.
The Canyon City News doggedly advocated on behalf of its community. Published under mottos including ""A Very Good Investment--A Home In Randall County"" and ""If You Are a Panhandler, Help the News 'Panhandle' for the Panhandle of Texas,"" the paper urged residents to better Canyon City and promote the region's natural advantages. Editorials touted the area's fertile soil, cheap land, and hospitable climate as well as its burgeoning cotton-and cattle-shipping industries. Brandon lobbied for additional railway service south of town, stressing the importance of competing with other developing Panhandle communities, notably Hereford and populous Amarillo. As the first president of the Canyon City Commercial Club, which he helped found in 1906, Brandon spearheaded the movement to establish nearby Palo Duro Canyon as a national park.
Advertised as a ""strictly county"" newspaper, the News promoted neither a political platform nor a particular religious group. The paper featured items relevant to a wide variety of readers; early columns ranged from ""News for Stockmen"" to ""School Notes,"" which was edited by the county superintendent. The paper also ran social news and articles containing homemaking tips and beauty advice.
In 1908, Brandon sold the Canyon City News to Charles O. Keiser and editor Ruben A. Terrill, who renamed the paper the Randall County News. Terrill continued to promote Canyon City and played a particularly important role in the town's successful bid for West Texas State Normal College, now West Texas A&M University. Later renamed the Canyon News and edited by Clyde W. Warwick for over forty years, the News continued to focus on the betterment of Randall County. The July 1939 ""Historical Edition"" summarized the paper's commitment to its community, stating, ""The News has always tried to be on the battle line for the improvements of this county and is proud of the record it has made."" The News received several awards under Warwick's editorship, including designation as ""Outstanding Weekly Newspaper in Texas"" in 1942 and 1950. The paper serves as ""The Voice of Randall County"" to this day."