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• 1889: Attorney Richard Smith published the first edition of the Bryan Eagle in October 1889, not the first newspaper in the relatively new community, but the one that would last. His father and uncle were journalists who worked in Bryan. Smith opened his first paper, the Brazos Pilot, in January 1877, but sold it in 1882. Eventually, the two papers merged. The new weekly was on Main Street in Downtown Bryan (most recently home to the Forsyth Gallery, formerly F.W. Woolworth store). In that first issue, Smith said, “Bryan is a little daisy now ‘certain and sure.’”


• 1890: Smith owned The Eagle for less than a year, selling it to William D. Cox.


• 1895: The Eagle began full daily publication. For 42 years, The Eagle continued as both a daily and weekly paper.


• 1921: Lee J. and Frances Rountree bought the paper. Lee Rountree soon was elected state representative from Brazos and Grimes counties, leaving his wife, Frances, to run The Eagle while he was in Austin.


• 1923: Rountree was a likely candidate for lieutenant governor, but had yet to announce his candidacy. On May 2, 1923, Civil War veterans of Hood’s Texas Brigade presented flowers to Rountree on the floor of the House. The next day, so moved by the gesture, Rountree got up to speak of their kindness. “They have sent these flowers to the living, those glorious comrades of the old South, and they warm my heart as no music might ever.” With that, Rountree sat down and promptly died of a massive stroke.


Mrs. Rountree took over full editorship of The Eagle and was appointed to fill out her husband’s legislative term. She was elected to one term of her own before being defeated. The Eagle prospered and grew. “She took that Eagle and it went to town,” longtime Bryan resident Aline Brogdon said in 1991.


• 1937: The Bryan Weekly Eagle ceased publication.


• 1956:  Frances Rountree collapsed at her desk. After lingering in a coma for 10 days, she died.


• 1962: The Eagle was sold to Harte-Hanks Communications Inc. of San Antonio, which also owned the San Antonio Express-News. No longer would local people own the paper, but the focus on local news continued.


• 1979: The Eagle outgrew its offices on 26th Street in Downtown Bryan (it’s not clear when the newspaper moved from Main Street to 26th Street) and built its present location at 1729 Briarcrest Drive in Bryan.


• 1988: Worrell Enterprises Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., purchases The Eagle in January.


• 1995: A.H. Belo Corp., publisher of The Dallas Morning News, purchases The Eagle.


• 2000: The Eagle was sold to Evening Post Publishing Co. of Charleston, S.C.


• 2012: Omaha-Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway, a company owned by businessman Warren Buffett, adds The Eagle to its growing portfolio of newspapers.


• June 2018: Lee Enterprises takes over managing all BH Media Group publications, including The Eagle.


 • Jan. 2020: Lee Enterprises announces the purchase of Berkshire Hathaway Media Group's newspaper publications, of which The Eagle is a part, for $140 million in cash.


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