Albuquerque Morning Journal, New Mexico

Mr. Hughes came to Albuquerque in the spring of 1881, from Marysvilie, Kansas, and in the fall of that year purchased the Albuquerque Morning Journal from James A. Spradling, the founder of the paper. He conducted it for a year or two with Daniel Taylor and Maurice Messenger as his partners, and later it was sold to a company composed of Governor E. S. Stover, Franz Huning, Judge W. C. Hazeldine and several others, who took some little stock in the company. The paper finally collapsed under bad management from various imported managers, who ran it heavily into debt, and at a public sale Colonel J. G. Albright, the publisher and editor of the Daily Democrat, purchased the plant and good will and Associated Press morning franchise for a mere song. In later years the Daily Democrat went on the rocks under the proprietorship of Colonel Albright, and A. A. Grant, extensive railroad contractor and owner of all the public utilities of Albuquerque at that time, lifted a mortgage of about $9,000 held on the Democrat by Thomas B. Catron, and became the owner of the paper. It was conducted under the hyphenated name of the Journal Democrat for several years and finally the name of Democrat dropped. Since then A. A. Grant has died and the paper is now owned by his son, Daniel Grant, who lives in Los Angeles.

Mr. Hughes was postmaster of Albuquerque for four years and served Bernalillo County in the council of the Territorial legislature for four terms. He was the shrewdest Republican politician in Bernalillo County and city of Albuquerque. At the time of his death, which occurred on June 30, 1905, he was fifty-nine years of age. He was one of the best editorial writers in the southwest and could say as much in half a dozen lines as it would take an ordinary writer to say in a column or more, and especially strong was Mr. Hughes in political campaigns. He and McCreight were bosom friends and partners since the inception of the town of Albuquerque and no one deplored his death any more than McCreight.

W. T. McCreight is a native of Kentucky, his old home being Shelbyville. He published a paper when eighteen years old in Franklin and Paducah, Kentucky. In September, 1880, he left Paducah for St. Louis and on September 12th he picked up the Globe Democrat and read a want ad., for a printer to go to New Mexico, it being signed James A. Spradling, care Lindell House, St. Louis. He answered the ad, little thinking that his application would be accepted. His application was to the point, a copy of which he still has in his possession. It reads: "I am a printer. Merit will tell." Mr. Spradling received thirty-eight applications that day, but they all knew too much, and he accepted McCreight. This is how McCreight came to New Mexico, he landing in the old town of Albuquerque (for the new town was only a few tent saloons and dance halls) on the morning of the 17th of September, 1880.

Besides being a printer and an all-around newspaper man, he was an athlete and enjoyed all kinds of outdoor sports. He organized the first baseball club of the southwest and for years he was captain and manager of the champion club of the southwest, Browns and Maroons. He organized the first typo graphical union of the southwest at Albuquerque and is a charter member of the present Typographical Union. He has always stood by unionism, but is outspoken in opposing the payment of the same wages to incompetents that it paid to competent workmen.

He was foreman of the Schenfield and later the Ferguson Hook and Ladder Company and afterward served four years as the chief of the volunteer fire department of Albuquerque. He organized the first athletic association of Albuquerque and was its first president. He was one of the prime movers in the organization of the New Mexico Volunteer Fire Association and at the first convention held in Albuquerque was elected its first president. In his career he entered politics and ran for city clerk of Albuquerque, being elected over a very strong candidate, R. W. Hopkins, the present post master, by a handsome majority. In the early days he was secretary of the New Mexico Editorial Association and represented that association at the next annual convention of the National Editorial Association at St. Paul, Minnesota, he being the first member from New Mexico to attend a national association of editors and newspaper men generally. He has a wonderful memory and can almost tell every important event which has happened in Albuquerque since the inception of the town. His memory on names of persons and their initials is equally as wonderful, while his spelling and knowledge of the country are beyond contradiction. The reason that he is not rich is his well-known liberality, and he has helped many a young man out of the hole. For some months in 1882 McCreight was business manager and editor of the Daily Sun, published at Socorro, arriving there during the stormy days preceding the lynching of Joe Fowler, a cowboy who had killed half a dozen. Several of the leaders of the W. T. McCreight vigilantes are now living at Socorro. McCreight is probably the oldest American printer from the states, not in age, but in actual service, in the southwest.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

©New Mexico American History and Genealogy Project 2011 - 2017
Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White

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