Hogg was only 20 when he selected Longview as the site of his tri-weekly newspaper, the Longview News. It was a tiny publication, about the size of a sheet of notebook paper. But the ideals and goals he expressed through its pages became the ideals and goals of the city itself.
The son of a Confederate general who died during the Civil War and a mother who died before he was 14, Hogg grew up in a family involved in political activity. Sam Houston was a frequent visitor to his home.
His interest in government and his older brother Tom’s affinity for newspapers dovetailed as James Hogg frequented the Texas Observer office in Rusk during the 1866 election campaigns. The publisher “took a liking” to him and suggested he learn to set type.
Hogg’s biographer, Robert C. Cotner, states that, “By his sixteenth birthday in the spring of 1867, Jim had acquired both a capacity for careful attention to his job and an eager interest in mastering the printing trade.”
He was shortly after that to journey to Cleburne to work briefly on the Chronicle there and later to Quitman where he set type for the Clipper.
Underlying his interest in publishing was the desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lawyer, a position in life which his father had ably filled.
Legal careers and political office often going hand in hand, they seemed most often most often gained through the “Fourth Estate.”
He decided to take a job on the Tyler Democrat and there became close friends of Horace Chilton, two years younger but also a believer in the opportunities a newspaper offered. Chilton also had ambitions to study law.
Before 1871 ended the 18-year-old Chilton had started the tri-weekly sun in Tyler and Hogg, 20, was publisher of the News in Longview.
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