History of The Duke Times Newspaper


Duke is a town in Jackson County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 424 at the 2010 census. Formerly known as East Duke and located on U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 34, Duke lies fourteen miles west of Altus in western Jackson County, which was originally part of Old Greer County. In 1890 A. L. Perry founded Duke, established a general store, and applied for a post office. The charter was granted September 11, 1890, and the post office was named Duke after Judge F. B. Duke of Mangum. In 1906 the town was platted. By 1909–10 Duke was a thriving agricultural trade center with approximately 350 residents, three churches, a bank, a grist mill, a cotton gin, and a newspaper, the “Duke Times.”

For several years the populace was divided into New Town and Old Town, with separate schools placed four hundred yards apart. The conflict increased in 1910 when the Altus, Wichita Falls and Hollis Railway (later the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway) located halfway between the two communities. However, in 1915 a dramatic ceremony celebrated the uniting of the two towns into Duke; the towns’ representatives literally buried a hatchet that was delivered in a horse-drawn hearse. The New Town (now Duke, also known as East Duke) offered free lots and free moving for persons to relocate. Old Town, or “West” Duke, no longer exists.

Brief History of the Duke Times Newspaper

  1. F. Kane founded the weekly in 1908. The paper served Duke from 1908 and into the 1920s. There is no indication this paper supported any political, religious or ethnic groups. The Duke Times was a weekly printed every Thursday with eight pages and four columns, a weekly newspaper from Duke, Oklahoma that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising, and a subscription to the paper cost $1.00 annually. Kane published The Duke Times but left about a year later, and W. R. Thurman took over as publisher.


Fire Incident that Affected the Newspaper Building

A large fire in 1910 resulted in severe damage to the new town. The fore started in the rear of the Pool’s drug store about 3 o’ clock in the morning and was discovered by Mr. Clark, the townsite man. The fire fighting equipment was archaic and the fire had quickly raged out of control. The New town was devastated by the losses of such businesses as The Duke Times; Holler and Render, Real Estate and Insurance; Darby Brothers, Hardware and Groceries; the Post Office in Darby’s Store; Pool & Sons, General Merchandise; McKibbin’s Billiard Hall; and McCauley’s Hotel. Temporary quarters were offered for these businesses until new buildings could be constructed. The Duke Times Newspaper lost a Gordon press job and $75 worth of jobs and display type

W.R. Thurman

Mr. W. R. Thurman appeared before the State of Oklahoma , County of Jackson to be duly sworn according to law, disposes and say that he is the editor, publisher, business manager and owner of Duke Times on October 1, 1920. W.R. Thurman later appeared before the State again but in the County of Tillman-ss, to be sworn in as owner and publisher of The Tipton Tribune on October 1, 1924. W. R. Thurman suffered burns to the face and hands during the fire incident.

Modern day version of The Duke Times

As a tribute to the historical newspaper, an online news platform was built, covering news from the US and the world. For in-depth coverage, thelosangelesexpress.com brings the latest breaking news and information on the top stories, weather, business, entertainment, politics, and more.