Douglas Attaway

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Douglas Attaway

(General manager and publisher of
The Shreveport Journal)

Political party Democrat

Born January 24, 1878
Waynesboro, Burke County
Georgia

Resident of Shreveport, Louisiana (1900-1957)

Died July 1, 1957 (aged 79)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Spouse Bessie Fisher Attaway

Son: Douglas Fisher Attaway

Religion Southern Baptist

Douglas Attaway (January 24, 1878 – July 1, 1957) was a publisher of the Shreveport Journal, a since defunct afternoon daily newspaper in Shreveport, Louisiana.[1] His official title was "president and general manager of the Journal Publishing Company," the firm that published The Journal. He committed the paper to what the historian Henry Edward Chambers (1860-1929) called "the civic, moral and political welfare of his section of the state."[2]

Born in Waynesboro in Burke County in eastern Georgia, Attaway was one of five sons, one of whom died before his first birthday, of the former Frances Cates (1854-1924) and James Attaway (1833-1910), a pioneer community settler originally named James Johns who fought with the Burke Guards in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.[3] Douglas Attaway was reared on a farm and worked several months in New York City as a stenographer before he relocated to Shreveport in 1900 to continue his studies in stenography and bookkeeping. The Journal had been in existence for only five years when Attaway began employment there. He first worked in bookkeeping and soon developed a knowledge of all aspects of the business. In 1916, he was named general manager. In April 1919, he purchased a controlling interest in the company. Prior to that time The Journal had paid its stockholders little or nothing on their investment. Chambers said that it was "a tribute to his keen business ability that since he became principal owner and manager, the business has been on a satisfactory basis in a financial way and at the same time 'The Journal' itself has grown in community popularity and enlarged its service to the public."[2]

Besides the newspaper, the company operated a commercial printing business. Early in 1924, the paper purchased a two-story former public school building at the intersection of Marshall and Travis streets as to serve as the new location for the physical plant.[2]

Working under Attaway was his former roommate, Dolph Frantz, who became the company secretary and the newspaper managing editor and later editor until Frantz's death in 1953.[4] There were nearly one hundred employees of the company, including Sam B. Harper as superintendent and B. W. Marston as vice-president.[2]

Attaway required that his newspaper endorsements generally be based on moral issues, and he was known for what Chambers called "opposition to anything that might tend to corrupt or abuse the public." Many disgruntled office-seekers often complained that they lost their races because they could not convince Attaway and The Journal editorial board of their suitability for the office.[2]

Attaway's civic commitments included the Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Shreveport; Mrs. Attaway, the former Bessie Fisher, held membership in the First Presbyterian Church.[2]

Upon Attaway's death in 1957 -- he is interred at the large Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport --[1] his son, Douglas Fisher Attaway, became The Journal publisher; the junior Attaway remained at the helm until the paper was sold in 1976 to Charles Thomas Beaird (1922-2006). Beard, a Moderate Republican, and editor Stanley Ray Tiner, a liberal Democrat, moved The Journal editorial policy far to the left politically, and the paper folded in March 1991.[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Douglas Attaway. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on February 23, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Henry E. Chambers (1925). Caddo Parish Bios: Attaway, Douglas: from A History of Louisiana, Vol. 2, p. 352. The American Historical Society, Inc..
  3. James Attaway. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on February 24, 2018.
  4. Dolph Frantz. Files.usgwarchives.net. Retrieved on February 22, 2018.
  5. Minden Press-Herald, March 31, 1991, p. 1.