Skip to main content
Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame

Willis Webb

Willis Webb

Hall of Fame logo




Willis Webb

Jasper Newsboy

Hall of Fame Class of 2013

Webb began his career in the newspaper industry at age 10 by working as a carrier throwing the Waco Tribune-Herald on a bicycle route in his hometown of Teague from 1947-53 and was distributor/carrier of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Teague from 1953-55.

In 1956 and 1957, he studied journalism at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, served as sports publicity director for Sam Houston State Bearkat Athletics and worked as a stringer for the Huntsville Item and correspondent for The Houston Post, Associated Press, United Press and International News Service.

He returned home for one year as news editor of the Teague Chronicle, then finished his journalism degree in night school at the University of Houston, working days as a copy editor for The Cougar, the student newspaper, and authored a syndicated column, "The Texian Editor's Frontier News Flashes," gleaned from Texas newspaper files from the 1860s and 1870s. More than 150 newspapers carried the column.

In 1959 he became an ad sales rep for the Galena Park Reporter and six months later was named general manager. In 1960 he became associate editor of Texas Industry magazine, published by the Texas Manufacturers Association.

Webb worked as editor and then editor/publisher of the Fort Bend Mirror at Rosenberg for six years and spent the next three years as editor/publisher of the Cleveland Advocate. Next stop was Conroe, where he was associate publisher, then editor, then publisher of the Conroe Courier and later the Conroe Daily Courier.

He was editor/publisher of the Lockhart Post-Register from 1982-84 and the Fredericksburg Radio Post from 1984-85. During the next four years he worked for Hartman Newspapers Inc. in several capacities. Webb was editor/publisher of the Fort Bend Business & Legal Review at Stafford and then joined the Houston Digest as an ad sales rep.

In May 1991, he became editor/publisher of The Jasper Newsboy, a Hearst newspaper, and in 1997, Webb became the first weekly publisher to receive the Hearst Corporation's Eagle Award for outstanding individual accomplishment in journalism.

Basing his career on the belief that a weekly paper offers not only the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a community, but also chance to participate in all aspects of the newspaper industry, Webb has received numerous awards and honors for community service, news writing, editorials, columns, headline writing, photography, advertising design and layout and page design.

In 2005, he, along with his wife Julie, who was contributing editor for The Jasper Newsboy, traveled to Long Beach California, where they received the national Youth Service America Harris Wofford Award for “outstanding service to the youth of Jasper, Texas.” And in 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement in Print Media Award for alumni of the Sam Houston State University’s Communication Department.

Webb retired from The Newsboy in 2007, but he didn’t retire from newspapers. Currently, he writes a weekly column, carried by 24 Texas newspapers. And, although he and Julie moved to Louisiana last summer to live closer to their son Weston, Webb remains a Texan at heart.