Since 1978 the Journal Record newspaper of Oklahoma City has provided comprehensive reports on Oklahoma business, government, and legal news every business day. The information is used by corporations, small businesses, government agencies, and the legal community. However, the Journal Record's history began on August 27, 1903, when its earliest predecessor, the Daily Legal News, was published in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Territory (O.T.). This was the first publication originated to satisfy the legal publication requirements of doing business in O.T. John H. Murphy, publisher of the Daily Legal News, later renamed it the Daily Record.
In Journal-Record's pedigree also includes a second news organ, the Oklahoma Citizen. In 1907 Amos L. Wilson founded the Capital American as a weekly newspaper, which continued in Oklahoma City until January 1, 1932, when it was restyled and renamed the Oklahoma Citizen. On April 19, 1932, Wilson sold the publication to the Leader Press, located at 17 Northwest Third Street and owned by Dan Hogan, Sr., and Socialist leader Oscar Ameringer. Ameringer had married Hogan's daughter, Freda, in 1930.
In April 1932 Hogan and Ameringer launched the Law Journal Publishing Company and renamed the Oklahoma Citizen as the Daily Law Journal. After Hogan died in 1935, Dan Hogan, Jr., and Freda Ameringer published the Daily Law Journal. The Daily Law Journal and the Daily Record were merged in 1937, forming the Daily Law Journal-Record. Ameringer continued as publisher until 1972, when Dan Hogan III acquired it and the Leader Press from her.
On February 16, 1978, Dan Hogan III formed the Journal-Record Publishing Company to publish the Daily Law Journal-Record at 4515 North Santa Fe Avenue. The company returned to downtown, occupying the Journal Record Building at 621 North Robinson on February 16, 1978. The organ's title became the Journal Record on September 15, 1978, and the business news section was expanded.
The last issue of the Journal Record to be published at 621 North Robinson Avenue was dated April 19, 1995, and was produced the previous day. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing extensively damaged the Journal Record Building, leaving the newspaper homeless. No issue of the Journal Record appeared on April 20, 1995, because that issue would have been prepared on April 19, the day of the bombing. For the next week the editorial staff prepared articles in Edmond on University of Central Oklahoma computers, electronically transmitting the text to the Edmond Sun newspaper for layout and production. About a week after the bombing the Journal Record staff moved into temporary offices in Oklahoma Tower in Oklahoma City. The daily editions were created in Oklahoma City and then taken to Edmond to be printed.
On May 10, 1995, Dan Hogan sold the Journal Record newspaper to Dolan Media. An Oklahoma native and University of Oklahoma graduate, James P. Dolan was president and chief executive of the Minneapolis-based firm. In May 1996 the newspaper's staff moved into Dowell Center, formerly Midland Center, at 222 North Robinson Avenue. Later, the Journal Record added a press at 611 North Western Avenue. At the turn of the twenty-first century the Journal Record Publishing Company and its fifty employees published the Journal Record, the Tinker Take-Off, the Oklahoma Legislative Report, the Oklahoma Energy Report, the Oklahoma Insurance Report, the Oklahoma Liquor Report, and the annual Book of Lists. Mary Mélon served as editor and publisher, and David Page served as managing editor.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Journal Record," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Journal Record: Our First 100 Years (Oklahoma City, Okla.: Journal Record, 2003).
Max Nichols and David Page
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