Sierra Wells/TCCJ contributor
Despite facing unexpected obstacles over the past few years, local newspaper in Naples, Texas, has persevered and is continuing to print new editions after a nearly a year out of print.
“The Naples Monitor was established in 1886 and is the oldest continuing business in Naples, Texas,” Owner Morris Craig said.
Morris and Melba Craig took over ownership of The Monitor in 1972.
The Monitor covers all types of news from Bowie, Cass, Morris and Titus County. They print about 1,200 papers each week, as well as the occasional special edition.
“Special editions are always put together at Christmas, Easter and some local Naples Watermelon Festival specials,” Morris said. “We also did a sports special edition a couple of times when the Paul H. Pewitt Brahmas won the Class AA football State Championship and then another time when the Bulls made it to the State Finals,”
In 2010, the Texas Press Association presented Morris with their Golden 50 Award, honoring his long career in the news industry.
However, the Craigs’ service in the news industry was interrupted when Morris was diagnosed with stage four cancer. During this time, their last set of papers for a while printed on July 15, 2021.
“We were not sure about the future at that time, and we had The Monitor on the For Sale market,” Morris said.
Months passed without a new edition. This, however, was not the end of The Monitor. Over time, things started looking up for Melba and Morris.
After receiving good news from the oncologist, the Craigs decided to return to their newspaper and start printing again.
“We had a couple of bedrooms that were not being used since our children had gone out into the world on their own. We moved the needed equipment from the downtown area to our remodeled rooms at our home,” Morris said. “New equipment was purchased and a grandson was offering to help with the new typesetting equipment and new programs.”
Their first edition back from hiatus printed in July 2022, marking the official return of The Monitor.