Col. Charles W. Geers biography

COLONEL CHARLES W. GEERS. Conspicuous on the roll of names of men that have conferred honor upon the profession of journalism in Texas is that of Charles W. Geers, the proprietor and editor of the Monitor at Denton. He is a writer of superior force and ability and has ever been an earnest worker, and in all the relations of life he is an honorable, upright gentleman who has won the sincere respect of all with whom he has come in contact. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky, May 27, 1840, a son of Charles and Caroline (Perkins) Geers, both of whom were also natives of that city, and there were laid to rest. The paternal grandfather, James Geers, removed to Kentucky from North Carolina, locating with Daniel Boone at Boonesboro, but later took up his abode in Lexington.

Charles W. Geers is indebted to the public schools of his native city of Lexington for the educational privileges he received in his youth, and on its completion he entered the office of the Lexington Observer and Reporter, where he learned the printers’ trade. That paper in those days was owned and edited by D. C. Wickliffe, while the associate editor was John T. Hogan and Captain R. Marsh was the foreman. At the breaking out of the Civil War Colonel Geers went out with John H. Morgan, of Lexington, who had been captain of the Lexington Rifles. He did not at first formally enlist, but like many other young men in adventurous spirit joined to follow Morgan. On reaching Camp Robinson a number of other men, parts of t here or four companies, joined, making altogether about one hundred and fifty men, they calling themselves Morgan’s Squadron. This squadron continued to increase, especially after the fighting at Forts Henry and Donelson, until finally Morgan had nearly four thousand fearless soldiers of mounted cavalry, a recognized aid to the Confederate cause. They were engaged in dangerous scouting duty between the two armies. Mr. Geers’ father was also a Confederate soldier, but his brother joined the Union army.

After the war had ended Mr. Geers returned to his old home in Lexington, but a short time afterward removed to Louisville, Kentucky, there securing a position as river reporter on the Louisville Democrat, published by Harney & Hughes. From that city he journeyed to Shelbyville of the same state, where he was employed for a time on the Shelbyville News, after which he became editor of the Glasgow Times of Glasgow, Kentucky. From the latter city he went to New Orleans, there securing a position with Colonel J. O. Nixon as local writer on the New Orleans Crescent. His next place of residence was Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was employed for a short time on the Shreveport News. Removing thence to Greenville, Hunt county, Texas, he became acquainted with Tom R. Burnet, and the two published the Greenville Independent. In April, 1868, they hauled the plant by wagon to the then frontier town of Denton, in Denton county, which has ever since continued the home of Colonel Geers. At the time of the removal the name of the paper was changed to the Monitor, a name which brought to its old and honored proprietor fame and renown. The partnership between Colonel Geers and Mr. Burnet but thirty-one weeks, when the former bought his partner’s interest, and was thenceforward its sole editor and proprietor. With one or two exceptions this is the oldest newspaper in northern Texas, having had a continuous weekly publication since 1868. In the early days he did not confine his attention solely to the Monitor at Denton, but as a side issue took up at different times the publication and editing of a number at Morgan, in Bosque county; another, The Citizen, at Meridian, in the same county; also the Clifton Banner at Clifton, Bosque county. He also published a paper at Sanger, called the Legal Tender, and established the Louisville Headlight at Louisville, Texas.

In Denton Mr. Geers was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Sophia Blount, a daughter of Judge J. M. Blount, and a native of Denton county. They have eight living children, namely: Charles W., Jr., engaged in the newspaper business at Aubrey, Texas; Effie, the wife of Rev. A. E. Ewell, pastor of the Christian church at Bonham; Gertrude, wife of John G. Rix, a merchant of Colorado City, Texas; Otis, Estie, Margaret, Lucile and Sallie. Mr. Geers served as a member of the Texas state delegation to the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore in 1872 which nominated Horace Greeley. In 1868 he interested himself in organizing a Christian church in Denton and brought a minister here for that purpose. The church was duly organized and Mr. Geers has since been connected therewith, and in fact is the only surviving charter member of what is now the First Christian church of this city. A life of intense and well directed activity characterized by devotion to duty and by successful accomplishment have made Mr. Geers one of the representative and honored men of Texas.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 132-133.