The Afro Texan Press 

The Early Years




William Elisha King 

Dallas Express

William Elisha King was born in Macon, Mississippi, Noxubee County about 1865,  the son of Richard(Richmond) and Margaret King. 

He  was  educated in the schools of Macon. After completing his high school education he taught school from 1881 to 1888 in the public schools of Lauderdale and Jasper counties. He had the distinction of having  the best examination score of any teacher in these counties, white or black.

  In1888 he became business manager and editor of the Jacob's Friend in Helena, Ark. The following year he co-founded Fair Play, a weekly newspaper, in Meridian, Miss. The paper had a wide circulation and was successfully managed. King was forced to closed his shop and leave the state on account of positions his paper took in defense of his race.

He came to Dallas in 1891 and secured a position as managing editor of the Western Star published by Rev. E W D Isaacs, in 1892. He began the publication of the Dallas Bee and later the name was change to the Dallas Express. The Dallas Express was the largest race publication in the southwest. The Express publicized lynchings and incidents of violence against blacks that were not always reported in the white press, attacked racial segregation and voting restrictions. The paper was considered one of the strongest advocate for justice and right in the southwest.  He was editor from Jan 13 1900 to Aug 16 1919, the date of his death.

He was active in Texas Republican politics, serving as delegate and alternate to the 1900, 1912, 1916 national Republican conventions. In 1906 he attended the " black and tan" or Reorganized Republican convention at Houston and seconded the convention's nominations for governor and lieutenant governor. 

He was killed by Hattie C. Burleson, his former personal secretary and boarding mistress who  voluntary surrender after the murder. He was editor in chief at the time of his death. King was survived by a brother, John King, of Greenville, Mississippi.



1880 Census Noxubee County, Mississippi

 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
 Richmond King  Self   M   Male   B   55   AL   Farmer   ---   GA 
 Margaret King  Wife   M   Female   B   55   GA   Keeping House   GA   GA 
 Elisha King  Son   S   Male   B   10   MS      AL   GA