H. Merle Woods

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H. Merle Woods

H. Merle Woods

"A soft spot in Wood’s heart still exists for small town newspapers. Without these papers, Woods feels that much of the colorful personality and local flavor Oklahoma newspapers are famous for would have been lost."
The Oklahoma Publisher, 1971


Kansas native H. Merle Woods graduated from Welch High School in 1912 and received his degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1917. He began his newspaper career the very next day at the El Reno American. He purchased a third-interest in the paper in 1921, a half-interest in 1925, and became full owner in 1945. Mr. Woods was named president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 1938 and served as treasurer of the group from 1948 to 1971. He helped organize the Selected Weeklies of Oklahoma and the El Reno post of the American Legion, and was a member of such organizations as the Soldiers Relief Commission, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the Oklahoma Highway Users Conference.

Fun fact

When H. Merle Woods was only five years old he visited a cousin who had a print shop in Kansas. From that day on, it was his ambition to go into the printing business. His first paying job came as a “printer’s devil,” working for $1 a week.

Oklahoma connections

Woods came with his parents to Welch, Oklahoma, at age 12.


El Reno







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