Alvin Holley

Hall of Fame logo

Texas Newspaper Oral History


Alvin Holley

Polk County Enterprise

Hall of Fame Class of 2008

Alvin Holley, a native of Corsicana, began his newspaper career at age 10 as a “hawker” for the Corsicana Daily Sun.

He learned quickly about economics - how to stand on his own and how to make a living as a salesman. As a hawker, he sold newspapers on the streets for 5 cents — 3 cents was paid to the newspaper and Holley got to keep the remaining 2 cents plus tips, which usually were no more than a nickel.

Holley was later offered an office job with the Sun. While working for the daily newspaper, he moved through the ranks as circulation
manager, advertising manager and general manager.

In 1972, he and another employee of the Sun, David Durham, bought Polk County Publishing Co. in Livingston. At the time, the company owned and operated the Polk County Enterprise in Livingston, the San Jacinto News-Times in Coldspring and Shepherd,
and the Lake Livingston Progress.

In September 1972, Holley and Durham purchased The Groveton News. In March 1973, they acquired The Trinity Standard.

Polk County Publishing went on to acquire The Corrigan Times, The Houston County Courier in Crockett and The Tyler County Booster in Woodville.

The company also publishes a number of free distribution weeklies, including The Big Thicket Messenger in Liberty County and The Pennysaver in Polk County.

Holley bought his partner’s interest in the company and serves as publisher of all seven of the newspapers, which serve a five-county area. Additionally his company produces four weekly shoppers and does commercial and job printing from two printing plants.

Holley was president of Texas Gulf Coast Press Association in 1986-87 and in 2000-01 served as Texas Press Association’s 123rd president. He earned a Texas Press Association Golden 50 Award recognizing his 50 years of work in the newspaper business.

He has received numerous community service awards and was named Polk Countian of the Year in 1985. He also has been nominated
for the Dr. Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Memorial Award. This award is presented annually by the Deep East Texas Council of Governments to someone who has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of the East Texas area.

He has made the operation truly a family business. Linda, his wife, is advertising manager for several of the newspapers. All six of their children have been employed at the Polk County Enterprise at various times and several continue in the business.

Holley was inducted into the Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2008 as one of four members of the Hall’s second class of honorees.