On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Pleasanton Express was presented with the Texas Treasure Business Award given by the Texas Historical Commission. This award recognizes businesses across the state of Texas that have provided employment opportunities to fuel the Texas economy for at least 50 years.
At the award presentation, the Atascosa County Historical Commission arranged for a beautiful award presentation and ceremony outside of the historic Pleasanton Express building. Pleasanton Express staff, Atascosa County Historical Commission members and the community gathered to listen to inspirational words, stories and memories shared about the Pleasanton Express newspaper.
The Pleasanton Express was founded in 1909 by J.T. Williamson. Since then, the newspaper has been under the ownership of seven other individuals. J.F. Andrews took over the Pleasanton Express in 1925, J.F. Andrews, Jr. in 1944 and Wally and Ruth Daetwyler in 1953.
The Wilkerson family, who still owns the Pleasanton Express, bought the newspaper in 1974. Bill and Judy Wilkerson served the community together for over 40 years. Judy Wilkerson operated the paper without her husband from 2015-2019. She then passed the family business along to her two daughters, Noel Wilkerson Holmes and Katie Wilkerson Carnes, who currently own and operate the Pleasanton Express. The two ladies do their best to serve the community they grew up in and keep their family’s newspaper legacy alive.
At the award presentation, County Judge Bob Hurley said, “This paper would not be here today, if it were not for the Wilkerson family.” He elaborated, “Speaking on behalf of the county, we are so proud to be blessed by having the Pleasanton Express here.”
Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman, Martin Gonzalez, organized this event and presented Noel Wilkerson Holmes and Katie Wilkerson Carnes with an award certificate and sticker to place in the business’ window. On top of this, Representative Ryan Guillen’s office presented the Pleasanton Express with a flag that flew over the state capital.
Pleasanton Mayor Travis Hall said, “I have had the opportunity to work over the last 30 years or so with media personnel all across the state of Texas. Let me tell you this, this newspaper is first class.”
The Pleasanton Express is now the third business in the county to receive a Texas Treasure Business Award. They join Hurley Funeral Home and Center Pharmacy.
“What an honor to receive the Texas Treasure Award,” said publisher and managing editor, Noel Wilkerson Holmes. “Since 1909, the Pleasanton Express has told the good news, the sad news and when necessary the bad news. We may be a weekly newspaper, but our job is 24/7 news gathering of all the information that deserves to be told in print, digital and via social media to the 50,000 people that make up Atascosa County. We are staffed by professional journalist reporting real news. I could not be prouder of the group of individuals that help put out the news at the Pleasanton Express. Their dedication and talent never cease to amaze me.”