Best of Texoma again seeks nominations for the Starr Community Award to recognize a local business that is known to give back to the community.


The Herald Democrat and the Best of Texoma inaugurated the Starr Community Award in 2017 to honor Lydia Ann Starr McPherson — who was the founder and first publisher of the Sherman Democrat — and to recognize a local business that provides community support to greater Texoma without seeking attention or reward. The publications again ask readers to nominate businesses for consideration.


“This award is special in recognizing the kindness of those who don’t seek recognition,” Senior Group Publisher Nate Rodriguez said. “It celebrates selfless actions of those in our community and honors our legacy of serving our community.”


Starr was born in Ohio, to William F. and Sarah Lucas Starr, before she became a teacher at age 17 in Iowa. She married David Hunter in 1848 and the couple had five children.


She moved her family following her husband’s death in 1874 to Caddo, Indian Territory, where she went to work as an editor and reporter for the Oklahoma Star, a publication owned and published by Granville McPherson. Starr and McPherson married in December of that year, but the marriage was short lived, and McPherson soon moved to Blanco.


Starr also founded a new newspaper in Caddo, the Caddo International News, becoming the first woman newspaper publisher in the Territory. She moved to Whitesboro, Texas, in 1877 and started the weekly Whitesboro Democrat to become the first woman in Texas to found and publish a paper. She moved the paper in 1879 to Sherman to establish the Sherman Daily Democrat.


She was also one of the first three women to join the State Press Association and served as Sherman postmaster from 1886 to 1890. Starr frequently wrote for popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Youth’s Companion, and she had a book of poetry published titled “Reullura.”


“Starr is a great example and inspiration for us as we strive to improve the lives of our neighbors through all the news and information we provide,” Executive Editor Adrian O’Hanlon said. “We want to celebrate other business leaders who embody the same principles.”


Nominations of local businesses deserving of this award can be emailed to Executive Editor Adrian O’Hanlon at aohanlon@heralddemocrat.com.


Gail Utter received the award last year for her efforts in mental health awareness. Utter led the Texoma Behavior Health Leadership Team, which focused on jail diversion, access to care and destigmatization in working with nonprofits, law enforcement, court personnel, local businesses, hospitals and colleges.


Nick’s Family Restaurant of Denison, received the inaugural award for offering annual holiday meals to Texoma community members.