Former Courier publisher mourned
Houston County Courier - January 2008
By Daphne Hereford
Bassett Keller, who served as publisher of the Houston County Courier 1980-1998 passed away on Saturday, Jan. 12.
Courier owner Alvin Holley, Polk County Publishing named Keller publisher in January 1980.
Keller served the Courier as publisher until his retirement on Dec. 1, 1998. Following his retirement he continued to work part-time for the Courier until September 2004.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Bassett Keller. He was truly a newspaper man in every sense of the word," said Holley.
"The news business has lost a great man with Keller's passing," Holley added.
Under Keller's leadership in 1983 the Courier became a bi-weekly publication with the addition of a Sunday paper.
In 1986 the Courier purchased its own press which remains in operation on Fannin Street in Crockett and is used to print several East Texas newspapers.
Keller's 47-year career in the newspaper business began in the circulation department of the Abilene Reporter News in 1951. He remained with the newspaper chain for about 15 years and served in various positions.
Before coming to the Courier, Keller also served as publisher of the Huntsville Item, another Harte-Hanks subsidiary, for five years.
Prior to coming to Huntsville, he served as publisher of the Snyder Daily news for five years.
It was through their affiliation with Harte-Hanks that Keller and Holley became acquainted and good friends as well as business associates.
Keller was a veteran of the military serving in the Korean Conflict, a member of Rotary International, Lothrop Masonic Lodge #21 AF&AM, and Houston Scottish Rite Bodies.
He served as president of the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association 1989-1990.
Keller was 80-years-old at the time of his death. He was born in Amarillo on Nov. 4, 1927.
Graveside funeral services were held on Tuesday, Jan. 15 in the Gerald Cemetery near Waco.