William “Bill” Collyns, Midland, TX
Bill Collyns was born in San Angelo, Texas. His newspaper career began early—as a young man, he had a paper route, was the ad manager of his high school newspaper, and worked at the San Angelo Evening Standard. In 1927 he moved to McCamey, where he worked days as a geological draftsman for Humble Oil and Refining Co. and nights as the sports editor for the McCamey Weekly News. In 1935, when Humble moved its headquarters to Midland, Collyns moved, too. A year later, he joined the Midland Chamber of Commerce, where he coordinated the city’s efforts in attracting oil companies to Midland. He also worked to promote a healthier transportation system in the Permian Basin, pushing the development of a much-needed infrastructure. Later he would spearhead the effort to bring Continental Airlines to Midland. Following service in World War II, Collyns was named editor of the Midland Reporter Telegram, a position he held for 34 years. During his tenure, he established an oil and gas section and put oil and gas industry news on the front page.