Genealogy Trails
Wayne County, Indiana


    The early history of newspapers in the county is given by Dr. John T. Plummer in his " Historical Sketch " published in 1857. As he came to Richmond before the first paper printed in Richmond was discontinued, he wrote from personal knowledge. His sketch, therefore, is regarded as the most reliable source of information, and contains the substance of the following history of newspapers in Richmond to the date of his book.

Newspapers in Richmond.

    The first newspaper published in Richmond was the Richmond Weekly Intelligencer. Dr. Plummer says he had no means of ascertaining when it was begun, but a number was certainly published so early as December 29, 1821. The printing office was on Front street, south of Main. Its editor was Elijah Lacey, who had associated with him as publisher John Scott, afterward judge, and editor of the Western Emporium, published at Centerville.    It was discontinued, he says, in 1824.

    The second paper was the Public Ledger the first number of which was dated March 6, 1824. Its first editor and publisher was Edmund S. Buxton, until November 11,1825, when it was brought under the firm of Buxton & Walling, and by them continued about a year. It then passed into the hands of Samuel B. Walling, the late-named partner, [1826,] and was discontinued in June, 1828. It was printed in a small one-story frame house on lot 2, Smith's addition.

    A third paper, the Richmond Palladium, was commenced January 1, 1831, by Nelson Boon, who conducted it but six months, when it passed into the hands of Thomas J. Larsh, and was conducted by him eighteen months; next by David P. Holloway one year; by Finley & Holloway two years; by John Finley one year. It then [Jan. 1837] passed to David P. Holloway and Benj. W. Davis, by whom, under the firm of Holloway & Davis, it has been continued to the present time, though edited chiefly for the last ten years by Davis, his partner having been during this time at the city of Washington.

    The Jeffersonian was established in 1836 by an association of Democrats called " Hickory Club," and edited principally by Samuel E. Perkins, afterward a judge of the Supreme Court, and one Talcott, a young lawyer. In the fall of 1837, Lynde Elliott purchased the establishment, and published and edited the paper until 1839, when its publication was suspended, and the printing materials became the property of Daniel Reid. In the same year, Samuel E. Perkins bought the property of Reid, and revived the Jeffersonian, which he edited and published till 1840, when James Elder became its proprietor, by whom it was published until 1804, from which time its publication was for several years suspended. In 1870, Mr. Elder revived the paper, or rather, perhaps, established a new one, entitled Democratic Herald, which, in 1871, was purchased by Wm. Thistlethwaite, its present proprietor.

    The Indiana Farmer was commenced, in 1851, by Holloway & Dennis, and was soon discontinued.

    The Broad Axe of Freedom was established in 1855, by Jamison & Johnson, journeymen printers in the Palladium office. It soon changed hands, and, by a succession of proprietors, it was continued until the close of 1864, when the press and type were purchased by Isaac H. Julian, and the paper merged in the Indiana True Republican, previously published by Mr. Julian at Centerville, and removed by him to Richmond, Jan.1,1865, when its name was changed to Indiana Radical. It is still published by him.

    The Lily, previously published in New York city by Amelia Bloomer, was transplanted in Richmond, in 1854, and was continued by Mary E. Birdsall, a few years, and subsequently, for a short time, by Mary F. Thomas, at present a physician in Richmond.

    The Independent Press was commenced by Geo. W. Wood, in 1861. It was issued as a daily three months, and weekly about six months. In 1862, Calvin R. Johnson, Thomas L. Baylies, and Robert H. Howard, bought the Press and started The Telegram, July 4,1862. In the fall of 1863, Johnson retired, and Baylies about six months after.   Howard continued it until 1867, after which Dr. James W. Salter published it about a year and a half, and sold it to Alfred G. Wilcox, who took into partnership James M. Coe. After about six months, Daniel Surface, from Cincinnati, became a partner; and the proprietors assumed the name of the Telegram Company, under which name it is still published by Messrs. Surface and Coe, Mr. Wilcox having retired soon after the company was formed. Mr. Surface, since his first connection with the paper, has been its editor.

    The Humming Bird was started by J. E. Avery & Co., May 5, 1866. It was sold a few months after to A. J. Strickland, from whom it passed, in March, 1867, to Crawley & Maag. In August, 1869, Crawley retired, and Maag has since been its sole proprietor.

    A small quarto literary paper, called the Family Schoolmaster, was commenced in Richmond, March, 1839, by Holloway A Davis, and ended with its 34th number.

Newspapers at Centerville.

    In the year 1824, John Scott, who had been associated with Elijah Lacey in publishing the Weekly Intelligencer in Richmond, commenced the publication of the Western Emporium at Centerville. How long it was published, we are not informed. Scott subsequently committed suicide by hanging himself, at Logansport.

    In or about the year 1832, the Western Times was started by Septimus Smith. He was a lawyer and for a time probate judge; a man of literary taste and attainments. He was a brother of the late Oliver H. Smith. Andrew Bulla, son of the late Wm.. Bulla, was for a while associated with Mr. Smith in the publication of the Times. They both died nearly at the same time, of consumption. They were succeeded, it is believed, by J. A. Hall and Giles C. Smith, the latter being then a teacher in the County Seminary, and since a Methodist minister. Their successor was Nelson Boon, from Eaton, Ohio. He, too, died soon after, or in the latter part of 1834.

    About the year 1835, Samuel C. Meredith started the People's Advocate, Democratic in politics, the previous papers having been very moderately Whig. It was edited for a time by James B. Haile, a teacher in the Seminary. Meredith, finding it did not " pay," changed it to a whig paper under the name of Wayne County Chronicle. It was edited about a year by Elder Samuel K. Hoshour, when, Meredith having removed to Illinois, the paper was succeeded by the National Patriot, owned by somebody " down East," and edited by Richard Cole. Not succeeding well in the enterprise, he soon discontinued the publication. He was afterward elected, with another, state printer; and has since been a missionary to China.

    Meredith, having returned, began, in 1841, the Wayne County Record. Hampden G. Finch was for a time associate publisher.   John B. Stitt became its editor.

    Early in 1846, the News Letter, a literary paper, was started by C. B. Bentley, since, and for a long time, conductor of the Brookville Democrat. H. G. Finch soon associated himself with Bentley, Many of its leading articles were for some time written by George W. Julian.    It was continued but about a year.

    About this time, a monthly religious publication, called, it is believed, The Reformer, was issued by Elder Benjamin Franklin. The term of its existence is not mentioned.

    In 1848, the Free Territory Sentinel was started as an advocate of the Free Soil movement of that year, by R. Vaile and P. Smith. In less than a year its name was changed to the Indiana True Democrat. About the time the Sentinel was started, Meredith having gone to California, the Record became the Whig, under the charge of D. B. Woods and Stitt. Woods being afterward killed in California, a printer named Millington took his place with Stitt for a short time. Meredith returning, he resumed its publication; but after a few months, finding it a losing affair, he sold out, in 1852, to D. P. Holloway, of the Richmond Palladium. At the close of that year, the True Democrat was removed to Indianapolis and took the name of Free Democrat.

    Nathan Smith then started the Independent Press, a small paper, which survived but a few months; and Centerville was for about a year without a newspaper.

    In April, 1854, Hosea S. Elliott started the Wayne County Journal, and published also the Class Mate, a religious monthly. Both soon died. The Weekly Chronicle was then started by R.
J. Strickland and G. W. B. Smith, and continued to June, 1858, when they sold out to W. C. Moreau, who bought a new press and started the True Republican. In about three months he sold out to Isaac H. Julian, who, as has been elsewhere stated, removed it to Richmond.   
In 1859, R. J. Strickland commenced a new paper, (or revived the old one,) under the name of Wayne Chronicle, which was published at intervals, until 1863, when it was removed to Cambridge City.


    In the summer of 1845, James H. Hunt, who had published a paper at Greenfield, Hancock Co., Ind., removed his office to Cambridge and started the Cambridge City Reveille, which he continued until 1850; after which, it was published about a year by Robert O. Dormer. After a short suspension, it was revived by Mr. Hunt and his brother Jonathan H. Hunt, and after a few months removed to Portland, Jay Co. The editor [Hunt] having, on his death bed, directed it to be removed to a warehouse, the person employed dumped the types promiscuously into a dry goods box. The Reveille was Whig in politics.

    In 1850, Wm. and Charles Daily removed the Chronicle 19 press and types from Connersville to Cambridge City, and published the Cambridge City News, a Democratic paper, during the years 1850 and 1851. During the two succeeding years, it was published by Lafayette Develin; in which time the earlier poems of Louisa Chitwood, then, and until her death, a poet of rare promise, made their first appearance in its columns.

In 1852, Whelan & Pritchard, having purchased the office of The Western Reformer at Milton, removed it to Cambridge, and used it for some time as a job office. Wheeler & Ryder then started the Cambridge City Item, edited by Samuel & Hoshour, whose name appeared at the head of the paper as "Conductor," along with that of Kos Whelan as "Engineer," and that of K W. Carey as " Pugilist"

    After a few months, by arrangement with Develin, the two papers were united, under the name of Cambridge City News and City Item, neutral in politics. After it had been published nearly a year, Whelan, Buckingham, and Waltz, in 1855, published the Daily Item, a small sheet, foolscap size, devoted to news, fun, and gossip, which survived only a few months. The office was then sold to R. J. Strickland, who removed it to Centerville. A part of the material is said to be still used in the office of the Radical in Richmond.

    In the autumn of 1856, George B. Seig established the Cambridge City Bulletin, a weekly Republican paper, and published it for two years. It was then published for one year by Kosciusko Whelan. In 1860, the establishment was purchased by Whelan, Kellar, and Leib, who started a new Republican paper, named " The Flag of the Free." On the breaking out of the war, nearly all the employees went into the army, and the paper stopped. The office was sold, and, after passing through several hands, the press and types were taken to Little Rock, Arkansas.

    In 1864, R. J. Strickland removed the establishment of the Wayne County Chronicle to Cambridge City, and issued the Cambridge City Journal, a Republican paper, for a year or longer. The office was then sold to John C. Lutz and Lafayette Develin, who issued, Jan. 8, 1866, the first number of a Democratic paper, named Western Mirror.   This had a larger circulation than any paper previously published here. Mr. Lutz died March 15, 1868, and the paper was conducted by Mr. Develin until May 13,1869, when the office was purchased by Henry C. Meredith, who that day commenced the Cambridge City Tribune, a Republican paper, which is still published there. Prom June to August, 1870, W. D. Haley was associated with Mr. Meredith; and since Dec. 22, 1870, W. P. Harding has been associate editor and proprietor. The paper has a large circulation.

    Soon after the sale of the Mirror to Meredith, L. L. Dale, of Newcastle, removed his paper, the Democratic Times, to Cambridge City, where it was issued some eight or nine months, when he returned to Newcastle.

    After Mr. Dale's departure, T. G. McCaulay, of West Salem, Ohio, published the Cambridge City Chieftain, a Democratic paper, which, however, after a few weeks, was discontinued.

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