Early Newspapers

Gosport Chronotype

The first newspaper published in Owen county in about 1842-1843. The editor was John Kerr and the paper was devoted to foreign news as well as local.

Western Chronicle

In the year 1846, Joseph Reed established an office and began publishing this newspaper. He did not do very well and in the year of 1847-1848, it was turned over to William M. Franklin & William E. Taylor.


This was the new name of the previous Western Chronicle, the paper was then to become a Democratic newspaper. After publishing this paper for about a year, the two gentlemen sold the office to a Greene county party and the paper was moved to Greene county.

Busy World

Publication began on this paper in the year 1850 in Spencer by Madison White. This paper was suspended after about 2 years due to lack of patronage, the paper had leaned toward the Whig Party politics.

National Weekly Guard

Was established about 1853-1854; David W. Lusk was the editor and owner. The paper was Democrat in its politics. This paper was published at Spencer for about 2 years, at that time Mr. Lusk moved taking press and all with him to Shawneetown, Illinois.

Owen County Journal

Was founded in September of 1858 in Spencer by Mr. John F. Harner who was a practical printer who had worked for years on the Louisville Journal. This paper was successful from the start and was neutral in its politics. The Democrats of Spencer formed a stock company and purchased the Journam from Mr. Harner and it became a Democratic paper. Mr. James Archer was made the editor and he carried the paper through the Douglas campaign, advocating the election of Stephen Douglas. The paper was sold in the fall of 1874 to John Wayland of Ohio, who continued the paper as a Democratic journal, who made it more successful then it had ever been. He later sold this to Mr Schell and Mr Luther Smith in 1880; Smith later buying out Schell's portion and his brother George E. Smith took over charge of the paper.

Owen County Union

In 1865, Clarence Williams came to Spencer and began this paper and later sold it to Joel Coffey and David Beem, who continued its publication. This paper was Republican in its politics. These two men later sold the paper to S.H.H. Mathes in 1867. In 1868, he sold half interest to Henry C. Painter and they moved the paper to Gosport and at that time they created the Gosport Independent.

Owen County News

Walter Connelly and Charles L. Yockey bought an office from Bedford Indiana and began this publication, which was independent in its politics. This paper took an active part in politics during the Grange movement in Owen county in 1874. The Owen County News was a supporter of the Grange ticket, which was badly defeated and the introduction of this political movement killed the Grange movement in Owen county.The owners sold the paper to O.M. Howard who continued it as an independent paper, but sold it to S. H.H. Mathes in 1875. He changed the politics of the paper to straight Republican and ran it through the campaign of 1876. Mr Mathes lost considerable money and sold it back to O.M. Howard who immediately changed the politics and started the publication of the Owen County Democrat.

Owen County Democrat

This publication continued until September of 1879 when Mr. Howard moved it to Iowa. He return in 1880 and restartedt the publication here. It was a paper that had a large circulation during its run.

Gosport Tribune

Publication began on the paper in the fall of 1874 by John W. Cooper & Co., the paper was neutral in politics and ran until the year 1875 when the press was removed to Bloomfield, Indiana.

Free Press

In the year 1879 this little paper began by James K Smith who was the brother of the Luther & George Smith from the Owen County Journal. However, unlike his brothers he was very radical in his views, he later merged his paper with the Owen county Journal.

Owen County People

William B. Harris brought an office to Spencer and started this publication which was Republican in its politics.In 1881 he sold it to M.M. Havens who changed the name to the Spencer Republican. In July of 1882 the paper was leased to S.H.H. Mathes who purchased half interest in it in July of 1883 and ran the paper for some time.