About The Jasper weekly courier. (Jasper, Ind.) 1858-1922
Jasper, Ind. (1858-1922)
- The Jasper weekly courier. : (Jasper, Ind.) 1858-1922
- Place of publication:
- Jasper, Ind.
- Geographic coverage:
- Clement Doane
- Dates of publication:
- Ceased in July 1922.
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Mar. 19, 1858)-
- Jasper (Ind.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- sn 84023963
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
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The Jasper Weekly Courier
The Jasper Weekly Courier debuted on March 19, 1858, in Jasper, Indiana. The seat of Dubois County in southern Indiana, Jasper was an agricultural trade center located near iron and coal deposits. John Mehringer, Rudolphus Smith, and Clement Doane published the Courier as an organ of the Democratic Party. The Courier was the first newspaper published in the county since the American Eagle left Jasper in 1848 after a two-year run. On November 1, 1859, Doane became sole proprietor of the Courier. The paper endorsed Stephen A. Douglas in the 1860 presidential election and early in the Civil War drew criticism for being disloyal to the Union. Doane fired back with an editorial affirming his loyalty, but lamented “a Union which requires bayonets and bullets to keep it together.” In 1872, Doane expanded the four- page weekly to eight pages. He continued to publish the Courier until his death in 1904. His son, Benjamin E. Doane, assumed publishing duties until his death in 1922. Benjamin Doane’s children briefly tried to maintain the Courier, but the publication ceased in July 1922.
The Courier was the oldest and, in its day, the longest running English-language newspaper in Dubois County. Jasper’s population ranged from 1,000 to 2,000 during the Courier’s lifetime, and the newspaper’s circulation ranged from 350 in 1869 to 750 in 1920. Since the county had a large German-speaking population, the very first issue of the Courier bore the following announcement in German: “Advertisements in German will always be handled in this office in the best and cheapest manner.” In 1867, a German-language newspaper, the Signal premiered in nearby Huntingburg to better serve German speakers in the county. The Signal eventually boasted a larger circulation than any other newspaper in Dubois County during the 19th century. The Courier’s first viable English-language competitor, the Jasper Times, debuted in 1879 as a Democratic organ. The Times converted to a Republican newspaper in 1883, and by 1890 its subscriptions surpassed the Courier, 700 issues to 572. Despite this success, the Times folded in 1891. Four years later, in 1895, the Jasper Herald premiered. The Herald was also a Democratic voice, and eventually superseded the Courier with a circulation of over 1,000 in the 1910s.
Provided by: Indiana State Library