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Indiana tribüne. : (Indianapolis, Ind.) 1878-1907
Place of publication:
Indianapolis, Ind.
Geographic coverage:
  • Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Louis D. Hild
Dates of publication:
  • Jahrg. 1, Nr. 1 (17 Aug. 1878)-Jahrg. 30, Nr. 162 (2 März 1907).
Daily (except Sun.) 1902-1907
  • German
  • German Americans--Indiana--Newspapers.
  • German Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00941308
  • Germans--Indiana--Newspapers.
  • Germans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00942100
  • Indiana--Indianapolis.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205182
  • Indiana.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204604
  • Indianapolis (Ind.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • In German.
sn 83045241
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Indiana tribüne. August 17, 1900 , Image 1


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Indiana Tribüne

At the time of the 1870 U.S. Census, Hoosier enumerators counted 78,060 German-born residents in Indiana, accounting for 4.6 percent of the state’s total population.  In Marion County, with Indianapolis as county seat, the German-born population was 6,536, over 9 percent of the residents.  German-speaking publishers in Indianapolis established several newspapers to serve these immigrants including the pro-Republican Freie Presse von Indiana (1853-66), the Indiana Deutsche Zeitung (1874-77), and two pro-Democratic organs--the Indiana Volksblatt (1848-75) and the Täglicher Telegraph (1865-1907).

In August 1878, Louis D. Hild established a new pro-Republican, German-language, four-page weekly titled the Indiana Tribüne.  The Tribüne’s circulation of 800 lagged behind that of its chief competitor, theTelegraph, which had 3,200 subscribers.  Several owners bought and sold the Tribüne in its first few years, before the Tribüne Company acquired it in April 1882, and under its management the newspaper prospered.  The Tribüne had expanded to eight pages in 1881, and the new publishers added a four-page daily edition in 1882.  By 1885, the Tribüne reported a daily circulation of 3,000 against the Telegraph’s 2,460.  However, the Telegraph still claimed higher circulation for its weekly edition, the Indiana Volksblatt und Wȍchentlicher Telegraph, 4,420 to 3,500.

Mirroring the rise of the labor movement in Gilded Age America, the Tribüne began to shift its political allegiance in the mid-1880s.  In 1886, the publishers declared the Tribüne “the only German daily workingman’s paper published in Indiana.”  By 1888, the newspaper changed its editorial position from pro-Republican to pro-Labor.  Circulation numbers remained steady during this time with a reported 3,548 daily editions and 4,112 weekly editions circulating in 1894.  The Tribüne remained pro-Labor through 1894, when it claimed to be independent.

The 1900s brought many changes and challenges to the Tribüne.  The publishers expanded the weekly edition to 12 pages in 1900, and in 1902 they increased the daily to eight pages.  Circulation of the weekly edition, which had remained in the low to mid 4,000s throughout the 1890s, spiked to 7,031 by 1902.  After 20 years of operation, the Tribüne Company sold the paper to its chief competitor, the Gutenberg Company, publishers of the Telegraph, in March 1902.  The two papers continued to be issued separately as morning (Telegraph) and evening (Tribüne) editions, along with a separately titled Sunday edition, the Indianapolis Spottvogel.  In 1907, the Tribüne’s circulation was at 4,100 while the Telegraph was at 4,980 issues.  On March 7, 1907, the publishers combined the two titles into a single daily edition titled the Indianapolis Telegraph und Tribüne, which had a circulation of 10,785 in its first year and maintained that level through the next decade.  The German-born population of Marion County was 8,304 in 1910, and the high circulation figures for the Telegraph und Tribüne suggest that the newspaper had a readership beyond Indianapolis and among the many American-born descendants of German immigrants who continued to use their ancestral language.  The Gutenberg Company, like other German-American businesses and citizens, faced growing anti-German sentiments with the advent of World War I, and the publishers silenced their presses on June 1, 1918.

Provided by: Indiana State Library