History of Early Amateur Journalism in Indiana


THE FIRST INDIANA AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION was formed at Indianapolis, Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1875. Edward M. Hardy, of the Queen City Journal, published at Whiteland, was chosen President. The second convention was held during August, 1876, at Indianapolis, Will R. Perrin being elected President. The third meeting was held February 22, 1877, also at Indianapolis. Frank S. Hereth was made President. The next convention was held in Terre Haute, November 29, 1877. A. C. Duddleston, of that city, editor of the Hoosier Boy, was elected President. The fifth and last meeting of this organization was held in Indianapolis November 28, 1878. Frank M. Morris was elected its President, but its career came to end with this convention.


Three years later the Indiana and Kentucky A.P.A. was organized at Evansville, November 24, 1881. Net Worthington was chosen President. Its second meeting, at Rockport, May 27, 1882, changed the name to Indiana A.P.A., and chose James Niblack, President. The next meeting was held December 28, 1882, in Washington, electing Wallie Sellman President and F. H. Stark Official Editor. June 1, 1883, at Terre Haute, T. F. Spink was elected President and Wallie Sellman Official Editor. The next meeting was at Evansville, December 27, 1883, and E. R. Axtell was made President. No further meetings were held.


Local clubs were formed in Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Madison in 1876, Evansville in 1881, Washington in 1883 and in Indianapolis in 1889 and 1892. The first amateur paper of record in Indiana was the Tickler, issued from Lafayette in 1861 by Will Huff, who published the Lilliputian in 1864. In 1866, in Evansville, Henry E. Wheeler issued the Weekly Star, and in 1869, in Star City, W. F. Stewart published the Trumpet. In Lafayette in 1871 Walter H. Cox and his brother sent out the Bee, and from that city next year came the Starry Flag, edited by Wilbur E. Severson. In Whiteland Edward M. Hardy issued the Speck in 1872, Our Monthly in 1873, and the Queen City Journal in 1874, the last a very attractive sheet. The Boy of To-Day was published in Indianapolis by Frank S. Hereth in 1875, and Will R. Perrin, of that city, with Thomas G. Harrison issued the Indiana Boy. Harrison, later a noted amateur, lived in Lafayette, and early in 1876 began publication of his famous Welcome Visitor, moving later to Indianapolis. In Indianapolis Frank M. Morris issued his Duke's Spirit.


In Terre Haute in 1876 A. C. Duddleston published the Hoosier Boy, and in 1877 J. H. Rupe the Prairie Gem. In Madison in 1876 were a number of papers, among them Post Boy, Norwood Fitch; Pride, George F. Harper; Amateur Banner, A. S. Alling; Scrap Bag, Will B. Foster; Sun, R. B. Moffett. In 1879 Will K. Graff issued Our Graphic from Indianapolis.


In the early Eighties a group of papers were sent out from Washington, among them the Funi Fonographer, later the Reporter, T. F. Spink, editor; Star, E. C. Watkins; Spy, Will H. Walters; Mirror, E. R. Axtell. Other papers and editors of the period were: Bazoo, Evansville, Net Worthington; Monthly Eagle, Rockport, James Niblack; Phalanx, North Webster, Scott D. Judkin; Midget, afterward Melange, Evansville, Wallie J. Sellman. A famous amateur journal, published for many years, was started in 1890 in Indianapolis by Samuel J. Steinberg. It was named Dilettante. In Indianapolis, too, Otto A. Kamber published his long series of papers devoted mainly to printing original cartoons. Three young ladies of that city issued the attractive little magazine Iris, Rose Steinberg, Ida Harting and Jessie Hood composing its staff. In Knox, in 1905, Chester A. McCormick issued the Owl.


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