Under the sponsorship of the State Board of Agriculture, the Indiana Farmer began in Indianapolis in March 1836, promoting improved agricultural methods among Hoosier farmers.

Indiana Farmer banner, 1825 Credit: Hoosier State Chronicles View Source

Moses M. Henkle, formerly publisher of the Indiana Aurora, a weekly agricultural journal, served as editor. He was later succeeded by John W. Osborn and Jacob S. Willets. The paper became the Indiana Farmer And Stock Register in 1837 and ceased publication in 1841. 

The Indiana Farmer And Gardener began February 1, 1845, as a semimonthly agricultural and horticultural journal and a subsidiary of the Indiana Journal, published by Samuel Vance B. Noel. Henry Ward Beecher, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, was its first editor. Issued in a 16-page octavo form, the paper kept subscribers apprised of agricultural developments, breeds of animals, improved implements and machines, and horticulture. It also served as the medium through which Beecher criticized Hoosiers for maintaining slovenly habits and for failing to adopt modern methods and implements that would improve the productivity of their farms. Beecher’s growing fame added to the popularity of the paper and helped it gain a national reputation. Indianapolis benefited indirectly from Beecher’s editorship since he received samples of non-native seeds and nursery stock, which he planted in his orchards and flower beds.

Henry Ward Beecher, ca. 1866 Credit: Library of Congress View Source

On January 1, 1846, the Indiana Farmer And Gardener merged with the Cincinnati-based Western Farmer And Gardener, which allowed Beecher to issue papers under the same name in both cities. The Indianapolis paper garnered over 1,200 subscribers by year’s end but ceased publishing in 1847 when Beecher departed Indianapolis for New York.

A second Indiana Farmer, published by J. G. Kingsbury and Company of Indianapolis, ran weekly from April 1871 to 1916.

Revised March 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.