First published January 11, 1825, by John Douglass and Douglass Maguire after they purchased, enlarged, and changed the name of the Western Censor & Emigrants Guide (1823). The paper was anti-Jacksonian, then pro-Whig, and later a voice for the Republican Party.

The Indiana Journal Building, at 46 Monument Circle, was constructed in 1897 and served as home to the Indianapolis Journal.
Credit: City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development, Indiana Historical Society

The Journal alternated between tri-weekly, twice-weekly, and daily issues during the early 1840s and produced dailies during legislative sessions after 1842. On April 21, 1851, it became the first paper in Indianapolis to publish a regular daily issue. Until the late 1850s, it consisted mainly of political news but then began to include local items.

On November 8, 1864, the paper, then the Indianapolis Daily Journal, under editor William R. Holloway was the first to carry the news of Sherman’s burning of Atlanta. Other newspapers reprinted the story but mainly discounted it because Indianapolis was not a center for war news. Holloway received a visit from a member of General Grant’s staff wanting to know the source of his information. Holloway refused to name the officers who had given him the information and claimed that the War Department also had plans for a similar investigation, which outranked Grant’s probe. The matter was dropped shortly thereafter.

The Journal purchased many of the early papers in the city including the Atlas in 1861, the Evening Gazette in 1867, the Evening Commercial in 1871, the Daily Times in 1879, and the Indianapolis Times in 1886. The Evening Commercial became a short-lived evening edition after its purchase.

The paper changed owners, editors, and names frequently until June 1904, when Charles S. Henry, owner of the paper for less than two years, sold it to the Indianapolis Star Company. Although published briefly under the name Star And Journal, by October Journal had been dropped from the title.

Revised March 2021

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