History of Brookville National Defender
"The first issue of the Brookville American appeared on February 12, 1858. It was unrelated to the Indiana American previously published in Brookville that relocated to Indianapolis in April 1857. William H. Foster was the editor and publisher of the Brookville American. On its masthead, the newspaper claimed to be “Independent on all Subjects,” but the American opposed the extension of slavery in Kansas and therefore supported the Anti-Lecompton Democrat ticket in the 1858 midterm election. During the presidential election of 1860, the American endorsed the Republican ticket. Foster suspended publication of the American in February 1861, reportedly because of illness and poor management.
The press was dormant for about a year until Charles A. Bingham and Ulysses V. Kyger launched the Brookville National Defender on January 3, 1862. The National Defender was an Unconditional Unionist paper that assumed the motto, “The Constitution, the Union, and the Enforcement of Laws.” Kyger left the paper, and Richard Swift replaced him as editor, probably in early 1864. The new owners renamed the weekly twice in 1865, first calling it the Brookville American and then the Indiana American. Bingham became sole owner when Swift left in 1865. Bingham continued to operate the Indiana American until January 1872 when he sold it to Milton L. Wilson, who had previously managed the Newark (OH) American.
The American changed hands many times between 1872 and 1877. There were also minor variations made to its title in 1872-73: from the Indiana American, to the Brookville American, to the Brookville Weekly American, then back again to the Brookville American. William H. Green acquired the latter in September 1877, providing stable ownership of the weekly for the next decade, as circulation increased to 800. In 1888, Green transferred the American to Louis L. Burke, who in 1904 sold it in turn to Edward J. Hancock. Isaac M. Bridgeman managed the American from 1909 to 1922. Under his leadership, circulation increased to 2,000 in 1911. Bridgeman purchased the Winchester (IN)Journal-Herald and sold the American to Noah E. Foster. In 1935, William G. Colter and Ernest W. Showalter acquired the American at a sheriff’s sale. In 1943, Showalter and two partners established Whitewater Publications, which, as of 2013, continues to publish the Brookville American as a weekly newspaper."