History of Winchester Daily Fair Journal
"Clint D. Smith purchased the press of the Whig-affiliated Winchester Patriot and in 1855 began publishing the Randolph County Journal in Indiana. Winchester, the seat of Randolph County, is located in a rich farming district on the Indiana-Ohio border. The area counted many Quakers amongst its earliest settlers. Consequently, many residents espoused strong antislavery views, and the Journal mirrored their opinions. Dr. John E. Beverly became part-owner and editor of the Randolph County Journal in December 1857. Despite it being a partisan Republican newspaper, Beverly added the following under the newspaper’s masthead: “A Family Newspaper, Devoted to Literature, Education, Morality, Temperance, Agriculture, Local and Foreign News, the Arts and Sciences, Politics, Commercial and General Intelligence.” In July 1858, Beverly resigned as editor and sold his interest to Smith. Benjamin F. Diggs succeeded Beverly as editor. On account of poor health, Smith sold the paper to Diggs and John W. Jarnagin in May 1859. Diggs became sole owner of the Journal the following year, and in January 1861 he partnered with Lon G. Dynes who had recently acquired the press of the defunct Winchester Democrat.
During the Civil War, the Journal remained strongly Republican in politics, and trended to the radical end of the spectrum, like the county’s representative in Congress, George Washington Julian. Diggs sold his share of the newspaper to George H. Bonebrake in July 1862. Dynes and Bonebrake reorganized the newspaper and shortened the title to the Randolph Journal. The title changed again to the Winchester Journal in October 1862. John Beverly returned and purchased Bonebrake’s interest. Beverly became complete owner in January 1863 when Dynes left to start the Union City Eagle. In 1864, the paper was renamed the Randolph County Journal and sold to Andrew J. Neff. The following year, Neff partnered first with A. M. Woodin and then with Norman R. Brice to publish the renamed Randolph Journal. Neff bought complete control of the Journal in February 1867 and sold it two years later to Edmund B. Walkup. Walkup operated the newspaper for 18 months including, briefly, in partnership with a Mr. Lytle. However, Walkup soon left to continue his newspaper career in Ohio, which included editing and publishing the St. Marys Courant.
After repeated ownership changes in the 1860s, Amos C. Beeson brought stability to the Journal when in June 1870 he purchased the weekly with his brother-in-law, Elias J. Marsh. The new owners renamed the paper the Winchester Journal. Its reported circulation at the time was 900; by 1898, it had increased to over 2,000. Marsh left the Journal in December 1871 when he acquired the Portland Commercial. Beeson partnered with John M. Hodson for the next nine years, after which the latter left for Oregon to start the Eugene City Register. In the 1880s, Beeson expanded the Journal from four to eight pages and brought his sons, William and Charles, on as partners. The elder Beeson died in 1903, and his sons continued the newspaper’s operations until William’s death in 1920. At that point, Charles Beeson sold the Winchester Journal to the publishers of the Winchester Herald. The two papers were merged to form the Winchester Journal-Herald, which debuted on March 17, 1920."