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Community newspapers have always been the chroniclers of family lore, of scholastic achievements, municipal governance, and all of the other news that binds a community together. There is a basic covenant between a town and its newspaper — and whether it’s a local economic development story or a development in the public schools — the newspaper provides coverage people need.
Since 1856, The Corydon Democrat has been reporting the news of Southern Indiana. It has told the stories of Morgan’s Civil War raid on Corydon, the 1937 flood of the Ohio River, the opening of Interstate 64 and the pandemic of COVID-19.
But, more importantly, it has told the stories of the community.
From its founding by Simeon K. Wolfe, the newspaper has had a single goal: to connect people, events and communities. This connection comes in joining elected officials with the people they represent. It comes in sharing the stories of friends, families and neighbors. The connection is shown in the players and fans of a winning sport season. It’s in providing a forum for churches, schools, and other organizations to announce upcoming events in which the whole community can take part.
G.K Gwartney purchased the newspaper in 1888. Nineteen years later, he sold it to Lew M. O’Bannon, whose family has not only owned the paper since 1907, but has been intimately involved for much of that time, with O’Bannon’s great-grandson, Jon O’Bannon, serving as publisher since 2005. In between, several other O’Bannons — including Jon’s grandfather, Robert, and father, Frank, despite the time demands of serving in the Indiana legislature, with the latter also twice elected governor — have been involved.
The newspaper has won an unprecedented 16 Blue Ribbon awards, since the award’s inception in 1972, for being the best non-daily newspaper in the state from the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation. Judging is done by out-of-state newspapers.
Besides The Corydon Democrat, O’Bannon Publishing Co. Inc. has expanded to include a second newspaper, the Clarion News, which serves Crawford County as well as parts of Harrison, Floyd, Washington, Orange, Perry and Dubois counties. It is the result of the merger of the Clarion, The Crawford County Democrat and News-Messenger.
O’Bannon Publishing also offers an opportunity to high school students in Harrison and Crawford counties to write and take photographs for Linked!, a student-driven newspaper produced during the school year since the fall of 2008. Students from Corydon Central, Crawford County, Lanesville, North Harrison and South Central work closely with members of the O’Bannon Publishing Co. staff to learn about journalism while publishing the monthly newspaper that is distributed in their schools as well as the community.
O’Bannon Publishing also works closely with the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County to produce their annual membership directory and business guide This is Harrison County magazine.
O’Bannon Publishing also owns and operates Corydon Instant Print, which is located on the northwest corner of the building where the newspapers are housed.
Every venture of O’Bannon Publishing, from a story in The Corydon Democrat to printing signage at Corydon Instant Print for an event, works to meet the same goal: to connect the community to one another and to valuable, local news and resources.
O’Bannon Publishing Co., Inc.
301 N. Capitol Ave.
Corydon, IN 47112
President & Publisher
Vice Chairman &
Chief Operating Officer
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor,