The Herald-Argus traces its ancestry back to Feb. 5, 1880, when the first issue of The Herald-Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, rolled off the press.
This represented a merger of The Herald of 1867 (once in Westville) and The Chronicle of 1874. The merger resulted in the formation of The La Porte Printing Co.
Within a year, the Herald-Chronicle claimed 1,200 circulation, this due to a significant development. The successful Herald-Chronicle announced a daily paper on July 30, 1888, and continued to be a daily from that day on. The new paper was called The La Porte Daily Herald. (The weekly Herald-Chronicle continued for many years by the same company.)
The name Daily Herald lasted all of one day. The next day, July 31, 1888, the new paper's nameplate was changed to The Daily Republican. That politically loaded name lasted through Dec. 31, 1888. From then until 1924, when it merged with the Democratic Argus-Bulletin to form The Herald-Argus, the newspaper was known as The Daily Herald.
Credit -- or blame -- all this name-changing business on politics.
Newspapers of the 19th century and early 20th century made no bones about their political affiliations. And the editors of this newspaper in 1888 didn't beat around the bush when they stated editorially that they were supporting Hoosier Benjamin Harrison for president of the United States and New Yorker Levi Morton for vice president, both of whom had been nominated at the June Republican National Convention held in Chicago.
Since those editors' effort at a daily paper was not the first here, they made it clear in an editorial statement, saying, "The Daily Republican is not a paternal ancestor of the Daily News Item, which we have purchased. This newspaper is owned and published by Republican men, and with Republican brains with Republican capital."
And when Republican Harrison defeated incumbent Democrat Grover Cleveland for the presidency, the Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1888, front page of The Daily Republican banner headline screamed in political defiance: "Victory, Harrison Elected."
By early 1889 Harrison was preparing for a March inauguration as president, Republican Albert G. Porter was in place as governor of Indiana, and the newspaper's bosses cooled their hot type and renamed the newspaper The Daily Herald, a title that held until the October 1924 merger with The La Porte Daily Argus.
The upshot of all this politicking in print was that in less than a year the La Porte Printing Co. fielded newspapers under the nameplates of the weekly Herald-Chronicle, the Daily Herald, and the Daily Republican. So much for the stability of early-day newspapering, which was sometimes more political than newsy.
From the moment of the 1924 merger, The Herald-Argus shucked its Republican Party claims versus the Democratic Argus-Bulletin, and declared its political independence as the city's only daily newspaper.
The Herald-Chronicle and, for a time, the Daily Herald were published at the Herald-Chronicle plant, then located on the southwest corner of Lincoln Way and Monroe Street, where the paper had second-floor offices. In the 1890s, The Daily Herald was moved to a building, since demolished, at the corner of Lincoln Way and Indiana Avenue, where the Roxy Theatre was opened in 1934. And in 1910, the newspaper located at 613-15 Lincoln Way, where the Fox Theatre stood for years.
The final move was made in May 1931 when The Herald-Argus located in its present building at State and Monroe streets.
In 2007, Paxton Media Group Inc. of Paducah, Ky., purchased the Herald-Argus from The Small Newspaper Group.
Paxton Media Group traces it roots to 1896, when a group of investors headed by W.P. Paxton launched The Paducah Sun. Today, Paxton Media Group is a diversified media company with interests in newspapers, printing and broadcasting and is still owned and managed by third and fourth generation members of the Paxton family.