Grand Island Independent

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Grand Island Independent
Grand Island Independent bldg SW corner.JPG
Grand Island Independent building in Grand Island
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Omaha World-Herald Co.
Publisher Don Smith
Editor Jim Faddis
Founded 1870
Language English
Headquarters 422 West First Street
Grand Island, NE 68802
United States
Circulation 20,500
ISSN 1049-3018

The Grand Island Independent is a newspaper published in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Independent is published every day of the year but Christmas Day.[1] Its daily circulation is 20,500[2] in eleven counties of central Nebraska.[3] The newspaper is owned by the Omaha World-Herald Co.[2]


In 1869, Maggie Eberhart and Seth Mobley founded the Platte Valley Independent in North Platte. Eberhart, whose parents had immigrated from Ireland in her infancy, had been a teacher;[4] Mobley had begun working in a newspaper office in Iowa at the age of 10, and had briefly published the Fort Kearney Herald[5] while stationed at Fort Kearny, Nebraska in 1865.[6] In 1870, Eberhart moved the Independent to Grand Island; she married Mobley the following year. The newspaper, described as "decidedly Republican", was published daily for a short time in late 1873, in connection with a political campaign of that year, but resumed weekly publication after the election.[7]

In 1883, the Mobleys, who had alienated most of their advertisers, sold the newspaper to J. A. McMurphy; a week later, McMurphy sold it to Friedrich (Fred) Hedde.[8] Hedde had been a lawyer and journalist in his native Holstein.[9] After immigrating to the United States in 1854,[10] he was one of the original settlers of Grand Island in 1857.[9] He had served as County Judge and as a member of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature.[10] Beside the Independent, he owned a lumberyard and a general store.[11] Hedde converted the Independent from a weekly to a daily in 1884;[9] in 1885, he changed its name to the Grand Island Daily Independent.[12]

In 1900, the octogenarian Hedde's health was failing, prompting him to turn the newspaper over to a group of Grand Island businessmen,[8] who formed the Independent Publishing Company. A. F. Buechler served as president of the company and editor of the newspaper until 1930,[13] when it was sold to Oscar S. Stauffer; he continued as editor until 1939.[13]

Stauffer Communications owned the Independent from 1930 to 1994.[12] In 1974, the newspaper made the conversion from letterpress to offset printing. In 1979, it began printing a Sunday edition, initiating seven-day publication.[14] In 1989, the "Daily" was dropped, leaving the newspaper with its present name.

The newspaper was acquired by the Morris Publishing Group in the course of their 1995 purchase of Stauffer.[15] It introduced its website in 1996.[14] In 2007, the Independent was bought by GateHouse Media.[12] in 2008, GateHouse sold the newspaper to its present owner, the Omaha World-Herald Co.[2]

The Independent today

The publisher of the Independent is Don Smith;[16] Before his appointment to the position in 2003, he had served as publisher of the Morris-owned Juneau Empire.[17] The managing editor is Jim Faddis; he had worked for the Independent for 25 years before being promoted from editorial page editor to managing editor in 2007.[18]

Beside the daily newspaper, the Independent publishes a free-circulation weekly titled Trade West, with a circulation of about 20,000, focusing on "rural and agricultural readers".[19]


  1. "About The Grand Island Independent". Grand Island Independent website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Coddington, Mark. "Independent bought by World-Herald". Grand Island Independent. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  3. "Business Directory". Grand Island Chamber of Commerce website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  4. "Hall County's Pioneering Women". Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  5. Online version of Andreas uses "Kearney" spelling in names of both newspaper and fort.
  6. "Hall County: Newspapers". Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  7. "Hall County: Chapter XXV". 1890 History of Hall County. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Schulz, Sarah. "Grand Island Independent one of city's oldest businesses". Grand Island Independent. 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Hall County Original Settlers". Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Hall County: Biographical Sketches". Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  11. "Hall County: Chapter XXVI". 1890 History of Hall County. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Gardner, Meredith. "GateHouse Media to purchase The Independent". Grand Island Independent. 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Buechler, A. F. (1940) "Hall County". Who's Who in Nebraska. Nebraska Press Association. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Brennan, Bill. "All the changes in 25 years". Grand Island Independent. 1998-12-15. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  15. "About Morris Communications". Morris Digitalworks website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  16. Staff page. Grand Island Independent. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  17. Reutter, Harold. "Morris names Smith new Independent publisher". Grand Island Independent. 2003-10-11. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  18. Coddington, Mark. "Independent editors take on new roles as paper's mission evolves". Grand Island Independent. 2007-02-25. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  19. "Trade West targets rural readers with free weekly paper". Grand Island Independent. 2005-03-20. Retrieved 2010-03-24.