The Grand Island Independent

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Grand Island Independent
Grand Island Independent bldg SW corner.JPG
Grand Island Independent building in Grand Island
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Omaha World-Herald Co.
PublisherTerrie Baker [1]
EditorBette Pore
FoundedJuly 2, 1870;150 years ago (1870-07-02)
CountryUnited States
Circulation 20,500
ISSN 1049-3018
OCLC number 21212650

The Grand Island Independent is a newspaper published in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Independent is published seven days a week but does not produce a newspaper on Christmas Day. [2] Its daily circulation is 20,500, [3] in eleven counties of central Nebraska. [4] The newspaper is owned by the Omaha World-Herald Co. [3]



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; [5] Mobley had begun working in a newspaper office in Iowa at the age of 10, and had briefly published the Fort Kearney Herald, [6] while stationed at Fort Kearny, Nebraska in 1865. [7] In 1870, Eberhart moved the Independent to Grand Island and started publishing on July 2; [8] 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. [9]

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. [10] Hedde had been a lawyer and journalist in his native Holstein. [11] After immigrating to the United States in 1854, [12] he was one of the original settlers of Grand Island in 1857. [11] He had served as County Judge and as a member of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature. [12] Beside the Independent, he owned a lumberyard and a general store. [13] Hedde converted the Independent from a weekly to a daily in 1884; [11] in 1885, he changed its name to the Grand Island Daily Independent. [14]

In 1900, the octogenarian Hedde's health was failing, prompting him to turn the newspaper over to a group of Grand Island businessmen, [10] who formed the Independent Publishing Company. A. F. Buechler served as president of the company and editor of the newspaper until 1930, [15] when it was sold to Oscar S. Stauffer; he continued as editor until 1939. [15]

Stauffer Communications owned the Independent from 1930 to 1994. [14] In 1974, the newspaper made the conversion from letterpress to offset printing. In 1979, it began printing a Sunday edition, initiating seven-day publication. [16] 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. [17] It introduced its website in 1996. [16] In 2007, the Independent was bought by GateHouse Media. [14] in 2008, GateHouse sold the newspaper to its present owner, the Omaha World-Herald Co. [3]

The Independent today

The publisher of the Independent is Terrie Baker; Prior to serving as publisher, Baker served as The Independent’s general manager for two years. She joined the Independent in 2017 after serving as publisher of the North Platte Telegraph since 2015. [18] 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. [19]

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". [20]

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  2. "About Us". The Grand Island Independent. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 Coddington, Mark. "Independent bought by World-Herald". Grand Island Independent. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  4. "Business Directory". Grand Island Chamber of Commerce website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  5. "Hall County's Pioneering Women". Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  6. Online version of Andreas uses "Kearney" spelling in names of both newspaper and fort.
  7. "Hall County: Newspapers". Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  8. "About The Platte Valley independent. [microfilm reel] (North Platte, Neb.) 1870-1882". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  9. "Hall County: Chapter XXV". 1890 History of Hall County. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  10. 1 2 Schulz, Sarah. "Grand Island Independent one of city's oldest businesses". Grand Island Independent. 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  11. 1 2 3 "Hall County Original Settlers". Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  12. 1 2 "Hall County: Biographical Sketches". Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  13. "Hall County: Chapter XXVI". 1890 History of Hall County. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  14. 1 2 3 Gardner, Meredith. "GateHouse Media to purchase The Independent". Grand Island Independent. 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  15. 1 2 Buechler, A. F. (1940) "Hall County". Who's Who in Nebraska. Nebraska Press Association. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  16. 1 2 Brennan, Bill. "All the changes in 25 years". Grand Island Independent. 1998-12-15. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  17. "About Morris Communications". Morris Digitalworks website. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  18. Pore, Robert
  19. Coddington, Mark. "Independent editors take on new roles as paper's mission evolves". Grand Island Independent. 2007-02-25. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  20. "Trade West targets rural readers with free weekly paper". Grand Island Independent. 2005-03-20. Retrieved 2010-03-24.