Steadfast presence in the community since 1876

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By Melissa Blankenship

You hold in your hands an early Christmas present. 

This is a free sample of the “Henry County Local,” delivered to everyone in the county this week as a way to introduce you to the product if you’ve never read it, or to remind you of what our pages contain each week, if you haven’t read it lately.

I consider it an honor to work here, continuing a tradition of service to the community that began in the late 1800s. 

The first newspaper published in the county was “The Constitutionalist,” back in 1868. At that time W.A. Holland served as editor until 1892.

In 1876, the “Henry County Local” was born, W.B. Moody was the first editor of record of the paper, which was founded in reaction to the political stance of “The Constitutionalist.”

For several years, the newspaper changed hands and editors, and in 1930 the Local consolidated with the “Henry Times,” a newspaper that had been published in Eminence since 1927. At that time, the owner was Judge J. Wirt Turner Sr. When he passed away, ownership went to his son, but James Owen served as the managing editor.

A significant point in Local history was when its Main Street office in New Castle was destroyed by fire. Jimmie Durrett, owner of the Dairy Castle outside of New Castle, provided space in his dining room for the paper to operate.

The paper stayed in the Turner family until 1985 when it was purchased by Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., who still maintains ownership today.

The paper and staff have undergone many transformations over the years, but its mission has remained the same. It has always been the goal of your community newspaper to capture the moments that make up the historical fabric of the county. 

A newspaper from 1943 provided information about local men serving overseas, the conditon of hay and an announcement about the upcoming Fourth of July Picnic, among other items of interest (top, right).

The front page of a Local from 1965 has snippets about high school graduation, the early days of the Henry County Country Club, a list of folks in the hospital and local election results (bottom, right).

Today’s “Henry County Local” is full of a variety of news, from coverage of crimes and court cases, to city business to feature articles on interesting people and places throughout the county. We commemorate your milestones, like births, marriages, graduations and even passings.

We attend the events that you do from high school sports to library activities to city and county festivals, documenting the occasions with photographs.

We also offer special editions throughout the year, including the perennial favorite Santa Letters in next week’s issue, Halloween pictures, a Salute to Graduates, This is Henry County, the Henry County Fair book and more.

Our subscribers also have full access to our mobile and website editions, which sometimes carry bonus content like extra event photos.

If you are a subscriber or a weekly buyer of the paper, you have a good sense of its contents each week. We appreciate your loyalty and cannot thank you enough for making the Local part of your weekly routine — and part of your life.

If you are not a subscriber and rarely pick up the Local, we encourage you to browse through this week’s issue; hopefully you’ll like what you read and decide to subscribe.

The Local is Henry County’s family heirloom — an appropriate gift to pass down through the generations. This sample issue is our gift to you, one that we’d like to send your way each and every week as we record life in Henry County.


Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. We value our readers and advertisers for helping us maintain a community newspaper in Henry County, something we hope to do for many more years!