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North Vernon Plain Dealer Sun | North Vernon, IN
"It Shines for All!"North Vernon, IndianaLocally Owned and Operated Since 1862
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North Vernon Plain Dealer and Sun


The North Vernon Plain Dealer and the North Vernon Sun have been chronicling Jennings County news since 1862 and 1872, respectively. The Plain Dealer is published on Thursdays and the Sun on Tuesdays. The two are Jennings County's newspapers of record.

The two papers share offices and staff at 528 East O&M Avenue in "Historic Uptown" North Vernon. In 1954, the papers were purchased by Burlin and Viola King, who moved here from Sutton, Nebraska. Mr. King himself came from a newspaper heritage, with his father, H.C. King, operating papers around the mid-and far-west. Burlin served as the publisher of the Plain Dealer and Sun until his death in 1982; at that time, his wife, Viola, became publisher. Upon her death in 1994, the couple's youngest daughter, Barbara King, took over the responsibility and from 1992 to 1998 also served as editor. Although they are not involved in the newspapers on a day-to-day basis, sisters and part-owners Madelon King and Susan King remain dedicated to the tradition of community journalism.

In the county's early days, there were several newspapers vying for residents' loyalty. The Vernon Banner, which began publishing in 1859, has the distinction of being the first newspaper in Jennings County. It moved to North Vernon and became the Banner Plain Dealer in 1892 and eventually the North Vernon Plain Dealer. It was at that time owned by Fred H. Nauer.

The Plain Dealer began publication during the Civil War at 6 Madison Avenue, in downtown North Vernon. The first publisher and editor was J.C. Cope, and a year's subscription was $1.25.

By 1913, another merger unfolded when The Republican consolidated with the Plain Dealer. Cal Klingner took over as sole publisher soon after, from 1915 to 1953. His sister-in-law, Mary Cassin served as editor; and Ernest Klingner, Cal's brother, as printer. Another relative of a local newspaperman, Ralph Norris, son of William Norris, worked for Klingner as his bookkeeper and office manager. The elder Norris had served as publisher and editor from 1879 to 1904.

The Sun, too, had merged with at least one other newspaper, The Vernon Journal around 1903. It continued to operate independently until 1946 when it was purchased by Cal Klingner. From then on, the Plain Dealer has shared its staff and office with The Sun which, as early editions proclaimed, "Shines for All."

The Sun was established in 1872 by Jas. N. Marsh, and, like many rural papers of its era, had numerous owners through the years. When it was eventually bought by Klingner, the paper had a different publisher (Ralph Norris) and editor (Earl Wolfinger).

Today, the two newspapers continue to be locally owned and operated, a tradition that is more and more unusual in the media world. With Barbara King at its helm, the paper staff remains committed to its independence and excellence. Bryce Mayer, son of longtime editor Dick Mayer, joined the paper in April 1998 as editor; Lilian Carmer, who celebrated her 50-year anniversary with the Plain Dealer and Sun in April 2008, serves as assistant editor; and Sharon Hamilton, sports and education editor, oversees news in these two busy areas.

Now, the papers are composed with computers and "on the desktop". It is a far, far different world than that when the present owner(s) grew up and watched their dad hand cast molten lead into type via the clanking Linotype machine. No more hot lead needed, thank you very much!

There will undoubtedly be even more technological changes as we advance through the 21st century, but the principles evident in every issue of the newspapers today will remain constant through the uncertain future. The papers will continue to strive to be fair, inclusive, innovative and inquisitive in regards to its coverage area of Jennings County.

We look forward to serving our readers far into the twenty-first century.

Monday, March 19, 2007

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PO Box 988, 528 East O&M Ave
North Vernon, IN 47265
Telephone 812.346.3973
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