The Shelbyville Daily Union has been serving the Shelby County area since 1863.
The Union Publishing Co. began printing the "Shelbyville Weekly Union" on May 9, 1863 with the presses and material used two years earlier to print "The Freeman". John W. Johnson was encouraged by Judge Samuel W. Moulton and W. J. Henry to establish the paper with their financial help. The Union office was located over Rompfs Grocery Store, on the south side of Main Street and opposite Thornton's Bank.
On July 4, 1864, Johnson sold one-half interest to John A. Young. The firm continued until February 13,1865 at which time Young became sole owner. After a brief period Young sold the paper to Richard Couch. On March 2,1867, P. T. Martin bought one-half interest in the paper and later assumed full ownership. Couch remained in the Union until July 27,1867 when he sold out his interest to P. T. Martin. Mr. Martin became sole editor and publisher until March 2, 1871, when he sold part interest to his brother Elgin H. Martin. The Martin brothers were joined by another brother Horace L. Martin in August of 1872.
In December of 1873, Parker T. Martin sold out his interest to the two other brothers. On December 18, 1873. the "Shelby County" was dropped and the word "Shelbyville" substituted. Thus becoming the "Shelbyville Union" which continued until the late 1940's. Horace L. Martin became sole owner of the Union in December of 1874. On January 22, 1887, Horace Martin published Shelby County's first daily newspaper, naming it "The Daily Union". During this time "The Daily Union" was printed in the building later occupied by Wilco's Tavern. In 1890, still another brother, Harry M. Martin, became editor of "The Daily." In 1898, "The Daily" editor was James L. Darby and the office was moved to West Main Street.
When Horace Martin died, "The Union" became the property of Walter Headen, George Rhoads and William Beem. In 1910, Headen and Rhoads built the present Union Building at 100 West Main, after moving a private residence from the corner lot to another site. During the depression years the paper was owned by W. H. Taylor, Frances Draper (Headen's daughter) and Bessie Rhoads (wife of George).
November 1, 1941, R. L. Frazier became owner and with Tony Storm published the paper until Frazier's death in 1974. In 1956, Frazier also, purchased the Shelbyville Democrat. The Shelby County Leader went out of print the same year. In the mid 1950's, Frazier's two children, George and Frances, began working at their father's paper.
In the 1960s, the Saturday edition was discontinued. The 1970's, saw the "Union Publishing Company" printing summer lake editions to serve the Lake Shelbyville visitors during tourist season. Remodeling work was underway in 1975, giving the Union Building a facelift, both inside and out. "The Union" at one time printed papers for Bethany, Beecher City, Findlay, Stewardson and Sullivan.
The Daily Union was run by George and Frances Frazier until France's death in 1996. George became sole owner and publisher until the paper was sold in May of 1999 to Hollinger International. Hollinger ran the paper for about a year and a half before the paper was again purchased by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., which still owns it today.
Publisher Darrell Lewis can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 112 or by email at email@example.com
Editor Jeff Long can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 129 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org