26 West Third Street
Peru, IN 46970
More than 75 years ago, the first edition of the Peru Daily Tribune hit the streets, the product of a group of striking printers from other newspapers in the city. The first edition came out on April 16, 1921, from a small office on South Broadway. A subscription cost 12 cents per week.
The modest beginning came when the local printers claimed they were locked out by the city's two daily newspapers then - the Peru Journal and the Peru Chronicle. It was not easy for the Peru Daily Tribune to get started, what with two other daily papers and several other publications in Peru and Miami County already established. At the time of the Tribune's first edition, there were at least nine other newspapers in the county. In addition to the Tribune, Journal and Chronicle dailies, the Miami County Sentinel and the Peru Republican published on a semi-weekly basis.
Surrounding county communities also had papers then. The Amboy Independent, the Converse Journal, the Denver Tribune, the Xenia Journal and the Bunker Hill Press were in existence. The Denver Tribune in 1962 was the last of these papers to cease publication. After a year at the South Broadway address, the Tribune moved to its current location at 24-26 W. Third St. in a building erected by Schuyler Miller and Ford Wallick for the Miller-Wallick stationery firm. That business is now American Stationery Co. and still operates in Peru and Miami County. Early in 1928, the printers sold their interest in the Tribune to Paul Poynter, who owned papers in Kokomo and Sullivan and St. Petersburg, Fla. Later that year, Don Nixon purchased Poynter's interest in the Tribune. That same year, W.H. Hendricks purchased the remaining Peru dailies, the evening Journal and the Chronicle. In November 1928, Hendricks sold out to Nixon, making Peru a one-daily newspaper town.
Nixon was killed in a crash in Michigan City in 1934. His widow, Eugenia, became the principal owner of the Tribune, and his son, Joe, was elected president of the company.
In 1969, a major milestone occurred when the newspaper switched from letterpress to offset printing.
During the 1980s, Nixon Newspapers constructed a commercial printing plant on Peru's northeast side. The Tribune's presses were moved to the new site, but the news, advertising, circulation and business offices stayed at the 26 W. Third St. location.
During the early 1990s, advances in personal computer technology have helped convert the Tribune to pagination.
On April 1, 1994, the Tribune converted from an afternoon to a morning paper to meet the tastes and lifestyles of a changing readership. The paper was printed in Wabash at its sister newspaper, the Plain Dealer. The Tribune is now one of five newspapers designed and printed at the officers of the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion.
R.C. Averitt was general manager of the Tribune from 1930 through 1936, and W.P. Rohrer from 1936 to 1938. Joe Nixon was general manager from 1938 until 1954, when his brother, John R. Nixon, became general manager and eventually publisher. John Nixon became president of Nixon Newspapers in 1974 and continued as publisher of the Tribune. In November 1978, John Claxton was named business manager of the Tribune and became associate publisher in August 1979 before eventually becoming publisher. Jack Howey, managing editor, was named editorial director of NNI. Claxton remained as publisher until 1988, when Howey moved from NNI editorial director to the Tribune as publisher. He retired in 1992. After Howey retired, Ty Swincher became publisher, a position he held until the spring of 1994. Claxton returned as publisher and held that position until the end of the year, when he was named publisher of NNI's Connersville newspaper.
On Jan. 1, 1995, Raymond Moscowitz became The Tribune's publisher after serving as editorial director of NNI since March 1988.
In 1998, Paxton Media Group, LLC, headquartered in Paducah, Ky., purchased both the Tribune and the Plain Dealer. Paxton Media Group, which owns 29 newspapers, is a fourth generation, family-owned media company founded in 1896.
Shortly after the turn of the century, Paul J. Heidbreder was named publisher of both the Tribune and the Plain Dealer. Heidbreder left in June 2005 to take a post with the Adrian Daily Telegram in Michigan.
Randy Mitchell became publisher of the Tribune and Plain Dealer July 18, 2005. He had been circulation director of The Jonesboro Sun for three years. Mitchell left the area in 2010 to pursue other opportunities.
Misty Sharp became publisher of the Peru Tribune in July 2010. She had been former advertising director of the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion, and has held positions with the Killeen Daily Herald in Killeen, Texas, the Palm Beach Post, Fla., the Orlando Sentinel and the Jackson Sun, Jackson, Tenn.
Tom Gray succeeded Sharp in September 2013, bringing decades of marketing and news experience in radio and newspapers. He joined Editor Derek Beigh, who came to the Tribune in July 2013.
The Peru Tribune has won numerous awards for writing, editing, advertising, circulation, photography and typography. The paper strives to become a one-stop information source for news and advertising in Miami County.
In 1921, a single copy of the paper cost 3 cents. Fifty years later, in 1971, the cost was 15 cents. Today, despite inflation, it's only a dollar.
In 1921, it was not uncommon for readers to see a headline such as the one that appeared in the Sept. 1 edition: Champion Spud Peeler in Peru. Today, headlines are more apt to reflect issues, developments and problems in society. One thing that hasn't changed over the years, however, is a claim that appeared daily across the top of the paper in 1921: Almost Everyone in Peru Reads the Tribune. Inside the paper that same day in 1921 was another interesting ad: The Peru Daily Tribune: Some borrow it. Some steal it, but they all read it.