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The Indianapolis Bar Association was organized in 1878 with forty founding members. This number grew to three hundred by the 1920s. It was originally organized to provide a law library and reading room housed in the courthouse in order to serve its members. The organization also monitored the professional conduct of the bench and bar.
The Indianapolis News, the city's oldest newspaper, was started on December 7, 1869 by John Hampden, a 23 year-old reporter. Because of its low price (only 2 cents an issue) and its simple layout it became popular with Indianapolis readers. The newspaper gained a circulation of 2,500 after only three months of publication and had also at this time taken over the Mirror, a weekly publication.
The newspaper was intended to be politically independent but was considered to be editorially conservative. In May of 1892, Holliday sold the newspaper was to William H. Smith.