Mt. Vernon Democrat closes doors after nearly 150 years

Mt. Vernon Democrat closes doors after nearly 150 years

MT. VERNON, Ind. (WFIE) - After 153 years of publications, the Mount Vernon Democrat printed its last newspaper ever.

The Democrat posted on social media last week about the publication’s closure.

“The decision to close the Mount Vernon Democrat predominately was not an easy decision but one that was reluctantly made,” the newspaper wrote.

The last publication for the town’s only locally owned newspaper was published and distributed on Wednesday, June 24.

14 News was outside the building as Mount Vernon native Bruce Smith snagged one of the last publications.

“It was a big part when I was growing up,” Smith explained.

Smith says the closing of the long-time newspaper is a sign of the changing times.

“It makes me feel sad because I grew up here,” Smith said. “I know what it was like when I was growing up, and now I see all the changes and how things are going nowadays.”

The Democrat said the reasoning behind closing was caused by ongoing economic issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The publication hoped someone would buy them for the sake of keeping the century-old newspaper going in the community.

In a post on its Facebook page, the newspaper released the following statement to explain the circumstances surrounding a possible buyout.

“A last-minute buyer for the Mount Vernon Democrat has backed out. Previously, Landmark Community Newspapers announced its decision to discontinue the 150-year-old newspaper, citing ongoing economic issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the announcement, a buyer in Evansville expressed interest in purchasing the paper. While terms of the sale were generally agreed upon and negotiations ongoing, the buyer opted to forego purchasing the newspaper for personal reasons. We had all hoped that the deal could be completed for the residents of Mount Vernon and Posey County. Our offices are now closed. Additional information can be found in the final edition of the Mount Vernon Democrat.”

Smith said he’ll miss his cup of coffee with his morning paper, but he understands the change in times.

“I enjoy the paper, reading the paper and all, but it’s easy to just sit down and listen to the news for five or ten minutes and that be it,” Smith said.

Smith was lucky to snag two of the last four publications that sat in the old newspaper stand in front of the Mount Vernon Democrat building. The town resident says he now has a piece of history.

“I’m going to send one each - I’ve got two sons, and I’m going to make sure they’ve got a copy of it,” Smith said.

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