The parent company's current president, Jeffrey N. Brown, is the great-grandson of Isaac T. Brown, who founded The Columbus Republican, a weekly newspaper, in 1872. The first issue was published on Thursday, April 4, 1872. Isaac's father, Isaac M. Brown, served as the newspaper's editor. The Browns converted their newspaper to daily publication November 12, 1877, under the name Columbus Evening Republican. The newspaper's name was shortened to The Republic in January 1967.
Isaac T. Brown died in 1917, leaving his son Raymond Brown in sole control of the newspaper. It has stayed in the Brown family ever since; its current owner Home News Enterprises is a partnership established by Brown family members in 1994.
Over the past 50 years, The Republic has become the flagship newspaper of a chain of dailies and weeklies in Indiana, including several that adjoin The Republic's coverage area. Robert N. Brown, Raymond's son, in 1963 founded the Daily Journal in Johnson County, which borders Bartholomew County to the north. The company expanded its footprint in the Columbus area twice more in the 21st century, purchasing the weekly Brown County Democrat in 2002, and The Tribune daily in Jackson County (immediately south of Bartholomew County) in 2012.
Newspaper plant and offices
The Republic newspaper plant and offices in Columbus was designed by noted architect Myron Goldsmith (1918-1996) and built in 1971. It is a steel frame and brick Modern Movement style building with a glass and white aluminum curtain wall with some aluminum panels. The rectangular, one-story building measures 248 feet by 93 feet, sits on a low concrete foundation, and has a flat roof.:4–6