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Storied home built by newspaper family

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J.W. Tatman built this home at 831 N. Central Ave. This photo is from about 1970.
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E.W. Tatman brought together The News and The Examiner, making the Connersville News-Examiner.

The home at 831 N. Grand Ave. was built in 1890. The steep roof pitch, arched windows and gable ornaments are typical of the Gothic design.

The home was built by newspaperman J.W. Tatman. He was born in 1825 and was age 65 years when the home was built. He was an owner of the Times-News Company from 1895 until the time of his death in 1904. His wife, Josephine B. Wright Tatman, survived and lived in the home until her death in 1931.

His son, E.W. Tatman, is well remembered in Connersville. During his life he was one of the city’s most renowned citizens. “Always friendly” and “well respected” were often used as descriptions for Ned Tatman.

In 1904 upon his father’s passing, Tatman became managing editor of The News. He eventually became full owner and merged The Examiner, making today’s paper the Connersville News-Examiner. His success was short lived, unfortunately, as he became ill Nov. 2, 1920. After being in a 20-hour unexplained coma, he passed away on Nov. 3, 1920. He died in the home.

He was a director in Fayette Bank and a founder of Rotary Club. He had four children. A few years before his death, he helped start a fund that bought Christmas gifts for children of modest means. In his memory, the fund was given his name and every local person is familiar with E.W. Tatman because of the legacy of this great cause. The fund continues to raise money today and should be supported by all, as it has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the children of great need.

For 11 years after his death, his mother Josephine resided in the home, until her death on April 8, 1931. Elizabeth Tatman, Ned’s widow, took up residence in the home for the next 45 years. When her husband died, she became owner of the paper and was Chairman of the Board until she died on July 16, 1976. Then, the house remained in the family for only a short time. It became a bed-and-breakfast for some years.

It is now a private residence owned by Sharon McQueen. The home is currently for sale.

Brad Colter is superintendent of Connersville Utilities and president of Historic Connersville Inc. He writes Looking Back for the Connersville News-Examiner.