Clinton County persevered: Its people and businesses overcame ‘08

Its people and businesses overcame ‘08

By Tom Barr -

May 28, 2008 was a day of infamy for Wilmington and for Clinton County — “a grim day for ABX Air, frankly for the Wilmington community, for the county, for the state.”

The words of ABX Air then-President John Graber reflected the reality and the mood of the entire region, knowing that thousands of jobs would be lost and many more families devastated in the wake of DHL’s announcement that day.

But Clinton Countians persevered, and although it took time, the area is once again thriving.

Unemployment is low, and although times were tough for individuals and their families who lost their jobs and benefits, most got back on their feet — many here, some elsewhere, some still in the shipping business, others in new careers.

“An announcement such as DHL made 10 years ago can be devastating to a community. We’ve all seen that happen in other communities around the country whenever a major economic blow strikes,” said Bud Hunt, News Journal Publisher and Group Publisher of AIM Media Midwest.

”That’s not the story of Wilmington and Clinton County, and it’s one we’re proud to tell. To come back 10 years later and be recognized as one of the top 100 micropolitan areas in the country speaks volumes (see

In short, Clinton County made great Progress — hence the theme of our 2018 News Journal annual Progress edition: “You’ve Come a Long Way, Clinton County!”

We’re proud to give you the stories of local businesses that are currently thriving and growing — in their own words.

And we share the stories of a city, a county, and the people who kept going and rose above the devastation in stories written by News Journal staff writers Gary Huffenberger, John Hamilton and Tom Barr.

“Our special edition is a tribute to everyone who has been part of the hard work to put the community back on track and moving forward,” Hunt added.
Its people and businesses overcame ‘08

By Tom Barr