Editor's Note:
Welcome to Our Sesquicentennial Edition.
2004 marks a special year for the Times-Union -150 years of newspapering in Kosciusko County. On the pages of this special Sesquicentennial Edition, we hope you enjoy a look back --a look back at 150 years of happenings in our county. This section is not intended to be a history. It is intended to be a glimpse into the past. Staff writer David Slone spent many hours poring over microfilmed editions of the Times-Union. He gleaned news items from those pages --news items we believed would be of interest to readers. Some are happy, some are sad, some are funny, some are somber, some are tragic. Some readers will recognize names of people they know. Some will read an item and say to themselves, "Ah, yes, I remember that." We believe the edition provides entertainment as well as information. Our hope is that it is a fitting salute to a county that has had much to offer its residents over the past 150 years. And a fitting salute to a family that has had the perserverance to continue a tradition of newspapering for a century and a half. Finally, our hope is that our readers will enjoy it.


A Brief History of Newspapering
in Kosciusko County


Charles L. Murray made the first attempt to publish a paper within Kosciusko County.

The Kosciusko Republican was published at the then-flourishing village of Monoquet, three miles north of Warsaw.

Its first number was issued in 1845 and in politics, it was Whig of the strictest kind.

In autumn 1846, Murray sold the Kosciusko Republican to Messrs. Bair and Runyan, who moved it to Warsaw, continuing its publication under the same name and advocating the same principles as their predecessor.

Runyan soon retired and the publication of the paper was continued under the supervision of Bair, often under very discouraging circumstances.

The paper was successively conducted by A.J. and H.P. Bair, then H.P. Bair alone until his death.

Billy Williams and G.W. Fairbrother then became proprietors and conducted it for a year. The paper then passed into the hands of John Rogers and Reub Williams.

The paper was published by the firm of Rogers & Williams, the latter officiating as publisher and Rogers as editor.

The junior member of the firm, Reub Williams, fulfilled his part of the contract until starvation stared both in the face, when he retired, leaving Rogers to battle with "nothing to eat" as best he could, he being the oldest and considered the best qualified to struggle with the grim, gaunt monster.

Some years later, Williams wrote that "in the first few hours after the first edition came out, receipts were in the neighborhood of $80 in cash, several loads of wood and $300,000 worth of patronage in promises. The $80 was paid, the wood failed to come in and the promises didn't come up to expectations."

Rogers conducted the paper by issuing two or three weeks in succession, getting out a half sheet now and then, and often missing a week, until he got into difficulty with the Odd Fellows. He pitched into the lodge with a will, and they retaliated by withdrawing their support from him, causing a suspension of the Republican altogether.

In 1848, T.L. Graves purchased a press from the Goshen Democrat and brought it to Warsaw and a paper called the Warsaw Democrat was soon after issued, with D.R. Pershing and Dr. A.B. Crihfield as editors.

At the time Rogers and the Odd Fellows were having their dispute, Reub Williams and George W. Fairbrother started the Northern Indianian, with George W. Copeland as political editor and George R. Thralls as local editor.

The original cost of the entire office, including type presses, etc., with a keg of ink and two bundles of paper, was just $428, and from this small beginning grew the well-equipped, extensive steam printing establishment of The Indianian.

During the first year of its existence, it did not miss a single number, being the first paper ever started in the county to accomplish this feat.

At the close of the first volume, Fairchild decided to move to the West, and Reub Williams became proprietor. Copeland moved to Goshen and Thralls became editor.

After that, Reub Williams was prevailed upon to start another paper. In December 1859, the Lake City Commercial was started by Reub Williams and G.W. Elliott. A bitter personal warfare sprang up between the two papers until they consolidated in September 1860, under the supervision of Williams.

Upon the war of the Rebellion breaking out, Reub Williams relinquished his connection with the Indianian and was succeeded by Messrs. Carpenter and Funk, who sold the establishment to F.T. Luse, who published it until 1864, when H.C. Rippey became its proprietor, and early in 1866, it again passed into Reub Williams' hands.

In July 1868, a partnership was formed between Reub Williams and Quincy A. Hossler, which continued until 1875. During the latter portion of this time, they purchased the Fort Wayne daily and weekly Gazette, which they conducted until July 1876.

The Warsaw Republican, founded by Quincy A. Hossler in January 1877, was consolidated Sept. 1, 1882, with the Indianian.

The Daily Indianian was started as an experiment by Williams Sept. 1, 1880, and after the consolidation, was continued, the name being changed to the Warsaw Daily Times.

On Jan. 1, 1885, Williams and Hossler began the publication of the Inter-Mountain, a literary and story paper.

The Warsaw Experiment was started by C.G. Mugg. Henry C. Rippey purchased the office and changed it to the Warsaw Union in 1860 and continued the publication of the Union for nearly a year. Rippey's course was deemed unsatisfactory and the office passed into the hands of E.V. Long and Dr. T. Davenport -- the former becoming its editor -- and John Foulke, publisher.

Under this management, the Union was conducted until May 1864, at which time F.J. Zimmerman became proprietor and publisher, with E.V. Long as political editor.

Zimmerman published it until January 1866, when he sold it to A.G. Wood, who then leased the office to two printers, Young and Capp.

It then reverted to Wood when S.S. Baker and M.L. Crawford became publishers during 1867. In April 1868, it was purchased by the present proprietor and editor.

In May 1874, the office was moved to Buffalo Street.

The Warsaw National Union was the organ of the Democratic Party of Kosciusko County. Its editor and proprietor was F.J. Zimmerman.

The Reveille made its appearance in January 1867 at Pierceton, published by the Pierceton Press Association.

The Mentone Gazette was a thriving weekly paper published by C.M. Smith at the village of Mentone.

The Milford Times was started as an independent paper, but in November 1886 was consolidated with a prohibition paper established in Leesburg a short time before.

Other papers were started at different places in the county, but were forced to suspend publication after a brief existence.

Warsaw became a one-newspaper city about 1944 when Reub Williams and Sons, for many years publishers of the Northern Indianian and later The Warsaw Daily Times, purchased the Warsaw Union and a few years later consolidated the two evening papers under the name Warsaw Times-Union.

The Warsaw Times for many years was published in a building on South Buffalo Street, next to the Lake City Bank. In 1924, Reub Williams and Sons erected the present Times building, at the corner of Market and Indiana streets, and in that year occupied the new quarters, especially designed for convenience in newspaper publication.

According to the 1954 Warsaw Times-Union, when the firm entered the radio field, the air-conditioned basement became the studio for radio stations WRSW AM and FM and also editorial and news rooms for the Times-Union.

The Northern Indianian and later the Warsaw Times have been operated for many years by members of the Williams family. Gen. Reub Williams, the first of the line of Williamses to be connected with the newspaper, served as its head until his death Jan. 19, 1905. He was followed by Mel Williams, who continued at its helm until his death and he was succeeded by his brother, Logan H. Williams, who served as editor until he died Jan. 29, 1950.

At the death of Logan H. Williams, the active management of the newspaper and radio station passed into the hands of his sons, Raymond B. Williams and Reuben Williams.

Raymond B. Williams served as an aerial observer in the air force during World War I.

The elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Logan H. Williams, Raymond was born in Warsaw and attended Warsaw High School. He later graduated from Wabash College, where he was a member of the football and baseball teams and took part in other sports.

After college, he joined the news staff of the Warsaw Daily Times and, with the exception of the years spent in the military during the Mexican border trouble after World War I, he always was connected with the publication of the Warsaw Times and later the Times-Union.

He was active in the management of the newspaper during the many years that his father served as editor and publisher and took over complete management with his brother, Reuben Williams, following their father's death.

The Warsaw Union, for its part, had changed hands several times in the last 50 years, according to the 1954 Warsaw Times-Union.

About the turn of the century, it was owned and published for a lengthy period by Billy Smith, who later moved to California. It later passed into the hands of E.A. Gast, of Warsaw, and his father, A.A. Gast, of Akron, and for a time was operated by Fred Cole and his brother.

The Union then fell into the hands of a corporation before being bought by Reub Williams and Sons.

Warsaw Times Union Saturday, July 3, 2004

Back to YesterYear in Print