Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

In this column last Tuesday we told of the publication our county's first newspaper, the Kosciusko Republican. When this paper ceased publication late in 1855, two enterprising young men of Warsaw decided to begin another newspaper. They purchased a press at Cincinnati, hauled it to Warsaw, and set up a shop in an old frame building on the east side of the public square. The original cost of setting up the shop was just $428, including type, press, a keg of ink and two bundles of paper.

One of the founders of this new publishing enterprise was the late Gen. Reuben Williams, whose picture is included in this column today. (Picture of Reub sitting in his "writing" chair.)

The new paper was called the Northern Indianian and the first issue was published on January 10, 1856, exactly 97 years ago today. It was a four sheet paper, 16 by 23 inches, having seven columns. The front and back pages contained stories and foreign news, the local news appearing on the inside pages.

As most newspapers started in those days were short-lived, the people of our county probably never dreamed that they were reading the first issue of a newspaper which would continue to be published each week until 1919. Little did Williams realized that he was beginning a publishing concern which would still be in existence 97 years later. In fact, this young editor had to think more about the present than the future because starvation stared him and his partner in the face from the very beginning.

Some years later Williams humorously 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 expectation."

The day before the first issue of the paper, thermometers in Warsaw registered twenty-seven below zero. It became so cold the second week that the ink froze and the second issue did not come out on time. The new paper, dedicated to the principles of the newly-formed Republican party, made a hit with the community and filled a very definite need.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Jan. 10, 1953