Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Warsaw had two newspapers, the "Northern Indianian" and the "Union." Allthough these papers represented two different political parties, at first they both backed the government in the prosecution of the war. At the start of the war, when most Northerners thought the conflict would be of short duration, enthusiasm was high in our county. More men were enlisting then could be accepted for service.

When the North's disastrous defeat at Bull Run brought about the realization that the war would last several years, many people in our county began to grow lukewarm to the war. It was then that local democrats forced Henry C. Rippey, the editor of the Union, to sell out to democrats who would take a strong stand against the government's war policies.

Opposition to the war effort continued to rise in our county. Although the Northern Indianian tried to pin a Confederate label on all opponents, it is probable that many of the opposition had an honest difference of opinion with the Lincoln administration.

In the election of 1864, Kosciusko county gave 2,186 votes to Lincoln and 1, 808 to his opponent, McClellan. Turkey Creek, VanBuren, Clay, Seward, Franklin, and Jefferson townships all gave majorities to the democratic candidate.

When a republican speech was being made at Wooster in April, 1863, the harness on the horse which had conveyed the speaker to the meeting was cut in some fifty pieces. The Northern Indianian accused the "copperheads" of the Scott township vicinity of burning a school house in June of 1863 just before a republican speech was to be made there. A Knights of the Golden Circle organization was quite active in Clay township. The Northern Indianian accused the Union of sponsoring that organization. It was reported that a group of people living three or four miles west of Silver Lake were holding meetings for the purpose of forming an organization which planned to resist the collection of taxes for war purposes.

Several influential members of the Presbyterian church at Oswego forced their pastor, a strong Lincoln man, to resign. This caused additional dissension within the group and this church society ceased to exist.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. May 11, 1954