Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The other day we had the opportunity of seeing a copy of the North Webster News for February 25, 1897.

One of the most interesting parts of an old paper like this are the advertisements of the local merchants. This gives a good indication of the kind of business activity which took place. Here is a list of some of the advertisers in this paper: John Haines Clothing Store; North Webster Flouring Mill (Kline and Daniels); A. Grisso, the shoemaker; Dr. L. Hawkins, botanic physician and surgeon; Jacob Baugher's Harness Shop and Shoe Repair; A. B. Warner's Mid-Lake Hotel; James Mock's Drug Store, Philip Bechtel blacksmith and wagon maker; Garber Brothers' General Store; William Bockman's General Store; Willard Perrin Case, physician and surgeon; and Mrs. J. Dullinger, dressmaker.

Webster had two churches at that time, and both had their notices in this paper. The pastor of the Methodist church, which had been organized in the summer of 1838, was Rev. A. M. Patterson. The Evangelical association which had organized a class in Webster in 1855, had as their pastor Rev. Robert Rainey.

The North Webster News had just started publication at this time. In fact this issue is Volume 1, No. 15. We do not know how long it continued in existence after this issue. Frank Rudy was proprietor and publisher; the paper was published each Thursday. It was an eight page paper, but only first and last pages contained local news.

This old issue of this North Webster paper belongs to Thomas K. Warner, and it was through his courtesy that we had the opportunity to see it. Mr. Warner has many other items of historical interest which we will write up in future columns. Incidentally Warner's great-grandfather also called Thomas K., was one of the first settlers of Tippecanoe township, coming there in 1836. This pioneer settler was the first school teacher in the township; he taught in the winter of 1838-39 in a cabin built by Warren Warner.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Jun. 22, 1954