Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Recently we examined a copy of the Kosciusko County Standard for Thursday, April 14, 1898. This newspaper was published at Leesburg, Indiana. James W. Armstrong was the owner and editor.

Perhaps the most interesting item in this issue is the account of the Leesburg high school commencement which had been held at the Leesburg Methodist church on the previous Friday night. Instead of an outside speaker, the program consisted of the reading of original essays by the members of the graduating class. The news article states that "the essays were nicely arranged so as to constitute an excellent synopsis of the rise, progress and development of this, the second greatest anglo-saxon nation in the world, and the most complete form of republican government ever given to humanity." Members of the graduating class of 1898 were Miss Clarence Watt, Miss Cora Stookey, Miss Edith Watt, Miss Florence Beane, Miss Lizzie Irvine, Mr. Gates Long, Miss Mable Stanton and Mr. Fred Irvine.

Another interesting feature of this paper is the business directory. C. L. White was Plain township trustee, having his office at his home near Oswego. The town trustees of Leesburg were D. R. Behner, John Hower and Alfred Goshorn. The marshal was Thomas Edgar, the town clerk Byron Stanton, and the treasurer Edward Archibald. School board members were D. K. Brown, O. D. Ervin and H. B. Stanley.

The Big Four ticket agent, T. A. Rager, has an announcement telling of special excursion rates for seven different occasions. Church or lodge conventions to be held at Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Cleveland and New Orleans accounted for several of the special rates.

Politically the Kosciusko Standard was a strong Prohibition paper. The columns of this paper contain many announcements of prohibition meetings in Leesburg and surrounding towns.

Mr. Armstrong began the publication of the Standard in 1888. It was afterward sold to Jacob Whiteleather and Son. Armstrong and Son subsequently came into possession of it again, and later sold it to the publisher of the Syracuse Journal.

Warsaw Times-Union Sat. Jun. 26, 1954