THE DeKALB COUNTY, INDIANA GENWEB PROJECT

DEKALB COUNTY, INDIANA NEWSPAPERS

The following source was used by Arlene Goodwin to extract the information listed below.

History of DeKalb County, Indiana; 1885, Inter-State Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1885, pp 401 to 411

The Press

No agency is a more effective help to modern progress than that of the press. Any county which possesses one or more newspapers and sustains them will in due time show its superiority to less favored localities. Prior to 1850 whatever legal printing was required by DeKalb County was done at Fort Wayne. Later S. E. Alvord established the Observer at Albion, and obtained some of the local patronage from this direction. For a year or so his paper received the limited legal printing from DeKalb County, and early in 1852 he announced by prospectus his intention to issue, at Auburn, a paper to be styled the Auburn Observer. This was not accomplished, however, for lack of encouragement. Later, the press was sold to Messrs. Berry & Pierce, who at once removed it to Auburn, and started the Democratic Messenger, the first paper in the county. It had a precarious existence. Within a year Mr. Berry retired, and Mr. Pierce was soon after elected Auditor. The office was destroyed by fire in December, 1855. In 1856 two papers were started at the county seat, the De Kalb Democrat, by W. C. McGonigal, and the Auburn Republican, by J. M. Bromagem. At the close of the exciting Presidential campaign of that year, the latter removed his establishment to Angola and there began the issue of the Steuben Republican. In 1859 Mr. McGonigal moved his press to Wabash, and established the Wabash Plaindealer. Just before the fall elections of 1858, W. T. & J. M. Kinney began at Auburn the publication of the De Kalb County Times. Within three months the proprietors found that to continue was to lose, and sold out to T. Y. Dickinson, who removed the office to Waterloo and on the First Thursday in February, 1859, issued the Waterloo Press.


Waterloo Press

The first paper printed in De Kalb County, outside of Auburn. During the year 1860, Mr. C. K. Baxter was associated with him as partner. Mr. Baxter was a printer in the office when the first number of the Press was issued. Beginning with Jan. 1, 1861, Mr. Dickinson was once more sole proprietor, and he owned the paper until September, 1864, although during 1863 it was leased by John F. Radcliffe. Mr. Dickinson was commissioned Consul at Leipsic by Abraham Lincoln April 13, 1865 (the day before his assassination), and this position he held for two years, after which he returned to Waterloo. He was for a time a clerk in the Pension Office at Washington, and then entered the railway mail service. His health failed and he died in the State Asylum for the Insane after an active useful life.


In September, 1864, Mr. Dickinson was bought out by Charles K. Baxter, who retained control six months, and then sold to Messrs. Radcliffe & Long. After a time Henry J. Long sold his interest to Benjamin F. Kennedy. He is now at Kendallville, the publisher of the The Coming Times. Mr. Kennedy is still living at Waterloo, though broken down in health. In September, 1868, Mr. Baxter purchased the half interest owned by Mr. Radcliffe. The latter gentleman is now publisher of the Hersey Outline, at Hersey, Oseola Co., Mich. The firm of Baxter & Kennedy subsisted until October, 1865, when the first named became sole proprietor. His successors are Dickinson & Willis, the present publishers. Edward P. Dickinson, the son of the founder of the Press, is employed in the railway mail service. The Press is a staunch Republican paper, issued Thursday of each week. In size, it a six-column quarto; previous to 1880 it was an eight-column folio. Sept. 1, 1884, began its twenty-seventh year, and it is accordingly twice the age of any other paper in the county.


Frank W. Willis, editor and part proprietor of the Press, was born in the city of Syracuse, N. Y., June 12, 1842, the son of Henry and Emeline (Hewitt) Willis, Henry Willis followed canal-boating and other occupation in New York State, and in 1844 came to DeKalb County, settling on a track of land in Richland Township. Her he resided, engaged in farming, until 1864, when, being elected Sheriff of the county, he removed to Waterloo. He held the office four years, or two terms, and then purchased the interest of C. K. Baxter in the bookstore owned by the gentleman and Frank W. Willis. He has since continued in partnership with his son. His wife died at Waterloo, Aug. 10, 1875.


The subject of this sketch was reared on the farm and attended the common schools. He also studied at Orland Seminary, and at the Auburn and Waterloo High Schools. In 1861 he offered his services to this country, enlisting in the Forty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company K, and remained in the army a little over three years. Returning home after his discharge, he was appointed Assistant Assessor and Deputy Collector for the Tenth Congressional District, by William Pitt Fessender, Secretary of the Treasury under Andrew Johnson. He satisfactorily discharged the duties thus assumed, for four years. In January, 1867, he purchased the bookstore of H. K. Davis, and C. K. Baxter purchasing that of T. Y. Dickinson, the tow then consolidated their business sunder the firm name of Baxter & Willis. In December, 1868, as before stated, his father purchased Mr. Baxter’s interest. He is now interested in both the paper and the store.


Sept. 27, 1868, at Waterloo, Mr. Willis was married to Josephine Dickinson, daughter of T. Y. and Mary (Youngman) Dickinson. Of the children given to Mr. and Mrs. Willis, Mary Gertrude was born Oct. 31, 1869; Herbert Clyde, Dec. 15, 1871; Fred I., Sept. 27, 1873; Raymond E., Aug. 11, 1875; Edward D., Nov. 9, 1877; Dora E., Sept. 13, 1880; Frank B., Oct. 13, 1882. Mr. Willis and wife are members of the Presbyterian church, in which organization he is an Elder. He is politically a Republican, and he is a member of the G. A. R. He is also a Notary Public, and a Claim Agent.


The New Era was founded in the fall of 1859, at Auburn, by George Kuhlman. It passed into the hands of J. C. Loveland, by whom it was continued until 1865, when Loveland removed the office to Clyde, Ohio. He had entitled his paper the Observer and Reporter, but on removal it was christened the Clyde Times. The second, De Kalb Democrat, was started by William H. Dills, in 1864, at Auburn. Later, it was managed by Howard Coe. A fire destroyed the office during the winter of 1867. H. D. Carroll published a paper called the Democrat during 1867, and discontinued it the year following.


The Air Line was started in December, 1868, at Waterloo, by J. F. Radcliffe. James A. Barns purchased the paper soon after and published the same for a time. In December, 1870, the Air Line was discontinued, and the press and material sold to Tom C. Mayes, who then removed it to Auburn and originated the Auburn Courier.


Auburn Courier

The first number of this paper appeared in January, 1871, as a seven-column folio. In a few months this was increased to an eight-column folio, and Jan. 1, 1877, the present size, that of a six-column quarto, was adopted. Mr. Mays was a genial, popular editor, and, when he chose, could write an able article. He made some enemies, however, during his seven years and a half at the head of the Courier. He formerly came from Ohio, and previous to locating at Auburn was connected with the Fort Wayne Sentinel. July 1, 1878, he sold out to Theodore Reed, and announced himself a candidate for the office of County Clerk. He was defeated by George H. H. Moss, Republican candidate, by 600 majority. Shortly after, Mr. Mays went to Silver Cliff, Col., for a company of gentlemen interested in that mining town, and started the Silver Cliff Miner. After a few months he left; and drifting around in various places, he went to Hot Springs in 1881, where he was for a time connected with the Hot Springs Daily Star. He is now traveling.


Theodore Reed, the next proprietor, came hither from Columbia City, Whitley County, where he had been Deputy Auditor. He shortly sold an interest in the paper to Robert J. Lowry, son of Judge Robert Lowry, who is now in Congress from this district. The firm of Reed & Lowry continued until the spring of 1880, when Mr. Lowry purchased Mr. Reed’s interest. The latter went into employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as bookkeeper in the construction department, and in this capacity he is now, residing at St. Paul, Minn. Mr. Lawry, who had followed printing in various places and was fully competent to carry on a paper, conducted the Courier until his death, a few months later.


In December, 1880, the office was purchased by James A. Barns, and D. Y. Husselman, who conducted the paper during 1881. Jan. 1, 1882, F. B. Blair bought the interest of Mr. Husselman, who thereupon resumed the practice of the law. He was elected County Clerk in the fall of 1882, and assumed the duties of that position in November, 1884. For a biography of Mr. Husselman, see the chapter devoted to the bar. Mr. Blair, a son of General Lewis J. Blair, of Waterloo, remained with the Courier but a short time, disposing of his interest to Mr. Barns in March, 1882. He is now day operator for the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, at La Porte.


James A. Barns, proprietor and editor of the Courier, was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., near Memphis, June 7, 1832, the son of Cyrus and Eliza (Elliott) Barns. He was reared to farm life, his father removing to La Porte County, this State, and taking up a tract of land there in 1839. He profited by the advantages of the district schools, and on arriving at years of maturity taught two winters in Berrien County, Mich., but a few miles from his home. He then, in 1855, entered Hillsdale College, where he for three years attended the fall and winters terms, teaching in the winters and working at whatever offered itself in the summers. He lacked but two terms of graduation at the college, and during his contest with stern problems of life he has found time to acquire vastly more book knowledge than was comprised in the regular course of study for those two years. Adopting the vocation of a teacher, Mr. Barns then conducted schools in Berrien and La Porte counties; was for two years principal of the High School at Wolf Lake, Noble County; two years principal at Pierceton, Kosciusko County; two years principal at Ligonier, Noble County; and coming to Waterloo, this county, in August, 1869, he taught there for one year. Purchasing the Air Line, he conducted that paper for six months, after which he was for another year principal of the school at Waterloo. Commencing in 1871, he was School Examiner for two years; and that office being changed by law to County Superintendent, he held the latter position for the ensuing six years, consecutively, and also from 1881 to 1883. From 1879 to 1883 he was engaged in the ice business at Syracuse, Kosciusko County. In December, 1880, he became interested in the Courier, as before stated. Mr. Barns was married at Pierceton, Ind., Dec. 8, 1967, to Miss Alicia H. Lamson, daughter of Lafayette and Phebe (Scott) Lamson, One daughter has been born—Nellie L., Nov. 9, 1874. Mr. Barns is politically a staunch Democrat. Mrs. Barns is a member of the Presbyterian church.


The Herald was the first paper published in Butler. It began it brief but creditable career in 1866, under the management of W. K. Kinney, who, a year after, removed his material to Ligonier, and there started another paper. The Herald was succeeded at Butler, in 1868, by the Banner of Liberty, published by Emory Higley. He soon removed in Auburn, where he continued it under the caption of the Auburn Times, for a brief period. The Butler News was commenced in the town designated, in 1874, by R. H. Weamer, who, After a few months, removed the office to Auburn, and started the DeKalb County Republican.


DeKalb County Republican

Mr. Weamer afterward received, as a partner, George Weamer, a nephew; and in March, 1878, R. H. Weamer’s interest was purchased by C. P. Houser. This partnership continued until May following, when the latter disposed of his share to George Weamer, who then became the property of C. P. Houser and Joseph Rainier, the latter who sold to Mr. Houser in November following. In June, 1884, Mr. Houser received, as a partner, Myron H. Hoisington. The Republican was a five-column quarto until Mr. Houser cam e into the business, since which date it has been a six-column quarto. It was printed on the cooperative plan until July 10, 1884, when the present policy was adopted of printing all eight pages at home. The new Potter press purchased in September, 1883, was the first cylinder press in the county.


C. P. Houser, the senior proprietor of the Republican, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, Jan. 11, 1844, the son of Samuel and Julia Ann (Wortsbaugh) Houser. Samuel Houser was for many years a teacher, and he also followed agriculture a portion of his life. In 1857 he removed with his family to Fairfield Township, this county, where he cleared a tract of land, and carried on the farming for eight years. He then exchanged his farm for a stock of dry-goods at Corunna, shortly afterward removing the same to Sedan. He then sold out and removed to Kendallville, in 1872. From this time on he traveled for various school-furnishing companies, among them being A. H. Andrews & Co., of Chicago; George H. Grant & Co., of Richmond; the Noble School Furnishing Company, of Goshen; the Sidney School Furnishing Company, of Sidney, Ohio, and one at Battle Creek, Mich. He was accidentally run over Sept. 17, 1884, and died seven days later, on the 24th. The subject of this sketch received a good common English education, and early in 1865 enlisted in the army, serving eight months. Returning home, he taught school several terms in Fairfield Township, one year at Corunna, and several years at Sedan. In 1870 he entered the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, remaining from spring to fall, after which he taught a term one mile south of Corunna, in Richland Township. In the spring of 1871 he entered the county auditor’s office as deputy, remaining the summer following. He then taught one year at Auburn, and in 1872, just before his father commenced traveling for school-supply companies, he engaged in the same business. He was first in the employ of A. H. Andrew & Co., of Chicago, for eight years. In the mean time, from 1874 to 1877, he conducted the first bookstore in Auburn, selling the same in the latter year to M. B. Willis. In May, 1878, he engaged on salary (having previously worked on commission) with C. E. Dickinson & Co., branch house of A. H. Andrews & Co., and in 1880 he made an engagement direct with the latter firm. Commencing in February, 1883, he was for six months General School-Book Agent for Indiana, for D. Appleton & Co. In 1880 he became connected with the Republican, and he still carries on the paper, besides devoting a portion of his time to the school-supply trade. He was married March 28, 1872, to Miss Amanda E. Hoisington, daughter of H. H. and Malinda (Hart) Hoisington, of Newville, this county. Mr. Houser is a member of the Legion of Honor and the Grand Army of the Republic, and he and Mrs. Houser are members of the Presbyterian church.


Myron H. Hoisington, junior proprietor of the Republican, was born in Wyandotte County, Ohio, Feb. 3, 1860, the son of Albert and Emily (Mulholland) Hoisington. The father followed agriculture. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Ohio, was captured in August, 1964, and starved in Danville, Va., in the rebel prison, dying Nov. 19, 1864. His widow resides now at Adrian, Mich. Myron H., the subject of this notice, lived in Wyandotte County, Ohio, till the fall of 1879, when he removed with his mother to Adrian, Mich. Here he attended Adrian College for four years, completing the Sophomore year of the course. In the fall of 1883 he visited Illinois, and in January, 1884, he came to Auburn. During April and May, 1884, he traveled in Ohio for the Union School Furnishing Company, and June 1, 1884, he purchased a one-third interest in the Republican.


In October, 1875, C. W. Wing & Co. started the Garrett News, with Thomas Malony as editor. This paper was a short duration, and the town was for some time dependent upon Auburn for its newspapers. In August, 1877, however the Garrett Herald was established.

 

Garrett Herald

Was established by Otho J. Powell. It was first a seven-column folio, then an eight-column folio, and since Feb. 7, 1884, it has appeared as a five-column quarto. The Herald is Republican in politics, and is pronounced in its advocacy of temperance. Considerable space is also given to the religious department.


Otho J. Powell, editor and proprietor, was born in Washington County, Md., Oct. 8, 1838, the son of Moses G. and Maria (Price) Powell. The former was by occupation a cooper, but also followed carpentering for some years. He died in his native county in 1859. Otho was reared one mile west of the village of Boonesboro, where he lived until twenty-two years old. He received but limited school advantages, being early set at work at the cooper’s trade. He first worked at this when ten years old, and so small that he had to stand on a box while putting the hoops on the flour barrels. At the age of twenty-two he spent six months as a student under the instruction of a Mr. James Brown. This gentleman was a skillful teacher and had taught for twenty-five years, Mr. Powell’s father having studied under him. He was next employed in the printing office of Isaiah Wolfersberger, at Boonesboro, publisher of the Boonesboro Odd Fellow, a Whig newspaper. Wolfersberger selling to Messrs. Irwin & Bruner, Mr. Powell worked for these gentlemen as foreman about three months, at the expiration of which time he followed coopering for a summer, with his father. On the approach of troops toward Antietam, a few miles distant, he formed a partnership with one Daniel Thomas, to act as sutler to the Union soldiers. This he followed for two months. Nov. 13, 1862, he came to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and until May 2, 1864, he acted as foreman in the office of the Wyandotte County Pioneer, published by Lewis A. Bruner. He then enlisted in the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company A, and served about four months, during which time he was stated at the Relay House, nine miles below Baltimore. Returning to Upper Sandusky in September, he was offered an interest in the Pioneer, by Mr. Bruner, and the paper was published for nine months under the name of Bruner & Powell. In August, 1865, Mr. Powell was paid, by his partner, $50, to annul a three years’ contract. He purchased an office at Bucyrus, Ohio, and moved it to Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, where he starter the Wapakoneta Union, Sept. 13, 1865. This was the first Republican paper in the county, and after many changes and vicissitudes, it has become a permanent success, though under a changed name.


In June, 1870, he sold to E. B. Walkup, and with the proceeds went into the sewing-machine business. This he followed fro nearly two years, dealing first in the Davis, and latterly in the Elias Howe machine. Mr. Walkup having moved his office to Marysville, in the same county, and started a neutral paper, leaving no Republican paper in the county, in September, 1872, Mr. Powell started at Wapakoneta the Auglaize County Republican which he published until December, 1875. Removing to Chicago Junction, Ohio, he started the Chicago Herald. Here he did a good business until a disastrous fire caused a decline in the town’s prosperity. He then, in August, 1877, moved his material to Garrett, and commenced the publication of the Garrett Herald.


Mr. Powell was married at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Feb. 11, 1864, to Miss Sophia Smith, daughter of Samuel and Catherine Smith of that city. To Mr. and Mrs. Powell have been given five children, four of whom survive—Ella M. was born July 6, 1866; Willis B., April 12, 1868; Clarence, Jan. 20, 1870 (died when ten months old); Mary A., Nov. 23, 1872; and Florence L., Sept. 28, 1881. Mr. Powell and wife are members of the English Lutheran church, but attend the Episcopal church, their own denomination having no organization at Garrett.


The Butler Record

The Butler Record was established in March, 1877, by W. M. Kist. Mr. Kist’s home was in Warsaw, Kosciusko County, but for a year previous to coming here he had conducted the Manchester Journal, at Manchester, Ind. He published the Record until the fall of 1880, when failing health compelled him to give up his work. He leased the paper to R. H. Weamer for one year, and died six months later, at Warsaw. In the fall of 1881, at the expiration of Mr. Weamer’s lease, Mrs. Kist sold the office to her brother, W. F. Garrison, who has since conducted the Record with good success. It is a Republican sheet published on Friday. In size, is an eight-column folio. Before Mr. Garrison’s proprietorship it was a six-column folio.


W. F. Garrison, editor and proprietor, was born in Washington Township, Elkhart County, Dec. 1, 1855, the son of Alfred and Mary (Jacques) Garrison. The latter was a native of Ohio. The father, a native of the Empire State, followed farming until the last ten or twelve years of his life, when he retired from active work, and made his home in the village of Bristol, Elkhart County. He died in 1881, and his widow now lives at Butler with her son. The grandfather of W. F. Garrison was a Baptist minister, was one of the first settlers in Elkhart County, and preached the first funeral sermon in the same. The subject of this notice lived on the parental farm until sixteen years old (except two years in Bristol), and then made his home in Bristol. He attended the common schools, and received a good English education. At the age of seventeen he commenced teaching, which he followed for seven winters, working during the summer seasons at whatever offered itself. He was the married and managed his father’s farm until the fall of 1881, when he came to Butler. His marriage occurred at Bristol, March 19, 1878, to Miss Emma Virgil, daughter of Jacob and Fidelia (Wade) Virgil. Mr. Garrison is a zealous Republican. Mrs. Garrison is connected with the Baptist church.


Butler Review

The Butler Review is the youngest newspaper in DeKalb County. It was established in February, 1882, by R. H. Weamer, who was formerly publisher of the Record, and before that, of the De Kalb Republican. The Review is Democratic in political aim. It is a six-column quarto in size, though formerly much smaller. Oct. 1, 1884, Mr. Weamer disposed of the paper, and it was edited by Edmund Calkins until March, 1885. From March until May, 1885, the Review was edited by George Lautzenheiser, when it was purchased by John J. Higgins, who is now editor and sole proprietor.


Edmund Calkins was born April 25, 1836, in West Cornwallis, N. S., the son of Elias and Hannah Calkins. The father was a farmer the greater part of his life, but now resides in Halifax. Edmund was reared on his father’s farm until the age of eighteen, attending school winters, and then for three years attended Arcadia College. Attaining his majority, he worked for a summer in New York State, and then for two years, in Wisconsin successively on the La Crosse & Milwaukee, the Baraboo Valley, and the Transit (of Minnesota) railroads. Coming next to Indiana, he was for a time interested in contracts for the Pan Handle Railroad. He then followed farming until 1882, when he purchased the Roann Clarion, and became publisher of the same. This he sold on account of sickness. IN the fall of 1884 he purchased his interest in the Review. He was marred in 1860 to Hattie Barron, by whom he had a son and daughter.


John J. Higgins, editor of the Butler Review, was born in the city of New York, April 9, 1853, a son of James Higgins, a native of Blackburn, Lancashire, England, who was lost in a shipwreck when our subject was eighteen months old. He attended the schools of New York till January, 1864, and then accompanied his mother to St. Johns, Mich., where his education was completed. In 1872 he went to Newport, Mich., and remained till the summer of 1875, when he returned to St. Johns. The following fall he went to Windsor, Canada, and in the spring of 1876 was employed on the lakes as Steward of the schooner H. C. Winslow, J. H. Francis, Captain. From July till November, 1876, he bought grain at Gaines, Mich., for C. Loranger & Co., of Detroit, and from that time till the fall of 1882, he moved to Butler, Ind. He engaged in the grocery business in Butler about ten months, and then for a short time was employed as collector for J. H. Morrow, dealer in bankrupt stocks of boots and shoes, leaving the latter position to take charge of the Review. Mr. Higgins was married Nov. 25, 1877, to Lottie E. Barrett, daughter of Henry J. Barrett, of Oakley, Mich. They have one child - John C.

 

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