Kosciusko Republican printed November 11, 1846
Copy of its First Issue now on Exhibition in North Show Window of "Indianian" Office
Following the death of the late Mrs. Metcalf Beck, the home of the deceased was thoroughly cleared out and of course a quantity of waste rubbish was disclosed in various rooms. This was all gathered up and carted down to the edge of the marsh just north of the city, where it was thrown away. Much of this rubbish consisted of old and useless documents in writing and old magazines, pamphlets and newspapers. Among the latter was a copy of the Kosciusko Republican,and what is more, it happened to be the first copy of the newspaper ever printed in Warsaw of any kind.
The way that the copy mentioned came into our possession was through Ernest Kobb, who, in rummaging through the rubbish referred to, came across a newspaper neatly folded and endorsed in the neat and well kept penmanship of the late Metcalf Beck, a very fine illustration of the care he always took in his papers as well as everything else. The boy took it to his mother, Mrs. John Kobb, who prizes it very highly and we only have her permission to place the very valuable relic of early newspaperdom on exhibition in the show window of this office, where it can now be seen, for a short time.
The copy, as stated, is the very first number of any newspaper whatever, printed at the county seat. The paper had first been published at Monoquet, a very busy village in early days, located three miles north of this city, where the Harrises of South Bend had projected a saw, flouring and woolen-mill the paper being started by them with a view to procure the location of the county-seat. "The Press" as it was called, to be the organ of that movement. Charles Murray, an old-time printer, managed the office and was the editor of the paper.
After losing the county-seat the Harris brothers were anxious to dispose of the newspaper plant, and the late P. L. Runyan and Andrew J. Bair, the latter still living in this city at a ripe old age, the former having departed this life twenty or more years ago, became its owners. At that time, Mr. Beck was a resident of Leesburg. He was an expert penman and one of the most methodical, pains-taking business man the county ever contained. This feature is plainly indicated by the carefulness with which a copy of the first newspaper ever printed in Warsaw has been preserved. That issue was carefully folded in a wrapper with the following endorsement in Mr. Beck's own calligraphy:
"Kosciusko Republican - First paper ever printed in Warsaw, November 11th 1846 --Vol. 1, No. 1 --Runyan & Bair, publishers."
Somewhat worn and tattered, the old newspaper relic can be seen for a few days in the show window. It is certainly worth preserving and it is no wonder that Mrs. Kobb prizes "the first newspaper" most highly.
The Northern Indianian Thursday January 7, 1904
The older residents of Warsaw and of Kosciusko county will remember John R. Wheeler, who up to some time following the war was a resident of this place, but removed to Elizabeth, New Jersey, entirely changing the course of immigration, so far as he was concerned, nearly everybody going West instead of East, whenever they removed from the "Old Hoosier State" at all. In writing us to renew his own subscription for "The Indianian," and the Chicago InterOcean for C. P. Montieth at Claypool, he mentions the incident that appeared in these columns a few weeks ago concerning the first newspaper printed in this county, which was established at Monoquet, a lively village at that time, located three miles north of this city. At that time, and as a mere lad, Mr. Wheeler lived in Monoquet, his family having settled in that place as early as 1845. The elder Wheeler was employed in a chair shop.
As a boy he knew the Harrises, the original proprietors of the newspaper and other Monoquet people quite well, also, a character of that place whose proper name was James Hall, but to whom had been applied the sobriquet of "Rough and Ready." Mr. Wheeler, who has taken "The Indianian" ever since he removed to "The Jarsies," now a good many years ago, mentions the fact that "it is very pleasant to read about old places, old friends and the old acquaintances he formerly knew when he was a resident of Warsaw. At one time he says he "knew the owner of every farm-residence betwen Warsaw and Goshen," and ends by declaring that he can never forget the people of Kosciusko county. Mr. Wheeler has done remarkably well in the East, and is in quite comfortable circumstances, we are pleased to know.
The Northern Indianian January 21, 1904 page 4
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