Ink to flow into
21st century at county's newspapers
By DAVE KNOPP
ALBION - From a long string of newspapers
in Noble County history, four are poised to have published in
both the 20th and 21st centuries - The News-Sun, Albion New Era,
Advance-Leader and AvilLaOtto NooZ.
Of those only the New Era will have published in the 19th
century as well, going back to a first issue of Sept. 19, 1872,
with Samuel E. Alvord as editor.
In that issue Alvord wrote a foreword stating, "We have
tried to make the name of this little sheet indicative, to some
extent, of its mission. It will aim to be a true and unreserved
exponent of a new era in politics - in statesmanship, in administration."
In 1876 J.P. Prickett became publisher, followed with purchases
of the newspaper by J.E. Buchanan in 1896, E.L. Adair in 1903
and, in 1940, Richard C. Prickett.
Richard Prickett maintained ownership until his death in 1978,
when his wife, Susan T. Prickett, assumed editorial and management
responsibilities with assistance by longtime associate Robert
Susan Prickett retired in 1988 and at that time Allman, who
with his wife, Linda Allman, had been purchasing the newspaper
and its commercial printing business on contract, assumed full-time
The weekly newspaper was recognized in 1996 by the Albion
Sesquicentennial Committee as the town's oldest continually operating
The News-Sun was founded in 1911 but has ties to as far back
as 1860 and establishment of the Noble County Journal by Judson
Three years later the Kendallville Standard was established
by Dr. C.O. Myers, leading to a consolidation of the Journal
into the Standard in 1870.
In 1877 the Kendallville Weekly News was started by Dr. A.S.
Parker and in 1890 yet another Kendallville newspaper, The Daily-Sun,
was launched by Joseph S. Conlogue, who had become part-owner
of the Kendallville Standard. Eight years later Parker started
the Daily News in conjunction with his Weekly News.
In 1911 Kendallville became a one-newspaper city with a consolidation
of the rivaling businesses into a single daily by owners O.E.
Michaelis and George W. Baxter, who created Kendallville Publishing
Co. and established The News-Sun.
Dr. Charles O. Merica purchased Kendallville Publishing Co.
in 1913 and operated it until his death in 1918, after which
principal ownership was retained by his wife, Alice W. Merica.
George O. Witwer, who was named editor and general manager
of The News-Sun in 1962, became owner and publisher in 1969,
the year Mrs. Merica died at age 103.
In 1996 Witwer retired while retaining a stock interest in
Kendallville Publishing Co. and he passed the reins of publisher
to James D. Kroemer, who had been with the company first as a
reporter and then as editor and general manager.
Kendallville Publishing Co. was named Citizen of the Year
by the Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce in 1983, and in
1995 and 1998 was named the best small daily in Indiana by the
Hoosier State Press Association.
The Advance-Leader's origins date to June 4, 1880, with printing
of the first issue of the Ligonier Leader started by E.G. Thompson.
The issue was a two-pager and printed on a small hand press.
Upon Thompson's death his son, Leland Thompson, took over
the newspaper in the mid-1930s and it remained in the Thompson
family until 1966, when it was purchased by Norm Davis of Michigan.
Meanwhile, as the Ligonier Leader was prospering in the early
years of this century, the Cromwell Advance was started in 1912.
The Cromwell Advance was published for many years by Don Robbins,
after which it was published by his daughter and son-in-law,
Greta and Jim Wallace.
In 1975 Witwer, owner by then of not only The News-Sun in
Kendallville but The Evening Star in Auburn, purchased the Ligonier
Leader and the Cromwell Advance and merged them into the present
Advance-Leader weekly, making it part of the Kendallville Publishing
The bi-weekly AvilLaOtto NooZ was started in 1994 by Julie
Scher and is published twice each week by her company, Scher
Maihem Publishing Ltd. of Avilla.