(“Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – July 2015, No. 126)
was constructed in 1925 by Oscar Foellinger, publisher of the News-Sentinel Building News-Sentinel. Tracing its
history to the first newspaper in Fort Wayne , The Sentinel, which began publication as
a weekly on Fort
Wayne July 6, 1833,
its first editor of this Democrat newspaper was Thomas Tigar. Living in at the time, Tigar was a native
of Indianapolis , Beverly
born there in 1807. He came to Yorkshire, England
in 1826 as an experienced printer and landed in America .
He met his partner S.V.B Noel in Ashtabula, Ohio
and the two came to Indianapolis
to establish the original press for the paper on Fort Wayne West Columbia Street. Tigar continued
with the paper until 1865. He died in 1875 and is buried in Lindenwood
Bert Griswold relates the story of how the paper acquired its first press. A used hand-press for the printing of the Indiana State Journal at
purchased and delivered to Indianapolis .
The way was difficult taking six days to transport the load over muddy roads
and across swollen streams on rafts. Type was set and in its July 6th first edition
appeared the Declaration of Independence. Its first editorial recapped an oration
given on the Fourth of July celebration of 1833 by Hugh McCulloch. Fort Wayne
The Sentinel became a daily newspaper, while still publishing a weekly edition, and later merged with the
Times to become the Times and Sentinel. Under new ownership in 1866, the newspaper
was known as The Democrat until 1873 when the name was changed
back to The Sentinel. Dawson
By 1874, another paper began publication under the name
Daily News. It was first published as a Republican
newspaper which emphasized local news.
Known as “The people’s paper,” the Daily News was a financial
success at the turn of the last century and in 1917 purchased The Sentinel. The new company issued the first edition of
on Fort Wayne January 1, 1918.
According to author Jim Sack’s chapter in The History of Fort Wayne and Allen County Oscar Foellinger began his newspaper career as a junior accountant at the News Publishing Company during the mid 1890s. In about a decade, Foellinger advanced to the position of business manager. In 1920, Oscar Foellinger assumed control of The News-Sentinel, which became a leading voice for Republican politics in the region and a strong advocate for civic improvement. Journalist and historian Scott Bushnell noted in, Hard News and Heartfelt Opinions about the history of the Journal Gazette that Foellinger became president and general manager of the News and Sentinel taking it to prominent heights. On an autumn hunting trip to
in 1936, Oscar died unexpectedly. Upon his death his daughter, Helene
Foellinger, became publisher and remained active until her death in 1987. Canada
Author Sack noted that Helene Foellinger and her mother Esther established the Foellinger Foundation in the aftermath of the loss of father and husband. Financing directed to community projects such as Foellinger Outdoor Theater, Foellinger-Freimann botanical Conservatory were among the substantial contributions.
Since 1958, the
has been known as the News-Sentinel Building and later served as the headquarters
of the Foellinger Center United Way
as well as other not-for-profit organizations. Fort Wayne
In 1950, The News-Sentinel entered into a joint operating agreement with the
to share common printing and other business activities. Fort Wayne Newspapers broke ground in 1956
and both papers began publishing from a new facility at Fort Wayne 600 West Main Street in 1958. A new
pressroom and paper storage facility was completed during 2007.
Allen County Historian Tom Castaldi is author of the Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series; hosts “On the Heritage Trail,” which is broadcast. Mondays on WBOI, 89.1 FM; and “Historia Nostra” heard on Redeemer Radio.
106.3 FM and South Bend 95.7
FM. Enjoy his previously published
columns on the Ft. Wayne ’s blog, “Our
Stories,” at history centerfw.blogspot.com. History