Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Marmont Herald, Culver City Herald & Culver Citizen  

George R. Nearpass came to Marmont from Bremen and according to "One Township's Yesterdays," Nearpass was looking for opportunities in Argos when he heard that Marmont might be able to support a newspaper. He took the Nickel Plate Railroad to Hibbard, then walked to Marmont, where he convinced John Osborn, Sam Medbourn, E. B. Van Schoiack and many others to bankroll the venture. They raised the money and he moved his press to an old photograph gallery.

Marmont Herald

The first issue of the Marmont Herald hit the streets of the small town that was to eventually be renamed Culver — pop ulation 374 — in May 1894, the first issue is dated 13 July 1894 Vol. 1 No. 1.; George E. Nearpass was editor and publisher. For such a small town Marmont had, comparatively speaking, a large paper. It was published on Friday's and was twenty inches tall, thirteen inches wide, had five full columns, ran eight pages long, and cost $1.00 for a years subscription.

George E. Nearpass turned out each edition on a Washington hand press, with all type set by hand from three cases of type. The balance of the equipment was a foot-pumped job press of an ancient vintage and a printer's stone

In a small, one-story frame building located on the west side of Main Street between Jefferson and Madison Streets; property said once later owned by Harvey Warner, who had another building on the site. This building was an old photograph gallery which had stood on Lake shore dr some where near where the '6G' gas station stood in about 1939. John Osborn who had financed Nearpass had the building moved to South Main Street just south of the store owned by Mitchell & Stabenow. It stood broadside of the street, as it was built accordingly to accommodate the photograph gallery.

Todays location is 115 South Main Street.

Publication day was an occasion of much excitement and activity for all power was furnished by hand. Sumner Wiseman would feed the sheets of paper into the press, Ed Gandy would roll the ink onto the forms after each sheet had been printed. George E. Nearpass, III, then a boy, would take the papers off the press with Harry Medbourn as his helper. Tim Wolfe and many others helped fold the sheets by hand and do the mailing.

From the Chattel Mortgages Book 5 Marshall County, Indiana comes:

MortgagorMortgagee Date Amount Description
Nearpass, Geo. E. Marder, Luse & Co. 7 J uly 1894 303.35 Printing office, Marmont
Nearpass, Geo. E. Kepler, Wm. 24 Sept. 1895 100.00 Bay mare, buggy, harness
Nearpass, Geo. E. American Type Founder's Co. 14 Oct. 1895 224.89 Printing office, Marmont
Nearpass, George E. Wolford, John W.; Knott, David C. 19 Mar. 1900 100.00 Culver City Herald & printing plant
Nearpass, George E. Speyer, Margaret 12 Mar. 1901 87.50 2 presses, type, cases, furn in printing office
Nearpass, George E. Culver Military Academy 19 Mar. 1902 95.50 2 printing presses, type, cases, office furn &c
Nearpass, George E. Osborn, John 11 May 1903 19.00 2 presses, cases, type < /td>

The accounting of the Nearpass year's are found in Corwin's One Township Yeasterdays:
On the 13th of July, 1894, appeared the first issue, Vol. I, No. 1, of the "Marmont Herald," George Nearpass, editor and publisher.

DAVE Smith tells the story of the coming of the first editor, and beyond a doubt he was the first of Marmont's citizens to meet and talk with the man who had the idea or "bunch" that Marmont finally was ripe for a newspaper. Dave, then a comparatively young man (it was over forty years ago), was walking along the Hibbard road when he met a man coming toward Marmont. The man, who was a stranger to Dave, was afoot. He said he was going to look the town over with the idea of starting a, newspaper. No doubt he had come in on the Nickel Plate. The stranger proved to be GEORGE NEARPASS.

That evening, at the customary friendly gathering of the men in the village (all were sociable in those days, and every one was acquainted), NEARPASS told of his plans. And he decided to stay. So he set up his press, and, the "Marmont Herald" was started.

Union 'Township's first newspaper was begun in restricted space', in a small one-story frame building, located on the west side of Main Street between Jefferson and Madison streets. The property is now owned by Harvey Warner, who has another building on the site. The building used by Nearpass was an old photograph gallery, which at one time stood somewhere nearly west of the present "66" gas station on Lake Shore Drive. The building was moved by John Osborn, the banker who financed Nearpass, to the location south of the present MITCHELL & STABENOW store. The NEARPASS newspaper building stood long side, or "broadside," to the street, because it had been so built to accommodate the photograph gallery. Later, after the newspaper had used it, the building was moved again, to a location back of the present tin shop.

It was there, in the building on the WARNER location, that GEORGE NEARPASS set up his humble hand-press and began the publishing of his weekly newspaper, with little in the way of equipment to help him on his journalistic way.

It has been said that GEORGE NEARPASS got out his first newspaper in Marmont "in a fence corner," contrary to which ARTHUR MORRIS declares, "No, that is not exactly the truth. I was in the shop when the first edition was run off the hand-press, and it was done under shelter, not in the open." "In a fence corner'' may have been one way of expressing it--merely as a form of speech, not literal, but picturing the crudeness of the beginning of what later--and soon--proved to be a going concern. Hence the fence corner can be put down as a bit of romancing, which it is difficult far the chronicler to forego or pass by without recognition.

ARTHUR MORRIS was there when the first edition was in the making, and he retained a copy of that epochal news-sheet. He thinks his copy was the third off the hand-press. He adds that the building in which Nearpass had his shop was a low, flat, one-story affair, broadside to the street, extending from where Hawkins now is, almost to the cement block building. It was a thin sort of building, that newspaper emporium, perhaps only about twelve feet wide. It is said that the Culver Citizen moved from the small building refered to as "cramped photographer's building" at 115 S. Main. to above to above Hawkins Tavern (117 S. Main St.). From there it moved to a small building where the library now stands (107 N Main.) which is refered to as the "Overman building which is said the building was to have been moved to the back Johnson's Tire Service (202 N Main.) and then moving to into the two story building on the front of the lot. Jul 26 1944- Citizen

NEARPASS edited and published the "Marmont Herald" and the "Culver City Herald" for about ten years. Prior to that period of his newspaper career he had conducted the "Hobart Gazette." The "Marmont Herald" became the "Culver City Herald" when the name of the village was changed.

A Son's Recollections

GEORGE E. NEARPASS, son of the editor and publisher, gives us some interesting data. He writes: "I take from GEORGE P. ROWELL & Sons American Newspaper Directory published in 1895, the following listed therein:
    "MARMONT--Marshall Co. pop. 374, on the Terre Haute and Indianapolis R. R., about 34 miles north of Logansport. Agriculture.

    "Newspaper - Herald - published Fridays; eight pages 13 x 20. Subscription $1.00 per year, established 1894 by GEO. E. NEARPASS, Sr., Editor and Publisher. Independent."

Nearpass did not associate the paper with any partic ular political party, and in fact politics rarely influenced the paper’s content.

Culver City Herald

In 1895/1896 Nearpass changed the name of the publication to the Culver City Herald after the town’s name was changed to Culver City. Copy boys were George Nearpass III and Harry Medbourn. Subscription rates were one dollar per year. Nearpass often reminded those who had not yet paid for their subscriptions that he could use a load of firewood or a sack of potatoes in lieu of the money.

Nearpass was born on a Michigan farm to a Methodist preacher. He ran away at age nine, finding his way to Chicago where he became a newsboy and a boot black. Within four years he had gained a position as a printer’s devil on the Chicago Times. At age eighteen he became a stagehand and later an actor. A fencing accident in one of the performances left him without a left eye, forcing him to forego acting. He immediately went to Vermontville, Michigan, and started a paper, which he quickly sold. Throughout his life he continued a pattern of moving to a town, founding a newspaper, and then selling it only to move to yet another city and open another journal. Before moving to Marmont he had developed weeklies in five other cities, including the Hobart Gazette.

This is the ad for the Marmont Hearld in the Maxinkuckee Agriculture Fair Book of 1895

The business under Nearpass was a family affair, as his son, George III (who became a brakeman for the Vandalia Railroad), and his daughter, Myrtle, helped their father run the presses.

1896 - Nov - 27 Friday - We have moved the Herald office, and can now be found in the Overman building, opposite the post office, front room, upstairs. We have a cozy, roomy and comfortable quarters. Do not fail to call and see us. We are now better equipped than ever for doing all kinds of Job Work.... This is questionable as yet.

In 1898 they published the Souvenir booklet of the Lake and area:

1898 - the Herald is said to have been located in the "Zechiel building" as found:
    1898 - Mar 8 - S. D. Laden and wife, formerly of Chicago, have moved into the Zechiel building, in the rooms under the Herald office

1899 - feb 24 - Owing to the fact that we moved the Herald to new quarters this week, the paper is necessarily late this issue. We also ask our readers to excuse lack of local news

1899 - Aug 4 - The Herald will move into its new quarters upon Main street this week

The "Culver City Herald" (1897-1900) had five columns and a 20-21-inch depth

Nearpass retained control of the weekly for some time, selling to John Henry Koontz in April 1903. His farewill was in the 26 April issue as follows:

    With this issue of tbe Herald we lose our connection with the paper.

    J. H. Koontz, a well known citizen as purchased our business. He will satisfy all unexpired subscriptons and collect all arrears upon the same.

    Mr. Koontz will issue a new paper for Culver in the near future, and we predict that it will be worthy the patronage of tbe community.

    We shall go to a new location feeling at we can do better, and while we have the opportunity desire to sincrely thank our friends for their support and encouragement during nine year’s sojourn here.

    We have done our best to advocate the advantages of Culver and think that the Herald has accomplished its share in helping to develop the town and especially in keeping its readers in touch with the happenings og the lake.

    Hoping that Culver may ever prosper, we remain yours truly Geo. E. Nearpass,
After selling the venture to Koontz, Nearpass moved to Shipshewana, where he established the Sun. This quip is found about Nearpass and the Sun:
    George Nearpass, the founder of Culver 's first paper, the Herald, has sold the Shipshewana Sun and has gone to Croton, Ohio, where he has started the Croton Citizen.
    Rochester Sentinel, Friday, October 25, 1907

1894 - May 1903 ~~~ May 1903 - 1923 ~~~ 1923 - 1953 ~~~ 1953 - 1967 ~~~ 1967 - ? ~~~

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