The first newspaper to circulate the homes of Fort Wayne was the weekly paper, The Sentinel, which was first published July 6, 1833. Thomas Tigar was the editor for this Democratic paper. Tigar, also happened to establish the first printing press for this paper which was located on west Columbia Street. By 1861, The Sentinel was now a daily publication and went on to merge with another local paper, Dawson Times. This merger created the Times and Sentinel. The paper would be known as The Democrat from 1866-1873, eventually going back to its original publication name, The Sentinel by late 1873.
In the late 19th century Fort Wayne had yet another popular daily newspaper that residents rushed to the stands to read. The Fort Wayne Daily News was first published in 1874. This paper was known to be a Republican newspaper and would be known as the local “people’s paper.” Because of the financial success this paper became, it would go on to purchase The Sentinel in 1917. The newly formed company, The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, published its first paper on January 1, 1918.
Oscar Foellinger became the publisher of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in 1920. In 1925 he had a new building constructed at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Barr Street, in downtown Fort Wayne to house this new company. Oscar Foellinger held his position as publisher until his death in 1936. His daughter Helene would retain the role of publisher for decades until selling the newspaper and her interest in Fort Wayne Newspapers to Knight Ridder Newspapers in the early 1980s.
In 1950, the two lead papers of Fort Wayne, The News Sentinel and Fort Wayne Journal Gazette entered into a joint partnership, known as Fort Wayne Neewspapers, to share common printing facilities and business operations but not news operations. In 1958, both newspapers began publishing at what is now known as the Fort Wayne Newspapers building at 600 W. Main Street.
Since 1958, the News Sentinel Building has been headquarters of many non-profit organizations such as United Way and Brightpoint.[i]
[i] The Bicentennial Heritage Trail Committee, On the Heritage Trail: A Walking Guidebook to the Fort Wayne Heritage Trail (Fort Wayne: ARCH, Inc., 1994): 232-233.