Serving, Still Trusted
has served the area since the 1870's
The TimesIndicator has been the chief historian for the Fremont and Newaygo County area
for more than a century, surviving fires, floods, wars and economic hardship along with
the people of the county.
The TimesIndicator traces its lineage to the 1870's and the turn of the century, when
at least three weekly newspapers were published in the town that was then called Fremont
Center. A 1966 historical review in the TimesIndicator called it the oldest business in
According to newspaper files, the first Fremont Indicator was run off on a hand press
by Civil War veteran Walter S. Platt in 1876. In the early 1890's, Platt sold the
Indicator to John W. Eagon, who was already publishing the Fremont News. R.C. Eisley
purchased the Fremont News-Indicator shortly after the turn of the century.
In 1911, Don VanderWerp and O.G. Cederquist established the Fremont times, after
purchasing a paper called the Fremont Review from Publisher Frank M. Ketchum. The partners
took over the News-Indicator in November of that year and began publishing the Fremont
the newspaper has been published at the same address, 44 W. Main in downtown Fremont,
since VanderWerp and Cederquist began publishing the Times there in 1911 and soon took
over the News-Indicator.
In 1917, Cederquist sold his interest in the paper to VanderWerp, who published the
paper until 1950. In 1943, the Newaygo County news was absorbed by the Times-Indicator,
making Fremont a one-newspaper town.
Vidian L. Roe purchased the Fremont Times-Indicator from VanderWerp in 1950 and
published the newspaper for 16 years, before he sold it to Robert and Phyllis Hostetler of
Bay City in august of 1966.
The Hostetler family published the newspaper for 20 years, with Douglas Hostetler and
his wife, Judy, taking over from his parents for the last five years, from 1981 through
The TimesIndicator became the county's only locally published newspaper in 1980, when
it absorbed the Newaygo County Sun, a newspaper which had been formed by the merger of
three other newspapers, the Newaygo Republican, the White Cloud Eagle and the Grant
Tony Komlanc, publisher of a weekly newspaper in Morrison, Illinois, purchased the
Times-Indicator from Doug and Judy Hostetler in January of 1987. Richard Wheater, a
Times-Indicator reporter for nearly four years, was appointed Editor and Publisher.
Research into nearly 12 decades of Times-Indicator files indicates that the newspaper
has been published continuously, without missing a weekly issue, since at least 1878.
The record includes the June 27, 1957 issue of the newspaper, which was published on
schedule despite a Sunday morning fire which gutted the Times-Indicator office. that
week's issue was typeset and composed in White Cloud and printed in Reed City, thanks to
the generous assistance of colleagues in the newspaper business.
More recently, in December of 1989, fire destroyed the video store adjacent to the
Times-Indicator office. firefighters managed to confine the flames to the video store, but
smoke damage drove the newspaper staff down the street to an unfinished store that later
became home to the J.c. Penney Store and Wyse Office Supply. Volunteers helped carry
computers down the street so that the Times-Indicator could be published on time. The
newspaper operated out of its temporary quarters for nearly three months, until the
complete remodeling job was finished at the office.
The TimesIndicator has covered the community's big stories and the smaller but no less
important events, news items ranging from the 1986 floods to the 1947 blizzard, and from
church socials to several generations of births, deaths, weddings and anniversaries. The
news files include moonshiners arrested in 1934 and underground marijuana cultivators
uncovered in 1998.
The newspaper has also played an important role in the economy of the Newaygo County
area. Local merchants advertised a "Great Slaughter of Shoes" (50 cents buys any
shoe in the house regardless of cost, 1906 at Rutherford's Reliable Grocery House), fine
men's suits ($3.75 at R. VanderWerp, 1914), the screening of "You'll Like My
Mother" (starring Patty Duke) at the Oz in 1972, and the debut of the economical '59
Rambler at Heyboer Motors.
The history of Fremont and the surrounding communities are captured in the thousands of
pages of newspaper files that have been preserved in bound volumes. Those volumes resided
in the basement of the Times-Indicator office until the 1989 fire, when they were
evacuated and entrusted to the Newaygo County Society of History and Genealogy. These
historical volumes have also been duplicated and preserved on microfilm, which is
available for viewing at the Fremont public library.
A few examples of local newspaper history, including copies of the Times, the
Indicator, the News-Indicator, the Newaygo County News, the White Cloud Eagle and the
Grant Herald-Independent, are displayed in the front lobby of the TimesIndicator office at
44 W. Main in downtown Fremont.
Moving into the new century, the TimesIndicator is bigger and more widely read than
ever. A growing number of readers continue to trust Newaygo County's Newspaper for
reliable, accurate and interesting news and features, delivered every week with the same
dedication and commitment that readers learned to trust in the 1800's.