The Mail-Journal turns 50


The Mail-Journal, the flagship publication of The Papers Inc. headquartered in Milford, marked a significant milestone Feb. 15.

Forty-nine years of local news have come off the presses, and the newspaper observed its 50th anniversary in serving the Wawasee area community with a six-page special section.

The newspaper serves the northern Indiana communities of Milford, North Webster and Syracuse.

Mail-Journal staffers
Mail-Journal staffers include, from left, Maggie Duffy, copy editor and reporter/photographer; Phoebe Muthart, reporter/photographer; Anita Bias, typist; Rebekah Whirledge, copy editor and reporter/photographer; Sarah Wright (in back), reporter/photographer; Amanda McFarland (in back), reporter/photographer, Martha Stoelting, North Webster reporter/photographer; Mike Deak, sports editor; Tim Ashley, copy editor, associate editor and reporter/photographer; Lauren Zeugner (seated), Syracuse reporter/photographer; Deb Patterson, associate editor and police and fire reporter/photographer; Jodi Magallenes, Milford reporter/photographer; and Jeri Seely, editor in chief.

The first issue of The Mail-Journal was printed Feb. 15, 1962.

As the merger of The Syracuse-Wawasee Journal and The Milford Mail by Arch and Della Baumgartner, The Mail-Journal served to give the community a stronger and more comprehensive voice.

Fifty years later, it is still the flagship publication of a growing company and continues to bring the communities it serves together and guide its citizens.

“It’s hard to believe my family has been involved in the community newspaper business for all these years,” said Ron Baumgartner, publisher and president of The Papers Inc. “It’s a paper with a main focus that hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years.”

The staff works hard to ensure that The Mail-Journal is the best possible newspaper for the communities it serves, said Jeri Seely, editor in chief.

Staff members of The Mail-Journal try to add a local touch to national events, with most of the paper’s news being about local meetings and events, Seely said.

“We offer a service to our readers as we report the events taking place in the greater Lakeland area,” Seely said.