The 1900 U.S. Census reported that Plymouth, Indiana, located in a rich agricultural area in north-central Indiana, had a population over 3,600. The town had supported two major newspapers, the Plymouth Republican and the Plymouth Democrat, since the 1850s. With the rise of Populism in the 1890s, another newspaper debuted in Plymouth in 1894, the Marshall County Independent.
Albert R. Zimmerman started the Independent as an eight page weekly. He took on A. D. Smith as a partner in July 1895, changed the paper to a semiweekly titled the Plymouth Semi-Weekly Independent, and began issuing a daily edition, the Plymouth Daily Independent. Reported circulation for the Independent was 750 in 1897, barely half the respective circulations for its in-town rivals. In 1896, Smith sold his interest to Zimmerman who then sold the paper to Silas H. Joseph and Clinton H. Grube. The new owners split management and editing duties, but after a year they sold the Independent to Clay W. Metsker.
In 1897, Metsker changed the title back to the Marshall County Independent and by 1900 returned to a weekly publication schedule. By then, the Independent was faring well in terms of circulation with its chief competitors, the Republican and Democrat. In March 1902, Metsker purchased the Plymouth Democrat and continued issuing the daily edition as the Daily Independent, but he switched the title of the weekly edition from the Independent to the Weekly Democrat. The acquisition of the Democrat nearly doubled the Independent’s weekly circulation from 1,650 to 3,200. Metsker retired the Independent name completely in 1909 when he started issuing the daily edition as the Plymouth Daily Democrat. Metsker sold the paper in March 1931. The new owners changed the daily title to the Plymouth Daily News and discontinued the weekly edition of the Democrat in 1941.