The Temple Story

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name “Temple News Agency”? While some of you know exactly what it is and where it is located, others may be thinking “a News agency”? Newspapers…perhaps?...WRONG! Temple News Agency is a local business known for its coffee, ice cream and old age. While we do sell newspapers there, that is not what it is mainly known for.

Although popular, Temple back then was nothing compared to what it is now. There are differences between Temple then, Temple now and Temple in the future. Temple News Agency was established in its location, 816 Jefferson Ave., in 1918. It started off as Chicago News Agency where papers were dropped off and sold in town, a true news agency. According to Smith’s Directory of La Porte, Indiana, in 1923 the business switched names from “Chicago News Agency” to “La Porte Delivery System.” It wasn’t until 1931-1932 when the name changed again. Caron’s La Porte, Indiana City Directory establishes that between 1931-1932 the name changed from “La Porte News Agency” to “Temple News Agency.”

Temple is established in the Masonic temple, owned by the Masons; which is essentially a fraternity, an organization that works together to raise funds for worthy causes. According to the article “What are Masons” on, this organization originated in the 14th century. They’re a “do-gooder” organization. George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Hancock and other founding fathers were a part of the Masons. Back to the Masonic Temple, it was finished in December 1913.

As the years have gone by, it went from newspapers to candy and newspapers, later on becoming a general store/convenient store. In the 80’s a soda fountain was added, along with ice cream. In the 90’s magazines were introduced to the space as well as coffee. On March 25th, 1998 a wall was knocked down and Temple was expanded. Then music was added and internet (Wi-Fi). In the year 2013 TV’s were added along with intelligentsia coffee, local products, and more food options.

Temple now:

On October 1st, 2013, Joseph Whicker became the new owner of Temple News Agency. Joe has taken charge by painting, making the place look more alive in a sense. Not to mention the addition of new elements. With the addition of the new coffee, we have more customers coming back. It’s always a pleasure to hear “I haven’t been here in so long” or “We’ll be back.” Temple has many things to offer, like our business card says “Coffee, ice cream, candy, food, books, music.” When I asked Joe to describe Temple as if he was explaining it to someone who has no idea what it is, he responded with:

“It’s a century old space that’s warm and filled with charm, with high tin ceiling, and a vintage midcentury soda fountain, serving old-fashion drinks alongside new cappuccino and espresso drinks, all while promoting books, music and the arts.”

Temple has been described as a time capsule by many people.

Temple remains the only old-fashioned soda fountain, gourmet coffee, chocolate selling and espresso-based drinks place in La Porte.


Temple is not only an ice cream shop, or a coffee shop, or a news agency, or a book store. Temple is known for it all. As the years have passed by, Temple has changed, and it will continue to change. It will become better in quality but remain the same in age (vintage looks).

Temple News Agency is a local business in La Porte known for its coffee, ice cream, and history.

And this brings me to my question…

“What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name “Temple News Agency”?

Our customers love us!

The Temple Crew


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