Warren County Genealogical Society
Warren County, Ohio
Chapter of Ohio Genealogical Society
Newspapers

 

(513) 695-1144

 


406 Justice Drive, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Hours: 9 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday

Driving Directions

 wcgs@co.warren.oh.us

The Warren County Genealogical Society has some newspapers available on microfilm in our resource library.  Newspapers are a great resource for researchers because of the personal news, announcements and social items included therein.  Community and local events are many times described in detail as well as state, regional and national items of interest.  Early editors freely expressed their views and opinions which sometimes resulted in colorful descriptions of scandals and tragic events.  To date WCGS has only abstracted, copied and indexed obituaries, however a complete listing of our microfilm holdings is below.  A few social items has from time to time been included in Heir Lines, our quarterly periodical.  Make sure to check our every name index for Heir Lines to see if your ancestor is listed.  If you would like to help us abstract, copy and index social items in Warren County newspapers, please contact Chuck Griffen.  If you would like a copy of an article please contact our research department

Announcements / Notices- Birth, Marriage & Death
Detailed Obituaries
Social Items (such as out of town visitors, local people taking trips, birthday parties & attendees, illnesses, community events, contests, holidays & celebrations & participants, notices of residents who have moved)
Legal Articles (such as probate notices, divorce cases, dissolutions of business partnerships, delinquent tax lists, advertisements of sheriff's sales)
News Stories (such as auto or buggy accidents, explosions, fires, tornadoes, floods, other disasters, crimes, proceedings of local governing bodies & their meetings, upcoming candidates for local, state and national elections)
Advertisements (includes names of proprietor)

 

 

 

History of Newspapers in Warren County, Ohio

Warren County, Ohio has a rich history involving the newspaper industry dating back to the first edition of the Western Star published in 1807.  Below is a brief summary of the major newspapers and the changes they have gone through. For more complete details see Beer's History of Warren County, Ohio page 309-311; the Western Star article from Thursday Feb. 28, 1957; the book Commitment to Community; the 150th Anniversary of the Western Star, Sec 5. page 8; and both editions of The History of Franklin in the Great Miami Valley by Harriet Foley.  All of these are available in our library for your convenience.  For a listing of newspapers in Warren County, Ohio, click here

 

Lebanon, Turtlecreek Township

On Feb 13, 1807, John McLean published a weekly paper at Lebanon called the Western Star.  The exact date of the first issue is unknown since no copies of any of the issues edited by John McLean have been found.  However this first paper was published as a four page weekly paper printed on hand made rag paper made at the local mills.  It was first published in a shop on Lebanon's Main Street for $2 per year in advance and $2.50 at the end of the year.  Certain items such as corn and flour were accepted in trade for the year's subscription.  John McLean's father, Fergus McLean distributed the issues to subscribers by horseback. 

Local matters and home news were not very important in the early issues.  News about Europe was the main focus. 

The oldest surviving copy of the Western Star is dated September 10, 1810, edited and managed by Nathaniel McLean.  It contains no editorial or local matters, except for advertisements.  Our obituary file includes any deaths mentioned, or obituaries from these early papers. 

During the 1800's the Western Star continued to publish both local and national news.  The paper was stabilized and enlarged by William McClintock in 1871 making it one of the most successful weekly newspapers in Ohio.

The Western Star was purchased by the Brown Publishing Company in 1923, and it expanded from 12 to 16 pages.  In 1928, the Western Star moved to the Brown Building on the Northeast corner of Silver and Mechanics Street and remained there until 1975.  For a short time in 1935 it ran as a daily newspaper.  By 1975 the Western Star was moved to its current location in the Harmon Ave. Industrial Park.  The year 2007 marked the 200th anniversary for the Western Star newspaper - Ohio's oldest weekly newspaper and the oldest American newspaper to operate continuously under the same name west of the Alleghenies. 

 

The Lebanon Star was begun by Western Star Publications in 1973 and continued into the 1980's. 

The Sunday Western Star was first published in 1991.  In 1994 the Sunday Star Press was added.  A new weekly publication, the Monroe Times was founded in 1994.


Minor Newspapers in Lebanon, Ohio

Most of these papers were failures and didn't last longer than one year.  For more specific dates see below

Ohio Argus - moved from Lebanon to Franklin in 1834

Lebanon Farmer & Lebanon Gazette - merged with Western Star in 1822. 

Lebanon Argus - moved to Franklin before suspension

Spirit of Freedom

American Democrat

Lebanon Spy

Buckeye Mercury

People's Journal

Lebanon Volunteer
- printed for a time at Morrow

The Sober Second Thought - started in 1846 in Lebanon.  A few weeks later the name changed to Second Sober Thought and Spread Eagle, and a short time later it was shortened to Thought & Eagle.
 
Countryman - started in 1868 by Seth Brown and C. S. Burnett as a weekly local paper.  This is the first time in the history of the Western Star where a proprietor disposed his interest and started publishing another paper in Lebanon.  However, it was not a financial success, so it was soon moved to Cincinnati. 

The Democratic Citizen was destroyed by a mob at the beginning of the Civil War because it was believed to be a supporter of the Democrats in the south who were pro-slavery at the time. 

In 1868, the Lebanon Patriot, a Democratic newspaper, was started by General Durbin Ward, who not only purchased the press and printing materials but maintained the paper at his own expense until it was self-sustaining.  It was sold to the owners of the Western Star in 1929 and finally merged with the Western Star in 1937. 

The Lebanon Gazette was started in 1877 by William P. Denny.  It was eventually published by the Gazette Printing Company.

The Second Lebanon Gazette merged with the Western Star on Feb 16, 1893.

The Lebanon Republican Record also merged with the Western Star in 1905. 

Another Democratic paper, the Warren County Democrat was started in 1934.  It was purchased in 1935 by H. I. Dally and was established as an independent newspaper, and the name was changed to the Warren County News.  It closed in November 1946. 

 

Mason, Deerfield Township

In 1862 James McCormick started the first newspaper in Mason, the Mason Democrat.  It passed into the hands of Daniel Flannigan and was later discontinued. 

In 1878, the Mason Vanguard was begun but it did not continue long.  The Mason Appeal, later called the Warren County Appeal was first published as a weekly in 1892 and managed by several men until it was bought out in 1925 by the Brown Publishing Company and combined with the Western Star.

In late 1954, three women in Mason Meadows, Mrs. Edith Peters, Mrs. Marian Krich and Mrs. Ann Decelies, started the first issue of The Mason Times.  The early issues were distributed free throughout the town but later a five cent charge was set.  Editorship changed hands several times.   The paper was discontinued in early 1964. 

 

Springboro, Clearcreek Township

The Star Free Press (later Star Press) covering northern Warren County, Ohio published its first issue on 31 Aug 1976 for Springboro, Hunter and Clearcreek Township residents.  In April 1979, it expanded its area to include the city of Franklin, Franklin Township and Carlisle. 

In Aug 2002, Cox announced it was going to close the Franklin Chronicle and three other weekly papers; The Springboro Star Press; the Miamisburg News; and the Germantown Press, since they were not profitable.  Many people protested and the papers were put up for sale.  On Nov. 1, 2002, all four papers were purchased by Donald K. Miller of Springboro and his sister, Donna Miller Riddinger of Louisville, Kentucky. Miller became the publisher of all four papers and Dan Darragh remained the editor of the Franklin Chronicle

 

Franklin Township

The first newspaper in Franklin began in March 1834 by Henry D. Stout called the Ohio Argus (which moved from Lebanon) and Franklin Gazette.  This paper continued until he moved to Sidney, Ohio in 1839. In the early days very little local news was included.  Most of the columns list news from Europe and the Eastern coast.

Franklin lacked a community newspaper from 1839 until 1846 when editors Calderwood and Harding published an independent newspaper; The Chronicle

A. B. Barkalow and A. S. Reeder bought an "army press" for use during the Civil War.  Afterwards in 1875, M. W. Earhart and Stephen A. Burrowes started a newspaper called the Franklin Gazette.  This paper was short-lived. 

In 1872, H. D. Stout and A. B. Barkalow established a newspaper the Franklin Advertiser.  After the death of Mr. Barkalow, the paper was sold to W. E. Findley and in 1876 the name changed to Valley Chronicle

The Franklin Argus appeared as a competitor in 1879.  Both papers were purchased by A. C. Eaton of Dayton and merged to one paper called The Valley Chronicle and Franklin Argus.  A few years later the newspaper became the Franklin Chronicle, the name it bears today. 

The Franklin News began in 1896 by Adam Bridge. 

On January 25, 1938 after Ross Farquhar split with the Franklin Chronicle, he started his own paper called the Franklin Sun. Mr. Farquhar died unexpectedly on July 1, 1938.  The Aug 10, 1938 edition was the last issue of this paper.

On July 4, 1963 issue, it was announced that the Franklin Chronicle, was to be sold to the Middletown Journal and was to become a Xenia based part of Chew Publications.  They were still located at 417 Anderson St. and remained here from 1899 until April 1, 1974.  In 1971 they converted to a computerized production.  By 1973 they needed more space and moved to 522 S. Main St on April 1, 1974.

The Franklin Chronicle Shopping Guide began October 1976 and was delivered to homes in the Franklin and Clearcreek Township areas.  In Oct 1977 the name Metro was added and it became the Chronicle Metro Shopping Guide and has continued to the present day. 

Chew newspapers merged with Thompson newspapers Publishing Company in 1975.  The Chronicle office was moved to 213 S. Main St. on March 1980.  In 1984 it moved again to 42 E. Fourth St.  In October 2000 it moved to 129 S. Main St. (Springboro Star Press also moved into that location with them in November 2001).

In 2000, the Gannett Chain bought the newspapers, but before any management changed occurred, the Atlanta based, Cox newspapers took over and acquired these newspapers. 

By August 2002, Cox announced it was going to close the Franklin Chronicle and three other weekly papers; The Springboro Star Press; the Miamisburg News; and the Germantown Press, since they were not profitable.  Many people protested and the papers were put up for sale.  On Nov. 1, 2002, all four papers were purchased by Donald K. Miller of Springboro and his sister, Donna Miller Riddinger of Louisville, Kentucky. Miller became the publisher of all four papers and Dan Darragh remained the editor of the Franklin Chronicle.  The Franklin Chronicle was an 8 column, 16 page weekly newspaper. Dan Darragh retired in June 2007.  Donna Miller closed the Franklin office in 2008 and published papers from the Miamisburg office.

 


 

Listing of Newspapers in Warren County, Ohio

It is very difficult to provide a complete list of the various newspapers published in Warren County, Ohio prior to the Civil War, since some were published for only a few months.  However, from what we have gathered, below is the most comprehensive list we can provide.  If you have any further details please contact us via emailFor the history of the newspapers in Warren County, Ohio, click here.
 

Newspaper Name Years Covered How Often Published Comments
American Democrat      
Buckeye Mercury      
Chronicle 1846-?    
Countryman 1868   Moved to Cincinnati
Franklin Advertiser 1872-1876   Name changed to Valley Chronicle
Franklin "Army Press" Civil War time    
Franklin Argus 1879-? weekly Merged with Valley Chronicle to become Franklin Chronicle
Franklin Chronicle 1879-current    
Franklin News 1905-1907    
Franklin Sun 1938    
Lebanon Democratic Citizen 1854-1863 weekly  
Lebanon Farmer 1817-1818    
Lebanon Gazette 1882-1893 semi-weekly  
Lebanon Ohio Argus 1831-1834 weekly moved to Franklin and renamed
Lebanon Patriot 1868-1916 weekly  
Lebanon People's Journal      
Lebanon Republican Record 1903-1905 weekly  
Lebanon Sober Second Thought 1847    
Lebanon Spy 1842-1843    
Lebanon Star 1883-1985 weekly Became Western Star
Lebanon Union Volunteer      
Lebanon Warren County Record 1902-1903 weekly Merged with Lebanon Republican Record
Lebanon Warren County Reporter 1959-1977 weekly  
Lebanon Warren Democratic Citizen 1862-1863    
Lebanon Western Star 1807-current weekly  
Mason Appeal / Warren County Appeal 1892-1905    
Mason Democrat 1862-?    
Mason Pulse Journal 1981-current weekly  
Mason Times 1954-1964    
Mason Vanguard 1878-?    
Monroe Times 1994-current    
Morrow Little Miami Express 1980-1985 weekly  
Ohio Argus & Franklin Gazette 1834-1839 weekly Discontinued when edited moved.
Spirit of Freedom      
Springboro Star Free Press 1979-1986 weekly Merged with Franklin Chronicle
Sunday Star Press 1994-current    
Sunday Western Star 1991-current weekly The Sunday edition of the Western Star
Valley Chronicle (Franklin) 1876-?   Name change from Franklin Advertiser. Later merged with Franklin Argus to the Valley Chronicle & Franklin Argus
The Valley Chronicle & Franklin Argus ?   Name change to Franklin Chronicle
Warren County Democrat / Warren County News 1934-1946    
Waynesville Miami Gazette 1865-1975 weekly  
Waynesville Miami Visitor 1850-1861 weekly  
Waynesville News 1884-1956    


 

WCGS Newspaper Collection

Western Star Newspaper (67 microfilms)
Roll 1:   Feb 13, 1807-Sep 29, 1810
            Oct 13, 1810-Feb 3, 1815
            March 3, 1815
            March 5, 1821-Dec 27, 1828
Roll 2:  Jan 5, 1816-July 20, 1822 (some gaps)
Roll 3:  Jan 3, 1829-July 1835
Roll 4:  July 24, 1835-July 1841
Roll 5:  July 16, 1841-July 4, 1845
           July 9, 1847-June 29, 1849
Roll 6:  July 6, 1849-June 13, 1851
           July 4, 1851-July 22, 1853
Roll 7:  Aug 5, 1853-June 20, 1856
Roll 8:  June 27, 1856-Feb 28, 1861 (Missing June 24, 1858-July 7, 1859)
Roll 9:   March 7, 1861-May 29, 1862
Roll 10: Jan 4, 1866-July 8, 1869
Roll 11: Jan 5, 1871-Jan 16, 1873
Roll 12: Jan 23, 1873-Feb 10, 1876
Roll 13: Feb 17, 1876-Dec 26, 1878
Roll 14: Jan 9, 1879-Nov 17, 1881
Roll 15: Nov 17, 1881-Jan 8, 1884
Roll 16: Jan 10, 1884-March 12, 1885
Roll 17: March 19, 1885-March 1, 1888
Roll 18: March 8, 1888-Feb 26, 1891
Roll 19: March 5, 1891-Jan 25, 1894
Roll 20: Feb 1, 1894-Feb 18, 1897
Roll 21: Feb 25, 1897-Jan 18, 1900
Roll 22: Jan 25, 1900-Dec 4, 1902
Roll 23: Dec 4, 1902-Oct 26, 1905
Roll 24: Nov 2, 1905-Apr 9, 1908
Roll 25: Apr 16, 1908-May 12, 1910
Roll 26: May 19, 1910-Jan 30, 1913
Roll 27: Feb 6, 1913-Dec 16, 1915
Roll 28: Dec 23, 1915-Sep 26, 1918
Roll 29: Oct 3, 1918-Dec 30, 1920
Roll 30: Jan 6, 1921-Feb 22, 1923
Roll 31: March 1, 1923-July 10, 1924
Roll 32: July 17, 1924-May 27, 1926
Roll 33: June 3, 1926-Feb 16, 1928
Roll 34: Feb 23, 1928-Oct 17, 1924
Roll 35: Oct 24, 1929-June 4, 1931
Roll 36: July 11, 1931-June 29, 1933
Roll 37: July 6, 1933-Sep 13, 1925
Roll 38: Sep 14, 1935-Apr 8, 1926
Roll 39: Apr 9, 1936-Nov 11, 1936
Roll 40: Nov 12, 1936-Apr 7, 1938
Roll 41: Apr 14, 1938-Dec 28, 1939
Roll 42: Jan 4, 1940-Sep 18, 1941
Roll 43: Sept 25, 1941-Aug 12, 1943
Roll 44: Aug 19, 1943-July 20, 1944
Roll 45: July 27, 1944-May 9, 1946
Roll 46: May 16, 1946-Oct 18, 1947
Roll 47: Oct 23, 1947-Nov 25, 1948
Roll 48: Dec 2, 1948-Dec 8, 1949
Roll 49: Dec 15, 1949-Dec 14, 1950
Roll 50: Dec 21, 1950-Dec 13, 1951
Roll 51: Dec 20, 1951-Dec 25, 1952
Roll 52: 1953
Roll 53: 1954
Roll 54: 1955
Roll 55: Jan 5, 1956-June 28, 1956
Roll 56: July 5, 1956-Dec 27, 1956
Roll 57: Jan 3, 1957-June 27, 1957
Roll 58: July 4, 1957-Dec 26, 1957
Roll 59: Jan 2, 1958-Oct 2, 1958
Roll 60: Oct 9, 1958-June 25, 1959
Roll 61: July 2, 1959- Dec 31, 1959
Roll 62: Jan 7, 1960-Aug 18, 1960
Roll 63: Aug 25, 1960- Dec 29, 1960
Roll 64: Jan 1961 -June 1961
Roll 65: July 6, 1961-Dec 28, 1961
Roll 66: Jan 6, 1962-Aug 23, 1962
Roll 67: Aug 30, 1962 - Dec 27, 1962

Lebanon Gazette Newspaper (4 microfilms)
Roll 1: Jan 2, 1884- Apr 28m 1886 (semi-weekly)
          May 5, 1886-May 26, 1886 (weekly)
Roll 2: June 2, 1886-Sep 27, 1888
Roll 3: Oct 4, 18888-March 26, 1891
Roll 4: Apr 2, 1891-Feb 16, 1893

Miami Gazette Newspaper (10 microfilms)
Roll 1: July 5, 1865-June 26, 1867
Roll 2: July 7, 1869-June 7, 1876
Roll 3: June 14, 1876-Feb 7, 1883
Roll 4: Sep 1898-Dec 25, 1901
Roll 5: Jan 1, 1902-Dec 30, 1903
Roll 6: Jan 6, 1904-Apr 4, 1906
Roll 7: Apr 18, 1906-Jan 20, 1909
Roll 8: Jan 27, 1909-Nov 11, 1911
Roll 9: Nov 8, 1911-Aug 19, 1914
Roll 10: Aug 26, 1914-Sep 8, 1920

Miami Visitor Newspaper (2 microfilms)
Roll 1: Jan 30, 1850-Jan 17, 1855
Roll 2: Jan 24, 1855-Jan 23, 1861

Franklin Chronicle
These microfilms are available at the Franklin Public Library.  We have extracted many of the obituaries from these and they are available in our obituary collection
 

The Regenerator
We have a copy of all 24 issues (16 pp. each issue) in our library.  This paper was mainly philosophical in nature and was published in the 20 Mile Stand / Lebanon vicinity. 
 

US GeWeb Page listing additional sources for newspapers

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For non-commercial use only
This page was last updated on 01 December 2011