Wayne County, Ohio, was organized in March 1812. A little more than five years later, midsummer of 1817, Levi Cox and Samuel Baldwin printed the first issue of Ohio Spectator under the imprint of Cox & Baldwin. About 300 people subscribed to the medium size newspaper. After a year, Cox withdrew from the business. Mr. Asa W. W. Hickox took the place of Cox. Hickox left at the end of the year. Baldwin continued printing the newspaper for a while until he fell ill with consumption and died. Dr. Thomas Townsend assumed control of the newspaper and closed out the remainder of Baldwin’s year. Townsend managed the office and edited the paper. Joseph Clingan executed the printing of the Ohio Spectator.
There were no issues of a Wayne County, Ohio, newspaper for a few years. There was one sheet published occasionally called the Electioneerer. This sheet was used to promote the candidates for the pending election of 1820. There are no known surviving copies of the Electioneerer.
On the 13 January 1820, the Wooster Spectator once again resumed print. Benjamin Bentley and Joseph Clingan were responsible for the newspaper. Clingan and Bentley jointly operated the newspaper for two years. Bentley sold his share to Clingan. Clingan continued to print the newspaper for an additional five years by himself.
In the spring of 1826, Col. John Barr bought the office and renamed the newspaper the Ohio Oracle. It was devoted to the support of General Jackson for president. It lasted for four years. Barr sold his office to David Sloane who once again changed the name to the Wooster Journal and Democratic Times. Sloane ran the paper for four years. Following, Sloane transferred ownership to his brother-in-law, J. W. Schuckers, who likewise published it for several years. During Sloane’s tenure, Wharton was the printer.
On 23 June 1836, Schuckers disposed of the newspaper to Daniel Sprague. The Wooster Journal and Democratic Times continued until 16 September 1840 when the name was shortened to the Wooster Democrat. Sprague continued to manage and operate the newspaper until 5 August 1852 when H. C. Johnson and Enos Foreman obtained control of the newspaper.
On 12 May 1853, the name of the newspaper once again changed. It changed from the Wooster Democrat to the Wooster Republican. However, it was not until June 1887 when the Wooster Daily Republican made its first appearance. George Kettler was the editor at this time and continued in this position for many years. H. N. Clemens & Company owned and managed the Wooster Daily Republican. In 1890, Clemens and several other Republicans incorporated the newspaper under the name of the Wooster Republican Printing Company. Clemens retired in 1891. He disposed of his interest to David W. Solliday who had assumed the role of editor. In 1893, Thomas C. Reynolds and Francis C. Whittier, both of Akron, OH assumed a controlling interest in the company. Five years later, in 1898, Albert Dix and his son, Emmett C. Dix became interested – Albert Dix as the business manager and Emmett Dix with the editorial control. Kettler continued with his duties of editing during this time.
The Wooster Daily Republican Digital Collection includes newspapers from the World War I era: 2 January 1917 thru 23 January 1920. The Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio, houses the Wooster Daily Republican from 2 Jun 1890 thru 31 December 1895. There are no known surviving issues from 1896 thru 1916 with the exception of a single issue dated 29 June 1898.