The Zanesville Signal collection includes semi-weekly and weekly editions covering 1897-1904.
The Zanesville Signal, published in the seat of Muskingum County, was established in 1834 as the Democratic Union and Zanesville Advertiser and served as the county’s Democratic organ. As with many 19th century newspapers, it experienced numerous changes in name and ownership throughout its history, but began to consistently include “Signal” in its title in 1864. Initially published as a weekly, in 1865, a daily edition was added, and both were published simultaneously until 1905 when the weekly was discontinued.
Under the leadership of brothers James R. and Henry E. Alexander, who purchased the paper in 1898, the Signal was praised as one of the best of its kind. According to Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio, it made a “study of the life of Zanesville in its commercial, industrial and social relations” and “furthered the welfare of the city through its championship of progressive measures” (1905). The Signal printed a variety of local, state, national and international news, allowing readers to be well-informed on contemporary people, places, events and other topics. Rich in advertisements, the Signal boasted that it “produce[d] splendid results for advertisers.” The weekly edition, sometimes published as a semi-weekly, often reprinted news from the daily edition about local residents and their news related to births, deaths, engagements and marriages, illnesses, vacations and more. Local news from beyond the city limits of Zanesville was also included, and the paper reached many communities throughout southeastern Ohio. By 1900, circulation had reached 4,200.
The Signal competed with its political rival the Times Recorder, which had initially been Independent before taking up the Republican point of view in 1879. In 1959, however, the papers merged to become the Times Recorder and Zanesville Signal. A few years later, in 1965, that paper dropped “Zanesville Signal” from its title to become the Times Recorder which still serves residents of Zanesville and Muskingum County today.