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About this collection

The Shelby County Democrat collection covers 1869-1883.

 

The Shelby County Democrat published its first issue on January 1, 1849 as the Shelby Democrat in Sidney, Ohio, with S. Alexander Leckey as owner and William Ramsey as editor. The ownership of this weekly newspaper subsequently changed hands a number of times, especially during its two decades. In 1863, Joseph McGonigal of Cambridge, Ohio, became publisher and editor, and was joined by his son-in-law, Dr. Lewis until 1872 when Dr. Lewis sold his interest to H. Hume. James Van Valkenburg purchased the paper in 1874, and after his death in 1875, the Democrat was purchaed by James O. Amos. He expanded it from four to eight pages a week, increased its circulation, and adopted modern printing equipment and methods. At one time, the Democrat was considered "one of the best and most enterprising papers in Northwestern Ohio."

 

"Always true to the principles of the Democratic party," the Democrat's masthead featured the following motto: "'Obey the laws and support the Constitution of the United States'--The dying words of Stephen A. Douglas to his children." In addition to printing news and editorials related to local, state and national politics, candidates and current events, the Democrat served its readers through printing community news, business advertisements, legal notices and agricultural information. Items of general interest were also included in many issues, such as international news, poetry, short fiction and a youth section.

 

In 1891, the Sidney Daily News was established in the same building as the Democrat. Subscriptions for both publications grew, and in 1903, they were incorporated under The Sidney Printing and Publishing Co. In 1940, the weekly Democrat ceased publication, but the Sidney Daily News continues to serve Sidney and Shelby County today.

 
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