Today we continue our look back at Lake County's earliest newspapers. Newspapers reported history in the making. The history of the Western Reserve and the history of Lake County are intertwined in the columns of these papers.
North Ohio Journal
The Journal began in the summer of 1871 and ran for several years. This four column newspaper was mainly political in scope. James A. Garfield and other local politicians of the day were the main topics in this county newspaper.
Madison Star, Independent Press, Dairy Gazette
Ferdinand Lee began the Star in Madison in the year 1871. For the first year the paper thrived. However tough times in 1872 forced the paper to change names and scope. Renamed the Independent Press it was again renamed the Dairy Gazette in short order and continued until 1876. The newspaper moved that year to Jefferson and remained active for some years to come. Some eighteen months after its departure a new Madison Gazette reappeared. Alas its tenure was brief and operations were suspended forever.
The Willoughby Gazette started in October 1868. J. B. Brown was the first editor. The Gazette was a four column semi-monthly edition at first. Its popularity resulted in a format change as it became a weekly. The Willoughby Gazette continued through 1870 before it too was discontinued.
Three businessmen purchased the rights to this Fairport paper, a weekly published in Ashtabula from 1897-1913. Founded in 1924, it was an independent paper with clerical tones. It was a bi-weekly paper of four pages through 1939. Gabriel and Alma Lipsanen controlled the paper until its end.
Merchant News & Fairport Beacon
Two native sons of Fairport, Neal and Carl Katila launched the newspaper business in 1929. Run from their printing business, the brothers printed these two local newspapers until February 1959 when the Painesville Telegraph assumed control of their paper. The Merchant News was notable for its 8x10" format on orange or green cheap stock.