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Herald History



Prominent resident and former teacher John R. Davis founded the Barberton News in 1892 and published early issues out of the basement of the National Hotel (once located at the corner of present day Wooster Road North and West Lake Avenue).

Barberton’s longest running publication, however, continues today. Established in Barberton in 1923, the Barberton Herald actually began in Kenmore in 1921 before relocating to the Magic City and setting up offices on West Tuscarawas Avenue.

Historically Speaking

Rebecca Larson-Troyer
History Librarian
Barberton Public Library

Since the early days of Barberton, residents have enjoyed getting their news from local sources.

Shortly after Barberton was established in 1891, the town’s first weekly newspaper was founded, keeping residents up to date on the goings on in the new town. Available at newsstands each Saturday morning, the “Banner and Bulletin” documented the early growth of Barberton and is credited with promoting the nickname the Magic City. The Banner and Bulletin, however, was rather short lived, lasting only one year before ceasing publication.

Citizens were not long without a newspaper, though, as prominent resident and former teacher John R. Davis founded the Barberton News in 1892 and published early issues out of the basement of the National Hotel (once located at the corner of present day Wooster Road North and West Lake Avenue). Davis’ popular weekly paper had a strong Democratic bent, an indication of the owner’s own outspoken political beliefs. In 1894, Davis made a successful run for mayor, and during his term Barberton was incorporated as a village and the streetcars made their debut in town. The newspaper came to a rather abrupt end in the fall of 1929 after the untimely death of its founder and publisher. Though Davis’ son George briefly managed the paper, the Barberton News published its last issue within months of Davis’ passing.

During the successful run of the News, Republican residents felt underrepresented, and in 1894 the Barberton Leader was founded by attorney Edward Huene. This weekly newspaper changed ownership several times in its early years, eventually coming under the management of former city editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, Eugene Rowe. The Leader began publication out of the Tracy Block on Tuscarawas Avenue before moving to a location on Second Street in the early 1900s. Though popular during its time, the Leader published its last issue in December 1922.

Several other publications appeared on the Barberton news scene over the years. In 1906, the Republican Barberton Telegram began publication, fading away by the early 1920s. The Barberton Socialist arrived alongside the Telegram, but little is known of this short-lived publication. The Barberton Times and Independent appear briefly in the city directories, but suffered similar fates to that of the Socialist. The 1950s would bring about the Democratic Barberton Post, which reportedly enjoyed a weekly circulation of 5,000. Owned by a group of men from Akron, the Post printed three additional weekly publications for the communities of Portage Lakes, Canal Fulton and Canton before closing up shop in 1960.

Barberton’s longest running publication, however, continues today. Established in Barberton in 1923, the Barberton Herald actually began in Kenmore in 1921 before relocating to the Magic City and setting up offices on West Tuscarawas Avenue. The newspaper would relocate several times before settling in its present location on Fourth Street Northwest in 1967. Copies in the early 1920s sold for two cents apiece or $1 for a year’s subscription. Herald founders Harold Makinson and Frank Gaethke, who also established Marshall’s Department Store, would acquire both the defunct “Barberton Leader” and the struggling Barberton News in the 1920s. Each publication maintained individual offices for a time until the newspapers were consolidated around 1929. Issues of the Herald in the early 1930s include in the front page banner the founding dates of each of the three formerly separate publications.

The Herald has evolved throughout its nearly 90-year history, but has continued to focus coverage on local communities and local issues. Today, the newspaper averages sales of more than 8,000 issues a week through subscription and newsstand sales, with an additional 600 paid online subscribers.

Interested in reading historic Barberton newspapers dating back to 1892? The Barberton Public Library Local History Room makes available thousands of issues of local newspapers on microfilm, including the News (1892-1929, incomplete), Leader (1913-1922), Post (1953-1960) and the Herald (1928-2010, excluding 1933). Current year issues of the Barberton Herald are also available.

The Herald (0442600) published Thursdays for  Vespoint Publishing Co., Inc. 
Periodicals Postage paid at Barberton, OH, 44203.

 A subscription in 44203 is $18, out of delivery area $25, out of the State of Ohio $35, out of United States $65.
The Herald can be read Online for $15 per year. No refunds please.

Integrated Postal Software is used with SATORI, CASS Certification, Zip+4, Line of travel, Carrier route and Delivery point bar code since Oct. 2009.

Member Ohio Newspaper Association ***  Member National Newspaper Association


The Herald Offices on Fourth Street Northwest today. HERALD PHOTO/Rich Muller
 

Barberton Library Historical Collection photo: The National Hotel, site of Barberton News offices.
 
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