The Westliche Blätter (“Western Paper”) was established on November 5, 1865, as the Sunday edition (Sonntagsblatt) of the widely-read Tägliches Cincinnati Volksblatt (“The Daily Cincinnati People’s Paper”), in Cincinnati, the seat of Hamilton County, Ohio. Its primary goal was to entertain and educate its German readers, while also providing political and other relevant news. Regular content included novels, narratives, novellas, poems, riddles, anecdotes, historical insights, travel portraits, fashion articles, and essays on science, literature, and humor. Telegraphic news, advertisements, and announcements covering community events, deaths, and legal notices made up the rest of the eight-to-twelve page weekly, with advertisements for German-owned businesses often comprising several pages of each issue. Breweries, clothing and jewelry stores, grocers, lawyers, barbers, theaters, and museums relied on this publication to spread the word about their products and services to readers in Cincinnati and beyond. The Blätter was published almost entirely in German, with English in an occasional article or advertisement.
Like its daily counterpart, the Blätter was initially Democratic in politics then became Independent in 1872 to maintain its appeal to its growing readership. By 1880, over 21,000 subscribed to the publication; by 1911, this figure had grown to over 40,000. Cincinnati’s strong German-American community contributed to the success of the Blätter until the 1910s. The anti-German sentiment that prevailed during World War I and the growing Prohibition movement caused the publication to lose newsstand sellers, subscribers, and advertisers, and it ceased publication in November 1919. The daily, then known as the Tägliches Cincinnatier Volksblatt, published its last issue a week later.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon