Eaton Democrat (Eaton, Preble County, Ohio) 1843-1856 [LCCN: sn84028570]
Digital Edition: July 22, 1847; June 8, 1854 – December 19, 1856
Preble County Democrat (Eaton, Preble County, Ohio) 1857-1859 [LCCN: sn85026031]
Digital Edition: January 8, 1857 – January 13, 1859
Democratic Press (Eaton, Preble County, Ohio) 1860-1865 [LCCN: sn88077265]
Digital Edition: August 30, 1860 – April 27, 1865
Eaton Weekly Democrat (Eaton, Preble County, Ohio) 1866-1875 [LCCN: sn85034457]
Digital Edition: February 17, 1870 – December 25, 1873
Eaton Democrat (Eaton, Preble County, Ohio) 1875-1903 [LCCN: sn88077272]
Digital Edition: April 22, 1875 – June 30, 1887
The Eaton Democrat was first published in 1840 during William Henry Harrison’s campaign for the presidency as the Democrat. Before then, there had been no Democratic organ in Preble County, Ohio, though the Whig Party had been represented by the Eaton Register. The paper became known as the Eaton Democrat in 1843 and was widely respected and considered to be fair to its opponents, despite being published in a county that was heavily Whig (and then Republican, starting in 1854). A “family” paper, the Democrat was “devoted to Politics, Morals, Science, Agriculture, Manufactures, Mechanics, Commercial Items, Short Narratives, General Intelligence, &C.” and intended to be read and enjoyed by all. To that end, it included a variety of content such as poetry, legal notices, business advertisements, and local, state, and national news.
Ownership of the Democrat changed hands many times over the first 20 years of its existence. In 1855, Levi G. Gould became the proprietor and editor of the paper alongside his brother, W.C. Gould, who had purchased the paper in 1848. With the exception of his retirement from the newspaper business from 1859 to 1870, Levi G. Gould edited the Democrat until his death in 1901. In 1857, Gould changed the paper’s name to the Preble County Democrat which served as an organ for the entire county and increased the number of subscribers. At this time, the Democrat declared that it was “Pledged but to Truth, to Liberty and Law.”
The Preble County Democrat ceased publication in 1859, leaving the county without a Democratic organ, until J.D. Moudy began the Democratic Press in August 1860. The Press changed hands several times over its five-year run, but remained supportive of Democratic candidates and politics. Its last issue appeared in 1865, and, the next year, in 1866, the Eaton Weekly Democrat was established by George W. Mehaffey with the motto “Principles, Not Men.” In 1871, Levi G. Gould returned to the paper, stating in the December 7, 1871 issue that “We do not intend to publish an old line partisan sheet, but do intend to pursue such a liberal and conservative course, that all men who love their county and are opposed to corruption in official stations, whether National State or County, can cordially unite in its support.” In 1875, the paper dropped “weekly” from its title to become known once again as the Eaton Democrat. After a number of changes in both name and editorship throughout the 20th century, the paper ceased publication in 1940.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon