The Fulton County Tribune was established at Wauseon, the seat of Fulton County, Ohio, on May 18, 1883, by Colonel Albert B. Smith and James H. Fluhart. Its creation resulted from divided sentiments within the community’s Republican Party, which up to that point had been represented by the popular and long-running Northwestern Republican. The Tribune intended to reflect the “whole” party rather than a single interest or faction and accomplished this task by remaining fair and not printing any comments that would “foster or continue feelings of dissatisfaction within the party.” By the late 1880s, circulation had reached over 1,300, and the weekly paper was recognized as well edited, well managed, and one of the best in the county and northwest Ohio.
The Tribune published a variety of content, much of it focused on local interests. The front page was dedicated to state and local news, including a regular “County Affairs” column. Sections called “Correspondence” or “Local Briefs” included notes about Fulton County citizens such as trips taken or visitors received. The paper regularly printed church news, legal notices, business advertisements, and political editorials. National and international news was also included, usually on the second and third pages. Coverage of World War I included articles, pictures, and maps. To appeal to more readers, the Tribune also featured serialized fiction; farming, agricultural, and gardening information in “The Home Beautiful” column; recipes and cooking advice in “The Kitchen Cabinet” column; as well as fashion advice and features for children, such as activities, games, and pictures to color.
Throughout its nearly 50-year existence, the Fulton County Tribune had several editors and owners. Levi S. Jameson, previously of the Mercer County Observer in Celina, Ohio, purchased the paper in 1892, and built the Tribune Building. He left in 1902, and the paper came into the hands of Frank H. Reighard, who left in 1910 to enter a career of politics as a state representative. In the 1910s, Frank B. Kenyon, a former Congregational Church pastor, and Catherine B. Weir were co-owners and editors. In 1919, Weir sold her interest to Robert J. Bissonette, who had served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France and Germany during World War I. He and Kenyon co-owned and edited the paper through the early 1920s, and the Tribune ceased publication in 1925.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon