In 1837, James Brown established what was to become the Highland Weekly News at Hillsboro as the Ohio News with a goal to “promote the Interests of the Whigs” and provide a much sought-after alternative to the Democratic Hillsboro’ Gazette, for which there had been no rival publication since its establishment in 1818 as the Hillsborough Gazette, and Highland Advertiser. In 1847, the Ohio News became known as the Highland News until 1852 when it changed its name to the Weekly Highland News, before finally settling on the Highland Weekly News in 1853. Soon afterward, the paper began to support the newly formed Republican Party and considered itself to be a “fearless defender of every principle of moral reform in the interest of religion and good government.”
Ownership of the paper changed only a few times, first in 1852 when James Brown sold the News to Joseph L. Boardman and J.C.D. Hanna. In 1857, Boardman became the sole proprietor and editor of the Highland Weekly News until 1878 when his son, Edward L. Boardman, took over the paper. Under the Boardman family’s leadership, the News reached strong circulation numbers; by 1880, there were 1,500 subscribers throughout southern Ohio. The “family journal devoted to News, Politics, Literature, Agriculture, &c.” printed local, state, regional, national, and international news. In addition to offering poetry, a youth section of Enigma (puzzles), and, during the Civil War, correspondence from the battlefront, the paper included a special temperance column that was edited by the Women’s Christian Union of Hillsboro.
In 1884, Edward L. Boardman sold the Weekly News to George W. Barrere who purchased the Saturday Herald the following year and consolidated the papers to form the News-Herald. In 1973, the News-Herald became the Hillsboro Press Gazette, which has been published as the Press Gazette since 1985.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon