The first issue of the Marietta Daily Leader appeared on April 1, 1895. George M. Cooke, a local printer, had purchased the paper’s predecessor, the Marietta Leader, in 1890. The Marietta Leader began as a triweekly paper, before transitioning to a semiweekly and finally a daily under Cooke’s editorial watch. As the editor, Cooke continued the practice of his predecessors in conveying events of the community and its newsmakers alongside national and state news. The Marietta Daily Leader was noted as a “handsome eight-column paper, of newsy character,” that provided “insight on local communities and their townspeople.” The Daily Leader was the only morning paper published in the city, and had a circulation of over 5,000.
The Daily Leader had its beginnings in the late 1800s, with the Republicans of Marietta concerned with the state of newspaper coverage for their party. On February 23, 1881, Frank A. Crippen and Will S. Knox founded the Marietta Weekly Leader, a paper aimed at the Republican base in Marietta. Crippen came to the paper after having worked in the Cincinnati newspaper business and having served as editor for the Marietta Times for the two years prior to 1881.
While the Daily Leader catered to national and state news on the front page, it was filled to the brim with local news from the second page on. It provided the residents of Marietta with news from the Associated Press, as the only paper in Marietta featuring the wire. The Daily Leader was also the first paper in southeast Ohio to purchase and employ a linotype machine, enabling the editors to set the type for the pages in a more efficient manner. With commitments to providing the best possible resources for its readers, the Marietta Daily Leader stayed at the forefront of the publications in southeast Ohio. The Daily Leader was absorbed by the Marietta Register in 1906, forming the Marietta Register-Leader.
Researched and written by Eric W. Schnittke