The Journal was a weekly paper published on Thursdays; the publisher proclaimed that it “covers Noble County like the sunshine.” Established in 1859 as the Noble County Republican by Jonathan L. Shaw, the Journal eventually represented Independent-Democratic perspectives. In 1934, when editor James F. Hovey acquired the Noble County Republican’s descendant, the Republican Journal, he apparently also purchased its democratic competitor, the Caldwell Press. He then merged the two. It is unclear whether Hovey intended the Journal as a consolidated, politically balanced paper or if he simply changed its slant while buying out competition for subscribers. Meanwhile, the Noble County Leader, also based in Caldwell, continued to publish Republican interests until August 1961. The Leader and the Journal then merged to form the Journal and the Noble County Leader, which still publishes today.
During its height in the 1950s, the Journal printed 10-20 pages of primarily local news. Often these stories covered the progress on public works projects such as roads and civic buildings. It featured a “Journal Society” page dedicated to women’s news, and there were mentions of visiting friends and relatives on nearly every page. High school, church, sports, and 4H events were announced alongside birthdays, engagements, wedding anniversaries, injuries, and obituaries. Human interest stories were common. The “Journal Mail Bag” section featured letters to the editor. Ten-year-old articles were selected to entertain readers about nostalgic events or relevant headlines. Each issue contained at least one single-panel political cartoon that usually criticized the high federal taxes of the decade. Many of its ads promoted convenience in the home with the latest innovations in electric appliances. Its ad content and tone show strong consumerist trends popular in the 1950s.
Researched and written by Jen Cabiya