Charles C. Carlin and George W. Phillips established the Celina Democrat in 1895 in Celina, the seat of Mercer County, Ohio. By 1907, Phillips had left the Democrat to work for another paper, leaving Carlin as sole owner and editor. The paper was Democratic in politics, printing editorials, articles, and political cartoons in support of the party’s candidates and platform. Though it competed directly with the long-running and also Democratic Mercer County Standard and its daily counterpart, the Daily Standard, the Democrat considered itself a vital part of Mercer County, important to both readers and advertisers alike: “One paper in the home is worth a dozen in the byway, and just remember the Democrat is the home paper of Mercer County.” Another motto revealed the paper’s pride in its city: “Celina…the Reservoir City—the biggest little town on earth—the hub of the universe.”
The Democrat published a variety of news, with the front page focused on local and state news and the interior pages including items of national and international interest. Local business, classified, and real estate advertisements along with legal notices were regularly published, alongside local news notices and personal gossip organized by town name. Readers could find content of general interest as well, including serialized fiction; a regular column, sometimes called “Curious Places and Events”, providing information about other countries and cultures; and articles on various topics including science, medicine, agriculture, gardening, household matters, construction, architecture, politics, and sports. During World War I, the newspaper also prominently featured military news and wartime propaganda, including advertisements related to rationing and the purchase of Liberty Bonds. In 1921, the Celina Democrat ceased publication.
Researched and written by Jenni Salamon