Geauga Record Series

Geauga Republican-record (Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio) 1922-1952 [LCCN: sn84028091]
Digital Edition: October 4, 1951 – November 6, 1952
Geauga Record (Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio) 1952-1962 [LCCN: sn84028102]
Digital Edition: November 13, 1952 – July 12, 1962

In 1806, Geauga County was formed from part of Trumbull County near Lake Erie in northeast Ohio. It is mostly rural, though, while known for its dairy farming and maple syrup harvests, many of its residents work in manufacturing or service industries as part of the Cleveland metropolitan area. About a fifth of Geauga County’s population is Amish, and has been established since 1886.

The Geauga Republican-record descended from two Democratic papers published in the county seat of Chardon. Although it took its name from the Geauga Record, which started in 1886, it claims the Jeffersonian Democrat’s earlier start date of 1849. In the first half of the twentieth century, editor John Gore worked to shift the paper’s viewpoint toward nonpartisanship. In 1952 it dropped “Republican” from the name and became the Geauga Record. The newspaper published weekly on Thursdays to a circulation of 3,300 in the Chardon area and more than 6,000 total in Ohio. The eight-column Record reported on the local news events in Aquilla, Burton, Chardon, Chester, Claridon, Hambden, Huntsberg, Montville, Munson, South Newbury, and other nearby townships. Often, it had a dedicated two-page section for Middlefield News at the end of each weekly issue, which averaged 14 pages.

Gore implemented a friendly tone for the paper and named its recurring features with catchy titles. “At the Courthouse” reported on legal news; “The Bowling Beat” was a running update on local bowling teams, their scores, and their rivalries; “Have You Met?” introduced new or prominent residents in Chardon, Ohio; parents showed off their young children in “The Jellybean Set”; “The Snapshot Guild” offered practical tips to amateur photographers. Community benefits were often highlighted, and Gore liked to boast about the county’s records, such as “Geauga County has led Ohio for 11 consecutive years in per capita Christmas seal sales,” or being the “sweetest County in Ohio” around the yearly Maple Festival. Birthdays, marriage announcements, and obituaries were regularly included. Common news topics were movie reviews, building dedications, public auctions, Parent Teacher Association updates, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities with 4-H and Kiwanis, labor strikes, church notices, and tuberculosis and the fundraisers to cure it. As was common in the 1950s, over half of the page was taken up by advertisements for groceries, clothes, cars, coal, gasoline, and luxury goods.

After 18 years of editorial service, Gore retired his “one man operation” and the owners of the paper sold it to the Burton-based Geauga Times-Leader in 1962. These two papers had a combined circulation of over 5,000 county subscribers as the biweekly Geauga Times Leader and Record. Unfortunately, the Burton publishing office burned down just one year later, and the paper returned to Chardon as the Geauga Times Leader. This version continues today as a daily.

Researched and written by Jen Cabiya