Jackson Standard series

Jackson Standard (Jackson C.H., Jackson County, Ohio) 1847-1888 [LCCN: sn85038180]
Digital Edition: March 31, 1853 – December 23, 1858; June 14, 1866 – July 26, 1888
Jackson Daily Standard (Jackson, Jackson County, Ohio) 1873-188? [LCCN: sn87075147]
Digital Edition: September 24, 1873 – September 26, 1873; September 16, 1874 – September 18, 1874; September 16, 1880 – September 18, 1880; September 22, 1881 – September 24, 1881

On March 25, 1847, the first issue of the Jackson Standard was published in Jackson, the seat of Jackson County, Ohio. Its first proprietor, James B. Hughes, was a politician and militiaman who served in several public offices in Jackson County. The Standard used printing equipment from the failed operation of the Aurora, the county’s first newspaper, which had been established in 1846. Initially neutral in its politics, once the Aurora began to support the Democratic Party, the paper languished in a county with a large Welsh immigrant population that primarily identified with the Whig Party. The Standard, on the other hand, was Whig in politics, and support from Welsh subscribers led to its financial success. Starting in 1855, the publication supported the Republican Party.

Hughes was assisted by Jesse W. Laird, who gained full ownership of the paper in 1849 when Hughes moved to Wisconsin. Laird was joined by Thomas R. Mathews in 1852. Mathews went on to become one of the longest running proprietors of the Standard, adding local news and a popular column that described his walks in the country. The paper was a self-described “Family Newspaper, Devoted to Politics, Literature, Foreign and Domestic news, Agricultural, Poetry, Amusement, &c.” Readers could find advertisements, market news, marriage and death notices, and legal news from the county’s probate court and sheriff’s office. The Jackson Standard also reported on the local coal and iron mines and foundries, which were among the largest industrial employers of the Hanging Rock Iron Region during the area’s 19th-century heyday.

The Standard had a number of other owners, editors, and contributors. According to A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio (1916), “practically every…Jackson County man who could wield a pen has written to it at some time or other.” The Standard’s longest running contributor, editor, and owner was Davis Mackley, who also served as a teacher, lawyer, county prosecuting attorney, and mayor of Jackson. Mackley’s association with the Standard began in 1856, and under his leadership, it became the “Official Paper of Jackson County.” After the Confederate John Morgan’s Raid tore through southern Ohio in 1863, destroying the Standard’s press, plates, and types along the way, Mackley purchased a steam press and made several improvements to the office. For a time, the Standard was considered one of the best newspapers in southern Ohio, with circulation numbers reaching 1,300 in 1884. Mackley was also the first in the county to issue a daily newspaper. Known as the Jackson Daily Standard, it was published for three days in September during the Jackson County Fair in 1873, 1874, 1880, and 1881. Mackley continued as sole owner of the Standard until 1887. In 1888, the paper ceased publication after merging with the Jackson Journal to form the Jackson Standard-Journal.

Researched and written by Jenni Salamon