Madison County Democrat Series

Madison County Democrat (London, Madison County, Ohio) 19??-1958 [LCCN: sn88077521]
Digital Edition: January 3, 1950 – March 14, 1958
Semi-Weekly Madison County Democrat (London, Madison County, Ohio) 1923-19?? [LCCN: sn88077520]
Digital Edition: June 3, 1932 – April 28, 1933

The Madison County Democrat is a descendant of the National Democrat which began in London, Ohio, in 1857 as the first Democratic paper in Madison County. The National Democrat started under E. Douglass King as a seven-column folio, 18 by 24 inches. King sold the paper the following year to John M. Smith, who assigned D. Meade Creighton as editor and renamed the paper the Madison County Democrat to reflect an editorial focus on county news rather than news on the national scope. One of the printers, M. L. Bryan, bought the paper’s interests after Smith died. His sons Chester and Ormond inherited ownership and editorship in 1898. Between 1901 and 1923, the title varied as its publication frequency changed from weekly to semi-weekly, to tri-weekly and back to semi-weekly. It remained the Semi-Weekly Madison County Democrat for a number of years until it was shortened back to Madison County Democrat sometime before 1950. The title change may have coincided with Chester Bryan consolidating the Semi-Weekly Madison County Democrat with the London Enterprise in 1937 under the newly-formed Madison Press Company.

Both the Semi-Weekly Madison County Democrat and the Madison County Democrat published on Tuesday and Friday evenings. At some point between 1923 and 1950, an eighth column was added. The paper was distributed to a majority of homes in the county and adjacent trade area, and it described itself as “a real advertising medium.” Advertisements for automobiles, financial services, groceries, farm supplies, entertainment, etc. comprise nearly half of each page, in addition to a dedicated Want Ads section to present readers’ requests. News content included 4-H club news, politics, social, personal, and sports stories. Human interest specials and recipes were also featured, often along with relevant pictures. In 1957, nearby township West Jefferson earned its own section with an eye-grabbing header. However, due to rising postal costs, the Madison County Press absorbed the Madison County Democrat in 1958. The staff and subscribers were transferred to the more popular Madison County Press, which described the Madison County Democrat as a “duplication of effort” in its final issue on March 14, 1958. The two papers had shared offices in London, Ohio, since 1928. The Madison County Press continues today as the Madison Press covering news in London, Plain City, West Jefferson, and Mt. Sterling.

Researched and written by Jen Cabiya