Wellington Enterprise series

Wellington Enterprise (Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio) 1867-188? [LCCN: sn84028271]
Digital Edition: January 9, 1879 – June 9, 1886
Enterprise (Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio) 188?-1899 [LCCN: sn84028272]
Digital Edition: January 2, 1889 – February 22, 1899
Wellington Enterprise (Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio) 1899-1900 [LCCN: sn84028273]
Digital Edition: March 1, 1899 – December 27, 1899

The city of Wellington, located in the southeast portion of Lorain County, Ohio, did not have a newspaper for 10 years following the closing of the Wellington Journal in 1854. In 1865, James A. Guthrie decided to start the Wellington Enterprise, a weekly newspaper that covered developments in what would come to be called the “Cheese Empire” of the nation. The Enterprise was up and running in time to cover the opening of Wellington’s first cheese factory, built by the Horr brothers in 1866. The completion of the Cleveland, Columbus, & Cincinnati Railroad at Wellington allowed the cheese made in the city to be shipped nationwide. Guthrie sold the paper several months later to John C. Artz.

Artz owned and edited the Wellington Enterprise until 1876 when he in turn sold it to Dr. John Wesley Houghton and his partner D.A. Smith. Houghton bought Smith’s portion of the paper the next year to become sole owner and editor, with Smith taking charge of the printing. A prominent doctor in Wellington, Houghton and his wife, Mary, who was very interested in literature and writing, owned and edited the paper together, covering home interests, politics, agriculture, science, and much more. Under the Houghtons, the publication promoted fairness in discussing disputed questions and supported progressive reform. Even though the paper generally endorsed Republican policies, Houghton never committed himself entirely to a single political party. The Wellington Enterprise also supported the goals of the temperance movement. The Houghtons owned and edited the paper until 1885, when they sold it John Britton Smith.

In 1897, Smith sold the Wellington Enterprise to R.L French of the French Printing Company. French would drop the city’s name from the title in 1889, simply calling the paper the Enterprise to reflect the paper’s broader geographical coverage: “A Family Newspaper Devoted to the Interest of Lorain County and Vicinity.” Articles would no longer center only on Wellington, but would cover Lorain County as a whole with increased news coverage from Medina and Ashland counties as well. “Wellington” was eventually restored in the title in 1899, putting the focus of its coverage back on the city. In 1900, French sold the paper to a stock company that put Robert Walden in place as the editor. That same year, the Enterprise merged with the short-lived Wellington Observer to become the Wellington Enterprise and Observer. Smith sold the latter in 1902 to the prominent Civil War veteran Henry Otis Fifield, who owned the paper for the next 15 years. The Wellington Enterprise is still in publication today.

Researched and written by Kevin Latta