Wyandot Pioneer series

Democratic Pioneer (Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio) 1845-1853 [LCCN: sn85026335]
Digital Edition: September 12, 1845 – October 18, 1850
Wyandot Pioneer (Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio) 1853-1868 [LCCN: sn87076863]
Digital Edition: June 30, 1853 – December 31, 1868
Wyandot County Republican (Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio) 1869-1903 [LCCN: sn85038238]
Digital Edition: January 7, 1869 – March 27, 1873

The Democratic Pioneer was not the first paper in Wyandot County, Ohio, nor was it the first to support the Democratic Party, but it certainly was the first to gain enough patronage to make it out of infancy. Started in August 1845 by William T. Giles, the Pioneer served the populace of Upper Sandusky, the seat of Wyandot County. Perhaps helping the paper gain early support was the eruption of the Mexican-American War in 1846. Giles printed regular updates from the battlefront, in addition to his usual weekly doses of news pertaining to the local community and political happenings.

After getting the paper on a good footing, Giles sold the Pioneer to Josiah Smith and Elijah Giles in 1849 in order to pursue riches during the California Gold Rush. Under new ownership, the Democratic Pioneer made it a point to create content that would be interesting to the farmer, mechanic, tradesman, and merchant who picked up the paper, often printing articles that listed up-to-date market prices, promoted local businesses, and shared livestock or agricultural knowledge.

William T. Giles returned to the Democratic Pioneer a few years later in 1853, taking back control of the paper he had started. In an effort to move away from Democratic politics, Giles renamed the paper the Wyandot Pioneer, opting for a more independent view of political happenings. Giles’ reentry into the newspaper business did not last long. With weekly readership dwindling, he sold the Pioneer a year later to William Wilson who concentrated on advertisements and local news.

Finding it hard to turn a profit, Wilson sold the paper to George Keen and Horatio Lewis in 1856. With the Republican Party gaining steam, the Wyandot Pioneer, under its new owners, became the official organ of the party in the county. After yet another sale in 1857, Pietro Cuneo eventually purchased the Pioneer in 1868. He changed the paper’s name to the Wyandot County Republican to accurately reflect its new political affiliation. In 1903, the Wyandot County Republican merged with the Daily Union to form the Wyandot Union-Republican. After changing its name back to the Daily Union in 1916, the publication eventually merged with the Daily Chief in 1938. The currently running Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky can trace its roots back to the Republican.

Researched and written by Kevin Latta