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DUDLEY WOOTEN


Contributing Columnist


As the state and county grew by leaps and bounds, at the turn of the 19th Century, the newspaper business went through several changes, also.


In 1818, The Portsmouth Gazette was started. In 1825 it merged with the Ironton area to be known as The Portsmouth Gazette and the Lawrence Advertiser. In 1826, The Western Times was born and was published until 1830. In 1831, the Portsmouth Courier appeared, and lasted until 1836 under the direction of Eli Glover, and Edward Hamilton.


The name was changed to the Scioto Tribune in 1836, and changed to thePortsmouth Tribune in 1839. It was then serving the three counties of Jackson, Lawrence, and Pike as well as Scioto. The Tribune was one of the oldest papers in Scioto Co., but also a pioneer newspaper on the western front. When Horace Greeley founded The New York Tribune, he claimed that his Tribune, in 1843, was the first of that name published in America. Naturally, Ed Hamilton, publisher of The Portsmouth Tribune took him to task.


During the years of 1840 to 1845, a Democratic paper called The Scioto Valley Post appeared. A paper called The Portsmouth Clipper came along from 1845 to 1849. This means we then needed a Republican paper called The Scioto Valley Republican in 1852. The Republican and Tribune merged in 1876 and was then called The Valley Blade. In 1879, it became The Portsmouth Blade, and lasted until 1914.


The Portsmouth Correspondent, a German, Portsmouth paper was truly political. At times, it was Democratic, and at other times, it was Republican. This went on from 1855 to 1914.


The Portsmouth Times was founded in 1861 by Jim Newman, and for 30 years, was thought to be one of the leading papers in Ohio. Newman was an ambitious newspaperman and politician. He was elected into the Senate, Secretary of State, and IRS collector. He was the president of the Central Valley Bank in Portsmouth until his death in 1901.


In 1894, The Portsmouth Times started an evening edition. The Times name has its roots back to the final days of the 19th Century and the McFarland Brothers. They were lively and plain spoken editors here, that migrated west to Los Angeles to be owner and treasurer in their newspaper – The L.A. Times. This controversial newspaper office fell victim to dynamite and drew national interest.


A democratic paper by the name of The Scioto Sentinel came out in 1893. In 1914, The Morning Star was being published.


The Portsmouth Times, as we know it today, is a product of the newspapers mentioned in this article. It is a survivor and a local trademark. As many newspapers go by the wayside, due to the Internet, ours survives. We’re all fortunate to have it.

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