Pike County News Watchman
NW serves the area for over 150 years
The publication that has become the Pike County News Watchman has a rich and sometimes contentious history.
A fierce competition was ongoing in the county during the mid -1800s, surrounding the placement of the county seat. The seat was first located in Piketon, but after much influence by James Emmitt, Waverly's first entrepreneur, it was relocated to Waverly. During this battle, newspapers played a huge role in the swaying of citizens from one position to another.
J.W. Turner and W.L. Johnson's Waverly Watchman, and the Union surfaced in 1956, and other short-lived journals on the Piketon scene were the Piketonian, the Valley Patriot, the Scioto Sun, the Valley Sun, and Piketon Plebeian. The Waverly Messenger was contributed to the duel in 1859, for no other reason than to provide Waverly representation in the inky exchange on the county seat location.
The Waverly Watchman followed the county seat to Waverly in 1861, becoming the Waverly Democrat and, in 1867, the Watchman. The paper was unmistakably Democratically-influenced, therefore Republicans called for representation in the county soon after.
Isaac Wynn introduced the Pike County Republican to the county in 1860. Known more recently as the Republican Herald, the paper published until 1952 by the late Irvin Sigismund.
The Republican Herald was purchased by Charles Sawyer and issued its first edition under new management on Oct. 2, 1952, with press runs at the Lancaster-Eagle Gazette.
Sawyer ironically acquired the Watchman on Jan. 1, 1954, and the two papers were published separately on a weekly basis. Eventually, the papers shared much of the same content, although political lines were still clearly drawn.
The Sawyer interest sold to the Jackson Publishing Company in 1958 and the papers were made up at the old Republican Herald office.
In 1966, the operation moved to the Butler Shopping Center but when the typesetting and make-up were suspended in Waverly and moved to Jackson, the newspaper office moved to East Emmitt Avenue in 1971. The papers then vacated all political agendas, and combined as a semi-weekly News-Watchman.
On Sept. 23, 1997, Brown Publishing Company acquired the publication, slightly altering the name to enlarge the paper's coverage area. The paper became today's Pike County News Watchman, and lost the hyphenated title.
Today, the News Watchman publishes twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday, and also produces the Pike and Ross County Paper, a weekly shopper that is distributed to over 14,000 individuals throughout the two counties.
The News Watchman distributes approximately 5,000 copies on both Wednesday and Sunday, penetrating about one-half of the 10,000-some households in the county.
Waverly News Watchman
By Jennifer Slone, Editor
Copyright © 2007
Pike Co. Genealogy & Historicial Society
P. O. Box 224, Waverly, Ohio 45690