The Cadiz Sentinel was established in 1832 in Cadiz, the seat of Harrison County, Ohio, and is the second oldest paper in the county. From the beginning, the Sentinel supported Democratic interests and candidates, competing with the town’s other major publication, the Cadiz Republican, which traces its history back to the first newspaper ever printed in the county, the Cadiz Informant. The Sentinel had a number of owners and editors throughout its history, and each was firmly committed to supporting the Democratic Party. When Lecky Harper, who would later go on to edit the Mt. Vernon Democratic Banner, took over the Sentinel in 1844, for example, he promised to “make the paper useful and entertaining to its readers, and a true exponent of Democratic measures.”
Charles N. Allen joined the Sentinel in 1851, partnering with William A. Giles and William I. Blain. They soon changed the name of the paper to the Democratic Sentinel and Harrison County Farmer in order to more clearly promote their political viewpoint and to reflect upon the paper’s recent countywide increase in subscribers. They intended to make the paper the “best and cheapest” in eastern Ohio. As a self-proclaimed “Family Newspaper,” the Sentinel published a variety of items related to “Agriculture, Politics, News, Literature, History, Biography, Mechanics, Facts, Poetry, [and] Amusement.” In each issue, readers could find political news and speeches; local, state, national, and international news; court and legal news; business advertisements and market prices; and poetry and serialized fiction.
In 1852, Giles and Blain left the paper, making Allen the sole proprietor and editor. Its name was changed to the Democratic Sentinel for a short time and changed again in 1854 to the Cadiz Democratic Sentinel. Allen hired William H. Arnold as an associate editor in 1862, and Arnold remained with the paper after Allen moved to nearby Steubenville to start the Steubenville Gazette. Under Arnold’s leadership, the Sentinel increased both its circulation and influence. In 1911, Samuel F. Dickerson purchased the paper from the estate of William H. Arnold, who had died in 1898, and merged it with the Cadiz Democrat to form the Cadiz Democrat Sentinel. Dickerson modernized the newspaper printing office and made his iteration of the Sentinel one of the leading weeklies in eastern Ohio. On November 24, 1932, the publication published its last issue and was absorbed by the Cadiz Republican.
Part of this newspaper has been digitized and is available for research via Chronicling America: Cadiz Sentinel, 1844-1851; Democratic Sentinel and Harrison County Farmer, 1851-1852; Democratic Sentinel, 1852-1853; Cadiz Democratic Sentinel, 1854-1864; Cadiz Sentinel, 1864-1868.