The Carroll Free Press Collection includes issues from 1835. Additional issues of the Carroll Free Press (1836, 1841-1858) are freely available and full text searchable through the Library of Congress' digital newspaper database, Chronicling America.
The Carroll Free Press of Carrollton, Ohio, was established in 1832 by Joshua D. Patton as the Centreville Recorder in what was then Columbiana County. The next year, in 1833, Carroll County was formed from parts of Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, and Stark Counties, with Carrollton serving as the county seat. The Carroll Free Press adopted its new name in 1834 when the Centreville Recorder merged with the Carrollton Gazette. The paper aligned itself with Whig and then Republican interests, supporting Henry Clay during the 1844 presidential election, John C. Frémont and William L. Dayton during the 1856 presidential election, and, later, President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to preserve the Union during the American Civil War.
Over its history, the Free Press had a number of owners, editors, and name changes. John Pearce and a man named Christy edited and published the paper following the 1834 merger. By 1841, Christy had left the paper and Thomas W. Collier had become publisher. Collier remained with the Free Press until he sold it to Richard Hatton in March 1849 after a three-month suspension in publication. Hatton added the motto “The Union of the States and the Constitution of the Union” which remained in place for the next decade. In 1854, John H. Tripp and William McCoy took charge of the paper until they sold it to Jacob Weyand and Matthew C. Baxter in 1858. Weyand soon left the Free Press but returned in 1861 with Edwin Ferrall, changing its name to the Carroll County Union and adding the motto “We join ourselves to no party that does not carry the flag and keep step to the music of the Union.” A year later, the paper’s name was changed to the Carroll Union Press. The name changed back to the Carroll Free Press in 1869 and was edited and published by Samuel J. Cameron. Three and a half years later, Tripp returned to the paper as co-publisher until Cameron’s departure due to a lack of agreement between the partners. Cameron went on to establish the Carroll Republican, a rival paper.
The Free Press was considered the “Official Paper of the County” and published a variety of content in addition to political speeches, news, and editorials in support of the Whig and Republican Parties. State, national, and international news; local business advertisements and legal notices; serialized fiction; and poetry were regularly included, allowing the paper to appeal to a variety of readers. Tripp remained with the Free Press until 1903 when he sold it to Floyd B. Chapman. In 1906, the Free Press merged with the Republican-Standard to become the Free Press-Standard which is still published today.