Historical front pages from The Marietta Times

Front Page News
Newspapers provide a valuable record of the events that shape our lives. Years later they are virtual time machines into how events were perceived as they occurred.

The Marietta Times is one of the oldest continuing operating businesses in Marietta. First published as a weekly in 1864, the newspaper became a daily in 1898 and has provided a view of the community and the world for generations. Many of the historical front pages are included in this section. All pages have a link to a pdf copy of the page. The pdf will open in a new window and allow you to read stories that are on the page.

1860-1920 | 1921-1939 | 1940-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-present

Pages in this section were printed in a newspaper supplement on Nov. 13, 2012. A pdf of that section can be downloaded here.

Blog about this section.

Times Past takes a looks back at The Times everyday.

Time Capsule takes a look at a different front page each day.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel has also published since the 1800s. View news from West Virginia by visiting the Front Page News section for the News and Sentinel.




Volume 1, Number 1
Publication date: Sept 24, 1864
Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning!
The front page of the first edition of The Marietta Times was roughly broken into three sections: political, miscellaneous and clippings. Half of the front page was taken up with politics, including several columns about the Democratic Platform. The Times was started by W.C. Hood and was published every Saturday morning from an office located above the Haag and Weis Shoe Store on the corner of Front and Ohio streets. The cost of the paper then was $2 a year, paid in advance. The Times became a daily in 1898 and has operated continuously longer than any other Marietta business.

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History of the Times

Death of a president
Publication date: April 20, 1865

The front page of the then weekly Times was devoted to recaps from other newspapers in 1865. Readers would have to turn to page two to find the story of the century, the assassination of President Lincoln. The newspaper provided vivid accounts of the events six days earlier both leading up to, and including the assassination of the president at Ford’s Theater in Washington as well as the events that occurred in the house across the street from the theater where the president died eight hours later.


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Front page, page 2.

Good evening
Publication date: Oct 26, 1898

Having been a weekly since 1864, The Times began printing as a daily newspaper in 1898. The plan at the time was to continue both the weekly and the daily edition, which the owners at the time did for awhile. In the middle of an oil boom at the time, the page was full of notices of wells being drilled. There was also a front page editorial in favor of building a new county courthouse. The issue was to be on the ballot the following November. The resulting courthouse remains at the Putnam and Second streets intersection.

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Saloon business dies when clock strikes 11
Publication date: May 16, 1909

It would be a decade before prohibition would make it illegal to sell liquor nationwide, but in 1909 Marietta became a dry town, forcing many bar owners to find something else to sell.

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Taft given tremendous ovation, greatest crowd in the city’s history sees president
Publication date: May 15, 1910

What was billed as the “greatest crowd in the city’s history” turned out to see Ohio-born President Taft arrive in Marietta. The president came to Marietta by train. The train arrived at the corner of Butler and Second streets. From there he traveled by carriage up Putnam Street to the home of W.W. Mills. The home is currently the residency of the Marietta College president. His route along Putnam was filled with people, including 2,000 school children who threw flowers in the path of the carriage. After arriving at the Mills home, the crowd was startled by gunfire. “Just as the president alighted from his car, the crowd was horrified to hear four revolver shots ring out in rapid succession. Those who could not see the source of the excitement feared that an attempt had been made to take the president’s life and excitement ran high until it was learned that an old soldier had fired the shots as a salute to the president.”

Taft spoke later at the First Congregational Church and in Muskingum Park. He also toured the city and attended a reception at the Masonic Temple. He boarded his train at 5 p.m. for his return to Washington. 

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Great liner with 1,470 passengers runs into iceberg
Publication date: April 15-18, 1912

The first story to appear in The Times concerning the Titanic was on April 15. The headline said the ship was rapidly going to the bottom, but all passengers were reported to have been recovered. The news was not so good the following day when it was feared 1,400 people died when the ship went down. The front page of April 16 Times featured a photo as a well as list of historical disasters at sea. It reported only the Carpathia brought survivors to New York, where families waited for their arrival. The sinking caused worldwide shock and lead to changes in laws governing both ship construction and radio communications. 

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April 15, 16, 17, 18, 1912

Roosevelt certain Ohio will give him support; addresses great crowd
Publication date: May 20, 1912

Theodore Roosevelt gave a short speech when he visited Marietta in 1912, one The Times said fell short of expectations and had the “lack of the fire” of earlier speeches the former president had given.  Roosevelt spoke to a crowd of 4,000 – 5,000 people in Muskingum Park while trying to win the Ohio primary. He failed to win the nomination and ended up running for president as part of the Progressive Party in a four-way race that also featured President William Howard Taft, Eugene Debs and Woodrow Wilson, who would become president in 1913.

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Great flood coming down the Muskingum Valley – disaster among cities of Ohio is still growing
Publication date: March 25, 1913

The Times of March 25, 1913, warned of a great flood. The newspaper was right. The flood that occurred flooded much of the downtown area to the second floor. The town had heavy damage, including the loss of the Putnam Street Bridge and scores of homes and businesses. Most bridges in the region were lost in the flood, leading to a need years later to replace bridges that were all built around 1914. The article predicted a crest of 45 feet. The actual crest was 60.3 feet.

Military authority now is supreme in City of Marietta
Publication date: April 9, 1913

The paper of April 9, 1913, detailed the immediate needs of citizens for bedding and mattresses as they began moving back into homes that in some cases had been flooded to the second story. The paper also printed details of the effort to clean up the city and gave information about martial law that had been imposed in the town.


Governor and relief party visit Marietta
Publication date: April 10, 1913

Stories from April 10, 1913, showed a town that appeared to be deeply hurt by the flood and in the need of help. A front-page article reports 120 homes had been swept away by the flood. “Marietta needs the help of every one who has the ability to extend help.”

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March 25, April. 9, 10, 1913

Marietta flood stages

Lusitania torpedoed
Publication date: May 7, 1913

The headline reported the Big Cunard liner was sunk off Ireland and all those on board may have been saved. The story was wrong. Nearly 1,200 people died on the ship, leaving 761 survivors.  The ship sank in just 18 minutes. The sinking turned many Americans against Germany and contributed to the United States’ decision to enter World War I. The Lusitania and a sister ship called the Mauretania were among the largest and fastest ships of the day.

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Bellevue is wrecked and damage proves very heavy
Publication date: April 27, 1916

It took firefighters two hours to bring the fire under control that ravished the upper floors of Marietta’s Bellevue Hotel. When the fire was finally out everything in the hotel was either burned or soaked with water. According to the article, the losses were covered by insurance. The rebuilt hotel would later become the Lafayette. It remains a popular hotel in Marietta.

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Germany is helpless
Publication date: Nov. 11, 1918

The end of World War I came at 11 a.m. Paris time on Nov. 11, 1918, when the armistice ending the war was signed.  Nearly the entire front page was used to report the news. They city planned a huge parade and rally in Muskingum Park for that evening. Nov. 11 was later designated as Veterans Day. The page also reports on the death of William Bogard, 24, of Lowell, killed in France one month before.

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