R.C. and James Frey started The Sharon Herald as weekly newspaper on April 14, 1864, recognizing Sharon and the Shenango Valley as a location for great industrial development with potential for railroads and highways with an existing extension of the Erie Canal connecting the area with Pittsburgh.

As the Freys envisioned, the area prospered, and so did The Sharon Herald. Daily publication began April 12, 1909.

The epic Sharon flood of March 1913 failed to overcome the fledgling daily, despite its offices and printing plant being swept into the Shenango River at the foot of Pitt Street. After missing only 4 issues, publication quickly resumed at borrowed facilities. Within a month, The Herald moved into a new home in the Wilsonia Building on Chestnut Street in Sharon, now the Chestnut Street Cafe.

The Sharon Herald and the dominant competitor the Sharon News-Telegraph merged on May 13, 1935, and continued the name of The Sharon Herald in the News-Tele's building on South Dock Street.

The News-Telegraph was an outgrowth of a merger of the Sharon Telegraph and the Farrell News in 1925. The Sharon Telegraph had begun as a daily in 1893.

In 1970, recognizing the nature of its regional circulation, the newspaper dropped Sharon from its name and became The Herald, serving the entire Mercer County area.

Throughout its history, The Herald had branched into other areas. It had helped to pioneer the operation of AM radio station WPIC in 1938, broadcasting live newscasts from the newspaper's newsroom. The Herald sold its interest in 1959.

The Herald bought four weekly newspapers in eastern Mercer County in 1965 and eventually combined them into Allied Newspapers, which now publishes one, twice-a-week newspaper, Allied News, in Grove City. In addition, The Herald publishes a free weekly newspaper in nearby Hubbard, Ohio, launched in 1997.

A key event in The Herald's history was its acquisition in 1971 by Ottaway Newspapers Inc., the community newspaper subsidiary of Dow Jones and Co. Inc.. After 31 years with Ottaway, The Herald was sold to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., on March 29, 2002.

Other Herald milestones:

» The addition of a Sunday edition in September 1990.

» The launch of its Web site sharonherald.com in May 1996

» In 2001 becoming one of the first newspapers in the country to offer the entire daily paper in Adobe Acrobat facsimile form with its Digital Edition

» Conversion to morning publication in the fall of 2003 after publishing afternoons since 1909.

The newspaper, with a circulation of about 21,000, is published seven days at week and printed by West Penn Printing in New Castle.

The Herald covers Mercer County and parts of neighboring Lawrence County in Pennsylvania and Trumbull County in Ohio.

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