Republic celebrates 165 years of local news

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Geneseo Republic masthead as it appeared in 1860

When the Henry County Republic hit the news stands and doorsteps on June 11, 2021, it marked 165 years of publication.

The Republic has been continuously produced in Geneseo since June 5, 1856, only missing one edition, on December 8, 1858.  It is the oldest paper in Henry County, as well as in Geneseo.  According to a detailed history of the ownership and locations that the paper had, printed in 1981, for the paper's 125th anniversary, "In 1860, the newspaper was an enthusiastic supporter of Abraham Lincoln and 120 years later endorsed Ronald Reagan."

The Geneseo Republic has outlived more than 10 Geneseo based local newspapers. These included the Christian Philosopher (1858-1859) monthly, Geneseo Journal (1860, a monthly Republican campaign paper), Union Advocate (1862-1863 later merged with the Republic) Henry County News (1874-1879, merged with the Industrial Advocate), Geneseo Sun (1879-1882, daily temperance publication), Industrial Advocate (1862-c.1912), Geneseo News (1892-c. 1915, weekly and sometimes twice weekly), Geneseo Daily Arena (1895-1896, daily), Henry County Arena (1899), and Geneseo Enterprise (1907-C. 1908, semiweekly).  Two school news papers also were published in Geneseo as well, the Geneseo Collegiate Herald and the Normal Worker.  

In 2007, the Republic was purchased by Gate House Media. In March of 2019, the Geneseo Republic was merged with three other weeklies in Henry County, the Cambridge Chronicle, the Galva News and the Orion Gazette to become the Henry County Republic, a weekly focused on events in Henry County.   Later, in November of 2019, Gate House  Media purchased Gannett merged, retaining the Gannett name.  

The Republic has been operating out of the building at 108 W. 1st  in Geneseo since 1887.  The building was recently sold, but the office will remain in that location until further notice.