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We are proud to serve our region

Try to imagine what William Lowry and John Miller saw when they looked out of the windows of their building that sat along North Third Street on June 7, 1806.

The Steubenville of their time was little more than a frontier town, itself founded not that many years before. The area was still surrounded by forests, and sat in the middle of the lush Ohio River Valley. When residents of the town looked east across the river, they saw the state of Virginia. While Ohio was just three years old at the time, West Virginia would not join the union for another 57 years.

We can’t know for sure, but it’s likely Lowry and Miller were a little apprehensive that day. It would have been understandable — they were about to launch a new business venture — the Western Herald, a newspaper that through a series of mergers and changes in ownership would become the Herald-Star.

It’s important that we remember their efforts, because today we begin our 215th year as a continuously published newspaper, among the oldest in the nation.

That’s a testament to the many publishers and editors and the countless reporters, writers, photographers, production personnel, salespeople, composing room workers, pressmen, office workers, distribution workers and a corps of paper boys and paper girls who have made the paper their profession. Their dedication has ensured that the news has been able to travel from downtown Steubenville to you each day.

We’re an institution — the oldest continually operating business in Jefferson County and a vital part of the lives of the residents of the Tri-State Area. Our readers have been informed and entertained, made to laugh and cry and have been moved to action. While we have been generous in offering praise for milestones reached and jobs well done, we have never been afraid to take on public officials who are failing in their duties or issues that are of paramount importance to the community.

The great moments of millions of lives have been documented on our pages. We’ve shared in the joy of countless births, graduations, engagements, marriages, anniversaries, club events, sporting events, business openings and promotions.

We’ve also mourned countless deaths and shared in the heartache that comes with crime, divorces and natural disasters.

We have ensured voters are well informed before they head to the polls, made sure that government is not allowed to run roughshod over those who have elected it and remain vigilant to make sure residents do not violate the rules and laws of our community.

All the while we have stood guard for the freedoms that journalists must have to protect the freedoms of our nation, especially in times like these, when those very freedoms are under assault on many different levels. We do that work not because it is easy — it is not — and not for praise — though it is appreciated — but from the knowledge that if no one is willing to take the difficult stands and make the tough calls our freedoms will disappear and our democracy will die.

Despite all of the changes, the Herald-Star is as vital to our community as it was when it first came off the press on that long ago Saturday. That’s because our readers have been able to place their trust in us to report the news accurately and fairly.

It’s a mission we have fulfilled since 1806, and one we will continue to strive to meet today, tomorrow and beyond.

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