WAECHTER UND ANZEIGER (The Sentinel & Advertiser) was Cleveland's longest-lived ethnic daily and one of the city's major newspapers in its own right. It began on 9 Aug. 1852 as Waechter am Erie (Sentinel on the Erie), a German weekly founded by Heinrich Rochette, Louis Ritter, and JACOB MUELLER. It was edited by AUGUST THIEME, who soon purchased it and made it a force in the young Republican party. In 1872 it bolted to the Liberal Republican ticket of Greeley and Adams. A newly founded rival, the Anzeiger (Advertiser), supported the regulars and endorsed Grant. Prior to his death in 1879, Thieme converted the Waechter to a daily in Sept. 1866. By 1880, when it was published once again by Mueller, it had also added a Sunday edition. In 1893 it was merged with the Anzeiger by the German Consolidated Newspaper Co., capitalized at $100,000.
Although World War I temporarily pumped circulation to a record 34,000, it proved ultimately disastrous for the Waechter und Anzeiger after the U.S. entered the conflict against Germany. Two of its editors were interned as enemy aliens, while ownership of part of its stock by a German resident placed the paper under the direction of the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property. While managing to survive the war, by 1924 the Waechter und Anzeiger lost more than half its circulation. In 1928 it effected a limited merger with the Hungarian-language SZABADSAG under the aegis of the Consolidated Press & Printing Co., but its Sunday edition was dropped during the Depression. Szabadsag and the Waechter went their separate ways in 1939, when the German paper was bought and reorganized by Friedrich Wilhelm Oberacker's Press & Plate Co. It published its last daily issue on 10 May 1954, when Press & Plate went out of business. Its assets were subsequently purchased by Stefan Deubel, who revived Waechter und Anzeiger as a weekly in Sept. 1954. With circulation down to 1,100, however, the paper finally ended 136 years of publication in April 1989.
View image in Digital Cleveland Starts Here®