Initially titled The Kentucke Gazette, The Kentucky Gazette was first printed on August 11th, 1787 in Lexington by John and Fielding Bradford. The Gazette has held the distinction of the first newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains since it’s creation. Until 1795, The Kentucky Gazette was the only newspaper printed within 500 miles of Lexington. John Bradford held the state contract as the public printer for several years leading to the turn of the century and was also credited with the printing of The Kentucky Almanac from 1788 to 1807, one of the first books printed in the western frontier.
The newspaper was a product of very humble beginnings, but it quickly grew from it’s original two minuscule pages to a four page weekly newspaper that spread political opinions of state politics, global news for the American frontier, as well as local announcements and advertisements. As the political party system emerged, the Gazette became a proponent of the Jacksonian Democratic ideology, reflecting this allegiance through its editorial section.
The last publication of the original Kentucky Gazette came in 1848, but it was brought back in June of 1866. Once again the newspaper was aligned with the Democratic party. By 1907, the Gazette Publishing Company incorporated under editor Enoch Grehan. This led to major changes, including the introduction of field correspondents that produced more comprehensive news reports. The Gazette also took advantage of the railway system which significantly broadened the scope of their audience to include more of the central and eastern counties. The largest change perhaps was the Gazette’s partnership with the Lexington Herald. The two publications were sold together at discounted prices in a process known as “clubbing."
The Kentucky Gazette met a second early demise in 1912, but was revived once more in 1995 and continues to live on today in the Kentucky capital of Frankfort, three blocks from the state Capitol building. Currently, the Gazette produces advertisements for local businesses and news about state public affairs through print and internet mediums, including major social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.