Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

How Niles Got Its Name

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

Click here to become a Niles Historical Society Member or to renew your membership

Return to the Homepage

Click on any photograph to view a larger image.

 

Email Us

Phone: 330.544.2143
Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
Corporate Membership:
Call 330.544.2143


Do you love the history of Niles, Ohio and want to preserve that history and memories of events for future generations?

Click here to donate:

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your donation is tax deductible. When you click on the Donate Button, you will be taken to a secure Website where your donation will entered and a receipt generated.


 

 

 

 

 

Niles Weekly Register cover

How Niles Got Its Name.
By 1834 Heaton's Furnace settlement had reached the proper proportions of a village so James Heaton planned the streets, marked off the lot division and named the village.

Until 1834 the settlement was appropriately called “Heaton’s Furnace”, but James Heaton gave it a new name ‘Nilestown’ in honor of Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register, a Baltimore paper, whose Whig principles Heaton greatly admired.

Nilestown remained the name until 1843 when the Post Office Department for convenience shortened it to ‘Niles’ and that is how Niles got its name.


It was in 1811 that Niles as a newspaperman really comes into his own in Maryland, when he issued the prospectus for the Weekly Register and garnered a total of 1,500 subscribers even before the first issue hit the press. That first edition hit the streets of Baltimore on September 7, 1811. He would edit and publish the Weekly Register for 25 years, making it one of the most widely circulated magazines in the United States. His news magazine was on a scale of a more familiar LIFE in its day and Hezekiah became one of the most influential journalists of his time. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah_Niles

Issue #1 Volume #1 of the Niles Register.

Hezekiah Niles was born October 10, 1777, and passed away on April 2, 1839, an early editor and publisher of the Niles’ Weekly Register, which was a national weekly news magazine based out of Baltimore. Also known as the Niles’ Register and the Weekly Register, the publication of the Chester County, Pennsylvania born Hezikiah Niles was rich in detail for many of the most nationally significant events that occurred in Maryland. It covered not only politics, but economics, science, technology, art, and literature.

Born to a Quaker family, Niles’ father left that faith to fight in the American Revolution and in 1777 the family fled to Wilmington, Delaware, just paces ahead of the British Army. There they took refuge in the home of James Jefferis near Jefferis’ Ford on the east side of Brandywine Creek. According to Niles, it was at this time that his not-yet-begun life nearly ended, asserting that a Hessian mercenary threatened to bayonet his very pregnant mother while she carried him.

He and his family survived the war and went back to Wilmington where his father rejoined the Quaker faith he had left.

Not unlike another famous Revolutionary Pennsylvanian, Benjamin Franklin, Niles was apprenticed to a Philadelphia printer for three years. He later carried his trade to Wilmington for a few years and tried to set up a printing business that went belly up by 1801. Four years later in 1805, he published a literary magazine called The Apollo, which had a very short shelf-life and in 1805 he moved south to Baltimore. By 1811 he was editing a daily Charm City broadsheet, the Baltimore Evening Post, which was associated with the Democratic-Republican Party.


Letterhead of the Niles Register dated April 9, 1836.

As a side note-the Niles Historical Society newsletter is named The Register.

It was in 1811 that Niles as a newspaperman really comes into his own in Maryland, when he issued the prospectus for the Weekly Register and garnered a total of 1,500 subscribers even before the first issue hit the press.

That first edition hit the streets of Baltimore on September 7, 1811. He would edit and publish the Weekly Register for 25 years, making it one of the most widely circulated magazines in the United States. His news magazine was on a scale of a more familiar LIFE in its day and Hezekiah became one of the most influential journalists of his time. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah_Niles


 

 

 

     
     

  Copyright©2008-2022, Niles Historical Society, All rights reserved
  Back to top