Paul and Lois Watkins came to Ashland from Chicago in the summer of 1933. Paul was a veteran newspaper executive who had edited the Evanston News-Index and served as promotions manager of the Chicago Daily News. Their arrival began a 49-year family dynasty that saw the newspaper prosper and reach its greatest circulation.

Paul Watkins died in 1951, and his wife Lois took on the role of publisher and editor. Their daughter, Marion Watkins Herget, returned to Ashland in 1954 to help her mother run the paper. She became the news editor, and then editor in 1963.

Their stories of church picnics and crop prices, along-side the news of the integration of area public schools, kept the citizens of Ashland and Hanover informed and connected to one another. Their talent for communication reminded their readers of the Constitutional gift of freedom of the press.