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Hampshire Review

The Hampshire Review is the oldest business in the oldest county of West Virginia, and one of the oldest newspapers in the state. It is a weekly paper, started in 1884 by C. F. Poland. John J. and William Cornwell bought the Review in 1890. The two brothers absorbed a competitor, the South Branch Intelligencer, and added its founding date, 1829, to the Review’s masthead.

John Jacob Cornwell was a state senator from 1899 to 1907, governor from 1917 to 1921, and chief counsel and a director of the B&O Railroad, while continuing to write editorials for the family paper. Upon his death in 1953, his grandson, John Ailes, became editor of the Review, and Ailes’s wife became associate editor. Mrs. Ailes retired in 1988 and Mr. Ailes died in 1991, but the paper is still controlled by Cornwell descendants. The Hampshire Review is supposed to have hired the first three women in Hampshire County to work outside the household other than in domestic work. The newspaper is published on Wednesdays at Romney and focuses on local news. The circulation was 7,200 in 2020 and has remained steady ever since.

Written by Tanya Godfrey


  1. Moulden, Bill. In The Family: A Hundred Years at the Hampshire Review. Goldenseal, (Spring 1990).