Several newspapers kept the people of Watertown up to date until about 1900. By then the majority of them had ceased publication or merged with other papers. The Public Opinion was formed from the merger of the Courier-News, which began printing in 1882, and the Public Opinion, founded by L.D. Lyon in 1887. A new publisher bought both papers in 1893 and kept the Public Opinion name.
Stizel X. Way purchased the paper in 1908 to advance his political and civic interests. By 1910, it was Watertown's only daily paper. It was first located here on South Broadway. In 1911, the paper moved to Second Street Northeast. It remained there until 1972, when it moved to its current location on Third Avenue Northwest. It was family-owned until 2002.
The first city hall was located at the southeast corner of Kemp Avenue and 1st Street West. Designed by architect L.V. Sybrant and constructed in 1889, it was three stories tall and housed the police department and city jail, fire department, council chamber, public library, public hall, and city offices. After the building was declared structurally unsound and demolished in 1974, offices and departments moved to various locations across the city. A high-rise apartment building opened on the site in 1975.
1. Original city hall building. Photograph image taken in 1909.
Public Opinion newspaper printing room in 1916.
3. Original Public Opinion Building on North Broadway.
4. Photograph image of Commercial Hotel. This site world become the location of the Public Opinion Building constructed in 1954. This is the current location of city hall.