January 21, 1890, front page of Chillicothe Morning Constitution
|Editor||Catherine Stortz Ripley|
|Founded||1860, as Chillicothe Constitution|
|Headquarters||818 Washington Street, Chillicothe, Missouri 64601, United States|
Originally founded in 1860 as the weekly Chillicothe Constitution, the paper has been published daily since 1889 (initially as the Chillicothe Morning Constitution), and under its current name since 1930. The newspaper also publishes C-T X-Tra, a free shopper, and MyChiliMo, a free monthly collection of reader-submitted articles and photographs.
The weekly Chillicothe Constitution was founded in 1860 as a Democratic-leaning newspaper. The Tribune, a Republican-leaning newspaper, was founded in 1868. In the 1880s the Watkins family became publishers of the Constitution. The two newspapers consolidated March 1, 1928. The Watkins family solid it in April 1972 to Inland Industries, Inc., of Lenexa, Kansas, and Smith-Walls Newspapers, Inc., of Fort Payne, Alabama. Clarence Edwin Watkins served as the publisher until his death in 1944. Rod Dixon is the current publisher and Catherine Stortz Ripley is the current editor. The newspaper is currently owned by GateHouse Media.
Jerry Litton visited the newspaper offices about 8:30 p.m. on August 3, 1976, to check results of the election in which he had won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, en route to a victory party in Kansas City. He was killed about a half-hour later during an airplane takeoff at the Chillicothe airport.
On Christmas Day in 1930, a fire broke out in the office of Dr. Oma Dye, located above the newspaper offices. According to the December 26, 1930, edition of the paper, two patrons were leaving a nearby theater when they saw smoke coming from the building. As the fire department was arriving on the scene Chillicothe Mayor Harry Pardonner, who was also a fireman, was thrown from the truck as the ladder broke free and swung. According to the paper the mayor was "badly bruised" and would be confined to bed for several days. The doctor's office was a total loss while the newspaper offices were damaged by water "putting practically all of the machinery in the shop out of commission and spoiling the supply of print paper on hand." The newspaper's publishers assured their readers that every effort had been made to get that day's edition out via the old method of "setting the type by hand."
- Floyd Calvin Shoemaker (1943). Missouri and Missourians: land of contrasts and people of achievements. "Clarence Edwin Watkins, publisher of the Constitution-Tribune at Chillicothe, is a prominent figure in Missouri journalism. He has developed a highly successful business, and has supplied Chillicothe with an institution which is an ..."
- "A Publisher Goes Public". Entrepreneur. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-27. "The weeklies, which include the Peoria Times-Observer, the Chillicothe Times-Bulletin, the Morton Times-News, the East Peoria Times-Courier and the Washington Times-Reporter have a combined reported circulation of about 31,000."
- Tragedy Strike - The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune - August 4, 1976