In 1874, Reverend John Joseph Jessing began publishing a newspaper called The Ohio. He eventually renamed the publication Ohio Waisenfreund, which meant Ohio Orphan's Friend. Jessing was the Catholic priest at Sacred Heart Church in Pomeroy, Ohio. In 1888, Jessing relocated the paper to Columbus, Ohio. He hoped that the larger city and access to more railroad lines would help build circulation.
Jessing established the newspaper to raise funds for the Saint Joseph Orphan Asylum. The Asylum provided care to many orphaned boys in Pomeroy and the surrounding area. The Brothers of Saint Francis assisted Father Jessing in his work. From 1874 until 1953, the newspaper was published weekly. All of the stories were printed only in German. The paper continued to be published from 1953 to 1955 in both English and German on a bi-weekly basis. Over the years tens of thousands of people subscribed to the paper. Ohio Waisenfreund provided advice, information and religious instruction to German immigrants and their communities in the United States.