John McReynolds and Basil M. Simpson published the first Miami County Republican newspaper Aug. 18, 1866, in Paola. Capt. Leslie J. Perry started a rival publication, The Kansas Spirit, in 1871 in Paola. The Paola newspapers competed for readers and advertisers until 1956 when they merged to form the Miami County Publishing Co.
Drew McLaughlin Sr. bought the Miami Republican in 1920. Drew McLaughlin Jr. merged the paper with the Western Spirit, then-owned by former Paola banker L.M. 'Mike' Schwartz. One staff produced both papers under the different names until 1991 when the papers became the Miami County Republic under the direction of editor and publisher Phil McLaughlin, the third generation of his family to lead the newspaper.
In 1998, the Republic joined forces with two other county newspapers - the Osawatomie Graphic and the Louisburg Herald. The newspapers remained separate, but shared news and advertising.
The Louisburg Herald published its first edition on July 4, 1876, and the Osawatomie Graphic first published in 1888. Web and Schmitty Hawkins published the Graphic for several decades before they sold the Osawatomie Graphic and the Louisburg Herald to the McLaughlins in 1998.
The McLaughlins sold the Republic, Graphic and Herald in October 2004 to NPG Newspapers, a family-owned media company based in St. Joseph, Mo.
In 2016, the Osawatomie Graphic and Louisburg Herald were consolidated into the Miami County Republic, which now operates as one countywide publication.