The first newspaper to print in Ada was the Ada Record. Started in 1872, the Record was begun by H.S. Lehr, the man who also created the North-Western Ohio Normal School.

On June 20, 1885, U.S.G. Cherry, S.B. Wagner, and W.W. Poultney, the editors and proprietors of the University Herald and graduates of the Normal School, sent a "monthly review of the school and societies " to a list of subscribers. Originally intended to keep the alumni of the university informed about the happenings around the school, the self-described literary publication quickly grew into a larger role. The newspaper was printed at the offices of the Ada Record.

M.L. Snyder and Ralph Parlette purchased the University Herald in 1895. Snyder later bought Parlette's interest in the company and and the family retained control of the company under his son, Barton, until it was sold to Brown Publishing in 1966. In 2010, DHI Media, Inc., of Delphos, Ohio, purchased the Ada Herald from Brown.

Under the Snyder family, the newspaper changed format from magazine to tabloid sizes and then to broadsheet. The printing frequency also increased from quarterly to monthly, finally printing on a weekly cycle. In 1917 the Snyder's changed the name to The Ada Herald.