Joliet (previously spelled Juliet), Illinois, was named for Louis Jolliet who, along with Jacques Marquette, first explored the area along the Des Plaines River in 1673. The town was founded in 1831, though not incorporated as a city until 1852. Originally a part of Cook County, as of 1886, it became the seat of Will County.
The earliest issues of Juliet Courier have not yet been cataloged or archived; however, “the first number was preserved by Mr. Clement, who was one of the persons who had bought the press” (James H. Ferriss, Joliet News Historical Edition; A Semi-Centennial History, September 1884). That first issue is dated April 29, 1839, and lists D. L. Gregg and W. P. Hudson as publishers.
The Courier was sold in 1843 to William E. Little and became the Signal. Only a year later, it changed publishers again when it was bought by Judge S. W. Randall, who changed its name to the Juliet Signal. Randall sold the paper to his brother-in-law, A. O. Stillman, in 1845. Later that year, Stillman changed the spelling to the Joliet Signal. And finally, in 1846, Stillman sold the newspaper to Calvin and Calneh Zarley. The Zarley brothers remained the proprietors, as well as editors, of the Signal for nearly 40 years thereafter.
It is not known when the Joliet Signal ceased publication, but the last known issue is April 7, 1893.