The Journal began as the Nemaha Valley Journal in 1868. It replaced an earlier newspaper known as the Broadaxe. It changed its name to the Falls City Globe-Journal in 1875, after merging with the Falls City Little Globe, and adopted its current name in 1882.
Early publishers of the Journal included former Nebraska state senator Theodore Pepoon, who owned and operated the paper from 1881 to 1885. Under Pepoon, the paper was known for its promotion of Radical Republican politics.