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NEWSPAPERS are supposed to reflect, to a certain extent, the intelligence of the community wherein they exist.  Yet the stream which flows from the fount of the press is not a limpid, lazy, purling brook.  Rather is it a rapid stream, yet somewhat turbid withal, whose mission it is to turn the wheels of the mills of society along its banks, more than to make precise pictures of the objects whose shadows fall across its rippling currents.  In the United States, newspapers are potent, if not the very chief, agents in the development of communities; and upon their establishment and success depends largely the degree of enterprise and progress that prevails.  There was no newspaper in that village by the Hudson which has become famous through the prolonged slumber of one of it residents; if there had been, the enterprising editor of the Tarrytown Herald would not have allowed the disappearance of so prominent a scapegrace as Mr. Rip Van Winkle to go unchronicled - he would have investigated the mystery, and so bustled about that neither poor Rip nor any other sleepy villager would have been able to finish his nap in peace.  Reasoning from such premises, the surprising rapidity and solidity of growth which Grand Rapids has enjoyed, and the wide-awake spirit which has characterized her citizens, would seem to show that the newspaper bad exerted its influence here at an early date; and such is indeed the fact.


April 18, 1837, less than four years after the permanent settlement began, the first number of the first newspaper in Grand Rapids, or in this part of Michigan, was issued.  It was a weekly, six-column folio - four pages 15 1/2 by 21 1/2 inches - comparing well in size with many of more recent date.  The following was the announcement at the top of the first column of its title page:


Printed and published every Saturday Morning at the Rapids of Grand River, Kent County Michigan.


TERMS. - Two dollars and fifty cents per annum in advance, three dollars at the end of six months, or four dollars at the end of the year.  Subscribers paying within thirty days from the time of subscribing will be considered in advance.

VILLAGE Subscribers, having their papers left at their door, will be charged fifty cents in addition with the above prices.

ADVERTISING - For twelve lines or less, three insertions, One Dollar - and twenty-five Cents for every additional insertion.  Longer advertisements charged in proportion.  A liberal discount made to those who advertise by the year.

No paper discontinued until all arrearages are paid, unless at the option of the publisher.

FANCY, JOB, AND BOOK PRINTING, done with neatness and despatch at this office.

The story of the establishment of this paper was some years ago related to a newspaper reporter by Mr. Pattison, of which the salient points are these: The Kent Company purchased, for about $4,000, the office material of the Niagara Falls journal, and in the fall of 1836 shipped it from Buffalo on the steamer Don Quixote.  The boat was wrecked off Thunder Bay Island, and the press and material were transferred to a sailing vessel, reaching Grand Haven late in the season.  When it was landed, Mr. Pattison purchased the printing outfit for $4,100.  During the winter he had it brought up the river on the ice by dog trains - six dogs to a sled.  The sled which brought the press broke through the ice some miles below the Rapids, and went to the bottom of the river.  The press was fished out and brought to town.  The issue of the first number of the Times was a grand event, and nearly all the prominent citizens were at the office to see it come off the Washington hand press.  Mr. Pattison relates that Louis Campau subscribed for 500 copies for a year, paying $1,000 cash in advance; that the Kent Company took 500 subscriptions and paid in advance, and a large number of other persons took from ten to twenty-five copies each, which were widely circulated.  The first copy was printed on silk-satin, and
given to Louis Campau.  Others were printed on cloth and distributed for preservation as souvenirs.  The general news part of the paper was not copious.  To get news from Detroit required from four to six days.  It had occasionally a letter from Washington, written by some Government official.  The Times was neatly printed, and in appearance would not suffer by comparison with most papers of the present time.  Its publication office at first was on Canal street, a little south of Lyon.  It was the official paper of the county, and printed the list of tax sales.  The work was done by Mr. Pattison and apprentices, among whom were: James and John Barns, and Aaron B. Turner.  In the spring of 1838, the Times was sold to Charles I. Walker, who in January, 1839, sold it to James H. Morse and another.  It was then suspended for a time, and job printing alone carried on, in a small wooden building near the corner of Kent and Bronson streets.  The paper had another short run about the time of the Harrison campaign in 1840.  It was not partisan politically, but both Whigs and Democrats were given opportunity to air their views in its columns, which they eagerly, did.


On or about May 18, 1841, James H. Morse & Company began the publication of the Grand Rapids Enquirer (weekly).  Its office of publication was on "Bronson street, one door east of the Book Store" (now Crescent avenue, opposite the county building site).  Associated with Mr. Morse was Simeon M. Johnson, in business and as editor, who named the paper, he being an ardent admirer of the Richmond, Va., Enquirer, a leading Democratic journal of those days.  At first the paper was professedly nonpartisan, but in editorial sentiment was evidently Democratic.  February 22, 1842, Johnson was succeeded by Ezra D. Burr, and from that date until May 31, 1844, the publishers were J. H. Morse & E. D. Burr.  Burr was editor during that time, and until August, 1844.  Meantime, in November, 1842, the office had been removed to Canal street, over Granger & Ball's store, which was where is now the Grinnell Block.  J. H. Morse & Co. continued the publication until April 19, 1845, when Mr. Morse died.  He was an industrious man and a practical printer, and although but twenty-eight years of age at the time of his death, had endeared himself very much to the community, and nearly all the villagers were in attendance at his funeral.  After this event the firm name for a few months was M. E. Morse & Co. (Mrs. Morse and Mrs. Stevens).  After November 3, 1845, the publishers were D. C. Lawrence & Co. (Dewitt C. Lawrence and Jacob Barns).  June 5, 1846, and after, the firm name was Jacob Barns & Co.  Robert M. Collins was at one time a partner.  The name of Charles H. Taylor appears with that of Jacob Barns in the files of the paper, June 13, 1849, and disappears May 1, 1850.  Subsequently the firm was composed again of these two men, who continued until after the establishment of the Daily Enquirer in 1855.  Thomas B. Church was editor from February, 1845, to April, 1847; after him Charles H. Taylor for a year or two; then Thomas B. Church again until January, 1851; next Edward E. Sargeant, till February, 1853, when Taylor became editor again and occupied that position as long as the proprietorship of Jacob Barns & Co. existed.  For a brief interval in the summer of 1851, Solomon L. Withey was editor.  Mr. Sargeant possessed a finely cultured mind, and his writings, like himself, were highly polished.  He died in 1858, aged thirty-seven years, much beloved by the community in which he had lived.  Charles H. Taylor left the newspaper business about 1857, and was afterward prominent in other walks of life.  The printing office of the old Weekly Enquirer was a movable institution.  From the place last above mentioned it moved in 1843 across Canal street to the Erie street corner; from there to the south side of Monroe street above Waterloo; in May, 1848, across the street to a wooden building opposite the head of Waterloo street; then in April, 1849, to the third story of Irving Hall.  In 1854 it went into a new wooden building erected by its proprietors, near the southeast corner of Canal and Lyon streets, and in the following year was moved diagonally across to where the Fourth National Bank now stands, where it remained till the consolidation of the Enquirer and Herald.  Among its early political contributors were Charles I. Walker, Sylvester Granger and Alfred D. Rathbone.  In politics this paper was Democratic, of the straightest sect, and in 1843 advocated the nomination of John C. Calhoun for President.  Among the attaches of the office while it was in Irving Hall were: Solomon 0. Littlefield, James N. Davis, Charles W. Warrell, and William Benjamin, the latter now of Holland, Mich.


The first number of the weekly Eagle was issued December 25, 1844, by Aaron B. Turner, then a young man of twenty-two.  It contained the returns of the Presidential election of that year.  It started as a Whig paper.  Unsuccessful efforts had been made for its publication during the preceding political campaign, to which fact the Enquirer alluded, January 3, 1845, in the following notice of its new-born rival:

This bird - the was-to-be great auxiliary of the Whig party in the late battle - after a protracted incubation has at last broke its calcareous enclosure and come peeping forth into this breathing world.  George Martin and C. F. Barstow are its "responsible" editors, from whose known peculiarities of sentiment we doubt not it will faithfully represent the old school of Whig politics.

Originally, the name of the paper was Grand River Eagle; afterward the word "Rapids" was substituted for "River."  As faithfully as the difficulties of maintaining an existence upon a small subscription list in a sparsely settled country would allow, the Eagle fulfilled its rival's prediction, as a supporter of the Whig party, during the following nine years.  With small means at command, the proprietor sometimes found it difficult even to procure the paper for its publication, and occasional suspensions of a few weeks were necessitated.  In 1848 it supported vigorously the Taylor Presidential ticket, and in 1852 that of Winfield Scott, though in the latter campaign it could not indorse the platform of the Whig party in reference to the agitation of the slavery question.  After the election of 1852, and the signal defeat of the Whig party thereat, the Eagle astonished the community, and many of its patrons, by appearing with the legend at its head: "An Independent Democratic journal," and declaring that the time had come for a new alignment; that Anti-Slavery Whigs must seek other affiliations, and the Democratic party be opposed by a new organization.  It promptly came to the support of the Free Democratic State ticket nominated at Jackson, February 22, 1854, and in July following as heartily espoused the cause of the then organized Republican party, in which the Free Democratic party was merged.  Since that time it has been steadily a Republican journal.  In the publication of the weekly edition, its proprietor, Aaron B. Turner, had associated with him as business partners: in 1848, James Scribner; in 1849, A. H. Proctor; in 1851-52, his father, Isaac Turner.  Among contributors to its editorial columns were: C. F. Barstow, George Martin and Ralph W. Cole.


Alphonso E. Gordon came to Grand Rapids from Brunswick, N. J., and on March 19, 1855, began the publication of the Grand Rapids Daily Herald, the first daily newspaper in the city.  Ostensibly it was a neutral paper as far as politics was concerned, but later came out squarely in support of the Democratic party.  It quickly obtained a fair patronage in a community which until then had been supplied with only weekly papers for its local news.  It was published until May 1, 1857, when it was consolidated with the Daily Enquirer.


Jacob Barns & Co., of the old weekly Enquirer, began the publication of a daily issue November 19, 1855, with Charles H. Taylor as editor.  William B. Howe was engaged as city editor, and this marked the era of a new departure in local journalism.  Jonathan P. Thompson became its editor in August, 1856.  The Daily Enquirer was published under these auspices until May 1, 1857, when A. E. Gordon of the Herald purchased it, and consolidated the two papers.  For a brief time a semi-weekly was published in connection with the daily Enquirer.


Associated with Mr. Gordon in this enterprise was Jonathan P. Thompson, a political and news writer, and the firm name was Gordon & Thompson.  The partnership did not last long, on account of disagreement.  The office property was seized upon a chattel mortgage, and, being carried away by unskilled hands, was converted into more pi than has at any other time been known in the annals of Grand Rapids newspapers.  Gordon immediately procured a new outfit and the publication of the Enquirer and Herald was continued in spite of the "forty thieves," as he designated those who had made the seizure.  But its troubles were not then ended.  In April, 1860, the plant, good will and subscription list were again taken, under a mortgage, and soon after Fordham & Co. (N. D. Titus) obtained possession, and continued the publication somewhat irregularly.  E. D. Burr succeeded Fordham, and Burr & Titus published the paper, sometimes weekly and sometimes semiweekly, until 1865, when Titus became the possessor and transferred it to Merrills H. Clark.  The paper had announced the decease of its daily issue about November 2 1, 1864.  Clark assumed control in August, 1865, and, to avoid an injunction threatened by Burr, who still laid claim to the property, changed the name to the Grand Rapids Democrat; and thus ended the troubled history of the Enquirer and Herald.


Merrills H. Clark, in whose proprietorship, in August, 1865, the Democrat was started under its present title, sold an interest in the paper to Richard Burt, of Omaha, Neb.  In a short time Burt resold to Clark, whose next partner was Clark C. Sexton.  After Sexton, he had associated with him successively, Robert Wilson, H. P. Churchill, John L. E. Kelley, James N. Davis, Charles B. Smith, and Ambrose A. Stevens.  July 29, 1877, Clark sold his interest to Messmore & Stevens (I. E. Messmore and A. A. Stevens), who conducted the paper until May, 1881, when Messmore became the sole owner, and August 1, 1882, transferred it to Frank W. Ball, who has since been its proprietor.  The Democrat, both daily and weekly, has attained a handsome patronage, and is in the front rank of Democratic journals of the State, outside of Detroit.  Charles A. French was for a time associated with Mr. Ball in the business management, and afterward upon the advertising force.  Among others employed in an editorial capacity, or as reporters, have been: Win. M. Hathaway, John A. Creswell, Harry L. Creswell, Win. S. Hull, Win. R. Maze, Fred. N. Peck, George W. Locke, Alfred B. Tozer and Henry G. Wanty.  Present staff (1888): Frank W. Ball, Editor and Proprietor; Thomas G. Fletcher, Managing and Telegraph Editor; Win. J. Sproat, City Editor.  Reporters: Joseph J. Emery, Clarence Colton and Burridge D. Butler.  Mordecai L. Hopkins and Charles D. Almy, the latter as a special writer, have contributed to its columns.  True to its name, the Democrat in politics has been an unswerving, straight-laced supporter of the Democratic party, and considered its organ in this part of Michigan.

The publication office of the Daily Enquirer when it started was at the corner of Lyon and Canal streets; that of the Daily Herald was in Irving Hall block; that of the Enquirer and Herald, after the consolidation, was on the west side of Canal south of Lyon, and thence after 1860 it went to Monroe street, above Waterloo.  After the change of proprietors and change of name, the Democrat establishment was removed to 22 Canal street; in 1873 it was at 8-10 Lyon street.  In 1880 it had removed to 75 Lyon street, and in 1884 it had settled in its present quarters at 93 Pearl street in the Houseman building.  It has uniformly ranked as the leading Democratic journal of this section.

F. W. Ball was born at the Ball homestead on East Fulton street in this city, August 18, 1851.  During boyhood his summers were mostly devoted to farm work, and later he learned the carpenter's trade.  He was graduated from the Grand Rapids High School in 1869, and from the Literary Department of Michigan University in 1875, having meanwhile spent two years studying in Europe.  After taking two courses of medical lectures, he began newspaper work as reporter on the Philadelphia Times, in March, 1876, and during the succeeding six years held responsible positions on the Pittsburg Telegraph, Baltimore American and New York World.  August 1, 1882, he purchased the Grand Rapids Daily and Weekly Democrat, of which newspaper he has since been editor and publisher.


May 26, 1856, Aaron B. Turner, the proprietor and founder of the Grand Rapids Eagle, started the Daily Eagle as a morning paper.  At that time the city had no railroad communication, no telegraph, no gaslight - not even kerosene light, nor any of many other things now considered almost indispensable for the publication of a daily paper.  Night after night the compositors labored with straining eyeballs, to decipher by the flickering light of "burning fluid" lamps the blind telegraphic dispatches received by stage from Kalamazoo.  The Daily Eagle was changed to an evening paper September 2, 1856, and with the exception of two or three weeks in December, 1859, has continued an evening journal ever since.  Supplementary to it, however, the publication of a weekly Sunday Morning Eagle was begun November 20, 1887.  In May, 1859, the first power press in this city was set up in the Eagle office.  It was a Guernsey press, with oscillating cylinder, and reciprocating bed.  At first it was worked by hand with a crank, but on November 3 of the same year, steam power was applied, with a small engine manufactured by Chester B. Turner; the fire-box, boiler, and engine occupying a space of only about three by five feet; the entire apparatus, including press, being in the same room with the business part.  Thus the Eagle was the first to adopt steam in place of muscle for printing in this city.  January 8, 1864, the Eagle printing office was burned, and February 22 of the same year the publication was resumed with the first Hoe press ever used in the city.  From that time to the present the publication of the Daily Eagle has been continuous.  In one respect the Eagle has a record probably not paralleled in the State: that of a publication of forty-five consecutive years without essential change in proprietorship, editorial control, or political faith.  From the first issue of its weekly edition (though from time to time have been associated with him several partners), it has been under the control of its founder, Aaron B. Turner, as principal proprietor and editor-in-chief.  Besides the parties heretofore named in connection with the Weekly Eagle prior to 1855, there have been associated with him in the business: For about ten years from 1865, Eli F. Harrington; then for a year Fred H. Smith; then Harrington again until 1885.  In May, 1882, Ernest B. Fisher became a partner; in 1885, Freeman S. Milmine; and in 1888, Willard S. Turner.  July 15, 1888, a stock company was formed under the title of the A. B. Turner Company - President, A. B. Turner; Vice-President, E. B. Fisher; Secretary, W. S. Turner; Treasurer, F. S. Milmine - the present proprietors.  Albert Baxter entered the office of the Eagle in August, 1855, and assisted in the editorial department and as business manager until July, 1860 From September 4, 1858, until October 28, 1859, over the editorial column appeared, "A. B. Turner, Editor - A. Baxter, Assistant;" and from the latter date until July 14, 1860, "A. B. Turner and A. Baxter, Editors."  That was the end of the custom of placing the names of the editors at the head of the newspaper columns.  Lewis J. Bates was the political writer from 1860 to 1865, when Mr. Baxter returned as Political writer and Managing Editor, and remained until July, 1887, when he retired from journalism, and was succeeded by Theodore M. Carpenter, as principal political writer.  Connected with the editorial staff of the Eagle, and there receiving a portion of their journalistic schooling since 1857, are remembered: Clark C. Sexton, Robert Wilson, George Wickwire Smith, W. F. Conant, J. D. Dillenback, Frank Godfrey, Frank H. Hosford, Wm. S. Hull, E. A. Stowe, and E. B. Fisher, who is still there.  Jonathan P. Thompson was News Editor and miscellaneous writer two or three years prior to 1872, and Alpha Child from 1872 to 1881.  The editorial and business staff of 1889, comprises: A. B. Turner, Editor-in-Chief and principal proprietor; T. M. Carpenter, Political Editor; E. B. Fisher, City Editor; W. S. Turner, News Editor; Reporters, George A. McIntyre and Lewis D. Cutcheon; Proof-Reader, Mrs. Frances C. Wood; Business Manager, F. S. Milmine; Bookkeeper, Charles E. Davis; Assistant Bookkeeper, Miss Frances C. Wood; City Circulators, L. D. Steward, G. B. Clark; Traveling Agent, Frank W. Leonard; Solicitor of Advertising, C. A. Brakeman; Foreman of Composing Room, John B. Greenway; Superintendent of Press Room, Paul J. Schindler.  The Eagle occupies an influential position among the Republican journals of the State.  Its moral tone, like its typography, is clear and clean cut, and as a conservative family newspaper it ranks among the best.

During the first twenty years and more of its existence, the Eagle printing office had a migratory career.  The weekly issue was started in the second story of a wood building on Waterloo street, opposite the Eagle Hotel, December 25, 1845.  Shortly afterward it was moved to another wood building on the north side of Monroe street, opposite the head of Waterloo.  Thence it went to the Rathbone Buildings - a stone block, north corner of Ottawa and Monroe; in 1847 to Franklin Block, Canal street at the northeast corner of the canal basin; in 1848 to Faneuil Hall, corner of Monroe and Waterloo; in 1849 to a low wood building at the southeast corner of Canal and Lyon; about 1850 to the Sons of Temperance or Public Hall building, east side of Canal between Lyon and Bronson streets; in 1852 to Faneuil Hall again; in the spring of 1856 to the "Tanner Taylor" building where is now Campau Place; in February, 1857, to the brick block at the southwest corner of Lyon and Canal streets; in 1861 to a frame building which stood on its present location; was there burned out, January 8, 1864, and then went into Squier's Opera House, where its press was run by water power; next, February 10, 1868, was established in its permanent and present home, the Eagle Building, 49 Lyon street; erected by its chief proprietor.

AARON B. TURNER was born at Plattsburg, Clinton county, N. Y., Aug. 27, 1822.  His father, Isaac Turner, was a millwright and iron manufacturer of that town.  His education was that of the district school of those days; where early in youth he showed special aptitude in the study of grammar and mathematics.  In the spring of 1836 the family came from Plattsburg to Grand Rapids, when the little hamlet was less than three years old.  At fifteen years of age be began learning the printer's trade, in the office of the first newspaper here - the Grand River Times - and worked there and in the printing office of its successor, the Grand Rapids Enquirer, much of the time for about six years.  He then procured a hand press and other printing material, and started the Grand River Eagle, a Whig newspaper, the first number of which was issued Dec. 25, 1844.  This was a weekly journal, the name of which was subsequently changed to Grand Rapids Eagle.  While conducting this weekly newspaper only, he had a habit of going to the case and putting editorial articles in type without written copy, unless they were long and somewhat elaborate.  The further history of his newspaper work is elsewhere given.  Politically Mr. Turner was a Whig until the decadence of that party, then and ever since a stanch Republican.  He was a delegate and Secretary at the convention held in Jackson, July 6, 1854, by which that party was organized.  Previous to the organization of the Republican party, being politically with the minority, in the days when patronage was slight and profits were meager, he struggled against many discouragements to keep his newspaper alive.  Financially, it was not a tempting business; but in it were bound his attachments and his pride, and to it were given his persistent efforts with unflagging courage until success came, making it a fairly remunerative property.  In January, 1864, his printing office was burned, involving the destruction of all its contents, but this misfortune only caused a suspension of his newspaper for about six weeks; since which, to the present time, its publication has been uninterrupted.  In public life Mr. Turner has filled various official positions.  In 1843-44 he was the Clerk of the township of Walker.  In 1850 he was elected the first Clerk of the city of Grand Rapids.  He was journal Clerk of the House of Representatives at Lansing at the session of 1855; official reporter for the Senate in 1857, and Secretary of the Senate in 1859 and 1861.  In 1862 he was appointed, by President Lincoln, Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fourth District of Michigan; and organized the Internal Revenue Service in the northwestern portion of this Peninsula.  In 1866 he was removed from that service by President Johnson because he could not approve the reconstruction policy of the latter.  In 1869 he was appointed Postmaster of Grand Rapids by President Grant, and reappointed in 1873, holding the office for two full terms.  In 1880 he was chosen and served as Presidential Elector.  He was one of the Commissioners appointed by Governor Luce to represent Michigan at the Centennial Celebration of President Washington's Inauguration, held at New York, April 30, 1889.  In person Mr. Turner is of medium height; has blue eyes, a pleasing expression of countenance and silvery white hair.  Socially, he is genial and companionable, with an aptitude for gaining lasting friendships.  He is extremely fond of field sports, especially of hunting and fishing, and of the charms of an outdoor life which they afford.  In thought and opinions he is independent and tenacious.  Religiously, he is not wedded to any creed, but inclined to liberality in belief.  In relation to the mechanics and the arts, he has critical perception and taste.  In politics and public affairs, he exhibits as much interest as in his younger days.  Mr. Turner is the veteran editor of the State, having published and retained control of the newspaper which he founded during forty-five consecutive years.  In 1867-68 he erected the brick block known as the Eagle Building, at 49 Lyon street, in which is the Eagle printing office.  April 3, 1843, he married Sally C. Sibley, and they have a seemingly fair prospect of celebrating together their golden wedding.  They have an interesting family of grown-up children, and are enjoying the evening of life in a neat and comfortable residence at 113 Sheldon street.

ALBERT BAXTER is of early New England lineage, through each of the four families of his grandparents.  Their progenitors were among the colonists who came across the Atlantic in the period from 1620 to 1650.  A large number in each line of descent have served this country in the War of the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the late War for the Union.  His father, Eber Hubbard Baxter, and his mother, Irene (Child) Baxter, died in Cascade, Michigan; the former, in 1879, aged 80 years; the latter in 1871 aged 69 years.  Albert Baxter is the oldest of seven sons and six daughters who reached adult life, and of whom five brothers and five sisters are living at the time of this writing.  He was born August 3, 1823, in a log cabin by the bank of Mad River in Moretown, Washington county, Vermont.  His parents were poor, his father a farmer, and during the following eight years moved seven times and lived in five log houses.  In their poverty they were not envied, for they came honestly to that estate.  In boyhood he attended the district schools, and then for two terms a village academy; afterward taught school in Vermont, and in Wisconsin, whither be went in 1845.  On a farm, in youth, he plowed, planted, sowed and harvested; cleared heavily timbered land, split rails and made fences, laid stone wall, dug ditches and chopped wood - in short performed almost every kind of labor known to farm work with the primitive implements used in those days (wages about half the present rates, but they helped the family) - and later turned his attention to mechanical trades.  Soon after he was twenty years of age he purchased of his father the remaining time of his minority, giving his note therefor.  All the money he had previously owned or handled for his own use would not amount to five dollars.  After paying his father for his time, with interest, he started west and reached Milwaukee with about $2.50 in his pocket.  His savings of the following four months he loaned to a friend and lost.  In 1846 he came to Grand Rapids; loaned here to a needy friend the little more that he had earned, and lost that.  During the next five months he was prostrated with chills and fever.  Then he read law for a time, meanwhile working eight hours a day in a carriage shop, found his bodily health unequal to the task, gave up law, and during the succeeding seven years followed carriage-making and painting.  February 22, 1849, he married Elvira E., daughter of Joel Guild.  A daughter born of this union died young.  Mrs. Baxter died June 5, 1855, in Fayston, Vermont, and her remains were laid to rest in Fulton Street Cemetery, Grand Rapids.  February 22, 1854, he was a delegate at the Free Democratic State Convention, in Jackson, which first nominated K. S. Bingham for Governor of Michigan.  Otherwise he has never participated in active politics, and never sought nor held official position; except that of Notary Public for near a quarter of a century - an office practically without emolument.  In the summer of 1854 he abandoned his shop; and spent the next three quarters of a year at the East, in a fruitless effort to win back health to his invalid wife.  In August, 1855, he entered the office of the Grand Rapids Eagle, as business and editorial assistant; staid until July, 1860; went to Detroit and worked awhile on the Tribune; lost his health; was nearly two years an invalid; then was engaged as a clerk and part of the time in the lumber woods until the fall of 1865, when he again entered the Eagle office and occupied the editorial chair for about twenty-two consecutive years, laboring zealously as best he might for the public good.  As to how well or poorly he succeeded, the files of that journal contain the only continuous testimony; and, as only two copies of it now exist, the proof is substantially buried in oblivion.  Politically, Mr. Baxter is a Republican; religiously or morally he makes no profession other than to strive to be honest and kind.  Financially he has been unsuccessful; with misfortune he is familiar, and likewise has personal knowledge of the distresses of many other people.  Coming crippled into life, he has never enjoyed robust health.  The result of his latest work - the most exacting, onerous and vexing labor of his life (unremunerative whithal) - is comprised within the lids of this book.  These few waymarks along the path of his experience are sketched by himself, to make sure of their correctness, and - he waits.

Eli F. Harrington is a native of East Bradfield, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1839.  He learned the printer's trade, came west in 1858, and from 1865 to 1885 was most of the time connected with the publication of the Eagle, as a business partner.  Since the latter date he has been engaged in patent rights, and other dealings, with fair success.

Ernest B. Fisher was born at Binghamton, N. Y., December 5, 1847.  He came to Grand Rapids in 1868.  In 1871 he entered the office of the Eagle as local reporter, and has ever since been at the head of its local staff, and proprietor in part since 1882.  He is a member of the Board of Trade, and is interested in other home enterprises, including the Michigan Artisan.


The first number of the Grand Rapids Daily Times was issued April 17, 1870, by Clark C. Sexton.  In 1871 Nathan Church purchased a half interest, and was its editor two or three years.  Don Henderson and George W. Gage then held an interest in it for a short time, and afterward in the proprietorship were Myron W. Tarbox, Harry H. Pierce, and John M. Harris.  In 1876 Nathan Church resumed control, which he retained as long as the paper was issued.  Professedly the Times was an independent journal, politically and otherwise; in fact it was a sort of free-lance paper, with points turned every way.  In its later days Gouverneur B. Rathbone was interested in it financially.  Upon its staff at times; among others, were Theodore M. Carpenter, F. J. Hobbes, A. B. Tozer, Charles H. Hamblin, and J. G. Hann.  It was purchased by Frank W. Ball and merged in the Democrat, July 21, 1886, on which day its last number was issued.


This daily journal was started by the Leader Publishing Company, February 14, 1879, ostensibly as an independent exponent of what were called "Greenback" or "National" politics.  The principal stockholders of the company were: Henry S. Smith, C. C. Comstock, Wm. H. Powers, John C. Blanchard, L. V. Moulton, Wm. P. Innes, John L. Curtiss, P. S. Hulbert, and Wm. A. Berkey.  Members of its staff were: S. B. McCracken, Managing Editor; James H. Maze, News Editor; Wm. B. Weston, City Editor, and A. W. Johnston, Business Manager.  Among those since connected with it as editors or reporters have been: George W. Gage, F. H. Hosford, J. W. Mills, W. R. Maze, and Herbert Parrish.  Of its staff in 1888 are: W. B. Weston, Managing Editor; David R. Waters, Political Editor; Lewis G. Stuart, City Editor, and Henry M. Rose, Reporter.  Its tone, usually, has been that of a supporter of Democratic party politics.


This was first issued September 30, 1884, by Harford & McDowell (W. M. Harford and Hugh McDowell), as a Republican journal.  January 21, 1885, The Telegram Publishing Company was organized.  Among its principal stockholders were: A. B. Watson, D. A. Blodgett, Henry Spring, N. L. Avery, Hon. M. S. Crosby, and C. G. Swensberg.  Harford & McDowell, however, held the controlling interest until April 17, 1886, when it was sold to Lloyd Brezee and Fred G. Berger.


May 20, 1885, Lloyd Brezee started Brezee's Herald, a weekly society paper which was published about eleven months.  April 17, 1887, Lloyd Brezee and Fred G. Berger, having acquired control of the Morning Telegram, bought Brezee's Herald and consolidated the two under the title of The Telegram-Herald, adding a Sunday morning edition devoted chiefly to society matters, to take the place of Brezee's weekly.  Brezee's name appeared as editor and proprietor, and the paper was declared independent in politics.  August 3, 1888, E. D. Conger, with the financial backing of C. G. Swensberg, purchased the interest of Brezee and Berger, thus securing control of the paper, and turned the majority of stock thus purchased over to Swensberg.  Under the new management the paper was made Republican in politics, and secured a fair degree of patronage, C. G. Swensberg is President of the company, E. D. C Conger, Secretary and Manager.  On its staff (1888) are: Hugh McDowell, Managing Editor; F. W. Boughton, Telegraph Editor; Ed. E. Smith, City Editor; Mrs. Etta S. Wilson, Society Editor.  Among others who were previously attached to the editorial staff, were: W. A. Innes, H. M. Rose, J. D. McIntyre, W. J. Sproat, Charles Hamblin, W. C. Graves, Herbert Parrish, Melnott Grummond, Chas. Young, Charles Emerson and James Ferguson.

The staff in 1889 comprises: Lewis M. Miller, Managing Editor; Thomas K. Hunt, City Editor; John D. McIntyre, Dramatic Editor; Bert Hall, Horace Cambron, A. S. Hopkins, the Rev. S. H. Woodford, George B. Catlin, S. H. Sweet, Charles P. Woodward, Mrs. Etta S. Wilson, reporters.  The latter was the first lady employed in newspaper reporting in Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids is one of the few cities that has a press-club.  It was organized October 18, 1885: President, Henry M. Rose; Secretary; Andrew Fyfe; Treasurer, George W. Locke.  It objects [sic], as stated in its constitution, are: "To promote social intercourse and friendly feeling among its members; to extend aid to them when necessary, and to advance the interests of the profession of journalism."  It has been successfully conducted, is free from debt, and has a snug little sum in its treasury.  Steps have been taken for its incorporation under the laws of the State.  Officers for 1889: President, Wm. B. Weston; Secretary and Treasurer, Joseph J. Emery; Librarian and Sergeant at Arms, Clarence Cotton.  The club has thirty active members, and includes the majority of those upon the staffs of the daily papers; with many workers on weekly papers and several special writers.


Each of the daily papers of the city has published in connection a weekly edition.  Besides, some thirty weekly and periodical publications still alive have been born in Grand Rapids.  A brief outline history of each is here given, arranged chronologically in the order of their establishment.

DE VREIJHEIDS BANIER. - A weekly paper in the Holland language, established in 1868, by Verburg and Van Leeuwen.  This is the oldest weekly entirely separate from a daily issue in the city.  In November, 1871, it was purchased by James Van der Sluis, its present editor and proprietor, and made Republican, politically; which it has since been.  Among its former editors have been John W. Van der Haar, J. Van Leeuwen, H. M. Buhrmann and J. Scheffer.

DE STANDAARD. - A Hollandish paper started January 28, 1875, by J. Van Strien and Dennis Schram.  Published as a semiweekly in 1877, with Isaac Verwey as Editor.  Subsequently Gerrit Visschers, and G. Schoenmaker were Editors.  Since 1881, Dennis Schram has been Proprietor and Gerrit Vischers, Editor.  It is Democratic in politics.

THE AGRICULTURAL WORLD. - A semimonthly, whose name indicates its character, established in 1875 by Frank M. Carroll; merged in the Weekly World in 1886; the latter is published by F. M. Carroll & Co., and in politics Republican.

THE MEDICAL COUNSELLOR. - An eight page medical semi-monthly established in 1877, by Dr. Hugo R. Arndt.  Now printed in Ann Arbor and edited by Dr. Arndt.

DAWN OF THE MORNING. - An organ of the Children of Zion (Adventist).  A sixteen page monthly, established in 1878 by D. D. Paterson.

THE LEVER. - A weekly Prohibition paper, founded in this city in 1878 by J. A. Van Fleet.  Now published in Chicago.

THE REVIEW. - A literary weekly established in 1879 by A. B. Tozer and Robert Baird.  Sold in 1880 to L. B. Stanton and Joseph P. Ball.

MICHIGAN TRADE JOURNAL. - The Review, changed by L. B. Stanton to a paper in the interest of the trade in liquors in 1883, and given this new title.

MICHIGAN JOURNAL. - Same as the Michigan Trade journal, published every Saturday by L. B. Stanton & Co., in the same interest.

MICHIGAN ARTISAN. - An eighty page monthly, mechanical trades journal, established by Arthur S. White in 1880; a flourishing paper still edited by its founder.  It has lately passed into the hands of a stock company, of which E. B. Fisher is President.

THE MODERATOR. - The Michigan School Moderator, an educational monthly, first issued in this city in 1880, is now published at Lansing, and occupies a high position among journals of its class.

THE GERMANIA. - A Republican, German weekly, established in 1882.  Martin & Wurzburg, Proprietors; Louis Martin, Editor.  A successful paper.

YANKEE DUTCH. - A weekly, printed in Dutch and English, and dedicated to American citizens born in Holland.  Established in 1882, by John W. Van Leeuwen.

MICHIGAN TRADESMAN. - An eight page commercial weekly, established in 1883 by Ernest A. Stowe, who is its editor.  Issued Wednesdays.  It has attained a high standing.  E. A. Stowe & Brother, Publishers.

THE WORKMAN. - A four page Knights of Labor weekly.  Established in 1884 by I. S. Dygert, with E. D. Fuller, Editor.  Wm. M. Hathaway was afterward editor for a time.  Now published by E. P. Mills and A. M. Wolihan.

THE WOLVERINE CYCLONE. -  A political and humorous weekly, started in 1884 by J. Mason Reynolds; and in 1889 still issued occasionally.

HEARTH AND HALL. - A sixteen page literary monthly.  Founded in 1884 by Theodore M. Carpenter and Edgar J. Adams.  An excellent household journal.  Office in the Eagle Building.

MICHIGAN DAIRYMAN. - A sixteen page monthly, whose interests are chiefly indicated by its title.  Established in 1886 by E. A. Stowe & Brother, and issued from the Tradesman office.

THE WEST SIDE NEWS. - An eight page weekly newspaper started in 1886.  Devoted especially to the interests of the West Side of the River.  John G. Lee, Editor and Publisher.

DER SONNTAGSBOTE. - A German literary weekly, established in 1887.  Martin & Wurzburg, Publishers.  Issued from the Germania office.

BANNER OF LIFE. - An eight page weekly, devoted to Spiritualism.  Issued by The Banner of Life Publishing Company.  W. E. Reid, Publisher.  Now published under the name of the Olive Branch.

THE HOLINESS RECORD. - A monthly journal devoted to purity, of life and living.  Published by Solomon B. Shaw, as the organ of the Michigan State Holiness Association.

THE CHRISTIAN MESSENGER. - An independent evangelical weekly, started in 1888 by E. B. Gifford, Editor.

REFORMED CHURCH RECORD. - A monthly, published by, and in the interests of the First Reformed Church.

THE PASTOR'S AID. - A monthly publication in the interests of St. Mark's parish, and edited by the Rector, the Rev. Campbell Fair.  This and the Sunday School Guide are noticed in another part of this work - "St. Mark's Church."

STEMMEN UIT DE VRYE HOLLANDSCHE GENSENTE. - Literally interpreted, the name means: "The Voice of the Free Church."  A monthly, issued by the Liberal Publishing Company, in support of the doctrines of the Liberal Holland congregation.

THE CHRISTIAN HELPER. - A four page monthly, started in December, 1888, in the interest of the Second Baptist Church, by the Rev. Edward H. Brooks.

SKRIFTENS-TOLK. - A Swedish monthly, devoted to "true religion and politics."  First issued January 5, 1889, from 92 Broadway, by the Swedish Publishing Company, C. A. Wickstrom, President.

GAGE'S SATURDAY GAZETTE. - A literary weekly, started September 8, 1888, by the Gage Brothers.  George W. Gage, Editor; Hiram R. Gage, Publisher.  Merged in Hobbies.

HOBBIES. - A literary weekly, started January 10, 1889, by C. S. Hartman; F. D. Hopkins, Associate Editor.  [Since passed into the hands of M. A. True and F. D. Hopkins, and name changed to Town News.]

THE STAR. -An eight page weekly journal, "of society, dramatic, sporting, club and general news."  Started, February 9, 1889.  W. A. Emerson, Publisher; C. S. Emerson, Editor.

THE TYLER. - Devoted to Freemasonry, and official organ of the Craft in Michigan.  Twenty pages, weekly.  Started in Detroit in 1887 by Brownell Bros.  Now published in Grand Rapids.  John H. Brownell, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MISCELLANY. - A fitting apex to this pyramid of Grand Rapids journals, is The Miscellany, a bright, amateur, microscopic monthly, with very small pages, first published in November, 1888, by Ralph C. Apted, an editor fourteen years of age.


- The wise, the good,
Fair forms and hoary seers of ages past
All in one mighty sepulcher

- All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.


Thus wrote the young poet concerning the dead - and thus might be written of the dead newspapers of earth, and especially those of Grand Rapids.  The graves of more than seventy of the departed ones are here identified and marked; and to them, probably, might be added a few more before this book comes from the press:

YOUNG HICKORY. - A Democratic campaign sheet, issued from the Enquirer office in 1844.

WELLS' ADVERTISER. - A monthly real estate paper, started in the summer of 1856 by Revilo Wells, associated with whom was Bennett N. Sexton.

VALLEY CITY ADVERTISER. - A social and literary monthly, successor to Wells' Advertiser, published by B. N. Sexton for several years.

THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS. - A semiweekly newspaper established by Jonathan P. Thompson and Charles B. Benedict in 1857, after the dissolution of the firm of Gordon & Thompson, publishers of the Enquirer and Herald.

THE GREAT WESTERN JOURNAL. - A weekly newspaper, first called the Grand Rapids Journal, established by Thomas D. Worrall, in October, 1858.  Uri J. Baxter, E. G. D. Holden and Justus C. Rogers were connected with this paper for a time as editors.

THE YOUNG WOLVERINE. - A four-page monthly "young folks' journal," published one year, from July, 1857, to July, 1858, by Charles W. Eaton and Wm. S. Leffingwell.  A well edited paper, which has not been surpassed in neatness of typography by any of its successors.

DE STOOMPOST. - The first Hollandish paper published in the city.  Issued in 1859 by Jacob Quintus; sold by Quintus to Henry D. C. VanAsmus, and suspended after an existence of some seven years.

THE INDUSTRIAL JOURNAL. - A labor weekly, issued in February, 1867, as the successor of the Valley City Advertiser and Laboring Man's Advocate, by J. B. Haney, agent of the Labor Union Publishing Company; afterward published for a short time by John G. Lee.

GRAND RAPIDS DAILY UNION. - A short lived evening labor paper, issued by the Labor Union Publishing Company, July 30, 1867, with Ezra D. Burr as editor.

THE LABOR UNION. - A tri-weekly labor paper published by John G. Lee in 1868-69.

THE GRAND RAPIDS CITY ADVERTISER. - A trade paper of twenty- eight pages, quarto, issued quarterly throughout 1869, by J. D. Dillenback.

THE SUN. - A Greenback daily, published about 1869-70, by Marvin & Co. - short lived.

DER PIONEER. - An independent German weekly paper; the pioneer German paper of the city, published in 1871-72, by Carl Nienhardt.  Suspended after a life of nearly two years.

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.-An eight page literary newspaper, founded by D. N. Foster, October 4, 1873, with Wm. M. Hathaway as assistant editor.  In 1877 C. H. Dubois acquired control of the property, and in February, 1879, sold it to Creswell & Felker (John A. Creswell and P. H. Felker).  In 1880 Charles A. French purchased Mr. Felker's interest.  John A. Creswell, who now became editor, was a newspaper man whose sharp, incisive pencil, had made his pseudonym of "Cres" well known all over Michigan.  The famous "T. T." (Town Talk) column will long be remembered.  The paper was not a financial success, and in December, 1882, was sold to E. 0. Rose, of Big Rapids.  Mr. Rose, after some three years experience, sold it to J. W. Hallack, who made it a Prohibition paper, and the journal breathed its last in the spring of 1886.

THE VALLEY CITY ENTERPRISE. - A weekly started in 1873 by I. Ransom Sanford, devoted to the interests of the West Side.  Subsequently published by W. N. Fuller and J. H. Maze.  Sold in the fall of 1874 to Carpenter & Garner.

JOURNAL OF FASHION. - A monthly fashion journal, published in 1873 by J. E. and W. S. Earle.

MICHIGAN STAATS SEITUNG. - A weekly German newspaper, established in December, 1874, by Wm. Eichelsdoerfer.  The paper was well supported for a time, but suspended after an existence of some ten years.

THE INDEPENDENT PRESS. - Successor to the West Side Enterprise.  Published by Carpenter & Garner as a Spiritualist paper for a few months in 1874-75.

THE DAILY EVENING NEWS. - Printed Dec 3, 1874, by Arthur S. White and W. F. Conant.  Died after a life of five months.

DE WACHTER. - A semi-monthly Hollandish religious newspaper, established in Holland city in 1868.  Removed to this city in 1875, and published by the Rev. G. E. Boer.

MICHIGAN AMATEUR. - An amateur monthly published in 1876.

THE EVENING NEWS ITEM. - A daily, published by J. D. Dillenback and others in 1876-77

THE ARGUS. - A Greenback, afternoon daily, published in 1876 by Myron W. Tarbox.

THE EVENING MAIL. - A co-operative daily, started in June, 1876, by a company of printers.  The cooperation failed to co-operate, and after two months it died.

GRAND RAPIDS GREENBACK. - A weekly, started by Slocum & Holt in March, 1877.  The paper was run as a weekly some six months, when Holt retired and Slocum made it a daily.  It was short lived.

GRAND RAPIDS SONNTAGS BLAAT. - A German literary weekly, established by Wm. Eichelsdoerfer in 1877.  It lived about nine years.

THE EVENING NATIONAL. - Published by R. M. Slocum as a Greenback daily in April, 1878.  Successor to the Grand Rapids Greenback.

DE NIEUWSBODE. - A tri-weekly, independent, Hollandish paper, published three months in 1878, by Timothy Haan & Co.

THE STANDARD. - A Greenback weekly, published in the winter of 1878 by Louis Gale, and afterward by W. A. Innes and W. B. Weston.  Merged in the Leader.

THE EVENING ENQUIRER. - The Daily Evening Enquirer, a revival of the weekly Enquirer, suspended in 1865, was issued in August, 1878, by M. H. Clark.  The paper was started as a Democratic organ, but soon changed to Greenbackism.  It ran but a few months.

THE NEWS AND PRICE CURRENT. - A weekly published in 1878.

THE DIAMOND. - An unsavory weekly published in 1879 by Louis Gale.

SOCIETY NEWS. - A short-lived weekly published in 1881 by George B. Catlin.

THE TRUTH. - A weekly, published by Benson Bidwell in 1882, in the interests of a Quixotic enterprise conducted under the name of the Union Trust Company.

SATURDAY EVENING HERALD. - A weekly published in March, 1883, by H. A. Brooks.

THE CLIPPER. - A weekly, published in 1882, at 46 Canal street, by Charles S. Gates.

THE DAILY SUN. - An independent afternoon paper, published for eight months of 1883, by W. F. Cornell and E. A. Hoag.

THE BOYCOTTER. - A small weekly, printed in 1883 by Hufford & Randall, backed by the Typographical Union.  Its existence was ephemeral.

OUR MUTUAL FRIEND. - A monthly, published in 1883 by J. G. Beecher.

GERMAN AMERICAN. - A small weekly sheet started in 1884 by Hermann Hammerschlag.  Devoted to the interests of Hebrew German-Americans.

PROGRESSIVE AGE. - Successor to the German American.  A radical and aggressive free-thought paper, published weekly.  Hermann Hammerschlag, Proprietor and Editor.

THE LABOR UNION. - A weekly labor paper, run for four months of 1884, by Asa Barrows, David Hufford and Paul Randall, as a successor to the Boycotter.

LABOR HERALD. - The Labor Union was published for a short time under this title, by T. J. Mosher.

THE BOY IN BLUE. - An organ of the Sons of Veterans, published in 1886 by T. J. Mosher.

THE MICHIGAN SOLDIER. - A Grand Army and Sons of Veterans organ, successor to The Boy in Blue, published by T. J. Mosher, and afterward sold to Eugene Carpenter, in whose hands it died in 1888.

THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER. - An educational weekly, published in 1883-84 by the School Newspaper Company.

NIEUWE COURANT. -A weekly Holland paper, published in 1884 by Jacob Quintus.

YORK'S MUSICAL JOURNAL. - An eight page monthly musical journal, established in 1884 by J. W. York & Son.

THE GLOBE. - A literary weekly, published in 1882-84 by Godwin & Adzit and F. Homer Hosford. Merged in the Daily Times.

THE RADICAL. - A weekly, devoted to radical Democracy, started Feb. 16, 1884, by W. J. Sproat.  Sold to F. W. Ball, and merged in the Democrat in September, 1883.

THE CRITIQUE. - A weekly journal issued in 1885, by the Dawn Publishing Company.

THE MESSAGE. - A small sheet published in 1885-86 by the South Congregational Church, and devoted to the church's interest.

THE MICHIGAN MANUFACTURER. - A small sixteen page monthly, published in 1885 by E. A. Stowe & Brother.  It lived one year.

THE LAND JOURNAL. - A monthly real estate paper, which A. A. Root & Co. published in 1886.

TOZER'S SATURDAY MAIL. - A literary weekly, two issues of which were published by A. B. Tozer in December, 1886.

MICHIGAN BUILDING AND REAL ESTATE JOURNAL. - A monthly, published by Harford & Altschwager, 48 Lyon street. W. M. Harford, editor, 1886.

THE EVENING NEWS. - A short-lived daily, issued in 1886 by the Evening News Publishing Company.  (Paul Randall and others.)

REAL ESTATE WORLD. - A monthly real estate journal, published by C. S. Edwards in 1886.

THE GERM. - A prohibition weekly, published in 1886 by the Rev. George Candee.  Afterward merged in the Center, at Lansing, Mich.

THE HIGH SCHOOL JOURNAL. - A monthly school paper, published by the High School Lyceum throughout the school year, 1886-87.

THE SUNDAY NEWS. - A weekly, published in November, 1886, by W. J. Mather, of Toronto, Canada.  Its life was but a span - two issues in length.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE. - Three numbers of a weekly with this title were issued in 1886, by one Roberts.

COMMON SENSE. - A radical free-thought weekly, published in 1887, by A. C. Everett.

THE BAPTIST RECORD. - A four page religious monthly, published in 1887-88, by the Young People's League of the First Baptist Church.

THE DELTAN. - A school magazine, organ of the Gramma [sic] Delta Psi fraternity, published in the High School in 1887-88.

THE RECTOR'S ASSISTANT. - An ably edited monthly; devoted to the interests of St. Paul's parish, published by the Rector, Rev. J. Rice Taylor, in 1887-88.

MONTHLY BULLETIN. - A small sheet published in 1886-87 by the Y. M. C. A., in the interests of the Association.

YOUR PAPER. - A monthly, published in 1887 by Carpenter & Adams, proprietors of Hearth and Hall.

SVENSKA VECKOBLADET. - A Swedish weekly published in 1887 by C. A. Wickstrom.

THE AGITATOR. - A weekly, published in 1887 by Alfred Rindge.

BUSINESS REPORTER. - A daily, published for two months in 1887 by W. A. Innes and E. A. Antisdel.

DE BANIER DES VOLKS. - A Republican, Hollandish weekly, published for three months in the fall of 1888 by Van Houtum & De Haan.


The following list of directories may be found interesting, as illustrating, by the yearly increase of names, the rapid growth of the city.  With the exception of the earlier years, all the directories have been published by firms outside Grand Rapids, although R. L. Polk & Co. have maintained a branch publication office in the city for several years:

Wm. A. Robinson1856......
P. J. G. Hodenpy18591222,688
J. A. French and M. T. Ryan18651541,760
Western Pub. Co., Chicago18672744,274
J. D. Dillenback & Co., Gd. Rps.18701984,613
J. D. Dillenback & Co , Gd. Rps.18722684,960
Burch, Polk & Co., Detroit18733809,950
Polk, Murphy & Co., Detroit18743669,684
Murphy & Co., Grand Rapids187537610,677
Murphy & Co., Grand Rapids187639611,200
Murphy Co., Grand Rapids187737511,800
R. L. Polk & Co.187138212,200
R. L. Polk & Co.1871404 12,550
R. L. Polk & Co.188042813,300
R. L. Polk & Co.188147414,500
R. L. Polk & Co.188269916,600
R. L. Polk & Co.188363619,400
R. L. Polk & Co.188481221,800
R. L. Polk & Co.188568821,600
R. L. Polk & Co.188694422,000
R. L. Polk & Co.188790424,763
R. L. Polk & Co.18881,21228,717
R. L. Polk & Co.18891,12431,434


During the early days, and up to about 1870, comparatively little printing was done outside of the newspaper offices.  Newspaper publishers advertised to do job printing "with neatness and dispatch and or reasonable terms."  Each paper had its job department, and as many hands as were needed for its custom, especially skilled in handbill and advertising work, were given employment therein.  In 1857, John Bole had started a small office in the Lovett Block, and advertised to do job printing and book, work, and within a few years thereafter, several establishments were started for such work exclusively.  From small beginnings this business has grown to quite large proportions, using machinery, in some cases, as heavy and intricate and costly as that of the largest newspaper establishments.  There are, in 1889, at least two dozen job printing offices in the city.  Among the larger ones are: The Dean Printing and Publishing Co., The Eaton, Lyon & Allen Printing Company, the Democrat job rooms, W. W. Hart, Loomis & Onderdonk, I. S. Dygert, L. B. Stanton & Co., West Michigan Printing Company, and The Fuller & Stowe Company.  Also in the business are Dickinson Brothers, Hensen & Deynders, Martin & Wurzburg, P. T. Hugenholtz, John Rookus, G. C. Shepard, J. H. Taylor, H. A. Toren, and Anthony Van Dort, all centrally located on the east side of the river.  On West Bridge street are Gust. Holm, Carl Nienhardt and Paterson & Clarke.

The Dean Printing and Publishing Company was organized and incorporated in April, 1889.  It occupies the entire fifth floor of the Louis street side of the Blodgett block, at the corner of Ottawa and Louis streets, and is equipped with the best of material for all sorts of fine printing and binding, taking position among the foremost establishments of its kind.  This volume is a specimen of its work, and bears its imprint on the title page.  Officers of the company: President, William Dunham; VicePresident, Samuel E. Watson; Secretary, A. S. Hicks; Treasurer, Jacob Barth; Manager and General Superintendent, Harry K. Dean.  Capital Stock, $25,000.  It starts briskly, with a heavy business, and an average of twenty-five employes. [sic]

The printing business gives support to a large number of people, and is a source of fair profit to some.  In the Typographical Union are 108 active members, who, with honorary members and non-Union workmen, make up a total of about 150 practical printers in the city.


In March, 1855, the Enquirer advertised the establishment of a book-bindery, "next, door to the Post Office," where "blank books, day-books, journals and all kinds of county records will be bound in the best style at Detroit prices."  Jacob Barns & Co. were the proprietors.  Andrew J. Dygert was the workman, and the first book-binder to ply his trade in this city.  The business at that time was small.  In November, 1860, John C. Wenham purchased the plant, and it was removed to Nevius Block (now Gunn Block) on Monroe street.  In 1863 it was sold to Henry M. Hinsdill, who combined book-binding with bookselling.

In 1860 Adrian Yates had a bindery on the east side of Canal street, between Lyon and Pearl, and in 1865, Arthur W. Currier was in the business at 21 Barclay street.  Mr. Currier had previously worked with Mr. Wenham.

In 1877, the Barlow Brothers (John B. and Heman G.) established a bindery in the Randall Block near the foot of Lyon street.  Their business has grown until it amounts to from $30,000 to $40,000 yearly.  Other book binders in the city are: J. Chilver & Co., Blodgett block, corner Ottawa and Louis streets; Richard Gough & Co., No. 2 Pearl; Ritze Hermann, 291 Ottawa.


In 1836, John W. Peirce started a small book and stationery store at the northeast corner of Kent and Bronson streets.  Judging from his advertisements, his assortment of books was somewhat mixed.  In the spring of 1841 he had for sale "at the book store," "a large assortment of saw mill saws," and wanted at the same place, "two hundred bushels of oats."  In 1844, he moved from there to the west side of Canal street, on the south corner of Erie.  Gradually he worked out of the book trade, into that of general merchandise.

In 1848 James D. Lyon opened a similar store at the east corner of Canal and Pearl streets.  After him, Wm. B. Howe, till 1856, and then George P. Barnard continued the business at the same place until about 1866, when George K. Nelson and Charles W. Eaton, in partnership, bought the stock.  Subsequently, this firm became Nelson Brothers & Co. (George C., George K. and James F. Nelson) still in business at 68 Monroe street, and now trading exclusively in wall paper, shade goods and statuary.

George P. Sexton opened a news stand in November, 1857, in the postoffice, where he sold periodicals for a year or two.

Among other early book-sellers were John Terhune, Jr., about 1854, in the Rathbone block, and afterward in Luce Block; and C. Morse, a little later, on Canal, near Erie street.

About 1860 J. S. Nevins & Son had a book store in the Nevius Block.

In 1859 Henry M. Hinsdill established a book house at 14 Canal street.  Afterward Chester B. Hinsdill and Charles D. Lyon became associated with him under the name of Hinsdill Brothers & Co., at 22 Canal street.  In 1870 the Hinsdills were bought out by Charles W. Eaton and C. D. Lyon, and the firm name of Eaton & Lyon made its appearance in the book trade.  In the same year that owl whose spectacled countenance is so familiar to newspaper readers in Western Michigan, was adopted as a trade-mark.  The original owl was a stuffed bird bought at auction and set in the display window of the store, from a portrait of which by Lawrence Earle, Fred. S. Church designed their trade-mark.  In 1881 the firm removed to 20 and 22 Monroe street, its present location.  Its members are: C. W. Eaton, C. D. Lyon, H. W. Beecher and J. L. Kymer.  The business of the establishment has grown until with the allied plant of the Eaton, Lyon & Allen Printing Company, it foots up some $225,000 annually.

In 1874 George A. Hall opened a news stand, with a small stock of books, in the Arcade.  With several successive partners, the management of the business has remained in his hands, and it has grown to be a large trade.  In 1887 the store was removed to 56 Monroe street.

Other firms of later establishment in the line of stationery and news are: Buchanan & Co., No. 5 South Division street; Spraker & Hogadone in the Arcade, and F. H. Seymour, New Kendall Block.  The latter firm deals in second hand books and art goods.  F. M. Hulswit, 157 Monroe, and D. J. Doornink, 81 Monroe, supply reading matter to a goodly number of Holland citizens, and also deal in stationery.


In 1874 W. N. Fuller established a printing office at 75 Canal street.  He had worked at engraving, and in 1875 was able to combine that with his printing business.  He also secured the services of W. A. Reed, an engraver, and afterward the two formed a partnership under the name of Fuller & Reed.  The making of illustrated catalogues for the furniture factories proved profitable, and other engraving firms came into existence.  In 1882, W. A. Reed organized the Grand Rapids Engraving Company, with F. K. Cargill as partner.  About the beginning of 1888 Reed sold out to Cargill, and, with others, organized The Valley City Engraving Company, whose establishment was recently moved to the corner of Pearl and Campau streets.  The Grand Rapids Engraving Company, F. K. Cargill, managing proprietor, is located in the Eagle Block, 49 Lyon street.  W. N. Fuller, in 1886, went into the Fuller & Stowe Printing and Engraving Company, of late situated on Louis street.  An important specialty of the engravers of this city is furniture work.  In this they receive orders for cuts from all parts of the country.  Their business amounts to $30,000 or more yearly.  In July, 1887, C. Jurgen & Brother, of Chicago, established the Grand Rapids Electrotype foundry, on Mill street, opposite Erie.  In January, 1888, this was purchased by Olaf F. Nelson and Charles E. Ennes, and the works have been removed to Erie street.  Their business is chiefly for the furniture trade and the newspapers.


In few departments of art is the progress of inventive genius and mechanical skill better shown than in the construction of printing presses.  From the old Ramage and Washington hand presses to the complicated and almost automatic machines of the present day, is a great stride.  For the various classes of printing, there is much variety in these machines, moved by hand, steam, water, gas or electric power.  Some idea of the improvements may be gained from the illustrations here given.  The Goss newspaper perfecting press shown, built expressly for the Telegram-Herald Company in 1889, is named Melita, in honor of the daughter of C. G. Swensberg, President of that company.


Mrs. Rose Hartwick Thorp, author of the poem, "Curfew Shall Not Ring To-Night," known wherever the English language is spoken, now a resident of California, is a native of Michigan, and spent some years in Grand Rapids.

Mrs. S. K. Torrey, besides being an artist of ability, is a pleasant writer, and a recent holiday brochure from her pencil and pen, entitled "Mission Sketches," and describing the old Catholic missions at Santa Barbara, California, was favorably received.

Among writers of some local note is Joseph J. Baker, who wrote a book of poems and several dramatic pieces, and set them up and printed them with his own hand.  His plays have never been put upon the stage.

Charles D. Almy has done some clever work as a special writer for the papers.  His style is modeled somewhat after that of "Bill Nye."

In this connection the poems, and the rich, though sometimes coarse, humor of J. Mason Reynolds ("Farmer Reynolds"), should not be ignored.  In 1882 he published a collection of his poems - a pamphlet of 99 pages.

William A. Berkey, in 1876, issued a book of 384 pages, entitled "The Money Question," a work indicating much labor and research.  Three editions of it have been published.

In 1880 Luther V. Moulton published a volume of 271 pages, entitled "The Science of Money, and American Finances," wherein he revels in mathematics, tables of figures and abstruse speculations.

In historical and scientific lines, Grand Rapids has produced some creditable works.  Among these are Jackson D. Dillenback's "History and Directory of Kent County," issued in 1870, and Prof. Franklin Everett's "Memorials of the Grand River Valley," a larger and more comprehensive volume, of about 600 pages, printed in 1878.  A "History of Kent County," a book ponderous in size but not remarkable for its general accuracy, was published in 1881, by M. A. Leeson as historian, and C. C. Chapman & Co. as publishers, neither of whom ever lived in Grand Rapids.

The Kent Scientific Institute, among its other means for the spread of knowledge, has issued scientific pamphlets from time to time.  In 1873, N. Coleman, a member, compiled under its auspices, a list of the flowering plants of the Southern Peninsula of Michigan, including some 725 species.  This list has been used extensively in later compilations of Michigan flora.  A. 0. Currier prepared some valuable lists of Michigan shells, and Dr. Wm. H. DeCamp published a "Monogram on the Mollusks of Michigan."

Among theological works, the Coming Age Publishing Company, in 1887, issued a pamphlet on the "Higher Teachings of Spiritualism."  In 1886 the Rev. S. H. Cobb prepared a paper on "The Philosophy and Theology of the Mind Cure," which was published in pamphlet form.  The Rev. Kerr B. Tupper edited a volume entitled "Robertson's Living Thoughts," consisting of selections from the sermons of Frederick W. Robertson, a famous Divine of Brighton, England.  The First Congregational Church Society issued in 1884 a beautiful memorial volume in relation to the life, services and death of its pastor, the Rev. J. Morgan Smith.  In 1881 Bishop D. D. Paterson, of the Children of Zion Church, published a small work entitled "A Casket of Poetical Treasures," original and selected.

The Rev. P. Moerdyke, D. D., in 1880 published a historical discourse, giving an account of the origin and progress of the First Reformed Church until it became self-supporting in 1879 (35 pages), and a sermon to the young Prof. Vos, Ph. D., issued a volume of some merit on "The Pentateuch," designed as a defense against recent criticisms.  The Rev. Samuel Graves published the sermon preached at the dedication of the Fountain Street Baptist Church, and one commemorating his fifteen-years pastorate of that church.  The Rev. A. R. Merriman in 1888 published "A Study of the Divorce Problem."

Georgie Young, who became intensely earnest in efforts for the relief and reclamation of fallen women, in 1889 published a volume of 116 pages, entitled: "A Magdalen's Life," which awakened great interest in the cause for which it was written.

Beginning in 1870, Isaac H. Parrish wrote a series of some seventy articles, entitled: "History of Parties," which were published in the Grand Rapids Eagle during the following two years.  Again in 1886-87 be contributed to the West Michigan Farmers' Club a series of papers on "Law for the Farmers."  About 1870, Herbert E. Dewey contributed to the press a series of fifteen long articles on "Southern Prisons," with which he was made somewhat acquainted during the war.

Among medical works produced by Grand Rapids Physicians, is a small treatise on "Homeopathic Treatment of Diphtheria," published in 1880 by Dr. DeForest Hunt.  A work on "Phthisis Pulmonaris" was published a year or two later by Dr. G. N. Brigham, of the Homeopathic School, who was also the author of one or two other treatises regarded as standard medical works.  Dr. Charles J. Hempel was an author and translator of national repute in the line of Homeopathic medical literature.

Among the makers and publishers of plain maps in the earlier days of the town were John Almy, W. L. Coffinberry, Robert S. Innes and John F. Tinkham.

Document Source: Baxter, Albert, History of the City of Grand Rapids, New York and Grand Rapids: Munsell & Company, Publishers, 1891. (Name Index)
Location of Original: Various.
Transcriber: Ed  Howe
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/baxter1891/30press.html
Created: 14 July 2000[an error occurred while processing this directive]