Newspapers
Charlevoix Co MI


Newspapers of Charlevoix

Charlevoix county is in the pioneer journalistic territory of Northern Michigan, and in the person of the venerable Willard A. Smith, of the Sentinel, has the distinction of still maintaining one of the honored fathers of the profession. He is, in fact, the veteran journalist of that section of the state, having been in harness, as a sturdy worker and thinker, for more than forty-two years. A sketch of his life and his long and honorable career as a newspaper man is published elsewhere in this work.

The Charlevoix Sentinel itself has been an important factor in the general development and progress of Charlevoix county and Northern Michigan. In 1869 the county of Charlevoix was organized. At that time DeWitt C. Leach was publishing the Grand Traverse Herald and Willard A. Smith was a compositor in the office of the Grand Traverse Eagle. Mr. Leach desired to establish a newspaper in the new county and selected young Smith as the proper person to come to Charlevoix and manage the enterprise. A satisfactory arrangement was effected and Smith took such material as he thought necessary from the Herald office and it was transported to the new field of journalism. An office was set up in the Althouse building, near the Fountain City House, and Saturday, April 24, 1869, the first number of the Charlevoix Sentinel was issued for DeWitt C. Leach by Willard A. Smith, with Major E. H. Green as editor. Its field was wide, for north of Traverse City there was no competition. Charlevoix village was scarcely a prophecy and even if every white family in that territory had each paid for one copy during the year, the publisher would not have grown rapidly rich.

Turning back the issues of fifteen years to the early numbers we find a well printed and well edited local newspaper. Public questions are there discussed with candor and ability, and the make-up of the paper displays the work of a printer skilled in his craft. The paper was a five-column folio and was printed on a Washington hand press. Thus the business of the village was fairly presented at that time. During the second year the office was removed to a building at the corner of Clinton and Bridge streets. On March 12, 1870, Mr. Leach sold the establishment to Willard A. Smith. Mr. Green continued editor until February 11, 1871, when he retired from a position which he had very ably filled and Mr. Smith became sole editor and proprietor, as at present. In 1874 the paper was changed to a six-column folio, afterward to a five-column quarto, and in 1881 to a six-column quarto. In 1871 Mr. Smith built an office on Main street. Subsequently that building was moved to Bridge street and occupied a time, when it was again moved and the present Sentinel building erected upon its site. Mr. Smith continued sole proprietor until August. 1883, when he sold a half interest to Ed. F. Parmalee, and the firm became Smith & Parmelee. At that time the paper was increased to a seven-column quarto. Mr. Smith afterward purchased Mr. Parmelee's interest.

When first established the Sentinel was the official paper of seven counties, including two of the Upper Peninsula. Since that time its field has narrowed, as population multiplied upon this inviting domain, but it has ever maintained a high standard of independence and its influence has been continuous, strong and elevating.

The Charlevoix Journal was established by Charles J. Strang, and the first number was issued in June, 1883. The paper is a five-column quarto, is Democratic in politics and is conducted with evident ability.

Charles J. Strang, founder of the Journal, was a son of the late James J. Strang, leader of the Michigan Mormons. He was born at St. James, Beaver Island, Michigan, April 6, 1851, and after the death of his father in 1856 he moved to Walworth county, Wisconsin, and three years later to Jackson county. In February, 1860, he located in Eaton county, Michigan. He was educated in the district schools of the county, and in March, 1868, entered the office of the Eaton Rapids Journal as an apprentice, where he worked one year. Subsequently he worked at Bay City, Michigan, three years, in western states one year, at Charlotte, Michigan, two years, and at Lansing eight years. In June, 1883, he located at Charlevoix and established the Journal as above stated.

The present editor and proprietor is C. E. Ramsey. A daily edition, Evening Journal, was established in 1909.

Other long-established papers in Charlevoix county arc the Citizen and Journal, of Boyne City, founded respectively in 1881 and 1883. The Standard, deceased, was first issued from that city by William Mears, March 11, 1881. At the beginning of the third volume the name was changed to the Statesman. Rev. T. J. Hill and P. A. Badour were editors of the Standard and the Statesman. The Boyne City Times was established in fall of 1911 and is edited by W. H. Griffin.

In the spring of 1882 East Jordan had become of sufficient importance to induce the establishment of a local newspaper. The Boyne City Enterprise had been started at Boyne in September, 1880, by Budd & Garrison, and on April 7, 1882, it was moved to East Jordan by E. N. Clink, who conducted it alone until April 14, 1883, when W. F. Palmiter purchased a half interest in the office. On October 11th following Mr. Clink rented his interest to Thomas F. Nelson. On the night of November 18, 1883, the office was destroyed by fire, and the publication of the paper was suspended until February 21, 1884, when it was resumed by Palmiter & Nelson, the latter having purchased the interest belonging to Mr. Clink. The present editor and proprietor is C. L. Lorraine, who bought the paper in 1891. His son, R. L. Lorraine, has been in active charge for several years.

History of Northern Michigan by Perry F. Powers 1912

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