A History of the Press of Michigan Prepared for the Centennial, 1876
This count, with a population of 24,832, has three weekly papers and one daily. Wenona has a paper, The Herald, and the others are published in Bay City. The daily is The Tribune, the weeklies are The Chronicle, The Michigan Odd Fellow and The Lumberman's Gazette. The later, as its name implies, is devoted to the lumber interests, The Odd Fellow to the interests of that order; the politics of the other papers of the county are Republican.
To Mr. E. T. Bennett, publisher of The Lumberman's Gazette, I am indebted for the following interesting facts relative to the journalistic history of Bay county: The first newspaper published in Bay City was called The Bay City Express, published in 1856, was owned by Perry Joslyn; James Birney was the editor, and it was Republican in politics. It lived but a few weeks. Succeeding it came a weekly paper call The Press, and afterward The Bay City Press and Times. It first appeared September 14, 1859, was published by W. A. Bryce, and was neutral in politics, until the campaign of 1860, when it became Republican, and was continued until 1864, when the publisher entered the army as Quartermaster of the 29th Michigan infantry, and the paper was discontinued. In the same year The Bay City Journal, with John Culbert as editor, made its appearance. It was Republican in politics, and was continued until February, 1873, when it was purchased by James Birney, February 17, 1871. The Journal was issued by R. L. Warren, as a daily, for some time previous to its purchase by Mr. Birney, but he discontinued the daily issue, until, in 1874, it was revived by him under the names of The Daily and Weekly Chronicle, the publication of the daily edition being suspended in the fall of 1875. The Weekly Chronicle is still contintued by Arthur M. Birney.
April 5, 1873, The Bay City Tribune was established by Griffin Lewis, T. K. Harding, E. Kroenche and John Culbert, with Henry S. Dow, editor and manager. It was Republican in politics, and continued to be of that political faith, Mr. Dow, however, retiring, until 1874, when its control passed into the hands of the Democrat, and it continued Democratic until the spring pf 1876, when the Republicans again obtained control, with G. K Shaw as editor and manager. It was from its start a daily paper, and still continues to be.
In June, 1864, The Bay City Signal was established as a weekly Democratic paper by Wm. T. Kennedy, who continued the publication a little more than four years, when he died, and I. G. Worden assumed the publication, continuing it for about two years, when it was sold to The Chronicle company.
In July, 1872, The Lumberman's Gazette was established as a monthly journal, devoted to the lumber and salt interest, with Henry S. Dow as editor and proprietor. In May, 1874, the paper was changed to a weekly. In February, 1875, Mr. Dow died, and was succeeded in the control of the paper by Messrs. Bates & Bennett, who were succeeded in October, 1875, by E. T. Bennet, the present proprietor. Its circulation is large, extending into every state and territory. It is now a sixteen page paper.
The Michigan Odd Fellow, published at Bay City, was established March 8, 1875. It is devoted to the interests of the order whose name it bears, and is published by the Odd Fellows' Publishing company, E. Newkirk, manager.
In addition to the above, a small paper called the Growler, is published weekly by D. R. Curry, having no particular object, political or otherwise. The Growler was established in 1869, meeting with unexpected success for a time, but suspending in 1871, to be revived in 1875 by its original proprietor, and is favored with a large circulation.