Heritage \ Writings \

Edward Forsyth (1857-1915)
Early newspaper man in Bay City and Cheboygan, Mich.

1912 Biography. Added Oct., 2009.

A History of Northern Michigan and Its People, Vol. III,
by Perry Francis Powers (1912)


Edward Forsyth was born in Flint, Michigan, and what education he obtained was at her public schools under Professor Zeloties Truesdell. At the age of Thirteen he was the victim of what was then called “spotted fever,” and while convalescent he became obsessed of the idea that he wanted an amateur press, they then being very extensively advertised, and the desire of the hearts of millions of boys all over the country. His father was disposed to grant his wish, “But,” said he “you must go into a printing office for a short time and learn how to operate it so you can do my work, and I'll get you a nice outfit.” so he was put into the office of the Flint Globe, A. L. Aldrich's paper, and his father paid his wages, which he did not know for a long time afterward, or he would have revolted. But every day he worked he became more and more fascinated, and the large his ideas became as to what kind of an outfit he wanted, until they were very great. After a short time he went into setting type for F. H. Rankin on the Wolverine Citizen, and then his folks moved to Detroit, and he with them. Here he worked for a temperance paper owned by Rev. Russell, and, not being able to newspaper man, for his folks being unable to wean him from the work, collect pay for three months' work, left. This is how he came to be a sent him to Marquette, where his uncle, W. I. Beardsley, was half owner and business manager of the Mining Journal, and he spent many happy months under that veteran on that journal. Returned to Detroit, he spent a year at school in Connecticut and on his return, the family having moved to Bay City, he of course went there to live, and was employed in his father's hardware store, but not being satisfied, went to sticking type again under Dan P. McMullen, foreman of the Daily Tribune under George K. Shaw, where he spent several years.

He helped start and was owner of the Bay City Observer, with the late lamented A. McMillan, of pleasant memory, and became owner of the Bay City Penny Press, which he sold to Ed. Bennet, of the Bay City Lumberman, which in the course of time has now become the Bay City Times. He then went to Cheboygan and started the Democrat, and has ever since remained there.

In 1880 he was married to Miss Charlotte E. Mercer, of Bay City. They have no living children.

The subject of this brief sketch has always been a red-hot Democrat, and during Cleveland's two terms was deputy collector of customs for Cheboygan, thus serving seven of the eight years Cleveland held the office, which was the only political preferment he received, except delegate to about all the state conventions of his party held in those years. He is a member of the Elks, Cheboygan Lodge, 504, it being the only fraternity he ever joined.

1884 - History. Added Sept., 2010.

History of Cheboygan County, Michigan - 1884

Cheboygan Newspapers.

The Cheboygan Democrat was first issued Febraury 12, 1880, by Forsyth & Bunnell. At the end of six months Edward Forsyth purchased Mr. Bunnell's interest and has been editor and proprietor of the paper since that time. The paper is Democratic in politics and has advanced from a very small beginning to an important position in value, and in 1881 the office is equipped with all the printing facilities of a first-class office. In the fall of 1888 Mr. Forsyth erected a building in which the Democrat is now located. The paper when first issued was 24x30 inched in size. It has been several times enlarged being now a nine column folio, and its space largely increased by the issue of extra pages. It is soon to be again enlarged to furnish the additional space required by its advertising patronage. Mr. Forsyth is a son of a prominent hardware merchant in Bay City, and began learning the printer's trade in an office at Flint, in 1870. He has steadily followed the business since that time, and for a time was engaged with Mr. McMillan, now editor of the Bay City Tribune in the publication of the Bay City Observer. In 1880 he came to Cheboygan and started the Democrat as above mentioned.

1883 - Brief bio of father, Otto F. Forsyth. Added Sept., 2010.

History of Bay City, Michigan - 1883.


O. F. Forsyth, of the hardware firm of Forsyth & Pierson, is one of the veteran hardware merchants of Michigan. He is a native of New York State. In 1874 he settled in Bay City, and in 1876 the present firm of Forsyth & Pierson bought out the hardware firm of Bailey & Orton, the purchase including a large brick block in which their store is located. This block was built by Bailey & Orton in 1869, and is located on Water Street. There is also a warehouse and dock belonging to the property. Mr. Forsyth has been a successful business man, and ranks high in all circles.

  • Note: This hardware store was located at Water near Fifth streets in what is now the north end of Wenonah Park.

    Additional Notes.

      1880 Census, Bay City, Mich.

    • Forsythe, Edward, born 1857, Michigan, parents Oscar F. and Elisabeth Forsythe.

      1880 Michigan Marriages, Bay City, Mich.

    • Forsythe, Edward, age 23, of Cheboygan, marriage on Jun. 1, 1880, to Charlotte E. Mercer, age 19, of Bay City.

      1881 Michigan Births: Benton, Cheboygan, Mich.

    • Oscar Forsyth, born Dec. 12, 1881. Parents: Edward and Charlotte Forsyth.

      1911 - History of Northern Michigan (1912)

    • (Page 160) Since February, 1911, on account of Mr. Forsyth's failing health, Al. H. Weber has been conducting the Democrat as lessee and manager.

      1915 - Michigan Deaths: Cheboygan, Cheboygan, Mich.

    • Edward Forsyth, born 1857, editor, died Aug. 13, 1915. Mother's name, Mary Beardsley.
  • Related Note & Pages

    Edward Forsyth

    Related Pages:
    Forsyth, Oscar F. father
    People Referenced
    Aldrich, A.L.
    Bailey, Mr.
    Beardsley, Elisabeth (mother)
    - aka: Mary
    Beardsley, W.L. (uncle)
    Bunnell, Milie
    Forsyth, Edward (subject)
    Forsyth, Oscar (father)
    Forsyth, Oscar (son)
    McMillan, A.
    McMullen, Dan. P
    Mercer, Charlotte E. (wife)
    Orton, Mr.
    Pierson, Mr.
    Rankin, F.H.
    Russell, Rev.
    Shaw, Geo. K.
    Truesdell, Zeloties
    Weber, Al. H.
    Subjects Referenced
    Bailey & Orton Co.
    Bay City, MI
    Benton, MI
    Cheboygan, MI
    Detroit, MI
    Flint, MI
    Forsyth & Pierson Co.
    Marquette, MI
    Bay City Daily Tribune
    Bay City Lumberman
    Bay City Observer
    Bay City Penny Press
    Bay City Times
    Cheboygan Democrat
    Flint Globe
    Mining Journal
    Wolverine Citizen
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.