Heritage \ Writings \

James Christopher McCabe (1871-1944)
Born in Allegheny, PA, long time newspaper man in Bay City.

1900 biography. (Added Nov., 2008)

Livingstone's History of the Republican Party. Vol. II – 1900 (Page 265)


James Christopher McCabe is one of the men whom Grover Cleveland sent from the Democratic to the Republican ranks. He is the son of James McCabe, an insurance agent, and Martha McDowell McCabe, and was born April 30th, 1871, in Allegheny, Pa. His father's people were natives of Ireland, but they left their home in Leitrim County, Province of Connaught, at the time of the famine of 1844, and came to Quebec. A few years later they removed to Port Henry, Essex County, N.Y., where the father of James C. was born. His mother was a daughter of Christopher McDowell, who was born in 1812, in Belfast, Ireland, and came to this country in the early '50's, settling in Cold Springs, N.Y. Thence he went to Bay City in 1862, being one of the earliest settlers there. He married a Miss Warren, descendant of the Warren family of Revolutionary fame.

James C. was educated in the Pittsburgh public schools, Bay City public schools, and graduated from Bay City High School in 1889. He was always in the newspaper and printing business, started as an amateur print and at the age of fifteen was publisher of a monthly, “The Alert,” at the same time attending school, and while publishing The Alert attended several conventions of the American and Western Amateur Press Associations. Upon leaving school he went to work for the Bay City Times as collector and afterwards became reporter; remained with the paper until the sprint of 1890; then went on the staff of the Bay City Tribune, doing reportorial work. In the spring of 1891 he went to Detroit and for two months was reporter on the Detroit Times, but returned to Bay City to accept the position of City Editor on the Tribune. While on that paper he filled several special assignments, including a voyage from Bay City to Wood's Hole, Mass., on a government lightship, built at Wheeler's shipyard. In order to make the trip it was necessary to ship as watchman, as no passengers were taken. The voyage, which was full of exciting incidents, occupied twenty-eight days. December 1st, 1894, he resigned from the Tribune staff, and started the publication of an illustrated society weekly, “Chat,” conducting it with success until March 7th, 1897, when it was discontinued. June 1st, 1896, while still publishing the Chat, he was offered a position of Advertising Manager of the Tribune, which had just change hands, and on October 1st, forming a co-partnership with I. W. Snyder, bought out the Tribune, and he has devoted his entire time to this paper, which he and his partner have made one of the principal dailies of Michigan.

Mr. McCabe has been a staunch Republican since 1894. Upon this subject he says, “I was brought up a Democrat, and cast my first vote for Grover Cleveland in 1892, but soon saw the error of my ways, and came over to the right side, and have since been a hard worker for the Republican part.” He never sought any political office from either party. In society matters he is a member of the Joppa Lodge No. 315, F. & A. M.; the Michigan Club; Valley Tent No 94, K. O. T. M., and the leading social and political clubs of Bay City. He was married October 20th, 1898, to Frances Cooke and has one child, Warren Lee McCabe, born August 7th, 1899.

With Michigan Turpentine Co. - Added Nov., 2010.

Michigan Manufacturer & Financial Record, Vol. 2, Issue 31 – June 11, 1910.


J. C. McCabe, for over 8 years business manager of The Bay City Tribune, has become actively identified with the Michigan Turpentine Co., as secretary and has been succeeded by a business manager of The Tribune by W. A. Rorke. Mr. McCabe retains his interests in the paper and remains as secretary-treasurer of the company.

Mr. Rorke comes to the position of business manager with a newspaper experience that began with childhood, when he “accepted position” of a carrier boy on The Tribune. He has worked successfully up through the mailing room, general office, bookkeeping, advertising and circulation department of The Tribune and is thoroughly familiar with every detail of the business office work and its relations with the advertisers of Bay City.

Remarks about Bay City's progress. - Added Mar., 2010.

Michigan Roads and Construction, Vols. 12-13 (1915)


In a recent address J. C. McCabe, secretary of the Board of Commerce of Bay City, said:

"In the last two years Bay City has done about as well as any city in Michigan. Bay City is not a boom town. We are glad she is not. I have seen boom towns, and they are not always the best thing. The list of Bay City's products is not equalled by any other city in the state when the diversity of her manufacturing industries is considerd. In 1915 the postoffice receipts here amounted to $208,255.7, an increase of $65,908.12 over 1914. In 1912 the postoffice receipts wer $104,347.67, or one-half those of 1915. In the past three years the receipts doubled. The receipts for the first quarter this year were $64,303.29"

Mr. McCabe cited the deposits in the Bay City banks at the close of businenss last year to show that Bay City is experiencing a properous financial growth.

Otto E. Sovereign, president of the Board of Commerce, said that the people of Bay City have been in the habit of thinking that Bay City is standing still, but instead Bay City has been going forward without their knowledge. From Park avenue to the river and from Woodside to Columbus avenue a careful survey made today shows that there are only 193 lots unoccupied. In fact the housing situation in Bay City is becoming serious. Nearly all the houses in the city are filled and those that are vacant are mostly old and lack modern facilities. He believes Bay City is the solidest industrially and financially of any other city in the country.

While Bay City has experience some hard knocks, the speaker maintaining that the city has no gone back but has been steadily going forward, and that during the past two years has made a record for commercial growth that no city in the country can equal.

1915 - Rotarian news. - Added July, 2010.

The Rotarian - July, 1915.

Bay City Rotary Club Completes First Year.

The Bay City Rotary Club completed its first year June 1,, with 35 active members and 4 honorary members. Associate Editor McCabe writes:

"William F. Jennison, our new President, is a member of the Jennison Hardware Company, also president of the Bay City Park Commission and a Director of the Board of Commerce. He has been active in civic affairs for years and is one of the most popular men in the city.

"Our vice-president, G. W. Ames, is one of the pioneer real estate and insurance agents of Bay City and a live wire in every sense of the word.

"The Secretary, James C. McCabe, is Secretary of the Bay City Board of Commerce and the Bay City Tribune Co.

"Our treasurer, A. E. Patterson, is the youngest member in the club. He is local manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company.

"Our new Directory, H. J. DeFoe, is at the head of the DeFoe Boat and Motor Company. HIs product is shipped to all parts of the world.

"Our meeting June 1st was held at the Bay City Boat Club at the mouth of the Saginaw River. Mr. DeFoe furnished the transportation on his beautiful new 65 foot launch. A picture of the boat and also the members of our club are shown on this page.

"Our meetings of late have been very interesting. June 8th, we had the pleasure of listening to C. H. Marenti, who gave a very interesting talk on the social and civic life of Turkey. He is from Smyrna.

"Our club has elected Congressman George A. Loud as delegate to the San Francisco Convention and it is hoped that a few other members will also be able to attend. Congressman Loud will accompany President Mulholland who has been his personal friend for several years.

"Our club is growing slowly, in fact, it is our aim to select as members only active men. That we have succeeded in this is indicated by the fact that our average attendance for the past six months has been over 80 per cent."

Letter to Henry Ford - Added May, 2012.

Michigan Manufacturers & Financial Record, Vol. 23, Feb., 1919.

James C. McCabe, secretary of the Board of Commerce, wrote to Henry Ford when the later announce his intention of building a new automobile, pointing out the advantages offered by Bay City for a plant for the manufacture of the machine. In reply Mr. McCabe has received a letter from G. S. Anderson, assistant secretary to Mr. Ford, acknowledging receipt of the invitation to consider Bay City and saying that at this time definite plans involving the need of new facilities has not matured. The letter, he said, had been filed for future reference.

Additional Notes.

    1900 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Address: 411 Tenth St.
  • McCabe, James - b. Apr., 1871, age 29, Penn.
  • Francis C., wife - b. Apr., 1872, age 28, Mich.
  • Warren L., son - b. Aug., 1899, age 10/12mos., Mich.
  • Kendal, Rose, servant - b. Nov. 1881, age 19, Mich.

    1902 - Michigan Births: Bay City, Mich.

  • McCabe, Donald - b. Jul. 6, 1902, parents: James & Francis McCabe.

    Death Records: Bay County Genealogy Society.

  • McCabe, Frances Cooke - Aug. 18, 1967.
  • McCabe, Helene M. - May 6, 1993.
  • McCabe, James C. - Jan. 9, 1944.
  • McCabe. Martha - May 17, 1931.
Related Note & Pages

Related Pages:
Bay City Rotary Club
Board of Commerce
Cooke, Aaron J.
Cowels, Edwin D.
Lewis, Griffin
Snyder, Irving W.
People Referenced
Ames, George W.
Anderson, G.S.
Cleveland, Grover Pres.
Cooke, Francis (wife)
DeFoe, Harry J.
Ford, Henry
Jennison, Wm. F.
Kenal, Rose
Loud, George A.
Marenti, C.H.
McCabe, Donald (son)
McCabe, James (father)
McCabe, James C. (subject)
McCabe, Helene M.
McCabe, Martha
McCabe, Warren L. (son)
McDowell, Christopher
McDowell, Martha (Mother)
Mulholland, President
Patterson, A.E.
Rorke, W.A.
Snyder, I.W. (partner)
Sovereign, Otto
Warren, Miss
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI:
  • Bay City Bd. Commerce
  • Bay City Boat Club
  • Bay City High Sch.
  • Bay City Park Comm.
  • Bay City Times
  • Bay City Tribune
  • DeFoe Boat & Motor Wks.
  • Mich. Turpentine Co.
  • Rotary Club
  • Western Union Telegraph
  • Wheeler's shipyard

    Detroit, MI:
  • Detroit Times

  • Belfast
  • Leitrin Co.
  • Prov. Connaught

    New York:
  • Cold Springs
  • Essex Co.
  • Port Henry

    Quebec, Canada

  • Woods Hole

  • Allegheny Co.
  • Pittsburgh
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.