The Press of Cass County, MI.
FROM History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.


THE first newspaper established in the county was the Case County Advocate, the first number of which was issued March 11, 1845. it was a small but well printed sheet, issued as a weekly, and bore at the column head the name of E. A. Graves, who was editor and proprietor. In politics it was Democratic. Abram Townsend purchased the paper in 1846, but failed to build it up to a prosperous condition. In 1850, it fell into the hands of Ezekiel S. Smith, Esq., who removed it the same year to Dowagiac.

The National Democrat was established by a stock company in 1850, and the first number published March 17. George B. Turner was the first editor of this journal, and conducted it with ability, making a lively, spicy paper, which nevertheless did not lack solidity of character and dignity of journalistic tone. H. C. Shurter was the publisher for the company. In the spring or summer of 1854, the paper was purchased by G. S. Bouton, who sold out to W. W. Van Antwerp upon September 5, of the same year. While the paper was owned by Mr. Van Antwerp, it was edited by Daniel Blackman, Esq., now of Chicago. In 1858, the original stock company again became the owners of the Democrat, and employed Blackman as editor and H. B. Shurter as publisher. During the next three years, the office was not in as prosperous condition as was desirable, and in 1861 it came under the Sheriff's hammer. The purchasers were Pleasant Norton, D. M. Howell and Maj. Joseph Smith. It was transferred by them to L. D. Smith, who managed it during the first two years of the war. In March, 1863, it again became the property of Messrs. Norton, Howell & Smith, and for a short time was edited by Maj. Smith. C. C. Allison had been employed as publisher in 1862, and upon May 5, 1863, bought the property. He has since been its owner, and has personally edited the paper and managed the office. The Democrat, under his control, has been enlarged and improved from time to time, and made a valuable, local newspaper, as well as a political.factor of much influence. The Democrat has always been an advocate of those principles which its name would indicate.

An ephemeral and unremunerative journalistic enterprise was inaugurated in 1846, in the publication of the Literary News. This paper was a small sheet, devoted, during its short existence, to social gossip and humor.

The Cassopolis Vigilant was established as a Republican newspaper on the 16th of May, 1872, P. B. Harrington and M. H. Barber being its projectors. It was purchased by C. L. Morton and W. H. Mansfield, on the 28th of February, 1873, and in July. of the same year, Mr. Mansfield became the sole proprietor. He continued the publication alone until 1876, when he associated with himself James M. Shepard. This gentleman, in 1878, purchased Mr. Mansfield's interest, and has since that time managed the paper alone. The Vigilant, has been and is a live, cleanly, well edited newspaper, and it receives the hearty support of the people of Cass County.


The first paper published in Dowagiac was one removed from Cassopolis, by the proprietor, Ezekiel S. Smith, in 1850. It was called the Case County Advocate. The building containing the office was situated on Front street, nearly opposite the northern terminus of Beeson street. Mr. Smith soon disposed of his interest to L. P. Williams, who changed its title to Dowagiac Times and Case County Republican. In 1854, Mr. Williams returned from a short bu&ness trip to find the building containing the office destroyed by fire. He made no effort to resurrect the paper, and abandoned the field.

In 1854, Mr. James L. Gantt established the Dowagiac Tribune, and continued its publication until 1859, when he sold the good will of the office to W. H. Campbell. During the previous year, W. H. Campbell and N. B. Jones had established another newspaper entitled the Republican, and the lastnamed paper now occupied the field without opposition. Mr. Gantt removed his printing material to Mackinaw, published a paper there a short time, and finally removed to Baltimore, Md. The cause which led to the establishment and final success of the Republican was, that the course of the Tribune be came very distasteful to the Republicans of the county, and in January, 1858, a meeting of the coanty officers and leading Republicans was called to consider the matter. Overtures were made to Mr. Gantt to either dispose of the paper or to allow a committee to select an editor, in which case the expense would be paid, but all offers were rejected. It was then decided to establish another paper which would more clearly represent the views of the party. Thereupon, negotiations were entered into with Jones & Campbell, of Jackson, Mich., and the Republican was established. The co-partnership continued but three months, when Mr. Jones retired. The committee which was instrumental in establishing the Republican consisted of Justus Gage, Jesse G. Beeson, W. G. Beckwith, Joshua Lofland and William Sprague, of Kalamazoo. The last named gentleman had previously represented the district in Congress, and was then engaged in business in Dowagiac. Mr. Campbell continued the publication of the Republican until January, 1865, when Mr. Charles A. Smith purchased the office and published the paper for a period of about two years. While the paper was under Mr. Smith's administration, it continued to prosper, was ably edited, and, being the official organ of the county, was well patronized. It still maintained the old time out and out Republican principles, and did everything in its power to aid the Union cause during the dark days of the rebellion. It was a journal of widespread influence, and an advocate upon which the party could with safety depend. Mr. Smith was quite young at the time, being but little more than twentyone years of age, but having learned his trade in the same office, and having studied the desires and peculiarities of the citizens of the county, and, being withal, a firm and unflinching advocate of Republican principles, managed to furnish his readers with a good, sound, local paper. Mr. Joseph B. Clarke, a prominent lawyer, and yet a resident of the city, and a brother of " Grace Greenwood," frequently contributed political articles which were highly appreciated by the readers of the paper. He was a man of great talent, and his writings always had the same painstaking precision which characterize his legal practice,. in which profession he was a jurist whom few equal and fewer excel. Mr. Smith, wishing to engage in another branch of business, disposed of the office to Mr. Jesse J. Roe, of Buchanan, Mich., who retained the same but a few weeks, when he sold the concern to its founder, Mr. Campbell. Mr. Roe was not a practical printer, and knew little about the business, which was doubtless the cause of his retirement after three weeks' experience. Mr. Smith is at present, we understand, residing in Chicago, having been a resident of that city some dozen years. Soon after his arrival in that city, he became editor of the Real Estate and Building Journal, and in one year became half owner of the same concern. He was connected with the Journal as its editor four years in all. It was a large twenty four page paper. He is, we believe, now engaged as proof reader for the large printing house of Culver, Page, Hoyne & Co.

In 1868, the paper was sold to H. C. Buffington, under whose management the name and politics remained unchanged. Mr. Campbell later removed to Minneapolis, Minn., where he still resides. He was a practical printer and formerly worked on the Lockport (N. Y.) Democrat.

Mr. Buffington continued the publication of the Republican until September of 1875, when it was purchased by Richard Holmes and C. J. Greenleaf. Mr. Holmes was a practical printer of many years' experience, he having once owned half interest in the La Porte (Ind.) Herald, and he had also served Mr. Buffington some years as foreman of the office. Mr. Greenleaf had been a resident of the village some years, and had acquired a local repute as a writer of some abilIty.

About a year after Mr. Buffington had retired from the Republican,, he again. eiitered the newspaper field by the purchase of the Van Buren County Republican, located at Decatur. By the influence of influential politicians, he was appointed Consul at Chatham, Can., which offiöe he still holds. Under the management of Holmes & Greenleaf, the Republican paid much attention to purely local matters, and was fairly successful. In August, 1880, Mr. Holmes disposed of his interest in the office to his partner, and in the next month Mr. Greenleaf sold the office to Mr. R. N: Kellogg, of Ellsworth, Kan. Of the former proprietors, Mr. Holmes formed a co-partnership with Mr. Kellogg, under the firm name of Kellogg & Holmes, but soon retired, and again resumed work before the case as foreman of an office. Mr. Greenleaf turned his whole attention to the photographic trade, in which he had been engaged many years. Mr. Kellogg had been engaged for some years in the publication of the Ellsworth (Kan.) Times, but hearing of the lively little city in Michigan, he sold out and determined to locate there. Under his management the name was changed from the Case County Republican to the Dowagiac Republican, and the paper changed from a seven column folio to a six column quarto. It has recently been changed back to a seven column quarto. Mr. Buffington purchased the Van Buren Republican of Mr. W. M. Wooster, who then turned his eyes longingly on the journalistic field at Dowagiac. He therefore purchased the material of the Lawrence Advertiser, and removed it to Dowagiac. September 1, 1880, he issued the first number of the Dowagiac Times. The paper claimed to be independent in politics, but before the experithent became an assured success, Mr. Wooster met with a severe accident on the railroad, inflicting such injuries that he was forced to abandon his work. On March 15, 1881, the material and good will were purchased by Mr. A. M. Moon, of the Marcellus News. Mr. Moon had been publishing the News for nearly four years, and, moving part of the material to the Dowagiao office, he continued the publication of the Times, changing its politics from Independent to Democratic. Careful attention is paid to local news, and the enterprise promises a fair degree of success. It is a five column quarto in size.

Among the more ephemeral ventures in the Dowagiac journalistic field might be mentioned a paper called the Herald, published by Samuel N. Gantt soon after the commencement of the rebellion. The soldiers demanded its suppression, and its editor, deeming discretion the better part of valor, announced its suspension by order of Gen. Burnside.

The Monitor, started in 1875 by C. W. Bailey, had a short and deservedly unsuccessful career of a few mouths only. The first daily ever issued here was, on Monday evening, April 22, 1861,by William H. Campbell. Only a few numbers were issued. November 11, 1879, Ward Brothers, of Port Huron, started the Case County Daily News. It was a little leaflet about 14x20 inches in size, and expired after a troubled existence of eighty nine days.


The publication of a newspaper was commenced in this village, by M. M. Edminston, December 3, 1874. It was called the Edwardsburg Index, and the first issue was printed in Mishawaka, Ind. This paperwas suspended. September 25, 1875, and the portable property of the office, together with the proprietor, disappeared suddenly. The Index has been described as "neutral in politics and destitute of religion." William A. Shaw began the publication of the Edwardsburg Argus October 5, 1875, and, not long after, H. B. Davis became its editor. He 'sold out to F. M. Jerome. The paper continued to be neutral in politics until 1878, when Jerome formed a partnership with G. F. Bugbee, and it was made a shpporter of Democracy. Dr. John B. Sweetland took charge of the paper February 6; 1879, since which time it has "been neutral in nothing, independent in everything." It has been liberally sustained,both by subscription and advertising patronage, and deservedly, for it has been a well conducted local newspaper.


The first newspaper in this village was the Messenger, started, in 1874, by S. D. Perry. The paper was not remarkably successful, and the material used for its printing and publication soon passed into the hands of the Goodspeed Brothers, of Volinia. They resumed the issuance of the paper, under the name of the Marcellus Standard, with R. C. Nash as manager. The Standard passed over to the silent majority of local papers in August, 1876.

Upon July 13, 1879, A. M. Moon brought out the first issue of the Marcellus News. It was established as an independent journal, but, eight months later, made an organ of the Greenback party. In March, 1881, Mr. Moon removed to Dowagiacc taking the machinery and material of the News, and purchased the Dowagiac Times, which he has since conducted. Mr. Moon had quite a large experience in newspaper making before coming to Case County, having been connected with the Lawton (Mich.) Tribune, with the Bee Keepers' Journal and Agriculturist, with his father, establishing Moon's Bee World at Rome, Ga., and holding a position, more recently, on the Bee Keepers' Journal, published by H. A. King, in New York.

The News, at present published in Marcellus, and a bright, newsy sheet, was established by C. C. Allison, proprietor of the Cassopolis National Democrat, upon December 24, 1881, and is now published by Messrs. Allison & Parker.


The Vandalia Journal was first issued June 14, 1881, by William A. De Groot, an old and experienced printer, who had started a paper of the same name at Constantine in 1876, and subsequently removed to White Pigeon, where he remained in business until coming here. The Vandalia Journal was established as a six column folio, and soon afterward made a five column quarto.

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