THE PRESS IN ONTONAGON COUNTY
Unlike the newspaper press in most sections of the country, that of Ontonagon was
started and has since been mainly devoted to the mineral interests thereof, not forgetting, however, the
general local enterprises and interests. The first printing press was brought to Ontonagon County in 1855, by
James Carson, who, with John M. Bradford, as editor, started the first paper here, called the Lake Superior
Miner. The office was established in the basement of the Bigelow House, and the first number of the paper was
issued in August of that year, and claimed to be independent in politics. These parties ran it a year, when
the firm was changed to Bradford & Bliss. But it was of short duration, and was succeeded by Emerson & Bliss. George D. Emerson and W. S. Bliss - who conducted
the paper until June, 1857, when J. W. Crozier purchased the
interest of Bliss, thus changing the firm to Emerson & Crozier, who continued its publication until 1862, when
Mr. Emerson retired and entered the military service, thus leaving Mir. Crozier its sole manager.
continued until 1867, when he sold the establishment to Jefferson Lasier, who conducted it until 1869.
Mr. Alfred Meads, purchased it and changed its name to the Ontonagon Miner. The paper
was first started as a folio, then changed to a quarto, and then back to its present folio form of seven
columns to the page. Its first editor was John M. Bradford, then George D. Emerson, who now occupies the chair
of mining in the State Geological School of Missouri; then Mr. Crozier, who is now Postmaster; afterward,
Lasier, and now Mr. Alfred Meads gives vigor and life to its editorial columns.
Miner is the oldest
continuously published paper in the Upper Peninsula, having never missed an issue, although it was printed
once, in 1857, on foolscap paper, its regular supply of print having failed. It is now equipped with a new
outfit: Taylor power press, type, fixtures and soon will have a new office.
The next paper started in the
county was the Upper Peninsula Advocate, in October, 1857, by William S. Bliss & Co. - W. S. Bliss and J.
Greenfield. It was a six column folio sheet, and only continued until June, 1859, when it was moved to Houghton
and merged into the Mining Gazette of that place.
The next and last newspaper started in the county was the
Ontonagon Herald, which was first thrown to the breeze on April 22, 1880, under the proprietorship and
editorial management of M. L. Dunham, who, at that time, was the Prosecuting Attorney of the county, and had
been Principal of the Union School of Ontonagon.
In October, 1881, Mr. Charles M. Howell, a graduate of the
Collegiate and Law Departments of the Iowa State University, purchased the paper, the first number of which
appeared under his editorial control October 21, that year. It is owned by a company, of which Mr. Howell is
one. It is said to be well grounded for a long voyage, if not a happy one, at all times. It is a
seven-column-to-a-page sheet, folio in form, and is creditably conducted. Neither of the papers-the Miner nor
Herald seem to make politics nor religion prominent. Mining, lumber and local development is their watchword.
Source: Western Historical Company. History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Chicago: The Western Historical Company, 1883.