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The Lansing state Republican. [volume] : (Lansing, Mich.) 1855-1874
Alternative Titles:
  • State Republican
Place of publication:
Lansing, Mich.
Geographic coverage:
  • Lansing, Ingham, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Hosmer & Kerr
Dates of publication:
  • Began with Apr. 28, 1855 issue; ceased in Dec. 1874.
Weekly 1862-1874
  • English
  • "State" appears above title ornament, <1857>-1874.
  • Editor: Cortland B. Stebbins, <1857>.
  • Publishers: Hosmer & Kerr, <1857>; John A. Kerr & Co., <1866>; W.S. George & Co., <1873>-1874.
  • Republican. Cf. Ayer, 1874.
  • Vol. 3, no. 30 (Nov. 17, 1857).
sn 83016318
Succeeding Titles:
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The Lansing state Republican. [volume] January 4, 1859 , Image 1


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The Lansing State Republican

Henry Barnes, editor of the Detroit Tribune and a founding member of the Michigan Republican Party, travelled from Detroit to Lansing to found a newspaper. Barnes established the Lansing State Republican in Michigan's capitol to answer the Democratic Michigan State Journal. The first issue of the Republican appeared on April 28, 1855.

Back in 1854, Michigan had elected its first Republican governor, and Republicans would control the governorship most of the remaining years of the 19th century. The Lansing State Republican was intimately connected to elected Republican officials, and its owners and editors frequently served in key party positions and also obtained important state contracts, most often that of state printer. In its first years, the newspaper was housed in the building that served as the office for the Republican Party.

Barnes appears to have come to Lansing simply set up the newspaper, for after only a few weeks, he returned to Detroit, selling the Republican and its printing press to Herman E. Haskell. Although he had hoped to become state printer, Haskell did not receive the appointment, and soon after he sold the paper to Rufus Hosmer and George A. Fitch. A series of at least eight combinations of owners, co-owners, and editors of the Republican followed over the next several years, sometimes with the same names coming, going, and then returning. The environment resembled that of a revolving door, which in many ways also reflected the comings and goings of various individuals who stitched together the dominant but still coalescing Republican Party.

Representing both the fluctuating personnel and the paper's ties to the Republican Party was the career of Stephen D. Bingham, who served as editor of the Lansing State Republican on three different occasions, the longest from 1868 to 1873. Bingham also served three terms as chair of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee and was Lansing's postmaster for a time. The frequent changes in ownership caused inconsistencies in the paper's name. At one point, the masthead included the words "Lansing Republican" in large type, with the word "State" placed between them in smaller type and appearing underneath the state seal. Thus the paper was often called the "Lansing Republican."

In June 1872, the Republican became the Lansing's first daily paper. The experiment, however, was short lived, and the paper quickly resumed its weekly publication schedule. Beginning in January 1875, the Republican appeared twice, and after 1880, three times each week.

In 1886, Thorp & Godfrey purchased the Republican and successfully published it as a daily. The last edition of the Lansing State Republican appeared on January 21, 1911. Afterward, the Republican was merged with another newspaper and reappeared as the Lansing Journal Republican, later renamed the Lansing State Journal.

Provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library