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Northern tribune. [volume] : (Cheboygan, Mich.) 1875-1885
Alternative Titles:
  • Weekly Cheboygan tribune
Place of publication:
Cheboygan, Mich.
Geographic coverage:
  • Cheboygan, Cheboygan, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W. Chandler
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (July 17, 1875)- v. 10, no. 52 (July 2, 1885).
  • English
  • Cheboygan (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Cheboygan County (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Michigan--Cheboygan County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214772
  • Michigan--Cheboygan.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219722
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Irregular numbering.
sn 85026455
Succeeding Titles:
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Northern tribune. [volume] July 17, 1875 , Image 1


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Northern Tribune

Cheboygan, Michigan, lies at the mouth of the Cheboygan River, where it enters Lake Huron to the east of the Straits of Mackinac. The area was first settled by whites in 1844. Lumbering on the banks of the Cheboygan and neighboring rivers was fundamental to the growth of the settlement. For many years the community of Duncan City to the east, named for a Chicago lumber baron, was larger and served as legal center for 11 northern Lower Peninsula counties. Consequently, the Michigan Legislature located the county seat there in 1853, and a U.S. Land Office opened in Duncan City shortly thereafter. In 1856, by popular vote, the county seat was relocated to Cheboygan. Regular steamboat service came to Cheboygan in 1869, when the settlement became the penultimate stop on the Mackinac Island line that ran from Cleveland and Detroit to Mackinac Island. Cheboygan was incorporated as a village in 1871, with a population of just over 800. It became a city in 1889. The area's lumber industry peaked in 1895, but remained a going concern into the 1910s.

The Northern Tribune, a Republican affiliated paper, was first published on July 17, 1875, by W. Chandler, who was also Secretary of the Cheboygen Improvement Office. Originally a four-page weekly released each Saturday, a subscription to the Tribune cost $2 per annum. The first issue included the first in a series of "Sketches of Cheboygan and Vicinity," which discussed the history of the county from the earliest explorations of the Straits of Mackinac by Pere Marquette around 1670.

In order to supply lumber camps by water, in 1874 work began on what would become the 43-mile "Inland Water Route," a series of large inland lakes linked by canal. The Northern Tribune was pivotal in organizing ongoing local support to secure funding from the State Board of Control of Swamp Lands, to complete the waterway to the village of Conway, near Petoskey on Lake Michigan. The first run by a tug from Conway to Cheboygan was completed in 1876. That same year the Northern Tribune press printed a Centennial History of Cheboygan County and Village.

The Michigan Central Railway arrived in Cheboygan in 1881. In July of that year, the Tribune switched to an eight-page format, before growing once again to a 12-page in May 1883. The June 16, 1883 edition reported the lynching of a Michigan-born lumberer, Tillott C. Warner, in the early hours of the previous morning by "Over 200 Resolute Fathers, Husbands and Brothers" who hung him from a railroad crossing sign on Court Street within sight of the County Jail, from which they had violently taken him. Warner, who the New York Times was African American, was accused of raping a child. His race was not recorded in local coverage, however, including that of the Tribune and its competitor the Cheboygan Democrat. The June 16 edition included a detailed interview with the deceased by one of paper's reporters, and an extensive justification for the lynching. The Northern Tribune claimed that 1,000 men had met outside the jail prior to the lynching, in a town which three years earlier had a total recorded population of only 2,269. The lynching, and the crime which caused the mob’s fury, was widely reported nationally.

In 1885 the paper changed its name to the Cheboygan Tribune under the leadership of C.S. Ramsay. Around 1900, S.G. Hosack's Mackinaw Tribune, based in nearby Mackinaw City, began to be issued with the Cheboygan Tribune.

Provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library