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The Cass County Republican. [volume] : (Dowagiac, Mich.) 18??-1880
Alternative Titles:
  • Republican
Place of publication:
Dowagiac, Mich.
Geographic coverage:
  • Dowagiac, Cass, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Jones & Campbell
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 23, no. 22 (Aug. 25, 1880).
  • English
  • Cass County (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Dowagiac (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Michigan--Cass County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207371
  • Michigan--Dowagiac.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01231425
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 3 (May 6, 1858).
  • Publishers: H.C. Buffington, <1873>; Holmes & Greenleaf, <1876>; C.J. Greenleaf <1880>.
sn 85033611
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The Cass County Republican. [volume] May 6, 1858 , Image 1


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The Cass County Republican

The Cass County Republican was published in Dowagiac in southwestern Michigan, 25 miles north of South Bend, Indiana. Dowagiac was platted in 1848, following the extension of the Michigan Central Railroad from Kalamazoo to nearby Niles. Dowagiac was incorporated as a village in 1858, and then as a city in 1877. By 1875, its population had grown to around 2,500. Like many other Midwestern settlements, its early years proved trying. Dowagiac endured scarlet fever outbreaks in 1858 and 1870, and major fires which consumed large parts of Front Street (the commercial thoroughfare) in both 1864 and 1866. The town is perhaps best remembered as home to the defunct Round Oak Stove Company, established by Philo D. Beckworth around 1870--the sole supplier of heating stoves to the Michigan Central Railroad and other major lines between Detroit and Chicago.

The Cass County Republican was a four-page weekly normally published on Thursdays, with some exceptions such as a brief Saturday run throughout January and February 1862. In the 1870s, surviving fragments suggest that publication shifted to Wednesday. The first issue was published in May 1858, by Jones and Campbell of Jackson, Michigan. Contemporary sources suggest the main reason for the establishment of the newspaper was the discontent of the local Republican Party with the editorial line taken by James L. Gantt’s Dowagiac Tribune. County Republican committee members Justus Gage, Jesse G. Beeson, Walter G. Beckwith, Joshua Lofland, and William Sprague were responsible for founding the Republican. Beeson had previously served as a Michigan State Senator during the 1853-54 session.

Jones and Campbell's partnership lasted only until mid-1858 when Jones retired. Unsurprisingly, during the Civil War detailed battlefield reports frequently appeared in the Cass County Republican. Interest was stimulated in large part by the role of the 19th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which had been mustered in Dowagiac in 1862 and had participated in William Tecumseh Sherman's 1864 March to the Sea.

In 1865, Campbell sold the Cass County Republican to then 21-year-old Charles A. Smith, who in turn sold it to Jesse J. Roe of nearby Buchanan, Michigan, two years later. Roe held the paper for only a few weeks before selling to Campbell (the original founder). In 1868, it was again sold to Henry C. Buffington. During this time, the Republican’s circulation was recorded at 872. In September 1875, Buffington sold the newspaper to Richard Holmes and C.J. Greenleaf, who were most concerned with covering county news. Finally, in 1880, R.N. Kellogg of Ellsworth, Kansas, who had previously edited the Ellsworth Times, purchased the Cass County Republican. Kellogg relocated to Dowagiac and soon renamed the paper the Dowagiac Republican. The new title also underwent multiple changes in ownership, perhaps because of continuing low circulation, before eventually merging with the Dowagiac Herald  in 1909 to form a new weekly, the Herald Republican, and the Daily Herald.

Provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library