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East Saginaw courier. : (East Saginaw, Mich.) 1859-18??
Alternative Titles:
  • Courier
Place of publication:
East Saginaw, Mich.
Geographic coverage:
  • East Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Geo. F. Lewis
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 16, 1859)-
  • English
  • Michigan--Saginaw County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01202880
  • Michigan--Saginaw.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210104
  • Saginaw (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Saginaw County (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Issue called: Courier--extra, Mar. 3, 1862.
  • Publishers: Geo. F. Lewis, 1859- <1863>; Lewis & Lyon, <1864>.
sn 97063063
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East Saginaw courier. June 16, 1859 , Image 1


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East Saginaw Courier

The East Saginaw Courier was established in June 1859 at East Saginaw, Michigan, a now defunct city on the east bank of the Saginaw River. East Saginaw was founded by local businessman Jesse Hoyt in 1850, some three decades after the establishment of the military and trading post of Saginaw, which followed the signing of a treaty with the local Chippewa. East Saginaw was incorporated as a village in 1855 and as a city in 1857. Lying between Mid-Michigan and the part of the state known as the "Thumb," the Saginaw Valley was the heart of a region containing among "the most extensive as well as the most valuable tracts [of timber] in the world."

The arrival of the Flint and Pere Marquette railway contributed greatly to the growth of East Saginaw. While a railroad company was established in 1857 to construct a line to Pere Marquette (later renamed Ludington) on Lake Michigan, it was not until 1862 that the first section running from East Saginaw to Mount Morris, in Genessee County, was complete. In December of 1864, the city gained railroad access to the Detroit market. By 1874, the railroad to Ludington was completed making East Saginaw a transport hub for the Lower Peninsula. Contributing further to this growth were river and lake routes such as the East Saginaw and Bay County Line linking the new rail hub to passenger and freight trade on Lake Huron.

George F. Lewis served as first editor and proprietor of the East Saginaw Courier. He also ran a stationary and book store on South Washington Avenue. Initially a four-page weekly published each Thursday, the Courier led a precarious existence in its early years. In 1861, Lewis sold his press to Perry Joslin of the Saginaw Weekly Enterprise while retaining the right to use the machinery. Funded by a new partner, Captain Lyon, in 1863, the East Saginaw Courier acquired new printing machinery. Between its establishment in 1859 and 1866, the paper moved offices on no fewer than six occasions. Throughout these turbulent times, the paper's offices never strayed far from the Genessee Avenue Bridge crossing the Saginaw River. By 1868, a Saginaw Daily Courier was being published by the Saginaw Courier Co. of East Saginaw alongside the weekly. In addition to working for the Courier, Lewis also authored a number of pieces on the surrounding region, including a publication coauthored with C.B. Headley, Saginaw Valley: Statistics for 1867. In 1873, Lewis, a Democrat, lost a close Congressional race in Michigan’s 8th district--then covering much of the northwest Lower Peninsula--to the Bay City Republican, Nathan B. Bradley. Between 1877 and 1879, Lewis served as Mayor of (West) Saginaw.

By 1885, the population of East Saginaw had grown to 30,000, while Saginaw’s population was 14,000. In June 1889, the two communities, both heavily in debt, were consolidated by act of the state legislature to form the present-day city of Saginaw. In that same year, the East Saginaw Courier merged with the Morning Herald to form the Courier-Herald, which was published daily except Mondays and which would later be renamed the Saginaw Courier-Herald. Today's Saginaw News, part of the M-Live Media Group, claims George F. Lewis and the East Saginaw Courier as its founders.

Provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library