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Telegram-herald. : ([Grand Rapids, Mich.) 18??-1892
Alternative Titles:
  • Sunday telegram-herald
Place of publication:
[Grand Rapids, Mich.
Geographic coverage:
  • Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 8, no. 2 (Jan. 2, 1892).
  • English
  • Grand Rapids (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Kent County (Mich.)--Newspapers.
  • Michigan--Grand Rapids.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206920
  • Michigan--Kent County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01202912
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: June 27, [1886]; title from imprint.
  • Issue called: Vol. 7, no. 218 (Aug. 7, 1891).
  • Sunday issues called: Sunday telegram-herald, <Aug. 9, 1891>-Dec. 27, 1891.
sn 98066392
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Telegram-herald. April 17, 1886 , Image 1


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Grand Rapids Morning Telegram, Telegram-herald and Grand Rapids Herald

Grand Rapids, the largest city in western Michigan, lies on the Grand River which flows from its headwaters south of Jackson, through the state capital of Lansing to Grand Haven where it enters Lake Michigan. The first white settler to establish a permanent residence at Grand Rapids was Frenchman Louis Campau who arrived in 1826. In 1831, Campau purchased 72 acres from the federal government for $90 and named his tract (the core of the modern business district) "Grand Rapids." In 1833, Grand Rapids was designated the seat of Kent County, and by 1838 it was formally organized as a village. Particularly significant in the promotion of the Grand Valley was John Ball, a graduate of Dartmouth College. Ball had settled in Grand Rapids and opened a law office in 1837, having previously explored the disputed Oregon Country. In 1842, he was appointed by Governor John S. Barry to select 300,000 acres of federal land to be sold for internal improvements. Ball used this position of extraordinary influence to further promote the settlement of Grand Rapids and surrounding communities.

By 1850, Grand Rapids was incorporated as a city. Around this time, the lumber industry took hold, with the first logs floated down river in 1854 to lumber mills at Grand Rapids. The arrival of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad in 1858 further stimulated the city's growth. Following the exhibition of four Grand Rapids furniture makers' wares at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, the city came to be known as the "Furniture Capital of the World."

The Grand Rapids Morning Telegram was founded by W.M. Harford and Hugh McDowell on September 30, 1884, as a Republican Daily (excluding Sundays). By that time, the population of Grand Rapids and its immediate suburbs was approaching 50,000. On January 21, 1885, the Telegram Publishing Company was established with many prominent local businessmen investing in the company's stock. In April 1886, the Telegram was sold to Lloyd Brezee and Fred G. Berger, who merged the paper with Brezee’s Grand Rapids Herald to form the Telegram-Herald, which was published alongside a separate Sunday edition called the Sunday Telegram-Herald. The latter focused primarily on society matters. During this time, Brezee was listed as editor and proprietor, and the paper was declared politically independent. In 1888, Eugene D. Conger purchased Brezee and Berger's controlling interest with the financial support of Professor Conrad G. Swensberg--a German-born, Civil War veteran, successful businessman, and founder of the Grand Rapids Business College--the predecessor to today's Davenport University. Conger quickly transferred the shares to Swensberg who became proprietor of theTelegram-Herald, while Conger served as secretary and manager.

In 1892, the Telegram-Herald became the Grand Rapids Herald. In 1902, following the death of Swensberg, Conger bought his shares and became proprietor. In 1905, Conger sold his interests in the Herald to Ralph Booth, who in turn sold them to William Alden Smith. Smith later transferred the paper to the Herald Publishing Company, with Arthur H. Vanderberg as president. The Grand Rapids Herald endured until 1959.

Provided by: Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library