In an era of an increasing focus to push news outlets to be on-line, it’s surprising to find out that in one publishing area, a small-town weekly newspaper, is thriving with the status quo. According to the Trade Magazine Editor & Publisher, in 2015, there were over 5,600 weekly newspapers in operation with a combined readership of 47 million. For every daily paper, there are four published weeklies’. One such weekly has been serving its community in Michigan’s Thumb for over 100 years.
The Minden City Herald has been a fixture in northern Sanilac County since its founding in 1889. At that time, the small community had around 400 people, and though today that number has dipped below 200, the Herald remains a constant in an ever-changing world.
A Family Run Weekly Paper
The Minden City Herald had several publishers in its first few decades of existence but has remained in one family since World War II. Bill and Katie (Miller) Engel leased the Herald before World War II before Bill entered the armed services. Upon his return, the couple purchased the paper outright in 1946. They issued the weekly paper while raising their six children until 1982, when they handed the reins to their second-oldest son, Paul.
Paul and his wife Janice (Ulfig) Engel ran the paper much as Bill and Katie had for a few years. Eventually, they elected to send the paper out to be printed by a third party. Still, they founded the Engel Printing Company and began publishing items for a variety of local businesses. One thing that never changed was the Herald’s consistent ability to share information that mattered to and built up the community. It has not been a paper filled with local gossip, gruesome car crash photos, or stories compounding adverse events or anything else detracted from the local area.
The Minden City Herald Grows With the Community
The paper’s reach once spanned around just Minden City and the communities in its immediate vicinity—Ubly, Ruth, Palms, Parisville, and Forestville. Now, it stretches its coverage from Harbor Beach to Deckerville. In the last few years, Paul and Janice have been seeking out their replacements to keep the Herald going even as the world has seemed to gravitate toward getting all of their news digitally and away from print media and local news sources. Fortunately, they were able to find a way to keep the paper in the family and have proudly passed the torch to their grandson, Nathan Marks, and his wife, Amber.
Paul and Janice Engel issued their final paper, number #1,998, on July 30th. Nathan and Amber have taken over as of August 1st and will publish their first paper on August 6th. Like their grandparents, Nathan and Amber pledge to keep the Herald a community-oriented publication geared toward supporting Minden City and the surrounding areas. They will be a neutral voice presenting facts and allowing readers to form their conclusions. They are excited to build upon their family’s legacy and become ingrained in their new community. Most of all, they are looking forward to keeping local media alive in this region of the Michigan thumb for generations.
New Website Will Please History and Genealogy Buffs
The Minden City Herald will continue its weekly print publication. However, Nathan Marks announced that a new website is in process of being created. It will host past content of the paper. Some of it going back into the 1800s. The contents are being digitized and will be hosted on at www.mindencityherald.com.
Related Exploring in Michigan
Port Sanilac Lighthouse – Beacon for the Shore of Michigan’s Thumb – One of the great things to do in Michigan is to explore lighthouses. Located just north of Detroit, the Port Sanilac Lighthouse was one the last built on the eastern shore of Michigan’s Thumb. It filled the gap of the 60-mile stretch between Fort Gratiot and Harbor Beach Light.
Then and Now – Platts Drugstore in Port Sanilac – Platts Drugstore in Michigan’s Thumb is deemed as being Michigan’s longest family-owned, continuously operating pharmacy in Michigan. It was founded by Frederick Platts in 1865. It operated until 1880 when his son Rudolph Platts took over the business.
20 of Henry Ford’s Village Industries – Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor, was growing increasingly concerned with the unfettered growth of cities. People streamed into Detroit and other industrial towns looking for work. The United States was changing from agricultural to an industrial nation. Ford also wanted to stem poverty in rural areas for those with seasonal work. His solution; Henry Ford’s Village Industries.