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Milford Times


1871 to 1940

Geographic Coverage:

News was reported from Fenton to Chelsea, and from Lansing to Detroit. The Huron Valley area was the “playground” of Detroit and many scions, such as the Fords, Dodges, and Labadies had homes in the area.

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

The Milford Times was the premiere newspaper in the Huron Valley area. It also had the distinction to be owned, operated and edited by a female journalist who is now in the Michigan Journalist Hall of Fame - Carrie Jackson Rowe.

“Carrie Jackson Rowe (1866-1949) grew up in Milford and was credited as one of the first women publishers in Michigan. She was reared in the print shop of The Milford Times, which was owned and operated by her father. After graduating from Milford High School in 1882, she became a regular staff member of The Times. When her father died four years later, she shared complete responsibility of the paper with her 16-year-old brother Bert. In 1892 Bert died of tuberculosis and left Rowe as sole owner, publisher and editor of the growing Milford paper. She was 25 years old. She ran the paper alone until 1896, when she married Grant S. Rowe, a man who had been working with her at The Times. For the next 40 years, the Rowes published the paper together and raised a family of eight children.”

Throughout her life Rowe was known for her involvement in the community and dedication to a better way of life. She helped organize the Monday Literary Club in the 1890′s and campaigned for a reading room library, heat for the railroad depot, a warning bell at a railroad crossing, college scholarships for local youth and the clean-up of the mill site so that it could be used for swimming. Rowe was the “voice and conscience” of Milford for 53 years. She was featured in the Michigan Women’s Press Association magazine in 1893 and, in 1895, she was asked to speak to the Michigan Press Association. Her topic: “Can a Young Lady Successfully Conduct a Country Paper?”

The newspaper recorded the rise and fall of businesses, the railroad, industries and the people. A unique chronicle of a small town growing into a world business power. The Milford Times also made a point of chronicling the history of the beginnings of the community and continued to add feature stories of the founding families, their ways of life and their accomplishments. This information is now the chief research tool for genealogists and history in the Huron Valley area.

Reason Why the Nominator Believes This Paper Should Be Online:

One of the earliest newspapers in the State of Michigan… The Milford Times began in the same year the railroad came to Milford. The newspaper chronicled the changes from a farming community with local commerce to a thriving industrial sector that traded goods throughout the world. Milford, Highland, White Lake and parts of Commerce were the “up north” for the scions of Detroit. The estates of Edsel Ford, hunting lodge of Henry Ford, the Dodge estate and more were noted and remarked upon in the newspaper – the Milford Times. The Detroit News referred to the Huron Valley area as the “Up north playgrounds of the Detroit wealthy.”

Unique items would have included the eighty years the Oakland County Fair was held in Milford – the fairgrounds and entertainment from 1860 to 1940. The Casino in Commerce, which featured name entertainment such as Frank Sinatra. The development of Milford as one of Henry Ford’s cottage industries, the development of the General Motors Proving Grounds – the first safety testing in automobile industry; and the efforts of the community to salvage the Albert Kahn Powerhouse that still stands as a reminder of those times.

Throughout the years, the Milford Times has documented the people, industries and way of life in Milford and surrounding communities. To preserve the history of Milford, Highland, White Lake and Commerce, the Milford Times is the only continuous chronicle of the area. This newspaper should be made available to all whose past has crossed that of the area. Until now, residents have had to come to the libraries or historical records and search through microfilm archives. Out-of-town researchers have to rely on a kind volunteer.

The Milford Times should be available online as a unique chronicle of a time in Michigan under the leadership of a unique and talented female publisher.

The back story on the Milford Times that was submitted with the grant request by the Huron Valley History Initiative group. This write up explains the historic value of the back issues of the Milford times that the project is aimed at digitizing and making available for research.