Collective Voice: When Midland Mourned

This month’s item comes hot off the processor’s desk.

One of the fun things about working in a group that loves artifacts and archives is that we often share with each other the interesting items that we come across. One of our archivists, Andy Mangravite, is currently processing the Williams Haynes Collection. Haynes was a journalist who spent most of his career writing about the chemical industry. The collection includes his research and biographical files, which are full of interesting tidbits; Andy recently came across a newspaper from Midland, Michigan (home to Dow Chemical) on the day that the company’s founder, Herbert H. Dow passed away.

Front page from Extra edition of The Midland Republican, Midland, MI on October 15, 1930. Williams Haynes Collection, CHF Collections.

The Midland Republican published an Extra on October 15, 1930 solely to report the death of Dr. Dow. What struck me about the paper was the type size and style of the header. Spread across the entire front page, the headline resembles one you would expect for a declaration of war or the death of a president, but the death of Dr. Dow was big news for Midland, a town built around Dow Chemical – one can imagine that the impact of his passing was felt by most of its citizens. The editorial on the front pages communicates the gravity of the loss for the company town: “The great benefactor of Midland is gone. The passing of Dr. Herbert H. Dow leaves our community at once shocked and crushed.”

Jenn Landry is Associate Director of Special Collections at CHF. Collective Voice, dispatches from CHF's Collections team, appears every second Tuesday on Periodic Tabloid.

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Posted In: History

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