I happened to click on the link for the January 7, 1885 Courier and learned that the Chicago Inter Ocean (a newspaper published in Chicago from 1865-1914) sent an agent to our fine city to report on the advantages of living and doing business here. According to the Courier, our “Maple City” needs families from other parts in order to grow. In order to draw in new people, citizens need to “boom” the town. Since other towns were booming themselves, they probably wouldn’t have time to boom us, so we had to boom ourselves. (Seriously, the article says this).
“Ann Arbor is one of the very fairest cities in the whole union,” said the Courier. The paper said that it was proud of Ann Arbor, and felt that if others in the country knew about us, families would be flocking to us.
The paper then went on to intimate that the merchants and university people didn’t properly take advantage of the visit from the Chicago agent. In other places, you see, large ads were taken out in an effort to tout the town. Oh, well, said the paper. The Inter Ocean would still be devoting some space to Ann Arbor in its Wednesday issue.