Michael C. Garber
Location: The Madison Courier office, 310 West Street, Madison. (Jefferson County, Indiana)
Installed: 2004 Indiana Historical Bureau and The Madison Courier
ID# : 39.2004.1
Born Staunton, Virginia 1813. Purchased Madison Courier 1849; transformed it from pro-Democratic to voice for newly forming Republican Party. Promoted the Union and objected to Fugitive Slave Law. Was active in Republican Party politics. Nominated to represent state's Third Congressional District at first Republican National Convention 1856.
Garber served in U.S. Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1866, and was mustered out with rank of colonel and chief quartermaster. Turned over editorship of the Madison Courier to his son Michael, Jr. 1875. Served as Madison postmaster 1875-1881. He died April 8, 1881 and is buried in Madison.
Politics, Military, Newspapers and Media
Born Staunton, Virginia 1813.(1) Purchased Madison Courier 1849; transformed it from pro-Democratic to voice for newly forming Republican Party.(2) Promoted the Union and objected to Fugitive Slave Law.(3) Was active in Republican Party politics.(4) Nominated to represent state's Third Congressional District at first Republican National Convention 1856.(5)
Garber served in U.S. Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1866, and was mustered out with rank of colonel and chief quartermaster.(6) Turned over editorship of the Madison Courier to his son Michael, Jr. 1875.(7) Served as Madison postmaster 1875-1881.(8) He died April 8, 1881 and is buried in Madison.(9) Newspaper remains under Garber family ownership.(10)
(1) Photograph, Michael C. Garber tombstone inscription.
(2) John W. Miller, Indiana Newspaper Bibliography (Indianapolis, 1982), 197; Madison Daily Courier, July 11, 1849; Madison Weekly Courier, July 18, 1849.
(3) For examples, see Madison Weekly Courier, February 20, October 30, 1850; Frank S. Baker, "Michael C. Garber, Sr., and the Early Years of the Madison, Indiana, Daily Courier, " Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 48 (December 1952), 398-400.
(4) Madison Republican Association meeting, Madison Daily Evening Courier, March 10, 1856; nominated at State convention to represent the Third Congressional District of Indiana to the Republican Party's National Convention, June 17, 1856 in Philadelphia, Madison Daily Evening Courier, May 3, 1856; chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, 1858. Zimmerman, 378-79, 380; Madison Daily Evening Courier, May 12, 1858.
Emma Lou Thornbrough, Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850-1880 (Indianapolis, 1965), Chapter 2 does an excellent job of explaining Indiana politics in the 1850s.
(5) Madison Daily Evening Courier, May 3, 1856. According to Baker, 407, Garber attended an informal convention February 22, 1856 called by the Republican State chairmen of nine states, including Indiana. Its purpose was to draft plans for the organization of a permanent Republican party and to organize a convention to nominate candidates for president and vice-president. Madison Daily Evening Courier, March 3, 1856; see Zimmerman, 261.
(6) Military Service Records, National Archives. Typed transcript from Gerber's record, Quartermaster General's Office, War Department, Washington, D.C. provided to George W. Paschal, August 29, 1889. This record indicates that Garber "On December 27, 1864 . . . received orders . . . to proceed with the Headquarters to Savannah Ga., on arrival he reported to Major General W.T. Sherman, who placed him on his staff as Chief Quartermaster Military Division of the Mississippi in the field. From this time on he was on the above duties accompanying General Sherman's Army in all its marches and arriving with that Army at Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1865."
(7) Don Wallis, Jr., Madison and the Garber Family, A Community and It's Newspaper, The Madison Courier, 1837-1992 (Madison, Ind., 1992), 28.
(8)J. David Baker, The Postal History of Indiana, 2 vols. (Louisville, 1976), 2:974.
(9)"He is Dead!, " Madison Daily Courier, April 8, 1881; photograph of Garber tombstone.
(10) Centennial-Expansion Edition, Madison Courier, April 28, 1949; Wallis, 100, Jane Garber Wallis Jacobs, great-great-granddaughter of Michael C. Garber, became publisher of the Madison Courier on December 27, 1989.