I knew the dawn of day would come when I would be greeted by our own local morning newspaper. Today is that day. The EagleHerald makes its debut as a morning publication. I think readers will come to like it.

The morning newspaper and a good cup of coffee are not only for retirees, but for everyone. Lifestyles change. World communication has been modified. New technology Is exploding around us, and this requires a new trend in how we get our news. Nothing is permanent in life except change. Newspapers across the country, large and small, are shifting from the tradi­tional evening papers to morning editions.

Josh Billings, a famous humorist in the late 1800s, must have had an early premonition of the morning delivery when he said: “The morning paper is just as necessary for an American as dew is to the grass.”

Some people would like to sound the death knell of newspapers. Don’t believe it. It was one year ago when the world celebrated the 400th anniversary of the newspaper. Those of us in the business have been hearing about its demise for decades. Just because ink is still splashed across pages of white paper while the click of a mouse will offer you instant global information doesn’t mean the small town newspaper is on death row. The last time I checked, 1,457 newspapers in the United States had a daily circulation of 54,626,138 and 915 Sunday newspapers had about 58 million readers. Plus, many of the newspapers have their own Websites to provide up-to-the-minute information.

The newspaper is the most interesting product in the world. It’s a story of daily life in small towns and big cities. Every day there is a new chapter, a new ending, a new surprise. Publishers, editors, reporters and pressmen take vacations. News never takes a day off, gets sick or goes on vacation. News is 24/7. 365/12. Newspapers deliver the news.

The M&M area wasn’t on the route of the first newspaper 400 years ago, but it has had an address for 143 of those years. Eleazer S. Ingalls, one of the most talented pioneers in local history, introduced the print word on the Menominee River when he produced the Menominee Herald in 1863 which happened to be the Civil War Era. He didn’t even have his own press to print the newspaper. His first edition was published in Green Bay which at the time had the only steam-powered press in Wisconsin. Mr. Ingalls was also the first lawyer and the first judge on the river.

Although a great innovator, even a brilliant man like Ingalls probably never had a morning newspaper on his list of creative things. Before radio, TV, Internet and all of the other instant gadgets available to mankind, the evening newspaper was a birthright for Americans.

Menominee County was organized in January 1863, and it took Ingalls only nine months to publish the area’s first newspaper. Eight years later, the Marinette and Peshtigo Eagle hit the dirt roads of our neighborhoods on June 24, 1871, under the direction of Judge Luther B. Noyes, the first publisher. The highly-respected Noyes bloodline continued a long and distinguished relationship in the M&M area, owning and operating a “town crier” here from 1871 until 1980 when ancestors sold to the Bliss family, another well-known newspaper family based in Janesville, Wis. The transaction Included the Marinette Eagle-Star and Ironwood, Mich., Daily Globe, both of which were owned by Eagle Printing Co.

The Eagle Printing Co. acquired ownership of Menominee Publishing Co. (Herald-Leader) on July 17, 1982. Although the Herald-Leader was printed in the Eagle-Star building in Marinette, the two publications had separate and competitive news departments. The Eagle-Star and Herald-Leader news staffs joined together in producing the first Saturday morning edition on Nov. 5, 1994, but maintained separate news staffs to produce their own Monday-Friday editions. The transition cycle was completed on July 10, 1995, when the two newspapers merged to create the EagleHerald.

I was fascinated by a news story that ran in the Herald-Leader’s 50th anniversary special in 1913. In tracing the early history of the paper under Judge Ingalls, it pointed out how the linotype machine saved hand labor. The H-L had three linotype machines, each costing between $3,000 and $4,000, that were capable of setting up 10 columns of type per day. John Dunlap, a gentleman with a capital “G” was the head operator. The paper was published on an ancient Cox-Webb “perfecting machine: press.” Old printers with the ink-stained hands of a Dunlap, and dozens of other dedicated printers I worked with, would be astonished had they been able to witness the flight of the newspaper from the crude days of hot metal type, lino machines and other pica-type print tools of the trade, to the current explosion of technology.

I’ve been privileged to have been a part of the remarkable growth of newspapers since my tenderfoot year as a reporter/sports writer at the old Herald-Leader in 1955. Prior to full-time status, I was a Herald-Leader paperboy and later an unpaid correspondent for the Herald-Leader and Eagle-Star while chronicling fast-pitch softball, interstate men’s basketball and the M&M football Hornets during their heyday.

From the novice days to being a member of the Eagle-Star staff for its centennial celebration in 1971, working for two esteemed newspaper families — Noyes and Bliss — over the years, and being a member of the teams that underwent change during the switch to the first Saturday morning edition, merger of the two newspapers and now the daily morning edition, has been an experience beyond understanding.

Bloggers might be able to do a creditable job of relating individual stories, television will give you eyeshots of unswerving Images, but newspapers will always be able to give you a complete and intricate account of what is happening in war, during a hurricane season, politics, sports, social life, and it will go behind the scenes to uncover corruption and evildoers.

And you will be able to read it all in the morning EagleHerald. With your cup of coffee. Enjoy the day!