The Ceres Courier was established in 1910 when Ceres was home to approximately 500 residents. The paper’s founder was Clarence “Hal” Humphrey Bronaugh, who was born in Illinois and was first employed as a “printer’s devil” in Chicago. He married a Grace Pearl Macomber after he saw her poetry in the paper and they began corresponding. The couple married in Vermont but moved to Colorado where he ran a newspaper in Craig from 1891 to 1895. He came to California where he worked for the Stockton Record and then the Turlock Journal. At one time he owned a quarter of the Turlock paper but left Turlock to start up the Courier in 1910. The newspaper operated out of an old unpainted wood framed structure on Fourth Street, then only a dirt street, and type was set by hand, a laborious process in those days.
Bronaugh later became Ceres postmaster. He left the Courier by Aug. 5, 1913 to buy a newspaper in Moorpark and another in Paradise. He died in Oroville in 1939.
Like most community papers, the Courier of the 1930s through 1950s read more like a social gazette whereby personal tid-bits of information were standard fare for the sleepy farming community. Ceres had only 981 residents in 1930 and 2,351 by 1950 so news was sparse for a weekly.
Through the years publishers have included Donald Caulkins, Lee Roddy, Carlin Perry and Darell Phillips. In recent years, editors have included Lee Roddy, Bob Crawford, Suzanne Holland and Colleen McCann Hugg. Jeff Benziger became editor in 1987.
The Courier is owned by Morris Multimedia Corporation based in Savannah, Ga.
In April 2011 the Courier closed its Fourth Street office to consolidate offices with its sister paper, the Turlock Journal, on S. Center Street. Courier staff members, however, maintain a nearly daily presence in Ceres collecting news.
The Courier is now in its 103rd year of publication as a weekly newspaper still emphasizing local news. The paper boasts a generous circulation of 18,500 for Ceres, home to 46,000 residents.