Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Otto Carl Pressprich

Male 1897 - 1986  (88 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Otto Carl Pressprich 
    Born 13 Dec 1897  New Hamburg, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Interesting news, life story 
    Military WW1 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-38163P 
    Died 1986  Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I38163  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Father Otto E. Pressprich,   b. 1865, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1919, Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Mother Anna Catherine "Kate" Forester,   b. 1874, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 7 Dec 1896  Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Family ID F10963  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 13 Dec 1897 - New Hamburg, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1986 - Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Otto Pressprich (1897 -1986) As editor of the Saginaw News, Otto Pressprich was described as fair, honest, likable, understanding, helpful, businesslike, forceful, a stickler for accuracy and a man of action as well as of words. But it was as a visionary and a dreamer that he made his most important impact on the mid-Michigan scene.

      He was born December 13, 1897, in New Hamburg, Ontario, the eldest of seven children. Newspaper work was in his blood from the beginning: his father was editor of a weekly newspaper in Canada and, after the family moved to the United States in 1898, worked in the composing room of the Port Huron Times Herald.

      Otto Pressprich graduated from Port Huron High School in 1915 and then attended Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, for one year. With World War I raging in Europe, he enlisted in the Canadian army, served overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and was in England when the war ended. After his discharge from the military in 1918 as a company quartermaster sergeant, Pressprich did factory time-study work in Port Huron, Detroit and Saginaw.

      In 1922, he married Florence Frink and they had three sons and three daughters: William, Robert and Richard Pressprich and Elizabeth (Mrs. Thomas) Norpell, Dorothy (Mrs. Stuart) Fordyce and Mary (Mrs. Gene) King. Florence Pressprich died in 1971; he later married Marie Holloway. In 1922, Pressprich got a job as night proofreader at the Saginaw News with a promise of a reporting job when one was available. He left the proof desk that year, however, to become managing editor of the shortlived Saginaw Evening Star, a competitor of the News.

      When the Star folded, Pressprich worked briefly for Lufkin Rule but returned to the News in 1923 as a farm and rural-school reporter. Moving through the ranks as state editor, telegraph editor, city editor and news editor, Pressprich was named editor-in-chief in January 1941. As editor, he spurred a grand jury cleanup of Saginaw's notorious red-light district and called city officials to account during a post-war embezzlement scandal. He demanded high professional standards from his employees. At the same time, he showed a continuous and sincere concern for their welfare. When criticizing, he focused on the error, not the person who erred. Despite a businesslike and sometimes brusque exterior, he was a man of empathy and humanity.

      He retired as editor in 1958. In the 1950's, realizing the need for higher education in the Saginaw Valley, he helped to organize the Tri County College Study and then became first president of the Valley College Association, an action group that succeeded in gaining legislative approval for the establishment of a three-county taxing unit which made the funding of Delta College possible. Pressprich also believed that the tri-county area should have a four-year, degree-granting institution and that the state of Michigan should expand Delta to meet that need. However another faction was strongly convinced that Delta should remain a two-year community college. Pressprich then began planning the creation of what became Saginaw Valley State College (now University). Many of his associates credited Pressprich with being the spark and inspiration that made the two colleges possible. In J 964, he served as assistant to the president of Saginaw Valley.

      Observing that the best-qualified people were not running for public office, Pressprich proposed Saginaw's first Town Hall meeting at which interested citizens nominated candidates for City Council.

      In 1951, Pressprich was made an honorary alumnus of the University of Michigan. In 1953, he received an honorary doctorate from Central Michigan and SVSC granted him a similar honor in 1976.

      Pressprich was a member--and often an officer of many organizations including the University Press Club, Sigma Delta Chi professional journalism society, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Associated Press Managing Editors' Association, Kiwanis Club, Saginaw Valley Torch Club. Saginaw Club, Saginaw Country Club, Saginaw Chamber of Commerce, Saginaw County Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, YMCA Retired Men's Fellowship Club and the Saginaw County Commission on Aging.

      The Arnold Boutell Award for Community Service was presented to Pressprich in 1959 and he was later named the county's outstanding senior citizen by the Commission on Aging.

      Otto Pressprich died July 16, 1986 at the age of 88.

      Biographical Sketches by Ed Miller and Jean R. Beach by Saginaw Hall of Fame and Castle Museum of Saginaw County

  • Sources 
    1. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 17 Dec 1896.
      07 Dec 1896 Otto E. Pressprich of New Hamburg & Kate Forester of Detroit, were married by Pastor Demling in Detroit.

    2. [S670] Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, Otto E. Pressprich and Kate Foerster, 07 Dec 1896; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, p 535 rn 22379, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,505.
      Otto E. Pressprich Age (Expanded) 31 years Birth Year 1865 Birthplace Canada Spouse's Name Kate Foerster Spouse's Age (Expanded) 21 years Spouse's Birth Year 1875 Spouse's Birthplace Canada Event Date 07 Dec 1896 Event Place Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Father's Name Otto E. Pressprich Mother's Name Louisa Boeckner Spouse's Father's Name Valentine Forester Spouse's Mother's Name Mary Raymann