The Detroit Evening Journal, established by Lloyd Brezee, started as a two-cent daily with Brezee in the position of editor and C.C. Parkard as business manager. On December 6, 1883, a stock company was formed and a capitol stock of $37,500 was established. By May 1884 the capitol was increased to $50,000 and the controlling interest of the paper was sold to Samual J. Tomlinson. Tomlinson assumed the position of editor until he retired in May 1885. William Livingstone Jr. became the proprietor and appointed Frank E. Robinson managing editor and Henry S. Harris as writing editor. Harris resigned in 1886 and was replaced by Edward G. Holden. On May 7, 1887 five hundred shares of the paper was sold to William H. Brearley who assumed ownership of the Journal.
The Journal struggled financially until 1901; it was then sold to a syndicate that included the future owner of the Detroit Free Press Edward D. Stair. William H. Brearley, who had previously been the advertising manager at the Detroit News then asummed the position of managing editor. In 1908 with a majority stock purchase of the paper Henry Stevens and Edward D. Stair assumed ownership. Harry P. Hetherington became editor and held the position until the time of his death. He was followed by T.C. Greenwood and then by Grove Patterson.
A new group of owners assumed control of the Journal in 1917 but was not organized into a corporation unit April 25, 1919. The officers and owners of the corporation were: N.C. Wright, president; H.S. Talmadge, vice president; Paul Block, secretary; and C.C. Verman, treasurer. The last printing plant of the Journal was built and completed in 1906 occupying the space to the rear of the old printing plant.
In 1922 the Journal was bought out by The Evening News Association owner of the rival Detroit News.
In 1995, the name was also used to refer to a weekly newspaper pit out by workers who were on strike from the current major newspapers, the Detroit Free Press, and the Detroit News. (It was really called the Detroit Sunday Journal but was sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Detroit Journal.) The "temporary" paper ran four years until the strike finally ended in November 1999.
- Albert Nelson Marquis, ed. The Book of Detroiters, 1908, A.N. Marquis & Company, Chicago