Douglas Malloch (1877–1938) was an American poet and short-story writer. Known as a “Lumberman’s poet,” he was an editor of American Lumberman, a trade paper-based in Chicago. He also wrote one of the often-used Michigan “State” Songs.
Born in Muskegon, Michigan, then a hub of the lumbering industry, Malloch worked for 13 years for the Muskegon Chronicle before joining the American Lumberman in 1903 as a syndicated columnist. He quickly gained a reputation as a humorist, lecturer, and radio personality. His column was often written in the form of a poem. His famous poems “Round River Drive” and “Be the Best of Whatever You Are” were collected into In Forest Land (1906.)
Malloch wrote “Michigan, My Michigan,” one of the “unofficial” Michigan State Songs. Malloch wrote it for a 1902 convention of Michigan State Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Malloch’s memorial is located at the Granville United Methodist Church in Chicago.
Footnote: The first-adopted official Michigan State song was lost to time. An unofficial song “My Michigan,” written by Giles Kavanaugh and H. O’Reilly Clint and adopted by the Michigan Legislature in 1937, is hardly ever performed. The prevalent “unofficial” state song, “Michigan, My Michigan,” exists in three versions. The first, written by Winifred Lee Brent Lyster (later Mrs. Henry F. Lyster) of Detroit in 1862, is a tribute to the Michiganders who fought in the Civil War. It was inspired by the Battle of Fredericksburg and sung to the German carol “O Tannenbaum” (“Oh Christmas Tree”) written by Carl Anshutz. The second version of “Michigan, My Michigan,” written in 1886 by Major James W. Long of Grand Rapids, was penned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of statehood. Douglas Malloch’s version, the third, is today widely used in schools as the “Michigan Song.” It was set to music by composer W. Otto Miessner in 1911.