Imagine a time when there was only one paper for a town that came out once a week. For many small towns this was the way it was about 200 years ago. Durand was one of those towns in which there was only one paper. That paper is still around even though there are more papers that we can get. That paper is The Courier Wedge. The Courier Wedge covers many local stories that a paper like the Leader Telegram doesnít cover. Many people rely on the Wedge so they know when something is going on. Over the years many people have helped with the Wedge in many ways.
The Wedge has a long and very interesting history. Even though it hasnít always been called the Courier Wedge. The first paper printed in Durand was the Home Mirror. It was printed form October of 1861 until December of 1862 when the name was changed to the Alembic. The name changed again in a few months to the Durand Times. The paper had a major problem that could have shut it down. In 1878 the newspaper office was destroyed by a fire. It was soon after the fire that the paper was sold and renamed the Pepin County Courier. After April, 1871, it was called the Durand Weekly Times. At that time it was a political based paper for the republicans.
In November or December of 1877 the owner of the Pepin County Courier bought the Durand Weekly Times. He then printed one paper with the name of Pepin County Times and Courier. In the year 1880, the word Times was dropped from the name leaving the Pepin County Courier. After the publisher died, his wife kept the paper running for a few years until she sold it in June of 1914. The two young men who bought it were drafted in the year 1918 and so were forced to sell. The next man to purchase the newspaper also printed the Entering Wedge, which was a competing paper. After he bought the Pepin County Courier, he just printed one paper under the new name of The Courier Wedge. The Courier Wedge has been printed from that time on. For a few years different people owned the Wedge. But the next owner, the Ender family had possession of the newspaper from 1966 until about 1982. The Courier Wedge has been printed under various names for over 123 years.
Since the local paper was the only one people normally got, iit had to cover stories from all over the world. Many of the top stories of the time were covered in the Wedge. A few examples are the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1872, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and, the assassination of JFK in 1963. Currently, you wouldnít expect the Wedge to cover stories that have a huge impact on the world, since there are so many other newspapers available . For example, stories like when the Twin Towers were bombed or the War in Iraq are not covered in the local newspaper as they would have been year ago.
In this day in age, the only stories the Wedge is expected to cover are local ones. For example, how much our athletic teams at the high school won or lost their last game by, postings of when the next town meeting will be. Well, the Wedge has always done this, but it used to be much more than just be a local paper. It used to be the only paper. Many people would go crazy if they didnít have a newspaper to read every morning.
Click here to see some of the stories printed in the Courier Wedge
This page was created by: Alex McNair in April of 2003