See The First-Ever Durand Express, Published July 12th 1888
Posted by Durand Now at 10:00pm 9/10/17
The Durand Express Volume 1 Number 1, Published July 12th 1888

On this date in 1900, the Express Co. first published The Evening Express.

As Durand Now enters its fifth year serving the greater Durand area with "hyper-local" news coverage, there's a whole lot of exploring the past and planning for the future.

We began a rebuild of the site last month that is now mostly complete. We've got big ideas for growing Durand Now and the rebuild was a necessary step in getting prepared.   The final areas of the new site that need to be wrapped up are in our HERITAGE section.

For years, our Heritage section has included a Historic Timeline, plotting out the beginnings of Durand in the 1830s, then-known as Vernon Center, showing the timing of various developments in the city, like when the Durand Fire Department was established in 1901 and when the depot was nearly met with a wrecking-ball in the 1970s.  Also included on the timeline is a listing of the area's various newspapers and the dates they were first published.

The Durand Express was established by T.R. Chapin and first published on July 12th 1888.

A little over a week ago, in the process of getting our CLASSIFIEDS section up and running on the new site, we stumbled across a Craigslist post advertising Bicentennial editions of both The Durand Express and The Argus-Press.  The publications were "must-haves" and the price was fair.

We were shocked -- pleasantly -- to discover that on the back page of the Bicentennial edition of The Durand Express, dated July 1st 1976, was a reprint of the first-ever edition of The Durand Express.

This is treasure.  It has now been framed, along with a 1904 front page that was also reprinted in the Bicentennial edition.  Not to mention the Bicentennial edition itself is a pretty amazing find.
As it turns out, the seller had numerous other old papers and decided to throw them in as a bonus.

It turns out, these papers, including many editions of The Argus-Press, The Flint Journal, The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News were also all gems, containing major headlines from the past nearly 100 years. 

In fact, the oldest original dated paper we got was an Argus published October 4th 1939, back before the paper shortened its name.  It was then known as The Owosso Argus-Press
As it pertains to the future of Durand Now, these items, particularly the 1888 Express reprint, are significant to better understanding the historical role of local news in our community.  Just one section of particular interest published in the first-ever edition of The Durand Express is the Salutatory, which reads similiarly to the Durand Now Official Press Release distributed September 6th 2012 and Statement of Purpose published on January 1st 2013, just months after this site launched.  The Salutatory is published above in the right column.

It was previously shared in a Durand Now story that Durand Now Publisher Josh Strickland and longtime Express owner, Owen Rood, with help from Rood's wife, Inez, were working on a project prior to Owen Rood's passing in February of this year.  That project was essentially a long-form interview with Rood, exploring all things Durand Express, ultimately, to improve Durand Now and help lay out a path for future growth.

A special addition coming soon to our Heritage section will be that interview with Rood -- as much of it that exists.  There are many questions that he did not have the chance to answer before his death.  We'll see if we can't work together to fill in the blanks.

Meanwhile, have a look at some of our own history, in a new Heritage section called ON THIS DATE.

There you'll find a link to the first-ever story posted on Durand Now, the first-ever Durand High School sports story posted on Durand Now and a look at the original front page design of Durand Now.  See how far we've come!
Published in The Durand Express 7/12/1888

We present the first issue of the EXPRESS with all due modesty.  It is here to stay and to fill the usual "long felt want."  The first and foremost business of the EXPRESS is the welfare of Durand and to call attention of the public to its many advantages and opportunities, and if it shall sometimes sacrifice news for subjects with which local readers are more or less familiar, and shall reiterate them, it will be for the good of this locality and therefore pardonable.  That we believe thoroughly in the present and future propsects of Durand the starting of the EXPRESS itself will testify.

The EXPRESS will pay particular attention to local and county news, and while not as large as other papers devoted to general news, its field covers features to which they do not and cannot devote space.  It is a local paper purely.  As soon as maybe we expect to have corespondents in every town in the county.

Politically the EXPRESS will be independent but not neutral--will hit a head wherever it can discover it and run a "deadly parallel column" of its own, as it were.

Durand having as its distinctive feature unequalled railroad facilities, we purpose to collect from our exchanges and procure from original source the current railroad news of the State and hope to make this column of considerable interest.

We believe that a neat, readable local paper, giving its news in condensed form, printed from clear type on good paper, with the distinctive features we shall present, is well worth the price we shall ask for it, and that it will merit popular favor shall be our earnest endeavor.
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