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The City of Durango was officially founded in September 1880, and by December of that year the city had its first newspaper, the Record (sometimes referred to as the Durango Record and the Daily Record). Ms. Romney, a widow, first wrote, edited and published The Record from a tent. At one point, the tent was guarded because Ms. Romney was threatened after she refused to retract an editorial she published regarding local desperadoes. It seems a bullet had gone through her tent during a fight between two gangs.
The Herald, “a most unequivocally Republican paper” began publication on June 30, 1881, by editors J.S. and George Marsh. The Record and the Herald merged in 1883.
In 1892, Durango Democrats brought Dave Day from Ouray (where he printed The Solid Muldoon) to Durango. He called his newspaper the Durango Democrat. It was considered racy and not fit reading for the young.
Frank Hartman started the Trade’s Journal. There was a shoot-out between Hartman and Day during which Hartman got a bullet through the calf of his leg.
In 1922, Rod Day, Dave Day’s son, who was then in charge of the Democrat, shot and killed William L. Wood, city editor of the Herald, as a result of the articles by both men in their respective papers charging alcoholism and dishonesty against the other. It was decided that Wood had been stalking Day with intentions to kill him, so charges against Day were changed to self-defense. He was found not guilty.
In 1928, the Durango Democrat and the Herald merged and the paper was called the Herald-Democrat.
In 1930, Rod Day started a weekly called the Durango News.
Arthur and Morley Ballantine purchased the Herald-Democrat along with the Durango News in 1952 and the name was changed to the Herald-News.
On Memorial weekend in 1953, the Herald-News moved from the 1100 block of Main (the King Building) to the News building at 1022 Main Avenue, now Carver’s Bakery.
In 1960, the name was changed to the Durango Herald.
The Durango Herald moved to the present location in October of 1966 and installed an offset press, no longer using the letter press. An addition to the building on the south side was completed in 1979.
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