Lafayette Ledger

Lafayette ledger (Lafayette, Minn.) 1904-1972  Browse the title

Lafayette Nicollet ledger (Lafayette, Minn.) 1973-current  Browse the title

The Lafayette Ledger was founded and published by Winson Cooley in 1904, with its first issue dated May 14. The Ledger was published in Lafayette, Minnesota, located on the northern edge of Nicollet County. 

C. C. Cooley was the first editor of the Ledger. Issues were published on Saturdays with generally 8 pages and 6 columns of content. With a local economy centered around grain, lumber, and general and dairy farming, agricultural and market news was the focus of the newspaper. Local to international news and school and church news was also extensively covered. Winston Cooley sold the Ledger to Roy S. Peterson in February of 1905, who served as editor and publisher. Under Peterson, the Ledger was a politically Republican newspaper. An “Echoes of Campaign” column ran during the 1906 Minnesota gubernatorial campaign, which featured endorsements of Republican candidate A. L. Cole reprinted from other Minnesota newspapers. 

Peterson sold the Ledger to Anton Malmberg on March 14, 1908, and later purchased the Maple Lake Messenger. Under Malmberg, the Ledger was politically independent. The physical size of the paper changed in April of 1914 when a power printing press replaced the hand press previously used. Malmberg served as editor and publisher until he sold the Ledger to WWI veteran Hilding George Swenson in June of 1920. By 1930, issues were printed on Fridays and were generally four pages long with six columns of content. By July of 1935, issues increased to generally eight pages with six columns, with the extra space featuring additional news from notable editors and reporters. Advice columns like Household Hints and Health Hints for Livestock began to appear by 1940. Harland and Betty Walter purchased the Ledger after Swenson passed away on October 9, 1950. Harland Walter served as both editor and publisher. By 1965, the Ledger was printed on Thursdays.

To better encompass Nicollet County in its coverage and readership, Harland Walter renamed the newspaper the Lafayette Nicollet Ledger on January 4, 1973. Issues were generally sixteen pages long with five columns of content, and included more news coverage of the other cities in Nicollet County. Harland Walter operated the newspaper until he sold it to Deborah and Douglas Hanson in 1979. Douglas Hanson served as publisher and Deborah Hanson as editor. Before purchasing the Lafayette Nicollet Ledger, the Hansons published the Inside Track, a monthly trading advertiser for Winthrop, Minnesota. Issues decreased to generally twelve pages and six to eight columns of text during these years. Deborah left as editor in July of 1993 and Ruth Klossner became editor in June of 1994. 

As of 2021 the Lafayette Nicollet Ledger continues to be published, with Lee Zion as publisher and editor.