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Dugger Man Finds 1841 Newspaper In Desk

Last updated on Monday, February 25, 2013

(DUGGER) - Imagine finding a piece of your family history in an old desk.

Now, what if that same family heirloom was a window to the Wabash Valley's past?

Matt Gregory of WTHI reports that is exactly what one Dugger man has and he's not sure where to pass this piece of history to next.

Printed words were the fastest news of their day, but on an antique paper each line is a different part of history.

But the sum of their parts makes this paper a part of Clifford Bedwell's history starting with his ancestor, Tom Bedwell, one of the early settlers of Indiana.

"Old Tom there he was down in Vincennes buying his supplies for the month and came across a paperboy and bought (the news paper)," Bedwell said.

The date was March 20th 1841, when Clifford's distant relative bought the paper. A time when whooping cough was an epidemic, you could buy a 160 acre farm on the front page, and Indiana's first governor William Henry Harrison had just been elected president.

"Yea his inaugural address is in there, his speech he gave his speech and it's in there," Bedwell said.

But after that time, this paper disappeared confined inside of an old desk. Until a young Clifford and his grandfather found it nearly 100 years later.

"I said 'grandpa that's an old paper' and he said, 'yea it is son' and that's all he ever said about it," Bedwell said.

The paper was Clifford's from then on.

"Yea I'll get it out of the closet every once in a while and go over it you know look at it," he said.

But as he gets older, Clifford said neither of his sons wants the paper so he's looking for a new owner at the right price. He is hoping to find a caretaker of Hoosier history, who will not see the paper as just old news.

"Oh I'd sell it, but I'm just not going to give it away," He said.

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