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Durand City

Durand City Hall is located at 104 East Main Street, Durand, WI 54736; phone: 715-672-8770.

Durand as described in 1941 [1]

Durand, on the banks of the Chippewa River, was laid out by Myles Durand Prindle in 1856 and in 1861 became the seat of Pepin County. First built in a valley to the north, it abandoned its old site after having been flooded twice by high spring waters.

Notorious in Durand's early history were the Maxwell brothers, known as Ed and Lon Williams, outlaws and horse thieves. In 1881 they killed the deputy sheriff of Pepin County in a gun fight and during the remainder of that year turned up occasionally in Wisconsin and neighboring States, always as principal actors in dramas of gunplay and robbery. Ed was finally caught in Nebraska and returned to Durand to stand trial; but vigilantes took him from the custody of the law and hanged him from an oak on the courthouse lawn. The tree still stands, a reminder of one of Wisconsin's few lynchings.

Durand was a busy and exciting river port in lumbering days, when great log rafts were made up in neighboring sloughs, and steamers from the Mississippi River brought with them all the gaiety and license of the rivermen. When the rafts ceased to go downstream and the steamers stopped coming up, Durand declined. Every year more stores along its once lively main street were boarded up and abandoned, and a few more families left the town. Today Durand is supported by its farm trade.

  1. Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration, Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State, American Guide Series, Wisconsin Library Association, 1941.
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