The Times begins its 125th year

Mabel Wrabek Bohlig of West St. Paul recently donated some old photographs to the New Prague Area Historical Society. This photo shows John Wrabek, owner and publisher of the New Prague Times, at left with his hunting dog, in 1892, when the newspaper was just three years old. The Times office was just west of its current location. (Photo by New Prague Area Historical Society)

This week marks an important milestone for The New Prague Times.

The September 12, 2013, issue is Volume 125, Issue No. 1. In other words, the beginning of our 125th year. During those years, The New Prague Times has been keeping the residents of New Prague and the surrounding area informed about the happenings in the community.

We’ve been the source to turn to for information about local businesses, government, schools and most important, local people. We’ve been the place to turn to for obituaries, wedding and engagement announcements, births and anniversaries. We’ve been the place to turn for news about all the successes in the communities, as well as the disappointments and tragedies.

The Times has been one of New Prague’s biggest cheerleaders. We’ve also been a kind of watchdog, letting people know what’s going on in their community. We take this role seriously and strive to keep people informed on what projects their local officials are working on.

I’ve been part of this tradition for more than 20 years. I spent nine years here, from 1990 to 1999, as associate editor, then rejoined the newspaper as managing editor in 2002. It’s a job I never even considered growing up, but I can’t imagine doing anything else now that I’m in my 50s.

I made the transition from teacher to newspaper editor in the late 1980s, and less than two years into my second career I was offered the opportunity to come back to my hometown.

Many weeklies the size of The Times are part of large chains that include dozens of newspapers. There is a lot to be said for the large groups - economies of scale in terms of production, sharing of news resources and advertising. We are also part of a group, however it’s a much smaller group. Suel Printing owns four newspapers, all based in Le Sueur County. Each of these papers has its own identity and we work hard to make sure each paper is dedicated to its community.

Suel Printing Company has a small, but devoted staff, many of whom have been here longer than I have. We are part of this community and work hard to fulfill our obligations to keep New Prague informed.

Many things have changed since September 6, 1888, when the first issue of The Times came off the presses. For many years, readers would have to wait until Thursday for the paper to come out to see what was happening in the community. Today, that news can be shared instantly across the world via our website, at It has changed the way we do things, but not in our main purpose. We are the best source for all of your New Prague news. It’s been that way for the last 124 years, or nearly 6,500 weeks. Thank you for helping us last this long, and we look forward to continuing to serve New Prague.