“This is the ‘Boss,’ Grandfather mtn. in background,” reads the caption on the back of this circa 1920s photograph. “This was taken just below the old McRae place.” The photograph is apparently of Hugh McRae, the grandfather of developer, photographer, and conservationist Hugh Morton.
Courtesy Historic Boone
February 6, 1907
“Dodging Taxes,” an article on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat (reprinted from the Charlotte News), noted that, “(n)ot expected to list their property at full value, it has always been a temptation to men to list it far below a just valuation for taxation.” Continuing with news of the day in this matter, the newspaper reported, “(b)ut the late Russel Sage appears to have out Heroded Herod in this respect. The Atlanta Constitution Says, ‘The late Russel Sage was in the habit of paying taxes on about $2,000,000 of property, or 2 1/2 per cent, of what he was really worth, not according to general report, but as was shown by the returns made as the result of the administration upon his estate in the New York Probate Court. Under the assessment Mrs. Sage will have to pay some $800,000 in taxes as against about one twenty-fifth of the amount of the amount or some $32,000, paid by her husband.” The article continued in an editorial vein, “(n)ow here is positive evidence of the fact that there has been some hiding out of taxable property – evidence which affords circumstantial proof that there is plenty of similar evasion of the tax laws on the part of the other large property owners. For it is well known that many millionaires who are giving in about the same amount of property as did Russel Sage are worth anywhere from five to fifty times that amount.’” The article on tax “evasion” by the wealthy concluded that, “(t)here are plenty of millionaires who dodge their just taxes, but it is an outrage that the law out to take hold of to remedy that the mass of the people of small means should have to bear the burden of taxation, when enormously rich men beat the devil around the bush.”
February 4, 1943
“M’Nutt (sic) Warns Workers Must Find War Jobs,” proclaimed a bold headline on this week’s front page. “The government today warned hundreds of thousands of American workers to expect no further draft deferments, regardless of their number of dependents, unless they find more essential jobs,” reported the news item. “It told men in 29 occupations that even though they had five or six children, they must find more important jobs by spring or face induction. The ‘non-essential’ occupations affected range from bartenders to gardeners and waiters.” According to the story, “(t)his is ‘just a beginning’, Manpower Commissioner Paul V. McNutt declared… ‘by the end of this year 10 out of every 14 of the able bodied men between 18 and 38 will be in the armed services,’ McNutt said.” In Watauga County, “(a) number of petitions (for deferment of military service) are still out,” reported the Watauga Democrat. “Local selective service boards have been working under instructions to call no men with children until they received ‘further notice.’” According to the article, “(t)oday’s order, said McNutt, is that ‘further notice.’”