This picture is entitled “First Presbyterian, Boone, N.C.,” and shows the former sanctuary of Boone’s Presbyterian congregation, located adjacent to the Appalachian State University campus. Courtesy of the Historic Boone society and digitalnc.org, the NC Digital heritage center.
1896: Confederate veteran prospering in Johnson County, despite lack of pension
Editor’s note: The following is a retrospective look at the local area through past issues of the Watauga Democrat.
February 20, 1896
“War in Cuba,” a headline on this week’s front page of the Watauga Democrat, headed an article on news the island of Cuba’s war for independence from Spain. “The Cubans are holding their own with great spirit, activity, dash and courage in the teeth of the ‘Butcher’ and his plans of murder and oppression,” began the news article. “Late reports are favorale (sic) to the patriots. Campos stretched a line of troops across the island, but the Cubans broke through at will. General Marin copied his tactics, and boasted that he had the ‘rebels’ cooped in at last. But in vain the brag and preparation. The military line is not regarded, and Generals Gomez and Maceo repeat their old way of dashing and slashing. Reports tells (sic) how in spite of Spanish reports of victory, always exaggerated if not made completely to order, the insurgents avoid them and are busy in cutting off supplies and distressing the enemy by forays and other interesting ‘diviltry’.”
“Our old war chum, Mat Morrison, a prosperous farmer now living on the Laurel in Johnson county, Tennessee, gave us a pleasant call a few days ago,” opened an item on page three of this week’s newspaper, apparently written by the editor at the time, D.B. “Squire” Dougherty. “We are always glad to meet our old Confederate friends,” wrote the editor, “as we have brotherly kindness for them, and are glad that the majority of them are independent and none are begging bread, though they draw no pensions.”
February 24, 1921
“Training School and Boone Items” was a column which this week told of news at the Appalachian Training School for Teachers (Later Appalachian State Normal School, then Appalachian State Teachers College, now Appalachian State University). “A number of the students have been sick with mumps,” opened the feature, “and also quite a number have been suffering with their vaccinated arms.” In other news, “the Methodist and Baptist Missionary Societies held a union prayer meeting on the past Friday afternoon in a special prayer for missionary work.” “This is as it should be,” continued the article, with an addition of editorial opinion. “Why not unite our prayers and efforts to the one great cause.”
“Boone and surrounding country has been in the grip of winter for some days,” according to the column. “At this writing the white pines on the campus and all the surrounding forests have been drooping gracefully beneath a burden of ice that has been on them for more than two days, all presenting a scene so beautiful that the most imaginative artist could scarcely conceive, and when seen the most skilled hand could not portray.”
This week’s paper contained public notices of businesses changing hands. One notable example concerned an early automobile dealership: “NOTICE – To whom it may concern: This is to notify all creditors of the Watauga Motor Company that I have sold my entire interest in the Watauga Motor company to W.E Shipley, who assumes all liabilities of my pro rata part of the indebtedness of the firm. All book accounts, or other evidences of indebtedness due the Watauga Motor Company are payable to W.E. Shipley. This Feb 10, 1921.” The notice was signed, “J.B. Taylor.”
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