“Drives About Blowing Rock,” an early postcard depicting a scenic byway in the High Country. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.org / the Digital Watauga project.
1896: Local Politics Tense: P.R. Profitt Denies that Candidate Killed His Cow
October 22, 1896
“Let us urge upon all friends of silver to go to work now with the determination to carry this county and elect Tom Sutherland to the senate, H.A. Davis to the legislature, and the whole free silver ticket,” urged an article in this week’s edition of the Democratic party-affiliated Watauga Democrat newspaper. The “free silver party” referred to those Democrats for whom a major issue at this time was promoting the “free coinage of silver,” in addition to gold coins, as the basis of government economic policy. This potentially inflationary policy was opposed by advocates of a more conservative gold-only currency system. “See to it,” continued the article, “that Bryan, Cy Watson, and the whole State ticket is voted for. Then be sure and vote for Doughton, that pure, clean and upright gentleman for Congress instead of R.Z. Linney, who has rendered himself odious all over the district by his vulgarity, to say nothing of his abominable record that he is trying so hard to defend.”
Another short item this week bore the heading, “A Card.” This open letter to the editor began, “I am informed that E.B. Miller and others are telling that H.A. Davis killed my cow. Now, I hereby say this is not true, for I am fully convinced that he did not, and I intend to vote for him.” The statement closed, “I make this statement willingly and of my own accord, (signed), P.R. Profitt.”
A local community news column entitled “Dots from Valle Crucis” reported, “politics not very high, but every man will be there with his vote for democracy” as the lead item to this feature. “People are busy with their farm work,” stated another “dot.” “Our new Methodist church is receiving a nice coat of paint,” according to another, “and it will be an ornament to our community when completed.” In other Valle Crucis church news, “work is progressing nicely on the buildings for the minister, Mr. Jones, who has charge of the missionary work for the Episcopal church at this place. The lumber is being delivered on the yard, and Mr. Woodring, the carpenter, has a new plainer (sic) and will be ready to push the work at once.” The Valle Crucis column was signed, simply, “AMICUS,” the Latin word for “friend.”
October 24, 1940
“Mill Doing Good Business,” a headline this week, introduced a short news item which conveyed that, “Mr. G.E. Anderson(,) owner of the Boone Milling Company plant which recently began operation here, states that business is good and that the demand for the corn meal and food being manufactured is so great that of late it has been necessary to operate a night shift. Attention is directed to an advertisement for the milling company appearing in The Democrat today.”