August 29


Frank A. Linney, Attorney, of Boone. Frank A. Linney is the grandfather of Armfield Coffey, Frank Coffey and Linney Brewer. He was at one time U.S. District Attorney, but died before being named Federal Judge. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

 August 25, 1910
“Those Pies of Boyhood,” a heading to an item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, introduced an advertisement masquerading as a news article. “How delicious were the pies of boyhood,” began the ad with a question. “No pies now ever taste so good. What’s changed? The pies? No. It’s you. You’ve lost the strong, healthy stomach, the vigorous liver, the active kidneys, the regular bowels of boyhood. Your digestion is poor and you blame the food. What’s needed? A complete toning up by Electric Bitters of all organs of digestion – Stomach, Liver, Kidneys, bowels – try them. They’ll restore your boyhood appetite and appreciation of food and fairly saturate your body with new health, strength, and vigor. 50c at all druggists.” A large bottle of the product from this time period was labeled “Electric Brand Laxative, Formerly called Electric Brand Bitters. A Family laxative … contains Senna, Rhubarb, Cascara, Sagrada, Hops, Aloes, Wahoo, Dandelion, Gentian, Uva Ursi, Tansey, Chamomile and Quassia, Combined with Aromatics…[and] 18% Alcohol.”
“Evangelistic Work,” a local news item this week, read, “Rev. K.L. Hagan, a student of the University of Chattanooga, is at present engaged in Evangelistic work in the counties of Ashe, Watauga, and Caldwell.” According to the article, “[o]n Aug. 10 he commenced a meeting at Brown’s Chapel, M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church near Rutherwood, N.C., which lasted for 10 days, resulted in 14 conversions and 12 accessions to the church. That was the first real revival there for ten years. Old-time enemies were found making friends and one young man, W.H. Johnson, felt a call to the ministry during the meeting.”

 August 30, 1945
“JAP [sic; Japanese] SURRENDER SIGNING SUNDAY,” a banner headline in this week’s newspaper, carried a subheading announcing, “Mighty Battlewagon Missouri Enters Tokyo Harbor; to Be Scene of Formal Surrender.” Reported the news article, bearing a dateline of “Manila, Aug. 29)”, “General MacArthur flew north today on his way to make a triumphal entry into Japan Thursday. As a plane carried him to Okinawa, the mighty battleship Missouri entered Tokyo Bay, where next Sunday Japan’s surrender will be signed aboard her. Admiral Halsey rode the 45,000-ton dreadnaught into the bay while sea and airborne forces were poised for large scale occupational landings. The unfolding of MacArthur’s master plan for the powerful occupation pointed toward the historic surrender signing Sept. 2 aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.” The surrender marked the final end of the hostilities of World War II, and came within weeks of the use of atomic bombs in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On the home front, “Clyde R. Greene, local hardware merchant, and for 19 years a leader in the affairs of the Junior Order in this community, was unanimously elected state councilor of the organization at the convention held in High Point last week.” According to the Democrat, “Mr. W.H. Gragg of Boone, member of the board of trustees of the Junior Order Home, placed the name of Mr. Greene in nomination, and paid glowing tribute to his worth as a Junior and as a citizen. No opposition to his candidacy developed.”

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August 22


“Valle Crucis Methodist Church,” an area landmark which dates back to the 1870s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

August 18, 1904

“Clarence Potter Acquitted,” a headline this week, introduced an article about a case still famous over a century later. “Our readers no doubt are familiar with this noted case,” began the paper’s coverage in this issue. “The defendant, Clarence Potter[,] was tried at spring term, 1903, for the murder of Amos Howell, a special officer, who together with a posse, viz.: Lucky Joe Wilson, Bill Hamby, Stilly Snider and Calvin Turnmire had gone to arrest Boone and Clarence Potter under warrants, charging the defendants with a misdemeanor. For some unknown reason, this posse, after being in company with the defendant for some time, allowed him to leave[,] whereupon these reputed officers of law pursued[,] and a battle ensued in which Amos Howell was slain by Boone Potter. Boone was not arrested[,] however, he was since slain by Bill Hamby.” The Democrat noted that the surviving brother of the slain killer had been “arrested, tried and convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to hang May the 8th 1903,” but “his case was taken to the [North Carolina] Supreme Court,” at which time a new trial was granted, “resulting in the acquittal of the defendant by a jury of our best citizens.” In the court proceedings reported at this date, the newspaper asserted that “[i]t seemed that all the lawyers were at their best and no stone was left unturned for and against the prisoner,” and that “our young lawyers covered themselves with glory in this noted battle.” Having been cleared of the charge of murder, Clarence Potter lived almost sixty more years, passing away in 1965.

August 19, 1943

“AIR PASSENGER SERVICE IS SEEN FOR THIS TOWN,” a banner headline in this week’s front page, introduced a feature which detailed that, “[a]n indication of ‘things to come’ is contained in the recent application filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board by the Greyhound Corporation for a nation-wide air-bus transportation system, in which it is proposed to operate helicopters of large carrying capacity to provide passenger[,] mail and express service to Boone and other points along the 60,000 miles of highway traversed by Greyhound buses.” “The most novel feature of the project,” continued the article, “says Mr. H.W Wilcox, local Greyhound manager and president of the Chamber of Commerce, and one for which helicopters is fitted, is the plan to adapt present bus terminals, bus garages, and other facilities close to central stations of cities and towns as landing ports and maintenance hangars.” The feature reported that “[t]he Chamber of Commerce is working closely with Greyhound so the new service may be made available to Boone as soon as possible.” Concluded the story, “[t]his probably would remove the immediate necessity of this city securing an airport,” as the Greyhound company “intends to build landing decks on top of present bus terminals.” Boone had a new Greyhound bus terminal at the intersection of South Depot Street and Rivers Street at this time.



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August 10


“Scene from Horn in the West, Kermit Hunter’s Great Outdoor Drama, Boone, N.C.,” circa 1965. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

August 13, 1908

“Cruelty to Animals” a headline in this  week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat introduced an article which opened, “The following is copied from the Charleston, S C. Lantern, and should be read and considered by many of our people: ‘We have seen protests in some of our exchanges against the custom of leaving horses standing in hitching lots for hours in the broiling sun. This is a cruel practice and should be prohibited by law, if the owners are too heartless to correct it themselves. It is only fair to say that there are times when it is almost unavoidable, but the merciful man will not make it a practice.” Continued the posting, “There is another evil, however, that is even worse, and that is leaving horses standing with the diabolical overcheck hooked up.” An overcheck is a type of horse tack connected to the bit in the horse’s mouth and attached near the back which is meant to keep the animal from lowering its head. Continued the article, “We trust that an appeal will not be in vain to our readers that they will use their influence to have every one in charge of a horse loose the check when the animal stops, if only for a few minutes, and even while driving let down the beast’s head, as some of the liverymen do as soon as they get out of town or out of sight of those in whose presence he wishes to show off. Better still, cut the abomination off the bridle altogether. The horse will look just as well, many of them look better, he will last much longer and his master will fare better in the sweet bye and bye.”

August 10, 1922

A feature on the front page of this week’s newpaper bore the bold heading, “TEN REASONS FOR SUPPORTING YOUR COUNTY PAPER.”The list of reasons was as follows: “1. Because when you were born it was the home paper that introduced you to the world. 2. When you grew up and graduated at the head of your class the home paper again gave you a nice write up about it. 3. When later you found your life companion and were happily married the home paper gave you and your bride a half column free complimentary account of the affair. 4. When sickness and misfortune invaded your home the sad news was distributed among your friends and relatives thru the medium of the home paper. 5. When you have been so successful in life and had been promoted to some important position perhaps, it was the home paper that heralded your ability. 6. If you sold out and removed to some other location the home paper followed and brought the news from friends and neighbors. 7. When some unscrupulous person tried to injure your character, it was the home paper that came to your aid. 8. Because the home paper boosts your town and its institutions, its people, its schools and churches and helps to promote good fellowship throughout the community. 9. Because the live merchants advertise their most attractive goods and best or lowest bargains in the home paper, which if bought, may save you many dollars. 10. And last, when you are finally laid away to rest in your silent grave, the home paper donates much space in giving your relatives and friends a complete history of your past life, extolling your excellent qualities and passing over many human frailties.”


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August 3


“Night-time scene of Daniel Boone Hotel,” a postcard showing a former Downtown Boone landmark, constructed in 1925. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and










August 6, 1896

“Are You One,” began a heading for an item of advertising in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, continuing: “… Of those unhappy people who are suffering from weak nerves, startling at every slight sound, unable to endure any unusual disturbance, finding it impossible to sleep?” Advised the ad, “[a]void opiate and nerve compounds. Feed the nerves upon blood made pure and nourished by the great blood purifier and true nerve tonic, Hood’s Sarsaparilla.”

“Our mountain resorts are now thronged with people,” offered a news posting. “Blowing Rock has its usual large crowd, and Linville also, and quite a large quota have left their sultry city homes, and sought shelter under the famous Hanging Rock, in the beautiful valley of Banner Elk.”
Related weather reporting noted, “the heat is now extreme, in the eastern and southern states”; and, “[t]he weather is now beautiful, but very warm. Just the time of year to make one good-humored and happy.”

“For a long time there has been a blockade still running in Ashe county that it seemed impossible for the officers to capture,” according to another news article. “But on Thursday of last week Deputy Collector J.C. Horton and Deputy Marshall N.N. Colvard located it on Horse Creek and now only scraps of copper are left t remind one of its former glory.” A “blockade” was a term for a moonshine still, having its origin in the reference to one making illegal alcohol as a “blockader.”

August 1, 1912

“FOR SALE & RENT,” a bold heading to an advertisement, introduced an announcement which read, “I have for sale a stock of goods, consisting of groceries, books, stationary, white goods[,] underwear, notions, novelties, jewelry, & etc., including fixtures, which I will sell at a BARGAIN. I have a good trade and location, situated nearly opposite the court house. Cash one-third down, reasonable terms on balance. Will rent the store building at a reasonable price.” The advertisement continued, “I also have for rent my 12 room Hotel property and lot situated on the same lot as the store. Will rent house furnished or unfurnished for a year with the privilege of longer time. Also have a good stable, well house and fine garden, I have a splendid run of custom. It is a good money maker for the right man. The town has an altitude of 2500 feet, four churches, a good city and co. high school and an intelligent and sociable people. Would like to let Hotel and store to the same person as they go together nicely. Will dispose of them separately if I don’t find a suitable person for both.” The notice ended, “[f]or full particulars write or call on me, Respectfully, M.W. Jackson, Mountain City, Tenn., July 17, 1912.”

1912 advertisement

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July 27


Photo Caption: “The New River near Boone, N.C. in the Blowing Rock Section,” reads the title of this postcard of uncertain date. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

July 30, 1903

An article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat under the heading, “The Rev. W.C. Newland” began, “[a]t the close of the Summer School in Lenoir some days ago the teachers of Caldwell county drafted and unanimously adopted the following resolutions expressive of the high esteem in which the Hon. W.C. Newland is held by the people of that county for his untiring efforts in procuring for the teachers of the mountain[s?] the establishment of the Appalachian Training School at Boone.”  One of the resolutions adopted by the gathering of teachers in Caldwell County was quoted as reading, “’We the public school teacher[s] of Caldwell county, in company assembled, realizing the great importance of the teachers being constantly reviewed on the subjects they have to teach each year, and realizing that through the splendid efforts of our honored Representative and beloved fellow-citizen, Hon. W.C Newland, it is now possible for us to receive this training at our door, as it were, without cost at the greatest convenience to ourselves; we desire to show our appreciation of this great help by publicly expressing it. Therefore be it Resolved, That we do hereby express our sincere gratitude to that peerless knight, beloved citizen, and high toned christian gentlam [sic], ‘of the people and for the people,’ for his untiring efforts and unprecedented zeal in securing the passage of the bill authorizing the establishment at Boone, N.C., of the Appalachian Training School for Teachers.’” The paean to this elected representative continued, “[m]ay his star now rise upon the horizon never to grow dim and his name ever be held in the hearts of the teachers of Caldwell as their great benefactor,” and concluded, “[a]nd may the many bright boys and girls throughout our country in after years rise up and call him blessed.’”

July 26, 1917

“SUFFRAGISTS GIVEN 60 DAY SENTENCE,” a bold, banner headline on this week’s front page, introduced a story which reported that, “[s]ixteen women suffragettes, arrested while participating in the woman’s party battle day demonstration in front of the White House were sentenced in police court to serve sixty days in the District of Columbia workhouse for obstructing the sidewalks.” According to the story, the women, protesting for the right of women to vote, “were given the alternative of paying a $25 fine, but they promptly refused the offer and were taken to the workhouse at Occoquan, Va., and turned over to a matron who saw that each got a shower bath and exchanged her clothes for a heavy one-piece prison dress. They were assigned to the sewing room of the prison where they will work seven hours daily.”

Another front-page piece, entitled “When Will It End,” began, “[w]hen, three years ago, the news was flashed to every part of the civilized world that a great war had broken out, there were few who believed it possible such a war could last more than a year, or at most two years. A few suggested that it might last for three years, but it was generally believed that it would be utterly impossible to protract such a strife, on account of the utter national collapse which it was held to involve.” Three years into the conflict which became known as World War I, the article remarked , “the collapse has not come, and there is no apparent [reason] on the surface why the struggle should not last three years longer.”


Advertising from the Watauga Democrat, July 30, 1903

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July 20

Photo caption:

“A group of college students posing for a picture on King Street. Gene Reese, future president of Historic Boone, is pictured in a dark jacket.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and


July 18, 1907
Under the byline “Wilkesboro Chronicle,” a reproduced item of news featured on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat reported that, “On Tuesday night of last week, between 9 and 10 o’clock a phenomenon of nature not frequently seen,  was displayed. It was a plainly defined rainbow in the northwest. It was just after a thunder shower had passed over, and the full moon was some two hours high. The bow was plainly defined and every color reflected, but it was softer, mellower and more weird than when reflected from the bright sun.”  “It was a sight seldom seen and abundantly proved Solomon’s words,” concluded the article, “that the heavens declare the glory of God.”
“Watauga County Singing,” another news item this week, relayed, “To the churches and Sunday schools of Watauga county: Our next singing will be held with Mt. Vernon church on Friday Aug. 2nd, 1907. And I hope that every church and S.S., in the county will be represented, either b choir or delegation, and on Monday following Prof. G.W. Bacon, of White Pine, Tenn., will begin in 20 days a Normal school of Music at the same place. Come every body who is invited and wishes to know more about vocal and instrumental music and be with us when the first song is sung, and stay until the melody of the last song reverberates from hill to hill, and the echo brings back the same sweet song and yet there will still be room at the top for us all to learn about music.” The piece concluded, “[s]inging to begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. of Friday,” and was signed, “W.T. VANDYKE Chm.”

July 18, 1940

“Annual Horse Show to Be Held,” a headline with the sub-heading, “Highest of Blowing Rock Season Comes August 2 and 3; Increased Appropriations” introduced an article telling that, “Blowing Rock’s annual horse show, the highspot of the summer season at the neighboring resort town, will be held August 2 and 3, it was announced last week. At the same time it was announced following a meeting of the officers and directors of the Horse Show Association, that there will be greatly increased appropriations for prize money and trophies this year.” Details included notice that, “Lloyd Tate, general manager and vice-president of the association, stated that important renovations will be made in parts of the showgrounds at Broyhill field, which already includes a $6,000 plant.” The story noted, “[t]he horse show, which is the second oldest in the south, is operated annually on a non-profit basis for charitable purposes.”

“Orphanage Asks For Canned Goods Again” announced, “[p]lenty of fruit jars are now available at the Farmers Hardware and Supply Company for canning fruits and vegetables for the Mills Home, Baptist orphanage at Thomasville. All those desiring to help supply the demand for food at the orphanage during the coming winter are asked to call for their jars.” The article also reported, “[l]ast year 400 dozen jars were filled in the county for Mills Home, and it is hope that this year even that amount may be increased. Full co-operation of the people in this worthy work is asked.”



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July 13


“Mark W. Hodges – 6th Birthday” is the caption on this photograph of a party in Watauga County, perhaps dating from the 1940s. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

July 12, 1900

“The situation in China seems to be that the Boxer rebels, strengthened by the aggression of the powers at Taku, have overturned the existing government and set up an anti-foreign anarchy on its ruins,” reported a brief news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat.

“Why has the Democratic convention excited so much more attention than the Republican?” This question opened another news item of this issue. “Simply, because the latter was cut and dried and its duties were practically all performed beneath Mark Hanna’s hat-brim,” answered the article’s author, “while the Democratic was a genuine convention of men who met to fight out their differing ideas for the future of the party and the country.” The 1900 Republican presidential nominee was President William McKinley, and William Jennings Bryan was the nominee of the Democratic party. Marcus Alonzo “Mark” Hanna was a senator from Ohio and prominent Republican leader at the time, who served as campaign manager to the incumbent President. McKinley won the electoral contest with approximately 51.5 percent of the popular vote to Bryan’s 45.5.

An advertisement this week entitled “Fine Nursery Trees”gave notice that, “I have on hand a fine lot fruit trees, such as apples, peaches, pears, prunes etc. etc. : I also have a fine assortment of grapevines that are best suited to our climate. – If you contemplate buying any trees or vines, I can sell them to you at about one half the price you would have to pay at other nurseries and then-  you have the satisfaction of knowing what you get. All trees delivered at my nurseries. Trees from three to six feet tall. For particulars call on or address. W.L. Coffey, Moretz, N.C.”

July 11, 1940

“Edgar Tufts Advocates Help For Refugees,” a headline this week with a dateline of “Banner Elk, July 8,” reported that, “Edgar Tufts, president of the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association, states that he is an ardent advocate for the plan to provide homes for the European refugees, and that he would aid in providing homes for the victims of the European war.” The article noted that, “The Grandfather Orphanage, a unit of the association, has provided care for many orphans from the mountain section of North Carolina and eastern Tennesse, and it is possible that the home could be made available for a number of European children.” Tufts, the Avery county resident cited, was quoted as saying that, “‘Here in Banner Elkwe all have followed with interest the development of the United States committee for the care of European children,’ and he stated that ‘[t]he home here would make an ideal haven for the war refugees.” Edgar Hall Tufts, quoted in this story, was the son of the Edgar Tufts for whom the Memorial Association was named, a Presbyterian clergyman who founded Lees-McRae College as well as philanthropic works, including the Grandfather Home for Children.


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July 6


Labeled “Birdseye View, Boone, N.C.,” this postcard carries a handwritten date and a postmark of 1928. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

July 4, 1889

“Rev. Baylus Cade, a Baptist minister of Louisburg N.C. has made himself famous by the invention of a telegraphic system which operates so to receive messages on moving trains,” reported a news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. Details of the story related that, “[t]hree wires are fastened on the crossties, from the car a wire is fixed to connect with the instrument in the car and a slug of zinc is fastened to the other end[;] this runs on the wire fastened to the ties. A trial was made near Raleigh and proved a success.” “This invention,” concluded the article, “places Mr. Cade along with all the grat [sic] inventors of the age.”

In an age before accurate weather forecasting, the newspaper reported, “Irl [sic] R Hick, who has become quite famous as a weather prophet has this to say for July. About the 2nd. and 3rd. of July it will turn very warm and the hottest days thus far of the summer will follow, ending in thunderstorms about the 5th. 6th and 7th. This will embrace the first period for the month which is from the 3rd. to the 9th. Cloudiness and sultry weather calling for great care with harvested and unsheltered grain will follow. From the 15th, to the 19th. next change in atmosphere will be noted. This period ordinarily would pass with little or no rain, but owning to the presence of Mars and Jupiter throughout the month, rains may be expected. The last period and of marked activity is from the 25th to August 1st. This period is embraced in the next Venus period which is centered on August 14th.”

July 4, 1940
“The population of Watauga county, according to preliminary figures given out by the bureau of the census, is now 18,084 as compared with 15,165 ten years ago, a gain of 2,919,” according to a front-page feature in this week’s newspaper. “Although Boone and Blowing Rock, the county’s only two incorporated towns, showed large gains, the bulk of the population increase is in the rural areas.” The article also reported, “[i]t is interesting to note that every township in the county has chalked up a population increase with the sole exception of Bald Mountain which has seven fewer people than a decade ago. Also of interest is the preliminary figures for the agricultural census which indicate there are now 2,770 farms in the county, whereas there were only 2,375 in 1930.” The estimated population of Watauga County as of the 2010 Census, by contrast, was over 51,000, with a distribution of approximately 45% urban and 55% rural.

Two portraits appeared in this edition, with a caption reading, “Mr. J.E. Luther, above, Deep Gap, veteran of the Confederate armies, and Newton Banner of Sugar Grove, soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic, are guests today of the Appalachian Theatre. They are to have lunch with Manager Trotler, and in the afternoon attend the showing of ‘Dark Command,’ a Civil War film. The one other Civil War veteran in Watauga, Mr. W.H. Blackburn of Laxon, was invited but was unable to attend.”

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June 29


“Main Street Looking West, Boone, N.C.”: an image of Downtown Boone from an antiques post card, circa 1920s (?). The “Commercial Hotel” is visible in the foreground. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

June 29, 1893

“The President has been suffering from an attack of rheumatism for several days,” reported the “Washington Letter” on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “which, taken in connection with the knowledge that he has been dieting himself for some time to reduce his flesh, which, notwithstanding the enormous quality of the hardest sort of work he constantly does, has been increasing, was made the foundation for numerous sensational rumors considering his health.” The tongue-in-cheek report on the Republican President’s status from the partisan political newspaper continued, “[y]our correspondent is assured by those who know that Mr. Cleveland’s general health, barring the rheumatism, is excellent. He expects in company with Mrs. Cleveland and Baby Ruth, to leave Washington tomorrow or next day for his Buzzard Bay cottage, where Mrs. C. and Ruth will spend the summer.” The report continued, “Mr. Cleveland will return to Washington within a week or ten days, possibly sooner, and will remain, making occasional visits to Buzzard’s Bay until the last of July when he expects to make at least a month’s stay.” Opined the author of the column (credited as “our Regular Correspondent”), “the fact that he expects to spend the month of August away from Washington effectually disposed of the rumored earlier calling of Congress, a rumor that probably had its only origin in the wishes of those who have been here clamoring for an immediate extra session.”

June 29, 1933

“600,00 Bushels Estimate Local Yield Potatoes,” proclaimed a bold headline in this week’s newspaper. “Despite late fronts and continued dry weather in some sections of the county, prospects for a bumper crop of potatoes, cabbage and the like, continue bright in this section, according to farmers,who predict that at market time prices for their products will be at a decidedly higher level.” The story relayed that, “the season has been extremely dry in some sections of the county, but no material damage is thought to have resulted on that score. The late frosts, however, did do considerable damage on river bottom plantations.”

“Mrs. Doughton Felicitated by Mr. Roosevelt,” a front-page entry of local news, reported, “Mrs. Rebecca Doughton, mother of Congressman Robert I. and Hon. R.A. Doughton, was felicitated recently by President Roosevelt upon having attained her ninety-fifth birthday.” The article included the text of the presidential message, which was reported to have been “one of hundreds received from prominent individuals.” Roosevelt’s message was, “‘Dear Mrs. Doughton: Your boy Bob tells me that you will be ninety-five years old in June and I want to send you this line to wish you many happy returns of the day and also to tell you that I am leaning very heavily on your son and that he is doing splendid work for his country.'” The missive closed, “Very sincerely yours, (Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt.”





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June 22


“Train (engine and two cars) with Appalachian State University’s first Administration Building and mountains in background. The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad line ran near present location of Rivers Street.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

June 22, 1899

International news, and criticism of the sitting President’s handling of events in the far-away Philippines, made front page news in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Everybody is asking everybody else why,” began the article, “the administration is trying so hard to keep the people in the dark about what is going on in the Philippines, when only a short time ago it was its boast that it published all the official dispatches received.” According to the Watauga Democrat‘s writer, “it is known from the press reports that are allowed to pass the Military Censor at Manila, that hard fighting has been going on, and the suspicion is growing that Gen. Otis is making some use of the volunteers who should be on their way home, if any of the numerous promises made had been kept that the administration does not wish their friends at home to know until whatever is being attempted is all over.” Claimed the article, “[t]he public doesn’t care a continental about the claims made by officials, but wishes to know and feels that it has a right to know hat is being done with our volunteers: hence, there is a general feeling of resentment against the suppression of official dispatches.” This editorial piece was published towards the conclusion of the fighting of the Spanish-American War, which resulted in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and other former possessions of Spain becoming protectorates of the United States. The expression “not give a continental” hearkens back to the Revolutionary War period, when money issued under the authority of the Continental Congress, without gold or any other backing, quickly became the victim of devaluation, so that a “Continental Dollar” was almost worthless.

July 22, 1933

“Recorder Rules Against Board in Suit Over Bus,” a headline this week, introduced an article which reported that, “a civil action wherein the Board of Education of Watauga County was the plaintiff and Earl Ward, resident of Tennessee, was the defendant, occupied the spotlight in this Tuesday’s session of the Recorders Court. The Board sought to recover $100 actual and $400 punitive damages as a result of the attachment of a Cove Creek school bus as it passed through a strip of Tennessee with a load of pupils. The chassis to the vehicle, the property of Messrs. L.L. Bingham and Will Payne of Boone, had been contracted to the county for the purpose of conveying students of the North Fork section to the Cove Creek school.” According to the article, “[t]he body [of the bus] was furnished by the local school board. It developed that Lonnie Henson of Vilas held a note against the owners of the vehicle, which in turn was traded to Mr. Earl Ward of Mountain City. He attached (sic) the school bus for the debt as it passed through the edge of his State near Trade. The vehicle was loaded with children at the time, many of whom, it was charged, had to walk long distances, and 13 were said to have been loaded in one Ford car at the peril of life and limb.” The plaintiff, the Watauga County Board of Education, lost the case, and “the damages asked were not granted.” The county attorney, it was reported, “made it plain in court that there was no official deposition on the part of the Board to stand between citizens and their debts, but that actual damage had been sustained by reason of the unusual attachment.” “Attachment” in this context is a legal term referring to the seizing of property in anticipation of the property being granted as payment for a debt.


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