October 24, 2016

drives_about_blowing_rock“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.”



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October 17


“Observation Point, Grandfather Mountain. Linville, N.C.,” a photograph of unknown date. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net / the Digital Watauga project.

 1944: Pig Feed Evaluated in Contest at Farmer’s Co-Op

October 11, 1900

An advertisement in this week’s issue of the Watauga Democrat newspaper bore the bold heading, “Rail-Road Coming, with a Car-Load of Goods for the People of Watauga Co.” The body of the ad advised readers that, “[t]hey are going at very low prices. Call and see them for yourselves. The stock consists of Dry Goods, Notions, Groceries, Carpets, Mattings, Ladies’ capes, Faccinator, etc. You will find a complete line of all kinds of Patent Medicines usually sold in this section. I also carry a full line of men’s[,] women[‘s] and children’s fine and coarse shoes that are going at cost.” “COTTON JEANS AT COST,” the advertisement continued on, “Large stock of Plaids, Domestics, Outings, Flannels, Crock-ware, Fruit Jars[,] men’s Hats, 60 cents and up to $2.75. Coffee, sugar, spice, etc., always on hand. You will find a complete line of coffin goods, shelf hardware, farmer[‘]s friend[,] plow repairs always on hand. I will sell all cheap.” The business of this diversified General Store also involved buying local farm products. “WANTED: Butter, Eggs, Chickens, Feathers, Wheat Rye, and 300 bushels of dry peach seeds, for all of which I will pay the highest market prices.” The notice closed, “YOURS ANXIOUS TO PLEASE, WILL W. HOLSCLAW, Vilas, N.C., Sept. 6.” A “Faccinator” seems to have been a “fascinator”, a decorative headpiece with a clip or comb worn by women.

This week’s paper also included advertising for several colleges and universities in the state. “University of North Carolina. The Head of the State’s Educational System,” began one. “Three academic courses leading to Degrees. Professional course in Law, Medicine and Pharmacy. Summer School for Teachers. Tuition $60. Scholarships and Loans to Needy. Free Tuition to Candidates for Ministry, Minister’s Sons and Teachers. 512 students besides 61 in Summer School. 38 teachers in the faculty. For catalogues and information address F.P. VENABLE, President, Chapel Hill, N.C.”

October 12, 1944

“Pig Feeding Test is Being Made at Local Farm Co-op Store,” a headline at the bottom of this week’s front page amidst news article about World War II and treatment for polio patients, began, “[t]he Watauga Farm Co-operative store on Monday instituted a pig feeding contest, which is the source of much interest among the many farmers who visit the establishment.” Continued the item, “[t]wo Berkshire pigs, named Lum and Abner, weight 62 and 53 pounds, respectively, are in separate pens, side by side. The lighter of the two pigs is being fed Purina Hog Ration, while the other is getting a ration of a good grade of bran and wheat shorts, such as is the ration of the average hog. To demonstrate the value of the Purina feed an accurate record will be kept of the growth of the two pigs. They will be weighted weekly, the gains in poundage and the cost per pound gain figured for each. The demonstration will continue for 90 days, after which a complete record will be released, and the hogs will be slaughtered and displayed.” Concluded the story, “[t]he novel demonstration is attracting many to the popular farmers’ store.”

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October 10

This postcard, which was postmarked on the reverse side in 1907, shows “[The] Blowing Rock, The Village, and Grandfather Mountain.” A handwritten note below the photograph reads, “Back in the land of the sky. Are starting for home from here from Ashe Co. Best wishes for you all, J.W. Atkins.” A caution on the opposite side of the back of this early postcard sternly warned users, “THIS SIDE IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE ADDRESS.” Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net / the Digital Watauga Project.

1936: Project to Extend Electricity to 2,400 Local Homes Planned

October 10, 1888

This year was the first full year of publication of the Watauga Democrat, which was originally launched as a politically-based paper with clear affiliation with the Democratic party. In this presidential election year, political news was a particular emphasis of the journal. The emergence of a third party based on the cause of prohibition of alcoholic beverages was a matter of concern and frequent commentary to the Democratic paper. “There is a man in this county by the name of Jenkins who comes, he says, from Statesville,” began one article. “He claims to be employed by Mr. Leonard to sell organs. We have not heard of his selling any organs, but we have heard of his making several appointments to lecture on temperance and when the crowd assembled, to their surprise, they were to hear, not a temperance lecture but a very abusive third rate Third Party speech. If Jenkins is to be taken as a sample of a Third Party speaker it is not surprising that their following is small.”

October 8, 1936

“BOONE CHILDREN ENTER CONTEST,” a bold headline on the front page of this week’s edition of the newspaper, carried a subheading which read, “Scooter Race is Next Event On New Recreational Program for Local Kiddies.” The details of the story related that, “Coach Watkins, head of the recreational program for the Demonstration School children of Boone, reports that steady progress is being made in this field of work. Daily a more extensive program of athletics for this group is being added to the curriculum and much enthusiasm is being shown by the participants.” Continued the article. “[t]he latest plans include a scooter race which will be an event from twelve thirty to one-thirty Thursday of this week and a bicycle race which will take place next week at the same period. Just as the contests held heretofore, all under fourteen years of age will be allowed to take part.” In addition to these contests, the Democrat article reported that, “[d]aily lectures are being given to the students on highway conduct. By means of these talks the children of Boone are being taught how, when and where to cross the road and the correct place for pedestrians to walk on the highway.”

In other news this week, “[t]hree hundred miles of electric transmission lines are being asked for in the completed REA project which is to be presented to the Rural Electrification Administration in Washington Monday, and twenty-four hundred homes are to receive the benefit of electricity for lighting and for household appliances.” According to this article, “Mr. Richard Olsen, civil engineer of Valle Crucis, who had been named chairman of the temporary local organization, will take the project to Washington Monday, where he and Congressman Robert L. Doughton will present the request of Watauga County to the REA authorities, and it is predicted by the local organization that the project will find a ready approval.”


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October 2


“Snow on Howard Street,” a 1956 photograph showing automobiles in Downtown Boone after a winter storm. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

1904: Local Politicians Reminded that Straight Argument, Not Personal Abuse, Gains Votes

September 29, 1904

“The appointments for Mr. W.C. Newland in Watauga have been changed and the Republican and Democratic Committees have arranged another list that may be found in this paper,” began an announcement about election and political matters in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “The issues will be jointly discussed by Messers. [Misters] Newland and Blackburn which is it should be,” continued the article, “for our people are anxious to hear the speeches thus made, provided they are made on a high plain.” Advised the writer, “[t]he time for indulging in ‘dragging’ and personal abuse has long since passed, but the people are always ready to hear a nice clean presumption [sic] of the campaign issues, let it be Democrat or Republican who presents them. There was never a vote gained by abuse and we hope our candidates, all of them, will refrain from such in this campaign. Straight argument is what convinces.” 1904 was a presidential election year, and the Mr. Newland and Mr. Blackburn named were leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties locally. William C. Newland served as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1909 to 1913 as a Democrat. The town of Newland, the county seat of North Carolina’s last-formed county, was named for him as part of the political deal which created Avery as a separate county. Edmond Spencer Blackburn was a Boone native and a Republican who was elected to his second (non-consecutive) term in the North Carolina House of Representatives during the election of this year.

September 28, 1933

“Goes Democratic,” a heading over a photographic portrait of a noted author on the front page this week, was followed by the caption, “Upton Sinclair, famous author and socialist, announces he will change his California registration to that of Democrat so that he may run for governor on an ‘epic plan’ platform.” The reform-minded writer, who penned the 1906 exposé novel The Jungle about the American meat packing industry, was not successful in his election bid.

“863 Enrolled At Teachers College” was the headline to an article which reported, “[e]leven states are represented in the record enrollment of 863 students who have entered Appalachian State Teachers College for the fall term, according to an announcement made by Registrar J.M. Downum Monday. They are North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.” Continuing the detailing of the wide range of origins of the student body of the institution which would later become Appalachian State University, the article detailed that, “[s]ixty-four of the one hundred North Carolina are represented by 813 students, Watauga leading with 141, and Forsyth coming second with 40. Lincoln has 38 students, Iredell 37, Wilkes 28, Cleveland 28, Ashe 39, Catawba 24, Rowan 22, Gaston 23, Mecklenburg 15, and Yadkin 22.” The college was on a quarter rather than a semester system; the notice concluded, “[t]he winter quarter will open November 20th, and Registrar Downum asks that those who contemplate entering at that time register promptly.”


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September 26


“Tourist Home– Mrs. A.C. Mast’s Tourist Home, Sugar Grove, N.C.” Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net.

1943: Churchill Predicts ‘Big Three’ Summit, Invasion of Nazi-Held Europe

September 20, 1900

“Perhaps the greatest destruction to life and property that ever occurred at one time in the history of the United States (the John’s town (sic) [Pennsylvania] flood not accepted,” began an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “was the inundation by water of the city of Galveston, Texas, on the 9th. The wind traveled at the rate of 100 miles per hour sweeping everything in its path, and the tides ran so high that a large part of the city was entirely submerged, the combined elements entailing a loss of property that is estimated at $25,000,000 and the loss of at least 5,000 human lives.” Continued the Watauga Democrat’s report, “[t]o read of the horrors, the devastation, the loss of life and property in that once prosperous city, is enough to make the blood run cold in one[‘]s veins. The rich, the poor, the high, the low, of all classes and conditions have been sunk by hundreds into watery graves in the gulf, the rescuing parties not being able to bury them as fast as they were taken from under the piles of debris, into which the proud city was converted, by the merciless elements of wind and water.”
A related item in this same issue opened, “[a]s the people all over the United States are cheerfully responding to the cry of distress that is going up from the ill fated city of Galveston, Texas, is it not the duty of our people to respond to this cry, make up a purse for those poor unfortunate people, and help them provide food and shelter for themselves and families?” The writer urged Wataugans, “[l]et some active man take this matter in hand, call on all our people, get up a collection and forward at once by telegraph to those suffering people.” The appeal concluded, “[l]et us not be last in this duty.”

September 23, 1943

“CHURCHILL SEES MASS INVASION OF EUROPE,” a banner headline in this week’s newspaper which bore a dateline of “London, Sep. 21,” reported that, “Prime Minister Churchill declared today that the second front will be thrown open at ‘the right time’ and a mass invasion of the continent from the west will begin.” According to the report, Winston Churchill, leader of Great Britain, had told “the [British Parliament’s House of] Commons that the second front ‘already exists potentially’ and ‘already is rapidly gaining weight’.” Said Churchill, at a time when a front had already been opened against Nazi-held “Fortress Europe” by invasions of Italy from the south by Allied troops, another front had “not yet been thrown into play,” but, “[t]hat time is coming.” Churchill also revealed that he foresaw a “tripartite conference of representatives of the United States, Britain and Russia” which would “take place ‘at an early date’ and no question will be barred from discussion. Any differences will be set aside for a conference of President Roosevelt, Premier Stalin and the prime minister himself.” These three major leaders of the Allied forces did meet in Tehran late in 1943, then again in Yalta in the Crimea in February of 1945, and the promised invasion began on the beaches of Normandy in German-occupied France in June of that latter year.




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September 19


“The Watauga River on the Road to Valle Crucis in the Unrivaled Blowing Rock Country Blowing Rock, N.C.,” reads the inscription on this antique post card, circa 1920 (?). Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net.

1888: Presidential Election Vote Threatened to Be Split by Prohibitionist Third Party

September 19, 1888

A news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat carried the discussions of this election season, with particular focus on the possibility of a third party, running primarily on a platform of prohibition of alcohol, competing with the two major parties, Democrat and Republican. The article, reproduced and with a byline from the State Chronicle, reported that, “[s]ome days ago Rev. Dr. Robey, a prominent and able Methodist preacher in Goldsboro, spoke in favor of prohibition.” According to the newspaper, this anti-liquor speech was “incorrectly reported” and was “published without his [Dr. Robey’s] consent.” The resulting misunderstanding, “as published… made him take ground that the Methodist Church in N.C. was committed to the Third Party.”  According to the source cited, “such a position did so great violence to the position of the Church upon this question that Methodists all over the State hastened to take the issue with Dr. Robey.” Wrote the article’s anonymous author, “[t]he Spirit of the Age, clearly and strongly answered Dr. Robey’s SUPPOSED position” – seemingly a reference to a general opposition to the vote being split and votes diverted away from the major parties, in an attempt to eliminate legal alcohol from public life. Continued the article, “the Chronicle is glad to know Dr. Robey was misrepresented and that he is really AGAINST the third party although strongly in favor of a prohibition party if the conditions were favorable. The reasons why he cannot vote for Walker and the other Third party men he gives are [those which] every honest Prohibitionist in the South ought  to [hold and be] be influenced by the same reasons. Dr. Robey says, “The condition of our State and, indeed, of the entire South, is such, politically, that I cannot vote the Third Party ticket. Nor have I ever advised any one else to do so. I sympathize profoundly with the object which the Third Party people have in view, and I wish that I could help them, but I cannot without POSSIBLY HELPING ANOTHER RESULT WHICH WOULD BE A GREATER CALAMITY THAN THE BAR-ROOM.’” (“[This means Radical success. – Editor],” read a helpful insertion by the State Chronicle editor). The 1888 U.S. Presidential election was nearly evenly split in the popular vote, with the winner, Republican Benjamin Harrison, actually gaining fewer popular votes than the losing opponent, Democrat Grover Cleveland. The two candidates were within 1% of one another in the total of votes. It was the third of four U.S. presidential elections in which the winner did not win the popular vote – the fourth occurring 112 years later, in the year 2000.
September 14, 1944

Amidst news of military action towards the close of World War II, a local news item reported, “[t]he open season for hunting squirrels in Watauga county begins on Sept. 15th, and County Game Warden Walter Edmisten states that there appears to be an abundance of squirrels this season. Hunting licenses are on sale at the usual places throughout the county. With an improved situation regarding ammunition, it is believed that more hunters will take to the fields and forest this fall than for the past two seasons.”


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September 12


The caption at the top of this image is, “America’s Switzerland. The unrivaled Blowing Rock Country. Lake on Cone Estate. Near Blowing Rock, N.C.” A copyright mark on the back of this postcard dates the image to 1909. The card was printed in Germany. Image courtesy of the archives of the Bobby Brendell Postcard Collection, Watauga County Historical Society, and DigitalWatauga.omeka.net.

1933 – Only One Day for Voters to Register for Vote to Repeal Prohibition

 September 12, 1888
“Ed[itor] Democrat,” began a front-page item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, “[h]aving read your much esteemed paper for some time and seeing nothing from Elk Township, I desire to ask for a few spare lines.” Continued the paper’s correspondent, “politics is on a boom every where, Elk [K]nob an exception. The Democratic party seems to be gaining ground every where… I am unable to see how all who love prosperity more than party can keep from turning. Cleveland and Fowle and liberty and low taxes, is our motto on Elk.” The motto referred to the ticket of incumbent President Grover Cleveland, whose running mate was Allen G. Thurman. Fowle was, apparently, a figure in Democratic politics more locally. The writer continued, after warning young men in particular against voting the Republican ticket, “to beware of the Prohibition party,” also, “which is only a trap to catch Democrats for the aid of the republicans.” Asserted the correspondent, “[o]ur interests will be best served and protected by re-electing Grover Cleveland, so let nothing drive us from this.” “Let every one do his part,” proclaimed the author, “and victory is ours.” The letter was signed, anonymously, by “Good Democrat.” This submission was, seemingly from a local subscriber; the Watauga Democrat newspaper at this time was, like many small-town papers, established and published to support a particular party, as the name suggests.
September 14, 1933
“JUDGES NAMED TO HOLD PROHIBITION ELECTION LOCALLY,’ a banner headline this week, reported that, “R.S. Swift, chairman of the Watauga County Board of Elections, has released a list of the judges which have been elected to serve in the election of November 7th, when voters of North Carolina will vote on the 21st amendment to the Constitution, repealing the Eighteenth, commonly known as the prohibition act. In accordance with the statute, one person generally known to be opposed to repeal and one generally known to favor it, together with the registrars who served in the last general election, will constitute the boards in the various precincts.” The article named the selected judges, one for and one against ending prohibition, from local townships in Watauga County. The article also covered the matter of registration for participation by the public in the upcoming general referendum on the matter. “Mr. Swift particularly calls attention to the provisions of the statute as to registration. The books will be open only one day, on the second Saturday before the election, October 28. The registrars will keep the books open that day for the purpose of registering electors not already registered. The Saturday preceding the election on Tuesday is challenge day, the same being Saturday, November 4th, and the registrars will attend the polling places with their books for the purpose of challenging the voters on that day.” Continued the notice, “[a]bsentee voting is prohibited in the prohibition election.”




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September 7


“Scene from the Head Spring of the Yadkin River Looking Toward the Green Park Hotel, Green Park, N.C.,” reads the inscription on this antique post card. Courtesy of the Bobby Brendell collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.omeka.net.

September 6, 1917

“Watauga County Patriotic Rally, Wednesday September 12, 1917,” a heading on page two of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, introduced a column beginning, briefly, “[t]o be held at Boone.” “Everybody cordially invited,” continued the announcement. “There will be speeches by Hon. W.C. Newland of Lenoir; Hon. Frank A. Linney of Boone; Hon. S.J. Erwin of Morganton and others. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a march of those who are to go to the camp for training, led by the fife and drum corps of the Confederate army. The speaking will be at the court house. Everybody is asked to bring dinner and spread it on the court house lawn at the noon hour.” The “Confederate army” referred to was apparently an early form of tribute band honoring war veterans, and which, in this case, was called to salute those called to serve at the front in the First World War, which the United States had recently entered, in April of that year. The announcement continued, “Want every man who is to go to the front to be present, and if he has a family to bring his family. The drafted men are to be the guests on this occasion and are requested not to bring dinner. A testament [portable New Testament of the Bible] will be presented to those who are to go in the next draft. About 60 testaments have been ordered. We need about $13.00 for this fund yet. Leave it with the Watauga County Bank.” This feature ended, “”[l]et every body come next Wednesday the 12th and have a good day together with our boys before they leave for the front.”

September 3, 1936

“LOCAL PEOPLE TO HEAR PRESIDENT,” a headline this week, introduced a news article relaying that, “Cleve Gross, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee for Watauga County, states that he expects no less than fifty local Democrats to journey to Charlotte on the tenth, when President Roosevelt will address the Green Pastures Rally, and when governors and leading figures in five southern states will take part in the huge political gathering.” The item reported, “Mr. Gross says that inquiries are coming to him daily from those who have been appointed as marshals from the county, and to others desiring to attend.” Those invited and designated as marshals were advised that they would “receive instructions after their arrival in Charlotte at Green Pastures headquarters in the Hotel Charlotte,” and that the local party head emphasized “the desirability of local people being on hand early.” “The rally is to be held at the American Legion stadium,” according to the Watauga Democrat, “where arrangements have been made for seating more than 75,000 people. President Roosevelt will speak at 4:30 and the governors, senators from the five states will take part in the program.” This “Green Pastures Rally” was organized to call attention to the beginnings of economic recovery, in the nation and in the Charlotte area, since the passing of the worst depths of the Great Depression.



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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 DigitalNC.org.

 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 DigitalNC.org.

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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