The Week of July 30th, 2009

Boone Hardware Co, Inc., Boone, N.C

Boone Hardware Co., Inc., Boone, N.C

Photo caption:

Along with Farmer’s Hardware in downtown Boone, which remained in business for a great portion of the Twentieth Century, the Boone Hardware Co., Inc., was a source for needs of house and farm in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

August 1, 1907

“Read This,” begins a bold-type advertisement in this day’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “The attention of the public is respectfully called to these facts,” continues the announcement. “When you are in need of shoes for Men, Women, and Children, don’t fail to call on me as I can save you money on every pair you buy. My stock is new and up-to-date. The ladies’ $3.25 patent leather is truly a beauty. To see them is to buy a pair, to wear them is to be satisfied.  I also carry a nice line of Ladies’ Dress Goods at prices to suit the buyer. I also handle a full line of Groceries, that are sold as reasonably as possible. I am always ready to buy your produce at the very highest market prices, and sell you goods at the lowest possible figure. Be sure to call on me when in town, always remembering that it is a pleasure to show you my goods and wait on my customers.” The ad concludes, “[t]hanking my friends and customers for past patronage, and asking for at least a portion of it in the future, I am respectfully yours, D. Jones Cottrell (at the old J.M. Greene Stand).”

In sports news, “Boone Team Defeated” was a feature on this day. “The Boone Base Ball Team [sic] has done most splendid work all the season. Blowing Rock, Mabel, Brushy Fork and Silverstone have exerted their greatest efforts to wrench from them the championship of the county, but to no avail. They have come out victors in every contest until an evil day came when they were doomed to ignominious defeat.” The report first describes a game between the Boone team and “some of the champion players of Caldwell, hailing in part from Hibritan [sic] – a good team, composed of nice, genteel young citizens,” who, nonetheless, in this contest were “doomed to defeat by these mountain knights of the bat [the Boone team].” However, noting that “every sweet has its bitter, and every rose a thorn,” the article then chronicles that “after the exercises had closed at the A.T.S. [Appalachian Teachers School] on Friday evening a ‘scrub team’ was picked up from the large crowd in attendance, and our boys were challenged to a contest.” The pickup game ended in a 16 to 10 victory of the “scrubs” over “our boys.” This sports report concludes by comparing the ironic victory followed by defeat to an anecdote about a Civil War veteran who survived the War Between the States and was killed at home as a result of “fatal injuries received at the butting end of an enraged ram,” the soldier having exclaimed to his doctor that “it does seem hard that I should have faced shot and shell for four long years, to return at the close of the bloody conflict to be butted to death by a d—–d sheep.”

August 1, 1929

“News of Week at Blowing Rock” filled the top spot on the front page of this week’s Watauga Democrat. Among the featured news was “hot weather has sent Blowing Rock sojourners in search of new bathing beaches, besides keeping filled the Mayview lake in the village.” Four car-loads of young people “went to the Brown Mountain Beach for bathing and picnicking” as a relief from hot weather, and another party “including Blowing Rock young folks with their out-of-town guests” were reported as having “enjoyed a camping trip to the Grandfather, chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Willis.”

Another front-page story was “Ashe County Hopeful Over Prospects of Oil.” According to this item, “Mr. John Moretz of the Fleetwood section of Ashe [C]ounty was a caller with The Democrat last weekend and talks interestingly of the prospects for taking petroleum from that section of the country.” Mr. Moretz’s property contained a section from “which oily outcroppings were noted some weeks ago,” and he reported that “experts from Texas and Washington City have agreed on the discovery of oil, and that now it is only a question of the best means of financing operations to develop the resources.” Concluding the report of Mr. Moretz’s discovery is the note that “[i]t is the purpose of the owners of the lands in that section to have the prospects more thoroughly investigated by government engineers before taking further steps.”

Amidst the summer’s heat, an item from the Boone Coal Company urges, “everyone who can should lay in their winter supply of coal now. Those who order now save a considerable amount on the purchase price, and too, they make sure of their supply.” “J.A. Sproles, proprietor,” who “enjoys a wide acquaintance throughout this section,” having “been actively identified with the lumber business here for years, and enjoys the confidence and good will of all” encouraged Boone residents “who have not yet ordered their winter coal” that they “should phone the Boone Coal Company and place their orders today,” as “many wait until the first cold weather, and then everyone wants their coal on the same day.” This notice was included in a section entitled “Local Business Houses Featured in Write-ups,” which also advertised businesses such as Boone Feed Company, Moretz Motor Company, Boone Chevrolet Company, Highland Furniture Company, Hodges Drug Store, W.S. Goodnight shoe shop, Boone Trail Cafe, City market, and the Watauga Building & Loan Association.

July 31, 1952

“Vesper Services at Horn Theatre” announces an upcoming “vesper service at the Daniel Boone Theatre at 5:00 p.m. Music under the direction of Hoyt Safrit with James Growel at the organ. Scripture and prayer by Pastor H.C. Linn. Vesper Meditation, ‘God’s Great Cathedral,’ by Pastor E.F. Troutman.”

“Blowing Rock Horse Show Begins Friday with Record List of Entries” was a news article prepared by Mrs. Lucille Lett. With a dateline of “Blowing Rock,” the article reports that “The Blowing Rock Horse Show, the oldest annual horse show in the country, is about to begin its twenty-ninth show.” According to “Mr. L.M. Tate, manager,” the 1952 show expected “more horses [that] year than ever before,” and the box stalls had been increased by 30 to a total of 141 to accommodate the large number of equine visitors.

“Drought Playing Havoc with Watauga Crops” reported that the “continuing dry weather in Watauga [C]ounty, which is playing havoc with cabbage and other growing crops, is supplanting the lush clover of the pasture with scar[r]ed, sparse grasses,” which was thus “forcing cattle on the market” earlier than usual. In an effort to save their stock, according to the Democrat report, “it is learned that hay is being hauled into the area from northern points,” and, according to “one cattleman,” “floods of cattle were being bought and taken to Pennsylvania and other states unaffected by the dry weather.”

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888!

Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of July 24th, 2009

Christmas Parade in Downtown Boone, c. 1949

Christmas Parade in Downtown Boone, c. 1949

July 23, 1914

“Huerta Passed Off the Stage” carried a dateline of “Mexico City, July 16.” The article notes that “General Victoriano Huerta resigned from the provisional presidency of the Mexican republic tonight and his resignation was accepted by the senate and chamber of deputies by a vote of 121 to 17.” The resignation “was read in the house and was greeted with cries of ‘Viva Huerta’,” according to the report. The military dictator’s successor, President Francisco Carbajal, “proceeded to the National Place under an escort of presidential guards, and all along the way was greeted with tumultuous cheering.” Huerta’s resignation followed a number of years of tumult during the Mexican Revolution.

The “Pointless Paragraphs” section of the front page, endeavoring at satirical humor, it would seem, based upon recent news and societal trends, included such brief notices as “Huerta voted for himself for President of Mexico, and that made him the unanimous choice, etc., and again etc.;” “Chicago Methodists are holding an old time religious camp meeting, and resolutely decline to discuss women’s dresses nor the lack of them;” and “Extra! Extra! Special discount sale on the remnants of Mexico.”

“The committee named to locate a great Methodist University of the M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church South, is meeting in Atlanta. Trinity College is bidding for the honor.” Trinity College was eventually to become the Methodist-affiliated Duke University.

In local news, “Stony Fork has had another little shooting scrape. This time, we are told, that on Tuesday of last week, John Carleton was shot by Calvin Miller, but the wounds were slight, and after the shot – twelve in number – were extracted, the wounded man went about his usual vocation, but, of course, without the best of feelings for his assailant.”

July 22, 1943

“Approved Slaughter House is Constructed” tells that “Mr. L.H. Hollar, who supplies the greater part of the fresh meat sold in Boone, announces the completion of a modern slaughter house, which is constructed of cinder blocks, and meets all the State requirements. Every convenience has been provided, and Mr. Hollar states that slaughtering is done for others, when required.”

News from the European Theater of World War II reports that “in one of the greatest combined land, sea and air military operations of all time, allied forces swarmed over 100 miles of southeastern Sicilian coasts commencing the long-awaited European invasion. Despite the tremendous number of men involved, most units were reported to have reached their objectives exactly on schedule. More than 2,000 ships took part in the gigantic movement of troops.”

On the home front, “Community Cannery to be in Operation Soon in This City” states that “a community cannery, sponsored by the Rural War Production Training Department of Vocational Education, is soon to be ready for operation in the basement of the Mountain Burley Tobacco Warehouse in this city.” The planned operation was to be supervised by “Dr. Orby Southard, head of the department of agriculture at Appalachian High School,” who was quoted as stating that “all the equipment for the modern canning plant is now on hand, and that canning will start just as soon as sealing equipment arrives.” The plant was “designed to process about 1500 No. 2 cans per day,” and those wishing to use the facility would “prepare the vegetables and fruits for canning” and “the cost with tin can furnished” was “5 cents each” for the standard no. 2 cans, “6 cents for no. 3, and 3 cents for glass jars brought by patrons.” Although “open to anyone in the county,” this facility was designed “particularly for the benefit of the people in the vicinity of Boone and eastern Watauga,” there already being “a cannery… operated at Vilas by Mr. Ernest Hillard, which takes care of the western section of the county.”

July 24, 1969

News of the first landing by man on the moon captured considerable coverage in this week’s issue of the Watauga Democrat.  “Spacemen Walk, Place Flag on Moon’s Surface” was the banner headline on the newspaper’s front page. “America’s moon pioneers, that country’s flag placed on the surface of the moon were speeding toward earth Tuesday for a victorious splashdown in the Pacific Thursday.”

“Patrons at Horn in the West Also See Men on the Moon” was another headline, reporting that “the pioneer spirit of Daniel Boone literally bounced off the moon Sunday night before the eyes of some 300 patrons at Horn in the West.” The management of the outdoor drama, upon hearing that the moon walk’s schedule had been moved to 9 p.m. local time, 15 minutes after the play’s usual start time, “secured three large-screen television sets and hastily erected an antenna on the set.” The historical drama continued after the audience had “seen a new era for man opening before their eyes” in Neil Armstrong’s televised steps onto the surface of the moon. The reporter for the newspaper reflected that “[a]s they shuffled out of the arena at about 1 a.m., many may have mused that, except for the matter of 200 years, the man who first touched the moon might just as well have been Daniel Boone, the pioneer from North Carolina.”

“Young Frank Proffitt Wows Newport Throng” was another headline feature, authored by Rachel Rivers. The local singer was reported to have been invited to the Newport Folk Festival “to promote for thousands of Festival fans the traditional folk music of the Southern Appalachians on a program featuring Theodore Bikel, bluegrass star Bill Monroe, song writer – television star John Hartford, Pete Seeger and blues singer Big Momma Thorton.” The article states that it was noted folk singer Frank Warner who “uncovered the talent of young Proffitt’s late father, Frank Proffitt Sr.,” and who, as Foundation Director of the Newport Folk Foundation had invited Watauga native Frank Proffitt Jr. to the festival. “Frantic clapping” and cheers were reported during Proffitt’s introduction and his performance before a crowd of over 10,000 spectators.

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888!

Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 6:50 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of July 17th, 2009

E.S. Coffey House

E.S Coffey, with his home and family. E.S. Coffey, Esq., is noted as having been “a prominent member of the Boone bar,” as well as serving as a North Carolina State Senator, according to John Preston Arthur’s 1915 volume “A History of Watauga County, North Carolina: With Sketches of Prominent Families“. Picture courtesy of the Historic Boone society’s archives.

July 18,1889

“Original Linch [sic] Law” reports on this date that “[i]t is not generally understood that the term ‘lynch law’ originated in Campbell County, Va., before the revolutionary war. At that period the county was thinly settled and was infested with Tories and desperadoes [sic] – too many of them, apparently, for the local authorities to adequately punish. Col. Charles Lynch, a distinguished officer in the revolutionary army, undertook to rid the country of the outlaws. He organized a force, arresting the outlaws, and having satisfied himself and comrades of the guilt of the accused, executed them without reference to the constituted authorities. He, while not altogether approving of the desperate remedy to a desperate cause, the beneficial effect of Col. Linche’s action was recognized, and has since been known as ‘Lynche’s Law’ or Lynch Law.”

“Mr. Stephens fired his huge kiln of brick Monday,” appeared in the “locals” column. “He will begin at once on the new jail.” Perhaps this work was the “Old Jailhouse,” still in existence on Boone’s Water Street to this day.

“Rev. Geo. H. Bell preached morning and evening at St. Luke’s church last Sabbath. The Sacrament was administered at the morning service,” according to another local item. An advertisement in the same issue reads, “The Episcopal Church in Watauga Co.: Blowing Rock: Every Sunday morning, 10:30 and 11. Boone: First and Third Sundays, 4:30 p.m. Shulls Mills: Fourth Sunday 4:00 p.m. – J.N. Atkins.”

“Mr. T.A. Critcher, of Bamboo, proposes to give a site on Cook’s Gap to anyone who will build a hotel on it. There’s no finer place in the county for a Summer resort.”

A more tragic notice states that “a little son of Wash Culver, of Banner Elk, accidentally shot himself through the lungs while carelessly handling a pistol. It is hoped that the little fellow will recover.”

In an interesting record of migration out of and back to the Watauga area, it was reported that “Lemuel Green, of Beaver Dams, was in town this week to send money to Washington to bring his son-in-law and daughter, Will Patterson and wife. They write that the drought has ruined the wheat crop in that section, that there is little or no demand for labor and a poor man can’t live there. Patterson’s little child died and it cost him $17.00 to have it buried. All the Wataugans are coming home as soon as they can.” Many Watauga area individuals and families moved to the Pacific Northwest during this period, pursuing livelihoods in occupations such as sheep-raising, farming, and logging.

July 18, 1918

“Fine Work of the Tanks” reports that “details now are available concerning the work of the large set of tanks which participated in the recent attack by the Australians and Americans on the battlefront.” According to reports from the Associated Press, “officers say that this was one of the most economical assaults ever undertaken on the British front, owing to the fact that the tanks saved casualties among the infantry by mopping up machine gun posts and strong points in advance” of the attack by the British infantry troops.

“Ku Klux in Alabama” relays from another newspaper, the Landmark, that “an automobile load of men, garbed in the attire of the Ku Klux Klan, drove to the court house square in Gadsen, Ala., erected a slacker cage, placed a warning thereon and drove away. The cage is built of heavy timber and bears the legend ‘big enough for all.’ The notice with ‘Ku Klux Klan’ printed in red gives warning that loafers must go to work and that every person must do his part to help win the war or suffer the penalty of the cage, accompanied by a coat of tar and feathers.”

July 20, 1939

“Local Schools open August 30” proclaims a front-page headline of this date. “Most of the schools of the county will open on August 30th, according to information given out by County Superintendent W.H. Walker. Those opening on that date include: Howard’s Creek, Miller, Rich Mountain, Bamboo, Green Valley, Winebarger, Riverview, Castle, Mount Paron, Elk, Lower Elk, Cool Springs, Penley, Bradshaw, Cook, Valle Crucis, Foscoe, Grandfather, Valley Mountain, Cove Creek, Liberty Hill, Rominger, Presnell, Kellersville, Windy Gap, Bethel, Mabel, Silverstone, and Pottertown.” The article notes that some few other schools (“Appalachian high school, Appalachian elementary, Rutherwood, Deep Gap, and Stony Fork”) would open the next day, and that Blowing Rock would not begin the school year until September 18th.

“Library Week is to be Observed: Week of July 30 to be Devoted to Upbuilding of Library Facilities in County” found another leading spot in this week’s Watauga Democrat. “The Library committee of Watauga [C]ounty met Monday evening, when it was determined to observe Library Week in this County from July 30 to August 5. Miss Jewel Hagaman is the county librarian and she is putting forth every effort to get more and better books for the people of the county to read. The observance of Library Week will be an effort on the part of the churches and the people generally to help Miss Hagaman to get more money and more books for the library. Every citizen is asked to give one book or a free will offering for this purpose. The committee hopes that all of the people of the county will pull together during Library week for this worthy movement.”

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888!

Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of July 10th, 2009

Prominent Watauga citizen E.S. Coffey as a young man.

Prominent Watauga citizen E.S. Coffey as a young man.

E.S. Coffey, Esq., is noted as having been “a prominent member of the Boone bar,” as well as serving as a North Carolina State Senator, according to John Preston Arthur’s 1915 volume A History of Watauga County, North Carolina: With Sketches of Prominent Families. Picture courtesy of the Historic Boone society’s archives.

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888 [or, arguably, in its (Republican) predecessors, since 1887]!

July 11, 1907

An advertisement entitled “Destroys Hair Germs” claims that “recent discoveries have shown that falling hair is caused by germs at the root of the hair. Therefore, to stop falling hair, you must first completely destroy these germs. Ayer’s Hair Vigor, new Improved formula, will certainly do this. Then leave the rest to nature. Does not change the color of the hair.”

A continuation of the advertising mentioned above continues, “[r]ecent discoveries have also proved that dandruff is caused by germs on the scalp. Therefore, to cure dandruff, the best thing to do is to completely destroy these dandruff germs. Here, the same Ayer’s Hair Vigor will give the same splendid results. Made by the J.C. Ayer Company, Lowell, Massachusetts.”

Advertising of more local origin included the notice, “R. Ross Donnelly – Undertaker and Embalmer, Shouns, Tennessee, has varnished and glass white coffins, black broad cloth and white plush caskets, black and white metal caskets, robes, shoes, and finishings. Extra large coffins and caskets always on hand. Phone orders given special attention.”

The “Valle Crucis Notes” local news section includes the items, “Mrs. Finley Mast is rapidly recovering from a severe bout of typhoid fever,” and “a number of our people spent a very pleasant day at Walnut Grove, celebrating the 4th.” In “Blowing Rock Notes,” it was reported that, “Bishop Cheshire is the guest of Col. Edwards at “La Rada” [?], but leaves this week for his home in Raleigh.” According to the Southern Historical Collection of the Library of the University of North Carolina, Joseph Blount Cheshire (1850-1932) was Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina, from 1893 until 1932.

Also, “the work on the Presbyterian church has been resumed and will probably be completed this summer.”

July 14, 1932

“Printer on Watauga’s First Paper a Visitor” reported that “Mr. Charlie Logan of Welch, W. Va., called on the Democrat today, and he and R.C. Rivers met for the first time in 44 years, at which time they were employed in the publication of the Enterprise, Boone’s first newspaper, and the official organ of the Republican party.” Published during the 1888 election campaigns, the Enterprise “was published in the Blackburn store building,” being edited first by Thomas Bingham and then by, successively, John S. Williams and R.C. Rivers, the head of the “Watauga Democrat” in 1922 and a onetime co-worker of Mr. Rivers. A Jefferson native, Mr. Logan is remarked to “have visited Ashe County infrequently since his career as a Boone newspaperman was completed, [and] he had never since until last week set foot again on Boone soil.” The article concludes. “Mr. Logan is a traveling man of many years standing and has succeeded.”

In an item with a dateline of Lake Junaluska, it was reported that “[Methodist Episcopal Church, South] Bishop James Cannon, Jr., who called the dry conference which led to the organized anti-Smith movement of 1928, indicated here Sunday that he would oppose the election of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic presidential nominee.” The Bishop quoted a statement from “the board of temperance and social service of the Methodist Episcopal Church” (later stated in the article to have been “written by him as its president”) which concluded that, “our people should vote for men and women who believe prohibition should be the law.” Calling Roosevelt an “outspoken opponent of the Eighteenth Amendment,” Bishop Cannon is characterized by the subtitle of the report with the somewhat enigmatic statement “Democracy Scored by Politically-Minded Bishop.”

An ad for Farmers’ Hardware and Supply Company announces “Hot Weather Items: G.E refrigerators (keep things cool), vacuum cleaners (keep things clean), iced tea sets (drink it cold), ice cream freezers (make your own cream), thermos jugs (every home needs one), minnow buckets (fisherman’s pride), trout baskets (will hold the limit), flashlights (save the shine), scout axes (for the camp), reels (finish quality), electric hot plate (early breakfast),” and “dishes (latest design).”

July 2, 1970

“Horn Receipts are ‘Disappointing’” related news of the “Horn in the West” outdoor drama. The production director of the “Horn” listed “chilly weather, the Wagon Train and the Singing on the Mountain as possible reasons for low attendance.” After the first nine performances of the drama in the 1970 season, attendance was down by over 1,200 viewers from the same period in the prior year.

“Big Rattler Auto Victim” was another front-page headline. “A 37-inch timber rattlesnake ‘bit the dust’ Sunday when it was run over by a car on US Highway 421 in eastern Watauga County.” A Wildlife Protection officer was quoted as stating that “rattlesnakes sometimes move into the mountains when the lowlands become intolerably hot.” The snake was seen emerging from a barn before moving into the road and being struck, with some 50 to 75 motorists reported by one eyewitness as stopping to view the stricken reptile. The appearance of such a sizable reptile in Watauga County was apparently a matter of some interest and concern; the Wildlife protection officer was contacted after the animal was accidentally struck on the road, and offered some insight on the movement of rattlers, including a warning that “snakes often travel in pairs,” so the slain snake might have had a mate. The story also mentioned that, “it was in late April and mid-May of 1966 that a couple of large snakes were killed on the old railroad grade road above NC 105 above Foscoe. The first of the rattlers was four feet long, the second measuring three feet 10 inches… the snakes might have been hauled from the lowlands in truckloads of dirt. Excavation and filling was going on at Seven Devils resort high above Foscoe.”

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888!

Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  

The Week of July 3rd, 2009

"Class of 1913"

“Class of 1913” is the brief caption extant for this early photograph from the files of the Historic Boone Society. Courtesy of Historic Boone.

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at

July 3, 1901

Educational concerns were much in the news in this issue of the Watauga Democrat. An article entitled “A Noble Gift” reports that, “the ten thousand dollar gift of Mr. Peabody to the State Normal and Industrial College at Greensboro… is money that is wisely invested. Nearly all the money given to educational institutions in the South has been given to the education of men. We are glad to see that Mr. Peabody recognizes the sorest need of the South today is the opportunity for an education by thousands of ambitious women… we hope that this is but an earnest of what is in the minds and hearts of generous men to do for the education of young women in the south.”

Another article reports, “[t]he last session of the University of North Carolina was the most prosperous in its history and everything points to an increased prosperity and needfulness during the coming session. The faculty has been greatly strengthened by the addition of eight new teachers, making forty-three in all. There are two new dormitories; new recreation rooms, water works and electric lights. Board, lodging, heat and lights can be secured at from $10 to $12.50 per month.”

July 5, 1923

“Government Ends Its Year with a Surplus” captured a front-page headline on this date. “Complete figures covering the government’s financial operations for the fiscal year ending yesterday, made public tonight by the treasury, show receipts for the 12 months of $4,007,135,480 and expenditures of $3,697,478,020, indicating a surplus of $309,657,460.” Although nowhere in the article is it specifically stated that the federal budget, rather than that of the state, is herein reported on, references to “the administration’s tariff policy” as one cause for the surplus, in addition to higher-than-expected “income and profit taxes” – as well as the total amounts indicated – suggest that the national budget is the one which is reported.

An open letter “To All Christian Churches of Watauga County” was published as a follow-up to a visit during the previous year by “our state Superintendent of the North Carolina Sunday School Association,” and made announcement of a series of upcoming meetings, based on townships, to further the work of the Sunday School Association locally. Officers in Watauga County were listed as G.W. Robbins (President), J.D. Rankin (Vice President), and W.L. Winkler (Secretary-Treasurer). “We are asking all the christian churches of the county to cooperate with the officials of the organization in every way possible,” reads the announcement. “We feel that the time is here for us to have better organized Sunday Schools in every Church. If we neglect our Sunday Schools we are letting the things of the world undermine the foundation of the church.” Churches scheduled to hold meetings included Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations.

July 6, 1944

Independence Day weekend news in 1944 included the item, “90 are Sent to Induction Post,” as World War II continued in the European and Pacific Theaters. “Ninety Watauga [C]ounty men left recently for Camp Croft, S.C., for their pre-induction physical examinations, it is revealed by the Selective Service Board. A full list of the draftees was printed in the Watauga Democrat, beginning on the front page and continuing on page four.

“Heavy Rains Visit Part of Watauga” reported that “the drouth [sic] was broken in Boone and environs last Saturday afternoon, and while the rains did not reach all sections of the county in quantities sufficient to revive the parched vegetation, it is felt that complete relief from the drouth is on the way.”

An advertisement placed by the “Victory Pulpwood Committee, H.M. Hamilton, Chairman” addresses “How the New Draft Regulations Affect Pulpwood Cutters.” The text of the ad claims that, “pulpwood cutting is one of the 35 essential activities listed by the War Manpower Commission and designated by Selective Service Headquarters as a guide for local draft boards in considering applications for occupational deferments,” and lists three criteria which might enable pulpwood cutters to be exempt from the military draft, given that “… the government recognizes pulpwood cutting as an essential activity.”

July 5, 1962

“City Parking Problem Topic Public Meeting” was the terse title which introduced a brief front-page notice dealing with a long-familiar High Country topic. “The Town Board of Boone is having a public meeting at the Elementary school Auditorium at 7:30, Sunday, July 8, to discuss the parking problem.” The article suggests that, “because of the great increase in Summer School enrollment, tourists, and local people, the problem is rapidly becoming bigger,” and the slated meeting hoped to “acquaint the public with the problem and seek a satisfactory solution.” In an interesting and perhaps perennially timely reflection, the author comments that “the parking situation is worse this year because of the building progress at the college,” and notes that “this is a serious problem which will continue to be so unless something can be done.”

“Patrol Asks Public to Drive Carefully” conveyed to the readership of the Democrat that “the State Highway Patrol is pleading with the motorists of North Carolina to use extreme caution over the long July 4 weekend,” given that “travel over the current weekend will be exceptionally heavy and because of the increased travel on the road, hazards likely will occur more often.”

Visit the Watauga Democrat newspaper online at – Serving Watauga County since 1888!

Ross Cooper is a member of the Reference Staff at the Watauga County Public Library in Downtown Boone. The microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, from its beginnings in 1888 up to the current year, are available to the public at the Watauga County Library. The photographic archives of the Historic Boone society are also housed at the Library, and are available to the public during hours of operation.

Published in: on July 3, 2009 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment