The Week of September 17th, 2009

Rev Rhonda Horton

Photo Caption: Reverend Rhonda Horton, Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. “The much beloved and greatly missed REV. RONDA [sic] HORTON, a long-time community spokesman and leader in the Junaluska neighborhood,” reads the typed caption on the reverse of this photograph. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society. Along with the Reverend Rockford Hatton, Rev. Horton was a prominent leader in the Boone community and in the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church in the Twentieth Century. The Mennonite Brethren Church has a short biographical tribute to Rev. Horton, entitled “Moses on This Mountain,” on its  historical website, at

September 20, 1900

“On the same day that the so called Populists in Raleigh were approving everything Republican from the gold standard to imperialism,” reports the then-politically-affiliated Watauga Democrat on this day, relaying an item from the Raleigh News and Observer, “the vice-chairman of the Populist National committee was rejoicing in the fact that the republicans have sustained heavy losses in Maine and Vermont, and rejoicing that this indicates [William Jennings] Bryan’s election. The Nebraskan isn’t in the pay of the republicans.”

An advertisement entitled “A Word to Mothers” suggests that “[m]others of children affected with croup or severe cold need not hesitate to administer Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy. It contains no opiate nor narcotic in any form and may be given as confidently to the babe as to an adult. The great success that has attended its use in the treatment of colds and croup has won for it the approval and praise it has received throughout the United States and many foreign lands. For sale by dealers.”

A lengthy letter to the editor in this issue read, “Mr. R.C. Rivers, Boone, N.C., Sir: – I saw a piece in your latest issue of the Democrat, stating that one G.W. Trivett, a minister, was badly treated at the Association at Watauga, etc., on account of him voting the democratic ticket, and I must say to you that I do not know how he voted, nor do I care. But you say further that you want to impress it upon the minds of the people, that a man who was elected to a high position at the last election, was one of those who slighted this servant of the Master because he voted the democratic ticket. Now, Mr. Rivers, I do not know whether or not you had any reference to me, but I wish to say if you did, that I gave it the lie without the fear of successful contradiction. If I slighted Mr. Trivett I slighted everybody else. It is well known that I am not housekeeping and could not entertain any one, which I was very sorry of. I think the people of my county are acquainted with me. Now Mr. Rivers I am satisfied you have had a reporter, and I think you ought to give the name, and I ask you to do so in the next paper. I think you are doing me an injustice without cause, if you had reference to me, and if you did not you will kindly correct. I write this to you to let you know where I stand in this matter, and as to what others have said I am not responsible in the least. Yours respt., W.H. Calaway, Foscoe, N.C., Sept. 14, 1900.” Apart from printing this submission in full, no editorial response appears to have been included in this issue.

September 17, 1931

“Work Progresses Fast on Watauga Hospital Building” reported on this day that “[t]he brick work on Watauga Hospital has been completed to the second story, and a large force of men is now engaged in pouring the reinforced concrete floor. The brick work is of mingled design, the window sills are of Indiana limestone, and the building, when completed, is expected to be one of the most imposing structures in the city.” This building is currently known as Founders Hall at Appalachian State University, and houses the Office of Public Affairs for the University.

“Wharf Rats Becoming Numerous in County” was another featured news item this week. “Reports coming in from various sections of the county indicate that wharf rats are appearing in ever increasing numbers and have in some instances played havoc with the flocks of baby chicks. The first of the rodents are supposed to have come to Boone by rail from other points and to have distributed themselves throughout the city, multiplied, and many of them moved to the country. At any rate, they are here, and Roy McBrayer exhibited a specimen the other day which he shot with a rifle near the Jones building, and which weighed three pounds. No organized effort to exterminate the pests has yet been started.”

September 17, 1959

“Coot Haigler Funeral Held” was an obituary announcement which was featured on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “’Coot’ Haigler, 78, well-known resident of the town, died at the home of a son, Rev. Rosalee Hagler in North Wilkesboro, last Thursday, from a short illness. Funeral services were held Sunday at 2 o’clock at the Mennonite Baptist [sic] Church in Boone, and burial was in the Clarissa Hill cemetery. Rev. Rockford Hatton took part in the rites.” The Mennonite Brethren Church of Boone (occasionally listed in newspaper reports as the “Mennonite Baptist Church”) is located in the historic Junaluska section of downtown Boone, and is part of the North Carolina Mennonite Brethren Conference, a predominantly African-American part of the Mennonite – Amish family of faith communities. Reverend Rockford “Rock” Hatton was a pastor of the Boone church and a local leader in the Boone community and in the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1960s.

“Mrs. Harold Rice visited her daughter, Barbara Anne, in Cary, N.C., last week, and visited friends in Rocky Mount,” according to another local item.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 6:00 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this. The obituary for Coot Hagler is my great- Grandpa and I knew Rev. Rhonda Horton and went to the Mennonite church growing up.

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