Many holiday season issues of the Watauga Democrat in past decades tell of charity drives to raise money for combating diseases. This photograph, of unknown date, shows a group of women with a sign identifying a Christmas Seal drive to eradicate tuberculosis. A handwritten inscription on the back identifies members of the group thus: “Front Row = Margaret Coffey, Sara Horton, Fay Hodges, [blank / unknown], Annie Laurie Whitener, Dollie Matheson; Back Row = Effie Moose, Myrtie [?] Mast, Pearl Horton, Margaret Councill, [?] Christenbury, Virginia Holshouser.” Photo courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
February 25th, 1909
“Jim Thomas doing the postmaster act at St. Jude,” reads an item in the “Dots by the Way” local news feature of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “The gentleman has a very large goiter on his neck, which he says almost entirely incapacitates him for doing manual labor.”
“As the sun had now sunk behind the western hills,” continues this narrative, a telling of travels to “the homes of many of our patrons in Valle Crucis and lower Cove Creek”, in which the author relates, “we alighted at the home of S.P. Shull, the wayfarer’s retreat, and spent the night there. ‘Tip,’ the only son at home, has been down for several weeks with pneumonia, and is not yet able to be up. Until a late hour at night we listened to stories of ‘ye olden times,’ related by the pleasant host and hostess, who are now very far down the western horizon of time. The pioneers of Watauga, the Civil war and its privations, in which Mr. Shull spent the full four years, were all discussed in an intelligent way by those intelligent people,” continues this segment. “It has never been our pleasure to stop at a home more pleasant than this.”
“Is the Panic Over?” was the headline to an advertisement in this issue. “It makes no difference whether the panic is over or not, you evidently want to save every dollar you can. We have just unloaded A Solid Car Load of Grass Seed. This seed was bought on the December market and this fact alone positively puts us in a position to save you money. We firmly believe that you can buy your seeds now from 10 per cent. (sic) to 20 per cent. less than you can buy them late in the season as the market invariably advances as the season comes on. A Hint to the Wise is Sufficient. Our place will still be headquarters for Fertilizers, Farming Implements of every description and all kinds of Builders Hardware. London Stoffel Hardware Company (Wholesale and Retail), Mountain City, Tennessee. N.B. Our Motto is “to keep what the People Want.” The Panic of 1907 or “1907 Bankers’ Panic,” more than a year prior, had seen the New York Stock Exchange drop from a peak level by half, following an attempted cornering of the market in copper.
February 10, 1949
“Agricultural Fair Slated for County” made notice of an upcoming event, which the article heading notes was “cancelled last year by polio.” According to the story, “(a)t a meeting of the Watauga Agricultural Fair officials held last Thursday, officers for the current year were elected, and plans were made for holding the exhibition on September 14, 15, 16, and 17.” A brief sketch of the history of the fair notes that it was “interrupted by war’s emergencies… was revived last year, and cancelled at the last minute due to polio.” In preparation for the exposition, reads the text, “farmers are asked to begin planning now to have exhibits of field crops, livestock and poultry coming on for the big show.” The fair was described as “designed to supply an accurate insight into the agricultural life of the county.”
“Hospital Guild to be formed in City” headlined a brief article which reported that “(a) Hospital Guild will be organized Sunday, February 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church.” The item notes that “Dr. G. Moose, president of the hospital board of trustees, Mr. Moore, hospital superintendant, and a registered nurse will discuss the value of such an organization to the hospital.” To support the operations of the local hospital, it was reported, “(n)urses aides, sewing and mending, and personal service groups will be organized.”
February 10, 1972
“Snow Carnival of South Begins Monday” proclaimed a bold front-page headline of this week’s newspaper. “With good snow conditions being forecast, particularly with conditions enabling the making of machine snow, officials of the carnival are looking for a large crowd of skiers and spectators during the week.” A highlight of the event was to be “the Championship Professional Ski Races, scheduled atop Beech Mountain on Tuesday and Wednesday,” which were to feature “(a) score of professional skiers, including Billy Kidd and Spider Sabich.” The Carnival was to include “the Snow Carnival Parade in Boone on Friday; a racing clinic conducted by Kidd at Seven Devils on Thursday; a NASTAR [National Standard Race] race at Sugar Mountain; a ski bob race at Mill Ridge; Snow Balls (dances) at Beech Mountain, Hound Ears, Seven Devils, and Sugar Mountain on Saturday night; special seminar for skiers on illegal drug use on Saturday and [religious] services on the slopes on Sunday morning.”
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.
Advertisements from a 1907 issue of the Watauga Democrat.