This photograph is damaged in an area which might give insight into the occasion or organization portrayed; a float bears a title “[-]rn Capade Queens – Chamber of Commerce & Merchants Assn.” Date unknown. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
February 25, 1897
“A North Carolina King” was the title of an article in this edition of the Watauga Democrat, which the byline indicates had originally appeared in the “Newbern Journal.” According to the story, “(t)wo or three years ago a young North Carolina man named Hobbes went to New York, resided there for some time, met a young lady with whom he fell in love, the passion was reciprocated, and the twain became engaged. Hobbes’ source of income was somewhat precarious and not what he deemed satisfactory upon which to commence housekeeping and he determined to seek his fortune.” The item recounts the young man’s journey through Europe and on to Australia, where he “procured a position on a local paper and in his profession displayed so much enterprise that his employers in course of time sent him to investigate the slave trade in the Indian Ocean,” during which he was shipwrecked. A number of adventures ensued: after being “reserved to be served at a state dinner” of “cannibal islanders” and being freed by “the daughter of the King [of the island], a dusky but comely maiden,” there was a rebellion amongst the islanders, during which “our Carolina boy, with his inherited warrior spirit, advised a plan to put down the rebellion.” Though the island’s princess was “very much in love with our hero,” Hobbes “eloquently and pathetically related how he loved his New York sweetheart.” Apparently, the princess “accepted the situation… but was sore stricken and pined away and died,” followed shortly thereafter by her grieving father. The Carolinian had, in the meanwhile, become “so popular with these island people that he was unanimously elected to be King, and is now King Maleto.” The article concludes by stating that “the sequel is as interesting as any part of the story,” relating that “(a) few weeks ago King Maleto landed in New York, and sought out his lady love; had a royal wedding; and after a few weeks of civilization, departed for his island kingdom, where, let us hope, he may forever live in peace, the grave and adventurous North Carolina King.”
February 25, 1932
“Blowing Rock Celebrates Opening of New Bank” reported this week that “(t)he Bank of Blowing Rock, which closed its doors about three months ago, due to slackened collections augmented by the usual withdrawals, was opened for business Tuesday noon, after reorganization plans, under way for several weeks, had been approved by the State Banking Department.” The plan for reorganization was “said to have been worked out largely by Dr. B.B. Dougherty, president of the Teachers College and a stockholder of the institution.” The plan “has been cited as ‘one never before tried in any American State’,” and involved cancelling of all “capital stock, time certificates, and checking accounts,” after which “the friends of the bank raised $16,000 in new money for capital stock.”
“Large attendance at Revival Services” recorded that “(t)he revival services which are being held in the Episcopal Church by the Rev. M.B. Miller, Christian evangelist of the First Tennessee District, have been in progress for a week and the house has been filled to overflowing at each evening service.” The report continues, “(t)he forceful sermons of the well-known evangel(-ist) are being most favorably received, and the meeting may continue into next week.”
In other news, the headline “College Student is Arrested Here on Shooting Count” relayed that “Tom Pennington, 20-year-old student at State Teachers College, and resident of the Creston community, was arrested on suspicion by Sheriff Farthing Tuesday, after word had come from Ashe County officials for local authorities to be on the lookout for those implicated in the Sunday night shooting of Joe Graybeal, also of Creston.” Pennington “stoutly maintained his innocence,” and was released “under $1,000 bond.” The victim “states that he knows who attacked him, but refuses to tell,” according to the report, which also relates that “it is believed that the feeling between the men came as a result of some difficulty about a community maiden, to whom perhaps one of them was paying court.”
February 27, 1969
“No Spooks, It Turns Out!” was the header for a feature on this week’s front page, which gave notice that “Sheriff Ward Carroll said last week that the mystery surrounding the red lights around the Old Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church in the Big Hill section was over and that the lights had been man-made to create the eerie effect.” Reported the Watauga Democrat, “(t)he names of those involved,” apparently known to law enforcement, were not released, but the Sheriff stated that “(a) church and its cemetery should be respected,” and he “expressed his thanks to the citizens who were at the church Sunday night for their co-operation in moving off the road and clearing the area.”
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.