A clipping attached to the reverse of this photograph reads, “[g]rowing a beard during the  centennial celebration of this historic county seat was a really good idea. Otherwise, you stood to be locked up in a stockade across from the Old Northwestern Bank [now annexed to Farmers Hardware] on the site of Joe Todd’s Esso filling station. You had to stay there until you were pretty thoroughly vexed, too, although the clean-shaven didn’t seem to mind it too much. The two bearded gentlemen, front and center are former Boone Mayor Wade E. Brown, a prominent attorney (now retired and a prominent golfer) and Stanley Harris Sr. at right. Behind Brown at left is the distinguished scholar and campus leader, Dr. D.J. Whitener.”
March 5, 1903
“Robt. Jackson son of the late Jessie Jackson, of Moretz happened to a serious and quite mysterious accident on last Monday evening,” reported the Watauga Democrat newspaper in the issue of this week. “He got on his horse and went to Soda Hill, to get some supplies, which he got and returned. He was in a demented condition, and upon examination it was noted that he had received a heavy blow on the side of his head which broke the skin for some distance and fractured the bones in the region of the ear. A physician was summoned, the wound dressed, and at last account the patient was resting easy, but the cause of his hurt remains shrouded in mystery.”
“School vouchers are being offered for sale by many of our teachers at a discount of from 5 to 10 per cent,” announces another item. “In our opinion this is a most deplorable condition, and evidently there is a cause for it somewhere that should be righted.” Referring to taxation as a source of teachers’ salaries, the article continues, “[t]he Treasurer says that he has no money to pay these claims, and the Sheriff’s collection of taxes is quite slow. The law strictly specifies that all school monies shall be collected by the Sheriff and turned over to the Treasurer on or before the first day of January of each year,” with those in arrears subject to a $200 fine. Continues the editorial opinion, while granting that “the fact of collecting taxes in this county is quite a laborious task,” the newspaper writer comments that “it occurs to us that if the Sheriff would make the people understand that their taxes had to be paid by a stated time this trouble could be averted in the future,” for “[v]erily, the Sheriff who collects the taxes promptly is the true friend of the people.” It would seem that a default in public support through taxation had caused some individual teachers to turn to the recourse of selling discounted private vouchers in the private sector during the time of the tax shortfall.
March 4, 1920
“A wedding characterized by beauty and simplicity was solemnized at the home of Mr. Elbert Farthing on Sunday, February 22, at 1 o’clock, p.m., when his daughter, Miss Mattie Mae, became the bride of Mr. George D. Eller,” reported a front-page item in this issue, “Rev. J.H. Farthing being the officiating clergyman; only a few relatives and intimate friends witnessing the ceremony.” The couple “took their position beneath the bridal arch, which had been tastefully decorated with ferns,” after the “the tones of the wedding march, played by Messrs. Carter and Fred Farthing, were heard.” At a reception feast after the ceremony, “[t]he table almost groaned under its load, and every one present enjoyed the dinner immensely.”
“Good Stock for Sale” was an advertisement offering a “heavy pair horses, 8 years old; One good three year old yoke of steers, and one good 8 year old bay horse; gray mare, 5 years old, weighs 950 pounds; good saddle horse, 8 years old, weighs 1060 pounds; One bay mare, 10 years old, weighs 1100. Will sell on time or swap for anything you have that doesn’t suit you. Come and look my stuff over and if I haven’t got what you want, I’ll get it for you. R.L. Honeycut.”
March 4, 1943
“Heroine of Bataan” was a headline accompanying a photograph and a short item reading, “Lieut. Beth Veley, veteran of the heroic resistance on Bataan and Corrigidor [sic], is shown shortly after she arrived in Seattle to recruit nurses for the army. She wears the ribbon of the Legion of Merit, three campaign stars and battle stars for Bataan and Corrigedor [sic].”
“Rat Campaign Now In Progress” reported that a “campaign to control the rat plague in this city was commenced Monday by the city government, the actual work of distributing the poison being in charge of Harry S. Webster, of the health department, who volunteered his services to the town for the week in this connection.” According to the report, “[a]lthough the work was not being carried out due to the bad weather on Monday and Tuesday practically all of the business section had been baited, including nearby creek banks, and just as soon as the weather is again favorable, the poison campaign will be pushed ahead to completion.” The health official was reportedly “highly gratified at the large number of dead rats which have been found, and says residents of the city are already reporting great relief from the rodents.”
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.
1943 advertisement for a showing of Gone with the Wind at Boone’s Appalachian Theatre