“1931 Graduation Boone High School,” reads a hand-written inscription in the border of this photograph of a commencement eighty years ago this month.
Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.
June 20, 1918
“PROCLAMATION OF THE MAYOR,” proclaimed a bold heading before a notice in this week‘s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “To all adult citizens of the Town of Boone: In accordance with the proclamations of the President of the United States,” it began, “and in cheerful compliance with the request of the Governor of North Carolina, I, J.M. Moretz, Mayor, do hereby designate the period beginning Saturday, June 22nd, and ending Friday, June 28, as War Savings Week for the Town of Boone, North Carolina.” The Mayor “respectfully request(ed) every Minister of the Gospel, Superintendent of Sunday School, and Teacher of an Adult Sunday School, on Sunday, June 23, to speak definitely about the War savings campaign and urge the necessity of responding liberally in pledges to purchase War Savings stamps.” Employers, also, were appealed to let their employees know of the campaign “and encourage them to help win the war by saving, economizing, and investing regularly in War Savings Stamps.” Announcement was given that “every citizen so notified” was expected to attend a meeting on Friday of the special week at the local schoolhouse, which would feature “several short speeches by citizens of the town and county,” with added encouragement that “the meeting should be attended by all patriotic citizens within reach.”
“A Correction” was a heading to a letter which read, “Mr. Editor: In the list of the donations to the Red Cross fund I wish to point out one mistake. The Blowing Rock fund was only $125.25. The remaining $79.75 was raised at the Middle Fork and Lentz Valley school districts. This was among the first donations to the cause and I am sure these splendid people need mentioning. Respectfully, Gladys Brown, Blowing Rock, N.C.” A parenthetical response from the newspaper followed, which read, “(t)he entire amount was embodied in a check which was handed in by Mr. T.H. Coffey, and in the report of the treasurer ‘Blowing Rock’ was given credit therefor (sic), instead of ‘Blowing Rock township.’ The correction is gladly made, and in behalf of all concerned, The Democrat thanks again the good people of Middle Fork and Lentz Valley for their liberal contribution of $79.75 for the Red Cross War Fund.”
June 22, 1939
“Child Labor Laws Cited by Board: Welfare Department Gives Out Information Relative to Laws as to Employment of Minors” was the headline of a news item in this week’s issue which reported that, “Miss Marguerite Miller, of the county welfare board, gives out the following information as to the laws regulating the employment of minors in the state: ‘The child labor law of North Carolina requires that any minor under 18 years of age engaged in any occupation, except agriculture and domestic work at home, must have an employment certificate. The certificate must be on file in the office of the employer.’” Miss Miller’s information also listed the requirements for obtaining such a certificate permitting a minor to work, which included a physician’s certificate, a school record, an application for work from the employer, proof of age, and a “parent’s or guardian’s agreement for minor’s employment.” Working hours for minors were limited to “9 hours in any one day, 48 hours or six days in one week for minors 16 to 18 years, and 8 hours per day, 40 hours, or 6 days per week for boys 14 to 16.” The article also noted that, “state law prohibits the employment of minors in any occupation that may be deemed hazardous, or where alcoholic liquors are sold or dispensed or in a pool or billiard room.”
An obituary and news item on the front page told that, “A.F. Phillips, aged 63 years, former resident of the Stony Fork section of Watauga county, and founder of the root and herb market at North Wilkesboro, reportedly the largest concern of its kind in the nation, died in a Richmond hospital Saturday morning.”
June 21, 1962
“Two Watauga Homes Destroyed by Fire” headed a front-page article which reported that, “(t)wo fires within the past week totally destroyed the homes of two Wataugans, according to the Boone Fire Department. “The home of Bob Hunnicutt, Jr., of Bamboo Road was declared a total loss in a fire which gutted his house last Thursday.” In addition, a “Sunday afternoon fire in Hot Hollar leveled the home of Earl Miller.” Damages estimates were unavailable in both cases at press time, but “firemen stated that insufficient water supply was a main factor which delayed their efforts to control the blaze” at the site of each house fire.
This column is prepared from the microfilm archives of the Watauga Democrat, which are available at the Watauga County Public Library in Boone.