This photo bears a label with the title, “Watauga Centennial 1949,” and bears a nearly-complete list of persons pictured: “L to R: ?, Greer Hodges, Von Hagaman, Walter Ragan, Charles Younce, Lyle Cook, John T. King, Charles Rogers, Max Robbins.” A color guard of military personnel or veterans in contemporary uniform is accompanied by Wataugans in costume of earlier times to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of Watauga County.
July 15, 1909
“The Menace From Within” was the heading of an item on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, covering the arena of theological controversy. “It now appears that Prof. Geo. B. Foster, of the University of Chicago, may not be expelled for the present at least, from the Chicago Baptist Ministers’ Conference.” The item continues, “Professor Foster is charged with promulgating heretical views in his book, ‘The Function of Religion,’ recently published.” The article, which is credited as having originally appeared in the Baltimore Sun, reports that, “Professor Foster’s scientific theology leads, in the opinion of many Baptist clergy, straight to spiritual anarchy.” Foster’s approach, according to the writer, had led the clergy referenced to “hold that its inevitable tendency – whatever may be the purpose of the Chicago professor – is to undermine the foundations of religious faith and to destroy an influence which has been for centuries the bases [sic] of civilization, an incalculable force in the promulgation of right living.” In the opinion of the newspaper writer, “[t]he greatest catastrophe which could befall mankind would be to shatter human faith in religion, and in the inspiration of the Scriptures, and to substitute therefor [sic] a regime of agnosticism.” While alleging that reading of the Bible had reached an all-time high at that very point of history, the Sun author proclaims that, “[f]rom the avowed agnostic outside the pale of any church the Christian religion has less to fear than from the skeptics within its fold, who retain their connection with the ministry and disseminate doctrines incompatible with belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures.” What, exactly, was the nature of Foster’s heresy in his book is not greatly detailed in this report, although the item does claim, apparently quoting the renegade minister, that “[t]o characterize the Bible as ‘the petrified remains of the Christian religion’ is an absurdity even on the part of the open and avowed enemies of religion.”
July 14, 1938
Religion news also occupied prominent places on the front page of this week’s edition of the Democrat. “Services of 50 Years Ago Held,” announced that, “services depicting the customs and usages of fifty years ago were conducted at the Advent Christian church in this city last Sunday morning and the crowds overflowed the auditorium of the handsome stone structure.” The story told that, “Rev. S.E. Gragg, who is the oldest active minister in the county, delivered an able sermon, and many out-of-town people were also present for the occasion.” A picnic followed the services, and it was related that “[s]ome of the audience came in ox wagons and many were dressed in the fashions of fifty years ago. The occasion was one of the most spiritual and enjoyable thus far held in the city.”
“Reviews Progress of Christian Religion in Mountain Section” published news that, “Rev. E.F. Troutman of Grace Lutheran church delivered a splendid sermon last Sunday evening on the progress on the Christian religion in the mountain section over a fifty-year period.” The sermon recounted the biblical story of Caleb in the book of Joshua, who “could look back over that period [of forty-five years] and note how Israel had been purged of all dissenters and was now ready to go forward with the Lord’s work.” A comparison was drawn to an unidentified “one of our sister churches” which was then celebrating a fiftieth anniversary. “The simile,” reports the newspaper, “was apt as well as beautifully drawn, and made a profound impression on [Rev. Troutman’s] hearers.”
In other news, “Blowing Rock Pet Show Is Big Success” reported under the byline “Blowing Rock, July 13” that, “[i]n what was considered one of the most entertaining and enjoyable events of the season up to this date, Miss Peggy Robbins, five-year-old daughter of G.C. Robbins of Blowing Rock, was awarded by popular acclamation the prize for having the most popular pet in the Blowing Rock Pet Show and Gymkhana which was held here last Sunday afternoon under the auspices of the Junior Community Club.” The pet show portion of the event award additional prizes for “the prettiest, the ugliest, the best mannered, the most unruly, the most appropriate, and the most unusual,” as well as the top prize for popularity.
July 14, 1966
“Thos. Holloway Inspects New Geodetic Satellite” reported that, “[a]n earth mapping satellite which arrived at Vandenburg [sic] Air Force Base, Calif., last month was looked over carefully by Goodyear engineers Donald Wright, Steve Jacoby, and Thomas Holloway.” The Watauga Democrat report noted that, “Holloway’s father is Tom Holloway Sr., Rt. 3, Boone.” The satellite, after launch into orbit, would “provide a pinpoint of reflected light near the horizon nightly” which would be “photographed from several points on earth against a background of stars and ultimately will provide the prime reference for a five-year study aimed at correcting the world’s maps.”
1906 advertisements for shoes from the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, North Carolina.