“The Gragg House, 818 Gragg St., Boone, N.C.,” reads the typewritten caption to this photograph of an historic Watauga County home. The home, constructed in 1929 in a modified Craftsman cottage style, was once home to Boone Mayor and sometime U.S. Marshall Watt Gragg. Image courtesy of Historic Boone.
September 12, 1918
“Democracy is but a side issue,” according to a front page article of this week’s Watauga Democrat entitled “The Bedrock of Civilization.” Continues the editorial, “(t)he paramount issue, underlying the issue of democracy, is the religion of Christ, and Him crucified,” which, says the author, is, as the heading emphasizes, “the bedrock of civilization.” The then-ongoing conflict of World War I is cast as a struggle between good and evil: “The Kaiser boldly threw down the gauge of battle – infidel Germany against the believing world – ‘kultur’ against Christianity – the gospel of hate against the gospel of love.” Says the article, which is attributed as having originally appeared in the Louisville Courier-Tribune, the nation of Germany has sought to replace the Christian religion with the concept of “kultur,” which inevitably “leaves the world to eternal war.” The Kaiser of Germany is identified as “Satan personified – ‘Myself and God’ merely his way of proclaiming it – for his ‘God’ is Beelzebub the angel of destruction, his creed the devil’s own, his aim and end a hell on earth.” The author alleges that “never did crusader raise battle axe in holier war against the Saracen than is waged by our soldiers of the cross against the German.” The conclusion of this struggle, it is hoped by the writer, is that “the misled masses of Germany are bade to gather about it (the cross) and beneath it as sadly as they collect the debris of their ruin for the reconstruction of the fatherland.”
September 14, 1944
“No Slot Machines Here, Says Mayor” reported in this week’s newspaper that, “Mayor Gordon H. Winkler has informed the ministers of the Three Forks Baptist Association that there are no slot machines in operation in the city, and haven’t been during the present administration. A group of Baptist ministers last week had published reports that these devices are operating here.” Upon the Mayor’s assurance that no gambling machines were operating within the town limits, a representative of the Three Fork Association was quoted as saying that, “it is up to the county officers to get busy and clean up this stench from our county.”
“Yanks At Cathedral of Notre Dame,” read the caption to a photograph on the front page this week. “American truck and GIs in front of the cathedral at Notre Dame as they are welcomed by Frenchmen upon the liberation of Paris. It was not long ago that Hitler stood upon this spot to address the French people and Nazi troops,” continued the photo description.
“Many Buyers Bid on Herefords at Annual Auction” reported that, “(t)wenty-eight buyers from three states paid an average of $212.00 per head for the 57 lots sold in the second annual Watauga Hereford Breeders sale and show at Boone on Sept. 8th.” According to the article,”the grand champion female” at the cattle auction “sold for the top price of the sale when the auctioneer announced her sold at $500.” This auction marked a landmark for the featured cattle breed in Watauga County, as the story noted: “(b)y virtue of purchasing registered (Hereford) females four farmers became purebred Hereford breeders as a result of the sale.”
September 16, 1965
“413 To Face Trial When Court Convenes Sept. 27” was a banner headline, with a sub-caption stating “308 Traffic Violations on Docket.” The article describes the “fall term of Watauga Superior Court which convenes Sept. 27, with Hon. P.C. Froneberger of Gastonia, the presiding Judge.” In addition to the traffic cases, “(f)or manslaughter, two are indicted, forgery 2, breaking, entering and larceny 7, larceny 9, breaking and entering 9, receiving stolen property 2, unlawful possession and sale of drugs 1, unlawful burning of a dwelling 2, escaping prison 4, rioting in S(t)ate prison 15, destroying State property 15, assault 4, driving drunk 33.” A list of those selected for jury duty followed.
“Shulls Mills to Get Bridge” was the heading of a news article which reported that, “(a)mong the projects on which the State Highway Commission is asking for bids for the September 28th letting is one calling for the construction of 0.206 miles of bridge and approaches on Watauga River and approaches on SR 1557 at Shulls Mills.”
“Blowing Rock Restaurant Is Being Converted to ABC Store” reported that “Blowing Rock’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Store will be located in the former Alpine Restaurant on the 321 By-Pass.” An August 3 vote had approved sale of alcoholic beverages in the town, and “a beer and wine referendum was also approved by the voters, making the sale legal in the town of Blowing Rock.” The former restaurant would be renovated, with “an exterior of Swiss Chalet type with antique brick,” to house the ABC store.