October 17, 1907
“Can’t Be Bought” read the headline to an article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “A large number of crooks have been caught up with in late months. Grafters big and little have been dragged into the lime light, and the pessimist would declare the country is rapidly going to the bow wows, and the honest man is a relic of by gone days,” began the report. The article alleges that, in the face of corruption, “(t)he country is being purified. Sentiment is changing. To be popular with his countrymen, to hold the respect of his neighbors and acquaintances, a man must today be a MAN; a man of integrity, of honesty, and of principle.” As in public office, this sentiment is said to also be of influence in the mass media. “The same applies to newspapers. One often hears it intimated that such and such a paper, because of certain policies it chooses to follow, is subsidized. The charge is usually slanderous and false.” Concludes this article, “(s)ociety is getting better each day, despite the fact that … a thousand glances at the number of scoundrels being caught daily, would point toward corruption. And newspapers are also getting purer and better.”
October 19, 1939
“Reaches 97th Birthday” was a feature containing a photograph of the nonagenarian honoree, with the caption “Mr. Newton Banner, Watauga’s last survivor of the Grand Army of the Republic, was feted on Sunday, October 8th, at a dinner in his honor near Sugar Grove, the occasion being the 97th birthday of the popular citizen. A large number of neighbors and relatives gathered for the happy occasion.”
“Mrs. Mary Harris of Cove Creek, is suffering from a broken ankle and minor injuries sustained a few days ago in an automobile accident,” reported another item of local interest. “Information is that Mrs. Harris was standing by the side of the road as a car driven by Mrs. Allie Fletcher turned. A plank being carried on the car struck Mrs. Harris and she was thrown under a wheel.” The story says that “although the injuries sustained (were) serious, the many friends of Mrs. Harris hope that she may soon recover.” No charges were forthcoming from the incident: “Mrs. Fletcher, it is said, did not know of the accident until after she reached home and no blame is attached to her.”
October 17, 1963
“Watauga Well Represented At State Fair” proclaimed that “Watauga County is well represented in the ‘Village of Yesteryear’ at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh this week. Those who are demonstrating this week are: Mrs. B.A. Hodges – Vegetable Dying. Mrs. Forrest Townsend – Spinning and Carding of Wool. Mrs. Howard Carlson – Weaving. Mrs. Stewart Barnes – Sage Mats. Mrs. Addie Norris – Shuck Dolls. Mrs. D.W. Cook – Knotted Spreads. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Presnell – Wood Carving. Mr. Jack Guy – Beech Creek Toys.
“Prisoner Is Readily Caught After Escape” was a news item conveying that, “(a) convict who escaped from the Watauga County prison unit last Tuesday was recaptured in the Elk Park section only a few hours after the escape was reported. The suspect had been “tracked down by a team of bloodhounds which had been set on his trail by a search party from Alleghany County.”