“Old Administration Building” reads the caption to this photograph from circa 1925, showing the recently-replaced headquarters of the expanding institution that would later become Appalachian State University.
November 14, 1907
“A Breathing Spell for the Consumer” was the heading of a featured article on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. The story was credited as having been reprinted from the Charlotte Observer. According to the anonymous author, “(t)here is very little room for doubt that the present disturbed financial conditions will shortly bring joy to the consumer. For ten years he has paid steadily rising prices for everything he needed until in many quarters the situation bade fair to become intolerable.” The tough conditions were acute because, for the average person, “as was the case with millions, his income remained stationary, or nearly stationary while the prices soared all around him,” according to the writer. Among sources of optimism for better times for the consumer were news that “(w)holesale groceries and provisions have fallen off heavily in price in Chicago, New York, and other large centers, owing partly to sacrifice sales,” leading to the “general opinion in Chicago that the cost of living will very shortly undergo a decrease of easily ten per cent.” Price cuts by a major beef trust were also cited as a positive sign. The article did urge some caution rather than over-exuberant optimism, however, noting that “while lower prices seem certain, the strength and persistence of tendencies in this direction may be easily overestimated.” In the opinion of the writer, “combinations,” or corporate conglomerations, “now extend into almost every branch of our industrial and commercial life. Some are good and some are bad, but all have the same main object in view, namely, to make the public pay as much as possible for whatever they have to offer.” In conclusion, the “consumer should not expect a great deal from the present prospect of things,” but, “at least, however, he will get a breathing spell before the squeezing process is actively resumed, and for even this much relief he will doubtless be grateful.”
“Perfection,” noted a brief item, “is a good deal more than the power of picking faults in other people.”
November 8, 1932
“Roosevelt Victorious,” proclaimed a banner headline on this week’s front page, with the sub-heading “’Our Bob’ Reynolds Leading Field in North Carolina.” Election reporting of the day recorded “G.O.P. Trails Far Behind In the Nation,” with “Franklin D. Roosevelt riding the crest of a great tidal wave of popular acclaim,” being thus “swept into the presidency at the elections today, administering an overwhelming defeat to his Republican opponent, President Herbert Hoover, and breaking down the barriers of traditional Republican majorities in practically all sections of the country.”
In local electoral news, “Quince Tucker is thought to be seriously injured, Miss Maude Watson and Mrs. Charles Carlton suffered lesser injuries from waving knives when a practically free-for-all fight was engaged in Tuesday while the election was in progress at the Deep Gap consolidated School.” According to the report, “(b)ystanders were unable to state just what the cause of the family fracas was. Mr. Tucker suffered several stabs in the abdominal region and received medical attention in Boone, where it was thought his injuries might be serious. Miss Watson came near suffering a severed jugular, while Mrs. Carlton received a slash on the arm. The women are alleged to have been assaulted by Mrs. Finis Carroll.” No note was made of criminal charges resulting from the incident.