“Watauga Centennial 1949: Gordon Winkler, Watt Gragg, Wade Brown seated in back; unidentified speaker” reads the label affixed to this image from the celebration of Watauga County’s 100th anniversary. Courtesy of Historic Boone.
November 21, 1907
“One of Newton’s most prominent citizens lost a fine Jersey cow under very peculiar circumstances Tuesday,” reported a front-page story in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “When the stable was opened in the morning to do the milking, the cow was found dead with her mouth tightly wedged in a four pound tomato can. The animal had put her tongue in while trying to get some bran, after the night’s feeding, and in her efforts to extricate herself only drove the can more forcibly on her mouth, where it caused suffocation.” This item bore a byline identifying the tragic story as having originally appeared in the Charlotte Observer.
“A man’s conscience only troubles him,” opined a brief notice, “when something else does.”
An advertisement of the day announced, “(g)irls, if you want red lips, laughing eyes, sweet breath and good looks use Hollister’s Rocky Mountain Tea. The greatest beautifier known, 35¢ tea or tablets. M.R. Blackburn and Blowing Rock Drug Co.”
November 17, 1932
“Seek Supplies for Grandfather Home” was the headline to a story which began, “(o)fficials of the Grandfather Orphan Home at Banner Elk have made arrangements for a truck to visit the different communities of this region next week to gather donations of foodstuffs, canned goods, etc., for the sustenance of the orphan children during the coming winter.” Continued the notice, “(a) truck will be in Boone on Saturday, November 26th, and all those who have supplies which they would like to divide with the orphans will please bring them to the upper Carolina store until the orphanage truck comes.” Concluded the item, editorially, “(a) liberal response to the appeal should be made by Wataugans.”
Among the “Pertinent Facts on Election in Watauga” contained in an article under that heading was this fact: “Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first Democratic presidential candidate within the county to carry Watauga. He had a majority of 247.” Another fact listed was, “(n)ineteen Wataugans voted the Socialist ticket. They never had the chance to vote the minority presidential ballot before.”
November 22, 1956
“First Burley Auctions to be Held in Boone on Tuesday” announced the commencement of that year’s burley tobacco sales in Watauga County. “Buyers, bookkeepers, weighmen, ticket markers, graders and other workers are converging,” reported the article, “and all will be in readiness when the rhythmic chant of the auctioneer signals the start of bidding on the first basket at Mountain Burley Warehouse No. 1.” A full season of auctioneering was planned from before Thanksgiving until past the turn of the New Year: “(s)ales will operate on a 3 ½ -hour daily schedule, Monday through Friday after the opening on Tuesday. The Christmas recess will begin at the close of sales on December 21, and sales will be resumed on January 2, 1957.” The manager of the Boone tobacco market, Joe L. Coleman, was quoted as having stated, “Boone is the oldest market in this section… (h)elp us to keep it the best one. Why haul your tobacco to distant markets and add to your expense when you will get fully as much, and possibly more, on the Boone market. We grow tobacco, know tobacco, and know how to sell it. Grade your tobacco carefully, keep it dry, and bring it to Boone, your home market.”