This photograph depicts Dr. James Gray Rivers, one of Boone’s first resident physicians. Dr. Rivers is said to have arrived in Boone in 1865, a pro-Confederate allegedly fleeing Union troops. His son founded the Watauga Democrat newspaper.
February 17, 1910
“When the farce currency and financial bill was passed during the Roosevelt panic,” began a front-page news article entitled “A Costly Junket” in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat (reprinted, according to the byline, from the Charlotte Observer newspaper), “the public was told the pressure was only for ‘temporary relief’ and would be supplanted by a real piece of remedial legislation later on.” Lamented the article, “(t)he history of the legislation shows that ‘temporary measures’ usually become permanent, and so it would seem with the currency bill.” The story then details an alleged fact-finding tour by a “Mr. Aldrich,” who “was appointed to visit the old world and with knowledge gained of international financial methods and measures, to report such bill [a different, permanent piece of legislation] as would be acceptable to the American people.” Aldrich’s trip was characterized by the newspaper write-up as a “costly junket abroad, ‘studying financial systems,’ scenery, etc.,” following which a meeting of commissioners at which “Mr. Aldrich reiterated his belief that there is a need for the reform of our financial laws” – which the article writer says is “the first we hear of remedial financial legislation so faithfully promised.” The Aldrich speech was said to have said that new financial regulation was “not in shape to offer congress, and that perhaps it would be several year and several sessions (of Congress) before a bill could be reported.” The article notes this apparent procrastination, and compares it with the costs of the fact-finding junket to U.S. taxpayers, saying that it is “up to Congress to inaugurate another investigation in order to show the American people just where the $657,993 of their tax money went.” The economic crisis referred to was the “Banker’s Panic” of 1907, which occurred during the Presidency of Republican Theodore Roosevelt, a frequent target of political critique in the then-party-affiliated Watauga Democrat newspaper. The panic saw a drop of New York Stock Exchange volume by a half from the prior year, and runs on banks and trust companies. Senator Nelson W. Aldrich was a Republican leader in the Senate during the period.
February 18, 1926
A local news column entitled “Deep Gap Breezes” included these short notices: “Mr. Alfred Watson has been very much indisposed with a cold and other ills for about a week. He seems to improve very slowly”; “Mr. F.L. Wilcox has moved into his new home here;” “Married recently Miss Bertha Yates to Mr. Rufus Call who resides of late in some far western state. The wedding came as surprise to friends. Congratulations to the happy couple.” The column concluded with, “(w)e have no other items at this time. It seems that most of our people have colds and pneumonia. Perhaps for the March things will dry up and it may be that then the health of the citizens will improve.”