The Week of March 18th, 2012.

“Paul Arch Coffey, father of Paul A. Coffey, who served as county commissioner, tax supervisor, banker, and owned the old Parkway Hardware across from the downtown station, USPS. He was in his early 20s when he died,” reads the caption to this photograph.

Courtesy Historic Boone

March 20, 1919

“Produce Maple Syrup on Grandfather,” was the headline of a front-page feature in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “The first modern equipment for the production of maple syrup from the sugar maples of western North Carolina has recently been installed by the Linville Improvement Co., Linville, on the north side of Grandfather Mountain,” reports the article. The company was headed by Mr. Hugh McRae of Wilmington and “his son, Capt. Nelson McRae.” The operation was said to have been “at the present time making a very fine grade of maple syrup.” According to the article, “(f)rom all over the mountains owners of sugar maples are coming from many miles to see the equipment and a number of them have expressed their determination to buy an evaporator, and other similar equipment, for operating their orchards during the future years.”

“I had hoped the Russian masses would get down to tacks in time,” began an article under the simple heading, “Russia.” Continued the column, “season after season passes, and the country’s still a crime: day by day the same old story, till the narrative’s grown hoary – how the butchers crazed and gory wade knee deep in blood and slime.” The graphic description, credited as having been a reprint of an article by “Walt Mason in (the Raleigh) News and Observer,” lamented that the hoped-for peace after the conclusion of World War I (described as when “old Kaiser Bill got his”) was overshadowed by the fact that, due to the civil war in Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution, “in Russia blood is flowing, there the scythe of death is mowing; never was so grim a sowing under the winter sun.” The author wrote that, “(w) e can only hope that later Russia may be safe and sane, when, the demagogue and traitor have been rounded up and slain; when the people get the notion that there’s nothing in commotion and prescribe a deadly potion for old Trotsky and his train.” The rhyming structure of this editorial seems to have been a signature feature of Mason’s opinion pieces.

 March 16, 1944

“Reds Encircle Another Group of Nazi Troops – Ten Thousand More Nazis Killed in New Push of Russian Army; Four Thousand Captured in Intense Fighting in the Southern Ukraine Section” proclaimed a headline of front-page war news in this edition. The details told that “(t)he Russians ‘encircled a large German grouping composed of several divisions. The enemy launched several attempts to break out of the encirclement but were repulsed. In these attempts (the Germans) lost up to 10,000 officers and men.” The Soviet commander reported that, “(o)ur troops in this area captured more than 300 guns of various calibers and took prisoner more than 4,000 German officers and men.”

March 18, 1965

“Million-Dollar Student Center To Be Built At Appalachian,” read a heading on this day. “Preliminary plans have been completed for a modern million-dollar student center at Appalachian State Teachers College, according to Ned Trivette, business officer, and H.R. Eggers, dean of student affairs. The facility will serve as a center for various indoor activities of the 3,500 students on the campus. The two-story structure will house a post office, lounges, offices and meeting rooms, snack bars and recreation areas.” The project was to be financed by “a Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency loan at an annual interest rate of 3 5/8 per cent over a 40-year period,” with “the debt… to be liquidated through student fees.” Stated the article, “(o)peration of the center will be on a self-sustaining basis.”

A March 1965 print feature from the Watauga Democrat newspaper, Boone, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Published in: on March 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. According to my records, Paul Arch Coffey (1902-1957), was 54 years old when he died, rather than in his early twenties. Perhaps this photo was made when he was in his twenties. His father, Archie E. Coffey (1876-1903), was 27 when he died. Paul Arch Coffey’s son, Paul Armfield Coffey (1934-2007), was the publisher of the Watauga Democrat.

    • The caption of the photograph is rather confusing, as it is written (reproduced above) – and, perhaps, confused as to (nick-)names..?. I believe that you are quite correct. The photo seems to be of the father, Archie E., who died at a young age, although the inscription attached to the image does list at some length the accomplishments of the son (Paul Arch Coffey). Thanks Mr. Harmon! (Thanks also to Joanne Brannon Aldridge, who also submitted the connection between Paul Arch Coffey and “Watauga Democrat” publisher Armfield Coffey).

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