“Russel D. Hodges, Sr., was an outstanding citizen of Watauga County and known by all – from his student days at A.S.T.C. (Appalachian State Teachers College) to his service in the U.S. Navy to his contributions to his friends and neighbors,” reads a typewritten caption on the reverse of this portrait. “During the flood of 1940, Mr. Hodges served as the Chairman of the (Red Cross) Chapter’s Disaster Relief Organization. This picture was taken in 1920.”
Photo courtesy of Historic Boone
April 21, 1892
“There is no denying the fact that political matters are the leading topic in North Carolina at this time. But at no time in the history of the State has there been so much uncertainty,” began a front-page story in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, with a byline of “Raleigh, N.C.” and bearing the heading “North Carolina Politics.” “The republicans, who claim a ‘fighting chance,’ are very quiet. They don’t seem to be sure about a ‘fighting chance,’ even, this year,” continued the analysis. “Side (sic) from a few personal encounters between alleged bosses and a number of ‘cussing bees’ that some more of the alleged bosses have taken part in, there has been nothing to disturb the usual tranquil flow of party spirits in the State… The republican organs say to their people, ‘Let’s wait and see how many mistakes the democrats will make and then keep an eye on the third partyites all the while.’ The democrats are going ahead without knowing what to do. Perhaps the general feeling can be defined in this way: ‘We are all right if the third party don’t get us, we are all right if we get it.” One portion of the article characterized the “two or three campaign organs in the Western part of the state” affiliated with the Republican Party by alleging that, “the tone of these are very much like the appearance of a dog whose master is engaged in eating fried chicken – they appear to be waiting for the bones.” The feature appeared during an election year when third parties – including the Prohibition Party, The People’s Party, and the Socialist Labor Party – were making a showing on the political stage.
Other news this week, from the “Local News” column, included: “Spring showers;” “Grass is growing nicely;” and “Mrs. Dr. Councill has been very unwell for some days, but is now slowly improving.”
April 26, 1923
“Counterfeiters Fall Prey to Slouths [sic] Who Seize Mammoth Plant” was a prominent headline in this week’s edition of the newspaper. Tells the article, “United States officers assisted by Sheriff John Hardwood, of Durham county today effected the arrest of four men alleged to be part of a southern branch of Chicago counterfeiters, when a raid was made upon the home of Tom Davis, several miles from this city, on the New Hope Valley road and equipment for printing United States bank notes [was seized].” According to the account, seven men, all surnamed Davis, were being “held in the county jail under heavy bonds, three of which are $5,000 each.” The story also reported that, “Charles Davis, son of the man in whose house the printing outfit was found, was arrested in Chicago recently as a member of a gang of counterfeiters,” and the same member of the family was “said to have had a long and varied criminal record in North Carolina, and at one time served in the State Prison for forgery.” The Governor had, in the latter case, issued a pardon for the individual in question. The counterfeiters were said to have passed their newly-printed fake money “in Salisbury and other sections of the State,” but the false notes were described as “only fair specimens of counterfeiting.” Said the report, “[t]hey were printed on two thin pieces of paper with silk threads carefully placed between them,” so that “upon closer examination the notes can be readily detected as counterfeit.”
A 1948 advertisement for a show at the Appalachian Theatre,
from the archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper of Boone, N.C.