The Week of August 12th, 2012.

“Laurel Elk Lumber Yard – Poplar and White Pine,” is the caption inscribed on this yesteryear scene from Watauga County. Date unknown. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

August 9, 1906

“Galveston’s Sea Wall,” was the heading to an “article” on the front page of this week’s edition of the “Watauga Democrat,” which continued, “makes life now as safe in that city as on the higher uplands.” According to the story, “E.W. Goodole (?), who resides on Dutton St. in Waco, Tex., needs no sea wall for safety. He writes, ‘I have used Dr. King’s New Discovery for Consumption for the past five years and it keeps me well and safe. Before that time I had a cough which for years had been growing worse. Now it’s gone.’ Cures chronic cough, La Gripe (sic), Croup, Whooping Cough and prevents pneumonia. Pleasant to take. Every bottle guaranteed by druggists. Price 50 c. and $1.00. Trial bottle free.” Many advertisements such as this were included in the “Watauga Democrat” newspapers of this period under the guise of news items, occasionally making reference to current stories of interest. The Galveston Sea Wall was constructed following the disastrous tidal surge of 1900, which killed thousands in the coastal Texas city, with the first portion of the protective barrier being completed in 1904. Hurricanes in 1909 and 1915 proved the value of the sea wall in protecting the population and buildings of Galveston.

August 9, 1934

“Carolina Hills Drama is Seen in Murder Trial,” announced a bold headline on this week’s front page, with the lengthy subtitle, “Five Members of Tilley Family Go on Trial in Wilkes County for Slaying of Foster Relative. Jury Being Selected from Yadkin County Venue. Defendants Maintain Stolid Countenance as Legal Machinery Moves.” Details of the news story related that, “with Deputies forcing a path thru a crowd of neighbors and the curious who packed the little Wilkes County courtroom and surged outside its doors, Warwick W. Tilley, 60-year-old farmer; his wife, 58; his son, Luther, 32; and Claude, 18, and Luther’s wife, Minerva, 30, were brought into court for trial on a charge of slaying Leoda Childress, 20-year-old foster daughter of the elder Tilleys.” The article reported that, “the defendants, with the traditional stolidity of the mountain people, sat unmoved as the State’s attorney and their counsel battled over the selection of the jury to try them for their lives.” Solicitor John L. Jones of the prosecution reportedly believed that the murder was motivated by desire to cover up a prior crime, dating back “seven years to the day when the body of Andrew Elledge was found in a pond near the Tilley’s farm home.” The prosecutor for the State reportedly believed that the foster daughter of the family was “slain because [seven years later] she became angry at Luther and threatened to reveal her knowledge” of the earlier purported murder, allegedly also perpetrated by the Tilley family. Reported the article, “(t)he girl was found shot to death  in the Tilley home by a neighbor who  heard her scream for help over a party telephone line.” Jurors were hard to come by, having been “excused time after time because they said they had previously formed an opinion that ‘the defendants are guilty.’”

Published in: on August 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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