“Jesse E. Day Cochran Gunlock, 1857-1930” reads the caption to this photograph, including a period automobile. The lady portrayed was the great-grandmother of local genealogist and author Elizabeth South Storie.
Courtesy Historic Boone
March 7, 1912
An article in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat (attributed in the byline as having been reprinted from the Charlotte Observer) under the headline “Home and School” began, “Brother Edward Bok has struck a responsive chord in the heart of many a loud parent in these parts by the protest he has made in the Ladies Home Journal against the present practice of sending the school children home to study their lessons.” Apparently, the practice of after-school-hours homework had roused opposition, locally and nationally, and the feature continued, “(l)ast night two devoted fathers called on the Observer with a request to print what Brother Bok essays on the subject for the consideration of parents and the admonition of teachers.” The lengthy discourse which followed asserted that, “(i)f every parent of a school child who brings lessons home would put his or her foot down upon the practice and send the child back to school the next day with the lessons undone, and a polite but firm explanation to the teacher, one of the most salutary impressions would be made upon our modern school system. That the whole system of home study is wrong admits of no question. The teachers who insist upon it know it, but they are powerless to act… No practice ever instituted leads so surely to deception.” Citing the inability of school students to properly work out problems with their siblings at home, as well as the possibility of parents not being capable of providing proper help, the author asserted that, “(h)ome study under any conditions defeats the very end it is designed to bring out and it should be absolutely forbidden by the parents.” Focusing on the parental dilemma, “Brother Bok” stated his unswerving opinion that, “(i)t is awfully hard on parents to require them to help their children with their lessons, and particularly since things have changed so much since they went to school themselves,” adding, also, that “parents have practical problems to work out every day or they would not send their children to school at all.”
February 29, 1940
A rare leap-day edition of the Watauga Democrat featured on the front page a bold notice entitled, “Please Stop Ad!” According to the text of the notice, “Mrs. L.R. Hommell of Wilmington, N.C., recently inserted an ad in the Watauga Democrat seeking domestic help, and now she is deluged with applicants and wants relief. Mrs. Hommell says, ‘Please do not run the ad brought in there by Mrs. Sherrill for me any further. I am swamped with applicants… I have never seen such response from an ad in my life.’” In addition to thus passing notice for the relief of the advertiser, the brief article concluded with a plug for local newspaper advertising: “Whether you want household help, or desire to dispose of any type of merchandise, Democrat advertising brings the buyer and seller together quickly and economically.”
An even briefer announcement, “Pie Supper,” told that, “(t)here will be a pie supper at the Valle Crucis public school Saturday evening, March 2, at 7 o’clock. The public is cordially invited to attend.”
1906 advertisement from the Watauga Democrat newspaper, Boone, North Carolina