The Week of Sunday, July 28th, 2013.

Historic Boone 3. Appalachian Training School

“Appalachian Training School. Boone N.C.,” reads the simple caption on this photographic postcard, dating probably from the earliest decades of the 1900s.

July 26, 1906

“A man who will make many promises to be elected will not be careful to keep his promises after he is elected,” according to a short item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “The man who makes a private agreement with special interest(s) to get votes will betray the interest of the people to serve those interests if he is elected,” asserted this brief note from 107 years ago, originally excerpted from the News and Observer paper of Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Bowel Complain (sic) In Children,” an ad this week, asserted that, “(d)uring the summer months children are subject to disorders of the bowels which should receive special attention as soon as the first unnatural looseness of the bowels appears. The best medicine for bowel complaint is chamberlain’s  colic cholera and diarrhoea (sic). Remedy as it promptly controls any unnatural looseness of the bowels. For sale by all dealers in Boone and Blowing Rock Drug Co.”

Another advertisement promising better health began, “’I am only 82 years old and don’t expect even when I get to be real old to feel that way as long as I can get Electric Bitters,’ says Mrs. E.H. Damson of Dublin, Ga. Surely there’s nothing else keeps the old as yong (sic) and makes the weak as strong as this grand tonic medicine.” Claimed the ad, “dyspepsia, torpid liver, inflamed kidneys or chronic constipation are unknown after taking Electric Bitters a reasonable time. Guaranteed by all druggist (sic) Price 50c.”

July 26, 1934

“Boone Swelters in Hottest Day,” a headline this week, capped an article which told that, “Old Sol ruled high and mighty in the heavens Monday and his scorching rays broke the six-year records at the college weather station, where Professor T.G. Wright has diligently recorded the whims of the elements year in and year out. Wright says that the 92 degrees recorded laid all his former figures in the shade, and Wataugans, unused to torrid seasons, sweltered under the blazing sun.” Continued the report, “(a)t the same time blistering heat held sway throughout the nation, and the death toll from the current siege reached the 700 mark, with little or no general relief promised by the weather bureaus.”

“Fiddlers Convention Slated for Next Week,” announced another headline in this week’s newspaper. “The Fiddlers Convention, which is annually sponsored by the Watauga Post American Legion, will be in the courthouse in Boone Friday and Saturday evenings, August 3-4, according to announcement made today by Legion officials, who state that indications point to a larger gathering than usual.” Further details in the story reported that, “(c)ash prizes are being offered in more than a dozen different competitions,  and as heretofore, much interest centers in the old-time buck and wing and Charleston dancing contests. Fiddlers, banjoists and guitar players will vie with one another for first honors, the tunes of the mountain pioneers will feature the program (sic), and abundant entertainment is promised for all. On the opening night children will be admitted free with their parents.”

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Published in: on July 28, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, July 21st, 2013.

Historic Boone Box 4 Wagon Train

This photograph, with no accompanying caption, seems to be a depiction of the Wagon Train from Wilkes County to Boone, with wagons and mounted riders traveling over a modern highway. The Wagon Train was an annual event in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society

July 19, 1906

“If a man brings his market value, the purchaser gets his money’s worth,” began an article entitled “On Values” in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “We were thinking about this as we sat at the teacher’s Assembly,” continued the feature. “The teachers of North Carolina are the most praised and the least paid in the State – next to them and close to them are the preachers. There is a driving call to preach and the preachers can’t help themselves except by going elsewhere. There is a driving call to teach. And the consequence is that despite all our efforts, we are on the point of losing ground. You cannot expect to have good teachers at $100, or $500 a year. They will marry first!” After considering this potential loss of quality educators to matrimony, the author urged, “[b]ut this is not the vital point. The vital point is that you cannot expect good teachers on low wages. A man, or woman, will bring his or her market value. Strong men and women will leave the school. Education is not a thing of the machine. A school [is] not an automatic affair which will turn out great men by merely going through the routine. And little teachers make little men.” The article, attributed as having originally appeared in the Biblical Recorder, went on to quote former North Carolina Governor [Charles Brantley] Aycock (served 1901-1905), who reportedly said that, “the child crop in North Carolina is the great crop,” and continued the analogy by calling for a tending of not only the crop of children, but also of cultivating “great men.” Concluded this article, “[I]f we paid teachers twice as much as we pay them, we should have twenty times as many strong citizens as we have.” The Biblical Recorder is still in existence today, a news publication by North Carolina Baptists which dates back to 1833.

July 19, 1934

“Deposits Being Taken At Bank: Checks Are Again Drawn on Special Accounts at Watauga County Bank. Depositors Hasten to Meet Government Requirements,” announced a lengthy and prominent headline in this week’s edition, nearly five years into the crisis of the Great Depression. “A number of people are again making regular deposits at the Watauga County Bank and paying their bills by check on the local institution closed since March 6, 1933, according to information gained from officials the first of the week. These deposits, it is explained, are handled through special trust accounts, established for the convenience of the general public, and are not to be confused in any way with the deposits on record at the time of the bank’s closing.” The news item included details indicating that the local bank’s “[o]fficials have been busy the past few days gaining the approval of checking depositors in regard to the new regulation of the Federal government, requiring that all classes of accounts share alike in the distribution of dividends,” and that this process was been greeted by bank members with “uniform approval.” More checking account holders were adding their signatures daily to this agreement, according to the story, which concluded by emphasizing that “it is necessary to have 100 per cent agreement in order to meet the requirements of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” which had been established in 1933 to provide some guarantee of the safety of U.S. bank depositors’ accounts.

Published in: on July 21, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, July 14th, 2013.

Historic Boone 3.1 Gov Jim Holshouser

“Jim Holshouser – right; Boone. State’s first Republican Governor in 100 years,” reads the caption to this image. In fact, one other candidate, Daniel Lindsay Russell, who fought in the Confederate army but was a pro-Unionist at the time of the Civil War, joining the Republican party in the post-War years, served as North Carolina’s governor from 1897 to 1901. Apart from Russell’s term, Holshouser was the first Republican to fill the post since the end of the Reconstruction era in 1877. He was sworn into office in January of 1973, the youngest so to serve, at age 38, since the 1800s.

Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society.

July 12, 1906

“The Republicans, at the first session of the 59th Congress, sowed only wind,” according to a brief notice on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, which, as the name suggests, was at this time an avowedly partisan publication. Concluded the item, mysteriously, “… and when the autumn comes they will reap a whirlwind, or something equally as good.” The Fifty-ninth U.S. Congress had a Republican majority, serving during part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s second term, and the message in the Watauga party paper apparently was expressing hope for a change in the fortunes of the outnumbered Democrats in Washington. All but one of North Carolina’s delegates to the House and the Senate were Democrats, in this Congress.

In the “Selected Items” section of the local news, a perhaps related notice stated that, “[t]he political bee is buzzing in the neighborhood, but we have not heard of any one being stung yet.”

July 12, 1934

“Record Yields Bring Smiles to County Farmers,” according to a headline in this week’s newspaper. “The most favorable growing season known in Watauga County for many years has wreathed local farmers’ faces with smiles, and those who lean to mathematical speculation have been so bold as to predict a yield of Irish potatoes from eight hundred thousand to one million bushels, with cabbages, beans and other mountain truck crops thriving in bounteous proportion,” detailed the news item. “A fine open spring season enabled the farmers to seed their soil with a minimum of hindrance from the elements, which rewarded their labors by the witholding of late killing frosts which have wrought such damage in late years,” according to the anonymous Watauga Democrat writer.

July 12, 1962

A lengthy headline including the bold-type headlines “Parking Poses Problems for Officials, Citizens,” “Asks Citizen Suggestions,” and “Howard and College Street Areas Cited,” reported on a perennial Boone problem during this week over a half a century ago. “The public meeting called by Mayor Wade E. Brown and the Town Board to discuss the problems of parking in the town of Boone was held at the Elementary School Auditorium on Thursday night, last week,” reported the story. “The mayor explained the problem, stating that due to the growth of the town, the many tourists, and the large number of students, that parking was creating a problem in the town generally.” Among proposed solutions discussed at the time: the “Town Board is considering enforcing the regulation of the zoning ordinance to provide for off the street parking for each home and for the number of apartments rented,” as well as a plan to “remove the rough sidewalk along Howard Street and to make Howard Street and College Street one way and to seek parking lots to relieve the congestion.”

“Regional Library Is Formed For Watauga, Other Counties” announced the headline to an article, under a byline of “North Wilkesboro,” which relayed that, “[a] regional library for Wilkes, Ashe and Watauga counties was formed this week at a meeting in the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce offices here.” The new coalition, it was stated, “will enable the three counties to purchase books in larger quantities which will mean a saving of 8 per cent on each book and will make possible the purchase of a newer and more adequate bookmobile.” Watauga County Librarian Homer Brown was chosen as first director of the regional library system.

Published in: on July 13, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

The Week of Sunday, July 7, 2013.

Historic Boone 3.1 Gov Jim Holshouser Dr Herbert Wey

Another photograph depicting Boone native, the late North Carolina Governor James Holshouser, during a horseshoe competition. Appalachian State University Chancellor Herbert Wey good-naturedly shows off a bandaged leg, after the Governor’s toss apparently bounced out of the box and nicked the educator. This photograph, although bearing no date, probably was taken sometime around 1973.

Courtesy Historic Boone

July 5, 1906

“By the accidental discharge of a shot gun in the hand of Mr. Ollie Winebarger, of Meat Camp, on Saturday last, his left arm was so badly mangled that amputation was necessary near the shoulder joint,” reported a local news item in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “The operation was performed on Sunday morning, and Dr. Jones told us on his return that the unfortunate young man was resting as well as could be expected,” concluded the report.

“We failed to report at the proper time,” confessed another item, “that Miss Edna, daughter of W.W. Holsclaw of Vilas, who graduated at Davenport College the last session, was elected as one of the faculty for the coming year. Although only 17 years of age, this accomplished lady will teach mathematics and Latin at the College.” The institution referred to was the Teachers College founded in Boone seven years prior, a coeducational teacher training college which is now Appalachian State University.

July 5, 1934

“Hartzog in Full Charge of Local Post Office Fri.,” a front-page headline in this week’s edition of the newspaper, reported that, “Wiley G. Hartzog, prominent local building contractor and for a long period of years a leading school teacher of this section, has been commissioned as postmaster at Boone and will assume full charge of the office Friday morning.” The news story reported that during the prior week the new appointee had been “engaged in making the necessary check-ups incidental to the transfer of records from former Postmaster A.W. Smith and familiarizing himself with the duties of his new position.” Political considerations seem to have played a major role in the selection process, as the newspaper reported that Mr. Hartzog “has been known for many years as one of the leading Democrats of this section, and is the first incumbent of that political faith since John E. Brown retired from the postmastership during the administration of Warren G. Harding.” The outgoing postmaster was related to be “retiring after six and one-half years, during which time he has frequently been lauded for his painstaking service to the public.”

“New Cream Route Now in Prospect” reported that, “(a) cream route through Watauga County, as a feeder for the Biltmore Dairies, Asheville, may be established within a short time, according to Mr. J.M. Lynch Jr., who was in the community this week looking over the situation.” The planned route would allow the dairy company to expand its operations in “supplying dairy products for Linville’s summer camps,” and the report noted that “connections may be established at Blowing Rock.” The Biltmore Dairies company was “in dire need at this time of an increased supply of cream and that Watauga County farmers may find a profitable market.”

July 5, 1962

“Alexander takes Issue With High Court For Banning Prayer,” a front-page headline this week, reported from that, “Congressman Hugh Alexander stated from his office June 28 that he was shocked to learn that the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Monday of last week banning prayer in public schools.” The Representative was quoted as saying that the decision was “’dangerous in its implications and may well have the effect of abolishing chaplains in our Armed Forces, preventing prayer in the Congress, and could even preclude the President of the United States from putting his hand on the Bible when he takes the Oath of Office.” Hugh Quincy Alexander was a Democrat who represented North Carolina’s 9th District from 1953 to 1963.

Published in: on July 7, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment