“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.