April 16, 1908
“The extent to which politics is interfering with legislation is appalling,” opined an item on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “For instance, all the past week the Senate has been ready to pass the Child Labor bill for the District of Columbia. This is a model bill and the opponents of the child labor regard it as of the utmost importance that the national legislature should pass such a bill which will prove a most salutary example as well as a model for every State in the Union. Nothing has been done, however, because Senator Beveridge has been absent attending the Republican state convention in Indiana and before leaving he asked that the bill be held until his return so that he might offer his national child labor bill as an amendment.” Lamented the editorial voice of the local democratic newspaper, “Of course, the matter has been held up at his request, despite the fact that there is not the slightest chance of its (Beveridge’s ‘amendment’) being adopted. Probably there are few sincere and honest men who would not like to see child labor abolished, but those who have the Republic at heart are unwilling to see such an overthrow of the rights of the sovereign states as the Beveridge bill implies and, moreover, it is so obvious from previous decisions of the Supreme Court that the Beveridge bill would be pronounced unconstitutional, as an interference with the police power of the states, that sensible men question the sincerity of the advocates of the Beveridge measure. To pass it would mean to subject the whole question to a long course of litigation with ultimate defeat for the measure and probably would prove a great setback to the movement in the various states.” Child labor was eventually first restricted (a decade later) by the Keating-Owen bill of 1916, which was based upon Senator Albert J. Beveridge’s proposal that the power of the Federal Government be used to prohibit mines and factories from having transported over state lines any products coming from companies which employed children under fourteen years of age. The later Keating-Owen bill was, in fact, struck down in 1918 by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, and Beveridge’s earlier effort failed to gain enough support to become law.
April 20, 1922
“On Wednesday evening of last week bids for the erection of the new Methodist church in Boone were opened at the parsonage,” reported a brief item of local news this week. “But two bids were in, and The Democrat learns that neither of those were accepted. The Rev. Mr. Brinkman and some members of the building committee went to Charlotte Tuesday on church business, but we do not know the nature therof.”
Another short report noted that “(a) ‘beauty spot’ to be made of the ground surrounded by the railroad ‘Y’ near the depot in Boone is the cherished idea of our tasty station agent, Mr. Richard R. Johnson. A fountain and fish, flowers, rustic seats, in fact, an ideal rest place is his intention. He is interesting the railroad people in his pretty scheme and many people of the town will do their bit in helping him in this attractive little undertaking.” This depot for “Tweetsie” railroad during the era when it had a passenger stopping point in Boone is now in the area occupied by Portofino restaurant and Rivers Park, adjacent to the lower end of the aptly-named Depot Street.
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