The Week of January 27, 2015


“Romulus Zachariah Linney,” a portrait of the prominent patriarch of the Linney family of Boone. Romulus Linney was a Civil War veteran, attorney, and a Republican United States Congressman representing North Carolina from 1895 to 1901. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society, Watauga County Public Library and

January 27, 1898

“Depression of Spirits,” read an advertisement this week, “so common in summer-time, accompanied by loss of energy, lack of thought-power, means a deficient supply of nourishment. The vital source is lost. ” Continued the ad’s perhaps unexpected analysis of warm-weather blues, “[i]t isn’t a question of muscle and sinew, but of resistance and endurance. At any age, but especially in youth, it involves the risk of lung disease. Loss of flesh and a cough are threatening signs.” The ad recommended “Scott’s Emulsion” for this condition. Claimed the advertisement, “Scott’s Emulsion of Cod-liver Oil, with the hypo-phosphites, meets these cases perfectly. It tones up, fattens and strengthens.  In Scott’s Emulsion the taste of the oil is fully disguised, making it almost as palatable as milk.” Those seeking the product were directed that the concoction was “for sale at 50c and $1.00 by all druggists,” and was produced by “SCOTT & BROWN, Mfg. Chemists, New York.”

January 26, 1899

“A Call for Mass Meeting” was the heading to an open letter to the Watauga Democrat on the front page of this week edition of the newspaper. “To the Voters of Watauga County,” began the notice, “the undersigned earnestly desiring to reflect the will of the majority of the people of the county in the enactment of a road law, does hereby respectfully ask that a mass-meeting of the representative men of each township in the county, without regard to party or political affiliations[,] assemble at the court house in Boone on the first Monday of February next, to consult together and agree, if possible, upon the legislation desired in that behalf, and by petition, resolution or otherwise instruct me, as your representative as to the kind of road law most desired by the people: and I do hereby earnestly invite correspondence from the citizens of the county, upon the subject.” The letter was signed, “Respectfully, W.B. Councill, Jr.” Councill was Watauga County’s representative in the North Carolina State Legislature.

January 28, 1943

“Reds Continue Liquidation of German Troops,” a front-page headline in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, introduced a graphic news item which detailed that, “the Red Army has killed or captured all but 12,000 of the 100,000 German troops trapped before Stalingrad, and their liquidation in the last face of the annihilation is a matter of two or three days, a communique from Moscow said on Wednesday.” According to sources reported to the newspaper, “the history of war knows no such example of the encirclement and annihilation of such large numbers of regular troops, saturated to the limit with modern war equipment.” The Battle of Stalingrad, which saw previously-victorious Nazi forces trapped deep within the Soviet Union during a brutal Russian winter, is sometimes pointed to as a turning point of World War II.


Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Week of January 20, 2016


“Camp Yonahlossee Wagon:” People in frontier clothing riding in a horse-drawn Conestoga wagon, 1950s. Probably an entry by the Yonahlossee area into the historical re-creation “Wagon Train,” which was held from the 1950s through the 1970s (?), following a route from Wilkes County into Downtown Boone. Courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone society and Watauga County Public Library.

January 24, 1895

The front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat included a feature report from “Our Washington Correspondent” which began, “the rainbow which your correspondent thought he saw through the clouds in the democratic sky last week was a mirage.” Writing from the nation’s capital for what was, at the time, a proudly politically-oriented and party-affiliated publication, the “Correspondent” reported, using vibrant metaphorical language based on imagery of the tempestuous workings of a “storm demon” that the hopes for a united front of Democratic Party representatives in Congress was shattered and, “Secretary Carlise was naturally disappointed that forty-odd democrats should have joined with the Republicans and Populists to prevent his currency reform bill from reaching a direct vote in the House after it had been approved by a democratic caucus, but he spent no time in ‘crying over spilt milk.'” The newspaper reported that then-Secretary of the Treasury John G. Carlisle, a Democrat who had been pushing for ending silver coinage after an economic panic in 1893 had caused a run on gold supplies, “went right to work to ascertain the reason” for opposition to his measure within his own party.

January 21, 1943

“Dry Forces Meet; Says Crime Rises During Wet Era,” an article on the front page of this week’s newspaper, was not a weather-related item, but related efforts to abolish alcohol use in the area. Attributed to “J.C. Canipe, County Dry Forces Reporter,” the story told that, “the Dry Forces of Watauga county met at the First Baptist church on Monday January 18, and resolutions were presented to back up the county and town officers of the law in their work, and at the same time to put on a campaign of education in the churches on the evils of drink.” Written nearly a decade after the United States’ near fourteen-year experiment in the national prohibition of alcohol sales by decree of a Constitutional Amendment, the local organizers reported that “drunken driving cases were eleven times more [in years when alcoholic beverages were legal]than in dry years,” and, overall, “in three dry years 40 per cent of the court cases involved liquor, with all other criminal cases amounting to 60 per cent,” while “in three wet years 63 per cent of all court cases involves the liquor traffic, with all other cases amounting to 37 per cent.” Exactly which three years were referenced – and if they were the same years – was not mentioned. The article concluded by urging that, “the good citizens of Watauga rise up now, and smite the liquor business, hip and thigh, as God’s people of old smote the Philistines.” The first step in this action was for “petitions … being put out over the county by the preachers and the churches and other workers for the citizens to sign, to put wine and beer out of the county.”

Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm  Comments (2)