“Train (engine and two cars) with Appalachian State University’s first Administration Building and mountains in background. The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad line ran near present location of Rivers Street.” Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.
June 22, 1899
International news, and criticism of the sitting President’s handling of events in the far-away Philippines, made front page news in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. “Everybody is asking everybody else why,” began the article, “the administration is trying so hard to keep the people in the dark about what is going on in the Philippines, when only a short time ago it was its boast that it published all the official dispatches received.” According to the Watauga Democrat‘s writer, “it is known from the press reports that are allowed to pass the Military Censor at Manila, that hard fighting has been going on, and the suspicion is growing that Gen. Otis is making some use of the volunteers who should be on their way home, if any of the numerous promises made had been kept that the administration does not wish their friends at home to know until whatever is being attempted is all over.” Claimed the article, “[t]he public doesn’t care a continental about the claims made by officials, but wishes to know and feels that it has a right to know hat is being done with our volunteers: hence, there is a general feeling of resentment against the suppression of official dispatches.” This editorial piece was published towards the conclusion of the fighting of the Spanish-American War, which resulted in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and other former possessions of Spain becoming protectorates of the United States. The expression “not give a continental” hearkens back to the Revolutionary War period, when money issued under the authority of the Continental Congress, without gold or any other backing, quickly became the victim of devaluation, so that a “Continental Dollar” was almost worthless.
July 22, 1933
“Recorder Rules Against Board in Suit Over Bus,” a headline this week, introduced an article which reported that, “a civil action wherein the Board of Education of Watauga County was the plaintiff and Earl Ward, resident of Tennessee, was the defendant, occupied the spotlight in this Tuesday’s session of the Recorders Court. The Board sought to recover $100 actual and $400 punitive damages as a result of the attachment of a Cove Creek school bus as it passed through a strip of Tennessee with a load of pupils. The chassis to the vehicle, the property of Messrs. L.L. Bingham and Will Payne of Boone, had been contracted to the county for the purpose of conveying students of the North Fork section to the Cove Creek school.” According to the article, “[t]he body [of the bus] was furnished by the local school board. It developed that Lonnie Henson of Vilas held a note against the owners of the vehicle, which in turn was traded to Mr. Earl Ward of Mountain City. He attached (sic) the school bus for the debt as it passed through the edge of his State near Trade. The vehicle was loaded with children at the time, many of whom, it was charged, had to walk long distances, and 13 were said to have been loaded in one Ford car at the peril of life and limb.” The plaintiff, the Watauga County Board of Education, lost the case, and “the damages asked were not granted.” The county attorney, it was reported, “made it plain in court that there was no official deposition on the part of the Board to stand between citizens and their debts, but that actual damage had been sustained by reason of the unusual attachment.” “Attachment” in this context is a legal term referring to the seizing of property in anticipation of the property being granted as payment for a debt.