October 2


“Snow on Howard Street,” a 1956 photograph showing automobiles in Downtown Boone after a winter storm. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and DigitalNC.org.

1904: Local Politicians Reminded that Straight Argument, Not Personal Abuse, Gains Votes

September 29, 1904

“The appointments for Mr. W.C. Newland in Watauga have been changed and the Republican and Democratic Committees have arranged another list that may be found in this paper,” began an announcement about election and political matters in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. “The issues will be jointly discussed by Messers. [Misters] Newland and Blackburn which is it should be,” continued the article, “for our people are anxious to hear the speeches thus made, provided they are made on a high plain.” Advised the writer, “[t]he time for indulging in ‘dragging’ and personal abuse has long since passed, but the people are always ready to hear a nice clean presumption [sic] of the campaign issues, let it be Democrat or Republican who presents them. There was never a vote gained by abuse and we hope our candidates, all of them, will refrain from such in this campaign. Straight argument is what convinces.” 1904 was a presidential election year, and the Mr. Newland and Mr. Blackburn named were leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties locally. William C. Newland served as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1909 to 1913 as a Democrat. The town of Newland, the county seat of North Carolina’s last-formed county, was named for him as part of the political deal which created Avery as a separate county. Edmond Spencer Blackburn was a Boone native and a Republican who was elected to his second (non-consecutive) term in the North Carolina House of Representatives during the election of this year.

September 28, 1933

“Goes Democratic,” a heading over a photographic portrait of a noted author on the front page this week, was followed by the caption, “Upton Sinclair, famous author and socialist, announces he will change his California registration to that of Democrat so that he may run for governor on an ‘epic plan’ platform.” The reform-minded writer, who penned the 1906 exposé novel The Jungle about the American meat packing industry, was not successful in his election bid.

“863 Enrolled At Teachers College” was the headline to an article which reported, “[e]leven states are represented in the record enrollment of 863 students who have entered Appalachian State Teachers College for the fall term, according to an announcement made by Registrar J.M. Downum Monday. They are North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.” Continuing the detailing of the wide range of origins of the student body of the institution which would later become Appalachian State University, the article detailed that, “[s]ixty-four of the one hundred North Carolina are represented by 813 students, Watauga leading with 141, and Forsyth coming second with 40. Lincoln has 38 students, Iredell 37, Wilkes 28, Cleveland 28, Ashe 39, Catawba 24, Rowan 22, Gaston 23, Mecklenburg 15, and Yadkin 22.” The college was on a quarter rather than a semester system; the notice concluded, “[t]he winter quarter will open November 20th, and Registrar Downum asks that those who contemplate entering at that time register promptly.”


Published in: on October 3, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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