A tintype image of an unknown man, found in the wall of a home in Boone’s historic Carolina Avenue. Courtesy of Adrian Tait / the Carolina Avenue collection, the Watauga County Historical Society, and digitalwatauga.org / the Digital Watauga project.
1908 – Editor of Local Party-Based Newspaper Question Whether Victorious Rival Party’s Promises Will be Kept
November 7, 1888
“Harrison is elected,” began a short piece of editorial opinion in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. (The newspaper bore a heading during this period proclaiming itself “A DEMOCRATIC, family newspaper devoted to the interests of its County, State and Nation.”) “Both houses of Congress are probably republican,” continued the editorial. “The republicans will be left without an excuse. if their orators in the recent campaign are to be believed, we are to have glorious times – the Blair education bill is to be passed bringing $33,000 into Watauga county for school purposes — the Revenue laws are to be repealed, so that whiskey, brandy and tobacco can be made by any one without tax or license — wages, for the working man, is (sic) to be higher and the necessaries of life cheaper. All this and more we have promised by the republicans.” Concluded the newspaperman’s tirade, “[w]e will see how well these promises are kept.”
“Cleveland and How He Takes His Defeat” was the headline of a news item dealing with related post-election matters of the day. In relaying the reaction of the defeated incumbent Presidential candidate, the newspaper wrote that Cleveland “expressed not the slightest regret in the world at any action he had taken during his administration.” However, according to the Democrat’s report, “[t]he bitterest pill the President has to swallow is the partisan action of a number of Republicans whom he kept in office, and who voted and worked against him with all their power.” According to the author, “[t]heir deportment towards the administration is a source of great disappointment to him.” President Grover Cleveland would return to the White House in 1893, after the end of Benjamin Harrison’s one-term service as U.S. President. Cleveland was the only President to leave the office, then return for a second term four years later.
November 4, 1936
“ROOSEVELT WINS IN LANDSLIDE,” was a banner headline across the front page of this week. “A landslide of ballots, of proportions hitherto unknown in the political history of the country, Tuesday swept Franklin D. Roosevelt into the presidency for the second term,” reported the Watauga Democrat, “leaving Governor Landon,” his Republican opponent, with only two states to his credit, with a total of only eight electoral votes.” President Roosevelt had taken “an early lead as initial returns indicated his victory in the far west, in the farming regions, and even in his opponent’s state of Kansas.” Reported the story, “[f]or the first time since the Civil war Pennsylvania came through with a substantial majority for the Democrats, and only the states of Maine and Vermont remained loyal to the Republican candidate.”
In other news, “Mr. Guy Stout received wounds about the neck from a pocket knife said to have been wielded by Howard Dula, of Lenoir, as the two engaged in a affray on the streets of Boone last week.” The results of the affray were not tragic; the paper related that, “[t]he wounds, fortunately, were not serious. His [Stouts’] assailant has not been apprehended.”