January 9


Sepia image of students of Riverview School posing for the camera in 1914. Courtesy of the H.L. & Gladys Coffey Collection and the Digital Watauga Project / DigitalWatauga.org

1939: Local Resident Has Been Subscribing to The Local Paper Since Its Beginning

January 1, 1914

A feature on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, under the simple heading “OBITUARY,” began, “Enoch Fletcher was born February 19, 1845, and died December 11, 1913, aged 68 years, 10 months and 8 days.” Continued the notice, “He was married in the year 1872, to Miss Mary McGuire, to whom were born three children, all living. Some time after the war between the States, Brother Enoch Fletcher professed religion and united with the Methodist church at Henson’s chapel, which faith he prized very highly. He was a model of piety mild and kind, and his religion was exemplified by his everyday life. His theme was to live entirely agreeably with all men, ever believing that we ought to do good to others. He always took delight in the Sunday School work, believing that the Sabbath ought to be spent in religious training.” After further praise of the deceased, the obituary concluded, “[t]he funeral services were conducted by the writer, assisted by Revs. Hickman and N.C. Combs, after which, by kind friends, the body was laid in the grave to await the coming of the Lord Jesus.” The submission was signed, “JACOB YOUNCE, Watauga News [sic] please copy.”

January 5, 1939

“Enters His 51st Renewal To Paper,” a headline this week, introduced a front-page feature announcing that, “Mr. J.M. Shull, 80 years old, dropped in last Saturday to renew his subscription to the Watauga Democrat. Nothing strange about that — but the circumstance edges on ‘spot news’ when it develops that this is the fifty-first time Mr. Shull has made his way to the office of the county newspaper to keep his subscription in current condition.” Continued the story, “Mr. Shull was married and started housekeeping in August, 1888, one month after the establishment of the Watauga Democrat, and on his first visit to Boone after his marriage ceremony, dropped by and became a subscriber to the paper, and for more than half a century the journal has been a welcome visitor to the Shull fireside. For forty-four years Mr. Shull gave his subscription to the late Robert C. Rivers, but since his death in 1933, the present publisher has looked forward to the regular visits of this good citizen and close friend of the newspaper family.” Concluded the article, “[t]here are others who have read The Democrat for fifty years, but in the absence of complete early-day records, the publisher would like to hear from all those whose names have never been striken from the subscription records of the newspaper. There are quite a few of these old stand-bys, which the publisher holds in mighty regard, and he wants a list of their names. Thank you.”

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