Thursday, May 23, 2019

County Resident Criticizes Boone For Its Own Good, May 22, 1919

From the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., Thursday, May 22, 1919

Boone, As Seen by a Citizen of the County

Editor Democrat: A man born and raised in Watauga County should hardly be called a visitor in Boone, but rather a citizen thereof, because it is every one’s town who loves his country and his people, and have their moral and material development at heart. Hence I will ascribe myself a “Citizen” rather than a “Visitor.”

No better citizenship is found anywhere than in Boone. For years past it has been the HUB of thought and action in the material development of our county; so much so, I fear, that it fails at all times to see its own weaknesses or to grasp its possibilities and advantage. Perhaps conditions are watched more closely from people outside, and are looked at by them from a different standpoint, than by people living in town. If this be true, and any faults be pointed out, or any suggestions made, all in the very best feeling, and for the common good of all, should it not be worth while that the people consider them together for a season?

It has been the pleasure of the writer to be in Boone quite a lot lately and have seen some conditions existing that certainly need attention. I was there when your first real passenger train came in and rejoiced with you in its coming. At the same time I noticed how badly the streets and sidewalks needed repairs; in fact I feel you need to build them practically new. The streets and side walks are muddy and the crossings almost impassable. The streets on either side seem to be piled with rock and other debris, and frog ponds galore on either side; house roofs are not guttered and are latterly washing away what little work has been done on the side walks. Telephone wires scattered all about, and I even found one hanging across the sidewalk just high enough to strike my chin in walking. 
Stock is roaming about promiscuously, and even grazing daily on the court house lawn and public square, a thing that should be detestable to any citizen who has one scintilla of public pride in him, or desires to see the laws obeyed as well as enforced.

I also notice young boys, whether residents of the town or not, riding bicycles promiscuously up and down the side walks, a thing that is very dangerous, as well as annoying to the public and should not be allowed for a moment.

A great number of people are wanting to locate in Boone for business, for its school advantages and other things, but the unanimous consensus of opinion is, which has been found out by actual experience, that you cannot buy, beg, borrow or rent scarcely anything at all for a home.

You are now passing thru the formative period of your existence, and if these things continue, you are doomed just as sure as you allow them to continue.

The probability is you have not had the wide awake town administration in the past you have needed, because the remedy for such evils rests largely with them, coupled of course with the hearty co-operation of the public. However, we are informed that your town administration has just changed hands, and knowing the gentlemen as we do, if you do not get an awakening, and have to do some things you should have done long ago, we are going to be the worst fooled man in the county. And when they do undertake a proposition, if you people do not stand by them solidly and help push forward in a body you ought to be banished to Holland with William.

Let us all take new inspiration for the common good, and have a nice, attractive and sanitary town that will not only be the admiration and price of its residents but have the praise and admiration of all on the outside.

Now Mr. Editor, these are only a few of the defects that might be mentioned, and only a few suggestions as to their remedy, and rest assured they are made in the very best of spirit and feeling toward all, and for no end in view save that of trying to call them to attention in order to start ways for something better, and to aid you good people in a reformation in any way possible, but I fear the great trouble is, you will probably sanction the majority of what I have said, then lay it aside and forget that such things exist or have ever been mentioned and stay in the same old worn out saddle and just ride along. Are you going to do this? Time will tell and we can only wait and see.

This may be one of a series of articles along this line, and if others should follow, they may contain more pertinent things, by far, than this.

We have faith in you people, and we hope it will not be shaken. When we visit Boone again you may near from us.
“A Citizen”

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