Sunday, May 31, 2015

High School Students Build House as Teaching Project, 1971

“House Built as Teaching Project to be Auctioned June 5” by Robert Helmle in The Yancey Record, May 27, 1971

A very special house, which probably has set records for Yancey County in the number of people who worked on its construction, in the long time it took to build, and in the painstaking construction involved, is being offered for sale by the Yancey County Board of Education. It will be auctioned off at the Courthouse door at 10 a.m. on the fifth of June.
The house may further be described as well-designed and beautifully situated. It is the house that has been under construction as a teaching project by the vocational education department of the Cane River High School. It is located a quarter of a mile west of the Cane River bridge on 19E, about 200 yards back from the highway on a short entrance road.

The two vocational teachers who have been chiefly responsible for the project are Jack Buckner and Flay Hensley. Throughout the two years the house has been under construction, the emphasis has been on teaching quality workmanship in all the various building skills. This reporter for the Yancey Record was impressed by the quality of workmanship throughout the building. Others who have inspected it say it must be one of the best built houses in the county.
The house, located on a one-acre site, is approximately 2,000 square feet. It has three bedrooms, one and a half baths, living room, family room, dining room and kitchen. The main rooms are attractively paneled in elm and birch, and the cabinets are of walnut.
Water supply is from a well that yields 10 or more gallons a minute. The house has a full basement with eight-foot ceiling.

The plans for the house were drawn as an instruction project, with much guidance, we are told, by Mr. Buckner. The project has been largely financed by a loan from the Northwestern Bank, the money being used to buy the site and materials. Proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off the bank loan, and the balance used to get another such project under way. Superintendent Landrum Wilson has expressed the view that a house building project of this sort can be started every two years.
Further details regarding the auction of the house have appeared in advertisements in recent issues of the Yancey Record. Any additional information may be obtained from the School Superintendent’s office.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Harmony Class of 1926 Holds Reunion in 1951

“Harmony Class of 1926 To Hold Reunion May 13,” from the Statesville Landmark, May 3, 1951

Harmony, May 3—The Harmony High School Class of 1926 will have a reunion at Harmony May 13. Miss Della Arnold has addressed the following letter to members of the class:

Dear Class of 1926:
Just 25 years ago you were happy, hopeful seniors. Oh, how fast time flies. I hope that each of you can be here for a class reunion Sunday afternoon May 13. I hope that you can get here for the sermon at 3:00 p.m. I will have a section of seats reserved for you. After that we hope to have a picnic supper together, with a social hour.

I am enclosing the names and addresses as far as I know them, and if you know where any of the other are, please notify them and ask them to come. The families of each member are also invited.
I sincerely hope to see you on the 13th, and I also hope that date has no evil foreboding.

                Always the same,
                Della Arnold, Class of 1926

Class of 1926
Mr. Hal Bell, Hamptonville; Mrs. Margaret Bell Gaugh, Hamptonville; Mrs. Daisy Blackwelder Rimmer, Statesville; Miss Virginia Brady, 601 Clover St., Winston-Salem; Mr. Hal Brown (deceased); Mrs. Luray Bohannan Young, Elkin; Mrs. Bessie Cain Whildes, 315 Gray Court Apt., N. Broad St., Winston-Salem;

Mr. Bill Cheshire, Harmony; Rev. French Cowan, Dr. Earl Cooper, Wilkesboro; Miss Bessie Crater, Route 2, Harmony; Mr. Opie Crater, Woodlawn, Va.;
Mr. Ralph Davis; Mrs. Mary Opal Essie Walker, 650 4th St., Winston-Salem; Mr. Robie Fingers; Miss Myrtle Gantt, Statesville; Mrs. William Godby, Harmony; Mrs. Thelma Godby Blackwelder, Route 4, Statesville; Miss Alice Goodman, Mrs. Mary Goodwin Graves, Route 4, Mocksville; Mr. Cecil Grier, Mr. Edgar Harris, Miss Dessie Howard (deceased);

Mr. Ben Hill, Hamptonville; Mr. Glenn Howard (deceased); Mrs. Ruth Hudspeath Harding, Cana; Mrs. Oday Jones Cox, Statesville; Mrs. Swaney Jurney Jones, Union Grove; Mrs. Nellie King Sanntog, 7th Steward Ave., Trenton, N.J.; Mr. Richard King, Route 2, Statesville;
Mr. Robert Little; Mr. Earnest McCarter, Union Grove; Mr. Albert McLain; Miss Laura Morrison; Mrs. Edna Myers Goldman, 1926 Third Avenue N. Petersburg, Fla.; Miss Jewel Myers, Harmony; Mrs. Mary Norris Austin, Route 2, Statesville; Mrs. Pearl Norris Kennedy, 2210 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.; Mr. Beverage Renegar, Harmony, Route 2; Mr. Roy Renegar, Mount Airy; Miss Nannie Shaver (deceased); Mr. J. Wilson Thomas, Harmony; Miss Coetta Trivett, Union Grove; Mrs. Betty Turbiville Wright, Greensboro; Mr. Kenneth Watts, Statesville, Route 5; Mrs. Kate Windsor Thomasson, 1230 Summit Ave., Winston-Salem; Mr. Gales Woodsides; Mr. Robin Wooten, North Wilkesboro; Mr. Clive Wooten (deceased); Mrs. Elsie Sills Saunders.

Slavery Improved Mental and Physical Health of Negroes, 1903

"Recollections of the Last 60 Years of the 19th Century" by Dr. J.B. Alexander of Mecklenburg County, N.C., in the May 19, 1903 issue of The Progressive Farmer. Dr. Alexander argues that African Americans were better off as slaves. His proof? The lack of Negro lunatics. There were white people with mental problems during the times of slavery. Strange how Dr. Alexander doesn't recommend slavery for whites in order to eliminate lunacy.

In speaking of the negro race since slavery times I would say that I never knew or saw one who was a lunatic while a slave. But in a fourth of a century the people of North Carolina have built a large asylum in Goldsboro for the use of the negro exclusively, and scarcely one-half of the poor unfortunate ones are provided for. This also may be placed to the credit of those loud-mouthed Abolitionists who were fond and eager to meddle with the civilization of other commonwealths. In time of slavery the negroes were a strong, healthy and robust people. When they were well-fed, well-housed, and well-clothed, and worked in moderation, they were capable of doing more work on the farm than any other nationality. We had fine mechanics among the slaves, such as blacksmiths, carpenters, brick masons, shoemakers and negroes skilled in all the trades pursued by white people. And at that time no hard feeling was engendered between the races on account of color, but all worked in harmony.

Fifty years ago we had a civilization that had never been excelled. It is true that a half century ago the millionaires in America might have been counted on less than the fingers of one hand; now they are estimated at many thousand. But then 50 years ago it was a rarity to see a case of poverty, save from sickness or some misfortune. How is it now? From 50 to 100 in the county home, and double as many more are fed by the city in the cold months of winter.
--J.B. Alexander, M.D.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Selma, Smithfield and Manchester, N.C., 1939

From North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State, published by the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development in 1939, and available online at

Selma, population 1,857, is an industrial town with two textile mills. The section north of the Southern Rail tracks is known as Old Mr. Adkinson's Deer Park. Here a spring attracted deer before the town was established. Near Mitchiner's Station, the early name of the village, a detachment of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Confederates, retreating from Bentonville in March 1865, fought a rearguard action.

Smithfield, population 2,543, seat of Johnston County, is a tobacco-market town on a bluff above the Neuse River. The town's most cherished tradition is that in 1789 it missed becoming the capital of North Carolina  by only one vote. The assembly in 1746 created the county and named it for Gabriel Johnston, Governor under the Crown (1734-52), and also set up St. Patrick's Parish of the Church of England, coextensive with the county. Founded in 1770, Smithfield was named for Col. John Smith (1687-1777), an early settler from Virginia who was a delegate to the Halifax convention and who owned the land on which the town was built. In Colonial days the town was the head of navigation on the Neuse.

Manchester, population 49, once a turpentine shipping point on Lower Little River, is the site of Holly Hill, now occupied by a story-and-a-half house. It was the Murchison family seat from the days when Kenneth Murchison, a Revolutionary soldier, erected his home in a magnificent grove of hollies.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rev. Joe Munday of Salisbury, 1901

"Rev. Joe Munday on a Drunk," originally printed in the Morganton Herald and reprinted in the Watauga Democrat, April 25, 1901 
Our exchanges give an account of Joe Munday on a bender in Salisbury, and his arraignment before the mayor of Statesville on the charge of drunk and disorderly. Too bad, too bad. Evil minded people, always glad of a handle to hit the church and clergy, will use this as a text. It is nothing but the weakness of the poor fellow powerless to shake himself from the grip of the devil of habit.  
Joe ought to make an election between the two and quit drinking or preaching. A preacher can do a lot of things and hold his job--drinking is not one of them. He can dodge his debts, swap horses, talk scandal, hound a brother preacher to ruin, worry his wife by flirting with pretty women, tell jokes that need a Turkish bath--but he mustn't drink. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Was Originally Decoration Day

What Should a Druggist Do If a Medicine Is Harming Patients? 1913

"The Druggist's Duty Concerning Coal Tar Derivatives" by F.M. Siggins, from the Dixie Druggist, May 1913, online at UNC Health Sciences Library. Acetanilide, also known as phenylacetamide, acetalil, acetanilid, and Antifebrin, is no longer sold as a drug. It was found to reduce pain and lower fever and introduced under the name of Antifebrin in 1886. Unacceptable toxic effects prompted the search for a less toxic aniline derivative, such as phenacetin. After several conflicting results over 50 years of study, it was found in 1948 that acetanilide was mostly metabolized in the body to paracetamol, which is acetaminophen. Of course, acetaminophen is still sold today, but there is a risk related to high doses of the drug. The FDA today warns that acetaminophen doses over 325 mg might lead to liver damage. Large doses prescribed in 1913 and the fact that acetanilid contains other potentially dangerous substances that are not found in acetaminophen are probably behind the harm suffered by patients in the following story.

I am not a physician, I am even ignorant of the simplest forms of disease which many druggists are familiar with, and my excuse for the ignorance is, that I have studiously avoided that line of study that I might have less incentive for the so-called art of counter prescribing.

But if I am weak in the knowledge of disease, I hope I have not spent 30 years behind the drug counter without using my facilities of observation, and in as short a time as possible, I wish to register my emphatic objection to the further open sale and use of coal tar derivatives, and I follow with my reasons.

My first notice of their danger was brought to me 25 years ago, in the early days of Acetanilid, by a physician who gave large doses and was enthusiastic over the results and saw no harm in its use. A few months later I noticed that the doses had been cut down 60 per cent, and I enquired the cause. "Well," says he, "I nearly killed half a dozen of my best friends, and I thought it time to stop."

As the years rolled on, scarcely a month passed by but what some incident occurred that told me we have admitted into common use the most dangerous drugs ever placed upon the pages of our text books. I have taken 1 1/2 grain doses of acetphenetidin with salol at various times for colds and rheumatism, and thought for years that it did me no harm, but now I am reluctantly compelled to acknowledge the contrary. For after two or three days' use, with a dosage of 1 1/2 grains three or four times a day I find myself almost completely benumbed and heart action very weak. And as I recall it I have always had these symptoms, though less pronounced, and yet it has taken years, with all my knowledge of the drug, to tumble to its viciousness. A physician very near to me commented using the same drug in small doses and in a short time could take as high as one dram, but he has quit. Here are the two extremes in dosage.

Another physician gave a colored woman the well-known mixture of soda acetanilid and caffeine and in a short time she was consuming one ounce every two weeks. The physician and the woman are both dead.

Still another M.D. who dispensed about 1,000 3 1/2 grain acetanilid tablets per month died with a bad heart. I do not know how many of them he took himself, but I have always had my convictions, and I am reasonably certain he died without blaming acetanilid for his condition.  Our sales for one year covering our retail trade and wholesale account of about 100 physicians totals 100,000 tablets containing some one of the coal tar products. The patent headache and pain remedies, estimated in 10 cent packages, total 4,000 and the cold cures 700 boxes, while the bulk goods, covering acetanilid, acetphenetidin, hexamethylene, sulfonal, trional, veronal, reaches 15 pounds. The profit on these goods should run about $400, but the public is welcome to any part of it, if they will let coal tar alone, either voluntarily or by compulsion. Now then, with these figures before us and with the facts plainly evident to druggist or physician who uses any powers of discernment, what change have the common people against the wiles of the impertinent manufacturer who repeatedly advertises "Perfectly Harmless."

I must now give you the cases which aroused in me the antagonism to the open sale of all remedies which contain any coal tar derivative, no matter how strongly fortified with correctives.

A close friend of mine had a young son come down with a cold, the physician prescribed 20 powders, two grains each of acetphenetidin. Some time after this, the box came back for a refill. I said to Jones, "Does the doctor want you to have these again?" He replied that he did. This happened several times in the course of a few years, and the boy became old enough to come to the store himself on errands, and I could not help noticing how white and pale he was, and it finally dawned on me what ailed that boy. I went to Jones and said to him, "While it is none of my business, I want to tell you with all the force possible, to quit killing that boy." "Well," he says, "I told my wife what you said, and she replied that she guessed the Doctor knew as much as I did about it, so he had dropped it, but now I believe you are right, and those powders stop right here." The boy today is a fine strapping rosy-cheeked youth.

A young man of this town, a perfect giant in strength, who could pick up my 175 pounds and throw me over his head, became addicted to the use of one of our popular effervescent preparations for headache. Some time after he commenced using it, I began to warn him against the frequent dosage, till he almost quit coming to our counter, not relishing my "preaching" as he styled it. I saw him, however, at all the other stores in town, and knew he was using it regularly. Several years passed, and some prescriptions containing heart remedies were ordered sent to this man, later a nurse was called. I asked the physician "What ails Brown?" "Heart trouble," says he. I told him what I knew, and he thanked me, not knowing the cause.

In a few days this perfect specimen of physical manhood died--died in the prime of life and with a strength that not one man in 10,000 ever attains, died because we men, druggists, doctors, and scientists have been so slow to recognize the slow, sneaking, insidious character of these vicious remedies. No one can make me believe, when I pick up the morning paper and read the same old story day after day, that Jones dropped dead in Texas, Smith in Main and Black in California, that Coal Tar was not at the bottom of 90 per cent of them.

For my part I am in this fight to stay. I have decreased our sales by one half, by my own warnings against their use.

But how much avail am I to the ignorant young rounder who comes out of a night's debauch with a big head and who still half drunk wanders from drug store to drug store and asks for his effervescent? No one guilty because the busy clerk or proprietor did not know that he had had another just 5 minutes previous. With all this knowledge before me I have been guilty of openly pushing the sale by the distribution of literature lauding these remedies, but no more for me.

And I ask my brother druggist not put out any advertising which may contain on one of its pages a recommendation for a coal tar remedy. I also hope to soon see upon the statues of every State a law similar to the one concerning Cocaine of our own State.

For I maintain that Opium or Cocaine are not one half as deadly as Coal Tar, for while they openly show what they can do, the other works silently till the end is near. For our part, we have quit putting up a remedy of our own, and I have in mind the adoption of a label to go on the outside of all packages sold, to read something like this:

"All remedies containing acetanilid, acetphenetidin or the like product of coal tar are dangerous and should be used with caution, in extreme cases only, and never habitually.
Considering the effect on myself, on the people I have sold to, the evidence of many physicians who have found out the pernicious effects and felt themselves compelled to abandon or modify its use, I venture the opinion that, while it is bad medicine for any one for regular use, on those who are extremely susceptible to it, it soon vitiates the blood and deprives them of their full powers of resistance, when sudden shock or disease o'er takes them.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rockingham Memorial Day Honors Confederate Dead, 1922

From the Rockingham Post-Dispatch, May 10, 1922, when a celebration of Memorial Day was a time for honoring Confederate war dead.

The members of the senior history class of R.H.S., accompanied by Miss Grove and Mr. W.N. Everette, on May 10th, in order to renew their memory and love for our Confederate dead made a journey to the various cemeteries surrounding Rockingham, where some time was spent in the decoration of graves and the recounting of deeds of valor accomplished by our Confederate dead. Large bunches of flowers were placed at the head of the graves of every soldier who served during the Civil War.

We feel that our state has gradually been getting to far away from this one day, sacred to the hearts of the people of the South. Time was when this day was a half holiday. Stores closed, school children paraded, and the whole town turned out to march to the cemetery but we feel that our people cannot lose their spirit of reverence. Our people have only glided into forgetfulness of this day and its memoirs.

The senior class has only made an effort to keep alive this day, and what it means to our beautiful Southland. May others in the  process of time more fully recognize and cherish this day as one never to be forgotten.

Charlie McCollum

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Shiftless Farmer by J.H. Parker, 1904

"The Shiftless Farmer--Do You Know Him?" a letter by J.H. Parker to The Progressive Farmer, Winston, N.C., published May 24, 1904

Editors Progressive Farmer:

Blake Johnson says he knows farmers who go to town six days in a week and leave little boys at home to do the work. Unfortunately, their name is legion. They are in almost every neighborhood. Their places look like widows' houses and their wives have to pick up wood along branches and glean the fence to get fire wood to cook their meals of Western pork and such vegetables as they can raise themselves. They have no houses for the fowls which sleep in trees and under the leaky shelter of his wagons and buggies. The wife had some chickens she had raised, but the gate was all to the pieces and the sow got in and ate them up. The fruit trees are never trimmed; they have run away to wood till they bring no fruit but knotty, wormy things unfit to eat. These men have no time to do anything at home; their interest seems to be centered in town. They are deeply interested in the war in the Far East, and will go to the postoffice and wait for hours to get the news, and if perchance they happen to stay at home one day, they will stop at the end of the row, and talk politics to whoever may chance to come along, till the signal for dinner is given and then wait for their little boys, or even girls, to come and take their horses to the lot and feed them the best they may. The stable is a miserable pen, unfit for any animal to stay in, and is only cleaned when manure is obliged to be had.

Tell these men of the duties they owe to their families, and it is to them a fable. Tell them of the great possibilities that lay before them, and is it any wonder that hard times are present with such? Would it not be in any business followed the same way? Is it any wonder that the occupation under such management has fallen into bad repute?

Now, I don't know Blake Johnson, but he seems to be a man that has the courage of his convictions. I think he is right. In the interest of humanity, such men as he speaks of should be sentenced to the roads or some other penal servitude that they may have opportunity to reflect on their ways and think of the good women they are murdering. Perhaps some brother may get mad at this, but I have heard that as long as men get mad at being told of their faults, there is chance for reformation. They tell us this a free country, and they have the right to do as they please, but freedom does not mean license to do wrong; and this conduct is unpardonable.

--J.H. Parker, Perquimans Co., N.C.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Attempted Arson Case Drags On, 1900

"James Drake Brought to Jail" from the Lenoir Topic, as published in the Watauga Democrat May 10, 1900

James Drake, one of the parties who were tried here two years ago for attempting to burn a store house in Hickory, was brought here from Spartanburg last Thursday night by Sheriff Boyd and lodged in jail. The former trial resulted in a miss trial, the parties gave bail, and the trial has been postponed for one cause or another ever since.

At the last term of the Criminal Court, James Drake did not appear, but sent a statement from a physician to the effect that he was unable to be here. The certificate was not in due form, however and his bond was forfeited. This being the case Solicitor Jones wrote Governor Russell on the 21st of April for a requisition on the Governor of South Carolina for Drake. On Tuesday evening of last week Sheriff Boyd went to Columbia, the requisition was honored, and Thursday night Drake was safely landed inside our new Pauly Jail. So he will be here next week, and the Solicitor hopes to dispose of the case which has already dragged along for over three years.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What People Were Thinking, 1900

 From the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., published May 10, 1900

 A woman can't be said to be practical if her wedding dress is not of a material that will make over nicely for children.

In nine cases out of ten, when a woman died, the neighbors say that she could have been saved if her husband had gotten scared soon enough.

When it is prayer meeting night the mother is allowed to go to represent the family, but if it is a church concert, the father and daughters attend.

One reason why there is not more good being done is because so many people want to wait until tomorrow to begin.

It won't do any good to pray for the South Sea Islander so long as you won't speak to the man who lives in the next house.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

North Carolina Is Full of Interesting Characters, 1945

From Carl Goerch's 1945 Book Characters...Always Characters

Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Jones, residents of Cumberland County, have 14 children. Included in this number are five sets of twins, which we believe is a record for any family in North Carolina.


Mr. Jim Dunn is a farmer and lives in Person County. He is 73 years old.

He has never seen a picture show.

He has never tasted ice cream.

He has never borrowed a cent in all his life.

He has never bought anything on credit.

He always is in bed by sundown.

He gets up every morning at 3:30.

He can neither read or write.

He has reared 10 children, all of them being well educated and all doing nicely.

He has never bought a pair of shoe-laces nor worn a necktie.

He and his wife never have stayed away from home a single night since they got married 50 years ago.


Add to the list of the world's curious vocations that of Kim Miller of the Lake Toxaway section of Transylvania County. Frank Buck has nothing on this virile mountain-bred man who not only brings 'em back alive but also twists their tails to boot.

What he brings back alive are rattlesnakes.

Genial and talkative, Kim has long been known as the master of rattlesnake hunters in the entire Southern mountains region. For almost 40 years he has been hunting them out in their lair, calmly and expertly slipping a loop over their necks, and robbing them forever of their freedom. In this length of time, he estimates that he has caught no less than 12,000 of the venomous, death-dealing rattlers. And he never has been bitten by one in his life.

Kim, of course, seeks out rattlesnakes for some other reason than just to hear them rattle. Two parts of the snake are valuable so far as he is concerned--the hide and the oil. He tans, stiffs and mounts the hides, later selling them to grace the collection of some armchair sportsman in New York and California who may have been on a rattlesnake hunt but didn't have any luck. The oil is one of the most valuable medicines known to man, and Kim finds a ready disposition for all he does not retain for the use of his own family and neighbors.


Ike London of Rockingham tells of a family of 12 living in Pee Dee village, every last one of whose first names starts with Mar. Here's the list:

The father is Marvin Odom.
The mother is Mary Odom.
And the children are:


Thad Eure, our popular Secretary of State, likes to tell about a little experience that happened while he was making a trip through the western part of the State.

He stopped at a filling station for some gas. An old fellow was a'settin' up against the side of the station, busily engaged in chewing tobacco. Thad walked up to him, stuck out his hand and said: "Eure; from Raleigh."

The old gentleman looked him over carefully and then said: "No, I ain't neither; I've been a-livin' here all my life."


Down in Washington, N.C., there used to be a crabbed, crusty old carpenter by the name of Walker. He didn't have much to do with anybody and was generally regarded as an old grouch; something of which I wasn't aware of at the time.

I'd meet Mr. Walker on the street and say: "Good morning."

The old man paid no attention.

Next morning the same thing would happen. And it also happened three or four mornings afterwards.
Once more I met him with the customary greeting: "Good morning."

Mr. Walker stopped in his tracks, glared at me and then shouted: "Good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning! THERE--let that do you for a week or so and quit bothering me with your damned 'good mornings'."


North Carolina has the distinction of possessing what is probably the largest private residence in the world. It's a frame house and it covers seven Acres. It is located in Gaston County.

After reading that, you're probably saying to yourself: "It can't be true!"

But it is.

The house actually does cover seven Acres. There's Mr. Acre and Mrs. Acre and five Acre children, making a total of seven in all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

L.G. Maxwell Shares News From Riverside, May 10, 1900

"Riverside Ripples" by L.G. Maxwell, from the Watauga Democrat, May 10, 1900

We are having fine, warm weather now, and the most of our people who are not sick or buying sheep are at work fixing for a crop.

There are several cases of grip in this community and a few cases of measles, with a good prospect for more.

And the sheep buyers, oh my! I saw one a few days ago who had  two. He said there were one buyer for every two sheep and he had gotten his two and would have to quit.

I enjoy reading the letters of our former countyman Rev. J.W. Thomas. He always writes such sensible letters. I hope he will write often for your paper.

I think our democratic party of North Carolina should be proud of the ticket nominated at the State Convention and of the platform adopted. With such a ticket and such a platform, I don't think the combined forces of Butler and Pritchard can beat us.

Now, let us have the right man for Congress with a good legislative and county ticket, and I think  the democratic party will be victorious in the coming election. And for Congress I know of no better man than that true and tried statesman of Watauga county. What do you say, Democrats.

--L.G. Maxwell

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Carl Goerch, From His 1945 'Book Characters...Always Characters'

From the dust jacket to Carl Goerch's book, Characters, Always Characters, published in 1945

Carl Goerch came to North Carolina from New York State in 1913 and has been a resident of the Tar Heel State ever since.

He first went to Washington, N.C., where he worked as city editor of the Washington Daily News. In 1920 the paper changed hands and Mr. Goerch went to New Bern, where he worked as managing editor of The Sun-Journal. He remained in New Bern for about two years. Then he went to Wilson, where he assumed charge of The Wilson Mirror, a morning paper which had been started six months earlier by Colonel John D. Langston, Roland Beasley and others. the Mirror suspended operations about two years later, following which Mr. Goerch returned to Washington and bought out The Washington Progress. He ran this for eight years.

In 1933 he went to Raleigh, where he broadcast daily the activities of the North Carolina General Assembly, a job that he has held down ever since. That same year he started The State magazine, which is published weekly and has a general circulation throughout the length and breadth of North Carolina.

Mr. Goerch also has had a number of articles published in The American Magazine, Nation's Business and other national publications. He makes his home in Raleigh, is married and has two daughters. A portion of practically every week is spent traveling over the state.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Walter "Pete" Murphy of Rowan County, 1939

"Walter Murphy: Solon of Salisbury" by Robert C. Lawrence, from Here In Carolina, published in 1939

Few people have ever heard of Walter Murphy, but all Carolina--from the fishermen on the coast, the field hands on the farm, the section gang on the railroad, the thousands in the factories, the Cherokees on their reservation in the high mountains of Swain--is intimately acquainted with the gentleman affectionately known as Pete Murphy. In reality the two names designate the same individual--Walter being only the alias which he uses on occasion when he wishes to travel incognito.

He hails from our county of Rowan, so prolific in its politicians, so satisfying in the quality of its statesmen. Among her illustrious solons may be noted Congressmen Nathaniel Boyden, Archibald Henderson, Charles Fisher, Burton Craige, John S. Henderson and United States Senator Lee S. Overman. From her soil sprang John W. Ellis, governor when the roar of the Confederate batteries at Charleston ushered in the Civil War, and who wires President Lincoln: "You can get no troops from North Carolina." His nomination so embittered editor William W. Holden that he left the Democratic Party and became in time the Republican Governor of our State in the days which followed that war.
And Rowan has been productive of great lawyers. Judge Spruce McCay had as a student one Andrew Jackson, but dismissed him as a rowdy, cock-fighting profligate; whereupon his legal education was completed under Judge John Stokes, the first Federal judge for North Carolina, whose sister was the great grandmother of our Pete, and whose brother was Montford Stokes, Governor and later United States Senator. Many other illustrious lawyers passed all or substantial parts of their careers in Salisbury, such as William R. Davie, father of the University; Richard M. Pearson, chief justice, 42 years on the Supreme Court bench; Burton Craige Sr., who moved adoption of the Ordinance of Secession in 1861; Hamilton C. Jones, court reporter, father of H.C. Jones of Charlotte; Kerr Craige; Charles Price, and many others.

"Thar's gold in them thar hills," too, for at Gold Hill in southern Rowan are mines that produced the yellow metal long prior to its discovery in California. But when Rowan wishes to exhibit her largest nugget, she sends our Pete down to Raleigh, and she does so with recurrent regularity. And when the seventh grade from Pink Hill visits the house and is accorded the courtesies of the floor (as is usual), the first inquiry the children make is: which one is Pete Murphy?

At the University he majored in football, minored in law, got a degree in 1894, and it was not an accident that his first vote was cast for Cleveland, for I would define him as a Cleveland Democrat, with all the rugged strength and devotion to duty which characterized that premier of American presidents. Since 1894 he has enjoyed an extensive practice at the Bar--for he really does practice in his spare time--but he really feels at home only in Raleigh, and unless he is within her gates Raleigh feels there is something lacking. He took time out to stay in Washington during Wilson's administration, where he was assistant to Col. W.H. Osborn, Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and during the present administration he helped install the Federal Deposit Insurance system in Southern banks. But his best service has been legislative.

Two men top legislative veterans in Carolina: Governor Rufus A. Doughton and Mr. Murphy. Rowan has sent him to the House 15 terms, and he is young yet for his legislative career only began in 1897. his outstanding ability, his popularity with his fellow solons, his vast store of legislative knowledge, twice placed him in the Speaker's chair. Here again he was only following political traditions in Rowan, which also furnished Speakers in David F. Caldwell, Nathan Fleming and Lee S. Overman; and gave two Speakers to the Senate in John Steele and Charles Fisher.

As Governor Doughton has retired from the legislative field, Mr. Murphy reigns supreme as the acknowledged authority on all things pertaining to legislation. They tell me that Henry M. London is quite a capable Legislative Reference Librarian, but at time he does have to refer to his books, whereas our Pete can supply the information right out of his head. He can tell right off the bat who introduced the Revenue Act in 1925, what its eighth section contained, who introduced the 6 per cent interest bill in 1885, who fathered the Railroad Commission, who was member from Tyrrell in 1893--and he can quote the words with which Aycock opened his great inaugural.

The thing which has singularized his political career is his absolute independence of thought and action. He never straddles, sidesteps or hairsplits. He is on one side of the fence or the other; he never sits on top waiting to see which way the cat will jump. If, mayhap, he does not like Ma Perkins, or does not believe in the principles of the C.I.O., he comes right out and says so. And he believes that even a young Republican member should be allowed to represent the county that sent him to Raleigh And lots of people admire him for just this high quality of courage, for they know just where to place him and that once placed he will stand without hitching.

In his very first term in 1897, he led the fight in behalf of ratification of the lease to the Southern of the North Carolina Railroad. He can lead a minority cause with gallantry as he did the contest for repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment; or a more popular cause such as increased appropriations for the University. And he can write orations equal to those of Cicero or Henry W. Grady, and when I knew him back in the old days he could speak them too--with all the fire and fervor of that greatest of Southern orators.

The institution nearest his heart, the real core of his being, is the University of North Carolina, and he comes by this trait through inheritance, for his forebear, Alexander Long, graduated there as early as 1811. He has rendered his alma mater a wide variety of service, having been Secretary of its Alumni Association, founder of its Alumni Review, a member of its Board of Trustees since 1901, and its executive committee cannot hold a meeting unless he is present. Judge Francis D. Winston, sage of Bertie, is his only rival in the affections of the University; and when President Graham hears that Murphy is coming back to Raleigh, he breathes a sign of relief, for he knows there is one man on whom he can count for support for an enlarged program of expansion.

His avocation is North Carolina history of which he knows more than any other man now living. Did you inquire the name of the attractive lady across the street? He tells you instantly that she is the granddaughter of the third cousin--once removed--of Governor Abner Nash. He can tell you why the Confederacy located a Navy Yard in Charlotte, and I have heard that he can repeat the text of Colonel Kirkpatrick's introduction of President Wilson. He can give you the real name of the "railroad feller" who was Judge Walter Clark's friend up in Yancey; and who is in training as the next Governor from Cleveland. He is the only person, now alive, who knows whether Andrew Jackson was born in North Carolina.

He is a man of great personal charm and magnetism and numbers his friends by the thousands from the mountains to the sea. In fact were I asked who is the most popular of our citizens, I would hesitate long before putting another name ahead of his. But I shall not allow him to have history all to himself. Do you know why he selected Salisbury as his habitation? It is because that word is of Anglo-Saxon derivation and means--dry town!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Local News from Watauga County, May 8, 1900

"Local News" from the Watauga Democrat, May 8, 1900

The county commissioners will be in session on Monday next.

Mrs. Pat. Pendley of Blowing Rock was in town Monday.

Corn planting is upon us and the weather is just perfect. Farmers are now quite busy.

Dr. Hogshead was in town yesterday. He had been to Ashe on professional business.

Services in the Methodist church next Sunday at 11 a.m. will be conducted by Rev. A.L. Stanford.

Register of Deeds Jacob May has been confined to his room for several days with measles but is now able to be out again.

A.W. Beach, C.D. Taylor and E.M. Greer compose the Election Board for Watauga. The gentlemen are all well qualified for the position.

Atty. McNeil and Editor Pearson of the Jefferson Patriot spent Saturday night at the Blackburn House on their way to the Republican Judicial Convention. We have tried hard to learn who was nominated at the Republican Judicial Convention at Hickory, but up to the time we go to press we have no positive information. We heard on Tuesday night that Moses Harshaw was nominated but do not give it out as correct.

The commencement exercises tomorrow promise to be very interesting. The exercises will begin at 10 a.m. and will continue through the day, with appropriate exercises at night. A large crowd is expected.

Just as we go to press we learn that a corps of railroad engineers are now in the county looking over the line preparatory to making a survey from Lenoir to Tennessee. This certainly seems that the company means business.

Mrs. C.C. Pennell died at her home at Horton on the 1st after an illness of some weeks from pneumonia. Mrs. Pennell was a daughter of W.W.D. Edmisten, and a lady much loved by those who knew her. Her husband, parents and relatives have our deepest sympathy.

Chas. B. Aycock, the next Governor of North Carolina, will address the people of Watauga in Boon on the 25th. Let every citizen, to whatever party he may belong, be sure to attend and hear the issues of the day discussed by him. It will pay you for your time.

Blowing Rock Township held a stock law election on the 1st and it carried by a majority of 61. This is certainly a move in the right direction, and we think it advisable for Boone township to take a vote on the same as soon as practical, and if carried, the expense of building several miles of fence on the Boone and Blowing Rock Township line could be saved. The stock law is bound to ultimately sweep the county and now that the good work has begun, we hope it will be accomplished at least in Boone township. Let us hear from some of our people on the subject and get the matter agitated.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Local and Business News, Watauga County, May 19, 1921

"Local Affairs" from the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., May 19, 1921

Attorney Mark Squires of Lenoir transacted legal business in Boone Tuesday.

James C. Rivers is spending the week with relatives in Iredell County.

Robert Moretz returned from Butler, Tenn., last week where he was in school during the session just closed.

Mr. J.M. Moretz is having constructed a flight of cement steps reaching form the sidewalk to his pretty home on the hill.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence A. Ellis left Tuesday for Knoxville, Tenn., where Mrs. Ellis, who has been in rather poor health, will take hospital treatment.

Mr. Hartley Hunt of Kings Creek, N.C., was a pleasant business caller at the Democrat office Tuesday.

Mr. Roger Robbins and Miss Florence Teague, both of Caldwell County, were married at the Methodist parsonage in Boone last Sunday, the Rev. G.C. Brinkman officiating.

Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Brown left last week for Peoria, Ill., where Mr. Brown will study manual training for the summer. Mrs. Brown will visit relatives in Vermillion County, Indiana, and return after a few weeks.

Nobels W.R. Gragg, E.S. Coffey, A.E. South and I.G. Greer are to leave for Asheville to attend the Shriners' Ceremonial to be held there Friday and Saturday.

Mr. J.W. Hodges and family left in their car yesterday morning for a pleasure trip to Asheville, Knoxville and other cities and town in Tennessee.

Mr. J."G. Norris Jr. was cruelly hurt Monday by his team running away with him. He was thrown from the wagon and his left lower jaw was broken, the left cheek crushed, and his condition is fearful. Dr. J.W. Jones was called, who removed the crushed bones, wired the jaw bones together, and he hopes that the unfortunate sufferer will eventually recover, but, of course, it will take time.

A big delegation from Boone and the county at large will leave Friday morning for the district road meeting to be held in North Wilkesboro.

Atty. J.C. Fletcher of Lenoir spent Sunday with his family in Boone and on his return Monday took with him his daughter, Miss Lina, who will remain with him a few days.

The Watauga Furniture and Lumber Co. is erecting another large building at their plant to accommodate their rapidly growing business, this being the second enlargement since their opening.

Friend F.P. Jennings was in to see us this week and started an advertising campaign with us for the Hupmobile car. He just came over form Lenoir with a new roadster and is ready to demonstrate. He came all the way from Lenoir to Blowing Rock in high gear, which feat proves that the Hup is a car of exceptional merit.

The membership of the Boone Commercial Club has been increased from about 40 to 137. As it now stands there are 75 men and 62 ladies, representing nearly every business and most of the homes in Boone, and some in the county. A complete list is being prepared. Everybody should join, not only in Boone but all over the county, for the club is working for the whole county.

The dues are $1 to join and $1.50 each quarter; ladies free. Please hand your dues to W.D. Farthing, Treasurer, at the Watauga County Bank.

Road matters, a clean-up campaign and forest preservation were discussed at a called meeting Monday night. There will be a regular meeting next Monday night at the court house. Everybody, whether member of not, is invited.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning, 1900

"A Song of House Cleaning" from the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., published on May 10, 1900

Father, dear father, come home with me now

For ma has some carpet to beat.

She has got all the furniture out in the yard,

From the front door clean out to the street.

The stove must come down and be put in the shed,

And the yard must be cleaned for some grass,

For it's time to clean house, and the devil's to pay,

And the front windows need some new glass.


Father, dear father, come home with me now

And bring some bologna and cheese.

It's 'most 12 o'clock and there's nothing to eat.

I'm so hungry I'm weak in the knees.

All the dinner we'll have will be cold scraps and such,

And we'll have to eat standing up too,

For the table and all are in the back yard;

Oh, I wish that house cleaning were through!


Father, dear father, come home with me now,

For ma is sad as a Turk;

She says that you're only a lazy old thing,

And that she will put you to work!

There's painting to do and paper to hang,

And windows and casings to scrub.

For it's house cleaning time;

And you've got to come home,

And revel in suds and cold grub!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tribute to Belle Edmisten Shull, 1900

"In Memory of Mrs. C.C. Pennell" by M.C. Shull from the Watauga Democrat, May 10, 1900

On the morning of the 1st at her home near Boone, Watauga county, the Lord called for Belle and she quietly passed from this earth to the beyond, aged 27 years, 5 months and 20 days.

Her maiden name was Edmisten, daughter of W.W.D. Edmisten. She leaves a husband and four affectionate children to mourn their loss. This was a model family, father and mother laboring to render each other and their children happy, and when the earthly tie is broken it is natural that the loss will be the more keenly felt. All was done for her, it seems, that could be, but without avail. Pneumonia and other diseases had gotten such a strong grasp on her that she realized death was near, and god in His infinite goodness and wisdom said, "It is enough, come up higher and claim the crown of eternal life."

In early life she joined the Baptist church and lived a most devoted and exemplary member, and through faith in her Redeemer triumphed over the fear of death.

She was a loving wife, a kind mother, and much esteemed by all who knew her.

The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Cherry, and the remains were laid to rest in the family grave yard to await the resurrection.

Thus has passed from this earth a good woman, her going has left aching hearts and empty hands that would have delighted to minister to her happiness; still we will not murmur but yield her up, knowing that our "Father's had hath dealt the stroke, and he doeth all things well."

Yet it is so hard to give up loved ones, but we should comfort one another with the hope of heaven, and I would say to the bereaved ones to look beyond the grave with its gloom and follow with an eye of faith the spirit of Belle as she joins the glad company who surround the throne of Him who hath said "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Farewell dear Belle forever.

The parting gives me pain,

But thank the Lord we'll meet again

In heaven where Jesus reigns.

--M.C. Shull

Monday, May 11, 2015

Church Near Cedar Grove, N.C., May 1940

Photos of a small church near Cedar Grove, N.C., taken by the W.P.A. and part of the Library of Congress collection. All were taken May, 1940.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Another Republican Comes Out Openly for White Supremacy" from the Watauga Democrat, May 10, 1900

 Dear Editor,

There is a great question before the people of North Carolina this year. It is the question of permanent white supremacy or permanent negro equality. The men who are trying to save the negro from eternal and just obscurity are telling the white men of North Carolina who are unable to read and write that they are in danger of being disfranchised.

Now, there is not a sound-minded man in the state ho if he will be stop a moment and reason that will believe the silly arguments put up by these so-called leaders.

Mr. Editor, I am a republican, but when it comes to a direct question of whites vs. negroes, I can not, in justice to the Anglo Saxon blood that flows in my veins, array myself on the side of the African. I am for white supremacy "first, last, and all the time."

As a republican, I consider that the republican leaders in the state have made a serious mistake in placing themselves as a hindrance in the pathway of progress, for it is a self-evident fact that the Old North State can never ben anything of which to be proud so long as we have negroes in the halls of Congress and in our State Legislature.

White republicans who do not believe in negro equality have but one course to pursue, and that is to repudiate the leaders of the party in the state  and vote for the amendment. If I have not made myself plain enough, I will write still further on the subject.

Very truly, Thomas P. Smith, Silverstone, May 7

The Atlanta Constitution's Editorial About North Carolina's White Supremacy Amendment, 1900

"A White Man's State" from the Atlanta Constitution as published in the Watauga Democrat, May 10, 1900

In North Carolina, whose election will occur on August 2, there will be elected a Governor and other State House officers and the people will vote on the amendment passed by the legislature and designed to virtually eliminate the black race from State politics. In the proposed amendment there are qualifications which will disfranchise a large majority of the blacks, and a "grandfather clause" which will except the whites from the operation of the law. It is practically a copy of the Louisiana elective franchise law, the constitutionality of which has been questioned. In the last election Fusionists carried the State by a plurality of 17,937, in a total vote of 339,990.

North Carolina is once more a white man's State, and the work of its second redemption will be completed next August.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Should Negroes Follow Orders and Voluntarily Stop Voting? 1900

"Negro In the Background," from the Watauga Democrat, May 3, 1900.

In Henderson, a city of 5,000 inhabitants, at the Republican primary held on Saturday not a single white man was present and all the delegates selected were negroes.

In Warren at the county convention the attendance was nearly 100 and not a single white man was present. The negroes, however, in response to orders, elected two white men as delegates to the state convention.

In Lenoir county of 90 present, 70 were negroes.

In Guilford the Negroes obeyed orders and not one was present as delegate or alternate.

In Jones county three-fourths of the delegates were negroes, but the negroes were told to take a back seat and white men were elected to the State convention.

These are a few sample Republican conventions. The revenue officers, who absolutely run the Republican party in North Carolina, have had their doodles at work for more than a month travelling about the state telling the negroes that they must take a back seat in the state convention this year in order to defeat the amendment. "If you are prominent in the convention this year," is the argument used, "you will never get a chance to vote again. Take a back seat this year and after we get in we will let you sit at the first table." That argument has had its effect in most counties, and the negro is consenting to disfranchisement in the state convention  this year in order to help defeat the amendment and get pie next year.

But the white folks are "on to" their scheme!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Should Negroes Be Allowed to Vote? Amendment to State Constitution Says No, 1900

"White Supremacy. The Welfare of the People of North Carolina Demands It," by Dr. J.M. Isaacs from the editorial page of the Watauga Democrat, May 3, 1900. This, of course, would only have taken the vote from African-American men because women weren't allowed to vote in 1900. I wondered what the poll tax of $300 would mean in today's dollars and found an inflation calculator at According to that source, $300 in 1900 would be worth $8,571.43 in 2014. Imagine having to pay $8,571.43 in order to vote! Imagine an amendment to the state constitution that would effectively take the vote away from African Americans!!

Pros and cons there has been a great deal said from the mountains to the sea-shore concerning this the greatest question in the history of the state.

Not long since we wrote a sketch, as we now intend to do, in the interest, not of the Democratic, nor of any other party as to that, but in the common interest of that which has been the founder of the greatest governments, enterprises, etc., which have given new life and energy to the almost lifeless and which has been the harbinger of peace and in short for all that is good, great and noble. As Republicans we are in favor of the adoption of the amendment to the constitution. First, because we are tried of being accused of associating and attempting to keep ourselves upon an equality with the negro socially, morally, politically and otherwise. Second because the negro has no business in politics, ever being incompetent to figure politically and nothing but a nuisance to respectable and decent society. Third, because we are thoroughly satisfied that it will not disfranchise or deprive any deserving white man from his privilege to vote. Fourth, because we think the educational qualification embodied in section four (which applies only to those who shall become of age after January the first 1900) will be a great incentive to higher education and equally as good if not better than the Massachusetts compulsory school law. Fifth, because we feel assured that it will only tend to build up the great Republican party if we would show by our actions and our votes to North Carolina and the world that we desire nothing by the way of government except it be given by the intelligent white man. This, we as a party, all favor, so we say by our words, but as actions speak louder than words, how can this be harmonized and shown to be the truth in its fullest sense if we work and vote against the adoption of the constitutional amendment which, if adopted, means white rule and death to negro rule or if defeated means a continuance of negro office holding form constable to congressman as is already shown to the world in the case of Geo. H. White, the present Congressman from the  2nd district, which is a reproach upon us as a white people. Also reference is made to the fact that at least 20 counties in the state have been ruled almost entirely by the black race of North Carolina from 1894 down to 1898, the result of which was a solid defeat for us in '98, also as a remedy for this evil the proposed amendment is now offered.

We hold the grand old party's principles (except this negro rule) as dear to our hearts as Hons. Linney, Blackburn, or Pritchard and more so than Marion Butler, whose only aims seem for office even if it takes the sacrifice of the poor, helpless white people of the state.

We, as a party, are glad to stand side by side upon questions which conflict not with the rights of voters of the Anglo-Saxon blood but when a question of such magnitude as that of the amendment which the substance is who you are; where do you stand; are you for the white man and white man's government, or are you for the negro and negro domination and a general uproar and an everlasting reproach to North Carolina and the best white citizenship that the sun ever shown upon? Is asked us at the ballet box; we will answer it in favor of white supremacy.

We are pleased to see a number of our great leaders, to wit: Thomas Settle, Judge Starbuck, the Governor and various others of high repute and they, fighting for such a noble cause, may hope to be the stars of the first magnitude, while their opponents will surely vanish with the dark cloud on its back track behind the occidental hills to rise no more.

In 1898 a mistake was made, by us, in representing that should the Democratic party go into power in this state a property qualification of $300 would be required before we could vote, for we now stand betrayed to our constituents because no property qualification whatever is required in the proposed amendment and our constituents are enabled to realize the misrepresentation, hence questions of great moment to us and our party interest can be put to the voter with little effect, for this reason we should be cautious about representations by the unscrupulous) with regard to this amendment for after August we will see that no deserving white men will be disfranchised.

We think if only one party or the other should be more earnest in working for the amendment it should be our party because actions speak louder than words for when upon the various campaigns of the past we were accused of being the negro party and favoring negro equality we have denied it. Now the test is here. Within three short months it is upon us. What shall we do?

Let us throw technicalities aside and not make it a party measure but look upon it without any degree of prejudice, closely study the matter and not be led against our interest and that of our institution and noble countrymen by those designing politicians any further.

In conclusion allow me to say to one and all this is an opportunity of a life time by which plans are devised to rid ourselves of the greatest curse, not only to the State of North Carolina but to this great Union of ours.

  1. Every person presenting himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language; and before he shall be entitled to vote, have paid on or before the first day in March of the year in which he proposed to vote, his poll tax as prescribed by law, for the previous year. Poll taxes shall be a lien only on assessed property, and no process shall issue to enforce the collection of the same except against assessed property.
  2. No male person who was on January 1, 1867, or at any time prior thereto, entitled to vote under the laws of any state in the United States wherein he then resided, and no lineal descendant of any such person, shall be denied the right to register and vote at any election in this state by reason of his failure to possess the educational qualifications described in section 4 of this Article; Provided, He shall have registered in accordance with the terms of this section prior to December 1, 1908. The General Assembly shall provide for a permanent record of all persons who registered under this section on or before November 1, 1908, and all such persons shall be entitled to register and vote at all elections by the people in this state, unless disqualified under section 2 of this Article: Provided, Such persons shall have paid their poll tax as required by law.

Above are sections 4 and 5 verbatim regarding qualification of amendment to voters.

--J.M. Issacs

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Carolina Farmers Using Modern Chemicals, 1946

"Carolina Farm Comment" by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published May 13, 1946, in the Wilmington Star

So many new chemicals are being prepared for use on the farm these days that it is hard for one to keep up with all of them. All sorts of preparations are being developing for the killing of weeds, for instance. Only last week, Farm Agent A.V. Thomas conducted a demonstration using chemicals to control sandspurs in a Jones County pasture.

The tests were made on E.E. Bell’s farm where the sandspurs had covered a small area. The results are not yet apparent but, if these chemicals are like others which have appeared on the farm market, they presumably make the weeds grow until they are exhausted and then die. That seems a strange way to kill a plant, but that’s the way it is.

This new chemical, Fermate, used to prevent blue mold in tobacco plant beds seems to have done a satisfactory job. Robeson County farmers say the blue mold situation has cleared up nicely in that county. Every man who used the Fermate to control the disease this year will use it again next season. They also found that while nearly every bed sprayed with the Fermate had a little of the blue mold, it was only a light infestation, and the plants recovered quickly. The spray really controlled the trouble until the plants were ready to be set.

That seems to be the experience of most tobacco growers. The Fermate is not an absolute preventive, but it does keep the blue mold under control and so well checked that the plants are able to grow out of it without too much damage. The material is worth the price just for this good effect alone. Many of those who had trouble with the disease, in spite of spraying, perhaps did not use the material exactly as it should have been used, because many growers had to apply the spray with make-shift apparatus. It was nearly impossible to get the spraying equipment needed. Tobacco growers say they hope they shall be able to get such equipment next year.

It seems a shame, they say, that farmers are compelled to lose so much now because they cannot get tractors, plows, combines, and other equipment that they so badly need, all because selfish interests are holding up the production of coal and manufactured products to their own personal advantage.

Jonas Fields of Seven Springs in Wayne County has just completed the work with another chemical which he used last fall in controlling weeds in his tobacco bed. He used Cyanamid to do this and secured excellent results. All spring, while his neighbors were laboriously picking or pulling the weeds from their plant beds with their hands, Mr. Fields had practically no weeds. But he did not follow the manufacturers’ recommendations in using the chemical. Instead, he just let it remain on the top of the soil until it came time for him to plant his tobacco seed. Then he prepared the plant bed in the usual manner.

He secured such good results that a number of top men, officials of the manufacturing company, went down to Wayne County to see for themselves. They told Farm Agent C.S. Mintz that they were very much impressed with Mr. Fields’ results. There is no doubt that this cyanamid does control the weeds. Joe Anthony, over in Wilson County, says there is no comparison as to the amount of hand labor needed where the material is used and where it is, there are no weeds. Wilson tobacco growers are progressive and they try out every good thing coming their way. Their use of the cyanamid each fall on tobacco plant beds has increased rapidly.

Still another new chemical is being tried out by eastern Carolina tobacco growers this year. This is our old friend copper sulphate or bluestone. Some growers have added a little of this bluestone to their tobacco fertilizers, particularly to dark soils, to get the effect of the copper as a fertilizing element. Preliminary tests show that the copper does add to the yield and vigor of the plant on such dark soils, but it also affects the taste of the tobacco.

Two Wayne County growers will try one acre each with the copper suphate added to their fertilizer this year, but the material is not being recommended by Experiment Station research men.

A.M. Frazelle of Richlands, Route 1, in Onslow County, used Cyanamid on 400 yards of tobacco bed last fall to control weeds, and has had practically no weeds at all this spring, reports Charley Clark, farm agent. Right next to this treated bed, however; is another bed of 400 yards which had so many weeds that there have been practically no tobacco plants available for setting.

It cost Mr. Frazelle just about $150 to have his weeds picked from his tobacco beds not treated with the cyanamid, and, nothing where they were treated. He has invited all of his neighbors over to see the difference, an no one need ask what he plans to do this coming fall as he again selects the sites for his plant beds.

Mr. Frazelle also used the Fermate solution to spray his plant beds this spring, treating them twice each week. There was little or no blue mold on the treated beds. Those not treated were severely attacked by the disease. It seems, therefore, that all of us must learn to know and live with these new chemicals as they come along if we are to stay in the farming business.

Dairymen are getting ready to use the new DDT spray to keep flies under control this summer. Charles Turner, who owns the Vine Knoll Dairy near Reidsville in Rockingham County, has just applied his first spray of DDT to the walls and windows of his milk house; and, when J.E. Foil went out there the other afternoon, not a fly could be found on the premises. In fact, such excellent control was secured that Mr. Foil has asked all the other dairymen of Rockingham County to visit Mr. Turner’s dairy and see the results for themselves.

Down in Hyde County, R.B. Stotesbury is spraying one-half of his apple orchard with a DDT solution and comparing it with his regular spray material. D.M. Swink, a neighbor, is using the material to spray his pecan grove so as to control the nut chose bearer, an insect which has been causing him considerable losses each season. J.P. Woodward, farm agent in Hyde County, says this spraying is really experimental work and is being done in cooperation with Dr. Clyde Smith, associate entomologist of the North Carolina Experiment Station.

Dr. Smith, by the way, has prepared a rather interesting little multilithed pamphlet on the practical use of DDT on North Carolina farms; and, if you would like to have a copy, let me know and I shall be glad to send one to you free of charge. Just drop a line to Frank Jeter, editor, North Carolina State College, and your copy will come immediately.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

North Carolina Women Head to Ceylon Meeting, 1956

From the May 1956 issue of Extension Farm-News

Six North Carolina rural women will be delegates to the annual meeting of Associated Country Women of the World next winter. The meeting will be held in Ceylon.

Miss Ruth Current, state home demonstration agent, made the announcement.

The six Tar Heel women scheduled to attend the Ceylon meeting are Mrs. J.C. Berryhill, Charlotte, Route 8; Mrs. E.P. Gibson, Laurel Hill, Route 1; Mrs. Charles W. Gough, Hamptonville; Mrs. L.B. Pate, New Bern, Route 2; Mrs. Ralph Proffit, Bald Creek; and Mrs. Robert Starling, Greenville, Route 3. Miss Current expects to accompany the North Carolina delegation to the meeting and the group will be away from this country approximately a month.

Forced Air Removed Feed Flavors in Milk, 1948

From Research and Farming, the 1948 annual report of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, published by N.C. State College, Raleigh

Several different types of food flavors can be removed from milk by blowing air through it, according to W.M. Roberts, F.M. Haig, and M.L. Shumaker, who have completed several trials of the new method.

The process consists of heating the off-flavored milk to 150 degrees F., and blowing filtered air through it until the flavor is removed. This usually requires from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the intensity of the off-flavor. It is necessary to spray milk by circulation into the vat so that the foam which forms can be dispersed. After the flavor is removed, the milk is homogenized at 2,500 to 3,000 pounds per square inch pressure and cooled.

Practically all volatile feed flavors are eliminated by this treatment. The milk has normal keeping qualities. From 3 to 8 per cent of the water is lost by evaporation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rural Patients Pay More for Health Care, 1948

From Research and Farming, the 1948 annual report of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, N.C. State College, Raleigh

In a sample survey of 500 rural families of eastern North Carolina, C. Horace Hamilton and staff of the Department of Rural Sociology found that 27 per cent of the families lived more than 10 miles from a doctor and more than 20 miles from a hospital.

The families living at these distances from doctors and hospitals had about the same amount of illness as other families. The survey also showed that they use hospitals and doctors to about the same extent. However, there were two important differences:
The isolated families did not and frequently could not get medical service in their homes; and
If they did get a doctor make the trip, the expense was greater.

Night Calls Higher
The cost of getting a doctor in the country varied with the distance the patient lived from town. The average fee for one call at the doctor’s office was found to be $2.80. The average fee for a home call in the day was $7.12, and for a home call at night, $9.35. On the average, the cost of a call to a patient’s home at night was 31 per cent greater than a daytime call at the same distance.

On the average the cost of a home call in the country started at $2.55 for no distance and increased at the rate of $.66 for each mile the rural family lived from the doctor. This relationship may be tabled as follows:

Cost of Doctor’s Visit to Patient’s Home by Miles Traveled
Miles Traveled
Average Cost

The initial cost of $2.55 for a home visit with no miles traveled was about the same as the charge for an office visit.

Few Night Calls Result
As a result of the high cost of home calls, especially at night, there are very few such calls. Also there is an increasing tendency for doctors to ask patients to come to their office or to the hospital. This not only saves the doctor’s time but also makes it possible to use laboratory and X-ray equipment which cannot be taken into the country.

Added to this trend in medical service is the fact that more doctors are leaving the small country towns and are located at centers large enough for hospitals. In view of this trend, the development of a rural ambulance service and good rural roads become even more necessary.