Sunday, August 30, 2015

Low-Income Families to Make Mattresses With Surplus Cotton, 1939

“Applications Made in Alamance County for Cotton, Ticking” from the August 8, 1939, issue of the Burlington Daily Times-News

Family Cash Income Must Be Low Before Approved; Total of 153 Are Listed

A total of 153 families have made application for the surplus cotton and ticking which will be used in a mattress making project being sponsored by the federal government for low income families, county farm leaders, who have charge of the project, announced today.

One hundred and twenty applications were necessary before the project could be set up on the county. Applications were accepted only from those farm families with cash incomes of less than $400 annually.

The program, designed by the federal government to use up the great supply of surplus cotton owned by the government, will get underway in the county as soon as materials for which application has been made arrives.

An organization will be set up distributing the materials and supervising the construction of the mattresses, all of which will be done at centers to be designated later. The farm extension department will be responsible for supervision of instruction.

Actual construction of the mattress making will be done by the members of the families themselves at the centers under the instruction of NYA workers who will be trained for the jobs.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thousand People Attend Concord Presbyterian Church's 150 Anniversary Celebration, 1925

“Hon. W.F. Stevenson Speaks at Loray” from the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Concord Presbyterian Church Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary—Around 1,000 Persons in Attendance—Historic Church Has Grown a Minister Every Six Years for 150 Years Existence.

The Concord (Iredell) Presbyterian church, Loray, organized in 1775 with Dr. James Hall, noted educator, soldier, scholar and preacher as its first pastor, celebrated its 150th anniversary.

The address of Hon. W.F. Stevenson of Cheraw, S.C., Congressman from the fifth South Carolina district, was an outstanding feature, as was also a sketch of the history of the church by Rev. T.M. Stevenson. The present pastor, Rev. S.L. Cahtey, president, and the morning program began at 10:30 o’clock. Approximately 1,000 people—members of the congregation and friends from far and near—were in attendance. A picnic dinner was served at noon. The afternoon was given over to reminiscences by two former pastors, Revs. W.C. Brown of Statesville and E.D. Brown of China Grove. Rev. P.P. Winn and Rev. C.M. Tidball, earlier pastors of the church, were unable to be present.

The morning service opened with the pastor’s invocation, followed by the address of welcome by Mr. W.O. Morrison, present member of the Concord church, who expressed pride in the past history of the institution and a faith in its future. Greetings were extended by Mr. R.R. Clark for the First Presbyterian Church, Statesville, and by representatives of the Shiloh, Clio, New Salem and Stony Point churches.

Bethany Presbyterian church was organized also 150 years ago and is described as a “twin sister” of the Concord church. “Daughters” of Concord are Shiloh, Clio and Salem, and “granddaughters” Taylorsville and Stony Point. The mother church is the First church, Statesville.

The first congregation of the Concord Presbyterian church met for worship in a log structure at the rear of the present building. The old communion cup, used at that time, is still preserved as a valued relic.

The historical sketch of the church, written about 16 years ago by Dr. S.W. Stevenson of Mooresville and read today in published form by Rev. T.M. Stevenson is an interesting review of the people’s devotion to the cause of their God and loyalty to the faith of their fathers. A century and a half past—and the rural congregation carries on in the forward march of Christianity!

Concord church is spoken of as “the center of as pure religion and sound morals as are to be found anywhere.” A long list of illustrious sons and daughters of the little church includes physicians, lawyers, statesmen, soldiers and ministers. It is said that this church can boast a record probably unsurpassed anywhere, that of giving to the Christian world an average of one minister for ever six years of her life.

Rev. S.L. Cathey, present beloved pastor, has served the Concord church since 1917. The membership is now 373.

Southern Presbyterianism

Hon. W.F. Stevenson presented as a distinguished son of the Concord Presbyterian church, “One who has attained a marked degree of success,” spoke interestingly at this time of the principal sources of Presbyterianism of the Southern General Assembly, discussing the “kind of stuff” of which the early defenders of the Presbyterian faith were made and the responsibility attaching t such a heritage as is the Presbyterian church’s today.

The Congressman outlined as three principal sources of Presbyterianism the Huguenots from France, the Dutch, and the Scotch from Ireland. The Huguenot movement was largely local, he said; the Dutch settled for the most part in New York and other northern states. It was the Scotch who came here to trade who were really the progenitors of Presbyterianism in this country.

Born of sturdy stock and strengthened by persecution and trials, the Scotch-Irish have evern been a dominant force in the religious life of a nation which, according to Congressman Stevenson, has a form of government founded on the genius of John Calvin.

The Presbyterian form of church government, which recognizes God and not the Pope as the church head, which places the ministry on equality and which grants the right of the church to select its preacher and elect its officers—this was conceived by Calvin at Geneva, established by John Knox in Scotland and then transferred to north Ireland from whence came the fathers of Southern Presbyterianism in the United States.

Persecution by the King of England, continuing after many of the Scotch had established themselves in Ireland. Worshipping under the Presbyterian form of government, resulted in the exodus from Ireland to America between the years 1728 and 1750 of 252,000 Scotch-Irish. In 1750, declared the speaker, “the stream started through the valley of Virginia and across North and South Carolina, and that is where we got the Presbyterianism that amounted to anything.”

In view of the persecution which these Scotch and Irish had been subjected to before their departure from their native land, was it any wonder asked the Congressman, that when England sought to reach the arm of imperialism across the sea, Presbyterians from Maine to Florida for the most part were on the side of the independence of the United States?

“Presbyterians knew their Bible. They remembered Christ’s doctrine that the ruler should be servant of all and not dictator and tyrant.”

Springing from such spiritual ancestry, it is the high privilege and responsibility of Presbyterians today to continue to translate, as did their fathers, the Word and Christian principles into the life of church and government.

Forty years ago, according to his statement, Congressman Stevenson severed his connection with the Concord church at Loray. He has been, however, a frequent visitor since that time. He is a scholarly speaker.

Friday, August 28, 2015

No Clemency for Fred Erwin Beal, 1941

“Clemency for Beal Is Hinted” from the August 8, 1939, issue of the Burlington Daily Times-News

Governor Hoey, Turning Down Agitator’s Request Now, Expected to Act Before 1941

Raleigh, Aug. 8—(AP)—It was understood here today that Governor Hoey either would parole Fred Erwin Beal or shorten his sentence before January, 1941, when the governor will go out of office.

He declined today to pardon or parole Beal, a former Communist labor organizer who is serving 17 to 20 years in prison for conspiracy in the fatal shooting of a police chief at Gastonia during the 1929 textile strike. Beal has served 1 year, 10 months and 25 days of the sentence.

The governor, then a practicing attorney, aided in the prosecution at the trial, after which Beal posted bond and fled to Russia. He returned to this country and was put in prison Feb. 16, 1938. A hearing on his clemency petition was held June 8.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Davis Springs Hotel Reduced to Ashes Within an Hour, 1925

From the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Davis Springs Hotel Reduced to Ashes Within an Hour—Loss $40,000 With Around $12,000 Insurance

The Davis Springs hotel, widely known and popular summer resort near Hiddenite, was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday afternoon. The fire was first discovered in the kitchen roof about 2 o’clock, and the building was reduced to ashes within an hour. It is thought that the fire originated from a defective flue.

There were about 85 guests in the hotel at the time, most of whom saved their personal belongings. The hotel furnishings were a complete loss. The bowling alley, garages and other nearby buildings were consumed. The beautiful shade trees near the property were charred, and late yesterday afternoon forest fires were raging in the nearby woodlands to which the flames had spread from the burning building. The Davis residence on the elevation just above the hotel was saved.

There were no means of combating the flames which spread so rapidly and it was with difficulty that the guests were able to get out without injury. While most of the guests saved their personal effects, it was learned that many sustained losses.

The building contained 100 rooms, fully equipped. It has recently been enlarged and improved. The estimated value of the property was $40,000 with around $12,000 insurance. The present season, under the ownership of Dr. S.T. Crowson and Mr. H.T. Kelly of Taylorsville, has been the most successful so far the hotel has enjoyed. Dr. Crowson stated last Wednesday afternoon that he had no plans for the future, though he thought it likely that a new building will be erected in the same place.

The original Davis Springs hotel was built in 1904 by Rev. R. Lee Davis and his brother, Mr. Jeff  Davis. In 1912, Rev. Mr. Davis bought his brother’s interest and ran it himself for a number of years, during which time he had the building greatly enlarged and improved. Last fall Mr. Davis sold the property to Mr. H.T. Kelly and Dr. S.T. Crowson of Taylorsville.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carolinas Cotton Crop, 1939

“Cotton Estimate Falls Below ’38 Yield,” from the August 8, 1939, issue of the Burlington Daily Times-News

Estimated Output for ’39 Put at 11,412,000—Last Year’s Output Was 11,943,000—Higher Output in Carolinas

Washington, Aug. 8—(AP)—The agriculture department forecast today a cotton crop of 11,412,000 of production in bales in its first estimate of this year’s production.

The estimate of production bales of 500 pounds gross weight was based on conditions as of August 1, and on the area n cultivation July 1, adjusted to abandonment. The cultivation area, less the 10-year average abandonment of acreage, was placed at 24,424,000 acres.


74 Per Cent of Normal
The condition of the crop August 1 was 74 per cent of normal, compared to 78 a year ago, and 70 the 1928-37 average.


The condition of the crop August 1 and indicated production by state follow:

Missouri, condition 90 per cent of normal and production 326,000 bales; Virginia 82 and 20,000; North Carolina 83 and 489,000; South Carolina 80 and 810,000; Georgia 72 and 1,000,000; Florida 62 and 17,000; Tennessee 74 and 430,000; Alabama 69 and 945,000.

Mississippi 72 and 1,612,000; Arkansas 80 and 1,316,000; Louisiana 79 and 702,000; Oklahoma 67 and 457,000; Texas 67 and 2,577,000; New Mexico 93 and 100,000; Arizona 92 and 174,000; California 95 and 419,000; Lower California (Old Mexico) 71 and 40,000. (Latter not included in California nor in United States total.)

The crop reporting board said that in the Carolinas and Georgia the prospective yields per acre this year were higher than in 1938, and also above the 10-year average.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Passerbys Lift Overturned Car, Free Pinned Templeton Children, 1925

From the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Four Mooresville Young People Narrowly Escape Death When Buick Car Turns Over, Pinning Them Underneath

A disastrous automobile wreck occurred about one mile south of Mooresville late Tuesday afternoon when a Buick touring car occupied by the two daughters and two little sons of Mr. John Templeton, merchant of south Mooresville, was overturned and all four of the occupants pinned beneath.

The young people had started toward Charlotte and were said to have been passing another car on the paved road rendered slippery by the rain. It is thought that the young lady who was driving applied the brakes suddenly, causing the car to skid off the road and turn over. The top of the car was mashed flat, the windshield broken and one wheel torn off. The four were caught beneath and were screaming wildly for help when Messrs. Clyde Kelly and George Feild of Statesville, Bruce McNeely of Mooresville, and an army sergeant from Davidson College stopped at the scene of the wreckage and quickly lifted the car so as to release those who had been suddenly entrapped.

One of the young ladies was pretty seriously bruised and cut, but it is not thought that any permanent injuries will result. Mr. Feild and Mr. Kelly placed the four young people in their car and brought them back home.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dealing With Doubts About Guilt After Fogleman's Execution, 1933

Editorial from the Aug. 11, 1933, issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

The Fatal Defect
The story of the two unknown men who told Stonewall J. Durham, Gaston county lawyer, that Fogleman, electrocuted for murder last Friday, was innocent, should not be taken seriously in the absence of further information. While this information came to Mr. Durham but a few moments before the execution of Fogleman, he properly conveyed it to the governor’s office. The men who assured Mr. Durham that Fogleman was innocent were tramps and stopped at the Durham home to beg. They went their way before Mr. Durham was aware that the execution had not taken place. The governor considered the information too vague to delay the execution. After several hearings the executive was satisfied of Fogleman’s guilt and he refused to order a stay on stories that could not be verified.

There was an element of doubt as to Fogleman’s guilt but it failed to convince the courts. The doubt, in the final analysis, has its foundation in the man’s vehement and persistent denial of guilt, repeated to the moment of his death. But his claim that he was not present at the time of the murder and knew nothing about it was tremendously weakened by the fact that he offered no evidence at his trial, and until a few days before his death made no statements of his whereabouts at the time of the murder. Then he said that he was in Virginia “running whiskey.” It is reasonable that if Fogleman was in Virginia or anywhere else except at the filling station in Rockingham county when the killing occurred, that he could have produced some evidence of the fact. His lawyers, with all their zeal in his behalf, produced no evidence for their client. They were content with the declaration of his innocence and the changed statement of the wife of the murdered man, who at first said she didn’t know who killed her husband and afterward identified a photograph of Fogleman as the man who fired the shot and then positively identified the man when he was arrested. It doesn’t answer to say that Fogleman’s associates, being in the liquor business with him, would have become involved for that if they had appeared as witnesses for him. Possibility of a prison term could not excuse a default under the circumstances. The failure to produce some evidence of the whereabouts of Fogleman on the day of the killing was fatally defective to the alibi.

It is a theory, and a reasonable one, that much weight should be attached to a statement by one who knows he is about to die, in the belief that such person who’d not pass out of the world with a lie on his lips. That is something to be given serious consideration but not accepted as final in the absence of some corroborating evidence. The evidence is ample that deathbed statements are not always correct. The mental state is not always dependable at such times. When one under condemnation of death asserts his innocence he expects that to save him. Many cases of record show that determined denial has been followed by confession at the last moment. It is a reasonable assumption that others, believing while they have breath that the prostration of innocence will save, do not have the courage to change the story at the last moment. Under some circumstances persons have been known to utter falsehoods and stick to them apparently because their mental condition was such they had convinced themselves they were telling the truth.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Doings in New Hope, N.C., Aug. 20, 1925

From the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

News of New Hope, Route One

New Hope, Aug. 19—The farmers of this community are beginning to cure tobacco. The tobacco crops are short on account of the dry weather.

The protracted meeting at Rock Hill began Sunday with a large crowd and good preaching.

Miss Lelia Jolly, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Jolly, who had been right sick, is some better at this writing. Mrs. David Woodie is also improving, though slowly.

Miss Era Brewer of Winston-Salem visited relatives in this community last week.

Mr. Clyde Jolly returned home Saturday from Charlotte, where he had been visiting the past week.

Rev. and Mrs. W.T. Comer are here to attend the protracted meeting this week.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

We Could End Typhoid, Dysentery, Hookwork in North Carolina if Everyone Had Sanitary Privies, Says H.E. Miller, 1919

The State Health Department was encouraging the building of sanitary privies throughout rural North Carolina in 1919. “A Twentieth Century Fairy Tale” by H.E. Miller, chief of the bureau of engineering and inspection, was published in the Aug. 1919 issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health

Once upon a time there was a wicked, savage nation of Huns called Disease. The Kaiser, whose name was Typhoid, called together his lords and generals, among them Diarrhea, Dysentery, and Hookworm, and with their assistance set about to conquer the world. They speedily gathered around them many lords and warriors, who with their vassals eventually formed a mighty army.

The conquering armies of disease and death penetrated all parts of the world. Their spies and agents gained entrance to all public gatherings and to practically every home in the land.

It is possible that the world might have been eventually defeated had not the wicked Kaiser Typhoid and his ministers made use of an infernal engine of warfare, a bombing machine called the housefly, which flew into the very kitchens, dining rooms, fruit shops, and dairy houses, and dropped deadly bombs of pestilence and disease to kill neutrals, noncombatants, and women and children.

The hearts of the noncombatant nations, not only of the old world, but also of the new world, sickened at such infernal practices of warfare. In the new world there was a nation of lofty ideals. This nation, whose name was Sanitation, dwelt upon the continent of Education. They protested with the Kaiser against such ruthless practices of warfare, but received only insulting notes in reply. The people of this nation then realized that this was not and never had been a restricted warfare, but that it was a ruthless savage warfare, waged with the object of conquering the world. Therefore the nation of Sanitation declared war upon the wicked Hun, in order to assist the harassed and devastated peoples of the world.

On awakening to the emergency, however, they found themselves beset with spies, under the name of open surface privies, who had long been considered desirable citizens in every community in which they were found. The true character of the open surface privy was first discovered and brought to light by intelligence bureaus called Health Departments. Their investigations revealed the open surface privies to be spies of the most despicable character. It was found that under cover of what was supposed to be legitimate business they had gained entrance to practically every home in the land and left unseen the deadly germs of disease. It was learned also that by virtue of their business standing they had obtained positions of public trust, whereby they were sufficiently removed from suspicion, that they harbored, undetected, in and about their premises, great multitudes of marauders, and raiding parties, which had been secretly sapping the health and strength of the whole world. They also furnished landing places, food supplies and ammunition for the enemy’s bombing machines. With systematic propaganda these spies led the people to believe that the tales of savagery and ruthlessness from across the water were false, in order to keep them from entering the war against the Hun. When the people of the nation of Sanitation learned all these things, they rose up in mighty anger, and cast the once trusted enemy agents and spies out from their midst to a death of disgrace.

At this time, however, the power of the wicked enemy seemed to be at its highest. The hordes of Huns had long been coming on, in drive after drive. It seemed that their enemies’ resistance would soon be broken, thereupon they would be pushed into the sea. A dark cloud of dejection hung over the world. The new allies of the harassed nations found themselves unprepared for warfare, on account of the propaganda of the open privy. They speedily turned every effort to making ammunition and war material and training soldiers. Men, women and children worked day and night, hoping to get their armies into the field before it was too late. Meanwhile, their allies held on, being pushed steadily backward, clinging to the hope that the new ally, Sanitation, would enter the field before it was too late. Finally the armies of Sanitation, under the leadership of Generalissimo Sanitary Privy, came, and continued to come with ever increasing numbers until they occupied all parts of the field, whereupon the tide of battle turned, until in February, 1919, after having encountered countless losses, the wicked enemy saw that it was useless to resist longer, and asked for an armistice, which was granted by the General Assembly of North Carolina in February, 1919.

Peace terms were formulated by the State Board of Health and formally presented to the enemy on July 1, 1919. The terms presented shattered the power of the wicked enemy and forever banished the Kaiser Typhoid from the world as represented by the portion of North Carolina’s population coming under the provisions of the new law. They also provided for the wholesale destruction of his infernal machines of warfare, including the deadly housefly. The provisions of these peace terms demanded compliance by October 1, 1919.

The following summer found Typhoid and his chiefs shorn of their homes and power. They had become outcasts, never to be allowed upon the face of the earth again. 

Their wicked people are still paying the debt of reconstruction and restitution, while the world once so ruthlessly harassed and beset by spies, traitors and savagery, lives in peace and joy, protected by the league of sanitation, which is presided over by the sanitary privy.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Banks Refusing to Accept Government's Bonds Which Would Help Homeowners Pay Off Loans, 1933

Editorial from the Aug. 11, 1933, issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

No Legal Compulsion
Complaint is vocal and somewhat vehement that the expected relief for owners of mortgaged homes through their home loan bank is not being realized because mortgagees are refusing to accept the 4 per cent bonds offered by the government for the release of the mortgage. The interest, not the bonds, is guaranteed by the government. Since “times appear to be picking up” as the improvement in business conditions is sometimes expressed, the mortgagees are not disposed to surrender what may prove to be more valuable for less. There is no question of the validity of the bonds offered by the government to the mortgagee for his claim on the property. He gets a lower interest rate but the interest rate is guaranteed. The holders of the mortgages evidently figure that if the improvement continues the mortgagor may be able to meet his payments; or if the mortgagee has to take the property over he will make a good thing out of it with the probable enhancement of real estate values. Neither of which propositions affords relief to the mortgagor. In the last event he loses all, which he home loan bank proposal was created to prevent.

As is usual in such cases, complainants allege that the home loan bank is not meeting the promises made in its behalf and government officials from the President down are being bombarded with demands that something be done about it. It is well known to all who have taken the pains to inform themselves about this matter that it has been made clear all along that the success of the plan depended on the voluntary co-operation of the mortgagee. He can’t be legally coerced. The lawyers who are voicing loud complaints in behalf of clients, their talk leaving the impression that the home loan bank plan is something of a deception, know perfectly well that the power of legal compulsion is lacking. The only remedy in this case is the same that is being applied for the NRA—the force of public opinion. If the mortgagees can’t be reached that way they can’t be reached at all. It is believed that many of them can be moved if the general public feeling about people who take advantage of the present situation to enrich themselves is conveyed to them. That can be done with proper effort.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Couple Arrested for Living Together Without Being Married, 1925

From the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Iredell Couple Arrested in China Grove

Mrs. J.H. Cauldor and O.M. Kennerly were arrested at China Grove Wednesday afternoon about 4 o’clock by Deputy Sheriffs J.E. Murdock and E.V. Privette on the charge of living together unlawfully as husband and wife. They were brought to Statesville last yesterday afternoon. Kennerly gave a $500 bond for his appearance for trial at the Recorder’s court next Monday; the woman was unable to put up the required bond and was sent to jail.

It is said that the couple came to Statesville from Mooresville, living here for three weeks. They left for China Grove yesterday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Editorial in Favor of Window Screens, Privies, Vaccinations, 1919

From an editorial written by B.E. Washburn, M.D., Director County Health Work, in the Aug. 1919 issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health

A teachers’ meeting was in progress and a prominent school official was complaining to the teachers that at many schoolhouses the boys had broken out window-panes. The county is in a section of the state where mosquitoes and flies are found. The teachers were advised to raise money or obtain it form their school committees in order to have the windows screened so the boys could not throw rocks through them. Flies or mosquitoes were not worthy of consideration! Or, at least, no mention was made of them. The comfort and health of the pupils seemed to be small matters and insignificant when compared to damage to school property.

It is point of view which makes committeemen and school patrons build schoolhouses near the woods so that they will not need to build privies. It is no matter, of course, that the teachers and children may contract hookworm, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, or become victims of chronic constipation which may handicap them for life. These things are not considered of any value in many rural communities but to save a few dollars on the school building and its up-keep is something worthwhile! And, again, it is point of view which causes a man to pay to have his hogs vaccinated against cholera while he can’t be persuaded to have his wife and children vaccinated against typhoid fever even when the health officer does it free of cost.

But every day shows an increase in the number of people who have or acquire a good, wholesome point of view. And for this we should all be thankful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blockade Whiskey Found at Herb Clark's Cabin, 1939

“Blockade Whiskey Found in a Cabin on Glencoe Road” from the August 8, 1939, issue of the Burlington Daily Times-News

Sheriff’s deputies yesterday afternoon found 13 half-gallon jars of home-made booze in a room of Herb Clark’s cabin on the Glencoe road. The room in which the whiskey was found was at the time rented to Livingstone Brown of this city, officers said. A warrant is now out for Brown. He was not present when the raid was made.

Participating in the raid were Deputies E.L. Ivey, Roy Massey, Otis Massey and Elton Hinsley.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Richard Robertson Found Innocent and His Accuser Charged With Court Costs, 1933

“Richard Robertson Cleared of Charge in Court,” from the Aug. 11, 1933, issue of the Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Richard Robertson, local colored man, was in Justice N.D. Tomlin’s court Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock, charged with assault with deadly weapon, towit an ax, on Ernest Alexander, colored. After hearing the evidence, the court found the defendant not guilty and taxed Ernest Alexander, chief prosecuting witness, with the costs.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

In Rockingham Magistrate's Court, Aug. 19, 1920

“Magistrate’s Court” from the Aug. 19, 1920 issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

William Davis was fined $5 and costs by Squire Steele Monday for speeding and reckless driving.

Jasper Grant submitted to the charge of speeding in two cases, and was let off with the payment of costs.

Arch Manor was tried Saturday night by Squire Steele on charge of driving a car while drunk. He was fined $50 and costs of $3.90, from which he gave notice of appeal. His bond was placed at $100, which was signed by Elmore and Arch. It seems that Arch was intoxicated Saturday afternoon, according to the evidence, and ran into and damaged a car driven by Alec McFayden, near Ellerbe. It is understood that he agreed to make good the damage to the McFayden car.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Will Railroad Come To Watauga County? 1907

“Railroad Prospects for Watauga” from the editorial page of the Aug. 22, 1907, issue of the Watauga Democrat, R.C. Rivers, Proprietor

Several parties form Tennessee who are enough interested in a railroad from Shoun’s to Boone to put their money into it, headed by J.M. McCane, a wealthy lumberman operating in Johnson County, have been here during the past week and should the people of Watauga feel enough interest in the enterprise (and we are confident that they will) to help in the construction of a road, it is now an assured fact that Watauga, at last, is to have connections with the outside world by a railroad system.

It is not yet clearly understood what the promoters of the enterprise will demand at the hands of our people, but they propose to make the survey, crossing the state line at Trade, come down Cove Creek by way of Sugar Grove, then on to Boone, the terminal of the road at present.

After the road is surveyed and the cost of construction estimated, then the amount of bonds to be asked for will be deiced upon, and the county will ask to vote thereon, the amount not to exceed $75,000. Then after the bonds are voted the company agrees to fill a bond for the completion of the road to Boone within 18 months.

Our former propositions have been to issue the bonds when the road is completed, and as a consequence the people have become tired of propositions of that kind as the road always fails to materialize. But these gentlemen come at us in a different and more satisfactory manner. They say issue your bonds, take stock in the road to the amount thereof, and they agree to fill a bond for the completion of the road within 18 months. What could be fairer? If they fail to build the road the county is evidently gainer to the amount of the bond. If they do build it, the property in Watauga will be enhanced more than 100 percent.

Now is the time for our people to bend their every energy for the consummation of this enterprise, for we cannot longer afford to be shut off from the outside world when it is easily within our power to procure a road that will give us a good market for our lumber, produce, etc., and give us direct communication with the coal fields of Virginia. Let us give these promoters all the encouragement possible in their undertaking and be ready to vote solidly for the bonds when the opportunity presents itself. We cannot longer afford to be the accumulators of wealth for some sister counties when it is within our power to bring a market for our products to our own doors.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ad for FarmAll Tractor

14-Year-Old in Jail, 1920

“Juvenile in Jail,” from the Aug. 19, 1920 issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

On Thursday night of last week Mr. Claude Gore forgot to put his Ford Sedan up and left it on the street in front of his house. About 2 o’clock someone in passing noticed that a person was in the car trying to start it. The party went to Alfred Barrett, told him what he had seen, and Mr. Barrett secured the night officer and the two went to the car and arrested a 14-year-old colored boy, Billy Morrison. Billy had been making repeated efforts to get the car started. The lad is now in jail awaiting disposition of his case by the Juvenile Court. The boy lives at Hamlet and has been in trouble several times, the last time for stealing a mule and buggy; for this he was hired out to Mr. Capel but ran away before the term of sentence had expired. He seems to be an incorrigible boy and the best place for him is a reformatory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Local News from Statesville, N.C., Aug. 11, 1933

Local news from the Aug. 11, 1933, issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

Mr. A.R. Brewer who lives on Fourth street, enjoyed new pumpkin pie for dinner Monday, from a pumpkin grown this summer on his lot in the southern part of town. Mrs. M. Cory, in reporting the matter, exhibited a sample of the pie and his testimony to the superior quality in the early fruit of the garden.

Mr. F.C. Ockerershaussen and Mr. Rinehardt from the office of the comptroller of the currency, Washington, D.C., spent a few days here this week appraising the assets of the First National Bank. They finished the examination yesterday and returned to Washington. It is not known what their report will be, but if it is favorable the directors hope to make arrangement to reopen the bank.

Miss Tisha Josey, who recently underwent an operation for appendicitis at H.F. Long Hospital, is getting along nicely. Miss Bessie Josey, who underwent a serious head operation at a Charlotte hospital, is also improving, her friends will be glad to know.

The singing class from the Oxford orphanage gave a pleasing concert Tuesday night at 8 o’clock at Coca Cola hall, the program including drills, music, songs and an operetta. A freewill offering was taken and approximately $60 was realized for the orphanage which is sponsored by the Masonic Order of the state.

A marriage license has been issued for Mr. Robert Foy Stout and Miss Margaret Shoemaker, both of Sharpesburg township.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Oakley of Statesville and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Clement of Stony Point were called to Norfolk, Va., Tuesday by the death of Mr. Kenneth Chapman, who died of a heart attack at his home in Norfolk. Mr. Chapman was a brother-in-law of Mr. Ray Clement.

Mr. Richard Hall, who recently underwent an operation for acute appendicitis at the Davis hospital, is improving satisfactorily.

County Agent A.R. Morrow has been informed that the State 4-H Club short course, usually held in Raleigh during the summer, will be omitted. It had been planned to hold the short course in September this year, but those in charge of arrangements for the course have decided that it is inadvisable to have the course at all since a considerable number of the counties in the State will be in the midst of the wheat campaign during September.

There is an agitation during merchants to lengthen the hours and it is probable that there will be a revision of the opening and closing hours of Statesville merchants in the near future. The spirit of the code prescribing shorter hours of work was to give employment to more people. Under the present scheme there are not enough people to work and the hours are too short, hence the necessity for a revision, making the work hours longer.

Relatives in Iredell county have just been informed of the death of Mr. Martin Luther Lippard, 82 years old, former resident of this county, which occurred in the Ponca City hospital, Ponca, Okla., Tuesday afternoon, July 25. Mr. Lippard’s home was in Wichita, Kan., but he had been removed by his son to the hospital in Oklahoma for treatment for appendicitis. His appendix ruptured and death resulted from complications. Mr. Lippard is survived by one son, O.K. Lippard of Newkirk, Okla.; by a daughter who lives in Baltimore, Md.; three brothers, Messrs. Jesse M., John B., and Irenius S. Lippard; and one sister, Mrs. H.L. Suther, all of Iredell County. The funeral and interment were in Newkirk, it is understood.

A double funeral service for Robert Vance Parker and T.M. Jurney Jr., young men of Union Grove community, whose deaths resulted from injuries received in an automobile wreck Saturday night, was held at 11 o’clock Monday morning from the Union Grove Methodist church. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Grady White and Rev. G.B. Free, and interment was in the church cemetery. Friends and classmates of the two young men served as pallbearers, and the flowers were in charge of Miss Sarah Van Hoy and Miss Emma Allison, assisted by a large group of other friends.

The Crescent Knitting Mills have built an addition to their plant and are installing new machinery to take care of the increasing demand for the product. The addition to the building is 16 by 50 feet. It will be some time yet before the new machinery, which is now in process of installation, will be ready for operation, according to Mr. A.A. Moore, general manager of the plant.

Relatives in Statesville were advised Tuesday of the death of Mrs. Laura Turner Iseley, who died Monday in Washington City. She fell and broke her hip some time last winter and never recovered. She was about 70 years of age. Mrs. Iseley was a daughter of the late Henry Turner of Cool Spring Township and was a sister of Mr. Chap Turner, the late W.W. Turner of Statesville and the late Samuel Turner of Stony Point. The burial took place Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock in Bethlehem church near Altamahaw.

Mr. Levi Sherman Jolly of Wilkesboro, father of Mrs. Minnie Byrd of Statesville, died at his home Wednesday afternoon following a serious illness of several weeks. Funeral was conducted at Pleasant Home church north of Ronda.

While playing, Katie, four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Volney Bennett of Gilkey, fell into a well of water 30 feet deep Tuesday and was drowned. Her mother was doing the family washing and turned around to place clothes on a line when the little girl climbed atop of the well to see how deep the water was and fell in. All efforts to revive her failed.

Marriage license has been issued for Mr. Clarence Malcom and Miss Nola Harris of Mooresville.

Mrs. Frank Crater, Miss Glennie Crater, Mr. Jesse Crater and Mrs. Bill Hawks and little daughter Sally Ann of High Point visited Mrs. Crater’s brother, Mr. P.H. Mason, Sunday. Mr. Mason accompanied them home for a visit.

Mr. Jim Shook of North Wilkesboro visited his sister, Mrs. Allan Jurney, last week.

Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Weber spent Monday with Mrs. Weber’s mother, Mrs. W.C. Linney in Alexander County.

Mr. Paul Eller of Hemlock, who has been spending awhile with his aunt, Mrs. W.B. Chavis, left Sunday for Norfolk, Va., to visit his sister, Mrs. W.E. Smith.

Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Jurney have returned from Puluska, Va., where they spent two weeks with relatives.

Bill Dudley and Katherine Bell of Canton are spending awhile with their uncle, Mr. W.W. Holland.

A meeting will begin at Snow Creek M.E. church the third Sunday. This is a regular home-coming day for former members and friends, and a large crowd is expected.

Mr. Charles Gaither, who had the misfortune to dislocate his shoulder last week, is getting on fine. Dr. J.M. Robertson attended the injury at Dr. Trivette’s hospital at Houstonville.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Important Mistakes of Life, 1907

“Life’s Mistakes” from the Aug. 22, 1907, issue of the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C.

The important mistakes of life can be condenses into these 14.

It is a mistake to set up your own standard of right and wrong and judge people accordingly.

To measure the enjoyment of others by our own.

To expect uniformity of opinion in the world.

To look for judgment and expertness in the young.

To endeavor to mold all dispositions alike.

To yield to immaterial trifles.

To look for perfections in our own actions.

To worry ourselves and others with what cannot be remedied.

Not to alleviate all that need alleviation so far as it lies in our power.

Not to make allowances for the infirmities of others.

To consider everything impossible that we cannot perform.

To believe only what our minds can grasp.

To believe that there is only one perfect individual and that you are that person.

To expect to be able to understand everything.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ralph Pool Speculates on Election Now That Women Can Vote, 1920

“How the Women May Use Ballot…The Results of a Municipal Election in One Town” by Ralph Pool, in the Friday, Aug. 27, 1920 issue of the Elizabeth City Independent.

It was the first city election in which the women of Jazztown would take part, and all were duly enthused over the latest compliment to the intelligence feminine which their men had accorded them. Young maids and old, fair and otherwise, ladies who wore their own hair exclusively and those bought a part of their tresses at the little shop around the corner—in fact, from the blushing damsel who modestly admitted to just 21 summers, to the ancient withered crone who had finally ceased to misrepresent her age, all of the ladies of Jazztown were highly elated, whether or not they admitted it, over the prospect of casting their vote for the first time.

The men of Jazztown were divided upon the weighty question of votes for women. From the first doubtful days when a few of the more aggressive clubwomen of the city had enlisted themselves in the new cause, on through the years of picketing, hunger strikes and other disturbing suffragette activities, while, slowly but surely the issue gained strength by the addition of more and more supporters, until even a new discerning politicians had lined themselves up with it, the male populace of Jazztown had been split on the question, with the majority, as indicated by the talk on the street corners, distinctly against it. When suffrage advocates finally brought the issue to the polls, the general opinion was that it would fail miserably, abjectly, utterly. Therefore, upon the day after election, a distinctly audible male gasp of astonishment went up from the roof trees of Jazztown when everybody learned that the suffrage forces had won.

Nobody could say how the suffragettes did it, but it was done, and now the fair women of Jazztown were actually going to vote for a major, a chief of police, and a host of other city officers. And nobody under heaven could tell how the ladies were going to vote!

For years Jazztown had seen one political party in undisputed control, with a voting ratio of two to one over the other. Having twice the strength of the opposition, elections had long been little more than a formality, this party electing whomsoever its moguls chose to nominate. But this year, the majority party was divided—and all on account of a woman, who, defeated by a hair’s breadth in the nominating convention, had jumped the party and formed a new and apparently powerful organization under the name of the People’s Alliance, which threatened to sweep everything before it. The woman was Mrs. Letts-Attem, and the only thing against her record was that she compelled her husband to smoke hjis corncob pipe in the woodhouse. Mrs. Letts-Attem was the nominee of her party for the mayorality, and she was a hustler. Furthermore, she was exceedingly good to look upon.

Henry Sumspeed was the candidate for mayor offered by the old majority party. He was a strikingly handsome devil of a man with no morals to speak of, and it was even darkly rumored that he occasionally played penny-ante with the boys when his wife was out of town. To illustrate the depths of iniquity of which he was capable, during the campaign preceding election day his enemies proved, beyond a doubt, that once in his younger days Sumspeed  has actually helped eat a stolen watermelon—accessory to a crime, as it were. The prospective mayor was a business man of ability, the owner and manager of a growing business.

With what they believed almost incredible shrewdness, the majority party unearthed and brought forth a candidate for mayor against whom absolutely nothing could be said. Percival P. Patootie’s purified personality permeated people with whom prudishness was popular. The history of his whole past life shown with the dazzling and unsullied glamour of a freshly whitewashed barn. There wasn’t a speck upon it. He always did the righteous thing, in a super-righteous way, and he hadn’t missed a Sunday school class from the Sunday following the day he learned how to travel the dark pathways of this world on his two delicate feet. Percival was an adept at needlework and crocheting, and the greatest triumph of his stainless career to date had been the invention of a brand new variety of drop stitch. His middle name was Purity, and he had a well-known brand of soap beat by 56-100 of one per cent when it came to absolute freedom from imperfections. Surely, such a major would cause Jazztown’s civic life to gleam with purity even as the driven snow. Unfortunately, perhaps, Percival was not particularly impressive in personal appearance, due principally to the fact that his chin dwindled away to nothingness in the vicinity of his collar.

The other candidates for civic emoluments were grouped around these three. In a way of speaking, the smaller fry were strap hangers whose chance to ride in the trolley car of state depended upon the success of one or another of the candidates for mayor. And the whole thing depended on the way the women of Jazztown cast their votes. How the deuce would they vote? Would they follow the lead of their husbands, fathers, brothers or fiancees, and thus virtually neutralize the effect of their balloting by the resulting division? Wellington Spruggs declared they would.

“I’m boss of my house,” said Spruggs one night to a group of admiring fellow townsmen gathered in a corner drug store, “and I’m going home now and tell my wife exactly how she must vote.” The bunch followed Spruggs home and listened from the sidewalk while he laid down the law to Mrs. Spruggs. Later, they carried him to the Jazztown hospital on a stretcher, where three doctors worked until midnight removing splinters of broken crockery from his anatomy.

In a desperate effort to grasp votes from each other, the three contesting parties added reform plank after reform plan to their platforms. Mrs. Letts-Attem, speaking to the Dairymen’s Association, in an impassioned burst of eloquence declared that her party was irrevocably pledged to enact a law requiring all householders to contribute annually toward a fund to provide kneepads for knock-kneed cows. Not to be outdone, Henry Sumspeed’s political organization announced through the city press that, if elected, the Sumspeed party would rid the city of the book-agent evil. Percival P. Patootie, with wonderful political astuteness, announced to the public on an engraved and delicately scented circular that, if honored by election, he would give the ladies of the city free daily lessons in the latest crocheting kinks.

Election day came. Men and women went to the polls, duly cast their ballots, and went home. The day ended, the votes were counted, and the new mayor of Jazztown was heralded far and wide. Was it the stunning Mrs. Letts-Attem, with her inspired oratory and her classy frocks, or was it the devilishly charming Henry Sumspeed, with his business acumen and his way with women? No, gentle reader, it was Percival Purity Patootie, with all his pussy-footed prudishness, who won the day. And why? Because the ladies of Jazztown were just dying to learn the very latest wrinkles in twentieth century crocheting. Percival’s circular had done the work.

Strangers who visit Jazztown nowadays notice with surprise that along about four o’clock in the afternoon the men sitting on the benches of the public square gradually begin to sidle off down the surrounding streets, while their places are taken by ladies, more and more ladies, ladies with real complexions, and ladies with real handmade complexions, until a great concourse of ladies fills the spacious square, nay, overflows it, and the volume of their endless chatter rises skyward in a babel of sound utterly defying description. In the center of the multitude from a point of vantage, one may see a slender figure in men’s clothes, minus a chin, whose fingers are deftly moving in the intricate processes which in time will produce a wonderfully crocheted baby sacque of the very latest mode. Dear reader, perhaps you have guessed that it is none other than Percival Purity Patootie, Mayor of Jazztown, in his daily crocheting demonstration!

Dry Milk Helped Families Get Enough Calcium in Their Diets

Dry milk helped low-income people get enough calcium in their diets. Here are a couple of educational displays on dry milk. These were the days before food stamps and subsidized school lunches.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Free College Education for Teachers, Aug. 22, 1907

From advertisements in the Aug. 22, 1907, issue of the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C.

Facts About the Appalachian Training School [today Appalachian State University]

1.       Two large school buildings; a 60-room dormitory for women and several boarding houses for men.

2.       A faculty of seven experienced teacher.

3.       290 students last year.

4.       Free tuition to public school teachers.

5.       Expenses are very reasonable.

For more facts, address the Secretary of Faculty, Boone, N.C.

The next term begins September 3, 1907


The North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College [now UNC-Greensboro]

Regular courses leading to degrees of Bachelor of Pedagogy, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and a new course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Music.

Board, laundry, tuition and fees for use of text books, etc., $170 a year. For free-tuition students, $425.

The Normal Department gives thorough instruction in the subjects taught in the schools and colleges, and special pedagogical training for the profession of teaching. Teachers and Graduates of other colleges are offered a one-year special course in Pedagogy and allied subjects.

The Commercial Department offers practical instruction in Stenography, Typewriting, Book-keeping and other business subjects.

The Departments of Manual Arts and Domestic Science provide instruction in Manual Training and in such subjects as relate directly to the home and family.

The Music Department, in addition to the degree course, offers a certificate course in vocal and instrumental music.

To secure board in the dormitories, all free-tuition applications should be made before July 15. The fall term will open September 18, 1907.

For catalogue and other information, address J.I. Foust, President, Greensboro, N.C.


University of North Carolina


Head of the State’s Educational System.

Departments: College, Engineering, Graduate, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy

Library contains 45,000 volumes. New water works, electric lights, central heating system, New dormatories, gymnasium, Y.M.C.A. building, library.

732 Students                      74 Faculty

The fall term begins Sept. 9, 1907.

Address Frances P. Venable, President, Chapel Hill, N.C.


Trinity College [now Duke University]

Four Departments—Collegiate, Engineering, Graduate and Law

Large library facilities. Well equipped laboratories in all departments of science. Gymnasium furnished with best apparatus. Expenses very moderate. All for worthy students.

Young Men wishing to Study Law should investigate the superior advantages offered by the Department of Law in Trinity College.

For Catalogue and further information, address D.W. Newson, Registrar, Durham, N.C.


College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts [Now NC State University]

Practical education in Agriculture, in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering; in Cotton Manurfacturing, Dyeing and Industrial Chemistry.

Tuition $45 a year; Board $10 a month.

120 Scholarships.

Address President Winston, West Raleigh, N.C.


To the Merchants of Watauga Co.
I now have a branch house at Elk Park, N.C., for the purpose of buying Roots, Herbs, Birch Oil, Pennyroyal Oil, Wool, Hides, Chickens and Eggs, and will at all times pay the Highest Cash Prices.

I will also have for sale at Wholesale Prices, Corn, Chop, and Flour and will sell as low as they can be bought anywhere, less the freight. I invite one and all to give me a trial and see if I don’t pay you more for your barter and sell you goods for less money than you have been paying.

For the present, I will pay $1.95 for Birch Oil.
Yours for Business, Millard F. Hopkins
Elk Park, May 1st, 1907


I will be in Boone three days during the Association for the purpose of doing Photograph Work. Better and cheaper work than ever before. Any size and style from the size of a postage stamp to 8X10 inches. Satisfaction guaranteed. Come one, come all.
A.J. Campbell, Artist

Thursday, August 6, 2015

If We Can't Cure Them, Turn Them Out of Hospitals, 1925

From the editorial page of the Aug. 20, 1925 issue of The Landmark, Statesville, N.C.

To hear the voice being made about the plan to send away from Sanatorium some tubercular patients, who after a fair trial seem to have little chance of recovery, to give room to incipient cases which may be cured, one might think that the State has at the time been meeting all demands for care and treatment in charitable institutions. That is far from the truth. Applicants at Sanatorium, as has been stated, have all the time been far ahead of the accommodations and unless a minimum fee of $1 per day could be paid they were denied admission. Treatment has never been free. Moreover, it is a fact that, with the exception of a few years now and then, following an increase of housing facilities, the hospitals for the insane have never been able to meet all the demands on them. There is usually a waiting list, but as this gets little p ublicity it has not aroused the concern that the proposal to send a few away from Sanatorium has arounsed.

As a matter of fact time may come unless the people want to be taxed to meet the situation, when cases may be evicted from the hospitals for the insane to make room for more urgent cases. The hospitals for the insane have accumulated through the years many patients who could be cared for at home, or in county homes, as well as in the hospitals. These are usually old people, senile, in second childhood, whom expert treatment can’t help. All they need is care. They are frequently unloaded on the State to relieve private homes, or the counties, of their care. If some of the folks who essay to direct the destinies of state could take a little time off from consideration of petty politics, they might do something approaching statesmanship in determining a State policy with reference to our charitable and reformatory institutions, more especially the former. Is the State to continue to try to provide for all unfortunates who may need care? If so we should realize the enormity of the task and meet it. Or should the State provide only for those who can be benefitted by expert treatment, or who must be detained for their own safety and the safety of others. The chronic cases, in the main harmless, for whom nothing can be done except to make them comfortable, are becoming an increasing burden yearly on the hospitals for the mentally ill. Unless the increase of housing accommodations is to go on indefinitely, the cases mentioned must be kept in county homes when they have no homes of their own. The counties are all the time passing the buck to the State. It is high time a policy was fixed, a line drawn.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Letter from Lucy Russell, Touring Europe, 1920

From the Aug. 19, 1920 issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

Letters from Mrs. Lucy P. Russell, Who Sailed from New York June 12th, 1920 for a Tour of Europe

Lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwrn, Drocwyll Llantysiliogogoch, Wales
My Dear Post-Dispatch:

Please print the above address carefully. Certain friends in Rockingham promised to organize a rescue party in case I got lost and I am lost right now.

We left London one afternoon in a pouring rain by a tender to the Limehouse Pier where we boarded the good ship “Perth” bound for Dundee. The ride down the Thames was a wonderful revelation of “England’s commerce; huge vessels from strange, far lands pushed aside small craft from neighboring countries. Fleets of heavily laden barges shouldered their way to the great city, liners and battleships, tramp freighters, yachts and houseboats met and passed. Flags of all nations fluttered in the smoke and rain. Horns bellowed and bells clanged out their warnings through the mist and Babel itself never heard so many different languages. We sailed straight up the North Sea for two nights and a day and a half, right over the ground (or rather water) where the German raiders passed, not far from where Kitchener went down, and where the battle off the Dogger Banks was fought. We passed Flamborough Head and Scarborough, the first English town to be bombarded, you know, and Whitley, where all the best jet comes from. And Robin Hood’s bay and Grace Darling’s lighthouse and landed in Dundee early one morning. Was much disappointed in “bonnie Dundee,” which has nothing to recommend it but its site above the Tay. So we pushed on to Perth where Messrs. Frazer and McDonald have an immense trade in cattle and sheep. Their auction rooms hold 10,000 sheep, 1,500 bullocks, 2,000 cows and 800 horses. Mr. Frazer himself conducted us through and pointed with great pride to the very seat occupied recently by an American gentleman who paid $33,000 for an Aberdeen-Angus bull, and received a gold watch from his fellow-townsmen for bringing home such a treasure.

Then we caught the noon train for Callendar and entered the magic land immortalized by Sir Walter Scott. Ben Lede towers above the clean little village, Benvoirlich and Uam Var are in sight, and “Monan’s rill” pours into Lake Vennachar not far away. We loitered through the quaint streets smiling at familiar Scotch names; we watched a game of bowls and drank a cup of tea, tne mounted a couch for the Trossach country. A most beautiful ride it is, up the shore of Vennachar, pasat the Brig’ o’ Turk, through fragrant forests and over crystal streams until we stood by Loch Achray at the foot of Ben Vencie and watched the grey clouds roll across his furrowed brow. Spent the night at “The Trossachs,” a comfortable hotel on the shore of Achray. It is built of the native gray stone and just seems to spring from the mountain like any other rock.

Next morning we took a long tramp along the loch (lake) and knelt to pick the “slight hare bell” by its side, watched the multitudes darting in and out of their holes, climbed up to the sheep-fold high on the mountain and plucked the spicey “wilding rose” growing over the grey rocks, wandered into the graveyard of the tiny “kirk” and read the names on the stones, “Cameron,” “Graham,” “Ferguson,” McGregor”—just like our home names. It was a witness to Scotch courage that so many of the crosses in the tiny enclosure were new and bore the battle names of the Great War.

No one need expect me to write of the beauty of this region; Sir Walter has finished that job. Just read again “The Lady of the Lake” and be sure that not one word is out of place, but no wizardry of the written word can ever bring to the eye the coloring of mountain and heather, sky and velvet fields, beetling crags and shining water. Scotch houses have a way of hooking part of the rock on and of which they are built and very much like the men who built them, square, angular, upright and reliable, from the humble Highland cottage with its “but and ben” to the lordly Castle in Edinburgh town they all have the same look of stern integrity. The cottages do not all have bright flowers around them as in England and the land is not so fertile. It cannot be, there isn’t so much of it on the ground. But whenever there is a level space it bears a wonderful crop of wheat and oats, potatoes and hay. There are fine, fat cows in the valleys and millions of sheep on the mountains. Why not on our mountains in North Carolina?

Another coach took us to Loch Katrine, which we crossed in a steamer named “Sir Walter Scott.” We sailed past the “silver strand” and “Ellen’s Isle” and tried to locate the different peaks and shadowy glens. I asked a lady near me if she knew the localities, and she said she knew nothing about it being from Australia. There were also two Japanese on the boat.

Another coach took us nine miles through the mountains to Loch Lomond down whose blue waters we sailed for two hours to Balloch where all the Turkey red dye is made. The shores of the lake are full of most beautiful, stately dwellings, the estates of rich Glasgow merchants, but Ballock castle and its grounds have been purchased for a park for the citizens of that town.

We intended to spend the night in Glasgow, but a walk through the streets and a wait at the station determined us to get out as soon as possible. Every man we saw and not a few women, were drunk, staggering, singing, ghastly drunk. I did not thing such a scene possible anywhere on earth. They laugh at America over here for prohibition, but the scenes I witnessed in Glasgow and E’boro have determined me to send over some Missionaries as soon as possible.

We reached Edinboro late and were glad to creep into the first hotel we saw, “The Caledonia,” and the next morning found ourselves close under the walls of the towering castle and across the street from St. Cuthbert’s “Free Kirk” and the beautiful chimes called me into its open doors. The Scotch church has reserved more ritual in its service than we American Presbyterians use. The minister wore a gown and bands and his assistant who read the Gospel and the notices was clothed in crimson silk. The sang the age-old “Rouse’s Version” of the Psalms and I joined in lustily because nobody knew the tunes any better than I did. The afternoon we spent in a long drive around the city, into the Castly and Holyrood Palace, to the homes of John Knox and Robert Burns. We stood by “The Heart of Midlothian” and lingered along Princes Street by the Scott monument and by St. Giles, the only Presbyterian Cathedral in the world, and it is St. Gargen’s lovely memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson. Next day we spent in exploring the city and some of its treasures of “ye olden times,” and some of the handsome shops.

Wednesday’s ride through the Lowlands, the hills enriched by the blood of the Covenanters, to Merrie Carlisle was most interesting. I found out why the Scotch people emigrate. They are found all over the habitable globe, and the inhabitable too. It is to get away from the Scotch climate. The clouds hang low and dark, the sky is NEVER free from clouds and it rains every few minutes, sometimes oftener. The trees are dark, somber firs and larches, the buildings are of the native brown and grey stone, the fences and walls of the same, the whole atmosphere of the country is dark, glowering, stern and very cold. Holyrood Palace gives one a chill and after walking through Mary Stuart’s picture gallery no one smiles for  a whole day. Al the same, “Caledonia, stern and wild,” is darkly beautiful and when it comes to producing fine men and women, do you know any land that can beat it?

Train service over here is excellent, rapid and comparatively cheap, 12 hours from Edinboro to Llandudno, a watering place on the Irish Sea in the north of Wales, with grand golf links and beach for bathing. When an Englishman goes on holiday there are certain things to be done and he does them, certain clothes to wear and he wears them. If he goes to the seaside, it is the thing to go in swimming. If the weather is hot, all right. If there are icebergs in the bay, so much worse for the icebergs; in he goes, splashed around and comes out in various shades of purple and pink. It is proper to go “boating” in white flannel trousers and brightly colored blagers. It may be raining in torrents and mud six inches deep, but here comes the white breeches. As for golf nobody can hit a little white ball with a crooked stick unless he has on long woolen stockings. It simply isn’t done.

From Llandudno we made excursions by motor-bus to Bettsw-y-Coed and Cap-el-rig, to Criccrth and Pwllhemi and other places whose names I am too sleepy to spell. One of us played golf on Great Orine Head and with the sea on three sides of him and fold upon fold of the dark Welsh mountains on the other. Llandudno is the place where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland. The rabbit is still there.

We came back to London through Wales and the English Midlands and stopped at Stratford-upon-Avon, and it is a very good place to stop.

Yours truthfully, L.P.R. (Mailed from London, July 31.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

An August Day on a Tobacco Farm in Durham County, 1939

From “American Life Histories,” stories of everyday Americans collected during the Great Depression. These stories are now online. Writers frequently changed the name of people mentioned in the story, but the database now gives real names. Cassie, mentioned in the story below, is actually named Bessie. And Archie Marler, the storyteller, is actually John Holder, Route 4, Durham.

Date of first writing: August 15, 1939

Person interviewed: John Holder (white)

Address: Route #4 Durham, N. C.

Occupation: Tobacco farmer

Writer: Omar Darrow

Reviser: Edwin Massengill



Three small boys, two white and the other one colored, were rolling automobile tires down the narrow dusty path. Their clothes were soiled, obviously having not been changed all the week, and it was now Friday. They were too small to be placed at work at the tobacco "bench" where the other members of the family work five and six days each week, so they usually resort to the tires, their only "playthings" for amusement.

"That's Cassie's little boy," remarked the larger of the white children as he attempted to explain the presence of the colored child. "He plays with us sometimes while his mama helps my mama." Then the white child spat tobacco juice. The other two did likewise.

These two white children belong to Archie Marler, a landowner, who plants tobacco for his means of livelihood. They rolled their tires on down the path until they came to the bridge which crosses the stream between the road and their house. Here they stopped, and one of the little boys took from his pocket a deck of playing cards.

"Want to play a game of something?" he asked. "I play anything, pinocle, blackjack, poker, or anything."

"Let's play poker," added the other little boy.

The house was only a short distance from this bridge. Maria, the wife of Archie, was in the kitchen, for it was one of the days on which they didn't have to barn tobacco. The house is old with warped weatherboarding. It has never been painted, and the floor sagged in places. The little boys called to their mother and she appeared at the door, dressed in a neat gingham dress but soiled apron.

"I'm just ashamed for you to see everything in such a mess," she apologized, "but have a seat if you can find any place to put the chair amongst all these pea hulls scattered all over the floor. We're curing and getting in tobacco all the time, and I have four extra hands to cook for all the time besides the fifteen we have on barning days. But Archie is at the house today, and he has been helping me to shell the butter beans and peas. It takes near 'bout a bushel of each to feed this crowd. I also have to kill 'bout five or six chickens at the time to go 'round for two meals. I always cook my dinner and supper together."

Maria was now in the room next to the kitchen, a room with two iron beds and the household's only dresser, and its mirror was so nearly covered with flyspecks that one could barely see himself. The two beds also were dingy, but this was due to the fact that children play upon them constantly. The flies were also bad, inside and out.

"I don't know what to do 'bout the children's heads," Maria remarked. "They've been covered in them sores, and nothing I tried won't do them no good. See how big them scabs are?"

The little boys were in the kitchen pawing over the left-over food. The kitchen was furnished with an old weather-beaten sideboard, a table, a safe, and a wood stove. They eat in the bedroom.

"Some of the boys have fixed them a room upstairs in the pack house," she continued. "That helps out, too, and they says they like it better 'cause they ain't bothered by the children. My oldest girl is now married and don't live here no more.

"My oldest boy sure is a good one. During all the time that Archie was working at the prison camp guarding prisoners he stayed at home and was man of the house. But I don't know what to do with the rest of them. Them littlest boys will dip snuff in spite of all I can do. I don't know where they got it unless they picked it up from some of the niggers 'round. I just don't have time to stop and whip them.

"There's Archies now if you wanted to ask him anything 'bout tobacco," she interrupted herself.

Archie was wearing clean khaki pants, a blue shirt, a gray hat, and was barefoot as was his wife.

"I've got in two barns now," he began, "I'm always glad when I got my barns filled, then I can get out of them clothes and feel a bit cleaner. I'll tell you what's so, when I come out of them clothes awhile ago them overalls was so full of gum they stood alone 'cause they was so stiff.

"Raising tobacco is sure a nasty job as well as a hard one. If I'd get what my crop this year is worth in dollars and cents I'd never have to hit another lick or work no matter how long I lived, but we folks what makes it don't get nothing much.

"Here's what us tobacco growers have to do to make a crop: We burn out places that we want to sow our seeds along maybe in November. To burn a plant bed means that we burn brush over the spot. That kills out grass seeds and ground insects and leaves ashes that helps to fertilize the ground. Then as soon as we get that bed worked up like we want we sow the seeds. This comes the last of January. We leave the bed then for the seeds to start germinating which is about three or four weeks, then we put canvas on it.

"The seeds start coming up about the last of February, and in a week or so we have to start weeding the bed. We start planting by the last of April into May but plant no later than June. We plow it at least four times and chop it not less than three times.

"Before we can plant it at all we have to work the land by plowing. Then we fertilize deeply in the furrows that are first run for rows. We start working this land for planting almost by the time we start canvassing the plant bed. After it is plowed the second time we start harrowing it until it is soft before we ever cut a furrow with a plow.

"Almost by the time the plant is set the worms start coming, then there's worming to be done. The grass starts along with the worming which calls for plowing and chopping. We start priming it around July, first or second week, and each field is primed at least five times before it is finally cut. It takes two and a half cords of wood to cure a barn and that has to be cut and split.

"After we get a barn filled we fire it and get it started to curing at between 80 and 90 degrees and let it stay thereabout until it turns yellow. Then we get the thermometer up to 110 for about eight or ten hours, then increase the fire, stopping when it reaches 120 degrees for three or four hours. After this, we run the heat up to 130 for twenty-five hours, drying the leaf. Then we go up to 170 or 180 to kill it out. It takes four days and four nights to cure one barn. We hardly ever set up, though; we just set a clock to alarm at different times. When it's dried we just let the fire get down and drag the coals out of the flues. Then we keep the dirt floors of the barns wet and keep this up a day and half or two days to get the leaf in order for moving. This softens the leaves so that they don't crack or tear from handling. If the weather is rainy or damp we only open the doors to let the moisture in. When it is ready to move we pack it up in a pile with all the tips turned one way, then we pen it with all the sticks to the outside of the pens so that ventilation might prevent molding.

"Then it must be graded. It takes three days for one grader to grade a barn and he must have two men to tie it up. There is three grades, or that's the new way of grading. It used to be that there was about six grades. We have a first grade which is yellow--that is the choice. The second grade is ordinary, and the third grade is the remainder that's saved of the crop.

"I've got a corn crop that will bring me nearly 500 barrels. I have mules and horses, to say nothing of the two hogs that weigh 400 pounds. I can have my own corn ground for meal, for all of us likes corn broad a heap better than we do biscuit. We have lots of chickens, too, and we feed them corn and then there is the fodder and the tops that we feed to the milch cow.

"We have a big family of our own and since my brother's wife died I have his son along with my own children. His boy is near on to twenty years old, and I give him a tobacco patch that made him almost a barn. I didn't count it along with mine when I talked to you.

"Every year I market sweet potatoes and often turnip salad. As for any other crop, Maria has been able to can tomatoes, corn, and fruits of such as we have here on the farm. I just don't know just what a man could do and how a man could get along with a family if they didn't have just such a wife as Maria is, for she sure has stuck and done all she could to get along.

"I don't pay no attention to politics no more. I used to be a Democrat but now I hardly know what to call myself 'cause I ain't much of a New Dealer.

"I'm no church member. Maria is. She's been a member since she was a girl. I never felt much like I should be a church member, for when I look around me it seems that being a member don't chance a person much. And I never thought it was right to do anything if you don't exactly know you're right in doing it, so I never joined a church. I go with Maria when we can get off, but that ain't often 'cause we got so many children. Maria's one of them old-fashioned kind of mothers that wants to take the kids to church with us, and there's so many to wash and dress we just can't get there on time.

"We don't have no car on the place except Bronco's old '26 Ford. I ain't felt able to buy another for we need a new house here.

"I own the place. The land's right good and I make good crops, but I have to work mighty hard to give my family plenty to eat and clothes to wear. I've got near to 100 acres in this piece and another little tract close by just over the hill yonder. A poor man has to work all his life anyhow, but it's healthy."

Date of first writing: August 15, 1939

Person interviewed: John Holder (white)

Address: Route #4 Durham, N. C.

Occupation: Tobacco farmer

Writer: Omar Darrow

Reviser: Edwin Massengill