Monday, February 29, 2016

President Truman Tries to Expand Social Security to Cover Farmers, Small Businessmen, Doctors, Lawyers, Domestic Workers, 1949

“Truman Outlines Security Program,” from the Feb. 22, 1949 issue of the Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

Washington, Feb. 22—(AP)—Here are the main provisions of President Truman’s Social Security plan:

1.       The old age and survivors insurance program would be expanded to include a wide range of workers not now covered, such as farmers, small businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and other self-employed persons, domestic service workers, and federal employees not covered under a federal retirement plan.

2.       Maximum insurance benefits, upon retirement, would be increased from the present $85 to $150.
3.       The retirement age for women would be reduced from 65 to 60; for men it would remain at 65.

4.       A retired person could receive $50 a month in earnings without loss of his benefits—instead of $15.
5.       All needy persons would get direct federal grants instead of just needy aged, the blind, and dependent children, as at present. Such payments—with the federal government and the state each chipping in a share—would go as high as $100 for a man and his wife and $20 for each additional person in the family.

6.       Standards of assistance would continue to be determined by the states. But federal aid would be extended on a basis of per capita income in the states. States with the lowest per capita income would get the largest shares of federal aid.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The News From Beaver Dam Community in Watauga County, 1919

“Beaver Dam Items” from the Feb. 6, 1919, issue of The Watauga Democrat

Messrs. J.K. Perry, H.H. Farthing and Dr. Perry have installed a new roller mill at the hold farthing mill on Lower Beaver Dam.

Mr. Emmit Hagaman who married Miss Verta Phillips of Beaver Dam has bought a farm near Knoxville, Tenn., and will move to it in the near future.

Rev. Blalock, who has been a missionary to China for many years, is now on a visit to Upper Beaver Dam with a view to holding a few days’ meeting.

Health conditions are reasonable good in this section. Only two cases of flu at present. One is Miss Cathy Shell, the other is Mr. Marshal Edmonston.

Mrs. Clyde Perry, who has been very sick for some time, is thought to be improved.

There has not been any meeting at Forest Grove for about three months on account of influenza and measles but it seems to be a thing of the past now.

Messrs. Walter and Geo. Green, sons of Mr. Lem Green, who moved to Iowa about 26 years ago, are visiting in this section for a few days.

“Aunt” Sarah Wilson, who has been afflicted with paralysis for some time, is but little improved.
Mr. Jurd Henson, who has been blind for some time, seems to be on the decline. He has been suffering very much with inflamed eyes.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Should North Carolina Create a New County? 1911

Originally printed in the News and Observer, and reprinted on the editorial page of the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911.

The final hearing on the bill to establish Avery county out of portions of Caldwell, Watauga and Mitchell counties was given by the Senate and House committee on Counties, Cities and Towns yesterday afternoon. The bill was opposed by Messrs. J. M. Peterson, superintendent of public instruction in Mitchell, ex-Sheriff A.A. Wiseman, T.A. English and W.W. Bailey, all of Spruce Pine in the county; while it was advocated by T.A. Love Esq. of Saginaw, Mitchell; ex-Judge W.B. Councill of Hickory; Lieutenant Governor Newlaud and Representative Spainhour of Burke.

Mr. Peterson argued that Avery would be another pauper county. The debt of Mitchell at this time is such that, if it were not for the State aid, the free schools would last no longer than two and a half months per year. The question of convenience would be settled, he said, by the removal of the county seat from Bakersville. The erection of a new county would result in doubling the taxes in both territories for the next 50 years, and in addition it would be heavily republican.

Mr. Peterson introduced as one of his associates in opposing the bill ex-Sheriff A.A. Wiseman, now 80 years of age. Mr. Wiseman stated that he was the largest tax payer in Mitchell; that he owns at this time 3,500 acres of land, assessed at $15,500, and that, if the committee wanted to double his tax, why just give us Avery. He was no talking man, he said, but he could say that.

Mr. W. Bailey said that the people of Snow Creek, Grassy Creek, and other townships were all opposed to another county. So anxious, in fact, were they to sign petitions against the proposition that they hollowed to him from every hill top as he passed through.

Mr. T.A. English stated to the committee the terms of his contract entered into by himself and Representative Norman during the campaign. In consideration of Norman’s promise not to spring a new county issue, English was to do all he could to secure Norman’s election, and ever since the opening of the legislature he had received letters from Norman saying that he was undertaking to do nothing along that line now. Until the return of Mr. McBee, who was here last week, they were all ignorant of any attempt to erect Avery.

T.A. Love Esq. of the east end of Mitchell made the opening address for the advocates of the county. He also alleged an agreement entered into by prominent west-enders, among them, George K. Pritchard, ex-Senator Black and others to the effect that the new county would meet their approbation.

As to the allegation that it would be a deficit county, he said this would not be true of Mitchell if the Board of Commissioners were not careful to see to it that assessments were kept too low to insure the State’s getting anything. They would always be a pauper county, he argued, if they were not allowed to manage for themselves.

Judge W.B. Councill said that he had been all over the territory affected, as well as into every county in North Carolina, and that in his opinion, no more meritorious new county prop0osition ever came before the General Assembly. The situation was such in point of court facilities that the people of that section were burdened beyond endurance.

Judge Councill submitted figures ending to show that 130 square miles were to be taken from Mitchell; property valuation, $1,000,000, population 7,???, that Mitchell will be left with 193 square miles, property valuation $1,500,000, population more than 8,600. There are 18 counties with less population than Avery would have, about 10 smaller in acreage, and 12 with less property valuation.
He had come to plead for Avery, he said, without money and without price. He was receiving neither a fee nor his expenses.

Lieutenant Governor Newland and Representative Spainhour both assured the committee that, if new counties were established to answer a necessity in point of convenience, then the Avery proposition is meritorious. Both had gone over the section, and each corroborated the other in the statement that in the winter the road across Cane Creek mountain has been so bad that four horses would have to be put to a hack to haul four men over to court.

Mr. Spainhour said that, while in Mitchell, he had urged upon the people that they should assess their property at a higher figure, something more nearly approaching its market value. For the first time in his life, he said, he heard then the argument that they oughtn’t to do that, since it might mean some money to the State.

Representative Hagaman and Senator Wagoner, of Watauga, told the committee that the people would not oppose the county, in case, as had been agreed, an amendment were adopted to leave the question of Watauga territory to a vote of its citizens. In case the committee should not accept such amendment, they wanted to go on record as opposing the measure.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Lew Barton Reminiscences About War, Naval Ship, 1948

From the Feb. 23, 1949 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

Almost everybody knows that the big 60-inch carbon-arc searchlights aboard ship are used for signaling, for spotting hostile aircraft, for furnishing light for rescue work, for furnishing the E-Division men something to keep them busy polishing and for blinding the you-know-what out of some superior petty officer you don’t like; but few know that they are used principally as a cupboard (if you have a swebble like Lenihan aboard).

Lenihan always belly-ached about everything he ever had to do aboard ship except one thing, and that was load supplies. He was the most enthusiastic loader at bacon, ham, steaks, mayonnaise, corned beef, etc., you ever saw; but any item not in the food line Lenny always steered as clear of as it had been leprosy.

He had an unholy fear of starvation and every third armload went into our private storehouses where Mother Nature, with her North Atlantic iciness, very kindly kept the food preserved. We ate like kings until it was gone and then the ingenuous mind of Lenihan resorted to other measures.

I always found an excuse to make myself scarce around the piles of food supplies as I was always extremely unlucky in such matters and this always made Lenny swear to eat every morsel alone but he always gave in after snubbing me for a couple of days. My only price of admission was patience and tolerance when the inevitable burst of profanity and scorn was heaped up in good measure upon my head.

And though I always willing and uncomplainingly ate my share I was no more willing to assume any responsibility the day Warrant officer Clark found something wrong with searchlight No. 2 than I had been during the loading.

“Barton, L.R., Electrician’s Mate third class, lay up to searchlight number two on the double” boomed the P.A. system. With quaking knees I complied.

“Something wrong here,” said Mr. Clark. “Break out your tools and take it apart so we’ll find out the trouble.”

I was aghast. I glanced up to see if he intended to watch while I disclosed the whereabouts of our food cache. He was waiting with impatience for me to proceed. I saw he had no intention of leaving.

I fumbled at the screws, my hands shook. I told him there was no use to tire himself out watching; I’d have it fixed in a jiffy. He said thanks for my concern for him but he’d wait. I told him a fellow had seen a shark a few minutes ago from the fantail, didn’t he want to go see the monster? He said no. I was a d---liar, sharks could not live in this cold stretch of water and what the h--- had my hands shaking so? I said I didn’t know but Lenny had a screw driver that would just fit these screws, to let me go and call him. He said the screwdriver I had would work if I would turn it around.

At that moment chow call sounded and I almost fell on my face in thanksgiving as Mr. Clark left. I fairly tore the back off expecting to see a strip of bacon tangled in the intricate clocklike mechanism. But to my surprise it was empty.

And to this day no one knows what happened to the chow; however Lenny swears that Mr. Clark’s mouth was greasy when he went to his stateroom the following day even though it was hours from mealtime. Lenny said if there was ever anything on this earth he hated it was a low-down, shiveling, sneaking thief, and of course, I had to agree.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cars and Trucks in North Carolina in 1921

From the Feb. 23, 1922, issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

Statistics compiled by the Goodrich tire concern give a total of 10,524,395 cars and trucks registered in this country in 1921. This is an increase of 1,229,023, or 13.2 per cent over 1920 when there were 9,295,372 motor vehicles registered. North Carolina registered 140,869 in 1920 and 152,990 in 1921. South Carolina had 93,843 in 1920 and only 90,546 in 1921—to say nothing of how many the boll weevil drove under the shed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Notices from Watauga Democrat, Including Span and Sanders Divorces, 1911

Notices in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911.

Notice! Beware!
All persons will notice that for reasons which shall be set forth in my answer I shall refuse to pay either or any part of the three notes, to wit: one $200 eight month; one $500 twelve month; one $200 eighteen months, the same being given to J.F. Norris by Ed Norris, principal, J.B. Johnson suriety, bearing date of Oct. 18 A.D. 1910. This the 13th day of Jan. 1911.

Home Tanned Leather
I have just started up a tannery at Shulls Mills and am now ready to put leather on the market. I have harness, upper and kips, made by the old process. I use no acids or chemicals. I want all the hides in the county. I am trying to make leather that will keep our feet warm and dry.
                Respectfully, W.V. Calaway, Shulls Mills, N.C.

Wilkes County Farms
I have in my hands for sale over 100 farms in all parts of Wilkes County, including the famous orchards of the Brushy Mountains, the fine corn lands in the Yadkin River bottoms, and beautiful rolling land in the Flatwoods with that fine red clay subsoil. Some real bargains. Shown at my expense.
                Yours respectfully, H.W. Horton, North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Wagon Sheds Stalls and Camping Lot.

Flour, Bran and all kinds of feed sold by Home Milling Company, T.F. Seehorn, Manager, Depot St., Lenoir, N.C.

L.L. Critcher
Dealer in notions, groceries, stationery, coffins, caskets, and etc. Also agent for Hickory Steam Laundry.

Sanders Divorce Notice
North Carolina, Watauga County Superior Court Spring Term 1911. Warren Sanders vs Caroline Sanders

The above named defendant will take notice that a summons in the above entitled action was issued against said defendant on the 3rd day of January, 1911, by W.D. Farthing, Clerk of the Superior Court of Watauga County for divorce from the said defendant, which summons is returnable to the Spring Term of the Superior Court of Watauga County, to be held in Boone, N.C., on the 27th day of March, 1911,when and where the said defendant is required to appear and answer or demur to the complaint of the plaintiff or the relief demanded in said complaint will be granted. This January 11, 1911, W.D. Farthing, C.S.C.

Span Divorce Notice
North Carolina, Watauga County Superior Court Spring Term 1911. Dora Span vs R.E. Span

The above named defendant will take notice that a summons in the above entitled action was issued against said defendant on the 9th day of December, 1910, by W.D. Farthing, Clerk of the Superior Court of Watauga County for divorce from the said defendant, which summons is returnable to the Spring Term of the Superior Court of Watauga County, to be held in Boone, N.C., on the 27th day of March, 1911, when and where the said defendant is required to appear and answer or demur to the complaint of the plaintiff or the relief demanded in said complaint will be granted. This Jan. 9th, 1911, W.D. Farthing, C.S.C.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Turn Leftover Meat into Delicious Oven Croquettes, 1948

“Delicious Oven Croquettes” from an ad for Hunts Tomato Sauce in an advertisement in Life magazine, Nov. 29, 1948

Use leftovers—bake ‘em with Hunts Tomato Sauce

It’s True! The tastiest croquettes ever! Without the bother of deep-fat frying. And—
You make ‘em for a song. Use leftover beef, lamb, veal, turkey or chicken. And, of course, that wonderful cooking sauce from California—Hunt’s Tomato Sauce. The low-cost way to buy tomatoes for cooking. Costs but a few cents a can!

Hunt’s comes ready to use—already kettle-simmered. Rich and thick and flavor. So—
Use Hunt’s Tomato Sauce in your spaghetti, vegetables, meat loaf, stews. In fish and rice dishes, gravies.

Look for the Hunt red label. Better buy six cans—for a few cents a can!

Oven Croquettes
2 cups diced left-over beef, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey
1 medium onion
1 small green pepper
¾ cup fine, dry, bread crumbs
2 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten
2 cans Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
½ cup left-over gravy
½ cup water
1 tsp. horseradish
Melted fat

Grind meat, onion, and green pepper. Add bread crumbs, salt, egg, and 1 can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce. Mix well. Form into 8 pyramids or cakes. Mix remaining Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, left-over gravy, water, and horseradish. Pour into shallow greased baking dish. Brush croquettes with melted fat. Place in sauce. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) 20-25 minutes basting after croquettes have been in oven 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Hunt—for the best

Hunt’s Fruits, Vegetables, Tomato Products, Hunt Foods Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.

Monday, February 22, 2016

North Carolinians Who Can't Read or Write, 1920

From the Feb. 23, 1922, issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

To the question, “Can you read and write?” propounded to every man, woman and child above the age of 10 years in North Carolina during the census taking in 1920, 241,603 answered “no.” The percentage of illiteracy is 43.1 as against 18.5 in 1910. Of the illiteracies, 204,492 are of voting age. According to the figures, Edgecombe and Scotland counties are the most illiterate.

The figures for some neighboring counties are: Richmond, 2,608; Chatham, 2,100; Moore, 1,457; Montgomery, 1,381; Scotland, 2,316; Robeson, 7,627; Stanly, 2,327; and Anson, 3,952.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dr. Kent Explains Changes in Hunting Law, Use of Convicts on Turnpike, 1911

From the Lenoir News, January 1911

Dr. A.A. Kent, Caldwell’s representative in the Legislature, spent last Saturday at home returning to Raleigh Sunday. Dr. Kent has had the game law for Caldwell changed that rabbits and squirrels may be killed at any time and quail may be killed from Dec. 1st to January 20th, instead of January 2st as the law now reads.

The charter of the Lenoir & Blowing Rock Turnpike was also amended as our readers know, by which the state will furnish 50 to 75 convicts to work on the road and take stock in the road in payment for the labor thus performed. The company will be required to furnish implements for the hands to work with and the state will be paid $1.50 per day in stock for each hand furnished. This is a very important measure and insures the completion of the work on the road at an early date.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Annie Malchaner Bower, 54, Has Died in Lenoir, N.C., 1919

“Mrs. W.H. Bower Dies in Lenoir” from the Feb. 6, 1919 issue of The Watauga Democrat, Boone

Mrs. Annie M. Bower, widow of the late W.H. Bower, died last Saturday morning at her home in Lenoir. She had been in declining health for a number of years. Her remains were buried in the Horton graveyard on the Yadkin Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, her pastor, Rev. R.D. Sherrill of the First Methodist Church, Lenoir, conducting the funeral services, in the presence of a large crowd.

Mrs. Bower was 54 years of age and was born and reared in Bethlehem, Pa. Before her marriage to Hon. W.H. Bower on Nov. 28, 1893, she was a nurse by profession, her maiden name being Annie Louise Malchaner. She received training at Saint Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem, and was later superintendent of Wilkesberry Hospital.

Mrs. Bower was a woman of culture and was beloved by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed. One son, Mr. David M. Bower, survives.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Local News from Boone Area, Feb. 2, 1911

 “Local News” from the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911.

Ed. G. Farthing is off on a business trip to Wilksboro this week.

Dr. R.D. Jennings will be at the Blackburn Hotel next Monday for the practice of dentistry.

The days continue very warm and the songs of the birds at early dawn reminds one of spring.

Miss Rosedna Brown of Blowing Rock has been added to the faculty of the Training School.

W.R. Edmisten of Rufus, Caldwell county, was a business caller at our office last Saturday.

Donald Farthing left last week for a visit to his brother, Dr. L.E. Farthing, at Pittsboro, Chatham county.

Rev. T.E. Weaver asks us to announce that he will preach in the Methodist church in Boone at 11 a.m. next Sunday.

A meeting of days is being conducted at Poplar Grove by Revs. Payne, Gragg and Farthing.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Green on Monday morning last, a baby boy. Mother and son are doing well.

Services at the Methodist church on Sunday night next, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Vestal, presiding elder for the Wilkesboro district.

Miss Hattie Thomas, daughter of County Treasurer W.N. Thomas, is in town this week on her return from a visit to relatives in Hickory.

Master James, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Councill, entertained a number of his little play mates and friends on Tuesday evening last in honor of his 8th birthday.

The little child of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cook of East Boone was right painfully burned Tuesday morning by the accidental overturning of a pain of boiling water.

As the result of a protracted meeting conducted by the Rev. J.M. Payne at Middle Fork church, 17 were received into full membership by baptism on Friday last.

Mrs. Pulliam and daughter Miss Mary have returned to Bristol where the latter has entered college again at Virginia Institute. The little son Robert remaining here at the A.T.S.

The board of county commissioners will be in session next Monday, and we will learn that there will come before it some matters of considerable interest to the people of Watauga.

The venerable shoe-maker of Blowing Rock, Mr. Smith Watts, was married on Monday of last week to Miss Matheson of Taylorsville, N.C. the bride and groom are at home to friends at Blowing Rock.
A legislative committee of three, for the investigation of the work, management, etc., of the Appalachian Training School, is expected here this week. Like committees are being sent to all the State institutions.

This belated bit of sad news has just reached us: On the 10th Miss Selma Thomas died at her home at St. Jude, and was buried on the 11th in the church yard at St. Johns-on-the-Watauga, Rev. H.A. Dobbin officiating. A large number of relatives and friends were in attendance.

Mr. J.F. Salmons of Boone R.F.D., who has been on a rather protracted visit to Virginia, returned last Saturday, bringing with him an expensive through bred four-year-old Purcheon(?) horse. Mr. Salmons is a bit partial to this particular breed of draft horses, and has on his farm some of the finest specimens to be found in the mountain counties.

Mrs. Mary Hardin Shull, who has been spending the past month at the home of her parents in Boone, has been very ill for several days. Her husband, Mr. Edgar Shull, was wired for at Elizabethton, Tenn., on Saturday and is with her now. At this writing she is very little if any better. Her many relatives and friends hope for the splendid lady a speedy recovery.

Mr. D.M. Coffey of Moretz, one of our best citizens and farmers, has rented his beautiful plantation, bought a farm in Virginia, and moved to it this week. Mr. Coffey is a good financier, but we are unable to see how he could afford to rent such a farm and buy in another state. We can ill afford to give up such a man, but we hope he may continue to prosper, even if he has turned his back on the best county in North Carolina.

The trip of Sheriff Ragan to Virginia last week proved futile, as far as bringing Clarence Potter back with him was concerned. The policeman who arrested Potter at Coburn learned that the miners of the town intended to liberate him and brought him to Bristol. There he met an officer from Frankfort, Ky., armed with requisition papers form the Governor of the State for one Creed Potter, an escaped convict, and claimed Clarence as the man. Sheriff Ragan protested, but to no avail, and the prisoner was taken on to Kentucky. The Sheriff is now advised that his man is ready for him and he will start as soon requisition papers arrived.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

St. Pauls' Service Station Padlocked Because It Was Selling Bootleg Liquor, 1949

“Service Station Ordered Closed,” from the Feb. 22, 1949 issue of the Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

John (Cadillac) Mews’ Sharp Top service station north of St. Pauls was padlocked Friday, Sheriff Willis C. Britt revealed. The place, alleged to have been a dispensary of bootleg liquor, was closed upon an order signed by Judge Q.K. Nimocks Jr. of Fayetteville.

Mews is currently at liberty on bond pending appeal of a 12 months’ road sentence in Robeson Superior court following conviction of a charge of violating the liquor laws.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mrs. A.P. Fry and Her Tenants, Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Lisk, Lose Rockingham Home to Fire, 1922

From the Feb. 23, 1922, issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch

The home of Mrs. A.P. Fry in west Rockingham was destroyed by fire Monday night around 2 o’clock. Occupying the house with Mrs. Fry were Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Lisk and child.

The house was of one story, of four rooms. The first intimation of danger was the awakening of Mrs. Fry by the crackling of the flames overhead. The family rushed out and only a bed or two and a few articles were saved. The alarm was given and the town’s La France truck responded. Arriving in West Rockingham it was found that the nearest hydrant was too far away, the fire was without the town limits, and so the truck hurried back to the fire station and secured hose in addition to the 1,000 feet it carried. Connection was made with the creek below Great Falls, and the engine soon was pumping a strong stream. However, the house had been practically consumed. A new store building nearby came perilously near igniting, but was saved. One thousand insurance had been taken out on the house just two weeks ago, and $500 on the furniture.

Some time ago the Lisks moved out of their house 100 yards or so from the Fry house, and moved into the Fry home. They rented their larger house to Jim Garrett but retained the store underneath the house. About two months ago the house caught fire and was burned together with the small store containing some $500 worth of groceries. Mr. Garrett collected $650 insurance from his furniture, but the Lisks had none on their house or stock of goods. And so when R.R. Simmons called on them two weeks ago and suggested their taking insurance on the Fry home, they did so, to extent of $1,000 on the house and $500 on the furniture. Hard luck seems to follow them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thad Manning Is Seriously Ill and Selling His Newspaper, the Henderson Gold Leaf, 1911

“Illness of Mr. Thad R. Manning,” originally from the Gastonia Gazette as reprinted in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911

Worn out by 30 years in the newspaper office, Mr. Thad R. Manning, founder, owner and editor of the Henderson Gold Leaf, is confined in a hospital in Richmond, Va., and his physicians say he will doubtless have to remain there for several months at least. He advertises his paper for sale which is strong evidence that he himself has slight hope of ever being vigorous again as to wish to try the strenuous work of making a newspaper.

He has given 30 years of his life to the laborious and often unappreciated task of boosting his town and giving it a good newspaper. Those who have never tried it have no conception of the nerve-racking and nerve-wrecking existence the newspaper man leads. 

The fact is, 30 years of such living is more than the average newspaper man has allotted to him. A few nights ago Charles C. Boyd, for 12 years Associated Press operator on the Roanoke, Va., Times, fell dead at his key. Daily instances come to one’s notice of men, young in years but old in “living” who go from the newspaper office to the cemetery or the hospital. It is indeed about the most exacting life and the most strenuous in every respect that one can live. And yet many who have the opportunity to change to some more lucrative vocation stay on and run out their allotted space in life in the “print shop.” It has its recompense, ‘tis true, the largest of which is the consciousness of a work well performed and a task done for a betterment of humanity. We believe that if the public generally had half the conception of the trials and tribulations of the newspaper man’s life, they would be more charitable in their criticism of his shortcomings. Mr. Manning’s friends all over the State hope for him a speedy recovery of his health. His permanent retirement would mean a great loss to North Carolina journalism.

Monday, February 15, 2016

All That Remains of Moss Neck in Robeson County Is a Sign, 1949

“Only Sign Remains at Moss Neck, One-Time Thriving Trade Center” by Helen Seaswell, Robesonian Staff Writer, as published in the Feb. 23, 1949 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

Pembroke—When one of our old-timers came to Robeson county in 1909 there were signs all around pointing to Moss Neck, a thriving trading center. Its primary industry was the manufacture of turpentine.

The town had two turpentine stills, a water mill, several houses, a sawmill, a Methodist church, a school for white children, a hotel, a post office, and a railroad depot.

Moss Neck is located approximately 10 miles from Lumberton, about two miles north of the highway connecting Lumberton and Pembroke. Today, the only thing to be seen which is representative of a town is a wooden sign beside the road. And it is questionable that the sign will remain very much longer.
The main thing in the vanishing of Moss Neck was the moving of the turpentine industry. The naval stores industry was once important in North Carolina. Then it moved into South Carolina and Georgia. Also, demand for naval stores diminished with the increasing use of steel instead of wood in the construction of ships.

Growth of Pembroke
About 50 years ago what is now known as the Atlantic Coast Line railroad was cut through Robeson. A subsidiary of the railroad company, called the Atlantic Land Improvement company, bought up a lot of property where the road went through what is now called Pembroke. The land was sold cheaply to persons who would bring any sort of business into Pembroke. Sawmills were about the first industries to come.

Bringing the Atlantic Coast Line railroad through Moss Neck was considered, but objection was raised by a prominent citizen. The railroad went through Pembroke instead, and the encouragement given there to business tended to bring all the civilization at Moss Neck to Pembroke.

Over a period of about 30 years Moss Neck kept disintegrating gradually. The turpentine stills left. Newer kinds of machinery took the place of the old water mills. Prohibition hit the liquor saloons. After a while the only sign of community life was the church.

Then, about 25 years ago, the Methodist church was moved to Pembroke. Timber from the Moss Neck church was used in the new church for it was all heart timber, and still as good as new.

It's almost amazing what can happen to a one-time thriving rural trading center over a period of comparatively few years. Due to economic changes and probably to lack of foresight in meeting new conditions, the town completely dried up. What happened to Moss Neck leads to speculation on what the towns and trading centers that are thriving today will be like 30 to 50 years from now.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

After a Close Call with a Reckless Driver, Supreme Court Justice Harlan Predicts 'Pedestrian Rage', 1911

“Justice Harlan’s Prophecy” in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911.

The story comes from Washington that Chief Justice White and the venerable Justice Harlan of the United States supreme court narrowly escaped being run into the other day by a recklessly driven automobile which dashed into Pennsylvania avenue from a side street as they were starting to cross. It was a particularly close squeeze for Justice Harlan, and he was not slow in expressing his feelings.
“Some day a real man from the west, from the plains—from that section of the country where men do not permit other men to trifle with their feelings, some day such a man will come to Washington. He will walk down Pennsylvania avenue just as you and I were walking. As he starts across the street an automobile will come bowling along at break neck speed, and come within an inch of taking off a leg. It will be an old story with the driver, but a new one with the man from the west. That particular man from the west will pull his shooting iron form his picket and fill the reckless driver full of holes, and, judge though I am, I believe the man from the west will go scot free.”

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine's Day Card

Someone was hoping Cupid could thaw out a beloved's heart!

'Card of Thanks' from Alexander and Ioetta Thomas, 1911

“A Card of Thanks” from the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911. Rules of capitalization were different in 1911 and the word “christian” was lowercase.

We the undersigned, the parents of Selma Carrol Thomas, desire to express our heartfelt thanks for the true christian courtesy and tenderness shown our beloved daughter during the many weeks of her weary illness, as well as to us, her bereaved parents in our darkest “hour of trial” at the time of her death which was that gone who loved her God, trusted in her Savior and was not afraid to die.
                Alexander Thomas Jr.
                Ioetta Shull Thomas

Engagement Ring Advertisement for Keepsake Diamond Rings, 1948

The "Proud Look" . . . it's a Keepsake! The pride you feel in this love you share is forever reflected in love's most treasured symbol . . . a genuine registered Keepsake Diamond Ring. Only one diamond in hundreds meets the exacting standards of excellence in color, cut and clarity which distinguish every Keepsake Diamond Ring. Identify Keepsake by the name in the ring, and the words "guaranteed registered perfect gem" on the tag . . . as illustrated. Let comparison prove that a Keepsake gives you higher quality and greater value than an ordinary ring of the same price. Better jewelers are authorized Keepsake Jewelers. Prices from $100 to $5000. 

A. HOLLISTER Ring $750 Also $450 to 1100
Wedding Ring $150

B. FIDELIS Ring $125 
Wedding Ring 87.50

C. HEATHER Ring $350
Also $100 to 2475 and in platinum $300 to 3450
Wedding Ring 12.50

Friday, February 12, 2016

News Briefs from Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 1911

News briefs from the Watauga Democrat, Boone, N.C., February 2, 1911

Convicts to Complete Turnpike Between Lenoir and Blowing Rock
The proposition for the employment of State convicts in completing the turnpike between Lenoir and Blowing Rock has been adopted with some modifications that do not materially affect the bill. The governor and his council have only to see that the State sustains n loss. This is the turnpike that the people would neither desire nor permit. –Charlotte Chronicle

Nevada Prohibits Sale of Tobacco
The State Senate of Nevada has passed a bill prohibiting the sale of cigarettes and papers to any man or woman or child in the State of Nevada

Wilkes County Farmers Make Good Use of Dyamite
Farming by dynamite seems to be agitating the minds of the Wilkes farmers at present. An interesting letter in the Wilkes Patriot from Mr. W.H. Horton makes clear the advisability of using dynamite in farming. “The aim is to pulverize the sub-soil to retain moisture and give the roots of the growing crops a chance to penetrate the soil, and tests have proven that the yield is doubled, and even trebbled, and that it destroys insects in and round the hole you are preparing for planting.

Baptist University Becomes Meredith College
The Baptist University will hereafter be known as Meredith College, the change being made by an enactment of the legislature.

Mother Drops Dead When Son Sentenced to Death
On Jan. 27 a broken hearted mother dropped dead when the death sentence was passed on her son William Walker for burning his wife to death. She was 72 years old and unable to bear the shock. She sat by her son throughout the trial. He stoutly declared his innocence to the last.

Catawba Sweet Potatoes Shipped Out
The Newton Enterprise says that Catawba County farmers are beginning to ship their famous sweet potatoes. They go everywhere, from Atlanta to Boston.

Carnelius Barnes Traps 5-Foot Otter
An otter was caught by negro trapper Carnelius Barnes a few days ago that measured 5 feet and 3 inches from tip to nose. He caught it in Toisnot swamp. He carried his prize to Wilson and said that it would take two bills to buy the hide with an X on each one.

Daily News of Greensboro Sold
The directors and stock-holders of the Daily News of Greensboro have sold the plant to W.A. Hilderbrand and Geo. B. Crater of the Gazette-News of Asheville, who take charge at once. Both are newspaper men of experience.

Lobbyists Arriving in Raleigh
The railroad men, the bankers, the new county men, the anti-new county men, the near-beer men, and the divorce bill men are all pulling mileage for Raleigh these days. All but the dog law man. He is too poor for lack of mutton to sell and wool to market to pay his way to Raleigh. And if he had the money it would only be wasting it to invest in a ticket. –Charlotte Chronicle

Statesville Lawyer Moving to Racine, Wis.
Mr. George B. Nicholson of the Statesville bar has gone to Racine, Wis., to become counsel for the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co., one of the largest manufacturing plants in the West. He will receive a large salary.

C.M. Carr is Aide-de-camp
Gov. Kitchen has appointed C.M. Carr of Durham as aide-de-camp with the rank of colonel on his personal staff. He is a son of Gen. Julius Carr.

Hilbert Fisher to Go to West Point
Congressman C.H. Cowles has appointed Mr. Hilbert Fisher of Rowan County a Cadet to West Point. He is said to be an “exceedingly bright young man.”

Senate Accepts 50% Raise for Secretary of State
The Senate has accepted the amendment to increase the salary of Secretary of State from $8,000 to $12,000.

Rear Admiral Barry Discharged for Immoral Conduct
Real Admiral Barry of the U.S. Navy has been forced to retire or rather was discharged. Immoral conduct was the charge against him. He was 45 years old.

Mistrial in Laura Shenk Poisoning Case
Mrs. Laura Shenk of Wheeling W.Va., charged with having attempted to poison her husband, has been released from prison, as it was a mistrial. It is estimated that the cost of the trial will be $100,000. After all we’d like for the old man to have it to pay, she probably was sinned against as much as she sinned, can’t tell. There were to say the least, some witnesses against her who proved themselves what the courts know as “swift witnesses.”

H.B. Green Takes Charge of Mother’s Fortune
Mrs. Hettie Green, the richest woman in America, has turned her immense business over to her son, H.B. Green. The fortune as it stands is estimated at $100,000,000. Mr. Green is a man in middle life, and his mother tested his business ability by sending him to Texas 18 years ago to take charge of a broken down railroad line. He stood the test and consequently takes charge of his mother’s vast fortune.

R.C. Miller to Attempt First Flight Across Isthmus of Panama
The Raleigh Daily Times says that R.C. Miller, aviator, left Atlanta the 27th for Panama, where he will attempt the first flight from ocean to ocean, across the isthmus of Panama.

Mary Baker Eddy Buried
The body of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy was laid to rest on the shores of Lake Halcyon in Mt. Auburn, Jan. 15. The founder of the Christian Science denomination rests in a casket on which a bronze box rests, containing all of her latest publications. The ceremony was attended by the officials of the church, Judge Clifford O. Smith read the 91st Psalm and the last two chapters in Judges. Since the funeral the grave has been guarded night and day.

Young Writer Killed
A sad affair that when David Graham Phillips was so cruelly murdered in New York by Goldsborough, a Harvard graduate. He was young and was a writer of rare gifts. He was shot in broad day light. The assassin, satisfied that the awful deed was fully accomplished, fired a shot in his own brain. It seems that Goldsborough’s grievance was hard to understand. One was that he thought Phillips had used some members of his family in his books.

Grave of John Harold Robbed
The grave of John Harold, a follower of George Washington, has been opened and $500 in gold hidden there 100 years ago has been taken. It is thought that his wife hid it there many years ago.

Arkansas May Erect Monument to Confederacy
A bill has been introduced in the Legislature of Arkansas asking for the appropriation of $10,000 for the erection of a monument to the women of the confederacy.

New York City Has 14,000 Lawyers
There are 14,000 practicing lawyers in New York city with the local law schools turning them out at the rate of 500 per day. There are more lawyers than there is work for them to do.

Volcano in Philippines Erupts
Volcanic eruption and the tidal wave which followed an earthquake have caused serious loss in the Philippines. On the island of Luzon, Mt. Taal rises 1,050 feet from the center of a lake of the same name and she is now in eruption. Five towns are wiped out and 300 persons killed. No Americans were reported dead.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bodies of Samuel Locklear, Mallie McBryde, Graham Dew Returned from Pacific, 1949

“Body of Robeson Man Is Returned to U.S.” from the Feb. 23, 1949 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C.

The body of Pfc Samuel S. Locklear of the Marines, whose next of kin is Mrs. Mary L. Locklear, Lumberton, Route 3, has been returned to the United States from the Pacific area, according to announcement made by the Department of the Army. His remains were among those of 5,806 Americans who lost their lives during World War II.

Returned on this same ship were the bodies of T-5 Mallie McBryde, Army, whose next of kin is Needham McBryde, Raeford, Route 1, and Pfc. Graham R. Dew, Marines, whose next of kin is listed as Kathleen B. Dew, East Laurinburg.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Home Demonstration Club Members Favor Songs, 1955

When Home Demonstration Club members got together in the 1950s, they often shared songs. The Pitt County Home Demonstration Club members put together a collection of songs, got it printed, and handled distribution in the state. Above are club members singing. The lady in the middle is holding the booklet prepared and distributed by Pitt County. The images below are from one of those booklets.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Statesville Newspaper Publishes Interesting Old Stories, 1951

“Reminiscing,” from the Feb. 1, 1951 issue of the Statesville Landmark

Infirmary at Barium
Work on the infirmary at the Orphans’ Home at Barium Springs was begun in April 1894, with M.C. Dellinger in charge of the work.

Locating the College Here, From The Landmark of April 26, 1894:
In the proceedings of Concord Presbytery held in April 1894 Rev. J.R. Shearer, D.D., president of Davidson College, Rev. J. Rumple, D.D., of Salisbury, Rev. J.M. Rose of Morganton, S.H. Wiley of Salisbury, and Prof. J.H. Hill of Statesville were appointed a board of trustees to take all necessary steps toward the establishment of a Presbyterian female educational institution of high grade within the bounds of Concord Presbytery.

A number of newspapers, two at least published outside the bounds of Concord Presbytery, have suggested their towns as suitable locations for the proposed school. While we admire their zeal for their towns, The Landmark can say to them, speaking by the book, that the school, if established at all, and there is little if any doubt that it will be, will be established in Statesville.

First, the fact that the school at Statesville College is to be suspended in June was the prime cause if not the only cause for this action on the part of the Presbytery. Here is a school building, second to none in the State, for sale; it is located in a town of superior advantages; and the board of trustees have Statesville and Statesville College only in mind.

Yes, the school will be located in Statesville.

More About That Mule
In our reminiscing the past week, was told the story of the mule that ran wild in the northern part of the county and was chased by dogs and shot at. Finally he was lassoed by a Mr. Morrison of Bethany township. Following is a follow-up story to the incident as recorded in The Landmark of May 3, 2894:

The lawsuit on account of the capture of the wild mule came off before Justice Lewis in the court house Thursday afternoon. There were three lawyers, a cloud of witnesses and a court house more than half full of interested spectators. District Attorney Glenn and Hon. Lee S. Overman of Rowan, who were here that day, were onlookers at the trial, as were also about all the members of the Statesville bar. Major H. Bingham and Mr. H.P. Grier appeared for the plaintiff and owner of the mule. Mr. J.R. Rice of Rowan and J.A. Hartness, Esq., appeared for the defendant and the mule’s captor Mr. S.R. Morrison. Messrs R.B. Joyner, F.A. Sherril, C. (can’t make out name), R.I. Flanigan and J.W. Ayers were empaneled as a jury.

It was shown that Mr. Rice had offered a reasonable reward for the capture of the mule. Mr. Morrison had asked him $25 but agreed to leave it to a third party who named $15. Mr. Rice had offered to pay $12.50--$8 cash and the balance some other time. Mr. Morrison declined this proposition and here was the case for the jury. After hearing the testimony of the witnesses and the arguments of counsel, the jury decided that Rice should pay Morrison $12.50. This and the cost of the action aslo paid by Rice, amounted to $25.90, exclusive of lawyers’ fees and time and trouble. Witnesses testified that the mule was worth $45. Thus it will be seen that Rice about paid for it a second time before he recovered it. The next time the wild mule escapes he will doubtless name a specific reward and avoid lawsuits.

Held to Her Child, From The Landmark of May 3, 1894:
In Liberty in Concord township Sunday Morning the wife of Lee Sneed was at Dan Dowdy’s and while holding her child in her arms stepped on the covering of the well in the yard. The plank broke and the woman and child were precipitated to the bottom of the well, a distance of 40 feet, and into five feet of water. The mother held on to her child and when she was taken out of it was practically unharmed. The woman’s ankle was broken or dislocated and her body severely wrenched. It was a thrilling experience and a narrow escape from death for both.

The Statesville Shoe Factory
The Statesville Shoe Factory began operation here in April 1984. U.T. Bowden was proprietor. Ten pairs of shoes were made the first afternoon and 26 pairs the following day. The first pair made were sold at auction in front of the court house and Col. S.A. Sharpe was the purchaser.

The plant gave employment to one man and five boys and had a capacity of 36 pairs a day.

Baptist Church Dedicated
Sunday afternoon, April 29, 1894, the Baptist chapel in South Statesville, heretofore referred to, was dedicated. The chapel was packed with people attending the exercises. Rev. R.G. Barrett of the Methodist church made the opening prayer and Rev. G.H. Church, the pastor, preached the sermon. Mrs. Geo. H. Brown was chairman of the building committee and at the conclusion of the sermon made the announcement that the building was then complete with the exception of painting the seats and pulpit stand and putting the bell in place. It cost nearly $700 and was all paid for.

The building was a frame structure within. The aisle and platform were neatly carpeted and an organ provided for the choir. The work of building the chapel lasted about 30 days.

Our Graded School As Another Saw It
Capt. W.B. Kendrich of Raleigh visited Statesville and wrote the following about the local school in 1894 for The Raleigh Post:

The writer had occasion to visit the Graded School building for whites in Statesville. The building is a handsome one, well arranged and furnished; a handsome hall. These schools are under the supervision of Superintendent D. Matt Thompson with able assistants, and a visit to the several rooms showed clearly the good work being done. The cutting and shaping of figures, boxes, etc., the teaching of natural history; the molding with putty of fruits, animals, etc., simple lessons in geology, etc., the beautiful grounds with trees recently planted, and the preparations for grasses and flowers, all attest the spirit of energy, taste, love for work, and the great care given to make the school rooms attractive, instruction interesting, and the grounds beautiful and attractive. This school is Statesville’s pride and well it may be, for it is doing much for the town.

Telephone Franchise Granted
Early in May 1894 the board of aldermen met in regular session. A.K. Klingender, James T. Tyndall and A.D. Cooper made application for a franchise to operate a telephone company and the following ordinance was passed by the board at that time:

That the exclusive franchise, right and privilege of building, owning and operating a telephone system in the city of Statesville for a period of 10 years from this date is hereby granted to A.K. Klingender, James T. Tyndall and A.D. Cooper, associated together as partners and forming a copartnership under the name and style of the Statesville Telephone Company. But this franchise is granted and accepted upon the following conditions, to wit:

First, That said plant, machinery, etc. shall be up and in working order and shall be ready for use within six months from this date or this franchise shall be null and void.

Second, That the said Statesville Telephone Company shall not charge their patrons or subscribers more than $30 per annum for a business house or more than $20 per annum for private dwellings or a single office. Any charge or attempt to charge a larger rental per annum shall cause the immediate forfeiture of the franchise.

Third, That, as a part of the consideration of the franchise, the Statesville Telephone Company shall put in the necessary apparatus for one statin and allow the city authorities the use of said telephone system without charge; the said telephone to be placed in the police headquarters of said city or such other place as the board of aldermen may direct. Provided, however, that only the officers and aldermen of said city shall be allowed to use said telephone free of charge under and by this paragraph.

Fourth, That the poles of said company and the wiring of the same shall be under the direction of the committee on electric lights of the board of aldermen of the City of Statesville.

Fifth, If the said company shall fail or neglect to operate said telephone system for any three months at any one time after said plant is established then this franchise shall be null and void.

On motion, the rules are suspended and the ordinance passed its several readings and was adopted.

A Hardy Old Gentleman, From The Landmark of May 17, 1894:
Mr. Alvin Summers of Sharpesburg township, who passed his 86th mile post in February, has this Spring cut and dressed a set of barn logs. He did all the work himself—felling the trees in the forest and preparing the logs ready for the building. This shows remarkable activity and strength for one who has passed beyond four-score. About two years ago he cleared more than three acres of timber land, cutting every stick of timber and splitting all the rails himself.  Another remarkable thing about Mr. Summers is that notwithstanding he is 86 years old he has seen but 21 birthdays. He was born on the 29th of February.

But Sharpesburg must be a healthy community. It is said that there are 56 or 57 people in that township who have passed their three-score and ten.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Do We Need to Pass Law When Common Sense Is Handling the Problem? 1949

“Shooting Blanks at Nothing” from the Greensboro Daily News, reprinted on the editorial page of the Feb. 23, 1949 issue of The Robesonian, Lumberton, N.C. The bill being criticized was introduced by Representatives Clyde Shreve from Guilford and John B. Regan.

The Shreve-Regan bill to “outlaw Communism in North Carolina” sounds to us like an attempt to do by law what the people of this state have already done by common sense.

North Carolina, if we know the state, would be about as stony ground for a Communist to sow his seed as any that could be found. What would be the effect or loyalty tests for all persons working for the state or any of its subdivisions? None, as far as we can judge, except irritation at unwarranted suspicion from which officeholders are required to absolve themselves.

Domestic Communists are crackpots, and North Carolinians know one another too well to appoint or elect such screwballs to responsible positions in the State. If by chance there is any Communist holding any such position, let’s have the evidence against him, but let’s not force every officeholder to take the time and trouble to deny a foolish charge of which nobody even suspects he is guilty.

The pending bill sounds like a proposal to shoot under the bed at a burglar who isn’t there.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dr. Charles S. Moody Reflects on His Life as Doctor, Now at Idaho Mine, 1908

“Pages of Every-Day Life” by Charles S. Moody, B.S., M.D., Mullan, Idaho, Surgeon at Snowstorm Mine, in Medical Brief, Vol. 36, No. 2, February, 1908

Ah, the wonderful dreams that filled our student days of the great golden future that was to open up before us when we were launched like so many vessels out of the port of the dear old college, and began buffeting the waves of fortune upon the sea of professional life! My life has been made up largely of dreams, of which only too few, alas, have ever come true. Yet a few of them have; enough, perhaps, to cause me not to regret the dreaming. When I was struggling along away back yonder, looking anxiously forward to the time when I should be able to affix to my name the cabalistic letters that would constitute me one of the elect, I recall how vividly I envied those other happy mortals upon whom Fortuna had shed her radiant smiles; those who were not compelled to toil and save night and day, and deny themselves oftentimes the very necessities of life that they might accumulate sufficient funds wherewith to push forward in pursuit of learning. How many of you were compelled to saw cordwood, split fence posts, chop slabs in a saw mill, raft logs on a river, mine coal, herd cattle for the means to finish your education? How many of you who were so situated often felt tempted to throw the whole thing overboard and call it quits; but there was always something inside you that prevented your doing it; something that kept you struggling and toiling upward toward a goal, what thought it seemed that the light would never penetrate the clouds of darkness and poverty that encompassed you?

To all such I can stretch forth the hand of sympathy and fellowship, for it was so that I toiled and watched the little hoard of dollars grow—how very, very slowly they great—until I had barely enough, with the most biting economy, to carry me through. How I can congratulate a man with a wife, during such a trial, as was my wife. Do you realize that a woman never loses her courage in times like these? Many and many a night, when all looked black and gloomy, the little woman stood by my side, looking with the eye of faith in me, and love for me, when I could see the bright gleam that betokened the dawn beyond the night cloud. It was her faith, her love, her sublime courage, that buoyed us both up with the belief that it would all come out as it was in our dreams. In addition to a wife like mine, thrice blessed is he who is the father of a baby. Do you appreciate that the historical jaunt of the Israelites through the furnace was nothing compared to what you would do for that baby?  A squeeze of a pair of tender arms around your neck will screw the courage of any man up at about 300 to the square, and keep it there.

When I finally got enough together to meet my modest needs, I set out for college, with her waving a brave farewell from the depot platform. She could not go for there was not enough for both. Hers was the harder part. To remain at home in the country, with nothing to occupy her time, and only to wait, was infinitely more difficult than to be in a city where all was noise and stir. The city was strange to me at first. I had never been before in a great city, and everything confused me. I was half afraid of the noise. I recall, with delight, the chance that presented itself for me to wait on the table in a cheap eating house, and thus earn a small sum with which I bought much-needed books. I have those old books yet, and they are among my treasures—no money could buy them.

All through my college days I dreamed the beautiful dreams. Wealth, with all its allurements, should be mine. Fame should come and perch upon my banner. Learning vast should be my portion, and all humanity should be better for my having lived. I read of the deeds of healing done by the illustrious ones of our profession, and, in my dreams, I emulated them. The poor, the sick, the lame, the halt, the blind, should never appeal to me in vain. In the Elysium that I had painted upon the canvas of the future, with colors stolen from the hues of the rainbow, there should be no envy, no jealousy, no striving for first place. Those for whom I toiled should look to me as their guide, counselor, friend. They should come to me with their griefs, and I should assist in assuaging them. My brethren in the profession should be my firm friends and I theirs. The beautiful lessons of the code should be our lessons, and we should live them in our everyday life. Yes, it was a world of dreams, and they are still but dreams, for so few; oh, so very few of them have ever reached the material stage. I am now a middle-aged country doctor, my hair has already begun to show the path made by the frosts of Time, and I begin to feel the need of aids to vision when I read long at night. I am slightly rheumatic in damp weather, and have to protect my throat when I go out at night. I have failed to outstrip my brother in the race for gain; my opportunities for doing great good have never materialized. My friends are as the friends of all other men; some true, many, many false. My professional brethren have not always treated me according to the rules laid down in the code of ethics, and sometimes I have retaliated in kind. Yet there have been compensations for the dreams that came not true. One of them I will relate to you, in the hope that you, too, my brother, who, maybe, had dreams as well as I, may look beneath the grime and greed of this world and see some things in your career that are not covered with the slime of selfishness, as most things here are.

Fate, that old jade, delights to play us most scurvy tricks at times. For some she spins the wheel of Fortune until it halts at the zenith, others she spills into the nadir of adversity; and none may say why the one and why the other. The town lies in a narrow river valley, with great rock-ribbed hills towering almost to the skies on every side, shutting out the sun, save for a few hours at midday. Within the deep recesses of these gaunt, scarred hills, lies untold wealth in silver, lead and copper. Far above the town, almost at the summit of one of the highest mountains, lies the great mine of which I am one of the minor factors. A narrow-gauge railroad clambers up the mountain side, creeping around the shoulders of the hill; ever creeping higher and higher, until finally it pauses at the yawning mouth of the mine, just beneath the great, cavernous ore bins that hold almost the wealth of an empire. Below the town, and at the lower end of the track, stand the immense mills that are busy, all the year, in eating the ore-laden rock, masticating it between massive steel jaws, and sending it forth into the separators to be rattled, and shaken and churned until it gives its burden of precious metal. Every hour the little, yet powerful, engine toils up the steep track, pushing in front its train of cars laden with timbers for the mine; then it clatters down again, leading the same cars laden with ore for the mill.

There is no more hazardous occupation that than of underground mining. What though the mines take every precaution, and throw around their men every safeguard, still every year hundreds of miners are maimed for life, or killed outright. Tons and tons of high explosives are used in blasting down the ore-bearing quartz. Sometimes one of these blasts fails to explode, then it becomes the duty of the miner to drill out the powder and recharge the hole. The miner goes about this task very much as you would about making your round of daily calls. It is to him only an incident in his round of labor. So long as luck favors him all is well, but some day there is an explosion, and then a narrow grave on a hillside, or, at best, a sojourn in the hospital, from which he emerges a broken and maimed being, doomed to spend his days in misery and pain. Dark and treacherous holes exist throughout the mine. In the half-light of this underground world some miner stumbles, and his mates gather him up, perhaps, hundreds of feet below, an inert mass of bruised flesh and broken bones. A great mass of rock, loosened by the jar of the blasts, lets go its hold upon the wall and comes hurtling down the slope, leaving death in its wake. Death lurks in a hundred forms in the deeps of the mine. The miner walks hand in hand with him daily, and grows callous, just as do soldiers inured to battle.

It is the fate of our profession to look upon death in many forms and we, too, grow callous as do the soldiers. I have never yet been able, however, to grow callous to the visitation in the mine. There is something so gloomy about death there in the gloom and grime, that it sends a thrill of pity through my heart.

Just the other night I wished that those of my professional friends who are permitted to make their rounds in a motor car or behind a fast pair of horses, might have been with me upon one of my missions of mercy. That you may, in some degree, appreciate what the “other side” is like, I will describe to you as well as I am able, the trip that was mine.

It was growing dark. I was just sitting down to my evening meal, and was rejoicing in the prospect of being able to spend an evening by the cozy fire with my loved ones, when the telephone bell set up its insistent jangle. I was connected with the mine, and found myself in conversation with the shift boss: “Catch the last trip up, and come at once,” was his message. Well I knew that the message was urgent. No common accident would have induced the shift boss to telephone me that inclement night. Somewhere in the deep recesses of that immense subterranean burrow lay a man, and, perhaps, several men, moaning out their lives in the darkness. That he was not dead was evidenced by the message. Had he been dead, there had been no call for my services. Humanity dictated that I should go at once. I snatched a few bites of food and rank a hot cup of coffee, then, donning my furs and grasping my emergency bag, plunged into the night. It was snowing as it only can snow here in the higher range. Great white feathery flakes came floating down out of the Stygian gloom, and rapped the earth in a white pall. The little engine was puffing around the last curve below town on its down trip. I must needs hurry, if I would ride back to the mine on it. When I reached the ore-bins I found the engine stalled, and the day’s work completed. They were not going back to the mine that night. It was possible to get them to run the engine out and take me up, but it would have entailed the unwinding of so many miles of red tape that I resolved to make the journey on foot. Divesting myself of my fur coat and gloves, and slinging my bag over my shoulder, I plunged into the gloom. One by one the lights of the mill glimmered and flickered out. The steady thump of the ore crushers grew fainter and fainter, until there was silence. Such silences as is only known in the mountains when the snow if falling. As I rounded the first curve the electric lights of the town lay far below me, a faint spot of hazy light in the fog of snow, visible, and no more. These, too, soon faded and left me in the immense darkness again. Higher and higher I climbed up the mountain side, until I was above the storm clouds, and a wintry moon struggled through the haze and lessened the intense darkness. Looking down from my lofty position I could see the snowstorm in great white billowy masses rolling down the narrow valley between the hills. Then, the last mist fled before the night wind that was chill from off the mountain peaks, and the hoary tops of the range sprang into view with startling clearness, as though some gigantic showman had projected them upon a canvas for a Titanic audience. How somber and vast they seemed when viewed thus, and how “pigmy” man was by their side—man, who, with his powerful engines of destruction, was tearing great gaunt holes in their sides, burrowing along the mineral veins and extracting the precious ore that had lain there since the beginning of Time.

Miles above the tower, upon the bald shoulder of the mountain, perched the powder-house, with its warning legend: “Danger!” I paused to rest, and, resting, reflected, what would be the destructive consequences should some person touch a match to a fuse connected with the tons and tons of Hercules stored in that iron structure. Then I went on to where the track crosses a deep canyon of a flimsy wooden trestle, that seemed ridiculously inadequate to sustain the immense weight that passed over it every day. Again I thought of what would happen should a rail become misplaced. I could hear the gurgling of the waters of the mountain torrent hundreds of feet below, as though they were chuckling at the idea, some day, of the engine and its train of cars plunging into the abyss. On a little way round the curve, and I could see the lights at the ore-bins, glimmering in the distance like stars in an autumn sky. Then the head house loomed gigantic and black out of the darkness. Now, I could hear the steady thump of the air compressor that pumped life into the depth of the mine, and the roar of the smith’s forge, and the ring of the beaten metal. At length the mount of the mine itself yawned, and my journey was all be at an end.

At the entrance of the mine stood several men, their lighted candles flaring in the air-current and lighting up the scene weirdly. Half a mile back in the tunnel lay a man crushed by the falling of half a ton of rock. We must hasten and reach him. In another moment we are seated in an ore-car, and are being rapidly hauled into the tunnel. The tunnel is not direct, but follows the windings of the ore body. By and buy we reach a point where the main tunnel branches into a perfect labyrinth of underground streets. I thought how easily a man unacquainted with the work might become hopelessly lost in the maze. Work was going on as though nothing had happened. Far away in the distance sounded the blasts like the report f embattled cannon. It was a battle; a battle with the Titanic forces of Nature. Out of various holes in the rock the laden cars came rumbling toward us, to disappear in the darkness. We reach at last a point where all the tracks seem to come together. I hear the puffing of the hosting machinery as it labors at winding its long steel cable about the big iron drum. Water from the roof falls over us in a shower. We seat ourselves in the iron cage, the shift boss rings a bell on the wall, and we begin to drop rapidly into darkness. Down, down until it seems as though we are never to reach bottom. The car stops with a bump, and we alight from it and stand upon the floor of one of the lower levels, hundreds of feet from the surface. Another short walk and we are at the scene of the accident. The injured man is lying upon a hastily-improvised couch made from the jackets of his fellow workmen. He is moaning with pain. A hasty inspection tells the story. The great weight, in falling, has rolled across his legs in such a manner as to crush them out of all semblance to human appendages. To even the uninitiated it is evident that an amputation is necessary. It is not now the problem of amputation that troubles me so much as that of how to get him to a place where the surgery may be done. Our good old Spencerian copybook told us something about “necessity being the mother of invention.” The doctor, out here in the West, without adaptability, is a ship at sea without a rudder. There are no instrument-makers here to whom you can appeal in times of need who will furnish you with something that will just fit your case. No, out here we have to make it ourselves, and what’s more, have to know how to make it. There is no doubt that there are many of you who would crack a very superior sort of smile at some of the rough appliances we are compelled to use, but being honest men, you would not smile at the results that we attain, and that’s what we are all after—results. In this instance I made, in a very few minutes, a quite efficient set of fracture boxes out of an empty dynamite box. Not very elegant in design, perhaps, but very effective in operation. After immobilizing the limbs, the next problem was to get the man to the surface. This was accomplished by taking a piece of lagging timber two by twenty-two inches, six feet long, and securely strapping the patient to it. Standing the man upright in the “skip,” he was hoisted to the upper works and loaded into an ore-car. You will appreciate the fact that all this was not done without great pain to the patient, but he never murmured. These men are not of the murmuring kind. Grinding his teeth together to choke back the moan that was endeavoring to escape his lips, he lay with anxious eyes and watched the manipulations necessary to his transportation, and when his friends hoisted him into the ore “skip,” he even smiled as he bade them good-bye. The gray dawn came creeping down the mountain, and the little engine came creeping up at the same time. My patient was lying by the fire in the blacksmith shop mercifully asleep, as the result of an hypodermic. Gently we placed him on the engine and lowered him down the hill, where a conveyance carried him to the hospital. By noon he was lying in his cot in the ward minus two legs, but smiling and cheerful, optimistic in his belief that he would get well, and be out soon. We will leave him in his bed under the care of a white-capped nurse, who will attend him as carefully and lovingly as though he were the heir to millions instead of a poor workman from the grime of the mine.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The New York Public Library recently put historical photos online at their web site. Among the photos were those of North Carolinians who were getting the state's pavilion ready for the New York World's Fair, 1939-1940. 

W.E. Fenner of Rocky Mount, Virgil Wilson and William T. Hatch

Map Plans for North Carolina’s Part in World Fair

Tentative plans for North Carolina’s participation in the World’s Fair in New York were mapped by these business men in Raleigh Wednesday. They decided to raise $75,000 to insure representation for North Carolina at “The World of Tomorrow.” Left to right, they are: J.Q. Gilkey of Marion, assistant director of the State Department of Conservation and Development; Hunter Marshall of Charlotte, secretary of the North Carolina Cotton Manufacturers Association; C.E. Vanderhooven of Asheville, the American Enka Corp.; F.E. Laycock of the Beacon Manufacturing Co.; C.C. Green of New York, secretary of the World’s Fair; W.E. Fenner of Rocky Mount, chairman of the North Carolina Commission on the World’s Fair; Governor Hoey; V. St. Cloud of Raleigh, the Southern Hotel Association; Thurmond Chatham of Winston-Salem, the Wachovia Bank and Trust Co.; R.D. Coleman of Canton, the Champion Fibre Co.; Judge Clayton Moore of Winston-Salem, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; R. Grady Rankin of Charlotte, the Duke Power Co.; and John W. Caffee of Greensboro, a member of the State World’s Fair Commission. (Times Staff Photo.)


Burton H. Smith of Charlotte, North Carolina, visited the New York World’s Fair headquarters on a recent trip to New York to inspect the various models of Fair buildings and progress which are on display in the Fair’s Exhibit in the Empire State Building. Mr. Smith is a member of the North Carolina division of the National Advisory Committee for the Fair. He is shown beside the Hall of Communications, one of the buildings which will be erected this summer on the Fair site. The model is scaled 1/16 of an inch to one foot and is perfect in every detail, even to the shrubberies which will be blooming in its landscaped courtyard when the fair Opens on April 30, 1939. Mr. Smith viewed a night and day model of the fair, various building models, a progress model showing the transformation of the site and a specially lighted model of the Pherisphere and Trylon, unique Theme Center of the Fair. His keenest interest was in the progress model which shows the landscaping and the planting of the first 500 of the 10,000 trees which will be at the site in 1939.


The North Carolina flag serves as a backdrop as Clarence Courtney, manager of that State’s exhibit at the World’s Fair of 1940 in New York, welcomes Betty Huneycutt, 18, of Charlotte, N.C. Miss Huneycutt was named Miss North Carolina in a statewide contest in 1938.


North Carolina’s participation in the New York World’s Fair 1939 was discussed by R.M. Hanes, chairman of the National Advisory Committee for North Carolina and W.E. Fenner, chairman of the official World’s Fair Commission for North Carolina, in a visit to the Fair site in flushing Meadows. Both Mr. Hanes, who is president of Wachovia Bank and Trust Company in Winston-Salem and Mr. Fenner, who is a member of the legislature from Rocky Mount, expressed enthusiasm over the progress of construction at the site.
They are shown in the picture looking over a map with Leslie Baker of the States Participation Department of the Fair and one of the engineers. They are standing near the site of the Theme Center comprised of the Perisphere and Trylon, the former being a 200-foot sphere and the latter a ?-foot triangular obelisk. Piles are now being driven 95 feet to form a foundation for these giant structures.

Messrs. Hanes and Fenner also saw numerous other buildings under construction and the $900,000 Administration Building, already completed and occupied by 600 fair workers. They learned that construction is three weeks ahead of schedule and that the Administration Building was put up in the record time of 124 days.

“We are convinced,” Mr. Fenner said, “that the New York Fair will be the biggest thing of its kind ever held in the world. We shall watch the progress of construction with the keenest interest. We have been both thrilled and enthused by what we have seen and we shall certainly urge that the State of North Carolina be properly represented.”


Burton H. Smith of Charlotte, N.C., at right, is pictured while on a recent visit to the New York World’s Fair exhibit in the Empire State Building. Mr. Smith is a member of the North Carolina division of the National Advisory Committee for the Fair. Charles F. Kreig of the Fair staff is explaining a point of interest for Mr. Smith.


North Carolina Exhibit—View of Address


From a handwritten note on the back of the photo:
L to R, C.C. Spaulding, president N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Company, Durham, N.C., J.W. Smith, Ranking(?) Superior Farmer?, N.F.A., Gause, Texas, and J.B. Simmons, National Executive Secretary, N.F.A., Greensboro, N.C.


Frances Roughton of Old Fort, North Carolina, looks for her sign on the huge Zodiac Ball in the New York World’s Fair Court of States. Miss Roughton is a hostess at the North Carolina exhibit.


W.E. Fenner of North Carolina’s Word’s Fair Commission discusses plans for reopening the State exhibit in the Court of States at the World’s Fair of 1940 in New York with Grover Whalen, Fair President. North Carolina announced its return to the Fourth Fair recently.


North Carolina Exhibit—Speech
Betty Huneycutt, Miss North Carolina, points to her selection as Miss North Carolina in the timeline of North Carolina history at the North Carolina Exhibit. With her is an unnamed exhibit hostess.
On the Steps of the Administrative Building at the World's Fair.