Asthmatic thieves, WWII and ‘get-there-ism’


As The Times-Gazette celebrates its 200th anniversary, we’ll take a look back each Saturday at some of the important, interesting or even odd events as they were reported during the same week throughout the years, along with interesting advertising features from back in the day.

This week in 1912, a check forger “with more nerve than good hard sense” made off with $13.10 from local merchants in Hillsboro.

The article, featured in The Hillsboro Dispatch, said the “tolerably dressed young man” passed a false check at Fuller & Ross grocery on North High Street and never returned.

The folks at Fuller & Ross at the end of the day talked to other area store owners, and, after some discussion, “they knew they had been stung.”

Meanwhile, another man got away with a watch valued at $17.50 from the E.W. Muntz jewelry store. The man was described as having “a narrow face, a drooping mustache and an asthmatic wheeze.”

At the top of the front page of The Hillsboro Dispatch was a header reading, “Publicity means push — push is a fundamental factor in get-there-ism. Advertise!”

C.M. Kerns on East Main Street in Hillsboro advertised muslin underwear at 25-percent cheaper than the same quality elsewhere.

In classifieds: “WANTED — Middle aged lady to make her home with two old people. A good home furnished with wages paid weekly.”

Honorable mention, from an article on the front page: “Next summer, if we can rely on the promises of an obscure German inventor and the moving picture interests that are behind him, we are to have outdoor moving picture performances in broad daylight.”

This week in 1945, the pages of The News Herald were filled with injury and casualty reports from Word War II.

An article on the front page reported one Highland County man was injured in combat in Belgium, while another was reported missing in action somewhere in France, and another, a paratrooper, was killed in Luxembourg.

It was reported that whiskey rations would be cut for a three-week period extending through mid-February from two quarts, fifths or four pints to one quart, fifth or two pints on any one card.

Immediately below that report, in bold: “Buy more war bonds!”

Boscul coffee was advertised at Schaeffer’s Supermarket for 33 cents per pound in a glass jar. Smoked pork jowl was 21 cents per pound, and pure hog lard — David Davis brand — was 17 cents per pound. Macaroni was 15 cents for a bulk two-pound bag.

It was reported that the Women’s Council and Missionary Society of the Marshall Church of Christ spent an evening at the home of Mrs. Thelma Layman on North West Street. The group sang “Joy to the World,” and joined hands for a prayer circle.

The Colony Theatre, at the time owned by Chakeres Theatres, offered showings of “Tahiti Nights,” starring Jinx Falkenburg, and “Vigilantes of Dodge City,” starring Wild Bill Elliott as Red Ryder. Showings of “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” were coming up.

It was reported that 63 foxes, 22 of them females, had been killed in a campaign sponsored by the Greene County Fish and Game Association. Bounties were offered for any fox kills in the area.

In classifieds: “WANTED — Man to work on farm. House with electricity. Wages and extras.”

This week in 1970, a front-page photo in The Hillsboro Press-Gazette showed health officials issuing measles vaccines to local students.

It was reported that a Winchester youth was killed in Vietnam after he stepped on a booby trap.

A 16-year-old was arrested for stealing cash from Ed Stewart’s Texaco Station on North High Street. The thief entered through a window and “cleaned out the silver” from the cash register.

It was reported that the Air Force Reserve at the Clinton County Air Force Base had achieved its first aircraft accident-free year.

Inflatable Walt Disney toys were on sale at Murphy’s for 76 cents each. “Petroleum-proof” Red Wing shoes were advertised as a “sure cure for 5 o’clock feet” at Wells on West Main Street in Hillsboro.

A 12-year-old boy was reportedly not injured after being struck by a car at West Main Street and Oak Street.

Mrs. Mary L. Layman, owner of Wanta Linga Shopping Center at Rocky Fork Lake, returned from a “jet plane trip” to Dallas, Tx., where she had attended a merchandise show.

Bright Local Superintendent Keith Baldridge and Belfast Principal Fay Kisling issued a statement saying the schools had been having trouble with people using the Belfast and Concord gymnasiums without following proper protocol. In fact, “At Belfast, people just force their way into the gymnasium and use it at their convenience,” the statement said. “This will cease immediately!”

This week in 1990, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported an upcoming meeting would yield information on the long-rumored construction of a new bowling alley in Hillsboro.

The article read, in part, “Hillsboro has been without a bowling alley since the Highlander was destroyed by fire in the late ’60s. The bowling alley will reportedly be located on West Main St. (U.S. 50) on the west end of Hillsboro near the Highland Computer Forms (formerly Robertshaw) plant.”

The bowling alley was to offer 24 lanes, “all fully computerized,” as well as a snack bar and lounge.

An advertisement for the Environmental Protection Agency urged area residents to have their homes tested for radon.

Another advertisement, this one from the Crime Prevention Coalition, showed a photo of a pen and paper, a pair of binoculars and a rotary phone above the heading, “Everything you need to close down a crackhouse.”

Kendall motor oil was advertised for just 59 cents per quart at Autoworks.

In sports, the Hillsboro Indians stretched a basketball winning streak to 37 games with an 85-64 victory against the Wilmington Hurricane. The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs narrowly missed an upset against Manchester when they lost 66-65.

It was reported that Highland County’s jobless rate was at 6.9 percent.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.
A weekly look back at news items through the years

By David Wright

[email protected]

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