Liver pills, molasses spills, ‘I aimed, fired…’


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 1879, The Hillsborough Gazette reported “one of the greatest trials that has ever taken place in this county” came to a close when the jury found two men guilty of burning down a barn in Brushcreek Township.

Wrote the reporter, “A breathless hush for a moment or two prevailed, then came a murmur which increased in volume until the Judge ordered the defendants into the charge of the Sheriff.”

The barn was valued at $50.

In other court news, a man pled guilty to shooting a doctor in Taylorsville after the physician apparently injured the man’s wife.

In a lengthy statement to the court, the defendant said he loaded up his shotgun, ate a light breakfast of eggs, found the doctor, then… “I aimed, fired, and he fell.”

The penalty was one year of hard labor, and when the judge made the order, the man’s sister, “shrieking, threw herself upon the brother’s shoulder.”

There was no word on the condition of the victim.

Consumers were urged by an advertisement to avoid imitations of Dr. McLane’s liver pills – a remedy lauded as a cure-all for diseases and afflictions of the liver. Genuine pills, the advertisement said, were never coated with sugar.

In other advertisements, Paul and Chas Harsha, proprietors of Harsha & Son marble and granite works, offered, “at the shortest notice, cheaper than the cheapest… American and foreign marble and granite monuments, and all kinds of cemetery work.”

Mr. Bug Johnson, in partnership with Capt. Ed Upp, was said to be organizing a circus in Leesburg after Johnson found in his possession a large center pole formerly used at the Advent pavilion.

“Baby syrup” was advertised as a “reliable preparation for babies.”

In Greenfield news: “A lively fight of short duration occurred on East Main Street Saturday night. A black eye is the net profit of one of the participants. Several arrests are threatened.”

This week in 1921, The Hillsboro Gazette reported the Highland County Board of Commissioners considered a petition from Liberty Township residents requesting the county build a road from North High Street into the village of Samantha, where it would connect with the newly constructed Leesburg Pike.

The New Laundry Cleaning Co. on West Main Street announced there would be no interruption to business after a change in ownership.

The Gazette issued a correction saying the paper had erroneously reported Hillsboro Mayor Davies’ salary had been increased from $300 to $400; In fact, the mayor’s salary was already $400 and no increase was granted.

A local woman was “sorely afflicted by the Grim Reaper” after her sister, daughter and husband all died in the space of two weeks.

At a church event, a local reverend preached “a typical old-time ‘rouse-em-up’ sermon.”

In advertisements: “Down goes the price of fresh oysters… 60 cents per quart.”

In classifieds: “WANTED – 500 beef hides.”

An interruption in social page briefs: “You know what constipation means – internal baths stopped it.”

This week in 1973, the Greenfield Daily Times reported 143 prisoners of war returned to the U.S. after their release from captivity in Vietnam.

Pork chops and smoked ham were 89 cents per pound, bacon was 69 cents per pound and wieners were 59 cents per pound at Bob’s Super Valu in Greenfield.

Doctors urged women not to handle cat litter or eat raw meat during pregnancy due to the risk of brain and eye defects in babies.

A header above classifieds: “Just as snowflakes accumulate, so do profits from little Times want ads.”

And in classifieds: “HOUSEWIVES! Earn $20, three hours work, car available.”

Also on the topic of available cars, a juvenile reportedly stole one in downtown Greenfield, drove through 30 feet of farm fence, wrecked the car, and fled the scene. The car, a 1970 model, had moderate damage. The youth was captured and charges were pending.

The Women’s Golf Association of Buckeye Hills Golf Course elected new officers at an organizational meeting.

Immediately beneath that brief: “When yeast dough is smooth and springy, and when tiny bubbles appear beneath the surface of the dough, it has been kneaded enough.”

In sports, the McClain Tigers lost to Chillicothe 58-55 after a nail-biter basketball match. They were set to play Hillsboro a few days later.

“The Hospital,” starring George C. Scott, was playing at Rand Cinema in Greenfied.

This week in 2004, The Times-Gazette reported Hillsboro’s streets were plagued with water main breaks due to a cold snap.

Whitney Lewis earned the title of all-time basketball scoring leader at Lynchburg-Clay High School, and the Lady Mustangs beat the Fairfield Lady Lions 60-23. (Lewis is now the girls basketball coach at L-C.)

Highland County Engineer P. Dean Otworth was appointed chairman of the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign in Highland County.

Incumbent Mike Rector was set to face challenger Jeremy R. Shaffer in the primary election for a seat on the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

A 2004 Pontiac GTO, advertised as “hard to find,” was listed for $34,495 at Jerry Haag Motors in Hillsboro.

The Ohio EPA fined the county $10,000 for overflows at the Rocky Fork Lake wastewater treatment plant.

It was reported that area Christians were eagerly awaiting the release of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” starring Jim Caviezel. The article said weekend showings were sold out in the week prior to the film’s release.

Cheat round: In the Jan. 2 edition of The Times-Gazette, a front-page photo showed Hillsboro city workers spreading sawdust over a massive molasses spill in town. An estimated 400 to 500 gallons of molasses had spilled at a local feed store.

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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