Giant snakes, broken legs, fatal hiccups


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 1904, the Hillsboro News-Herald reported that a large black snake measuring nearly seven feet long was killed by a farmhand near New Vienna. “He struck at it with a spade and his snakeship showed fight and great activity for so early in the season,” the article said. It was believed that snakes would be “plentiful” in the area for the remainder of the year.

An area man who had contracted severe rheumatism during the Spanish-American war took a spill on the sidewalk and broke his leg. The doctors amputated it.

The Highland County coroner was investigating the mysterious death of a local man whose body was found at the Baltimore & Ohio rail yard in Greenfield on a March night.

It was reported that the Elks lodges of Washington Court House and Wilmington were in a dispute over which club Sabina residents should join. To resolve the disagreement, the road between the two county seats was measured and it was found that Sabina was in Wilmington’s jurisdiction by about two thousand feet.

Advertisements for miracle remedies filled the inside pages of the paper, claiming cures for whooping cough, sour stomach, vomiting spells, colic, cholera and bronchitis.

Another advertisement said “If you have your job work done at the News-Herald office, the work and price will both be right.”

This week in 1938, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported farmers were distraught after the temperature dropped to 27 degrees and threatened fruit crops around the county.

A Leesburg man was admitted to the hospital after fracturing his leg when he was struck by a gate. He had moved to the village only a few days prior.

In a flowery front-page article, the paper reported a new mail route began in Bell Hollow. “Soon the mailman will come driving his car along the pretty, winding road with newspapers and letters for eager folks who are awaiting his coming,” the article said. “The rains have brought the spring and the spring has brought the mailman to them.”

A Mt. Orab man collapsed and died from a violent attack of hiccups on his way to the doctor to get some relief.

Ladies’ full-fashioned thread silk hose were $1 for two pairs at J.B. Spencer & Son. Sylester’s Drug Store in the Bell’s Theater building advertised Rose Hair Oil for 21 cents, Apex Moth Crystals for 44 cents and Hairtone Brilliantine for 43 cents.

Seven indictments were handed down against a ring of eight professional gamblers in Clinton County.

This week in 1976, The Press-Gazette reported Bell’s Foundry was undergoing a $1 million expansion. The article mused, “Hillsboro would indeed be poor, historically, if there wasn’t a Bell’s Foundry.”

In sports, the Hillsboro Indians tennis team was shown in a photo preparing for a game against Circleville.

A Hillsboro Bank & Savings advertisement said it would help customers get new vehicles “if your old car has lost its OOGAH.”

The Hillsboro Sundry Store advertised baby milk formula for 79 cents per can, Valvoline motor oil for 57 cents per quart, hair spray for 69 cents per can and aspirin for $2.14 per box.

Chakere’s Drive-In Theatre in Wilmington advertised showings of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings,” starring Burt Reynolds.

Several fires had emergency crews busy around the Highland County.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced it would relocate a road in the Rainsboro area to save the covered bridge at Barrett’s Mill.

This week in 2003, The Times-Gazette began a series of stories on methamphetamine in Highland County called “The Madness of Meth.” The first story quoted Sheriff Ron Ward saying, “This drug has become a problem of epidemic proportions, in my opinion.” A sidebar called methamphetamine “the poor man’s cocaine.”

Hillsboro City Council discussed the future of the Colony Theatre, which had begun falling into disrepair as it faced dire financial straits.

Adams County authorities responded to a West Union home where a man had barricaded himself after assaulting his wife and daughter.

In sports, Highland County track and field teams traveled to various meets in bitter cold weather.

It was reported that the Clinton County Commissioners were “extremely concerned” about the $1.05 billion merger proposed between Airborne Inc. and DHL Worldwide. “We cannot afford to lose 7,200 jobs in our area,” the board wrote in a prepared statement.

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

By David Wright

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