Revivalists, ‘craps,’ and Ford fiascos


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 1877, the Highland Weekly News reported Greenfield “has had an elopement.” In local briefs, the paper described how Mrs. Allen Mumma “ran off with the wrong man last Saturday week, leaving a babe of 4 months old to the care of her disconsolate husband.”

A letter to the editor lauded Hillsboro as “the model town,” from a stranger’s perspective, dubbing it, “the hill city.”

One report said a recently released comprehensive directory of newspapers in the U.S. listed 795 daily newspapers, 79 tri-weeklies, 125 semi-weeklies, 6,606 weeklies, 122 semi-monthlies, 771 monthlies, 16 bi-monthlies and 60 quarterlies.

A pair of revivalists passing through the area were reported to be directly responsible for 167 conversions in church services around the county.

Wet and cool weather had reportedly slowed the corn crop, and it was feared that “much of what was planted before will rot in the ground.”

A traveling comedy show left town after the group “played to empty benches the whole of last week.” The article added, “It is a good company, but unluckily came here at an unfavorable time for theatrical performances.”

This week in 1919, the Hillsboro Gazette reported Hillsboro police raided a local establishment in an attempt to bust an illegal gambling circle. Cops rushed into the Black Bear at 11 p.m. to find 12 “devotees of this sport, better known as ‘craps,’ (who) were wooing the goddess of luck.”

Two pilots who crash landed their planes in Highland County were identified as Lieutenant F.W. Krug and Sergeant E.H. Egelkraut of Yonkers, N.Y. Krug reportedly sustained a broken nose and other injuries to his face, and Egelkraut was “bruised.”

Kerns store, advertised as Highland County’s biggest dry goods shop, touted selections of spring suits, skirts, silks, wash goods and hosiery.

A $50 reward was offered for information leading to the capture of a car thief who took E.W. Dodds’ Ford touring car from a Hillsboro parking lot.

John VanZandt reportedly broke several bones in his right arm while cranking his Ford. According to the report, VanZandt held onto the crank too long, and when the Ford backfired, the crank wrenched his arm violently.

In the advertising columns, one brief offered theft insurance for Ford vehicles for $7.75 per year. There was no insurance offered for arm injuries from cranking too long.

Prince Albert tobacco was advertised as “the national joy smoke.”

In local briefs, the Gazette’s Brown’s Hill correspondent wrote that “house cleaning has been the order of the day with the women folks for the past week in this community.”

This week in 1981, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported two escapees from the Clinton County Jail were found sleeping on the floor of an upstairs bedroom at one of the inmates’ brother’s home.

In advertisements, K-Mart offered polyester pants for $4.44, coffee for $1.57 per can, cat food for 77 cents per bag, and Puffs tissues for 68 cents per box.

In sports, the Hillsboro High School girls tennis team suffered a 5-0 loss to Chillicothe.

Kip Young, a Highland County native, started pitching for the Indianapolis Indians in the first game of a doubleheader against Evansville.

Hillsboro police were investigating a vandalism case, in which the rear window of a 1979 Ford pickup truck was broken out.

Debbie Gorman was shown in a photo holding two mushrooms measuring at least six inches high.

Murphy’s advertised a four-pack of light bulbs for 97 cents, Scope mouthwash for $1.96 and outdoor furniture sets for $99.

This week in 1998, The Times-Gazette reported Bainbridge’s Dental Museum was on the verge of closing.

In sports, the Fairfield Lady Lions beat Western Latham in softball by a final score of 6-4.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials said two local rest areas, one on U.S. Route 50 near Lynchburg and one on SR 28 near Leesburg, were set to be abandoned.

Lynchburg-Clay High School hosted a mock disaster scenario to warn teens of the dangers of driving under the influence on prom night. Student actors Ryan Mountjoy, Maggie Wickline, Eric Wickline and Kristy Workman were shown with bandages around their heads after the event.

Hillsboro residents Vivian and Buzz Ellis were shown meeting country music star Dolly Parton at the opening of Dolly’s Celebrity Theatre and Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Representatives of the Trinity Christian Union Church in Greenfield voiced opposition to a proposed rail spur in the village.

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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