A huge pumpkin, purebred pigs and flu epidemic


Editor’s note — We’re continuing our tradition of taking 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 1885, a “delightful day” was spent over the weekend at the home of Mrs. Col. Trimble as she invited the young ladies of the Highland Institute for a Saturday at their farm east of Hillsboro. Reportedly, they spent the day “nutting in the woods,” and were royally entertained by their hostess early in the evening.

The Greenfield fair was over and the paper reported that everything passed by quietly with not a single fight and no arrests for any offenses, except for imbibing too freely with strong drink. The paper noted that there didn’t seem to be as many gamblers as in previous years.

In news from Littleton, Edward Stubs was feeling poorly, a horse belonging to James Thomas had its leg broken when kicked by another horse and Joseph McCarthy escaped injury in a bad accident while going to Lynchburg when his horse got spooked and broke up the man’s buggy.

With Halloween approaching, Dodsonville resident Calvin Stroup raised a pumpkin that measured 5 feet 5 inches in circumference and weighed close to 300 pounds.

In other farm news, hog farmers began shipping their pigs to market for the unheard of price of 32 cents a pound, a record price for the year.

The paper reported a sad lament of the times, asking, “Have we no respect for Sunday?” A letter to the editor noted that sportsmen could be heard in almost every direction last Sunday, asking “have we no men in our community with sand enough in their craws to enjoy this day of rest?”

This week in 1903, the Hillsboro Gazette featured an ad for Julius Koch, wholesale and retail dealer in ice “from the icy shores of Lake Erie” and a manufacturer of mineral water.

In news from Bell’s Run, Julius Beucler was having a large barn erected, with Liebert & Rosselot doing the work, and Charles Strabry built a home for A.L. Carr at Taylorsville Station, with A.V. Mott doing the lath work and plastering.

The C.S. Bell Co. was offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for firing a gun and shooting out a window in the home of one of its employees on Oct. 13, 1903.

Mr. Bell’s namesake, Bell’s Opera House, was presenting “The Way of the Wicked” in four acts on Nov. 3, featuring what the paper called “a scenic production of merit, with grand mechanical and electrical effects.” Tickets for seats were available for 25, 35 and 50 cents.

This week in 1957, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that six county schools were closed by a flu epidemic and would re-open on Monday. The school at Samantha was the latest victim of the flu bug, closing after three days in session. Hillsboro did likewise, but the schools in Pricetown and Lynchburg canceled classes after one day.

The Colony Theatre ran a notice with an ad stating that due to the flu epidemic, it wase cancelling its kiddie matinee on Friday, Oct. 25, also advising to “see your doctor at the first symptom.” Adults were welcome to see Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in “An Affair to Remember,” showing for three days.

Christmas was coming and Gordon’s Toyland was the place for all things Christmas, inviting customers to save money, buy early and use its convenient layaway plan. It was open on the first floor of Bell’s Theatre lobby.

Beverly Burch, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Burch of Hillsboro, was the Highland County winner in the Ohio History and Government test given by Ohio University. There were 98 winners statewide and she ranked in the top 1 percent of the 7,000 who took the test.

Siders Auto and Home Supply was offering easy terms and “unbelievable savings” on new Motorola televisions. Viewers could enjoy “The Midwestern Hayride” or “Paul Dixon Show” on their new TV set for $329.

Halloween was coming and G.C. Murphy’s in downtown Hillsboro had different styles of costumes for trick or treat, ranging in price from $1.98 to $2.99 and masks from a dime to 29 cents.

Henson’s IGA in Leesburg was going out of business, and Fawley-Murphy-Darbyshire Auctioneers was having an auction at its location on Main Street in Leesburg, with a $5,000 stock of groceries along with fixtures and equipment up for sale.

This week in 1975, the Greenfield Daily Times reported that McClain High School golfer Fred Thompson competed with the best of other high school golfers from around the state and came out on top, showing the medal he had won as district golf tournament champion in Chillicothe.

Students from kindergarten through sixth grade at Twin Elementary School were treated to a program from park ranger Dan Nelson, who arrived at the school in a helicopter, with several of the students given a ride in the whirly-bird afterward.

At the Colony Theatre in Hillsboro, the weekend children’s matinee was “The Wishing Machine,” while for the older crowd, the rock opera “Tommy” was showing during the evening throughout the week.

The Bainbridge Fall Festival of Leaves Queen and her court were pictured, with the pageant emcee, Radio-7 WLW’s “Jockey Joe” Kelly, surrounded by the bevy of beauty. At his right was retiring Queen Gloria Hamilton and on his left was 1975 queen Roxanna McDonald.

The structural steel was in place and roofing was secured as construction continued on the south campus of Southern State College near Fincastle. The 34,000 sqaure foot building was scheduled to open for classes in September 1978.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571

A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver

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