A BIG tree, basket-brawl and Christmas at sea

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 1888, the Hillsborough Weekly Gazette reported that the Cincinnati, Washington & Baltimore railroad was selling excursion tickets Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at one-third fare for the round trip to all stations, and the offer would remain good until Jan. 3, 1889.

In a historical retrospective series, the paper reported that the first death to occur in the village of Hillsboro was in the spring of 1809. Pearson Starr and his wife and two children had moved from Virginia to the village and had only been living a day or two in town when Starr was taken sick and died in only a few hours. He was buried at “what was known as the old Methodist graveyard on East St.”

Gutridge & Foley’s train arrived in town with a complete line of candies, fruits, nuts, bon-bons and candy toys for Christmas. Orders could be left at their temporary store at No. 27 W. Main St.

A Chillicothe minister, who had been fired from the local Methodist conference for “making love to some of the ladies in the congregation” was reinstated after getting married but not to one of the women concerned. He explained at his hearing that he was only being a proper minister in his love and concern for their well-being. The paper commented that few people up till then “knew that hugging and kissing was part of the devotional exercise of the Methodist church.”

There were holiday bargains galore at the Bee Hive Store, a few doors north of the post office. Men’s fancy embroidered slippers were a quarter, ladies’ kid shoes were a dollar, and men’s fancy striped underwear was marked down to just $2.

In news from Belfast, hogs all sold at $4.50 to $4.80 per hundred, Lizzie Smart of Pricetown had come home to spend a few weeks, and the writer reported that measles “was still raging in our village.”

This week in 1930, The Hillsboro News-Herald featured a front page picture of the biggest tree in Highland County, a sycamore that was 12-feet in circumference and rose upwards of 100 feet into the air. The towering titan of timber was seen on the Leslie farm on the Rainsboro Pike, about one and a half miles east of Hillsboro.

Ellison Bros. offered last minute Christmas gift suggestions, such as pajamas for him and her at just $2, lounging robes starting at $5, or socks and neck ties from 50 cents to $2.50. Stop into The Haberdashery at 106 E. Main St. in Hillsboro.

For one day only, Monday Dec. 22, what was described as a “croonin’ cruise” was coming to the Colony Theatre in a benefit showing for the Hillsboro Kiwanis Club. “Heads Up” starring Charles Rogers, Helen Kane and Victor Moore was coming “full swing ahead” with two showings at 7 and 9 p.m.

George Griffith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt Griffith, formerly of Hillsboro, was selected a guard on the All-Interscholastic Football Team and All-State Football Team of Rhode Island. His mother was the former Miss Margaret Carroll, daughter of Mrs. M.F. Carroll of Hillsboro.

Strain’s Grocery at Main and West Sts., had all of the traditional stocking stuffers for kids, with two-lbs. of stick candy for 25 cents, Florida oranges starting at 29 cents each, hard mixed candies for 15 cents a pound and for Dad, oysters for 65 cents in the quart can.

The Hillsboro Indians needed to practice more on their game, or so the paper stated, since even though the local cagers were victorious over Beaver High from Pike County, they played what was described as “a ragged and poor game.”

Santa Claus was going to be at Harshbarger’s Grocery Dec. 20 at 3 p.m., and their ad encouraged everyone to “buy now and bring back prosperity.” For the days before Christmas, five loaves of bread were just 25 cents, a dozen eggs was 28 cents, for those holiday mince meat and pumpkin pies, a 16-oz. can of mince meat was 15 cents and pie pumpkins were only a nickel.

The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture reported that all of Highland County and the northern half of Adams was now included the quarantine to protect against the European corn borer. Ear corn and fodder were forbidden to be shipped in or out, but shelled corn could go to market.

This week in 1969, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported on a basket-brawl game that turned into a scrapping skirmish as the two Indians teams duked it out in the gymnasium lobby. City police had to disperse the impromptu boxing match between Hillsboro and Peebles with tear gas, with a Dayton man arrested for disorderly conduct.

The front page featured a picture of Henry Kent, who received a commemorative plaque from Ohio Gov. James Rhodes honoring the Hillsboro man on reaching the century mark. The paper added that Kent would turn 101 the following month.

“A perfect Christmas starts at Murphy’s” the advertisement said, and every housewives favorite gift for the home—corning ware—was on sale for $9.99 a set, jewelry boxes were $5.99 and what every child looks forward to receiving on Christmas Day—-gloves—-were just $1 a pair. Use your Roberts credit card, or MasterCharge and BankAmericard, and just say “charge it at Murphy’s.”

This week in 2002, the Hillsboro Times-Gazette announced that rising country music star Joe Nichols had been inked to a contract to appear at the ’03 edition of the Festival of the Bells. Singer Chris Cagle had already been signed for a July 5 concert appearance in downtown Hillsboro.

Greenfield residents wanted soccer to be a part of the varsity sports lineup at McClain High School. A proposal to bring the sport to the athletic program was put forth to the Greenfield Exempted Village Board of Education.

An original story penned by local author Cindi Pearce was going to appear in a newly published book entitled “Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage.” This was to be the 11th in the series of “Chocolate” books which up to that point had sold over 2 million copies.

A new antique and collectibles shop had opened in the former Feller’s Drug Store building in Leesburg. One West Main Ltd. reportedly featured several vendor’s furniture creations, pottery, jewelry and other collectibles.

An action photo in the sports section showed Brooke Jolly of the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats engaging in a game of keep-away before going in for the shot in their victory over the Lady Lions from Fairfield. The final score in the cross-county match up was Whiteoak 56, Fairfield 26.

Meanwhile, the Hillsboro girls dropped what the paper called a “thriller of a game played with total abandon” to the Wilmington Lady Hurricanes in overtime 50-44. Hillsboro’s Casi Wallingford sent the game into OT after sinking a free throw to tie the game.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571

A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver