January apples, young elopers and baby New Year


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 1904, the Hillsboro News Herald reported that two Highland County teachers were elected to high positions in the Ohio Teacher’s Federation annual meeting in Columbus. The paper reported that Henry G. Williams was elected president and L.L. Faris became a member of the legislative committee.

An excellent financial report had been received at the annual stockholders meeting of the Hillsboro Telephone Co., with businesses that had phones totaling 118 and residences in the village with phones numbering 317.

In Mowrystown news, the play “Old Maid’s Convention” was said to be well patronized with the largest crowd ever witnessed in the village’s Town Hall. Reportedly over 100 people had to be turned away on account of lack of seating.

Two Hillsboro women were among the dead at a massive fire at Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre on New Year’s Eve. Both were daughters of a wealthy contractor who moved his family to Chicago in 1888.

Playing for one week at Bell’s Opera House were the ever popular Howard and Dorset, supported by a strong company of artists. Starting Monday Jan. 4, 1904, tickets were just 20 and 30 cents for evenings, 10 and 20 cents for the matinee.

A rarity for the turn-of-the-century was a woman dentist, but Hillsboro had one, and Mrs. Auta Groth, DDS, advertised her dental office in the Masonic Temple building at the corner of High and Beech streets.

This week in 1932, The Hillsboro News Herald reported that a pair of bad fires destroyed the Mowrystown plaining mill and the residence of Howard McQuitty, with both fires burning at the same time. Help had to be called in from nearby Sardinia to put out the blazes, which destroyed both structures.

Ora Shaffer of Salem Township brought in two bushels of freshly picked apples to the News Herald office that he said he picked on Jan 5. He said the apples that he picked the previous fall and put in the root cellar rotted and had to be thrown out, but the ones he left on the trees were “sound with a better flavor now than last fall.”

Showing at the New Bell’s Theatre, Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts were starring in “Unexpected Father,” along with chapter 11 of the thrilling serial “Danger Island.”

The Ohio Historical Society had erected a museum building at Serpent Mound State Park in Adams County. A pioneer log house had been rebuilt and furnished with artifacts from the period of the early 19th century.

A mid-winter clearance sale was in full swing at Fred Lafferty’s clothing store on West Main Street in Hillsboro. The ad stated that men’s and boy’s clothing, furnishings and shoes were selling “at cost, less than cost and regardless of cost.”

Blue washday Monday didn’t have to be blue anymore with a new Voss wringer washer from the Southern Ohio Electric Company in Hillsboro. The new Voss cost $59.95, with $5 down and the balance due of just $1.50 weekly.

This week in 1968, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that the first baby born in the New Year at was an 8-pound, 9-ounce bouncing baby boy born to William and Phyllis Ball of Hillsboro. William Douglas Ball made his appearance on New Year’s Day at the Adams County Hospital in West Union.

Work was progressing on the new museum at Fort Hill state memorial, with costs estimated at $52,000.

A new $150,000 library was proposed for Hillsboro, with the director of the Ohio Office of Appalachia filing an application for a grant to assist in the project. Albert Giles said that the Highland County District Library was currently housed in a rented outdated 1836 home known as the Scott House.

Showing at the Colony Theatre was real life husband and wife Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in “The Taming of the Shrew,” billed as “a salty salvo in the war between the sexes.”

Matson Chevrolet-Pontiac-Oldsmobile had a special of the week for discerning car buyers. A ’67 Chevelle four-door sedan with six-cylinder engine, PowerGlide transmission, radio, heater, white wall tires and one owner was priced to sell at $1,865.

A Hillsboro soldier was wounded in action in Vietnam but lived to tell the tale and was awarded the Purple Heart. Spec. 4 Tyrone Lawrence sustained injuries in a military operation between Cu-Chi and Tay-Ninh near Saigon.

This week in 2005, the Hillsboro Times-Gazette reported on the aftermath on the December 2004 ice storm which left thousands without power in Southwest Ohio. South Central Power reported that 98 homes in Highland County still were without power as of the first week of January.

Curves International was opening a fitness center in Hillsboro specifically aimed at the needs females. Manager Karen Kumpf said the grand opening would be Jan. 10. Meanwhile in Greenfield, Dr. Eric Borsini was opening the CARE Chiropractic Center.

In sports, McClain’s Tigers defeated the Southeastern Panthers 65-48 in a non-league romp, while in Mowrystown the Lady Wildcats fell to the Washington C.H. Lady Blue Lions 50-43. McClain and Hillsboro were a close first and second in the SCOL boys standings, while in the girls tally it was Miami Trace and London fighting it out for first and second place.

Hillsboro City Council member Dick Donley awarded the December citizen of the month award to the Collins family for their notable charity work in the community.

Elected officials were sworn into office after the first of the year, with newly elected state representative David Daniels, Highland County commissioner Rich Graves, county prosecutor Jim Grandey, recorder Ike Hodson and engineer Dean Otworth all pictured taking the oath of office.

Thirty-nine years to the day after she started as deputy director of the Highland County Board of Elections, Zelma Furnish decided it was time to call it quits and retired to spend more time at home with her husband of 59 years, Bill.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]

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