Water power mill, Colony Theatre, a strange hog

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 days gone by.

This week in 1875, the Hillsboro Weekly News reported that the Water Power Woolen Mill near Rainsboro would card and spin wool for 16 and two-thirds cents a pound. J.H. Wickersham said his motto was “dispatch, good work and more of it for less money than any other mill in the county.”

The brick layers commenced work on the new Masonic building at the corner of High and Beech sreets in Hillsboro. H. Glenn & Son were the general contractors for the project.

The paper said that “we have come to the pleasant season at last.” The weather was described as warm, with the trees thickening up with foliage, and the grass and vegetables hastening forward quickly.

In advice to the lovestruck, a writer admonished that when you write on a postal card to your sweetheart, use ink made of a solution of ten grains hyposulphite of soda in 16 teaspoonfuls of water. It is colorless, but when exposed to the heat of a candle, the writing will turn black.

In news from Whiteoak Township, Mourytown, the writer noted that corn planting was over and it came up well, wheat had improved with the late rains, the first sowing of tobacco was injured by the frost and the health of the neighborhood was good except for a few cases of diphtheria.

Plans were being made for the third annual reunion of the Leesburg Pioneers Assocation in a grove owned by D.K. Johnson, about one-half mile west of the village. It was to be a large gathering of the old settlers complete with displays of old-time relics.

This week in 1938, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported on a hog that had been butchered some four years earlier, but the tusks were still growing on what remained of the head. It was reportedly going to be examined at Ohio State University and also by Robert Ripley of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”

Steel work was being finished on the new Colony Theatre in Hillsboro, located between Kelley’s Grocery and the state liquor store. The estimated cost for the new theatre was $75,000. It was hoped the theatre would be open by the first of September.

Caldwell’s was celebrating 19 years in business with men’s Big Ben overalls for 89 cents, work shirts for 25 cents and women’s sandals for 68 cents.

You could afford a new electric refrigerator now, or so said the advertisement from the Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric Co. They invited everyone to see the Triple-Thrift refrigerators from General Electric on display in their showroom. Thomas Exchange and Services on Cincinnati Pike (U.S. Route 50) west of Hillsboro agreed, featuring in their ad the new 1939 Crosley Shelvador line of refrigerators, starting at $149.95.

At the New Bell’s Theatre, showing Wednesday through Saturday was “the miracle of birth before your eyes” in a movie that featured “all the things you’ve wanted to know about love, marriage and babies.” Richard Gordon and Eleanor King starred in “The Birth of a Baby,” presented by the American Committee on Maternal Welfare.

Heber Smith of near New Vienna told the farm writer of the paper that he loved that new farming invention called a “combine,” and hated the thought of going back to using a thresher. He had been using the new combine for three years and was going to sell his threshing machine.

A modern apartment for a small family was listed in the “for rent” pages. Light, water, garage and telephone services were free, and the rent was $15 per month.

The “Thrifty 60 Ford V-8” was at the Hillsboro Auto Co. and it was reported to give 22 to 27 miles per gallon in a V-8 powerplant. It was priced at $688.73 when delivered to Hillsboro and your driveway.

In Rainsboro news, the new school auditorium was to be dedicated with state school superintendent E.N. Deitrich being the principal speaker.

This week in 1970, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that Gerbus Bros. construction was three weeks into building a new bridge spanning Rattlesnake Creek along SR 138. Construction boss Rudy Gerbus said his company had the low bid of $1.5 million on the project.

“Candid Camera” star Allen Funt had a new movie out, and it was at the Colony Theatre. “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?” was showing through Sunday.

At Lowe’s Food Market, at the corner of South High and Walnut streets in Hillsboro, fresh “ready for the grill” ground beef was 57 cents a pound. Miami-Maid bread, seven big loaves, were a dollar and medium eggs were 38 cents a dozen.

Swonger Dairy, available at your store or at your door, had Half & Half for 29 cents a pint and fresh from the farm milk. The gallon jug was 99 cents.

Five veteran employees of G.C. Murphy Co. were honored for their years of service. Store manager Leroy Paugh gave service plaques and stock certificates to Idelia Wagner, Mary Bryan, Lauretta Young, Carrie Edwards and Inez Winkle.

Ending 40 years at Hillsboro’s oldest major industry was Mrs. Nellie Finley, who was the secretary-treasurer of the C.S. Bell Company. She had recently retired and in a picture, held a commemorative bell given to her by the foundry.

This week in 2005, The Times-Gazette reported the search was still on for a new athletics director for Hillsboro High School after it was discovered that James Collins, who had been offered a contract, lacked the credentials for the position.

Greenfield’s upcoming Fourth of July celebration, which was to be held on July 2, was going to be a daylong event at Mitchell Park, complete with fireworks, a magic show, live music and more.

The former editor of the Hillsboro Press-Gazette had a new book out. “Elephant Wars: Why Fight the Democrats When We Have Each Other?” by Gary Abernathy, was an insiders account of the 2004 presidential election in West Virginia.

There was a changing of the guard at the Southern Ohio Genealogical Society as Jean Wallis handed over the gavel to incoming president Marianna Morgan.

Leesburg’s annual festival was underway with a flag-raising ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 453, and lots of fun and festivities including a flea market, bingo, live deejay, American Legion fish fry, miniature golf, a Mr. and Miss Leesburg contest and live music by Blue Steel.

Mike Boatman eulogized Richard Shaffer following a memorial service held for Shaffer, acknowledging that he was the driving force behind the ball park on North High Street. Boatman was a part of the American Legion team that finished second in the state in 1971, and he called the ball park that was later named after Shaffer Hillsboro’s “field of dreams.”

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

A look back at news and advertising items through the years

By Tim Colliver