Laxatives, puppets and holding court on Sunday


A weekly look back at news items through the years

By David Wright - dwright@aimmediamidwest.com



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 1870, the Highland Weekly News published scathing remarks from Rev. J.F. Marlay against Judge Safford for holding court on Sunday in Hillsboro. The reverend called the action an “abuse of power,” and called for “the sternest rebuke” from the local Christian community.

N.A. Berryman wrote to the paper from Potato Creek, Ind., that John Brown of Belfast had left Indiana several months prior and had not been heard from since.

Wrote Barryman, “Any information that may lead to the discovery of his whereabouts — living or dead — will be thankfully received by a bereaved sister.”

African American residents of Greenfield (described as “colored” by the newspaper), held a meeting to discuss the recent adoption of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave African American men the right to vote.

In other Greenfield news, a railroad bridge just beyond Frankfort that had burned down some weeks prior washed away in a flood.

In Belfast, flooding caused local farmers to lose as much as 500 bushels of corn, and the only water mill in the area had its dam swept away.

Despite the flood damage, the article said, “Belfast now boasts of one store, two doctors, one notary public, one saddler, one wagon maker, one blacksmith’s shop and one place where the ‘critter’ is sold.” The nature of the “critter” in question was not clear.

It was reported that Thomas Adams of Reeseville in Clinton County was to celebrate his 100th birthday. The article reported, “He has been a man of most vigorous and powerful physical organism, being six feet and four or five inches in height, and large, erect frame.”

Aromatic vegetable toilet soaps were advertised for sale “at all druggists.”

A new meat shop opened on Main Street in Hillsboro opposite the Ellicott House. Fresh beef was to be sold three times a week, and fresh mutton or veal every morning.

This week in 1921, it was reported in The Press-Gazette that Hillsboro would soon have a new motion picture theater. The theater, to be located on North High Street, was reportedly going to be named the “Palace.”

Sugar was eight and a half cents per pound at Kelly & Strain, bread was 13 cents per loaf, flour was $1.50 for a 24.5-pound sack, and “meat scraps” were six and a half cents per pound.

Briefs in the social pages were occasionally interrupted by ads for Judge Taft Cigars. Some examples:

“Do you smoke? The next time try a Judge Taft five-cent Cigar.”

“A real cigar for a nickel. The Judge Taft.”

“The best bet is a Judge Taft Cigar. Have you tried them?”

A 22-year-old woman in Washington Township was reported dead from tuberculosis.

Sterretts Alfalfa Compound, liquid and tablet, was advertised as “the best tonic on earth.” It was a laxative.

A puppet show at Bell’s Opera House, “Mutt and Jeff at the Races,” was advertised as “the show of laughter.” Tickets were on sale at Lang’s Smokery at prices ranging from 50 cents to $1.

In classifieds: “Lost — one cuff-link with initials, C.F.R., between J.E. Carroll’s residence and Forum Theatre.”

This week in 1965, The Press-Gazette reported a car struck a cow on SR 138 about a mile east of Buford. The driver was not hurt, but the front end of his car was destroyed and the cow was killed.

Three men admitted to breaking into the Highland Producers Stockyards earlier in the week. The men had apparently also robbed a stockyard in Chillicothe and were wanted for earlier burglaries in Indiana.

When the trio hit the Hillsboro stockyards, they reportedly took three electric adding machines, one manually operated adding machine and a typewriter.

“Cleopatra,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison was playing at the Colony Theatre.

“Batteries that start your car” were advertised at Gordon’s Auto Supply for $9.95 and up.

An Escort TV, advertised at only 22 pounds with a 16-inch screen, was available at the Goodyear Service Store on West Main Street for $129 or $1.50 per week.

Biscuits were five cents per can at Lowe’s Bargain Food Store.

Ms. Jenny Devore was crowned homecoming queen at Lynchburg.

It was reported the Greenfield Police Department investigated 196 traffic accidents in 1964. Nineteen people were injured.

Fifty-eight people were in attendance for Sunday morning worship and Bible study at Mt. Olive. The offering was $12.76.

In sports, the Hillsboro Indians won against Jackson in basketball with a final score of 95-82.

This week in 1988, the front page of The Press-Gazette featured an article profiling WSRW’s new afternoon DJ Marvin “Muff” Evans.

The article described Evans’ unique voice as “a cross between well-known country interviewer talk show host Ralph Emery and sportscaster Charlie Jones, slightly hoarse, but with a lot of character.”

A black angus calf was reported stolen from a pasture on SR 136.

The Colony Theatre advertised showings of “Three Men and a Baby,” starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson. Tickets were $2.50 for all shows before 6 p.m.

Keebler Club Crackers were 99 cents, Frito’s corn chips were $1.49 and Seaway Pork and Beans were on sale for 99 cents for a 40-ounce can. Pepsi was 77 cents for a two-liter.

A Tandy 1000 TX computer with a color monitor and PFS software was advertised for $1,299 at Radio Shack.

In classifieds: “Now accepting applications, high school graduates and older, Pasquales Pizza, 122 South High St. Hillsboro.”

Ponderosa in Wilmington advertised a hand-cut five-ounce sirloin steak or chicken breast dinner with the sundae bar for $3.99.

A woman was arrested for stealing a number of items valued at $25.03 from Bob & Carl’s on North High Street in Hillsboro. The woman allegedly stuffed the items in her coat and pants and made her way to the door.

It was reported that cardiovascular diseases killed more than 200 people in Highland County in 1986.

In sports, the Hillsboro Indians picked up two wins over the weekend, beating Washington Court House 70-63, and Unioto 64-59.

The Whiteoak Wildcats held on to defeat the Fairfield Lions 59-57.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

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A weekly look back at news items through the years

By David Wright

dwright@aimmediamidwest.com