Lightning bolts, field fires and ‘Playboys’


A weekly look back at news items through the years

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.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 1948, the Hillsboro News-Herald reported 35 foxes and 44 crows had recently been handed in to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office for a bounty of $2 each.

A lightning bolt hit the home of Walter Fenner on North High Street in Hillsboro, causing a small fire and two windows to be knocked out. The article said the explosive shock “shook the whole house.”

Chewing gum, including Beech-Nut, Dentyne and Chiclets, was advertised for 69 cents for 20 packages at Schaefer’s. In other candy prices, circus peanuts were 19 cents, fresh assorted chocolates were 59 cents per pound and almond butter crunches were 73 cents for a 12-ounce can.

A local farmer had his hand amputated after it got caught in a corn shredder. The safety mechanism on the shredder failed to work and the farmer’s gloved hand was reportedly caught in the machine for some time.

It was reported that a new law would require men between the ages of 18 and 30 to register for the draft.

In Greenfield, Hy Tennenbaum, a department store manager, was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce.

This week in 1964, the News-Herald reported four unidentified youths stole a car and “completely demolished it” after failing to negotiate a turn on SR 124 two miles west of Sinking Spring. The occupants fled on foot. Deputy Richard Ausmun said the matter was “expected to be cleared up soon.”

A photo depicted a local musical group, The Playboys, posing at a piano after they appeared on WCPO’s “School for Talent,” after which they were declared the winners of the show. Pictured in the photo were Larry Zugg, John Spilker, Ralph Holt, Mike Waddell and Dave Kerr. An accompanying article said the young men “belie their name because they are serious about their playing.”

In sports, the Hillsboro Indians beat Miami Trace in a baseball match with a final score of 8-1.

The Hillsboro Fire Department reportedly responded to 11 calls over the weekend as local residents repeatedly burned trash, causing an outbreak of grass fires and two structure fires.

This week in 1973, the News-Herald reported the county’s only landfill, located on Hardin’s Creek Road, was under fire by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the county health department over concerns about drainage, equipment and infrastructure on the site.

In sports, the Indians defeated Circleville on the local track to remain undefeated in the SCOL.

Thieves reportedly made off with three fishing poles, a sleeping bag, hand saws, tobacco, two pairs of shoes, a siphon hose, miscellaneous sweaters and a cushion cover at a residence on SR 124.

Kaufman’s advertised a free baseball or softball with the purchase of a ball glove or aluminum bat.

Carpet was on sale for $1 off per square yard at Stockwell’s on West Main Street in Hillsboro.

A car flipped end over end five times in a “spectacular wreck” on SR 73 two miles north of Hillsboro. Two were injured.

Legislation approved by the state outlawed dyeing chicks and bunnies at Easter time. An article said local residents often “bought these little animals, took them home, and the helpless little infants usually died within a day or two.”

This week in 1997, The Times-Gazette reported 31 percent of Hillsboro High School seniors passed all five sections of the Ohio 12th-grade proficiency tests.

Jennifer Brown, a former Hillsboro resident, made her debut on a nationally-aired cable access soap opera called “Hungry Hearts.”

In sports, the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats beat Eastern Brown 10-9 in a softball match.

All available Hillsboro firefighters responded to a home ablaze on Haggarty Hill Road in Hillsboro. The home was destroyed.

The Kelly-Miller Circus, which included an elephant act and flying trapeze and high-wire shows, was set to come to Liberty Park in Hillsboro.

First Baptist Church in Greenfield was set to hold a spring revival featuring Rev. Larry Stewart.

Unemployment numbers reportedly dropped in the state from 5.5 percent in February to 4.7 percent in March.

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@timesgazette.com