Mysterious mammals and miracle medicine


A look back at news items over 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 1884, the Highland Weekly News reported that John Morrow of New Market, one of the oldest residents in the area, had passed away at the age of 78. According to the obituary, Morrow was the son of one of the first settlers in Highland County, and witnessed “the change that had converted a native wilderness into a highly improved and densely populated land.”

A young man walking down the street in Hillsboro “in an intoxicated condition” bumped into a Buford woman who was “quite lame,” and almost knocked her off her feet.

A dispatch from Samantha: “Items scarce. Boys, where are your fish.”

Mr. Scott Kerr, described as “the Greenfield coal king,” said he would “knock everybody silly as soon as his new cart is finished. It will be painted green.”

Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters claimed to be the only drug to “fortify the system.”

Kidney-Wort was advertised as a miracle cure for kidney problems, weak nerves, diabetes, liver complaints, constipation, malaria, “the piles,” and rheumatism.

An advertisement for Dyke’s Beard Elixir showed side-by-side sketches of men with clean-shaven faces before using the potion, and massive mustaches after.

An advertisement masked as a medical article described how “modern medicine” – Dr. Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy – saved a man whose diseased leg had to be amputated at the hip joint. The article claimed that after the procedure, which was considered very dangerous, the favorite remedy brought the man to “the bloom of health.”

This week in 1910, the Hillsboro News Herald reported a mysterious animal was killed by a posse of farmers from Hamer and Salem townships. Early reports said the animal had killed cows, calves, sheep, hogs and horses, but such reports were later discredited. Still, no one knew what the animal was, although some said it appeared to be an African wildebeest. Speculation on the creature’s species ranged from wolf to zebra – everything “except an elephant,” according to the article. The paper dubbed the animal a “Whatumacalit.” Olney Pence, a Salem Township farmer, delivered the killing shot.

A prohibition convention was set to be held at the Highland County Courthouse.

Paint Township was leading in wheat production in the county.

Allen’s Foot-Ease was advertised as a cure for “hot, tired, aching, swollen, sweating feet… takes the sting out of corns and bunions.”

Underwood shoe shop advertised new relief comfort shoes for women. “They fit like a glove and insure complete rest and relief,” the ad said.

This week in 1955, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported the Hillsboro Board of Education approved an expansion project for Hillsboro High School, set to include a new vocational agriculture building.

A Dayton man was being held in Hillsboro on charges of check fraud. The article said he allegedly passed a worthless check at the C&W Shoe Store two years prior.

A contract was awarded to a local painter and designer for redecorating several rooms in the Highland County Courthouse, including the courtroom, court secretary’s office and the witness room.

“Blackboard Jungle,” starring Glenn Ford, was showing at the Colony Theatre.

Albers Supermarkets advertised rib roasts and corned beef brisket for 59 cents per pound, chicken legs for 65 cents per pound, bacon for 55 cents per pound and breaded beef sticks for 49 cents per pound.

Magee’s Bakery on South High Street advertised decorative cakes and other goodies. Said the ad, “If it comes from Magee’s, it has to be good.”

This week in 1980, the Press Gazette reported stakeholders held a groundbreaking for a new Southern State Community College administration building.

A front-page photo showed a section of storm sewer pipe being lowered into a trench on West South Street in Hillsboro.

Murphy’s advertised eight-track stereos for $137, Norelco electric razors for $36.88, flare jeans for $8.88 and straw cowboy hats for $8.44.

Attendance at the Hollowtown Church of Christ was 69 for Sunday School and 80 for church services.

The local United store advertised men’s walking shorts for $5.99.

In sports, the Hillsboro Post 129 American Legion baseball team won three of four weekend games.

Local law enforcement was investigating a garage theft on U.S. Route 50. Items reported missing were two radial tires, a tool box and tools, a power saw, a drill, a socket set, a battery charger, a sander and a jig saw. A nearby truck was also vandalized.

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

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A look back at news items over the years

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com