Albino raccoon, teacher raises, car loan interest


A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver - tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com



Editor’s note — As The Times-Gazette celebrates its 200th anniversary, we’re 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 1900, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that another chapter in the Carl Hirn case had been written when the defendant was sentenced to nine years in the Ohio Penitentiary. He had been convicted in early December of manslaughter.

Kaufmann & Baer on West Main Street in Hillsboro advertised that “Rock and Rye was good for coughs, croup and colds,” and was so delicate that children can use it without danger. The store also boasted of having the leading brands of hard whiskey like Lynchburg, Old Hollyhock, Oscar Pepper and Rocky Fork.

A new grocery opened in the Masonic Temple, featuring a fine line of staple and fancy groceries. Some of the items on sale for the end of the year included fancy New Orleans molasses for 45 cents a gallon jug, canned corn for 7 cents a can and fancy new mackerel, just 9 cents each or three for a quarter.

Three fires in two days was the record for a new year, with prompt action of the fire department preventing big losses. First was a fire in the summer kitchen at a home on Hazel Street, followed by another house fire in the evening on Reece Corner. The next day another house caught fire on High Street. All three blazes were said to have been caused by a defective flue in the fireplace.

At the Elks lodge, a pleasant evening marked the beginning of a new century as the Elks held its first social occasion to which ladies were invited.

This week in 1940, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that a Harriett man escaped injury when his car struck a bridge railing north of Hillsboro on SR 73. The man was returning from Detroit, where he had spent Christmas at the home of his daughter.

A rare albino raccoon was the reward of some late night hunters in the Hardins Creek area. The local game warden told the paper that he had seen at least three other albino raccoons in the past year and “these freak specimens are of less value than the regular raccoon.”

The Colony Theatre was the place to go for a gala New Year’s Eve “Whoopee Party,” with the box office opening at 6:30 p.m. and admission just 33 cents. On the big screen through the first week of the new year was Kay Kiser and his Kollege of Musikal Knowledge in “You’ll Find Out,” with Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

The Hillsboro A & P Food Store wished everyone a happy 1941 with 8 O’ Clock coffee. The three pound bag was just 37 cents, soft twist A & P bread was three loaves for 23 cents and Yukon Club ginger ale three quart-sized bottles were a quarter.

A Greenfield man was sorely embarrassed when a little woman confronted him after finding a greeting card she told him to mail to an ailing friend … nine years before. She told The Press-Gazette she found the card when she was preparing to cut up his old coat for carpet rags. He said he remembered placing it in his pocket on his way to work, then promptly forgot about it.

The Hillsboro Business Men’s Association retail merchants division wished everyone a new year of happiness and success on the eve of 1941, encouraging all to visit downtown Hillsboro often.

This week in 1980, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that first-year teachers in the Hillsboro City School District would start out at $10,800 a year. The board of education unanimously approved a $600 raise for new teachers effective Jan. 1, 1981.

The unemployment rate in Highland County narrowly missed being in double digits. The number of jobless held steady at 9.8 percent with the number expected to increase in the new year due to rising interest rates and a worsening recession.

At the snack bar inside G.C. Murphy’s in the Highland Plaza Shopping Center, the soup and sandwich special was just $1.57, and the afternoon feature was chocolate brownie shortcake for 79 cents. The offer was good through Jan. 4, 1981.

To welcome the first baby of the new year and new decade, First Security Bank said it would deposit $5 into a new savings account for the first baby of 1981. Not to be outdone, Farmers & Traders National Bank across the street offered a crisp, new $5 bill to the first baby of the year. Haines was more practical, giving away one dozen Curity cloth diapers, two receiving blankets and half-off oits first pair of shoes for baby new year.

In the year in review section, 52 Americans were still being held hostage in Iran, but with the election of Ronald Reagan, they would be released the day he took office in January. Mount St. Helens blew her top, America slid deeper into a recession amid sky-rocketing interest rates and a strange looking skyrocket named Columbia was still earthbound at Cape Canaveral. It made its first flight in April.

At Jerry Haag Motors, a $300 rebate was being offered on the purchase of a new ’81 Chevy Chevette. The little car that “would drive you happy” could be financed for 48 months at 16 percent interest.

This week in 2000, The Hillsboro Times-Gazette reported it was standing room only in the Highland County Common Pleas courtroom for the swearing in of new officials. Ron Ward took the oath of sheriff, David Daniels and Richard Graves were sworn in as county commissioners and Jim Grandey took over as prosecuting attorney.

It was not only the eve of a new year, but also the dawn of a new millennium and Kroger was giving away a $100 gift certificate for the family of the first baby born in 2001.

In the Kroger Holiday Classic, a last-second shot sank McClain High School in the basketball final. Madison-Plains foiled the Tigers’ hopes for a three-peat by a score of 46-45, hitting the game-winning bucket with only two seconds left on the clock.

Meanwhile, Miami Trace handed tHillsboro a 69-47 defeat, with the Indians’ record slipping to 3-4 in the new season.

Greenfield’s Jenna Free was told she could make the short drive from the campus of Ohio State University to the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Convention in Columbus to compete for the title of Ohio Beef Queen. Free was the current Highland County Beef Queen and would contend with 21 other queens from across the state on Jan. 6, 2001.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

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A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver

tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com