Smallpox scares, desperadoes and motorcycle gangs


A look back at news items through the years

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



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 back in the day.

This week in 1882, the Hillsboro Gazette reported that “the temperance feeling is as strong as ever in this community,” following a set of speeches by a judge, a reverend and others. Twenty-seven young men signed Murphy cards – pledges to no longer drink alcohol.

One thinly-veiled advertisement in local briefs said that “over-eating is in one sense as productive of evil as intemperance in drinking. Avoid both, and keep the blood purified with Burdock Blood Bitters.”

Detective McConnaughey cracked a case and jailed a man on a charge of highway robbery. The robber struck another man in the back of the head with a rock, knocking him from his horse, then took his overcoat, cap and $10.

A smallpox scare in Hillsboro “cost a good deal of money but it was nothing hardly compared to what it cost Ironton.”

A robin was seen in town, foreshadowing the coming spring.

Night police extinguished a fire at Pence’s planing mill, saving thousands of dollars in property damage. Said the article, “Put down a long mark for the police.”

Spargur & Quinn, located in the Masonic building, offered walking jackets, dress silks, neckwear and fine table linen.

This week in 1938, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported a “desperado” going by the nickname “Flick” revisited old haunts in Bainbridge over the weekend after escaping from the London prison farm. The paper said Flick accosted the local marshal at a cafe, jerking the gun from the lawman’s hand and quipping, “I’ll fix you so you can’t shoot me in the back as I leave.”

Hillsboro City Council held a four-hour meeting discussing streets, alleys and additional traffic signals.

A&P Food Stores advertised peanut butter for 23 cents, chili sauce for 27 cents, apples for 10 cents and beans for 5 cents.

Despite inclement weather, 94 people attended Fairview Church of Christ. The brief was accompanied by this advice: “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

A Greenfield man was being treated for a deep scalp wound he sustained when an iron wedge fell from the tree he was cutting down, striking him just above the left eye. The wedge cut him to the bone, the paper said.

This week in 1972, the Hillsboro News-Herald reported a police raid at a house near Barrett’s Mill netted the arrest of a man who was selling drugs and alcohol to juveniles.

Snow cover of about a half an inch blanketed Highland County on a Thursday.

The Colony Theatre advertised showings of “The Organization,” starring Sidney Poitier, and “Lawman,” starring Burt Lancaster.

The Hillsboro Eagles Lodge was set to hold a fish fry on a Friday and a 50-50 dance on a Saturday.

The Hillsboro Fire Department dispatched three trucks to a Hillsboro home after the chimney burned out. There was no damage.

A school official reported that someone had thrown eggs at his house.

A Greenfield man pled not guilty to shooting another man with a pistol at the Pad Cafe in Greenfield.

This week in 1981, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported the county awakened to a temperature reading of minus nine degrees on a Thursday, breaking an 82-year record.

A Leesburg man was being treated for stab wounds after he got in a fight at the Diamond Grill on Jefferson Street in Greenfield. The fight allegedly involved members of the Renegade motorcycle gang. Several men were arrested.

Another Leesburg man was injured when his mobile home caught fire on Burton Road.

Hillsboro band students Allen Turpin, Larry Dennis and Mark Koenig were shown rehearsing as a trumpet trio for the George Miller Memorial Band Concert.

The Colony Theatre advertised showings of “Any Which Way You Can,” starring Clint Eastwood.

Christopher’s Steakhouse and Lounge at 150 W. Main St. advertised live entertainment – country and western music by Carolina Trace – on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Hillsboro Sunday Stores advertised dish soap for 39 cents, Polaroid SX-70 land film for $5.99 and Geritol tablets for $5.69. King Edward Imperial cigars were $3.89.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

A look back at news items through the years

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com