Broken cisterns, Gold Star family and festival origins


A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver - tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.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 1878, the Hillsborough Highland County Weekly News reported on a meeting that was held by the railroad committee at the company offices to provide “ways and means for prosecution of the railroad towards Columbus and Bainbridge.”

“Unheard of bargains” on cheap boots and shoes could be found at J.C. Rittenhouse’s store on the corner of High and Short streets in Hillsboro.

In the letters to the editor section, a reader wrote in that the idea of teaching every girl to play the piano, and every boy to be a bookkeeper will “make potatoes worth $4 per bushel in the next 20 years.”

A horse broke through a cistern at the corner of High and Walnut streets the week before, and the water was pumped out on Wednesday and the cistern repaired. It was refilled from the small cistern at the public square, which the newspaper said leaked badly.

Col. Noble returned from a trip to New Richmond and Georgetown, where he went to inspect the armories of the military companies of the 18th regiment of the Ohio National Guard.

This week in 1919, on the front page of the Hillsboro Gazette was the headline “Brutal Murder Arrouses Community,” where an aged Syrian merchant named John Moses was found “foully slain by an unknown fiend.”

A live performance for one-night only of “Parlor, Bedroom and Bath” was advertised at Bell’s Opera House, billed as “the farce hit of the season” that played for one year at the Republic Theatre in New York City. Ticket prices were 50 and 75 cents, $1 and $1.50 at the door.

Spring hats were in at The Bon Ton Millinery, exclusive distributors of Hart hats in Hillsboro. Ladies could find all the spring styles and shades from celebrated makers like Gage, Hart, Edison-Keith and Clark-Davis.

The Hillsboro community was shocked to hear of the death of George Shack, who was injured one year earlier in a farming accident that resulted in two operations to restore use of one of his arms. Shack appeared to be recovering in a Columbus hospital, but died of tubular pneumonia.

A small stock of general merchandise was listed for sale with the closing of A.L. Carr’s store in Taylorsville. It was located at the Norfolk & Western Railroad Station and included a seven-room cottage and seven acres of farm land.

This week in 1944, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that life was going on despite the war in Europe and the Pacific, with Hillsboro High School Principal Stephen Brown announcing the names of the 65 members of that year’s graduating class.

Housewives were urged to redouble their efforts at saving tin for the war effort, and the newspaper said that toothpaste and shaving creme tubes contained about 90 percent pure tin. The Works Progress Board also asked the women on the home front to continue saving their tin cans.

Lt. Col. Deforest Roush was back in Hillsboro for a visit with his family after spending nearly two years in the South Pacific Theatre of operations. The paper reported he would enjoy 30 days of leave after being hospitalized with injuries suffered in combat. He left Hillsboro in October 1940 when the National Guard was mobilized.

The Harris family of New Vienna became a Gold Star family with the loss of their 19-year-old son, Pfc. Walter Harris, who had been missing in action since Jan. 30. It was believed the Army Ranger had been killed in the Battle of Anzio.

The Hillsboro Fire Committee announced that on March 15, 1944, the city fire siren would be used in emergencies. An up and down sound would indicate a fire, whereas a continuous tone would warn of an air raid.

Shoppers were welcome to use their ration stamps to buy eight o’clock coffee at A & P. The three-pound bag was just 59 cents.

The WKRC Radio “Cornhuskers Jamboree” was appearing at the Colony Theatre, with world champion fidder “Fiddlin’ Red,” The Sunset Rangers, Cowboy Copus, world champion yodeler “Little Joe” and many others scheduled for a live radio broadcast from the stage at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

This week in 1976, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that light snow was in the forecast with snow and rain likely later in the week. A warming trend was forecast for the weekend with highs topping out in the low 50s.

In observance of International DeMolay Week, Hillsboro Mayor Dean Hill issued a proclamation on behalf of the Hillsboro chapter.

Starting Friday at the Colony Theatre, Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder starred in “Blazing Saddles,” with the movie carrying an R rating.

Plans were coming together for a special celebration scheduled for the Fourth of July in downtown Hillsboro in observance of the American bicentennial, a celebration that would eventually come to be known as the Festival of the Bells.

Coupon savings at Great Scot included Folger’s coffee for only 88 cents, eight 16-ounce bottle cartons of Coca-Cola was 69 cents and fresh ground beef was a low 68 cents.

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