Telephones, New Year’s baby and rationing ends


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 from back in the day.

This week in 1878, in The Highland Weekly News, a writer submitted that, whileRainsboro was growing, changes were constantly going on such as Mr. Robert McKinney, who traded his farm for the store and property of Samuel Coleman.

The ad for J.C. Rittenhouse’s boot and shoe store told of unheard of bargains. A fresh stock had arrived for the cold winter months ahead at the store with the sign of the big boot at the corner of High and Short Sts. in Hillsboro.

The paper published a schedule of railroad mail departures from Hillsboro, with Ripley mail for New Market, Sugartree Ridge, Mourytown, New Corwin, Emerald and Sardinia departing Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 a.m. Mail destined for Dallas, Rainsboro, New Petersburg, Greenfield, Bainbridge, Paint, Sinking Spring, Marshall and North Union was scheduled to leave Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at the same time.

The week before, the Hillsboro telegraph office gave a telephone a trial run. Wires were stretched from the office to the warehouse in the rear of the building. Those involved reported that the messages could be distinctly heard.

Fears were being entertained, the paper reported, that peach buds that were then swollen by the mild winter, might be killed by the first severe freeze in January. The paper also reported that the weather had been hard on pork packers. The prospects for a supply of ice next summer were not very bright.

Work had commenced on the new railroad line on Joseph Hiestand’s farm, about one mile west of town. Work was also progressing finely between Straightout and Sardinia.

A free New Year’s Day lecture entitled “Abraham Lincoln, the Greatest American” was scheduled for 7 p.m. on the first day of 1878 at the Belfast M.E. Church. Veterans of the Civil War were especially invited, but admission was free for everyone.

This week in 1930, The Hillsboro Dispatch reported the Women’s Christian Temperance Union held an annual crusade memorial service at the Presbyterian Church, with several short addresses being made during the meeting.

In news from Lynchburg, William Coffman and Mrs. Shaffer visited Guy Rhonemus and his wife in Martinsville, Jesse Allen was in Cincinnati Wednesday and Thursday, and Lotta Archer of Oxford was spending the holidays with her parents.

A great family dinner was held at the home of Dr. and Mrs. William Hoyt on Christmas Day. There were three generations in attendance, including 21 children, grand-children and great grand-children. The paper said, “The family circle had not been broken by death in the 44 years of this venerable couple’s married life.”

W.B. Jacks reported from East Danville that J.L. Sonner, his wife and brother Jessie of Delaware visited their uncle, Billie Borden of New Market had been installed as head clerk at A.S. Cailey’s General Store, and that the Sonner Bros. had installed a feed mill with a cob crusher.

Hillsboro Ice Delivery at the rear of the Traction Bldg. advertised prompt delivery and courteous treatment of home ice delivery. To place an order, phone 344.

Hillsboro market prices for corn was 45 cents a bushel. Wheat was at 92 cents a bushel, butter at 24 cents a pound, chickens at eight cents a pound, and young turkeys at 15 cents a pound.

A bold daylight robbery on Christmas Day was reported in Bainbridge, with the victim of the law-breaking burglarizing bandit telling the paper that after returning from Christmas dinner at a friend’s house, she found the front door pried open, her house ransacked and $23.00 missing.

In news from North Union, Jack Butler and wife, Mary Gall and her son Thurman, Carl and Bellamy Williams, and Frank and Arch Kelley were among those who were shopping in Hillsboro Saturday afternoon.

This week in 1945, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that, with the end of the war, tire rationing was ending on Jan. 1, and Hanselman Tire and Retread Co. on W. Main St. had the newest U.S. Royals for your car.

Dick Starbuck was named to the staff of the Hillsboro Bank & Savings Co. The war veteran had served 45 months of active sea duty and was a 1941 Purdue University graduate.

The 26 employees of the G.S. Dunnick Co. in Hillsboro enjoyed a company Christmas dinner at Penn’s Restaurant that consisted of a three-course turkey dinner, but the surprise of the evening was the company-provided Christmas bonus: membership of all the employees into the new Blue Cross hospital insurance program.

Preparations were being made by area merchants to welcome the first baby born in 1946, with the only stipulation being that the tyke had to live in the Hillsboro trading area, and the attending physician had to confirm the date, hour and minute the child was born.

At the Colony Theatre, “the screen throbs with drama, romance and intrigue!” or so the advertisement said. “Weekend at the Waldorf” was showing, starring Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon and Van Johnson, with a special appearance by Xavier Cugat and his orchestra.

At Steen’s IGA, DeLuxe coffee was only 33 cents a pound, Red Lily bleach was 15 cents a quart, Dawn toilet tissue, the four-roll package was just a quarter and golden crème-corn was only 15 cents a can.

Kroger wanted to help you usher in 1946 with a special on Latonia Club ginger ale, four big 24-oz. bottles were only 28 cents.

The C.S. Bell Co. was returning to civilian operations since the government hand grenade contract expired. The company reported the in the coming year they were expecting to increase employment 50 percent, and that they had hired 15 returning war veterans.

This week in 1987, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette’s editor (and current county commissioner) Gary Abernathy made some tongue-in-cheek predictions for 1988, forecasting that Hillsboro City Council would build a new teen activity center, and due to the time it would take to build, consulted with a group of 8- to 10-year-olds. It would be complete with Pee-Wee Herman rock-‘em sock-‘em punching bags, a Barbie Fun House and a G.I. Joe action adventure playland. He also forecasted that a new law would require that dogs picked up by the dog warden be read their Miranda rights, and that indigent dogs be supplied with an attorney at county expense.

Something called the “internet” was allowing tax payers for 1987 to file their ’88 federal income taxes in the Cincinnati IRS district.

The big New Year’s late show was coming up at the Colony Theatre, with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal in “Throw Momma from the Train,” followed by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in “Dirty Dancing.”

Another New Year’s Eve Bash was going on at Golden Orbit Skating Center. Door prizes galore and door’s opened at 7 p.m. with admission just $6 to skate into the wee hours of 1988.

In sports, the second half told the tale as the Hillsboro Indians tamed the Fairfield Lions 61-42 in a non-league contest. In the SCOL standings, the Tribe was in second place behind the ‘Canes from Wilmington, with Circleville a distant third.

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