Mutt & Jeff, the HHS Hooper-men and the new Kmart

A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver - [email protected]

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 1886, the Highland Weekly News reported that one reader pointed out that the average price paid a school teacher was $400 a year, and yet some people complained because schoolmistresses are not always professional beauties. On the other hand, it was noted that tutors at Harvard received annual salaries of $800 to $1,200, and that a trainer in athletics got nearly $2,000 a year.

In news from Willettsville, there was to be a new school house built in the Britton district in the fall; and a pair of scoundrels stole geese, turkeys, chickens, corn meal and harnesses from several houses along the Martinsville and Hillsboro turnpikes.

Hillsboro Village Council voted to buy 100 street lamps at a cost of $700 to go along with the 80 that were currently in place. The paper reported that new lamp posts would be installed.

Mrs. Ellen Allen was surprised by the arrival of children, grandchildren and friends to help her celebrate her 77th birthday. She told family and friends that the world “sure has changed since I arrived back in 18 aught nine.”

In what could be described as the “Take Note” section, it was reported that the narrow gauge train whistle had been exchanged for a cross between an eagle scream and a wild cat yell, and an affidavit of the ground hog taken earlier in the week and now on file at the county recorder’s office intimated that the affiant saw his shadow.

The weather was reported to be warm and rainy the latter part of the previous week, which brought a super-abundance of mud and about “knocked the bottom out of the mud roads in and around Hillsboro.”

This week in 1921, The Hillsboro Gazette reported that rates for telephone users were set to increase, with the Highland County Telephone Company requesting the rate hike from the Public Utilities Commission. Residential users would be charged $1.75 a month, up 25 cents.

A musical bazaar was scheduled for the Elmville school house on Saturday, Feb. 5, promising lots of good music and plenty to eat, and that one of the main attractions would be an expert fortune teller.

Robert King of Greenfield was bemoaning the theft of what was described as a big 1919 model Buick Touring Car. He said it was stolen while it was parked in front of the Presbyterian Church while he was attending the Sunday night church service.

I.H. Anderson of R.F.D. 9 Hillsboro was willing to sell or exchange 45 acres of land, improved with good buildings, fruit and timber, plenty of good water, two horses and two cows, 175 Leghorn chickens and all the farm implements. He said he’d part with it for $4,500, or exchange it for property so he can build a knife factory.

The M.F. Carroll & Sons Co. had some deals on new and used cars, like a new ’21 Chevrolet 490 model in perfect condition for $750, a good Ford runabout for $225, and an almost new Phaeton, priced to sell at $100.

Basketball was coming to the Hillsboro Armory Saturday Feb. 5 direct from Lawrenceburg, Ind., as the Peerless Five were playing the Red Birds. Tickets were 25 cents.

Coming up Monday night at the Armory was the big Hospital Ball for the benefit of the Hillsboro Hospital. The grand march was set to begin at 8:30 p.m., and McKay’s famous jazz orchestra from Wilmington was the featured music. The proceeds were to benefit the hospital for the purchase of linen and needed equipment.

At Bell’s Opera House, 30 people, three acts and music aplenty were promised in “Mutt and Jeff at the Races.” Tickets were on sale at Lang’s Smokery for 50 and 75 cents, with balcony seats reserved for a $1.

This week in 1968, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that Robert Starbuck of Hillsboro had been chosen as principal appointee to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and that Chester Phillips Jr. of Greenfield was first alternate to West Point. The appointments were announced by Congressman William Harsha.

Highland County began the year in the red in terms of rainfall, according to official weather observer Tom Knott. Rainfall amounts should be a little over four inches, he said, but the January 1968 total was 1.64 inches. Temperatures were near normal, with the lowest being -14 on Jan. 8 and a balmy 53 degrees on Jan. 30.

“What we have here is a failure to communicate” was what the ad for the Colony Theatre stated, promoting Paul Newman’s new movie “Cool Hand Luke.” Tickets for adults were $1.25, children under 12 just 50 cents.

In sports, the Concord basketball team of Sugartree Ridge made it a double championship by winning both the county league crown and the county tournament trophy. Coach Fay Kisling’s team had won the county league three years in a row and the county tournament twice in a row.

They were nicknamed the “Vern Hoopermen,” and in a previous contest they nipped the Washington Blue Lion. But in a Friday night game, the Tribe was upset by one point in a tight match 54-53. Likewise, the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs “had their rope looped around a victory only to see it gallop away” when the Georgetown G-Men edged by them by one bucket, 68-66.

Albers reminded customers that it only took 1,200 S & H Green stamps to fill up a book. Meanwhile, Hillsboro Royal Blue had the one-pound can of Folger’s coffee for 59 cents and Swift’s premium hot dogs for 55 cents a pack.

Hillsboro Cub Scout Pack No. 7 celebrated Boy Scouts Week with special displays in store windows in Hillsboro. The scout-related activities were on display at Sherwin-Williams, City Loan, Hunter-Wilson-Mayhugh Realty, Gordon’s Auto Supply and at Hillcrest Pharmacy.

Cpl. William Lewis was serving our country overseas, and his mother, Mrs. Mabel Lewis of Hillsboro Rt. 7, encouraged a card shower for his birthday on Feb. 12. The 1964 Whiteoak High School graduate was in his fourth year in the service and was stationed in South Vietnam.

This week in 1995, the Hillsboro Times-Gazette reported a great rate on an 18-month IRA, paying 7.07 percent at any of the 12 locations of National Bank & Trust.

It was clutch free-throw shooting by Chris Fauber and Kyle McConnaughey that helped the Indians survive a late-game Blanchester scare in league action Tuesday night. The final score was Indians 68, Wildcats 65.

Plans were being made for the high school proms for 1995, and registration was underway for the annual Nationwide Insurance Prom Promise program. Teens were encouraged to sign the pledge to remain alcohol and drug free for the big night.

The increase in domestic violence the previous year was top of mind for Hillsboro Mayor Richard Zink, who promised that finding solutions to the problem would be one of his goals in the new year. Also on the agenda for ’95 was the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) and downtown revitalization.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at the new (and third) location of the Hillsboro Kmart. Barry Jones, manager of the new Super Kmart, did the honors along with his wife Beth.

Action and comedy was at Star Cinema on Harry Sauner Road, with “The Quick and the Dead,” “Junior,” “Highlander” and “Jerky Boys: The Movie” on the screens at the neighborhood movie house.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.
A look back at news items through the years

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]