Big Ernie rolls, $1 haircuts and cookies for the troops


A look back at news and advertising 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 1875, a correspondent for The Highland Weekly News reported wet spring weather led to dangerous mud on the roads in Paint Township and elsewhere in the county. “I do not think I ever saw the mud roads worse than now,” the writer noted. “So bad indeed that traveling is dangerous, for only a few days ago a good strong horse got fast in the half-frozen mud, and was only got out with great difficulty.”

C.S. Bell advertised a new ventilating stove that produced “uniform temperature in all parts of the room.” Bell was also a Republican candidate for the school board at the time.

Seybert & Co. Druggists of Hillsboro advertised a compound syrup of tar, horehound and wild cherry, which it claimed was the cure for “all afflictions of the throat, lungs and vocal organs.”

A lengthy obituary told the story of Rees Griffith, an immigrant from Wales who settled in Hillsboro as a young man in the mid-19th century. He died of kidney disease.

This week in 1937, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported several chickens were stolen from a Highland County farm, and an area man was arrested for stealing a steam locomotive.

A survey conducted by the state highway planning bureau found that on average, over 5,000 vehicles per day traveled the highways radiating out from Hillsboro, with over 1,000 daily traveling U.S. Route 50 with 20 percent being trucks. The least traveled road was SR 138, which had roughly 300 vehicles daily.

Haley’s Sales and Service at 146 W. Main St. in Hillsboro boasted that the ’37 Studebaker Dictator was “America’s finest six-cylinder car.” Meanwhile, the Motor Sales Co. advertised “America’s finest low priced car,” the new 1937 Pontiac sedan that cost 15 cents a day.

One of the county’s oldest homesteads located south of Greenfield was destroyed by a fire.

The paper reported that the McClain factories in Greenfield were producing 12,000 horse collar pads daily.

Subscriptions to The Press-Gazette were on sale for $1.75 per year.

At the new Bell’s Theatre, Jimmy Scribner, “the fellow with 22 voices,” was appearing live and on stage in “The Johnson Family,” along with a re-enactment of “Lucy & Pewee’s Famous Wedding” and on the big screen was Guy Kibbee and Una Merkel in “Don’t Tell the Wife.”

This week in 1964, The Hillsboro News-Herald reported Ernie “Stringbean” Blankenship walked away from a bowling meet with both high series and high single game honors.

In sports, the Hillsboro High School track team beat McClain by two points at a meet.

A two-gallon can of paint was $4.95, a 1.5-gallon pressure sprayer was $5.97 and an 11-quart house pail was free with the purchase of pig feed at Landmark in Hillsboro.

Patio Diet-Cola, the new one-calorie cola from Pepsi, was introducing its new soft drink by offering six-bottle cartons for the price of five. They were available at Kroger, Albers and the Hillsboro Royal Blue markets.

A Hillsboro landmark was passing from the local scene as it was announced that the Murphy-Benham hardware store on West Main Street would be going out of business by the middle of May.

Showing at the Colony Theatre was “the bold new look in love and suspense!” Paul Newman, Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson were starring in “The Prize.” Meanwhile, at the Roselawn Drive-In Theatre in Allensburg, it was “lucky buck night” for the Western shoot ‘em up “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.

At the Parker Hotel barber shop, Bob Chambers and Kelley Ferguson had a great grand opening special with all haircuts just $1. The offer good through April 18, 1964, then a regular haircut was $1.25 and flat-tops were $1.50.

This week in 1998, The Times-Gazette reported Weastec was set to expand in Greenfield.

The Highland County commissioners authorized county engineer Dean Otworth to continue with design plans for the extension of Hobart Drive.

The Easter bunny was shown in a front-page photo giving out treats in front of Bob and Carl’s Finer Foods in Hillsboro.

A Lynchburg-Clay student was suspended for having an unusual haircut — buzzed everywhere but the front, which grew in a long “flap” down his forehead — and the student’s father said he would take all of his children from the school if the school board did not reverse its decision.

In sports, McClain’s Zach Thompson was shown preparing a pitch in a baseball game against Fayetteville. The Tigers led 7-5 when the game ended due to darkness after three innings.

The Greenfield Fire Department issued a fire warning after responding to seven field fires in the previous two weeks.

There was a new hair stylist in town and The Styling Den in Leesburg had her. In its ad, Paige O’ Dell Stalhut said “it’s time to feel beautiful” as she returned from Florida to “The Friendly Village.”

Inclement weather delayed construction on the new Hillsboro Middle and High School complex outside of Hillsboro. Superintendent Art Reiber said the tentative completion date was set for July 29, 2009.

Brownie Troop 210 was sending Girl Scout cookies to the troops in Iraq, in particular, Alpha Co., 101st Airborne Division which was being led by 2nd Lt. Adam Wilson, the son of Greg and Kay Wilson of Lynchburg.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

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A look back at news and advertising items through the years

By Tim Colliver

tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com