Prohibition ends, Christmas clubs and dirty dancing

A look back at news and advertising 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 1869, the Highland Weekly News reported that the average life expectancy around the globe was 33 years, married men lived longer than single men, more marriages occured in June and December than at any other time of the year, and one-eighth of the world population was in the military.

The paper reported the severe cold snap of the past two weeks had subsided, and the weather was once again mild and pleasant.

The Ladies’ Festival, held the previous week for the benefit of the Highland Female Institute “was quite liberally patronized, with the net proceeds being about $220.”

Sealed proposals were being received at the auditor’s office for construction of new bridge over Lee’s Creek, and for the improvement of the road from the mouth of the new bridge at Greenfield to Centerfield. A bridge over Walnut Creek was to bid out separately.

The War of the Rebellion was only four years in the past and still fresh on people’s memories. Dr. Joseph Jones had compiled casualty totals for the Southern Historical Society. They showed that a total of 53,773 Confederate soldiers had died in the war. He added that if combined with those that died of disease or in Northern prisons, the total death toll could swell to 200,000 or more.

This week in 1933, the Hillsboro News-Herald reported that a meeting of the Hillsboro PTO was set for Thursday in the high school auditorium for the purpose of studying the proposed bond issue for the construction of the new high school building.

Ohio went “wet” by an overwhelming majority, and Hillsboro — the birthplace of prohibition — went wet by 142 votes and Greenfield gave a wet majority of 177 votes. Lynchburg joined the movement to repeal Prohibition with a majority of 76 votes.

A delay was reported in the opening of a new Carnation milk processing plant in Hillsboro. A new opening date had not been announced, and the company said the delay was caused by late delivery of a huge boiler and other large equipment items.

“The book that inflamed the nation was burning up the screen,” so said the ad for The New Bell’s Theatre. Irene Dunne and Walter Huston starred in “Ann Vickers,” and coming up was “Tillie and Gus” with W.C. Fields, Alison Skipworth and Baby LeRoy.

Over at The Forum Theatre, it was Rex Bell and Betty Mack in “The Fighting Texans,” plus Chapter 6 of “The Whispering Shadow” serial.

The Southern Ohio Electric Company in Hillsboro had the brand new, six-tube Model K-63 table radio for $39.95. You could tune into “Ma Perkins” on WLW or “The Romance of Helen Trent” on WKRC.

The hard times of the Depression weren’t lost on the residents of Hillsboro, and Henselman Tire Station, opposite the Armory, had an ad for a “hard times special.” Blemished Pharis tires were 40 percent off list price and Penn hi-power car batteries were discounted to $3.95.

This week in 1968, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that a heavy voter turnout was predicted for the 1968 general election, with estimates topping nearly 14,000. The biggest voter turnout figure had been the 1958 campaign, where 13,547 Highland countians cast their ballots.

At the Colony Theatre, the question was asked “who switched the birth control pills with the aspirins?” Showing was Deborah Kerr and David Niven in “Prudence and the Pill,” plus a star-studded cast in “Bandolero!”

The Hillsboro Bank & Savings Co. reminded everyone to start thinking about Christmas 1969 by opening up a Christmas Club account. For the kids, a deposit of $1 a week would give them $50 to spend on presents, while Mom could deposit $10 per week and receive $500 in spending money the next holiday season.

At Murphy’s in uptown Hillsboro, price buster bargains included chocolate drops for 23 cents a pound, large size Pampers disposable diapers for $1.37 a box and Dristan pain reliever for 72 cents for a 50-count bottle.

The relocation of U.S. Route 62 at Leesburg was ahead of schedule, according to the Ohio Department of Highways, with construction centered at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad underpass just inside the village.

This week in 1991, The Times-Gazette reported that Merchants National Bank was taking care of business, and business was good as it celebrated the 10th anniversary of opening the Greenfield branch.

A random drug search at McClain High School netted no drugs or drug paraphernalia as several area police officers and four canines investigated student lockers in a routine check. One officer did say several students looked “apprehensive” as drug-sniffing dogs made their way down the hallway.

The paper featured a postcard photograph of the aftermath of the uptown Hillsboro fire of Jan. 20, 1928, which began in the old Murphy Benham Hardware Co. building and destroyed nearly an entire block of buildings adjacent to the courthouse.

Hillsboro High School students in the Parenting and Family Relations Program were going to be assigned a “programmed baby” to take care of. The robotic tike could cry anytime and anywhere, and to keep their little cyber-child quiet, students had to insert a key and hold the baby-bot for five to 35 minutes.

Dirty dancing or doing the bump-and-grind in the gymnasium was causing a problem at Hillsboro High School, as plans were being made for the ‘91 Sweetheart Dance. Principal Monti Mallow was planning a meeting with both student council and parents concerning appropriate dress and behavior at the annual Shin-dig.

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

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]