A strange fever, hospitalized vets, Dems sweep city

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 1877, the Highland Weekly News reported that the people of Buford, after a decision by the Hillsboro Railroad Committee, thought their chances of getting a railroad had passed them by. But on Nov. 12, gentlemen from Clinton County informed the village of plans to include them in the new Dayton to Ripley line that was planned via Wilmington, Martinsville, Lynchburg, Mt. Orab and Georgetown.

The paper reported a strange fever had broken out in the Willettsville area and was raging fearfully. The virus had claimed 16 victims since the outbreak in late September, with others showing symptoms.

Hillsboro farm market prices for the week ending Nov. 13, 1877, showed that wheat was selling for $1.15 a bushel, oats for 25 cents a bushel, dried apples and peaches for 5 cents a pound, butter for 18 cents a pound and fresh eggs were 17 cents a dozen.

In other local news, Dr. John S. Duckwall bought out the grocery of William Schwartz on South High Street in Hillsboro, C.S. Bell had his whole force employed in making 2,000 bells for sale in the coming year, and the weather had been nice for a railroad survey despite a slight spit of snow last Saturday.

It was called “a heavy strike-down on boots and shoes” at J.C. Rittenhouse’s cheap cash boot and shoe store in Hillsboro. Unheard of prices were advertised throughout the store, located at the sign of the big boot at the corner of High and Short streets.

This week in 1909, the Hillsboro Dispatch reported that more potatoes had been raised in Ohio than last year, but that the corn crop was not husking out as well as anticipated and the wheat crop was “very backward” all over the state. It was also noted that Highland County ranked sixth in the state in acreage of rye.

Abe Wilkin, a prominent Shackelton farmer, was the recipient of 258 post cards in honor of his 87th birthday. The paper said he was one of the county’s oldest residents. In Lynchburg, Gad Murphy received over 300 cards for his 23rd birthday.

Sen. Burkett of Nebraska was the scheduled speaker at Bell’s Opera House next Tuesday evening, and was billed to be a great orator in the realm of politics despite being 40 years old.

At Hill’s Meat Market, William Hill boasted that his store had a standard of neatness and cleanliness unmatched in Hillsboro, with Porter House steaks at 15 cents a pound, chuck steak for 12 ½ cents a pound and fresh sausage for 10 cents a pound.

The first game of Hillsboro’s new basketball team was set for Thanksgiving afternoon with manager Wilkin and team captain Carroll claiming they would “clean up everything in sight.” Their opponent was the Central Athletic Club from Cincinnati.

William Albert was a busy man, who the paper described as the postmaster of the little village of Emerald, in addition to being a notary public, preacher and Sunday school superintendent for the Methodist church, chaplain of GAR lodge, funeral home director, managing the village store and operating three large farms.

This week in 1949, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that an appeal for Christmas gifts for hospitalized veterans had been issued by the volunteer service committee of the Highland County American Red Cross. The gifts were to be shipped to the Chillicothe Veteran’s Hospital, where the paper noted that several Highland County men wounded in World War II were now patients.

Voting in Highland County was described as unusually heavy for an off-year election, with 8,816 votes cast. The Democrats in Hillsboro swept the mayor’s race, taking four of the six council seats and two of the three berths on the board of public affairs. In Greenfield, Republicans returned to power after capturing five of the six council seats and all three posts on the board of public affairs.

Showing Sunday at the Colony Theatre, it was Gary Cooper, Jane Wyatt and Walter Brennan in “Task Force,” plus the late news and a cartoon for the kids. Coming Tuesday night was “It’s a Great Feeling” with Dennis Morgan and Doris Day.

Over at the Forum, it was a twin bill of western action with Charles Starrett and Smiley Burnett in “South of Death Valley” followed by “Grand Canyon” starring John Arlen.

Greyhound’s SuperCoach had all that was needed to enjoy a fall weekend getaway. One-way to Phoenix was $35.75, to Washington, D.C. was $8.90 or to go across the country to Seattle for $43.35. Tickets always on sale at the Greyhound terminal in the Parker Hotel.

This week in 1983, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that some Highland County patrons were crying in their beer at an out of town restaurant, but it wasn’t due to marital issues. It was due to a tear gas canister someone threw inside. Several people were taken to a nearby hospital and the restaurant was closed for the night.

Local weather observer Tom Knott confirmed the county’s first snowfall on Veterans Day, when the rain changed to sleet and then wet snow by noon. He said the temperature dropped 8 degrees in four hours.

It was going to be a “Smurfing good time” at the Colony Theatre with the showing “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.” Starting Tuesday, it was Richard Pryor in “Here and Now.”

At the “the saving place,” the Hillsboro Kmart, you could get a jump on Christmas with a Commodore 64 home computer system for $199, or the Commodore Vic-20 home computer for $88, with Vic-20 software and games for $13 each.

Speaking of the holidays, Anchor Savings Association, across from the Highland County Courthouse, recommended planning for Christmas 1984 with a new Christmas Club account, paying 6 percent on deposits.

Hillsboro athletes Bill Fife, Jerry McConnaughey and Dave Fenner were named to the All-South Central Ohio League squads for the fall athletic season.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

A look back at news and advertising items through the years

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]