Jailed poets, Christmas deals, snowstorms

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 1885, The Hillsboro Gazette reported that Christmas travelers could enjoy palace sleeping cars when they traveled with the Columbus & Cincinnati Midland railroad. The railroad boasted low rates, fastest times, and the best accommodations from Cincinnati to all points east, including Wilmington, Columbus, Wheeling and Pittsburgh.

Hill City Bakery, restaurant and confectionery at 9 N. High St., advertised candies, candy toys and bon-bons — all made in-store. Owner J.C. Grad claimed he had one of the best French candy makers on staff.

Real estate agent A.D. Wiggins listed for sale a large, commodious two-story house with nine newly-wall-papered and painted rooms, a good dry cellar, good stable, a cistern, and a well. Wiggins said it would be sold on easy terms or could be rented for $15 per month.

A poet was found guilty of stealing meat from his neighbor’s smokehouse. After being convicted of burglary and grand larceny and sentenced to 30 days hard labor in the county jail, the writer amused himself by composing poetry, a sample of which was published: “They say I am a noted robber and came from the town of Leeds. But I am only a daily jobber, my name is Edward Greaves.”

Following the death of a local man, the Highland County sheriff was ordered to offer at public auction what the dead man left behind. To be auctioned at the door of the Highland County courthouse was one sorrel mare about 14 years old and a one-horse spring wagon. Terms were cash, day of the sale, on Dec. 29, 1885.

This week in 1944, The Hillsboro News-Herald reported that Hillsboro merchants were making preparations to welcome not only the new year but also the first baby born in the new year. The only condition listed was that the baby must have been born within the Hillsboro trading area, and the attending physician must have attested to the date, hour and minute of birth.

Some of the prizes for the first baby of 1945 included a $1 merchandise order from Schaefer’s Super Market, a “dripolater” from L.E. Griffith hardware, a bottle of baby oil from Ports Drug Store, and a $1 order of toilet soap from Kroger Grocery and Baking.

Across Highland County, roadways were nearly impassable due to a storm that brought sleet and freezing rain. The state patrol advised all motorists to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

With World War II entering its fourth year, the Highland County draft board informed men that beginning in 1945, those over the age of 26 and not working “essential jobs” would face the probability of induction. Selective Service officials were uncertain how many men would be called up in the new “work-or-fight” draft program.

At Kroger, holiday bakers could get 25 pounds of Country Club flour for $1.09, three pounds of Spotlight coffee for 59 cents and roll butter for 46 cents per pound. No ration coupon was necessary.

This week in 1971, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that Sheriff Walt Reffitt would seek re-election in the May 1972 Republican primary. Reffitt had held the office for the previous 15 years.

Former Hillsboro resident and Rainsboro native Tom Redkey announced his retirement at the end of the year as chief of the Greenfield Fire Department. He had been a member of the department for 36 years and served as its chief for the past two decades.

The “big $75,000 brand-name sale” was in its third week at Kaufmann’s department store. The advertisement listed many before-and-after Christmas sensational bargains, plus Christmas gifts that cost $5 or less. The ad said not to worry about bringing cash, since the store now accepted the new Master-Charge and Bank-Americard credit cards.

An advertisement for Convenient Food Mart said everyone else in town would be closed on Christmas Day, but it would be open. The ad said the store would remain open from 7 a.m. to midnight for those who ran out of bread, milk or eggs.

For Christmas dinner, Steen’s IGA had whole hams for 99 cents a pound, a 20-pound bag of potatoes for 89 cents, Grade-A ducklings for 69 cents a pound, and, for good luck at the start of 1972, Fame sauerkraut, a 27-ounce can for just 15 cents.

This week in 1996, The Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported that the Greenfield Merchants Association had donated $100 to the the Greenfield Fire Department for the purchase of radios.

Highland County commissioners Rich Graves, Russ Newman and John Smart signed off on the 1997 budget. Newly elected commissioner David Daniels was in attendance as an observer.

AIDS/HIV had been reported in 87 or Ohio’s 88 counties, with 10 percent of the cases diagnosed in rural areas. The only county to report no cases was Noble County in Southeastern Ohio.

“America’s oldest teenager,” Dick Clark, was preparing for the 25th anniversary of ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 1996.” He promised that he wouldn’t celebrate with a glass of champagne until after the show was over.

Cincinnati TV newsman Al Schottelkotte, a familiar face on Highland County TV sets at six and “eeeeee-leven o’ clock,” passed away at the age of 69. The former newspaper reporter was Cincinnati’s top-rated news anchor from 1960-1982, retiring four years later after 26 years of reporting “the day’s events from the station where news comes first.”

Rev. Wiley Perkins was congratulated on his 25th anniversary as pastor of the Samantha Free Will Baptist Church. The paper noted that Perkins took the position in 1971, even though he lived 49 miles away in Springfield.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571

A look back at news and advertising items through the years

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]