Big pigs, gassy water and near-record cold

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 years gone by.

This week in 1875, the Highland Weekly News reported temperatures plummeted to 10 degrees below zero, causing “frosted fingers, noses and ears in town and vicinity, but nothing of a very serious nature.”

The paper reported on a “remarkable elopement case” in which a local married woman went off in reckless abandon with another man, then returned “very penitent, and very anxious to be restored to her old place. The result was a reconciliation.”

Elmer Wisecup of Paint Township was said to own a boar pig that weighed in at 185 pounds despite the pudgy, ponderous porker being only 4 months and 4 days old. “Can anyone produce as heavy a pig of its age?” the paper inquired.

Meanwhile, an advertisement for W. Copes’ butcher shop read in bold letters, “Pork Packer!”

One dollar and fifty cents was all that was needed to pay for an 1875 subscription to the Highland Weekly News, but after Feb. 1, the price was $2.

In local briefs, the regional wheat crop was reportedly looking well.

Thomas Rogers had reportedly opened an “oyster saloon,” advertising fresh oysters daily from Baltimore, “served up in every style.”

This week in 1921, the Hillsboro Gazette reported that the water in Hillsboro was contaminated by a chlorinating machine installed to sterilize the water, resulting in some residents experiencing “gastro-enteritis or rumbling bowel trouble.”

A New Petersburg man was in jail after being shot by his daughter, who believed him to be insane and pulled the trigger “in an effort to protect her mother and herself.”

Golden Sun Coffee was on sale for 96 cents for a three-pound can at Union Grocery, and The Spargur Co. advertised new rubber boots and shoes.

In other ads: “The Judge Taft five-cent cigar is a winner. Try one.”

The Forum Theater advertised showings of the western romance drama “Firebrand Trevision,” featuring Buck Jones and Winifred Westover, and the latest installment of “Bride 13,” a 15-part serial which was produced with the assistance of the U.S. Navy.

In the classifieds: “WANTED: 500 beef hides…LOST: One fox chase black and white spotted dog, six years old…FOR SALE: Ford Roadster, late 1920 model, like new, with starter, shock absorbers, etc. Will sell cheap.”

This week in 1955, the Hillsboro Press-Gazette reported the Highland County commissioners cut $67,000 from the county budget and approved appropriations for 1955 in the amount of $261,266.

A Bainbridge woman had a pork bone surgically removed from her esophagus that had been lodged there for a week. The article reported that the woman was “up and around” soon after the procedure.

A truck transporting four farm tractors overturned on U.S. Route 62, eight miles south of Hillsboro. Law enforcement on the scene reported that all of the tractors sustained serious damage.

Interlocking steel piling was to be erected along a high bank at the north beach of Rocky Fork Lake as a breakwater, according to the lake superintendent.

The Famous Store advertised a remodeling sale with deals on wool mittens for 9 cents, infants’ booties for 12 cents, plastic drapes for 97 cents and pillows for 69 cents.

At Albers Super Markets, Red Wing catsup was 17 and a half cents a bottle, strawberry preserves were 33 cents and pure grape jelly was 21 cents.

“J.R. in 3-D…need we say more!” was the poster in the glass display at The Colony Theatre for the showing of “The French Line.” Jane Russell starred as a disappointed millionairess looking for more in her love life than a man after her money.

This week in 1982, the Press-Gazette reported a cold snap sent temperatures to near 20 degrees below zero, which was “mighty close” to a record, according to Highland County official weather observer Tom Knott. A front-page photo showed large icicles on the gutters of an area home.

Throughout the week, school closings and extreme weather conditions dominated the headlines.

The Hillsboro High School magazine “Ambrosia” was to begin publication again in the spring, featuring a collection of poems, short stories and essays written by students and faculty.

The Highland County Domestic Violence Task Force was in the final stages of preparing to offer services, according to the director of the Highland County Welfare Department.

Radio Shack advertised printer/cassette interfaces for $127.95, and headphone radios were 25 percent off at $14.95.

In sports, the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs basketball team fell victim to the Whiteoak Wildcats at Mowrystown with a final score of 90-82.

A semi-tractor trailer jackknifed on SR 73 northwest of Hillsboro, snapping a utility pole and backing up traffic for better than two hours.

The action-thriller “Sharkey’s Machine” was showing through Thursday at the Colony Theatre. The film starred Burt Reynolds and was based on the 1978 novel by William Diehl.

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

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]