From our files, Dec. 25
100 YEARS AGO — 1916
“Peace on earth, and good will to men,” is the Christmas motto, and the Christmas spirit should ring in our hearts and find a kindly expression in acts and words. What a joyful thing for the world it would be if the Christmas spirit of peace and good will could abide with us all every day of the year. And what a beautiful place this world would be to live in. And it might be so if each one of us would resolve in our hearts that peace and good will should be our motto every day, and that we, individually, would do our best to make the Christmas spirit last all the year round.
Nick Moreno has had a number of iron gates constructed in front of his store, arranged to surround the large amount of fruit stored on the sidewalk. During the day they are folded back out of the way, but at night they form a cage which is locked around the boxes and barrels. Last night almost two car loads of oranges were stored in the cage.
One hundred and fifty dollars have been subscribed and paid to the committee that is arranging to have a Christmas tree in the center of the park in Lancaster. The tree has been placed and it is the intention of the committee that every child in Lancaster receive a present from the tree.
During a blinding snowstorm, the residence of William Plummer, near Danville, was struck by a bolt of lightning and was completely wrecked. Chimneys were torn down, weather-boarding stripped off as if by hand, and the plastering and laths were hurled in all directions. Mrs. and Mrs. Plummer and four children were in the house at the time, and miraculously escaped serious injury.
Miss Minell Prewitt of Moreland, the teacher of the school on Harris Creek, and her pupils were giving the entertainment and Christmas tree when when a terrible tragedy occurred last Saturday evening. Miss Prewitt said William Benedict was killed and his young son was wounded, while Bourbon Galloway was shot through the arm. Mike Gaddis was shot in the leg and George Thornton was dangerously wounded. Miss Prewitt, with great presence of mind, when a number of pistols and knives were drawn and bullets were flying in very direction, told her students to lie flat on the floor. Miss Prewitt said she was confident that Mr. Benedict was sober. Tis certainly most deplorable and a terrible ending to an entertainment which was intended as an uplift and betterment of the entire community.
75 YEARS AGO — 1941
Enlisted men stationed at Danville’s Darnall General Hospital will be treated to a Christmas party tonight, starting off with a special dinner and ending with the presentation of gifts to all the men in front of a lighted Christmas tree. The women of Danville have been busy for several weeks filling bags with gifts for the soldiers and decorating the tree. The dinner, provided by the government, will feature roast turkey, chestnut dressing, cranberry sauce, and giblet gravy. Hospital cooks have promised enough to satisfy even the heaviest eaters in the detachment. After the dinner, cigars, cigarettes, nuts and candy will be passed around and gifts opened.
Darnall General Hospital, the War Department’s hospital located on the shores of Lake Herrington, was named after one of the Army’s most distinguished medical corps officers, the late Brigadier General Carl Rogers Darnall. Gen. Darnall, the son of native Kentuckians, was born on Christmas Day, 1867, and was the oldest son of the Rev. Joseph Rogers Darnall and Mary Ellen Thomas. After completing medical training he served in both the Philippine insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion in China. In 1908 Gen. Darnall invented a filter for the purification of drinking water in the field. This filter served a useful purpose in the years preceding the first World War. He also discovered the value of liquid chlorine in purifying water, and his invention in 1911 of an apparatus and method for purification of water and sewage by means of liquid chlorination is still used today.
Two cheese making companies are considering locating plants in Danville, said Jay Harlan, secretary of the Danville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Harlan said the plants would employ about 20 men each and would locate in Danville if they could use the city sewerage disposal plant, which is now nearing completion. City engineer said he did not believe it would be practicable for the disposal plant when completed to accommodate the wastes from the factories.
Advertisement: Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company — Long distance lines must be kept clear Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Our government is depending upon these lines for urgent communication needs. The long distance telephone is already playing a major role in America’s all-out war effort…Industrial plants engaged in defense production, radio networks and news services are relying more and more upon the speedy contacts made possible by the Long Distance telephone.
50 YEARS AGO — 1966
For your shopping convenience Spoonamore Drug Co. will be open today, Dec. 25 from 9-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. It is located at the corner of Main and Third streets.
The first grade at Jennie Rogers elementary school presented a Christmas play Wednesday afternoon. The story was about a little girl in search of the greatest gift, which turned out to be a peasant girl who was her friend. Participating in the program were Deborah Jo Sharp, David Cress, Martha McDaniel, Kenny Wall, Kelie Ramsey and Bo Barnes. Dancing bears were Patrick Caldwell, Milton Cash, Clay Lewis, Billy McAnly, Jarlo Mareno, Kenny Price, Warren Purdom and Mark Strevels. Dancing dolls were Clara Bell, Sharon Bruner, Tammy Galloway, Alice Lester, Crystal Sheene, Peggy Smith, Kimberly VanArsdall and Kathy Warren. Christmas cards were Russ Brown, Mark Goggans, Chuck Sisk and Ronnie Warren. Toy soldiers were Darrell Bryant, Jonathan Kelso, Douglas Stallard, Mark Stitts, David Thomas, Billy Worthington, Scott Yankey and Jeffrey Zoll. Candyland paraders were Judy Girdler, Kathy Ingram, Patty Long, Cynthia Rice, Elisabeth Richardson, Sherry Rousey, Judy Sharp, Tammy Thompson, and Ann Katherine White.
Mountain children were Steve McMahon, Tracey Provence, Mindy Stephens, Fred Turnbull and Darrell Whitley. Carolers included Linda Allen, Bobby Baughman, James Brown, Robin Burnside, Scott Cline, Cheryl Clouse, Jean Ann Coomer, Jimmy Davis, Boyd Eubank, Janice Frye, Bruce Gordon, Holly Henson, Bobby Hines, Johanna Hurst, John Hurst, Billy Jarboe, Chris Jones, Alex Johnson, Conway Johnson, Donald King, Myron Lee Kinley, Patrica Leathers, Richard Lewis, Jesse Long, James Maxon, Marvin Mays, Lisa Merrick, Tim Mowery, Benny Pendygraft, Kenny Pendygraft, Lewis Pendygraft, Andra Prewitt, Kenneth Richards, Douglas Russell, Christina Sagar, Jeffrey Siler, James Snoddy, Doris Switzer, Stefan Turner, John Walters, Harold West, Barry Wheat, Samuel Whitehead, Barry Young and Billy Ray Young. Kenneth Wall is principal and Miss JoAnn Asher is music supervisor. First grade teachers are Mrs. W.L. Cannon, Mrs. Clifford Estes, Mrs. Robert Hamblin and Miss Ruth Goggin.
The First Baptist Church, corner of Second and Walnut Streets, was completely gutted by a fire of unknown origins Monday morning. The entire interior of the handsome, two-story brick structure with tall steeple was destroyed. The organ, piano, chairs, pulpit and altar area and all appointments in the sanctuary were ruined by the flames, as well as choir robes and music.
25 YEARS AGO — 1991
Santa Claus, or in this case, Mickey Sinkhorn Young, 60, has been busy this Christmas. Her first time to play Santa for children brought a lapful of them at the Forkland Community Center. When the folks at the community center were looking for someone to play Santa, Young quickly volunteered. “I love kids. I love to see them smile,” she said. The only other time Young played Santa was to fool her brother, the late Dick Sinkhorn. Her brother, a bailiff, always played Santa during the courthouse Christmas parties. His illustrious career as Santa also included being flown by helicopter into Danville Manor Shopping Center after it opened in 1970.
Jeremy Chilton, 9, of Forest Avenue spent the morning before Christmas building a doghouse for a dog he’ll be receiving from his brother, Billy Booth, in January as a late Christmas present. According to Jeremy’s mother, Patsy Booth, “He just loves to build things.”
Willard Clifton Hunt, 71, of Danville, and a retired businessman and Army major has died. He probably gained more notoriety as co-founder of the Old Goats Club, a group of men who regularly have met the last dozen years for coffee at Grider Pharmacy for a discussion of current events in a light-hearted fashion.