100 years ago — 1912
The authorities of Garrard County are searching for the murderer of Tim Peters, age of about 35, who was killed Saturday night near Kerr’s distillery. The lifeless body was found in front of his own home in Buena Vista with his heels tied to the axle of the wagon in which Peters had been riding to Lexington to sell a load of rags and iron. There were two bullet holes in his head.
A posse discovered a glove that belonged to Peters and it was decided the assailant shot Peters and tied the body to the wagon’s axle and turned the mule loose. At Hickman, it was ascertained Peters had been seen in an intoxicated condition about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at a store near Kerr’s distillery.
About two years ago Peters killed a man near the spot where his body was found.
Chesnut-Salter Hardware Co. is still advertising for “substantial Christmas presents” by suggesting brass coal hods, brass coal vases, brass fenders, andirons and brass spittoons. It also a has a large selection of scissors, razors, razor strops, skates and Flexible Flyer sleds. “More than 1,000 items are appropriate. Don’t waste your money on trash.”
Standard Oil Company is advertising “The Perfection Smokeless Oil Heater” that “brings solid comfort to old people.” All winter long on blustering days, the Perfection Smokeless Oil Heater will prevent old people many a cold and sickness for it easily warms the rooms not reached by the ordinary heat.
75 years ago — 1937
Eighty seven thousand three hundred and ninety three separate pieces of mail, all Yuletide greeting cards, were handled by the Danville post office during the five days before Christmas. Officials said that figure represents an increase of about 18 percent over last year and nearly 40 percent over the same period in 1935.
Four extra carriers and one extra clerk were hired to handle the unprecedented amount of mail and even on Christmas Day packages were still being delivered.
The four city postmen, who walk between 12 and 15 miles a day, handle an average of 127 pounds of mail daily and make an average of 945 stops daily. There is a plan now before the post office department in Washington to add one more permanent carrier to the local force.
Several employees of the Farmers National Bank escaped serious injury shortly after 10 a.m. when a temporary roof and ceiling built over the temporary headquarters of that bank fell in, a few days before the bank’s personnel planned to move into their new and spacious quarters in the structure now being finished. The temporary roof, a section of wood planking and wood studding, tore away from its fastening and settled with a crash above the “cages” used by tellers and bookkeepers. M.C. Minor, president of the institution had a narrow escape as he was using a telephone in the rear of the temporary quarters when the ceiling started to fall. Mr. Minor said he heard ominous sounds and saw cracking plaster and the ceiling bulging. He was fortunate to escape with only a torn coat.
However, business was not disrupted and banking transactions were carried on as usual.
The bank building along with its 35,000-pound vault door and 27-inch protection of concrete is expected to be in operation by the first of the year.
50 years ago — 1962
Santa Claus came to First and Broadway again this year, and as a result, several hundred children were made happy who otherwise might not have had a Christmas. Through the generosity of Mrs. Charles Mitchell, of Lexington, president and general manager of the Coca Cola Bottling Company here, about 1,500 children were given dolls, candy, fruit and toys at the third Christmas party sponsored by her and the plant.
Children of all ages thronged to First Street and at 10 a.m. when plant manager B.M. McDaniels opened the main doors which led down along to the Broadway entrance, thereafter for nearly two hours, a constant stream of children poured through and was greeted by old St. Nicholas and received their gifts.
“This is the greatest thing ever happened in Danville at Christmas time,” said a bystander. Boys admired their bags of marbles and bouncing rubber balls and little girls clutched their dolls that said, “Mama.”
Mrs. Mitchell is beloved in Danville for her charity but was unable to attend the party. She also holds similar parties iin Lexington, Mt. Sterling, Somerset and Richmond where she owns other bottling plants.
The Gem Store is still advertising Christmas specials. This year’s most exciting Christmas present is the New Polaroid Electric Eye Camera. The radical new eye sets exposure automatically both indoors and outdoors and gives you instant pictures, all for a price of $88.77; or you can capture your family this Christmas with Kodak’s automatic movie camera for $38.77; how about a Walt Disney Cartoon Theatre, complete with View-Master projection theater with favorite Disney characters of Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto — 140 pictures in full color with electric projector, theatre, stage and screens, all for $9.99!
Three local youths, ages 19, 21 and 16, have been charged with conspiracy to commit blackmail. The charge grew out of an anonymous letter written to a woman who is the wife of a Lancaster businessman, that demanded she deliver $450 at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 to Old Wilderness Road. Her husband notified the police if the demands were not met, certain information concerning the recipient would be divulged to her embarrassment.
25 years ago — 1987
In a column by Herb Brock, he explained how nursing home residents try to make the most of the holidays. It is often not a time for much laughter at nursing homes and the only color for many residents is blue.
Staff members put up decorations and try to pump up residents with cheerful expressions and banter, but the very reminder that they’re spending most, if not all, of the Christmas season away from family does little to boost the moods of some residents.
“It is rough on many of them, particularly the ones who don’t get visitors regularly. We do a lot of things here to involve them in the Christmas spirit, and many do join in. But we can’t — nor would we want to — force people to be happy,” said Alice Neikirk.
Nevertheless, a few of those who chatted with Brock on his recent visit to a nursing home, appeared to be trying to make the most of the holidays.