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Story published: 04-16-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

From the archives

Editor’s note: The following article was printed in The Tomahawk on January 19, 1954, and that was a reprint from an even earlier article that was published on June 25, 1892. Apparently, when in 1954 The Tomahawk reprinted an article from 1892 about a subscription drive that awarded a lucky young woman by the name of Kate Crosswhite a gold watch, the man that had married her contacted The Tomahawk to tell them that she was still very much alive and still had in her possession the gold watch from 1892. We found it very interesting and thought our readers would as well. What would prove even more interesting would be if a descendant might still be one of our readers and contacted us today in 2014. Hmmmm ... the makings of a really good story!

JANUARY 19, 1954 - The following news from The Tomahawk of sixty-two years ago is printed through the kindness of W.W. Morefield of Neva, who furnished the copy.

Following is an item published in the old Tomahawk of June 25, 1892:

On June 25, 1892, The Tomahawk will present to the most popular lady in Johnson County a gold watch. Each dollar paid on subscriptions will count for 50 votes for the lady you think is the most popular one in Johnson County. The watch will go to the lady receiving the most votes.

(Editor’s Note: Wonder how this stunt would go today?)

In the issue of March 11, 1892, the following was found about the gold watch contest:

The voting in the gold watch contest has been spirited between the friends of the leading candidates this week. Miss Rhea’s name stands at the head of the list, and Miss Alice Donnelly is a close second. Here is the vote:

Miss Mary Rhea, Forge, 2948

Miss Alice Donnelly, City, 2885

Miss May Murphey, City, 2,109

Miss Callie Wills Shoun, Rainbow, 658

Miss Julia Donnelly, City, 550

Miss Rachel Donnelly, City, 474

Miss Cora Shun, Little Doe, 225

Miss Lillie Slemp, Bakers Gap, 75

Miss Annie Wilson, City, 25

Then here is the vote given for county offices in the election:

For Sheriff: I.M. Donnelly, 18, M.L. Moreland 37, J. R. Southerland 3, A.E. Dotson 41, J.D. Pierce 1, W. F. Grayson 1, J.H. Grayson 1, J.M. Main 1, T. Shoun 17, R.L. Stout 6, T.A. Wills2, J.W. Allen 34, John S. Shoun 3, A.S. Wilson 1, J.S. Lowe 1.

For Trustee: W.H. Witson 66, R.A. Donnelly 6, W.S. Johnson 25, N.T. Wills 5, J.F. Goodwin 1, A.C. Parry 2, S.R. Rhea 7, J.M. Payne 25, F. W. Cannon 11.

For Assessor: J.A. Wilson 32, T.J. Crosswhite 2, W.M. Martin 2, J.C. McCann 2, Jas. Wilson 1, J.M.Blank 1, J.S. Jenkins 1, J.M. Stout 77, T.J. Barry 1, W.A. Brown 3, R.H. Martin 24, J. A. Shoun 5, J.H. Shoun 1.

January 26, 1954 - New Notes from a former day

Preacher Browne says he married the girl

In last week’s Tomahawk, we published an article from March 11, 1892 original Tomahawk, concerning a gold watch contest held by the paper at that time in a subscription campaign which created quite some interest on the parts of our older subscribers.

This week, Preacher A. Browne came to the office, handed us a box and told us that he wanted us to print the rest of the “gold watch” story, which was included in the news of W.R. Keys Tomahawk of July 1, 1892.

With the remark, “I married the girl,” he informed us that winner of this contest , Kate Crosswhite, is now Mrs. A. E. Browne, and she still carries the watch, an Elgin jeweled movement enclosed in a gold case bearing a diamond on one cover and a ruby on the other.

Here’s the story, verbatim:

March 11, 1892 - The Gold Watch closed last Saturday and Miss Kate Crosswhite was the winner by a majority of 209 votes. The contest was interesting from the beginning. For several months the honors were most equally divided between Misses Alice Donnelly, Mary Rhea and May Murphey. But a few weeks ago a sensation was sprung by some of the young men placing Miss Kate Crosswhite’s name at the head of the list. The friends of Misses Rhea and Murphey seemed to have dropped the contest at once, and the race was left to Misses Donnelly and Crosswhite and a spirited one it was.

The remark was common on the street Saturday that there had never been as shrewd work done in Mountain City on any election day as was done here that day. As the hands of the “regulator” pointed out the hour for closing the contest, a large crowd gathered around The Tomahawk building and crowded the office almost to suffocation. The publisher sat at his desk writing receipts and issuing coupon tickets. Promptly at 4 o’clock he closed his books and announced that the contest was ended, and some of the young men picked up their cash from the desk, for which they had not been receipted nor had names placed on the books, and pocketed it again. The office was cleared and I.M. Donnelly, S.R. Rhea and J.T. Lefler were selected to count the vote, and in one minute and 15 minutes they announced the result as follows:

Miss Kate Crosswhite 24,525

Miss Alice Donnelly 24,316

Miss May Murphey 4,749

Miss Mary Rhea 4,175

Miss Callie Wills 758

Miss Julia Donnelly 550

Miss Rachie Donnelly 474

Miss Julia Wagner 412

Miss Lillie Slimp 225

Miss Cora Shoun 225

Miss Annie Wilson 25

Total vote cast 60,434

Miss Crosswhite’s plurality 209

Miss Kate Crosswhite is one of the leading teachers of the county, having won a first grade certificate in the examinations which closed here last Saturday. She has had a hard struggle to win her present position, and we know of no young lady in all this section more deserving than she. That she highly appreciates the honor conferred upon her by her friends, in the presentation of the beautiful watch, will be seen from her cards of thanks which appears elsewhere.

The names of ten other young ladies appeared in the contest. They are all worthy the highest respect, and, doubt, profoundly grateful to their friends who kindly remembered them. The Tomahawk had prepared photo electrotypes of the four leading candidates, but as the artist did not succeed in doing the work satisfactorily to us, we venture only to give Miss Crosswhite’s, believing that she cannot have it in her heart to murder us at present.