Wise As It Was: In the paper

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, August 25, 2018

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From Saturday, Aug. 19, 1893

Rock Island Towns

“From the Ft. Worth Mail of Aug. 14: P. Holt, M.D., of Chico, [registered at] St. Charles hotel last night. He says that Chico is starting off a flourishing growth since the completion of the Rock Island. It is 47 miles out from Ft. Worth and has increased in population from about 300 to 1000 since the road was built through there.

“Z.F. Gibson, of Bigbee Valley, also registered there yesterday. He goes to open a store at Newark, another point on the Rock Island in Wise County, where a town will be built which, according to present indications, will be a flourishing and prosperous one. Houses are going up there rapidly and everything looks propitious for the future.”


  • In New Braunfels, a meteoric rock fell close to two people watching the rain. They took to be a cannon ball.
  • There was a band of tough small boys in Fort Worth that the police named “The Corn Dodger Gang.”
  • A goodly crowd partook of the ice cream and cake at Mrs. Burke’s. Ten dollars was received for the college.


From Friday, Aug. 16, 1918

Coy Stephens Bitten By Moccasin

“Late Monday afternoon, while seining in the Trinity River nine miles west of this place, Coy Stephens was bitten by a water moccasin. The snake had become entangled in the seine when Coy approached, not seeing the snake at the time, it bit him on the wrist. On trying to get out of the way of the reptile he was bitten a second time on the leg. He was immediately taken to Decatur, and as the Messenger goes to press, it is reported that Coy is improving. It is hoped that his injuries will not prove serious. Young Stephens is the son of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Stephens of the Pecan community.”

Texas Student Army To Be Organized

“A Texas student Army of 2,449 men is asked for by the government. Forty presidents of Texas colleges met … to plan a campaign by which this number, at least, may be gathered …. Never before in our history has the government so stressed education as a patriotic duty. The winning of the war requires educated men. The war is being fought by trained officers and chemists and engineers and physicians and administrators of every kind. Only the colleges can prepare the leaders of this great work.”


  • Only 2 percent of American soldiers would die in the war, which was a better chance than a newborn had. But the death rate of the Huns along the Marne must have been greater, and the American boys had only begun the killing.
  • The ladies would be permitted to vote in the second primary on Aug. 24, just as they were in the first primary.


From Thursday, Aug. 19, 1943:

  • War expenditures by the U.S. during May amounted to $7,373,000,000, a one percent increase over April. The daily rate of war expenditures averaged $283,600,000 in May compared with $280,400,000 in April.
  • A machine gun which used plastic bullets and compressed air instead of bullets and gunpowder was developed by engineers of the Edison General Electric Appliance Company to train soldiers at less cost.
  • Every citizen in Decatur was asked to gather all their tin cans in a convenient place for pickup Friday at 5.


From Thursday, Aug. 15, 1968

Decatur Day Will Be Oct. 17 At Dallas Fair

“‘Yes sir, that’s my city!’

“Thursday, Oct. 17, Decatur citizens will be able to say just that at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. Because Oct. 17 is the day on which the 1968 exposition will honor Decatur with many spectacular events throughout the day, in addition to a special exhibit in the Worlds Exhibits Building.”

“The Decatur queen will grace a special float in the evening parade about the fairgrounds and before the Official Reviewing Stand with the High School Band as a musical escort.”


  • The Decatur Chamber of Commerce shipped a yellow-meat watermelon to San Jose, Calif.
  • Wendell Berg received a promotion in rank in Vietnam. He was made Spec. 5 in the motor pool and a senior mechanic at Camp Evans. The camp was a short distance from the demilitarized zone, and had undergone considerable enemy sniper and rocket fire … Wendall said he had learned to hunt cover fast when the firing started.
  • Full-cut round steak cost 89 cents per pound at the A&P.
  • 100 percent stretch Dupont nylon pants were on sale at Perkins-Timberlake for $8.98.


From Sunday, Aug. 15, 1993

  • Former Sheriff Leroy Burch, convicted in federal court on charges of conspiracy and extortion, was to serve his prison sentence in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • Boyd and Paradise school districts were sent letters of “concern” from the Texas Education Agency.
  • A sexually-oriented business called the 121 Tub Club was seeking to relocate in Wise County. There was opposition.
  • The youth group from the Greenwood Baptist Church went to Wet-N-Wild on Monday.
  • “Another Stakeout,” “The Fugitive,” “In the Line of Fire” and “Rookie of the Year” were playing at Plaza Cinema III.

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