William Asbury ("W.A.") Curtis
W.A. Curtis purchased The Franklin Press in 1889 and served as its editor until his death in 1910. His crusty, witty, opinionated style makes the old papers a delight. Mr. Curtis was one of the greatest boosters Macon County ever had. He lent his support to any effort that would improve the quality of life of his adopted county. A former schoolmaster he taught the Rabun Gap School (GA) for 15 years before moving to Franklin Curtis remained devoted to educational causes throughout his life.
About 1900, Curtis penned an article on the "Topography of Macon County." The Franklin Press published it in pamphlet form with C.D. Smith's Brief History through several printings in the early 20th Century. Curtis's Topography remains an excellent introduction to the complex geography of Macon County.
Some samples of the Curtis newspaper style:
The mud-holes about Asheville are so deep that people have to watch them to keep mules from drowning.
A novel sight could be seen in a field near town last week of a man 68 years old plowing a mare 21 years old, and a man 86 years old keeping up with the plow hoeing corn.
James Beal, who has been boarding at the county hotel since court, concluded to take the shortest plan to gain his freedom and Lydia Butler, his darling, having appeared on the scene Saturday evening and Esq. John L. Corbin being handy, a license was obtained and Beal and Butler were made one, or a little more so, and their pathway through life may not be so rugged, provided they be not so erring hereafter.
Two bag-pipe tramps in all their glory and noise struck town Saturday.
The Franklin Division of the Sons of Rest held their first spring meeting last Friday under the shade of the maple in front of the post office.
Postmaster H.H. Jarrett is laid up for repairs. The grip has him in charge.
A gospel-feast, faith-care outfit struck Franklin last Wednesday. The combination consisted of a pike-nosed little man, a lusty-lunged homely woman, a flea-bitten, poverty-stricken horse and a rickety, wobbling old buggy. The woman was the preacher and healer.
Santa Claus deposited a little girl in H.L. Anderson's stocking Christmas night for variety in making his gifts. The young lady is the loveliest doll of the season.