New in the collection: Colonel Shelby cigar brochure

Two page advertising spread that reads "Dealers are enthusiastic over Colonel Shelby Cigars" and includes images of several cigar boxes.

The story of Col. Joseph Shelby, the Overmountain Men and the Battle of Kings Mountain is well documented — less so the cigars named for him in the town named for him.

This ad appeared in the Danville (Va.) Bee on April 18, 1927: “Wanted: Responsible Salesman To sell Hava-Rexa, Champagne, and Colonel Shelby cigars to retailers. Attractive line; liberal commissions. Rex Cigar Co., Shelby, N.C.”

“Colonel Shelbys are growing in favor,” this pitch to dealers claims, but a Cleveland County history notes only that “After several years the business moved from North Carolina and smokers lost the pleasure of a local cigar.”

Before Wilmington, state’s movie capital was… Shelby

On this day in 1980: Esquire magazine profiles Shelby’s Rolls-Royce-leasing Earl Owensby as “A Very Minor Movie Mogul.” The Washington Post will dub him “the red-clay Cecil B. DeMacho.”

By whatever title, Owensby churns out low-budget action films (e.g., “Chain Gang,” “Rottweiler, Dogs From Hell” and “Rutherford County Line”) that bomb with American audiences but do nicely overseas.
By decade’s end, however, Owensby has run into financial problems and the soundstages at EO Studios fall quiet.


Hoey pitches shutout at polls in Shelby

On this day in 1919: Clyde Hoey, a member of the “Shelby Dynasty” of Democratic politicians, wins the congressional primary against Johnson D. McCall of Charlotte.

Hoey carries his home county of Cleveland by the vote of 3,369 to 34. Even more remarkably, he receives every one of the 1,242 votes cast in Shelby.

Hoey goes on to win the general election and will later serve as both governor and U.S. senator.


‘We loved your husband….he did not make us as dogs’

“Dear Mrs Kennedy, You & your family have our sorrow of the death of your husband, not only because he tried to help us as Negro but all so he was human. We feel that Oswald did not do it – it was someone larger than he. We loved your husband because he thought Negroes was Gods love and made us like he did white people and did not make us as dogs. Mrs. Kennedy we are praying for you and your family.”

– From a letter to Jackie Kennedy from Mrs. Frank Borders of Shelby, quoted in ” ‘Letters to Jackie’ shows ordinary people’s grief over Kennedy’s assassination” in the Washington Post (Sept. 14, 2013)

The documentary “Letters to Jackie” opens Tuesday in some U.S. theaters.


Gardner had his eye on ‘the wealth of New England’

On this day in 1944: Former Gov. O. Max Gardner, a Democrat, enjoys himself in a letter to the president of Massachusetts’ Pepperell Mfg. Co., a Republican, on the occasion of FDR’s reelection:

“I thought about you around midnight November 7th when the first glimmering results came in from Massachusetts, and I had no difficulty in recognizing that you were again in the minority..

“We are going to start on this glorious Fourth Term on a wider and more complete distribution of the wealth of New England, starting with you and terminating at Shelby, North Carolina, by way of Washington, D.C.”