New, Bernians, in this modern
age of miracles, can get saddle
scores right in their own living
room from a wide choice of tele
vision westerns. .
That’s nothing to crow about.
Sixty years ago the natives in our
town of towns were privileged to
see in the flesh the first of all
westerns, and its famed originator,
William Frederick Cody was his
real name, ^ but long before he
dreamed of visiting New Bern
with a tent show that not only in
cluded hundreds of cowboys, scouts
and Indians but the incomparable
Annie Oakley, he had been dubbed
Buffalo Bill for keeps.
For 20 years before his death ui
1917, he toured America and
Europe, reaping a fortune. Like
that more recent showman, Michael
Todd, whose much talked of
movie— “Around The World In
80 Days” opens at the Kehoe today,
Cody-«pent his money as fast as he
made it, or faster.
Fortunately for him, he did buy
considerable acreage in Wyoming
and Nebraska, and founded .the
town of Cody at the eastern en
trance of Yellowstone Park. His
tomb is a vault that was dynamited
oijt of solid rock on the top of
Lookout Mountain, near Denver.
Some of the western stars on
television today probably wouldn’t
know a steer if they met him face
to face, but the performers brought
to New Bern by Buffalo Bill were
part and parcel of a great Amerif
can era. “
Cody was the last of a line of
noted scouts that included Daniel
Boone, Davey Crockett and a ven
turesome gent knowp only as “Wild
Bill.” Born .in lowS, Buffalo Bill
had done an awful lot of living be
fore he finally arrived at the junc
tion of the Neuse and Trent as a
crafty, middle-aged entertainer.
Newspapers were few and far be
tween, but New Bernians were al
ready well informed of his glamor
ous career. What they didn’t know
Cody’s press,agent filled in with
hectic advance ballyhoo that had
the village in a tizzy weeks before
the big performance.
Unlike most cases of exploita
tion, Buffalo Bill was just as
amazing as the billboards proclaim
ed him to be. Amazing not only for
his feats of the past, but as the
star of his own show.
Orphaned at the age of 11 when
his father was stabbed to death, he
became the original hot-rod teen
ager as a rider for the Pony Ex
press, No one along the 1,950
miles from St. Joseph, Mo., to
Sacramento, Calif., was as daring
in his horsemanship.
Before long the plains and In
dian habits were an open book to
him. He scouted for the Yankees
in the War Between The States,
fought later against the Sioux and
Cheyennes, and killed Chief Yellow
Hand of the Cheyennes in man to
How did he get the nam^ of Buf
falo Bill? That was strictly busi
ness. He signed a contract to
furnish fresh buffalo meat for
laborers who were putting down
the track of the Kansas-Pacific
railroad. His claim that he killed
4,800 buffaloes in a single year,
and 69 in a single day, was never
Yes, Cody was the real thing, and
New Bernians who crowded his big
tent for a look at him were well
aware of that fact. Not content
with just a look, they bought his
photograph and placed it in a
frame on their mantels.
Those old timers hereabouts
missed out on a lot of things by
being born too early. But they saw,
and remembered until death claim
ed them, the first wild west show
and the remarkable man who
brought it to their door.
The NEW BERN
IN THE HEART OF
5^ Per Copy
NEW ^ERN, N. C., FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 1958
NEW BERN'S CONTRIBUTION—Two of the finest ball carriers that
New Bern High School has produced are scheduled to see action
Friday night in the annual East-West game at Greensboro.
Jean Earl Worthington, above, right, will go into the contest
with many honors ridirtg on his shoulders. He was named All-
Northeastern Conference halfback; All-East by the .Wilson Touch
down Club; All-East by the Raleigh News and Observer; All-Ameri
can honorable ihentil^; A.II'Statosjhonof'able'hMMtion.by tho.Gceene-
captain of the 1957 Higli school eleven. He scored 11 touchdowns, and
earned a full scholarship at Catawba College, where he'll pl^
football, basketball, baseball and track.
Charles Davis, left, above, was All-Northeastern Conference
fullback; made the News and Observer's All-East 'second team;
received All-State honorable mention from the Greensboro Daily
News; and All-American honorable mention. He was co-captain of the
1957 Bruin eleven, and was outstanding ht track, baseball and
wrestling. He is headed for the University of North Carolina, car
rying with him a reputation for strength that few athletes in
North Carolina can seriously challon^: -
If ybo're ndt one of the lucky Now Bernians in the stodiunsfor
the EashWest classic tonight, you can~ listen to a State-wide, play-
by-play broadcast that will be aired over New Bern's WHIT.
•HERE IN NEW BERN-
Liabilify Cause of Lag in Tags
Forcing Tar Heel motorists to
buy liability insurance for the pro
tection of others has forced many
a vehicle from public highways in
Craven and adjoining counties.
It may surprise you to learn that
the biggest casualty hereabouts is
the motorcycle. Only 23 North Car
olina licenses have been sold local
ly for these -contraptions during
the first seven months of 1958.
This is far below the 1957 figure-
Few, except owners of such noi
sy and often recklessly-ridden ve
hicles will shed tears over the mo-
■torcycle’s drastic decline. More sig
nificant is the fact that hundreds
of automobiles have gone by the
boards too in this immediate area.
Last year there were 11,279 cars
licensed at the Carolina Motor club
office here on Craven street. This
year the total to date is 10,668, or
a difference of 611 automobiles.
Judging by past history, license
sales for the remaining five
months oi 1958 won’t affect this
year’s total materially.
It is interesting to note also a
reduction in truck licenses sold at
the New Bern office. There were
2,459 such licenses purchased here
in 1957. So far in 1958, truck sales
have totaled only 2,278, or a re
duction of 181 in the number of
truck licenses sold.
Farm trucks come under a sep
arate classification, and show an
increase for the current year.
Through July, 643 licenses had
been sold here, exactly 28 more
than the 615 purchased in 1957.
Reflecting the increasing popu
larity of boating in this area,
there is a substantial increase in
the sate of licenses for two-wheel
trailers. There have been 1,439
sold here, compared with 1,339
sold last year.
As for big trailers, they show
an increase too, with 189 licenses
purchased during seven months of
1958. During 1957, sales totaled
180. These increases bolstered 1958
sales, but the grand total of 15,240
is 710 less than the 1957 total of
Tighter money in some quarters
had much to do with the reduction.
Some motorists of limited means
either couldn’t scrape up sufficient
cash to buy liability insurance, or
figured it was better to just call
This held true particularly in the
case of youthful drivers, or drivers
who had court records, were hea
vy drinkers or had other black
marks against them that made
them poor insurance risks.
No insurance company wants to
do business with motorists in this
category. They end up getting a
share of these unwanted drivers on
an assigned risk basis, but the
motorist thus branded pays a pret
ty penny for his liability coverage.
This, more than anything else,
explains why there hav» been 710
fewer licenses sold at the New
Bern office this year. The reduc
tion is apt to bring about greater
highway safety, but many a driver
is understandably unhappy about A
turn of events that took him from
under the steering wheel of his
However, one question stands out
like a sore thumb, when these mo;
torists bemoan their lot. Could a
motorist who. can’t rake up the
cash for liability insurance rake
up still more cash to pay for in
juries, deaths or property .damage
in the event of an accident for
which he was repsonsible? »
It’s a question that isn’t hard to
Bennett Retires with Enviable Record
A thorn in the side of moon
shiners for 25 years. That’s what
fellow pfficers in the two Carolinas
are sayiilg about New Bern’s El
liott Bennett as he concludes his
career as a federal agent of the
Treasury Department’s Alcohol-
Tobacco Tax Division.
Stationed at Charleston in the
final years of his distinguished
service, Bennett has drawn high
praise from H. P. Clary, head of
the A’TTD in South Carolina.
Present for special retirement
ceremonies. Clary termed the mild
mannered New Bernian a “very
faithful, reliable agent—a fine of
ficer.”. 'Then he added, “You can’t
say too much for Bennett. He has
a record with the A'TTD that would
be hard to beat. I’d stack it up
against the best.”
In establishing that record, El
liott was instrumental in captiming
over 500 liquor cars, over 1,800
stills, over 2,200 bootleggers, over
45,000 gallons of illegal whislcey.
and over 1,375,000 gallons of mash.
According to Clary, the sale of
vehicles, fines of bootleggers, and
destruction of the whiskey and
mash resulted in the saving of sev
eral million dollars to taxpayers.
Bennett resigned as chief of po
lice in York, S. C., to become a
federal agent in 1932. He was sta-
toined in New Bern many years,
married a local girl—Clara Foscue
—and maintained his residence
here even after his transfer to
Charleston several years ago. This
is home to him.
Modest and soft spoken, he has
shown a fearless and dogged per
sistence- in tracking down liquor
violators. Among the 1,800 stills he
brought destruction to were a num
ber belonging to Percy Flowers,
booze baron of Johnston county.
Written up in the August 2nd is
sue of the Saturday Evening Post
as King of the Moonshiners, Percy
and two of his younger brothers,
Jimmy and Dick, ganged up on El
liott on one occasion w;hile other
Flowers henchmen looked on.
The incident occurred in 1936,
and is covered in the Post article.
Bennett was slugged with a pistol
by one of the three brothers. Tried
for the assault, each of them, in
cluding Percy, drew three years in
a Federal penitentiary. The sen
tences were reduced later to a
year and a day.
There have been other injuries
and mishaps for the New Bemian
during a quarter of a century’s
dealing with the lawless, but he
took them in stride.
How well he took them in stride
is written in the official records.
The figures are big, so big that
,moonshiners in the Carolinas won’t
soon forget the name of Elliott
Bennett, and the havoc he brought
to their illegal operations.
Bennett is happy about his re
tirement, but not nearly so happy
as the fruit jar boys in Joy Juice