Sunday, November 23, 2014

50-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from November 1964

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala. published four editions 50 years ago during the month of November 1964. Those papers were dated Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Nov. 26. What follows are a few news highlights from each of those newspapers. Enjoy.



NOV. 5, 1964

The Monroe County Board of Education has announced the appointment of James Allen, head coach at Monroe County High School, as principal of MCHS and at the same time moved assistant coach Ronald M. Dees to head coach of the Monroeville school.
This action was taken by the board at a meeting Friday.
The changes in positions at the Monroeville school were made with the resignation of B.E. Lee, principal, who will assume the presidency of the new Monroe County Junior College, which is supposed to begin construction about the first of the year.
The changes will become effective Feb. 1, according to R.H. Vickery, county superintendent of Education.

Dalton C. Baker of Frisco City has been named clerk for the city of Frisco City effective Nov. 2. He replaces Robert Carter, who resigned to enter private business.

A former Brewton service station attendant has been sentenced to a nine-year and 10-month term in federal prison. After pleading guilty to charges of robbing the Union Bank at Repton last June of $16,000, 21-year-old Lawrence Earl Vonderau was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel H. Thomas of Mobile Tuesday.

E.H. Williams Will Attend Matinee Show: E.H. Williams, father of Hank Williams, will be present at the matinee showing of “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” life story of Hank Williams, showing at the Monroe Theatre Sunday.
Mr. Williams, famous country singer, died New Year’s Day, 1953, at the age of 29. He had spent most of his boyhood life in Monroe County.

NOV. 12, 1964

Suspect Is Found Dead In Vehicle: Mrs. Evelyn Booker, 42, of Causeyville, Miss. was found dead in her car last Friday morning near Meridian, according to Deputy Sheriff Alton Allen.
Mr. Allen said Mrs. Booker was discovered in her auto parked on a dirt road leading to her home after she telephoned him that she intended to kill herself.
She had been free on $10,000 bond in the September death of her husband, J.D. Booker, pending action of the Lauderdale County (Miss.) grand jury which meets Monday.
Her husband died in a Meridian hospital Sept. 7 about 36 hours after he was shot in the bedroom of his home. Mrs. Booker was arrested and charged with murder shortly after her husband’s death.
The Bookers were former residents of Monroeville.
A coroner’s jury ruled Mrs. Booker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A .38 caliber pistol was found in her lap, the deputy said. She was shot once just above the right ear, he said.

The official results of last Tuesday’s election were announced this week after a canvass of the votes by the Monroe County Election Board Friday.
The poll showed Probate Judge David M. Nettles received 1,664 as a write-in candidate for the unexpired or two months short term for probate judge, defeating N.S. (Nick) Hare who had 1,114 votes.
Judge Nettles also won election to a full term as probate judge, polling 3,019 votes.

NOV. 19, 1964

Hugh B. DuBose, 66, of Birmingham and a native of Monroeville, died in a Birmingham hospital last Wednesday night.
Mr. DuBose, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Alabama in 1950 on a platform that included a call for state operated race tracks, had moved to Birmingham in 1930.
Since moving there, he had organized several restaurants and private clubs and also founded the DuBose Publishing Co.

At least 174 new homes have been built within the city limits of Monroeville since 1956, according to figures through Nov. 16.

The date for the annual Frisco City Christmas parade has been changed from Fri., Dec. 11, to Sat., Dec. 12, according to C.P. Wilkerson, chairman.
Parade time will be 10 a.m., Mr. Wilkerson said.

The Monroe County High Tigers used a 21-point first half and a controlled offense in the second half to down traditional rival Frisco City, 21-12, in the season’s finale for both teams.
MCHS finished the season with a 5-5 record while the Whippets dropped from an 8-1-1 record in 1963 to a 3-5-1 record this year.

A $275,000 damage suit has been filed in U.S. District Court against Peterman Lumber Co. of Peterman by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a result of an accident Sept. 16 involving a log truck owned by Peterman Lumber Co. and an L&N freight train at a crossing in Corduroy near Beatrice.

NOV. 26, 1964

A Frisco City man was killed instantly in an automobile-truck collision about eight miles north of Atmore on Highway 21 Friday night, according to the Alabama State Troopers.
Charles Elliott Bailey, 25, of Frisco City was identified by State Trooper Billy J. Tipton as the person who was fatally injured in the wreck.
According to Trooper Tipton, Mr. Bailey was traveling south on Highway 21 when his car ran into the side of a truck trailer, which was traveling north of Highway 21.
The driver of the truck-trailer was Frank Turberville Jr., 28, of Monroeville, according to the trooper. Mr. Turberville was not injured, the trooper said.
The accident happened about 6:45 p.m., Trooper Tipton said.

J.R. Harper was named president of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce in an election by the board of directors Monday.
Other officers named by the directors were Bob McMillon, first vice president and president-elect, which is a new office created by the board this year; B.M. Davis, second vice president; and R.B. Williams III, treasurer.

The Repton Bulldogs closed out a successful football season last Friday night and pleased a homecoming crowd with a 49-0 win over Coffee Springs.
Repton finished the season with a 5-1-3 record, holding six of their opponents scoreless.


Sam Williams of Monroeville, fullback with Presbyterian College of Clinton, S.C., leads the Blue Hose in rushing with 566 yards in 121 carries – a 4.7 average.

Today in History for Nov. 23, 2014

Union General Benjamin Prentiss
Nov. 23, 1819 - Union General Benjamin Prentiss was born in Belleville, Virginia.

Nov. 23, 1863 – At the Battle of Chattanooga, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant began to reinforce troops at Chattanooga, Tenn. and to attack the center of Confederate lines around Chattanooga. The lines were successfully broken on Nov. 25.

Nov. 23, 1911 – The Conecuh Record in Evergreen, Ala. reported that temperatures reached 20 degrees during a cold snap on this day and the next.

Nov. 23, 1911 – The Butler County News in Georgiana, Ala. was established.

Nov. 23, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. William Kelsaw of Camden, Ala. “died from disease.”

Nov. 23, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, it was on this day that George Gammell Angell, a Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages at Brown University, died from a heart attack. Born in 1857, Angell pioneered the research on the worldwide Cthulhu cult. He originally appeared in Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Nov. 23, 1971 - The Washington Senators announced that they would now use the name Texas Rangers after their move to Arlington, Texas.


Nov. 23, 1984 - Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie threw a last-second, 64-yard pass to beat the University of Miami, 47-45. The 30,235 fans in the Orange Bowl had already begun to celebrate the victory they were sure their Hurricanes had won, and they were stunned when Flutie’s pass found his teammate (and roommate) Gerard Phelan in the end zone.

Nov. 23, 1988 - The New York Yankees signed free agent Steve Sax to a 3-year contract.

Nov. 23, 2001 - A crowd of 87,555 people watched the Texas Longhorns beat the Texas A&M Aggies, 21-7. The crowd was the largest to see a football game in Texas.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Nov. 23, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.05 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.65 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 1.95 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.95 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 55.40 inches

NOTES: Today is the 327th day of 2014 and the 63rd day of Fall. There are 38 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Singleton believed that 'It didn't take much to keep country boys entertained'

George Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “It didn’t take much to keep country boys entertained,” was originally published in the Oct. 1, 1992 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Today, where all forms of entertainment abound on every corner, we tend to forget how it was back in the Great Depression. All the youth of today has some form of transportation, whether it be a bicycle, motorcycle or an expensive automobile. On a moment’s notice, we fire up our sporty means of travel and in no time, we are on our way to the many places of excitement and entertainment.

Country boys has to furnish all of their entertainment during the time of the Depression. After returning from church and after the family Sunday dinner was over, there were several hours when something had to be conjured up for entertainment.

The parents in most instances, would be visiting the nearest neighbor, or that neighbor would be visiting at our house. No young boy dared to mention that he was bored and wanted to go for a ride. First, there was nothing to ride in but a wagon drawn by two mules or horses. Never did you waste that mule power just to ride around and sightsee.

Once in a great while, the youth of the community would be allowed to organize a hay ride for a Saturday night get-together. But always, there were two or three parents along to kinda ride herd on the noisy group.

A favorite form of Sunday afternoon entertainment involved getting a group of young boys together and have a rat killing. The group would choose a family barn and descend on it with throwing sticks.

Always in the community, there was a rat-catching dog, a small dog trained to catch and kill rats. The barn owners always endorsed a rat-killing get-together because it helped to rid his barn of these pests that did a considerable amount of damage to stored corn and other feed products.

The large room where the corn was stored was surrounded on three sides. This allowed the one side, the throwing area, to be open when the frightened rats started running. Once the throwing sticks started flying through the air, all heck would break loose. Slingshots were not allowed because of the rocks that was used for to shoot the rats might get in the corn and damage the teeth of the livestock.

After everyone was in position, the rat dog was turned loose to seek out and send the rats running. As the frightened rats started up the opposite wall of the large room, the throwing sticks would fill the air. Very rarely did a rat make it through the barrage of the flying rat sticks. As the small dog sniffed through the piled corn and sought out the hiding rats, verbal bets would be made across the barn as to who would throw the least amount of times to kill the most rats.

After about 30 minutes or so, the small rat dog would be caught and everyone would leave the barn. This was done in hopes that the rats might return to the corn, thinking that the show was over and they were safe to resume eating.

All the boys would retreat a good ways from the barn so the noise of the talking and laughing wouldn’t keep the rats from returning. Then, after about 30 or 40 minutes passed, everyone returned to the barn, and the rat killing would begin all over again.

When the rat hunt was over, all the slain rats were lain out for counting. Then, the settling of all bets would begin as who had killed the most rats with the least number of throws. Proper mention was always in order as to the ability of the rat dog. The small dog would be passed between those who had participated in the kill many times; the dog liked being petted, enjoying every minute of it.

A messenger was sent to the house. Most times, the son of the farmer who owned the barn would go to relay that the rat kill was over and for all to come out and see. Most times, only the men folk would come out to see the number of rats that had fallen to the aim of the rat sticks and the accuracy of the young boys arms that threw them.

Then, as if by magic, the call would come from the house to come by the kitchen for refreshments. This most always consisted of a large glass of fresh, sweet milk and a slice of cake. Sometimes there would be fresh apple tarts or sweet potato pie. But always there was plenty for all.

Besides, most always, the goodies were handed out by the young ladies of the family and by those visiting. But this was done under the supervision of the mother of the family or the grandmother. If there were any smiles exchanged, it had to be done on the sly.

Many rat killings on Sunday afternoons were endured by a young boy in hopes that the refreshments would be served by that pretty young lady with the lovely smile and flaming red hair. Or that dark-haired beauty who wore her hair in long pigtails down her back.

Any young man there would have faced a mean grizzly bear eyeball to eyeball for just one touch of the hand of that pretty young thing with the adorable and beautiful smile. But under the keen and watchful eyes of the old grandmother, the young warrior had to be content with just the smile.

The only hope was that maybe when the next hayride was scheduled, he might get to sit beside this adorable one on the loaded hay wagon. One could only guess; Grandma just might decide to go along on the ride, too. It had happened before.

The forms of entertainment for our youth today sure have changed over the years. But I think everyone should attend at least one Sunday afternoon rat killing.

Take it from me, I know from experience; I’ve been to a few.


(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for Nov. 22, 2014

Flag of the 'Conecuh Guards'
Nov. 22, 1307 – Pope Clement V issued the papal bull “Pastoralis Praeeminentiae” which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.

Nov. 22, 1718 – During a battle off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") was killed in battle with a boarding party led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times.

Nov. 22, 1763 – British Lt. Thomas Ford took possession of Fort Tombecbee, located on Jones’ Bluff, on the west side of the Tombigbee River in Sumter County, Ala., and he renamed it Fort York.

Nov. 22, 1825 - Benjamin Faneuil Porter admitted to the South Carolina Bar in Charleston, S.C. at the age of 18. He joined the law office of the Honorable George B. Eckhart and remained there until the fall of 1828. He would go on to become a doctor and lawyer, live in Claiborne, Ala. for about six years, before becoming a state legislator, judge and Mayor of Greenville, Ala.

Nov. 22, 1833 - Whipple Van Buren Phillips, the grandfather of H.P. Lovecraft, was born in Moosup Valley, Foster, Rhode Island.


Nov. 22, 1864 - Confederate General John Bell Hood invaded Tennessee in an unsuccessful attempt to draw Union General William T. Sherman from Georgia.

Nov. 22, 1877 - Alabama sportswriter Bozeman Bulger was born in Dadeville, Ala.

Nov. 22, 1888 – The lumber mill at Fulton, Ala. officially began as a partnership between Marcus B. Behrman and Joseph Zimmerman who had acquired eight acres of land and a total of $3,850.00 each in either cash or real property to form the Virgin Pine Lumber Company.

Nov. 22, 1889 – The Monroe Journal reported that the “loud noise which we heard (at River Ridge) some time ago was a large meteor. It fell about three o’clock in the evening.”

Nov. 22, 1899 - The Marconi Wireless Company of America was incorporated in New Jersey.

Nov. 22, 1902 – Dr. Walter Reed, who served as post surgeon at the Mount Vernon Arsenal and Barracks in the 1880s, passed away in Washington, D.C. at the age of 51. He died from peritonitis due to a ruptured appendix and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Nov. 22, 1907 – The flag of the Conecuh Guards was presented to the Alabama Department of Archives and History by Col. Pickney D. Bowles and Capt. James W. Darby, both formerly of the 4th Alabama Infantry, a.k.a. the “Conecuh Guards.”

Nov. 22, 1914 – Paranormal author Charles Berlitz was born in New York, N.Y.

Nov. 22, 1914 – Escambia County, Ala. Tax Collector W.J. Holland, one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Escambia County, Ala. died at his home in Brewton after a short illness. Holland, a 67-year-old Mason, moved to Escambia County from Conecuh County in 1872 and served 17 years as Escambia County Tax Collector. Prior to his death, he’d served four consecutive terms as tax collector and was a little over a year into his present term when he died.

Nov. 22, 1923 – The home of Judge F.J. Dean in Evergreen was completely destroyed by fire during the afternoon. The orgin of the fire was unknown, but it was believed to have been caused by “rats in the attic igniting a match.”

Nov. 22, 1926 – Major League Baseball pitcher Lew Burdette was born in Nitro, West Va. He would go on to play for the New York Yankees, the Boston Braves, the Milwaukee Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia Phillies and the California Angles.

Nov. 22, 1943 – Major League Baseball pitcher Wade Blasingame was born in Deming, New Mexico. He would go on to pitch for the Milwaukee Braves, the Atlanta Braves, the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.

Nov. 22, 1950 – Major League Baseball left fielder and designated hitter Greg “The Bull” Luzinski was born in Chicago, Ill. He would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox.

Nov. 22, 1950 – Major League Baseball pitcher Lyman Wesley Bostock Jr. was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to play for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels.

Nov. 22, 1957 – Alabama assistant football coach Jerry Claiborne attended the Excel-W.S. Neal football game in East Brewton to scout a Neal fullback. Instead, he discovered a 6-foot, 190-pound Excel junior named Lee Roy Jordan.

Nov. 22, 1962 – The Evergreen Courant reported that “Bobbie,” – Conecuh County’s “Panhandling Dog” – had collected $40 at Claud Murphy’s Store for the United Fund. The year before, the trained dog collected $60 for the United Fund, tuberculosis and cancer charity drives.

Nov. 22, 1962 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Barbara Stinston had been named Miss Homecoming and Brenda Ellis Miss Football during Evergreen High School’s recent homecoming activities. Gayle Ryland was crowning homecoming queen during Repton High School’s homecoming game. 

Nov. 22, 1963 – About 12:30 p.m. in Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Texas Governor John Connally was seriously wounded while riding in a motorcade. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was later inaugurated as the 36th U.S. President. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was later captured and charged with the murder of both the President and police officer J. D. Tippit. Oswald was shot dead two days later by Jack Ruby while in police custody.

Nov. 22, 1989 - Kathryn Thornton, a native of Montgomery and graduate of Auburn University, became the first woman to fly on a military space mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery. Thornton became the second woman to walk in space in 1992. Dr. Thornton retired from NASA in 1996 to join the faculty of the University of Virginia.

Nov. 22, 1992 – The Rhonda Morrison murder and Walter “Johnny D” McMillian case was profiled on 60 Minutes. 

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Nov. 22, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.60 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 1.90 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.90 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 55.35 inches

NOTES: Today is the 326th day of 2014 and the 62nd day of Fall. There are 39 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Witness reports seeing unusual UFO in Atmore, Alabama on Oct. 5

It’s the third week of the month, so this week I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network.

A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Oct. 1 and Aug. 31 on MUFON’s website, www.mufon.com, resulted in five reports from within our state during that time, including a report from Atmore.

The incident in Atmore occurred on Sun., Oct. 5, around 8:14 a.m. The witness in this case said he was on his carport with a cup of coffee when the neighborhood dogs began barking and howling. The man stepped into his front yard, looked up and saw what he thought at first was a short jet contrail.

As he continued to watch, he noticed that the contrail had “two glowing orbs” on each end of it. As the object drew closer, the witness noticed that it was taking the shape of a circle with one orb moving around the circle of the other orb. The entire circle then began to rotate, and as one orb moved about a quarter of the way around the circle, the entire thing disappeared.

The second incident occurred on Mon., Oct. 6, around 7:48 p.m. in Valley, a city of 9,500 in Chambers County in East Central Alabama. The witness in this case reported seeing a “huge, star-like object.” The object moved slowly to the northeast and was bigger than everything in the sky except the moon, the witness said.

The third incident occurred on Tues., Oct. 7, around 7:36 p.m. in Chelsea, a city of 10,100 in Shelby County. The witness in this case was outside watching the International Space Station pass overhead and as it came into view out of the west, another light appeared just north of the space station. The unidentified object crossed the space station’s path, but was clearly above it and farther away, the witness said.
The new object traveled much faster than the space station, almost like a shooting star. However, this unidentified light didn’t twinkle like a shooting star and had no tail. Suddenly, it came to a dead stop and disappeared, the witness said.

The fourth incident took place on Thurs., Oct. 9, around 1:30 a.m. in Daphne, a city in Baldwin County on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. The witness in this case was outdoors and saw what at first looked like a “large, undefined black spot” emerging from a large cloud. As the object moved closer, the witness could see that it was a “very large disc” about 100 feet across.

After emerging from the cloud, the disc made a wide arc, turning to the left, then fully sideways before flattening back out as it moved back to the right. It came to a brief stop and hovered for a moment about 200 feet from the witness. The disc eventually began to ascend in a spiral path “directly into the brightness of the moon.” As it rose in the sky, the disc became transparent and eventually disappeared.

The fifth and final incident occurred on Thurs., Oct. 16, around 7:34 p.m. in Alexander City, which is in Tallapoosa County. The witness in this case was taking his trash to the end of his driveway when he looked up and saw a “very bright, white ball of light” traveling through the sky slowly. The light didn’t blink and looked “much larger” than a star or airplane.

After watching the light for about 15 seconds, it “suddenly brightened with a flash,” continued along its route and faded away about 15 seconds later. While watching the light, the witness said he was struck by the “strange feeling that it wasn’t normal.”


Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who have witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously. You can contact me by e-mail at courantsports@earthlink.net or by phone at 578-1492.