Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hurricane Nate damages 'spooky' landmark in downtown Camden

Damaged 'Castro Tree' (Photo by Melissa Dove)
Hurricane Nate damaged one of Camden’s spookiest landmarks when that powerful storm passed through Wilcox County in the early morning hours of October 8.

Around 6 a.m. on that Sunday morning, Wilcox County Emergency Management Director Melissa Dove was out surveying the storm damage and was among the first to discover that the old pecan tree in the Roses Express Store parking lot had been severely damaged by the storm. Dove noted that the tree was not entirely destroyed, but one large limb did fall from the tree due to the storm.

Many in the reading audience will know that this tree is the mysterious “Castro Tree,” a lonely pecan tree that has stood for decades behind the old newspaper office on Claiborne Street in downtown Camden. Anyone who has ever visited the Roses Express Store parking lot has likely noticed this large tree behind the small, white block building between Jackson’s Fried Chicken and Railroad Street.
'Castro Tree' before Hurricane Nate.


The late Mark Curl, who worked at the old newspaper building for years, coined the nickname for this spooky old tree. When Curl was a young man working at the newspaper in the late 70s and early 80s, he would often take breaks beneath the tree. During this time, Curl was often visited by a young man on a bicycle known as “Castro.” Castro visited Curl like clockwork, and Curl said he always looked forward to talking with Castro, who was described as being a “young, good looking” man, who was “very clean cut.”

One reason that Curl looked forward to Castro’s visits was because Castro provided the newspaper with accurate news tips about what was going on in the local criminal underworld, especially when it came to who was breaking into houses and committing other street crimes. When the newspaper followed up on Castro’s information, he proved to be “very accurate,” Curl said.

Castro’s visits with Curl beneath the tree ended one Thursday when he told Curl that he knew who’d murdered a man who’d been found dead beside Interstate Highway 65 in Butler County. Curl had already finished the paper for that week, so he told Castro to go to the police with his story, and they would meet back up a few days later to do a story on the murder for the next week’s paper.

Castro peddled away on his bicycle, headed towards the police station, and Curl never saw him again. Sometime later, Curl asked the police if Castro had talked with them about the murder, and police told Curl that no one had shared any information with them about the case. Curl had a hard time believing this, and then the story got even weirder.

Castro didn’t go to the police station that day and, to top that off, officers had no idea who Curl was talking about. Curl had a hard time believing that they didn’t know Castro because he’d rode his bicycle up and down the city’s streets for years. Police said that they’d never seen anyone fitting Castro’s description and had no idea who Curl was talking about.

After talking with the police, Curl began to realize just how little he actually knew about Castro. Curl really didn’t know who Castro was or where he’d come from. He didn’t even know Castro’s last name and had no idea how Castro knew the things he knew. Perhaps worst of all, he didn’t know where Castro had gone or what happened to him. He just vanished.

Curl seemed to think that perhaps there was something supernatural about Castro and indicated that Castro may have been some type of ghostly messenger.

In the end, I hated to hear that Hurricane Nate damaged the old “Castro Tree,” and I hope that a portion of this unusual landmark can be saved. If anyone in the reading audience knows any other stories about this tree, especially if you’ve had an unusual experience or seen anything out of the ordinary there, please let me hear from you. Also, if anyone out there has any stories they’d like to share about Castro, please let me know.

Today in History for Oct. 18, 2017

Grave of Evan Austill at Gainestown.
Oct. 18, 1009 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church's foundations down to bedrock.


Oct. 18, 1540 - The largest Indian battle in North America occurred at the village of Mabila (or Mauvila) between Hernando de Soto’s Spaniards and Chief Tuscaloosa’s warriors. Accounts vary, but most agree that the Indian village and most of its more than 2,000 inhabitants were destroyed, including Chief Tuscaloosa. The exact location of this battle has eluded researchers for centuries.

Oct. 18, 1767 - The Mason-Dixon line was agreed upon when Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia. The Penn and Calvert families had hired Mason and Dixon, English surveyors, to settle their dispute over the boundary between their two proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Oct. 18, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Burning of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) took place.

Oct. 18, 1775 – African-American poet Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery.

Oct. 18, 1779 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Franco-American Siege of Savannah was lifted.

Oct. 18, 1785 – English author and poet Thomas Love Peacock was born in Weymouth, Dorset, England. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley and they influenced each other's work. Peacock wrote satirical novels, each with the same basic setting — characters at a table discussing and criticizing the philosophical opinions of the day.

Oct. 18, 1814 – Andrew Jackson Hall Sr. was born in Oak Grove in Escambia County, Fla. He founded Canoe in 1852 when he and his family moved from Florida across the state line and bought land to settle there. First called Canoe Station after Canoe Creek, which is situated five miles north of Atmore. Name refers to the long narrow boat used by Indians and later by many of the early settlers. Post office was established in 1915. Louisville and Nashville Railroad also passes through the town. Hall died on Nov. 25, 1890 and is buried in the Hall Family Cemetery in Atmore.

Oct. 18, 1818 – Capt. Evan Austill, who settled in the vicinity of Fort Madison (in present day Clarke County, Ala.) in 1812, passed away at the age of 49 “from exposure in Florida in the Indian strife.” Born in 1769 in Pendleton, Anderson County, S.C., he was buried in the Evan Austill Burial Ground at Gainestown in Clarke County.

Oct. 18–19, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived by steamer in Petersburg, Va. for a visit to Yorktown for festivities marking the 43rd anniversary of the battle.

Oct. 18, 1839 - Cyrus Reed Teed, an eclectic physician and alchemist turned religious leader, was born in Delaware County, N.Y. In 1869, after an "illumination," he took on the name Koresh, and proposed a new set of scientific principles including a Hollow Earth theory.

Oct. 18, 1842 - Samuel Finley Breese Morse laid his first telegraph cable.

Oct. 18, 1851 – Herman Melville's “Moby-Dick” was first published as “The Whale” by Richard Bentley of London.

Oct. 18, 1854 – Explorer Salomon Andree was born in Gränna, Småland.

Oct. 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Rockcastle Hills, Ky.; and at Warrensburg and Fredericktown in Missouri.

Oct. 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cross Hollow and near Helena in Arkansas; at Bloomtown, Nelson Crossroads, Big Hill, Little Rockcastle River, Lexington and Mountainside in Kentucky; at California House and near Uniontown in Missouri; at Kirk's Bluff, S.C.; and at Thoroughfare Gap, Va.

Oct. 18, 1863 - Union General Daniel Sickles returned to visit his old command, the Third Corps of the Army of the Potomac. He was recovering from the loss of his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. in July 1863, and the visit turned sour when the army's commander, General George Meade, informed Sickles that he would not be allowed to resume command until he completely recovered from his injury.

Oct. 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Carrion Crow Bayou, La.; in the Livingston Road, near Clinton, Miss.; at Carthage, Mo.; near Annandale, Berryville and at Bristoe Station in Virginia; and at Charlestown, W.Va.

Oct. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Huntsville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Milton, Fla.; at Summerville, Ga.; in Berry County, Mo.; and at Clinch Mountain, Tenn.

Oct. 18, 1867 - The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia. The land was purchased of a total of $7.2 million dollars, that is two cents per acre.

Oct. 18, 1873 - The first rules for intercollegiate football were drawn up by representatives from Rutgers, Yale, Columbia and Princeton Universities.

Oct. 18, 1889 – The Monroe Journal reported that there were four steam, one water and six horse and mule ginneries within a five-mile radius of Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1898 – The United States took possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.

Oct. 18, 1904 – Journalist Abbott Joseph “A.J.” Liebling was born in New York City. His 1956 boxing book, “The Sweet Science,” is generally considered to be one of the finest sports books ever written.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Manistee community, that the “town is quiet since the storm. There was no great loss sustained through this section, except cotton, there was quite a lot of cotton in the fields which was somewhat damaged. Some of our farmers are about through picking while others are in a rush.”

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Braxton Hobdy was the new postmaster at Manistee. Hobdy had been assistant for Dr. Harper, the former postmaster, for quite a while.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Manistee community, that “our town is still on the boom, new houses continue to go up. The new Methodist church is near completion, and we are looking forward to the building of a new Masonic Hall on north highway which we hope to see erected in the near future.”

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the McWilliams community, that Dave Maxwell brought his new wife home on Oct. 11, and that they would occupy the hotel.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Pineville community, that there had been “considerable sickness caused by dampness, cold and malaria.” Also, Dr. W.C. Farrish of Camden had been in the neighborhood the week before, engaged in the practice of his profession.

Oct. 18, 1912 - The Mt. Zion School Improvement Association was scheduled to have an ice cream supper on this Friday night at the school house.

Oct. 18, 1915 – Reports showed that 2,972 bales of cotton had been ginned in Conecuh County up to this date from the 1915 crop as compared with 10,447 bales up to that same date in 1914. Statewide, the 1915 crop was 252,267 bales short of the 1914 crop.

Oct. 18, 1915 - In the eastern sector of the Italian front in World War I, the Italians launched their third offensive of the year, known as the Third Battle of the Isonzo.

Oct. 18, 1916 - A strong earthquake occurred around 4 p.m. in an unnamed fault east of Birmingham, Ala., with the epicenter near Easonville in St. Clair County. The earthquake caused buildings to sway in downtown Birmingham and tied up all phone lines in the city with 25,000 calls recorded at the main exchange in the hour following the quake. Two additional weaker tremors were reported that evening.

Oct. 18, 1918 – During World War I, Army PFC Joseph Mason Wright, 15, of Georgiana, Ala. “died from disease” in France. Born on Jan. 21, 1903 in Conecuh County, he was buried in the Bethel West Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Milton McLeod of Grove Hill, Ala. “died from disease.”

Oct. 18, 1922 – The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) was founded by a consortium, to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters to provide a national broadcasting service.

Oct. 18, 1923 – The Conecuh County Game and Fish Protective Association was formed during an “enthusiastic meeting of sportsmen” at the Conecuh County Courthouse on this Friday afternoon in Evergreen, Ala. and originally consisted of 45 members. The following officers were elected during the meeting: R.F. Croom, President; A. Cunningham, J.R. Brooks, Ebin Hines, vice presidents; H.C. Fountain, secretary and treasurer; Board of Directors: R.F. Croom, A. Cunningham, J.R. Brooks, Ebin Hines, F.F. Feagin, R.G. Kendall, C.R. Taliaferro. The Hon. I.T. Quinn, state commissioner of conservation, was “present by invitation and made an excellent talk on the subject of protection and conservation of game and fish.”

Oct. 18, 1923 – Hunter McDuffie of River Ridge reportedly lost 150 bales of cotton and his entire ginning equipment in a fire on this Thursday.

Oct. 18, 1924 – At 10 a.m., a general meeting of all strawberry growers in the Castleberry area was held in Castleberry, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1924 - Red Grange of Illinois scored four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of a game against Michigan. He scored a fifth touchdown, intercepted a pass and threw a touchdown-pass in the second half.

Oct. 18, 1926 – Singer-songwriter Chuck Berry was born Charles Edward Anderson in St. Louis, Mo.

Oct. 18, 1928 – Sportscaster Keith Jackson was born in Roopville, Ga.

Oct. 18, 1929 – Excel and Monroe County High School played in Monroeville, Ala., but the result of that game is unknown.

Oct. 18, 1933 – Pro Football Hall of Fame player and coach Forrest Gregg was born in Birthright, Texas. He would go on to play for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys before serving as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Toronto Argonauts, Cinncinnati Bengals, Packers, SMU Mustangs and Shreveport Pirates.

Oct. 18, 1933 - Cecil Watkins killed his wife on this Wednesday night near Burnt Corn, following a family dispute. Monroe County Sheriff Sawyer and his deputies caught Watkins the following morning and brought him to the Monroe County Jail to await the action of the grand jury.

Oct. 18, 1935 - Peter Boyle, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the science-fiction drama “The X-Files,” was born in Norristown, Pa.

Oct. 18, 1935 – Excel defeated Monroe County, 14-7, in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1938 – The census bureau reported that 18,404 bales of cotton had been ginned in Monroe County from the 1938 crop prior to this date, compared with 25,336 bales up to that same date in 1937.

Oct. 18, 1939 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and coach Mike Ditka was born in Carnegie, Pa. He would go on to play for the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. He would later serve as the head coach of the Bears and New Orleans Saints. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Oct. 18, 1939 – Lee Harvey Oswald, who allegedly assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963, was born in New Orleans, La.

Oct. 18, 1942 – Major League Baseball left fielder and designated hitter Willie Horton was born in Arno, Va. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

Oct. 18, 1942 – Judge John McDuffie of Mobile was scheduled to speak at the Monroe County Courthouse at 2 p.m. “in the interest of the War Chest Drive,” when was to begin in Monroe County, Ala. on Oct. 20.

Oct. 18, 1943 - There had been 5,749 bales of cotton ginned in Conecuh County, Ala. prior to this date from the 1943 crop as compared to 5,763 bales ginned to the same date, Oct. 18, in 1942.

Oct. 18, 1944 – During World War II, the Soviet Union began the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany.

Oct. 18, 1948 – Playwright Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Williams in Trenton, N.J.

Oct. 18, 1950 – Dorothy Forstein mysteriously disappeared from her Philadelphia home, and her disappearance remains one of the most unusual, unexplained crimes in American history.

Oct. 18, 1950 - Connie Mack announced that he was going to retire after 50 seasons as the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.

Oct. 18, 1952 – Major League Baseball third baseman and manager Jerry Royster was born in Sacramento, Calif. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

Oct. 18, 1953 – Well known and highly respected farmer and farm leader Arthur Freeman Bell passed away at the age of 71 at his home at Lenox around 6:45 p.m. on this Sunday. He was considered one of the best farmers in Conecuh County and was a past president of the Conecuh County Farm Bureau. He was also a member of the Conecuh County Exchange’s Board of Directors and had been since its original organization. Born on Oct. 18, 1882, he was buried in the Springhill Methodist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1954 – Texas Instruments announced the first transistor radio to be put on the market. Texas Instruments produced the transistors, and they partnered with the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates, who manufactured the actual radios. Their new radio, the Regency TR-1, turned on immediately, weighed half a pound, could fit in your pocket and cost $49.95.

Oct. 18, 1955 – A communique from Emperor Bao Dai’s office in Paris announced that he had dismissed Ngo Dinh Diem from the premiership and annulled his powers.

Oct. 18, 1956 – National Football League commissioner Bert Bell disallowed the use of radio-equipped helmets by NFL quarterbacks.

Oct. 18, 1957 – Under head coach W.C. Majors, Excel improved to 1-2-2 on the season by beating Beatrice, 35-0, in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1957 - The Evergreen Aggies were scheduled to return to the football wars on this Friday night, taking to the road for their first game away from home that season. Evergreen had been out of action for two weeks as the game the week before with Greenville was postponed because of flu. McKenzie’s Tigers had nominated the Aggies to be the victim of their annual homecoming celebration. Players on Evergreen’s team that year included George Bolton, Robbie Boykin, Howard Claybrook, Robert Daniels, Robert Ellington, Billy Grace, Jerry Mitchell, Jimmy Moorer, James Nelson, Paul Pace, Byron Warren and Buddy Zukowski. Wendell Hart was Evergreen’s head coach.

Oct. 18, 1962 – Under head coach Gerald R. Irby, Excel High School picked up its first win of the season by beating Beatrice High School, 25-2, in Beatrice, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1967 - The American League granted permission for the A's to move to Oakland. Also, new franchises were awarded to Kansas City and Seattle.

Oct. 18, 1968 – Luverne High School beat Evergreen High School, 7-0, on homecoming night in Luverne, Ala. Buck Quarles led Evergreen with 50 yards rushing on nine carries, and Jimmy Bell followed with 13 yards on nine carries. Other outstanding Evergreen players in that game included Jimmy Hart, Hollis Tranum and Charlie Wild. Wendell Hart was Evergreen’s head coach.

Oct. 18, 1968 - Army Capt. Edward R. Tauscher, 25, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Tauscher of Monroeville, was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division near Pleiku, Vietnam as an air operations officer. Capt. Tauscher had visited his parents earlier that year after returning home from a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Oct. 18, 1968 - Rumors that the Johnson administration would soon announce a bombing halt sent sales volume on the New York Stock Exchange soaring; U.S. bond prices also climbed.

Oct. 18, 1969 – Under head coach Carvel Rowell, Excel High School improved to 7-0 on the season with a 40-0 win over J.U. Blacksher High School at Uriah, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1975 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 8-0 on the season with a 16-8 win over J.U. Blacksher High School at Uriah.

Oct. 18, 1977 - In the sixth game of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in a row off of three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers. Only the great Babe Ruth had ever hit three homers in a single World Series game (and he did it twice, once in 1926 and once in 1928) —but he didn’t do it on consecutive pitches or even consecutive at-bats. Jackson’s amazing home-run streak helped the Yankees win the game and the series, the team’s first since 1962.

Oct. 18, 1977 - Bill McKenzie, president of Evergreen Hospital, Inc., completed the purchase of the Conecuh County Hospital from the Conecuh County Hospital Association and hoped to have the hospital open by Oct. 20. “Facing seemingly insurmountable financial problems,” the Conecuh County Hospital Association voted to close the hospital in May 1977. Shortly after that, the association began negotiations with McKenzie for the sale of the hospital.

Oct. 18, 1980 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 5-3 on the season with a 21-20 win over J.U. Blacksher High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1980 – Robert Gaston Bozeman Sr., who passed away in October 1974, was inducted into Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor.

Oct. 18, 1984 – The Evergreen Courant reported that William S. Stallworth of Evergreen, Ala. had been officially accepted into West Point Military Academy.
  
Oct. 18, 1985 - A television version of Alabama author Robert R. McCammon's book “Nightcrawlers” was broadcast as part of the “Twilight Zone” series.

Oct. 18, 1985 – Under head coach Roland Pettie, Georgiana High School improved to 4-3 on the season with a 35-0 win over Excel High School in Georgiana, Ala. Excel dropped to 1-7.
  
Oct. 18, 1990 - Iraq made an offer to the world that it would sell oil for $21 a barrel. The price level was the same as it had been before the invasion of Kuwait.

Oct. 18-20, 1991 – The first South East Regional Fly-In (SERFI) was held at Middleton Field in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1996 – Under head coach Al Bowen, Excel High School improved to 6-1 on the season with a 41-14 win at McIntosh High School.

Oct. 18, 1997 - Hanson sang the national anthem at the opening game of the World Series.

Oct. 18, 1997 – Under head coach Al Bowel, Excel High School improved to 7-0 on the season with a 34-6 win over McIntosh High School in Excel, Ala.


Oct. 18, 2013 – Under head coach Richard Anderson, Excel High School improved to 3-5 on the season with a 33-16 win over Southside-Selma High School in Selma, Ala.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Oct. 18, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.30 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.10 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.30 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 75.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 291st day of 2017 and the 27th day of Fall. There are 74 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Oct. 17, 2017

George C. Wallace
60 YEARS AGO
OCT. 17, 1957

Judge George C. Wallace, Clayton, will speak to the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting at noon today at the Methodist Church.
Judge Wallace is judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama. Judge Wallace is mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in the 1958 Democratic primary.

Search still on for lost airplane: A search for a private plane missing since Saturday is being continued in this area. Civil Air Patrol pilots and ground searchers have combed the large area from Evergreen north to Montgomery several times, but no trace of the plane has been found.
The pilot, Larry Reid, construction company employee of Birmingham, and his fiancée, Miss Mary Catherine Finch, 21-year-old nurse at Montgomery hospital, were last heard from at 6:36 p.m. Saturday.

Two prisoners flee county jail: Maybe they didn’t like the food, or the service, or the sorry old building. Anyway, two non-paying gents at the Conecuh County Jail broke out Thursday night.
The fleeing prisoners were identified by the sheriff’s office as Andrew Cliff Harvey and Sam Brown Jr. They have not been recaptured.
Deputy Sheriffs Mancil Pearce and William Kent said that the prisoners filed through one of the bars in the window. They tied blankets together and slid down them to freedom. They tore loose a piece of pipe from the top of one of the cells and used it to pry the window bars.

75 YEARS AGO
OCT. 15, 1942

Jerry P. Matthews, age 74, former mayor of Castleberry, well known and beloved citizen, died at his home in Castleberry Fri., Oct. 9, after an illness of one week. Deceased was a native of this county and had lived his entire life in the community in which he died. He was well known throughout the county and had many friends who feel they have sustained a great loss in his death.

COTTON GIN REPORT: There were 4,399 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Conecuh County from the crop of 1942 prior to Oct. 1, 1942, as compared with 3,930 bales ginned to Oct. 1, 1941.

NOTICE: Beginning on the 19th of October, the mail for the night trains and the lobby of the post office will be closed at 7 p.m. daily instead of 8 p.m. – Laurie B. Kelly, acting postmaster.

First Cattle Sale Was Big Success: The first cattle sale of the season which was held at the pens of the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyard last Thursday was declared, by all who attended and participated, to be a complete success. The bidding on all offerings was keen and spirited and prices paid compared quite favorably with other markets in this section.
A total of 109 head of cattle and 18 head of hogs were sold, bringing approximately $4,600. Roy Moorer, auctioneer from Atmore, conducted the sale.

90 YEARS AGO
OCT. 20, 1927

Kidnapping Charged Against Three White Men: Martin Hancock, Leslie Morris and Everette Pritchett, three white men of Repton community were arrested Monday on warrants charging them with kidnapping and assault and battery. The warrants were sworn out by relatives of Malcolm Nicholson, who it is alleged was kidnapped by these men Sunday afternoon near Repton. Hancock and Morris are in jail now awaiting trial. Pritchett made bond immediately after his arrest.

School Child Run Over By Ford: The young son of J.A. Davis of near Owassa was run over by a Ford car last Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 12, and both legs were broken above the knees. The car was occupied by Jesse Dean and Will Chapman. The accident occurred at the school the child was attending, which is located near W.E. Cooks. Warrants were sworn out for both of the men, and they are now lodged in the county jail awaiting trial. Medical attention was given the child immediately and he is said to be getting along nicely at this time.

The Government Gin Report for Conecuh County shows that there were 8,783 bales of cotton ginned from the crop of 1927, as compared with 6,622 bales ginned to Oct. 1, 1926. This year’s crop was much earlier than last year’s and it is said that practically all of the crop has already been ginned. Most of the gins are now operating only on gin days and some have already stopped entirely.

J.S. Nall, well known citizen of this county residing near Repton, has been appointed License Inspector for Conecuh County by the State Tax Commission and is now engaged in the duties of this office.

105 YEARS AGO
OCT. 16, 1912

Circuit Court convened at 11 o’clock Monday morning when the criminal docket was taken up. Business is being dispatched rapidly, many cases having been disposed of on pleas of guilty. There are several capital cases to be disposed of and the entire week will likely be consumed. All the important murder cases were continued to the next term of court.

Town Officers and Committees: At a meeting of the town council Friday last the following officers and committees appointed:
Clerk and Treasurer: H.A. Shield.
Day Marshal: J.C. Jones.
Night Marshal: G.W. Miller.
Committees: Water and Lights, Shields and Lundy; Cemetery, Salter and Pritchett; Streets, Mason and Lundy; Health and Sanitation, Pritchett and Mason; Finance, Lundy and Shields; Fire and Building, Pritchett and Salter; Laws, Ordinances and Resolutions, Salter and Shields.

At the recent meeting of the Conecuh County Medical Society, Dr. E.L. Stallworth was elected health officer of the county, Dr. G. Newton was elected county physician; Dr. W.F. Betts city physician.

The Mt. Zion School Improvement Association will have an ice cream supper Friday night, Oct. 18, at the school house. The public is cordially invited to attend.

120 YEARS AGO
OCT. 15, 1897

Yellow Fever at Flomaton: It was learned here yesterday that there were five cases of yellow fever at Flomaton. The state health officer has been there to investigate the cases. The train yesterday did not go any further down than Pollard.

Mr. S.B. Strout, the newly appointed postmaster at this place, has qualified and taken charge of his office. Mr. W.T. Wiggins retires with a clean record and with many friends.

The streets of Evergreen and especially the courthouse square have been thronged with people this week.

Castleberry: Dr. R.T. Holland has just completed a large new storehouse, which adds greatly to the looks of that side of town.

CONFEDERATE PENSIONS: The auditor has announced that the Confederate pension warrants for the year will go out within the next week or 10 days, and that there is an increase of about 1,800 names on the roll. This increase will cut the approximation down so that each pensioner will only receive $12 or $13 instead of about $17, as heretofore.


Circuit court convened Monday with Judge Tyson presiding. The civil docket was taken up after empaneling the grand and petit juries, and the business is being disposed of with the usual promptitude and dispatch. We note the presence of an unusually large number of visitors.

Today in History for Oct. 17, 2017

Queen Elizabeth II in 1957
Oct. 17, 1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.


Oct. 17, 1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera “Ascanio in Alba,” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 15.

Oct. 17, 1777 - British general and playwright John Burgoyne surrendered 5,000 British and Hessian troops to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York.

Oct. 17, 1781 – During the American Revolutionary War, British General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown. George Washington accepted the British surrender, and this event effectively ended America's War for Independence.

Oct. 17, 1814 – Eight people died in the London Beer Flood.

Oct. 17, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Mount Vernon and George Washington's tomb in Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1841 – Greenberry “Green” Henry Shell was born in Georgia. He later moved to Escambia County, Ala. and the community of Appleton was named for his apple orchard. The name, a combination of “apple” and “-ton,” which means “town,” was suggested by Shell’s son, Andrew. The Appleton post office was established in 1901. Greenberry Shell was also a Civil War veteran, having served in Co. D, 16th Regt., Ala. Inf., CSA.

Oct. 17, 1859 - A company of marines arrived and surrounded abolitionist John Brown after his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. On the morning of Oct. 19, the soldiers overran Brown and his survivors. Ten of Brown's men were killed, including two of his sons.

Oct. 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, two days of skirmishing began at Federicktown, Mo.

Oct. 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mountain Home and Sugar Creek in Arkansas; at Camp Wild Cat, Valley Woods, and Rocky Hill in Kentucky; at Lexington, Mo.; and at Shepherdstown, W.Va. Civilian resistance to the Union draft also broke out in Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties in Pennsylvania.

Oct. 17, 1863 – During Civil War, an engagement was fought at Fort Brooke, Fla. Skirmishes were also fought at Bogue Chitto Creek, Robinson’s Mills (near Livingston) and near Sartarsia in Mississippi; in Cedar County, Mo.; near Camden Court House, N.C.; and at Accotink. near Chantilly, Groveton, Berryville, Frying Pan Church, and Manassas Junction in Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1864 - Confederate General James Longstreet assumed command of his corps in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia in May of that year, Longstreet missed the campaign for Richmond, Va. and spent five months recovering before returning to his command.

Oct. 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Eddyville, Kentucky; and Carrollton, Smithville, and near Lexington, Missouri. An affair also occurred at Cedar Run Church, Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1888 – Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).

Oct. 17, 1888 - The first issue of "National Geographic Magazine" was released at newsstands.

Oct. 17, 1892 – German SS general Theodor Eicke was born in Hudingen, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire now Hampont, Moselle, France.

Oct. 17, 1898 – Shinichi Suzuki, who developed the Suzuki Violin Method, was born in Nagoya, Japan.

Oct. 17, 1915 – Dramatist and playwright Arthur Miller was born in New York City.

October 17, 1916 - Cumberland University (the forerunner of present-day Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham) was defeated by Georgia Tech, 222-0. The Georgia team was coached by a former elocution and oratory instructor, and football coach, at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University). His name was John Heisman.

Oct. 17, 1917 - Serving aboard the USS Cassin, Alabamian Kelly Ingram became the first American serviceman killed in action during World War I.

Oct. 17, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that there was “a vast quantity of timber throughout this section which was blown down by the recent hurricane, and unless persons who own it take prompt measures to utilize and get something out of it, much of it will go to decay.”


Oct. 17, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Will Frye of Lower Peachtree, Ala. “died from disease.”

Oct. 17, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Marion Lee Haigler, 22, of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.” Born on Feb. 26, 1896, he was buried in the Fort Dale Cemetery in Butler County.

Oct. 17, 1919 – RCA was incorporated as the Radio Corporation of America.

Oct. 17, 1924 – Evergreen was scheduled to play Florala in football at Gantt Field in Evergreen, starting at 3:30 p.m. Florala’s coach was Grady Vaughn, who was a former Evergreen coach.

Oct. 17, 1924 – Croatian SS officer Anton Geiser was born in Đak-Selci, Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Oct. 17, 1927 – Major League Baseball pitcher Johnny Klippstein was born in Washington, D.C. He would go on to pitch for the Cubs, the Red, the Dodgers, the Indians, the Senators, the Phillies, the Twins and the Tigers.

Oct. 17, 1927 - Martin Hancock, Leslie Morris and Everette Pritchett, three men of the Repton community were arrested on this Monday on warrants charging them with kidnapping and assault and battery. The warrants were sworn out by relatives of Malcolm Nicholson, who it was alleged was kidnapped by these men Sunday afternoon near Repton. Hancock and Morris were in jail as of Oct. 20 awaiting trial. Pritchett made bond immediately after his arrest.

Oct. 17, 1930 – A pep rally the night before the Alabama-Tennessee football game in Tuscaloosa turned into a near riot when parading students “bombarded” a movie theater with eggs and vegetables after being refused admittance. The fire department and police had to be called in to disperse the students, but no arrests were made. The theater suffered minor damage. The next day, Alabama beat Tennessee, 18-6.

Oct. 17, 1930 – Repton High School beat Conecuh County High School of Castleberry, 25-0, in Repton.

Oct. 17, 1932 – One of Evergreen’s oldest and most highly respected citizens Edward Johnston McCreary, 68, passed away around 11 p.m. at his home in Evergreen following “a stroke of paralysis” around 4 p.m. McCreary was born in the Johnstonville community on Feb. 5, 1864. He was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen.

Oct. 17, 1933 – Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany and moved to the United States.

Oct. 17, 1940 – The body of Communist propagandist Willi Münzenberg was found in South France, starting a never-resolved mystery.

Oct. 17, 1943 - The Detroit Lions set a rushing record when they achieved a -53 yards against the Chicago Cardinals.

Oct. 17, 1948 – The Evergreen Methodist Church dedicated its new, custom-built Moeller pipe organ during its Sunday morning worship service. Members of the organ committee included Mrs. E.B. Stowers, Mrs. O.C. McGehee and Mrs. Verna W. Millsap.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Monroe Journal reported that Capt. W.H. (Billy) Lee, a native Monroe Countian, had been named one of the physicians to attend Queen Elizabeth of England during her tour of the nation’s capital. Son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Lee Sr. of Frisco City, Capt. Lee was stationed at Ft. Myers, Va., where he was in charge of a clinic.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville Kiwanis Club had elected eight members to its board of directors for 1958. Those board members included C.H. Harper, J.P. Farish III, Chuck Pelham, Lee Duvall, John Finklea, R.A. Wible and L.L. Dees. Their election followed by a week the naming of new officers for the club: Robison Harper, president; A.B. Blass Jr., first vice-president; and George Gibson, treasurer.

Oct. 17, 1957 - Judge George C. Wallace of Clayton was scheduled to speak to the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting at noon at the Methodist Church. Wallace was judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama and had been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in the 1958 Democratic primary.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the search for a private plane missing since Sat., Oct. 12, was being continued in the area. Civil Air Patrol pilots and ground searchers had combed the large area from Evergreen north to Montgomery several times, but no trace of the plane had been found. The pilot, Larry Reid, construction company employee of Birmingham, and his fiancée, Miss Mary Catherine Finch, 21-year-old nurse at Montgomery hospital, were last heard from at 6:36 p.m. on Oct. 12.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen’s Conecuh County Training School Eagles, outweighed man for man by 20 pounds, played a valiant defensive game, though on the short end of a 7-0 score in a recent football game against Camden. The entire game was played practically on the Eagle’s side of the 50-yard line. The Eagles made four brilliant goal line stands to keep within striking distance. The Eagles made their only threat in the final stanza. With four minutes remaining in the game, Hood Johnson intercepted a Camden pass on his 30 and ran it back to the Camden 40. The Eagles failed to gain a first down and Camden took possession on their 35. Other standout CCTS players in that game included James Watson, Walter Hill, Johnny Tullis and Norman Nettles.

Oct. 17, 1961 – Scores of Algerian protesters (some claim up to 400) are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of former Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.

Oct. 17, 1962 - The New York Yankees won their 20th World Series when they beat the San Francisco Giants.

Oct. 17, 1963 – “All the Way Home,” a movie version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” was released.

Oct. 17, 1966 - President Johnson left Washington for a 17-day trip to seven Asian and Pacific nations and a conference scheduled in Manila.

Oct. 17, 1975 – On homecoming night, Sparta Academy improved to 6-1-1 by beating Chickasaw Academy, 56-20, at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Kelsey Nix was crowned Miss Homecoming.

Oct. 17, 1975 – T.R. Miller beat Evergreen, 22-8, at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen. Also that night, Frisco City beat Conecuh County High School, 36-0, in Castleberry. McKenzie beat Repton, 14-6, in Repton. Bill Watkins scored Repton’s only touchdown.

Oct. 17, 1976 - Part 2 of “The Biscuit Eater,” a movie version of the story by Alabama author James H. Street, was broadcast as part of the “Wonderful World of Disney” television series.

Oct. 17, 1978 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed a bill that restored full U.S. citizenship rights to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.


Oct. 17, 1989 - An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale hit the San Francisco Bay area in California at 5:04 p.m. The quake caused about 67 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and damages up to $7 billion. The tremor hit just before the live TV broadcast of the World Series game at Candlestick Park, and the sportscasters took on the role of news anchors.

Oct. 17, 2000 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Leo Nomellini died at the age of 76 in Stanford, Calif. During his career, he played for the University of Minnesota and the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Oct. 17, 2012 – The Mt. Moriah Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery in Butler County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
  

Oct. 17, 2014 – The World War II tanker movie, “Fury,” was released in U.S. theaters. Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal, the film portrays US tank crews in Nazi Germany during the final days of World War II.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Oct. 17, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.30 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.10 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.30 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 75.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 290th day of 2017 and the 26th day of Fall. There are 75 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Oct. 16, 2017

15 YEARS AGO
OCT. 17, 2002

The Sparta Academy Warriors defeated Greenville Academy 21-16 on Fri., Oct. 11, 2002 in Greenville.
Perry Castleberry scored the first two touchdowns of the night for the Warriors on runs of three yards and four yards, respectively. John McGinitie added the PAT on the first touchdown and Brandon Burleson added the two-point conversion on the second touchdown.
Wiley Cobb scored the last touchdown for the Warriors on a six-yard run. The try for the two-point conversion failed.
Perry Castleberry was the leading rusher for the Warriors with 182 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Brandon Burleson had 29 yards on nine carries. John McGinitie had 14 yards on four carries. Matt Robinson had five yards on two carries and Wiley Cobb had three yards on eight carries and one touchdown.
Jeremy Anderson had five receptions for 65 yards. Brandon Burleson had one reception for 22 yards, and Paul Castleberry had one reception for 0 yards.

Sparta Academy held homecoming activities on Fri., Oct. 4, 2002. Members of the senior homecoming court are Jessica Roberts, escorted by her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Mark Roberts; Caroline McCreary, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred McCreary; Kelly Daw, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Daw; Katie Baggett, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Baggett; Miss Homecoming 2002 Callie Ezell, escorted by her parents, Gerald Ezell and Debbie Ezell; Katie Etheridge, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Etheridge; Susan Ivey, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ivey; Ashley Nolin, escorted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nolin; and Hannah Smith, escorted by her parents, David Smith and Judy Brown.

30 YEARS AGO
OCT. 15, 1987

The Evergreen Aggies were defeated by the Luverne Tigers last Friday night by the score of 42-16.
The Aggies points all came in the third period. James Gross scored on a 54-yard run with 7:25 left in the period. Evergreen converted on a two-point conversion on a pass from Young to Marvin Cunningham to make it 42-8. Evergreen then kicked off and Russell Meeks miss hit it, I think, but it turned out okay when the Aggies recovered the kick at the Luverne 40-yard line.
With 4:57 left in the third quarter, Tony Simpson threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Cunningham. The two-point conversion was good on the same combination as before when Young threw to Marvin Cunningham.

Crenshaw Christian Academy blanked the Sparta Academy Warriors, 21-0, in Luverne Friday night.
Jamie Deason had 66 yards on 10 carries; Jeff Carrier, 30 on 15; Lee Wild, six on one; Kenny Bledsoe lost two yards on three tries.
Bledsoe completed four of 10 passes for 40 yards and had one interception. Brad Watts threw incomplete twice, and Wild’s only pass was also incomplete.

Jeff Carrier is presented the McDonald’s “Athlete of the Month” award by Jack Dwyer, manager of the Evergreen McDonald’s on Highway 83. Carrier, junior running back, pass receiver and defensive back for Sparta Academy, was chosen for his outstanding play and leadership for the Warriors.

45 YEARS AGO
OCT. 19, 1972

Sparta Academy to have first homecoming: Sparta Academy will have its first homecoming Fri., Oct. 20. There will be displays, skits and a pep rally starting at 12:30 p.m.
A pre-game show at Stuart-McGehee Field will start at 7:30. Miss Football, Miss Homecoming and her court will be presented.

Crucial mistakes and power of Luverne fullback, Sam Morgan, led the Evergreen Aggies to the gallows Friday night as they were hanged in a lackluster game by the Luverne Tigers, 41-0.

The Sparta Academy Warriors lost to Escambia Academy, one of the state’s most powerful teams, Friday night, 13-2, at Stuart-McGehee Field.
Sparta’s first and only score came early in the first period as the snap from center on an attempted punt went over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for 2-0 Sparta lead.
Sparta’s only offensive threat came from the passing of Buddy Monroe to Gary Daw as they combined on three catches for 86 yards.
Sparta’s defensive team kept Escambia to its second lowest points total that it has ever had. Leading defenders for Sparta were Will Ward, Tubby McInvale, Walt Lee Ward, Don Owens, Jerry Cotton and Gary McInvale.
(Other top Sparta players in that game included Bruce Hutcheson and Sam Skipper.)

Thurs., Nov. 2, Miss Homecoming will be crowned (at Evergreen High School). Miss Football will be named Oct. 20 by the football team.

60 YEARS AGO
OCT. 17, 1957

Eagles Nipped By Camden 7-0: Evergreen’s C.C.T.S. Eagles, outweighed man for man by 20 pounds, played a valiant defensive game, though on the short end of a 7-0 score.
The entire game was played practically on the Eagle’s side of the 50-yard line. The Eagles made four brilliant goal line stands to keep within striking distance.
The Eagles made their only threat in the final stanza. With four minutes remaining in the game, Hood Johnson intercepted a Camden pass on his 30 and ran it back to the Camden 40. The Eagles failed to gain a first down and Camden took possession on their 35.
(Other standout CCTS players in that game included James Watson, Walter Hill, Johnny Tullis and Norman Nettles.)

Aggies Out To Spoil McKenzie H’coming: The Evergreen Aggies will return to the football wars Friday night, taking to the road for their first game away from home this season. Evergreen has been out of action for two weeks as last week’s game with Greenville was postponed because of flu.
McKenzie’s Tigers have nominated the Aggies to be the victim of their annual homecoming celebration.
(Players on Evergreen’s team that year included George Bolton, Robbie Boykin, Howard Claybrook, Robert Daniels, Robert Ellington, Billy Grace, Jerry Mitchell, Jimmy Moorer, James Nelson, Paul Pace, Byron Warren and Buddy Zukowski. Wendell Hart was Evergreen’s head coach.)

The Dixie Fox Hunters Association has announced that its annual Bench Show and Field Trials will be held Oct. 28-31 at Burnt Corn.

90 YEARS AGO
OCT. 20, 1927

Brewton Defeats Aggies 20 To 0: The fast team at Brewton succeeded in defeating the locals Friday afternoon in one of the fiercest struggles of the season, when they ran up a 20 to 0 score. The first half was close indeed as the score at the close of the period was 2 to 0. The only tally in this part of the game came when the Aggies were held for a safety.
In the second half, three touchdowns were made, each time however, Brewton failed to add the extra point. It appeared that the lines of the two teams were very nearly matched, Brewton’s victory coming from their superiority in the backfield. In this department, especial mention might be of Moore, who played an exceptionally good game for Brewton. The locals showed considerable fight at several stages of the game but failed to possess the offensive necessary to gain yardage. The game was well attended by Evergreen people. The next game played by the Aggies will be in Andalusia next Friday afternoon.

Miss Martha Dickinson spent Saturday in Montgomery, attending the Auburn-LSU football game.

John Stearns and Chas. Taliaferro Jr. attended the Alabama-Tech game in Atlanta Saturday, returning Sunday night.


Castleberry: Misses Lizenby and Wise attended the Auburn-LSU football game in Montgomery Saturday.