Sunday, August 20, 2017

125-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from Aug. 1892

Grave of Albert G. Duke.
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published four editions 125 years ago during the month of August 1892. Those four issues, which were dated Aug. 4, Aug. 11, Aug. 18 and Aug. 25, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.

AUG. 4, 1892

The Journal owes an apology to its readers for the failure of many of them to receive their paper last week. We were compelled to draw on our limited stock of paper to supply the demand for election ballots; this together with the delay in transit of a bill ordered in ample time to meet our requirements, rendered us unable to supply more than one-third of our subscribers. Amid the rejoicing over the good news we bring you this week, you can afford to overlook this irregularity.

Another jail delivery occurred Sunday night, five prisoners making their escape by breaking the fastenings of the cage in which they were confined and burning through the wood work to the brick wall through which they dug a hole. No blame attaches to the sheriff, but is due the insecure condition of the jail. The experience of the past two years seems sufficient to demonstrate that the manner of temporizing with this question has proven vastly more expensive to the county than the cost of building a secure jail.

The unofficial returns of the election held in Monroe Monday indicate the election of the straight Democratic state and county ticket by a safe majority.

Prof. D.J. McWilliams spent several days among his many Monroeville friends last week. Prof. McWilliams has been engaged as principal of Pineville Academy for the ensuing term.

DIED – Mr. Albert G. Duke, a prominent merchant and citizen of Burnt Corn, died at his home at this place on Thurs., 21st inst., of heart disease.

AUG. 11, 1892

Mr. J.D. Foster, Monroe’s sheriff-elect, was in town Wednesday.

A special term of commissioners court will be held on the 29th of August for the purpose of disposing of the county convict labor and of contracting for a new jail.

KILLED – Mr. J.B. Downs, son of Mr. John Downs, living near here, who has been working for some time in the Peters Lumber Co.’s log camps, met a horrible death near Repton Wednesday evening. He was standing near while a large tree was being felled, and as it fell it rebounded and struck him in the breast, crushing him to death. His remains were sent home for burial.

The Perdue Hill High School promises a splendid opening and we anticipate a full attendance, and with Prof. George as principal we know it will be a successful session.

Commissioners court convened Monday and was in session until Wednesday. The usual business was transacted. This closes the official term of the old board of commissioners. During their incumbency, they have done much to commend them to the public and but little that merits just criticism. Two of the present board, Messrs. McClure and Burson, succeed themselves.

C.J. Torrey, Esq., of Mobile was among his many Monroeville friends this week. Mr. and Mrs. Torrey are spending several weeks at the family homestead at Claiborne.

AUG. 18, 1892

Four of Monroe’s officers-elect – Messrs. W.J. Robison, tax collector; W.T. Nettles, tax assessor; T.J. Emmons, circuit clerk; and J.D. Foster, sheriff, have filed their bonds which have been approved by the probate judge.

Politics have quieted down in Monroe and the people have addressed themselves to their various avocations.

Heavy rains have fallen around in the past few days and were greatly needed in many sections.

The Bethlehem Baptist Association closed its 76th annual session at Burnt Corn Wednesday. The attendance was large and the session a profitable one. The next session will be held at Perdue Hill.

Col. B.L. Hibbard returned to his home at Birmingham Saturday spending several weeks at Monroeville. Col. Hibbard will take the stump for Cleveland in the course of a few weeks.

DIED – Mrs. D.A. Wiggins, wife of Mr. Jas. H. Wiggins, died at her home in Monroeville Fri., Aug. 12, after a long and painful illness. She leaves a husband and a number of children and a host of relatives and friends to mourn her loss. The sympathy of the community is with the bereaved.

NOTICE: I will be at Flat Creek on the new road, near Mr. H.L. Whisenhut’s, at 10 o’clock a.m. Sat., Aug. 20, 1892 for the purpose of letting out and contracting for two new bridges. Will be let to the lowest bidder for cash. – J.T. Burson, Commissioner.

AUG. 25, 1892

KILLING AT FINCHBURG – In a difficulty between Robert Tait and Steve Tunstall, both colored, at Finchburg last Tuesday, the former killed the latter by stabbing him to the heart with a pocket knife. Tait was arrested and is in jail. No particulars have been learned.

In noticing the recent jail delivery, we were in error in stating that the escape was effected by burning through the wood work. This was impossible and unnecessary from the fact that the stoves and all fuel had been previously removed and in ordering the old break repaired the commissioners failed to have the hole in the brick wall filled, merely concealing the break on the inside with a piece of sheet iron, which the prisoners, after forcing the door of cage, prized off and crawled through.

GYPSY CAMP: The Shenshone Gypsies will camp at Gaillard’s Grove on Tues., Sept. 6, one hour after the Sunset Gun. Meet us, wearing the costume of your tribe.
ATTRACTIONS: May Pole Dance; Magic Egg Tree, eggs five cents each; Prize Sack Race for boys 12 years and over; Prize Sack Race for boys under 12 years; The Celebrated Fortune Teller, Zingara; Admission 25 cents, children 10 cents; Refreshments included; Gypsy costumes requested, but not obligatory.

The Ladies Aid Society will give a Gypsy camp entertainment in the grove at Dr. S.S. Gaillard’s residence, Perdue Hill, on Tuesday evening, Sept. 6, 1892 for the purpose of aiding in the improvement of the Union church. The good citizens of the community and surrounding country are especially invited.

Today in History for Aug. 20, 2017

Aug. 20, 1308 – Pope Clement V pardoned Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, absolving him of charges of heresy.

Aug. 20, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition departed the ancient Indian town of Coosa (Cosa, Coca), which was located on the east bank of Talladega Creek, 1.5 miles northeast of Childersburg in Talladega County, Ala. They arrived at the town on July 16, 1540.

Aug. 20, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Margaret Jacobs recanted the testimony that led to the execution of her grandfather, George Jacobs Sr., and George Burroughs.

Aug. 20, 1707 – The first Siege of Pensacola came to an end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Florida.

Aug. 20, 1741 - Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered Alaska.

Aug. 20, 1775 – The Spanish established the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson in the town that became Tucson, Arizona.

Aug. 20, 1794 – At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, General “Mad Anthony” Wayne proved that the fragile young American republic could counter a military threat when he put down Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket’s confederacy near present-day Toledo, Ohio, with the newly created 3,000-man strong Legion of the United States.

Aug. 20, 1800 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, the USS Pickering disappeared with a crew of 90 while en route to Guadeloupe in the West Indies from New Castle, Delaware.

Aug. 20, 1804 - Sergeant Charles Floyd died three months into the voyage of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, becoming the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the journey. Lewis read the funeral service, and the two captains concluded the ceremony by naming the nearby stream Floyds River and the hill Floyds Bluff. Based on the symptoms described by Lewis and Clark, modern physicians have concluded that Floyd was probably died of peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.

Aug. 20, 1824 – During his extended tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette left New York City and made several stops on his way to Bridgeport, Conn., stopping in Harlem, New Rochelle, Byram Bridge and Putnam Hill in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Saugatuck (Westport) and Fairfield before reaching Bridgeport and staying at the Washington Hotel.

Aug. 20, 1832 – David Holmes passed away in Winchester, Va. at the age of 63. On June 5, 1815, as the Territorial Governor of Mississippi, Holmes would establish Monroe County by proclamation. During his life, Holmes served as a U.S. Congressman, Governor of the Mississippi Territory, Governor of the State of Mississippi and as a U.S. Senator. Born on March 10, 1769 in York County, Pa., he was buried in the Centenary Reformed UCC Cemetery in Winchester.

Aug. 20, 1833 - Benjamin Henry Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

Aug. 20, 1847 – During the Mexican-American War, Mark B. Travis, a younger brother of William Barrett Travis who died at the Alamo, was said to have been wounded on this day at the Battle of Churubusco a few miles outside of Mexico City.

Aug. 20, 1858 – Charles Darwin first published his theory of evolution through natural selection in “The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London,” alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory.

Aug. 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lookout Station and Fish Lake, Mo.

Aug. 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hawk’s Nest and Laurel Fork Creek in W.Va.

Aug. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley's "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" was published in the New York Tribune, and the editorial called on U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves in Union-held territory. Lincoln was already planning to emancipate slaves, but he did not admit it publicly until a month later with his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Aug. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Baton Rouge, La.; at Pilot Knob, or Edgefield Junction, Tenn.; and at Raccoon Ford, Stevensburg, Brandy Station, Rappahannock Station and near Kelly’s Ford in Virginia.

Aug. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, seven days of Federal operations began in Wayne, Stoddard and Dunklin Counties in Missouri.

Aug. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate Major General Richard Taylor was assigned to the command of the District of West Louisiana.

Aug. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, Sioux Indians unsuccessfully attacked Fort Ridley in Minnesota.

Aug. 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, an eight-day raid into Kansas by William Clarke Quantrill began.

Aug. 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, a 12-day Federal combined arms expedition originating from Vicksburg, Miss. and ending at Monroe, La. began.

Aug. 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Panola, Miss.

Aug. 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Federal bombardment of Fort Sumter, S.C. continued.

Aug. 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Rocheport, Mo.; at Pine Bluff, Tenn.; at Berryville and at Opequon Creek in Virginia; and at Bulltown, W.Va.

Aug. 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, Legareville, S.C. was burned by Federal forces.

Aug. 20, 1866 - U.S. President Andrew Johnson formally declared that the American Civil War was over even though fighting had stopped months earlier.

Aug. 20, 1868 – The seven-acre Goldsmith and Frohlichstein extension was added to Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, Ala., adjacent to the Jewish Rest section. The elevated and highly desirable plots in this section eventually became the resting place for both Jews and Gentiles, and came to contain some of the more elaborate sculptures and mausolea in the entire cemetery.

Aug. 20, 1879 – Between Monroeville and Perdue Hill, a posse made up of Jonathan I. Watson, W.C. Tucker and Dr. Henry Rankin arrested murder suspect Charles Roberts, who had escaped with four other men from the Monroe County Jail the day before. Roberts apparently had been trying to make his way back to his former home at Claiborne, Ala., but was found completely exhausted after having walked, apparently lost in the dark, all night. He was taken back to jail, put in an iron cage and placed in shackles and irons.

Aug. 20, 1882 – Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture” debuted in Moscow, Russia.

Aug. 20, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that, in the last issue of The Greenville Advocate, it was reported that Judge John K. Henry had died at his home in Greenville a few days before. Henry was born in Hancock County, Ga. on March 23, 1814, and was at one time a resident of Claiborne, and afterwards lived near Bell’s Landing.

Aug. 20, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Sheriff Burns “had the misfortune to lose his horse. This is a serious loss to the Captain.”

Aug. 20, 1890 – Howard Phillips “H.P.” Lovecraft was born at 9 a.m. at his family home on Angell Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Lovecraft went on to become a writer of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction, which was known back in his day as simply "weird fiction." He introduced the Cthulhu Mythos, in which characters had encounters with powerful and horrendous prehistoric beings, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical and forbidden lore.

Aug. 20, 1896 – Mrs. W.Y. Johnson died at Mexia on this Thursday after a protracted illness.

Aug. 20, 1908 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and manager Al Lopez was born in Tampa, Fla. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers, the Boston Bees, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians and he also managed the Indians and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Aug. 20, 1914 – During World War I, Brussels was captured during the German invasion of Belgium.

Aug. 20, 1918 – Novelist Jacqueline Susann was born in Philadelphia, Pa. She is best remembered for her 1966 novel, “Valley of the Dolls.”

Aug. 20, 1920 – Professional football was born when seven men met to organize a professional football league at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton, Ohio. The meeting led to the creation of the American Professional Football Conference, the forerunner of the National Football League.

Aug. 20, 1920 – The first commercial radio station, 8MK (now WWJ), began operations in Detroit, Mich.

Aug. 20, 1926 - Dr. W.R. Carter of Repton was among Monroeville friends on this Friday.

Aug. 20, 1932 - In Flanders, Belgium, the German artist Kathe Kollwitz unveiled the monument she created to memorialize her son, Peter, along with the hundreds of thousands of other soldiers killed on the battlefields of the Western Front during World War I.

Aug. 20, 1937 - Dixie Bibb Graves took her seat in the U.S. Senate to become Alabama's first female senator. Only the fourth woman to serve as a U.S. senator, Graves had been appointed by her husband, Gov. Bibb Graves, to succeed Hugo Black, who had been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Aug. 20, 1938 – Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd career grand slam, a record that stood for 75 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez.

Aug. 20, 1940 – During World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made the fourth of his famous wartime speeches, containing the line "Never was so much owed by so many to so few." The Battle of Britain was raging, and he was referring to the small group of the Royal Air Force who had successfully held off the much larger Luftwaffe, the German air force.

Aug. 20, 1945 - Tommy Brown of the Brooklyn Dodgers became the youngest player to hit a home run in a Major League Baseball game. Brown was 17 years, 8 months and 14 days old.

Aug. 20, 1948 – Poet Heather McHugh was born in San Diego, Calif.

Aug. 20, 1949 - Cleveland’s Indians and Chicago’s White Sox played at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland before the largest crowd, 78,382 people, to see a nighttime Major League Baseball game.

Aug. 20, 1951 – Preseason practice was scheduled to begin at Evergreen High School under head coach Wendell Hart. All players were asked to meet at the Memorial Gym at 2 p.m., and the Aggies were scheduled to open the 1951 season on Sept. 14 against Millry in Evergreen, Ala.

Aug. 20, 1954 - President Eisenhower approved a National Security Council paper titled “Review of U.S. Policy in the Far East.” This paper supported Secretary of State Dulles’ view that the United States should support Diem, while encouraging him to broaden his government and establish more democratic institutions.

Aug. 20, 1965 - Civil rights worker Jonathan Daniels, a white Episcopal seminary student from Keene, New Hampshire, was murdered by shotgun at point-blank range in Hayneville in Lowndes County, Ala. Special (and unpaid) deputy sheriff Tom Coleman, an ardent segregationist, admitted to the shooting, but was acquitted by an all-white jury six weeks later. It’s said that Daniels sacrificed his life for young black activist Ruby Sales whom he pushed out of the way of the blast.

Aug. 20, 1971 - General Duong Van Minh and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, fellow candidates for the October presidential election, accused incumbent President Nguyen Van Thieu of rigging the election and withdrew from the race.

Aug. 20, 1971 - In the United States, the FBI began investigating journalist Daniel Schorr, who was targeted by the Nixon administration because of his critical reporting of the president’s handling of the situation in Vietnam.

Aug. 20, 1974 - In the wake of Nixon’s resignation, Congress reduced military aid to South Vietnam from $1 billion to $700 million, one of several actions that signaled the North Vietnamese that the United States was backing away from its commitment to South Vietnam.

Aug. 20, 1975 – As part of its Viking program, NASA launched the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.

Aug. 20, 1975 – NFL defensive back and running back Elijah Williams was born in Milton, Fla. He went on to play for Milton High School, the University of Florida and the Atlanta Falcons.

Aug. 20, 1976 – Major League Baseball outfielder Gene Kingsale was born in Solito, Aruba. He went on to play for the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, the San Diego Padres and the Detroit Tigers.

Aug. 20, 1976 – Actress, producer and screenwriter Kristen Miller was born in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Aug. 20, 1977 – Crop duster Gary Earl Geck, 26, of Castleberry, Ala. was killed in plane crash in a wooded area on the Appleton Road in the southwestern section of Conecuh County. He was buried in the Holland Cemetery in Castleberry.

Aug. 20, 1977 - Voyager 2 was launched by the United States. The spacecraft was carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

Aug. 20, 1981 - Evergreen Chamber of Commerce President Bill McKenzie announced that the Chamber had moved its offices into the “agent’s office” of the historical L&N Depot. Before that, the Chamber’s offices were in the old library building. Mrs. Jackie Barlow, secretary, was to continue to maintain the same office hours, 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday through Friday. The Chamber has also taken over the management of The Depot, according to Mrs. Wiley (Ouida) Salter of the Murder Creek Historical Society, although the Society would continue to own the building.

Aug. 20, 1988 – During the Iran–Iraq War, a ceasefire was agreed to after almost eight years of war.

Aug. 20, 1994 – Chris McCutcheon, 17, of Evergreen, Ala. was critically injured when the 1993 Honda Prelude he was driving collided with a northbound CSX train around 10:15 a.m. at the railroad cross near the Old Depot in downtown Evergreen.

Aug. 20, 1997 - Alabama Governor Fob James joined the mayors of Montgomery and Georgiana, Ala. in the Alabama State Capitol to dedicate a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 65 to the memory of Hank Williams. The section of roadway was renamed the "Hank Williams Memorial Lost Highway."

Aug. 20, 1998 - The U.N. Security Council extended trade sanctions against Iraq for blocking arms inspections.

Aug. 20, 2002 – A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein took over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin, Germany for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.

Aug. 20, 2005 - Thomas Herrion of the San Francisco 49ers collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver.

Aug. 20, 2008 – Beatrice, Ala. native and NFL player Clarence “Butch” Edmund Avinger passed away at the age of 79 in Birmingham. Avinger played quarterback at Alabama and was a first-round pick (ninth overall) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1951 Draft. He would debut in the NFL with the New York Giants in 1953 and played a total of 12 pro games.

Aug. 20, 2008 – Pro Football Hall of Fame left guard Gene Upshaw died at the age of 63 in Lake Tahoe, Calif. During his career, he played for Texas A&M-Kingsville and the Oakland Raiders. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Aug. 20, 2010 - A federal grand jury indicted former baseball player Roger Clemens for lying to the U.S. Congress about steroid use. The trial ended in a mistrial.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Aug. 20, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  5.55 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 21.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 65.45 inches.

Notes: Today is the 232nd day of 2017 and the 61st day of Summer. There are 133 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.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

George Singleton tells of the many 'mysteries of that old full moon'

(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 “The mysteries of that old full moon are many” was originally published in the July 26, 2001 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

During the first few days of July, during the time of the full moon, I had a couple of telephone calls asking me just what I thought about the effect the moon has on the life of man on this planet, if any.

I suppose that there is more mystery about this satellite affecting the human life within this universe than any others, other than perhaps the sun. True, we have landed man on the moon, but there are many mysteries about it that we yet do not understand.

Since man first began to look into the heavens, he has been fascinated by the mysteries of this silvery disk high in the heavens. Man has adjusted and patterned many of his life cycles to coincide with the moon and its path across the heavens.

He has built great monuments and temples to show his affection for this glowing round ball of the night. He has given much of his time and resources to try and walk on its surface. He has spent lifetimes studying its effects on himself and his surroundings. Every 29-1/2 days, this silver planet revolves around our planet earth. During this period of time, many things happen within our lives that we do not understand and know absolutely nothing about.

During this period, the moon changes form. These periods are known to us as the time of the new moon, the half moon, the full moon and the old or dying moon. Each period, in its own way, has different effects on man’s day-to-day existence. Many wars have been started because some of the great leaders of the past looked to the moon for signs of guidance and direction.

Many of the early war lords of biblical times believed that during the time of the full moon their armies were more bold and less fearful. They believed that men feared death less when the full glowing disk floated across the heavens. They also believed that their war horses could run faster and farther during this time period.

It was quite common to plan major battles and invasions of enemy cities during the time of the full moon. Throughout history, those who practiced human sacrifice believed that these ceremonies should be held when the moon was at its fullest.

Throughout the ages, the wandering tribes of early man believed that the signs of the moon were instrumental in their survival. Under certain signs, the time to fish or to hunt for the food they needed reaped greater harvests than at other times.

Those who looked to our mother earth knew that there was a time for planting and a time for gathering, depending on the signs of the moon. Until recent years, no country farmer would dare plant his crops unless the signs of the moon were right.

Today, with our so-called modern-day technology, many of our farmers have lost contact with the signs of the past and pay little or no heed to them. They don’t believe, as they sit in their air-conditioned tractors, that crops grow faster and produce more per acre if they are planted during the right stages of the moon.

Few of us today believe that the tides of the ocean are caused by gravitational pull of the moon. Few give any thought to the fact that during certain signs of the moon more people pass from this life than during other times. More children are born during the time of the full moon, especially those who have waited to arrive beyond that certain time span.

The old moon has cured many cases of anxiety when that designated time of arrival has come and gone for that new baby. Then, a day or two later, a full moon appears in the heavens above and the one that is overdue, appears within our midst.

When man is on the prowl for that perfect mate, he talks with more ease and assurance during the time when the moon is full. His boldness during this time is at its peak. His ability to whisper those sweet nothings comes with less effort.

Our experts tell us that the crime rate within our society is greater during the time when the moon is full. The homicide rate is almost twice that of other times during the period when our moon is the fullest.

Police records tell us that during this time many seem to throw all caution to the wind and run rampant through our communities and cities, committing serious crimes in greater numbers.

Even though man has explored the old moon and has walked on its surface, it hasn’t lost any of its luster and none of its mystery. Even now, man still gazes in awe toward the heavens and wonders of the mystery there.

As I wander around the countryside and from time to time view the full moon, I feel the wonders that are yet to be discovered there. As I look to the heavens on those moonlight nights, I draw strength from that wonder that the Creator has placed there.

Next time when the full moon is high and its silvery beams cause you to feel a little different, raise your arms to the heavens and give the call of the wild. You will be surprised by how much better it will make you feel and you will marvel at the ease with which you did it. I know, I have been there, more times than you could guess.

(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, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” 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 Aug. 19, 2017

John Wesley Hardin's postmortem photo.
Aug. 19, 1561 – Mary, Queen of Scots, who was 18 years old, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.

Aug. 19, 1612 – The "Samlesbury witches," three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, England, were put on trial, accused of practicing witchcraft, one of the most famous witch trials in British history.

Aug. 19, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, George Jacobs Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John Willard and John Proctor were hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem, Province of Massachusetts Bay. Elizabeth Proctor was not hanged because she was pregnant.

Aug. 19, 1779 - A Patriot force consisting of 300 men led by Major Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee assaulted the defensive positions of the British at Paulus Hook, New Jersey, now known as Jersey City.

Aug. 19, 1782 – During the American Revolutionary War, at the Battle of Blue Licks, the last major engagement of the war took place, almost 10 months after the surrender of the British commander Charles Cornwallis following the Siege of Yorktown.

Aug. 19, 1812 – During the War of 1812, the American frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada earning the nickname "Old Ironsides."

Aug. 19, 1819 – Sparta attorney John E. Graham was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Alabama.

Aug. 19, 1829 - French painter and physicist Louis Daguerre presented his photographic process to the French Academy of Sciences.

Aug. 19, 1836 – Confederate veteran Dr. John Augustus Baldwin was born in Lumpkin, Stewart County, Ga., and he went on to graduate from Atlanta Medical College (now Emory University) in 1859. A year later, according to the 1860 census, he was living with the family of silversmith T.P. Godwin in Butler County. Sources say that for some time, Baldwin worked as a doctor in the Garland community.

Aug. 19, 1839 – The French government announced that Louis Daguerre's photographic process was a gift "free to the world".

Aug. 19, 1848 – The New York Herald broke the news to the East Coast of the United States of the gold rush in California (although the rush started in January).

Aug. 19, 1861 – The first ascent of Weisshorn, the fifth highest summit in the Alps, took place.

Aug. 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Klapsford and Charleston, Mo.

Aug. 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, Henry Halleck was promoted to Major General.

Aug. 19, 1862 – Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) enlisted in Co. F, 15th Ala. Infantry at Newton, Ala. At the time, the unit was serving with the Army of Northern Virginia; but Noah took sick almost immediately, missing out on the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) on Sept. 17, 1862. He got out of the hospital on Oct. 8.

Aug. 19, 1862 - Dakota (Sioux) warriors decided to bypass Fort Ridgely during an uprising in Minnesota. It was the third day of the uprising. It would be two months before Union troops would subdue the rebellion. More than 500 whites were killed and 2,000 Indians were captured. On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota warriors were executed for their role in the uprising.

Aug. 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, 300 men under the command of William Quantrill, popularly known as Quantrill's Raiders, left Blackwater Creek, Mo., heading for Lawrence, Kansas.

Aug. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, another skirmish occurred near Antioch Church, Ala.

Aug. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Milton, Fla.

Aug. 19, 1864 - Union General Ulysses S. Grant's attack at Deep Bottom Run, which began five days earlier, failed.

Aug. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Red Oak, the Flint River and Jonesborough in Georgia; at Smith's Mill, Ky.; at Hurricane Creek, Miss.; and at Berryville and on the Berryville and Winchester Pike in Virginia.

Aug. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, President Lincoln met with Frederick Douglass for a second time. He asked for Douglass's assistance in moving slaves north in case the war was unsuccessful.

Aug. 19, 1871 – Aircraft pioneer Orville Wright was born in Dayton, Ohio.

Aug. 19, 1879 – Charles Roberts, who was in the Monroe County (Ala.) Jail on murder charges, led a jail break involving five inmates around 3 p.m. Roberts apparently used a bar of iron that he broke from the wall of his cell to pry the large iron bolt from the lock of his cell, made his way into the hallway between cells, found the keys to the other cells and released J.W. (G.W.?) Collins, Jeff Powell, Tom Riley and George King. Roberts later claimed that he paid a black jail inmate named Sandy five dollars for him to use a long string with a hook on the end to get the keys and opened the cells.

Aug. 19, 1880 – R.F. Wallace was commissioned as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerk.

Aug. 19, 1886 - A heavy wind and rain storm blew from the southwest on this Thursday evening, according to The Monroe Journal.

Aug. 19, 1895 – Outlaw gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, who lived for about 18 months in Pollard, Ala., was shot to death by off-duty policeman John Selman Sr. in the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas.

Aug. 19, 1896 - Army Pvt. Andrew E. Snow of Uriah, Ala., who died on Jan. 11, 1919 from disease during World War I at Fort Logan H. Roots, Ark., was born.

Aug. 19, 1900 – French author and adventurer Gontran de Poncins was born in Southeast France.

Aug. 19, 1902 – Poet Ogden Nash was born in Rye, New York.

Aug. 19, 1905 – Capt. Charles William “Steamboat Charlie” Locklin Sr. passed away at the age of 77 at his residence at Perdue Hill, Ala. and he was buried at McConico Cemetery with Masonic honors conducted to Alabama Lodge No. 3. He was a prominent warehouse clerk, steamboat captain, planter and trade company president. He was known as "Captain" because of the steamboats that he owned and operated. His line of steamers traveled the Alabama River between Mobile and Montgomery, carrying goods and passengers. During the War Between the States, the Confederate government chartered his steamers. They transported Confederate troops and munitions between Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama. Although Captain Locklin was an owner of several river steamers, the only one named in family papers is the St. Nicholas, which the Northern Army burned during the War Between the States. Born on Oct. 15, 1827, he was buried in the McConnico Cemetery at Perdue Hill.

Aug. 19, 1905 – A brand new Munger system steam ginnery plant was put into operation on this Saturday at the Kyser-Betts Mercantile Co. in Burnt Corn, Ala. The plant could turn out 20 finished bales of cotton per day.

Aug. 19, 1909 - The Philadelphia Phillies were rained out a Major League record tenth consecutive day.

Aug. 19, 1914 – Capt. J.C. Cheney and Montgomery Advertiser cartoonist Frank M. Spangler were guests of C.P. Deming and John Cunningham at the Country Club in Evergreen, Ala.

Aug. 19, 1914 – Bertha Johnson of Conecuh County, Ala. accepted a position as telegraph operator with the L&N Railroad and was believed to be the youngest female telegraph operator on the railroad at the time.

Aug. 19-20, 1916 - J.M. Stapleton, who was teaching at the Grimes school house, spent this Saturday and Sunday at Roy, Ala.

Aug. 19, 1917 - Team managers John McGraw and Christy Matthewson were arrested for breaking New York City's blue laws. The crime was their teams were playing baseball on Sunday.

Aug. 19, 1919 – Afghanistan gained full independence from the United Kingdom.

Aug. 19, 1919 - In a break with conventional practice, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson appeared personally before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to argue in favor of its ratification of the Versailles Treaty, the peace settlement that ended the First World War.

Aug. 19, 1921 - Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers recorded his 3,000 career hit.

Aug. 19, 1921 – “Star Trek” TV series creator Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas.

Aug. 19, 1926 – Evergreen’s baseball team was scheduled to play Atmore in Brewton on this Thursday afternoon. These teams met in one of the best games seen in South Alabama on Thurs., Aug. 12, in Atmore, which resulted in a 2-2 tie. That game went 11 innings and was full of thrills and good plays throughout. The game at Brewton on Thurs., Aug. 19, was to be hard fought and was expected to attract the largest crowd of the whole season. Fans from all nearby towns, as well as large delegations from the contending towns were expected to be in attendance at the game.

Aug. 19, 1930 – Memoirist Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his 1996 book, “Angela’s Ashes.”

Aug. 19, 1932 - Jones Wylie Thurmond won the Conecuh County checker championship. The Castleberry bank president won the title late on this Friday with a 25 to 20 victory over Haskew Page in the finals. The new champion, who was jocularly accused of playing checkers for a living and being a banker on the side, had previously beaten Ira Price, 10 to 1, and Forrest Castleberry, 15 to 13, to win his way into the finals. In a team match in Castleberry on Aug. 23, Castleberry easily defeated Repton, principally through the effective playing of Page. The Repton team which made the trip over was composed of G.W. Reid, W.R. Boulware, James Stacey and “Bo” Long.

Aug. 19, 1934 – Luverne’s baseball team captured the Central Alabama League second half title by beating Evergreen, 4-3, in Evergreen, Ala.

Aug. 19, 1934 – The creation of the position Führer was approved by the German electorate with 89.9 percent of the popular vote, and Adolf Hitler was approved for sole executive power in Germany as Fuehrer.

Aug. 19, 1941 - Alabama author James Agee's and Walker Evans' book “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” was published.

Aug. 19, 1945 – During the August Revolution, Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh took power in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Aug. 19, 1946 - William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was born in Hope, Arkansas.

Aug. 19, 1951 - The St. Louis Browns sent a midget to the plate in the bottom half of the first inning against the Detroit Tigers. Eddie Gaedel, wearing the number 1/8 and standing only three feet, seven inches tall, walked on four consecutive pitches and was then replaced by a pinch-runner.

Aug. 19, 1957 - The New York Giants Board of Directors voted to move the team to San Francisco in 1958.

Aug. 19, 1957 - The Rev. Clayton C. Pruette, 53, of Columbiana, former pastor of the Frisco City First Baptist Church, died at a Birmingham hospital on this Monday at 4 a.m. following a short illness.

Aug. 19, 1958 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz was born in Ontario, Canada. He went on to play for Southern Cal and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Aug. 19, 1960 - The Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik 5 into Earth orbit, with two dogs (Belka and Strelka), 40 mice, two rats and a variety of plants. They became the first living organisms to safely return from space.

Aug. 19, 1964 - The first American tour by the Beatles began in San Francisco, Calif. The tour would cover 26 cities.

Aug. 19, 1965 – The Monroe Journal reported that workers had turned the future site of the Claiborne Lock and Dam into an unrecognizable place in about three months. H.N. Rogers & Sons Co. of Memphis, Tenn., contractor for the portion of the project for excavating the lock area and constructing embankments on the east side of the river, had been working two shifts of men, about 22 men in the daytime and about 15 men at night, since the first of May. An official of the company said during the previous week that about 250,000 yards of dirt had been moved since work was started.

Aug. 19, 1965 – The Monroe Journal reported that, although the season would not open until Sept. 9, football was evident at Monroe County High School where light workouts were being held twice daily. Coach Ronald Dees and assistant Terry Wilkerson were expecting the new Tiger team to be improved over 1964’s 5-5 campaign, but as of Aug. 19 point, only a “fair” tag could be placed on the Tigers. But a number of opposing coaches disagreed and rated the 1965 edition at MCHS as a top contender for the county and Pine Belt Conference. Top players on MCHS’s team that year included Steve Abrams, Butch Andress, Kennon Ballard, Shelton Bayles, Johnny Brannon, Roger Brown, Bobby Colquett, George Duncan, Olen Dunkin, Danny Ikner, Ronnie Martin, Frank McCreary, Randy McDonald, John McKnight, Tommy McMillen, Mike McMillon, Phillip Owens, David Pearson, Benny Ray Powell, John Sawyer, Mike Segers and Curt Wideman.

Aug. 19, 1968 - A Harris survey indicated that 61 percent of those polled were against calling a halt to the bombing in Vietnam.

Aug. 19, 1970 - Cambodia and the U.S. signed a military aid agreement worth $40 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1971.

Aug. 19, 1971 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Coach Wendell Hart was concentrating on the front line in pre-season drills as his Evergreen High Aggies prepped for their season opener on Sept. 3 with traditional rival Atmore in Atmore. Hart had 29 boys working out and expected several more in the next few days. The squad was not only short-handed, but very shallow experience-wise. Only five lettermen from the 1970 club were back for duty that fall. Returning lettermen were Frank McMillian, Wavey Ausby, Mike Turner, Robert Johnson and Alvin Lee. The veteran coach said he was well fixed in the backfield with a number of swifties ready to carry the mail. However, he had yet to find linemen of adequate heft and quickness to assure a winning season. The team’s schedule that season was follows: Sept. 3, at Atmore; Sept. 10, Open; Sept. 17, v. Monroeville; Sept. 24, v. Butler; Oct. 1, at Greenville; Oct. 8, v. W.S. Neal; Oct. 15, v. Luverne; Oct. 22, at Niceville; Oct. 29, v. T.R. Miller; Nov. 5, at Andalusia; Nov. 12, at Geneva.

Aug. 19, 1971 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Airman First Class Billy L. Tolbert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Otis A. Tolbert of Evergreen, had arrived for duty at Thule Air Base in Greenland. Tolbert, a security policeman, was assigned to a unit of the Aerospace Defense Command, which protected the U.S. against hostile aircraft and missiles. A 1965 graduate of Evergreen High School, the airman received his B.S. degree in social science from Troy State University.

Aug. 19, 1972 – Jim Oliver of Castleberry, Ala. brought the first bale of the 1972 cotton crop to the Belleville Gin on this Saturday. Whit Burt was manager of the gin, and the bale was ginned by Percy Baggett, ginner. Net weight of the bale was 440 pounds while the seed weighed 690.

Aug. 19, 1972 - Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern attacked U.S. pacification techniques of applying “massive firepower and free-fire zones and [clearing] six million people out of their homes.”

Aug. 19, 1972 - In South Vietnam, the Nguyen Hue Offensive continued with major fighting near the northern district capital Que Son and neighboring Fire Base Ross.

Aug. 19, 1976 – M.N. Lloyd’s Water Mill near Red Level in Covington County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Aug. 19, 1986 - Twenty people were killed in a car bomb explosion in Tehran. Iran initially accused "American agents," however they later executed an "Iraqi agent."

Aug. 19, 1995 - There was to be a benefit softball tournament, Class C & D teams, on this day at the Evergreen Municipal Park. All proceeds were to go to offset surgical expenses of a local teammate. Pre-registration was to begin at 8 a.m., first pitch at 9 a.m. $100 entry fee per team, deadline for entry fee was Aug. 16. Trophies were to be given. Kim Baker or Kim Gary were among the organizers.

Aug. 19, 1995 - Bobby Thigpen of the Chicago White Sox got his 40th save of season and became the eighth and fastest to record 40 saves in a season.

Aug. 19, 1996 - Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins tied Lou Gherig by hitting his 534th career double.

Aug. 19, 1998 - The first piece of the 351-foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Aug. 19, 2002 - John Madden debuted on "Monday Night Football."

Aug. 19, 2003 – A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq killed the agency's top envoy Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 other employees.

Aug. 19, 2004 - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig received a contract extension through 2009.

Aug. 19, 2005 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity football team was scheduled to play a preseason game against W.S. Neal in Evergreen, Ala. at 7 p.m. Arlton Hudson was Hillcrest’s head coach.

Aug. 19, 2009 – A series of bombings in Baghdad, Iraq killed 101 and injured 565 others.

Aug. 19, 2010 – Operation Iraqi Freedom ended with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Aug. 19, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  5.55 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 21.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 65.45 inches.

Notes: Today is the 231st day of 2017 and the 60th day of Summer. There are 134 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.

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,420 miles down and 359 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 15 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday, five more on Wednesday and five more yesterday (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 1,420 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 359 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 79.8 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s overall journey to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom in Mordor, I’m on the sixth day/night of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is March 1/2 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on the day before, at Mile 1405, which was where Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum found themselves in a gully with a muddy floor and with sides dwindling to meer banks.


Two miles later, at Mile 1407, the stream they’re following begins to wind and the sky grows cloudy. Two miles later, at Mile 1409, the banks become reduced to mossy mounds. Two miles later, at Mile 1411, the stream gurgles over a stone shelf into the bog and there are dry reeds all around. Mists rise above the Dead Marshes just ahead and on both sides. They can see the Mountains of Mordor far ahead, wreathed in fog and lit by the dawn. It’s here that they take a brief rest.


Two miles later, at Mile 1413, the path that Gollum is leading them on winds through the mists as they make their way between “pools and soft mires.” They also note the absence of birds. Five miles later, at Mile 1418, around 10 a.m., the mists begin to rise and they stop for the day in a reed thicket. This marks the end of their travels on the fifth day/night of this leg of their journey.


Later that afternoon, March 1, they pick themselves up and continue on. I’ve traveled two miles past this point to Mile 1420 and the next significant miles stone, Mile 1421, comes one mile later when they will enter the heart of the Dead Marshes.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,779 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


The folks who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound very familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,779 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.