Sunday, October 21, 2018

Old newspaper excerpts from The Monroe Journal newspaper of Monroe County, Alabama

Excel's Lee Roy Jordan

OCT. 16, 2008

The Monroeville Fire & Rescue Department held its annual banquet on Thurs., Oct. 9, at the Vanity Fair Golf & Tennis Club. This is the 79th year the department has held an award banquet at the club.
Michael Lambeth was selected as this year’s Firefighter of the Year. He thanked his fellow firefighters, who selected him for the honor. During an earlier meeting, firefighters cast ballots to select the recipients of each award.

J.U. Blacksher’s offense rolled up 417 total yards and the defense gave up just 72 to key a 42-6 win over Class 1A, Region 1 rival J.F. Shields Friday night at Uriah.
Blacksher’s senior fullback Isaac Nichols rushed for 148 yards on 16 carries, caught two passes for 33 yards and scored four touchdowns to help the Bulldogs improve to 6-1 on the season and 6-0 in the region standings.
(Other standout Blacksher players in that game include Seth Baggett, Trey Brooks, Alex Brown, Cameron Cobb, Wykein Dean, Chace Godwin, Logan Gorum, Chris Snowden, Ethan Taylor and Frank Taylor. Top Shields players included Travarrius McArthur and Damien Stallworth. Tim Moorer was head coach at Shields.)

Plane crashes Tuesday: A private plane piloted by E.J. Tenney of Monroeville crashed in a wooded area about 10 miles southeast of the Monroe County Airport Tuesday afternoon. Conecuh County Emergency Management Director Johnny Brock said the cause of the crash is under investigation. LifeFlight and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department participated in the search.

OCT. 20, 1983

Conecuh Junior Miss: Kim Watson was chosen Conecuh County’s 1984 Junior Miss at the annual pageant held Oct. 8 at the Evergreen City School auditorium. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Watson of Bermuda, Kim is a senior at Monroe Academy. The local pageant was sponsored by the Pilot Club of Evergreen, and Kim will represent Conecuh County in the state Junior Miss competition. She also reigns as Monroe County’s Agriculture Queen.

Monroe Academy celebrated its homecoming Friday with a 35-22 victory over Pickens Academy in Monroeville, bringing the Volunteers’ 1983 winning streak to six in a row.
Vol senior quarterback Keith Langham had his best game of the season Friday. He combined his passing and running for a total of 222 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on a 60-yard run from scrimmage and threw touchdown strikes of 31 and 14 yards.
(Other top Monroe players in that game included Jody Brannon, Tim Carter, Keith Dees, Wally Dunn, Billy Elliott, Donald Foster, Chuck Jordan, Steven Simmons, Don Smith and Troy Wilson. Rob Kelly was Monroe’s head coach.)

Private First Class Kenneth L. Wright of Monroe County is participating in REFORGER ’83, a NATO-sponsored military exercise in western and norther Europe. He is with the First Cavalry Division of Fort Hood, Texas, a major component of the annual military training program in Europe. The division is expected to return to the Texas post later in October.

OCT. 16, 1958

Brewton Native Named Frisco Baptist Pastor; Reception Is Planned: The Rev. Chester H. Jernigan, a native of Brewton, has been named as new pastor of the First Baptist Church of Frisco City.
Rev. Jernigan comes to Frisco City from Gonzales, Fla., where he served as Baptist pastor for four years.
Mose Dangerfield, music and educational director at the church, has been serving as acting pastor until Rev. Jernigan’s acceptance of the pastorate.
A reception honoring Rev. and Mrs. Jernigan and Mr. and Mrs. Dangerfield will be held Sunday afternoon from four until five o’clock in the educational building of the church.

Excel Squad Edges MCHS Tigers, 12-7: County rival Excel edged past the Monroe County High Tigers, 12-7, in a heated contest Friday night.
(Top players for Excel in that game included Sonny Burkett, Lee Roy Jordan and Paul King. Top players for MCHS included Johnny Johnson, Jim Lazenby, Branchard Tucker and Ronnie Wiggins.)

Charles Locklin Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Locklin Sr., 323 Pineville Road, Monroeville, joined the Regular Army this week under the Graduate Specialist Program, Master Sergeant Ben Phillips, US Army Recruiter for the Monroeville area, announces.
Locklin, a 1958 graduate of Monroe County High, received a pre-arranged assignment under the Graduate Specialist Program before he enlisted. He is scheduled to enter the Army’s Medical Specialist School upon completion of basic training.
Initial processing for his enlistment and Graduate Specialist Program assignment was accomplished by Master Sergeant Phillips, Brewton Army Recruiting Station Commander, who comes to Monroeville on Tuesday of each week.

OCT. 19, 1933

TIGERS TAKE GAME FROM URIAH FRIDAY: The Monroe Tigers went to Uriah last Friday and defeated the J.U. Blacksher team, 6-0. This is their first victory of the season. On Fri., Oct. 20, the locals go to Atmore for a game against the Atmore eleven.

EXCEL: The Fiddlers Convention was a complete success. The merchants of the surrounding districts were very liberal in their contributions. A large crowd was on hand, and the musicians did not let them down. All of the music was fine. The contributions of Kenneth Lier, a traveling musician, was especially enjoyable, and he was called back time and time again.

C.B. Stenson Dies After Week’s Illness: Cleveland Bertrum Stenson, 22, died in a Selma hospital Saturday morning following a week’s illness of influenza. Complications had set in and he had been removed from his home in Tunnel Springs to Selma.
Mr. Stenson was the son of Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Stenson of Tunnel Springs. He was graduated from the high school at Beatrice and the Marion Military Institute. He was a member of the Baptist Church at Vredenburgh, a young man of good habits and high ideals, as well as an ambitious and industrious worker. Mr. Stenson held a responsible position with the Vredenburgh Saw Mill Co. at their logging camp.
Exactly two weeks before his death, Mr. Stenson was married to Miss Virgie Mae Cobb of Midway by whom he is survived.
Funeral services were held at three o’clock Sunday afternoon at Tunnel Springs.

OCT. 16, 1883

Personal - Died at his home in Monroe County, 10 miles south of Pine Apple, on the 10th inst., J.S. Bizzell, in the 73rd year of his age. Mr. Bizzell, the father of our townsman, Jas. I. Bizzell, was well and favorably known in this community, and notwithstanding his death was unexpected as he had been ill for quite a while, many will be pained to hear this intelligence. – Pine Apple Gazette.

Claiborne – The Selma Times of the 12th inst. gives a very interesting account of a “double wedding” in that city on the 11th, one of the grooms being Mr. R. Hundly Agee, an old Claiborne boy, and a son of Hon. N.A. Agee, one of the most intelligent citizens in Monroe. Mr. Hundly Agee was married to Miss Julia Graham of Selma, and her sister and Dr. Goldsby King were united in the bonds of matrimony at the same time.
In referring to Mr. Agee, the Times says: Mr. R. Hundly Agee has for several years past been a favorite young businessman and is most highly regarded by the many who know his character and capacity. He holds an important position in the office of the Real Estate Loan & Banking Association.
The same paper, in alluding to the two young ladies, says they “were among Selma’s most esteemed, accomplished and attractive daughters.” We congratulate our friend, Hundly Agee, on his good fortune, and wish him a long life of unalloyed happiness.
Mr. Hundly Agee is one of several brothers, all of whom are making their mark as businessmen and trustworthy gentlemen. One of them, Pelham, recently graduated at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and another brother is in business in Montgomery, where he is rapidly coming to the front as one of Montgomery’s most useful young business men.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

George Singleton talks of section of Conecuh County road that crossed sacred Indian burial ground

George Buster Singleton

(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Do the spirits of the past guard that which was theirs?” was originally published in the Nov. 12, 1992 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

I know that Halloween is over, and the spirits and goblins have been put to rest until next October. But during the past two or three weeks, several people have approached me and asked the same questions. None of these people knew that I had been asked by others.

The question, though not worded the same, was “Do you believe that the spirits of the past guard or protect that which was rightfully theirs in real life?” Each time the question was asked, I was told about certain happenings that led these people to investigate these strange circumstances.

One story involved a certain section of road in Conecuh County where several serious vehicle accidents had occurred. These accidents resulted in several serious injuries or deaths.

Story has it that when the road was built, it was surveyed across an ancient Indian burial ground. As the machinery plowed up and moved much of the dirt for the road, there was no regard for the sacred burial ground. Those who know and believe in the supernatural seem to think that these accidents happened because the spirits who slept there were disturbed.

Just today, I ventured to the Franklin community. Stopping at the old store, I became involved in a conversation with a group who were discussing a strange light that had been seen in the area for many years.

One present in the group had just seen this strange light only a couple of days before. He reported seeing the unusual light moving along the top of his pasture fence.

Since I have been in Monroe County, I have had no less than 20 people tell me similar stories of seeing this strange phenomena in the area of Franklin. Could this be the spirit of someone seeking a lost friend or loved one who might have disappeared for whatever reason? It has to be something; all that had seen this strange sighting would not tell the same story if it wasn’t true.

In many instances, when being told about a sighting of the supernatural I have been asked not to use the name of the individual who told me.

A few days back, as I sat in my favorite stop atop Crazy Nancy Mountain, this vehicle pulled up and stopped. Out of a pickup truck stepped an elderly gentleman whom I didn’t know.

Strangely, he knew my name; after asking me if I was the one who wrote the weekly article in The Monroe Journal, he relayed this strange event to me.

This fellow went on to tell me that he liked to get up before daylight and go down to the river and fish during the early morning hours. He stated that a few weeks back, he decided to come down to the park, near where the ferry is located, and do some fishing.

As he approached the ferry landing, there in the early predawn light he saw an old woman dipping water from the river with a small pail. He stated that she was tall and appeared to be very slim. She wore a long dress and had a bonnet on her head. He also mentioned that she had a long stick in her left hand, one that might have been used for a walking stick. He said that he noticed especially her long, snow-white hair that fell down her shoulders from under her bonnet.

He could not understand why this woman would be down here on the river at such an early hour in the morning, dipping up river water. He said he thought she might be with a group camping nearby, but he could not understand why she was dressed as she was.

As he opened the door of his truck to ask if something was wrong or if he could assist her, he realized that he was dealing with a spirit or a ghost; the old lady in the long dress and bonnet had disappeared from sight.

I asked him if he had been frightened, and he said that he had been very frightened. He did not understand how she could disappear so quickly. One second she was standing there, pail in hand, and the next second she was gone, vanished into thin air. I told him that he had seen Aunt Nancy. He had never heard the story of Nancy Mountain, the area where we now sat.

Hardly a week passes that someone doesn’t call me or stop me on the street to relate a story of some strange happening. I have come to realize that these people are serious and want to be heard. They want to relate their stories to someone who won’t take lightly these happenings, one who will listen and believe.

Since early childhood, I have been extremely interested in the study of the supernatural and have devoted many, many hours in investigations of the unusual. I believe we must approach this dimension, if one wishes to call it that, with an open mind.

I know for a fact that one doesn’t have to be ignorant or lack a certain amount of education to believe. Some of the most educated and talented people I have known believe that there among us walk the spirits of another time.

In this world of fantasy and make believe that we now live in, we should recognize and investigate that which cries out from the distant past to be remembered. A better knowledge of this dimension would greater enhance our lives, and we could live together on this planet in closer harmony and understanding.

The mysteries of our past cry out to tell us something. It’s best that we stop and listen…

(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 to Vincent William Singleton and Frances Cornelia Faile Singleton, during a late-night thunderstorm, on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served as a U.S. Marine paratrooper in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, 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 June 28, 1964 to Dec. 14, 1987. He was promoted from the enlisted ranks to warrant officer in May 1972. For years, Singleton’s columns, titled “Monroe County history – Did you know?” and “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. It’s believed that his first column appeared in the March 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal. 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.)

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Oct. 19, 2018

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Today in History for Oct. 18, 2018

Hall of Fame football coach W.C. Majors.

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 Bowen, 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.

A brief history of 'Bigfoot Calling' contests in Conecuh County, Alabama

Steven Bradley, left, is champion 'Bigfoot Caller'

The 2nd Annual Conecuh Sausage Festival Bigfoot Calling Contest is set for this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Evergreen Regional Airport, and a $200 grand prize will go to the Grand Champion. Cash prizes will also go to the second and third-place finishers of what could be a potentially large field of contestants.

Saturday’s slate of judges will include Conecuh County Probate Judge-elect Steve Fleming, local Bigfoot expert Ashley McPhaul and local Bigfoot witness Wesley Acreman. I’ve helped judge the two previous Bigfoot Calling contests in Conecuh County – one at last year’s Sausage Festival and another at Baggett’s Chapel in March – and I can tell you from personal experience that Saturday’s judges will have their work cut out for them. It costs nothing to sign up for the contest, so anyone who wishes to compete is encouraged to participate.

Many in the reading audience will remember that the Bigfoot Calling Contest at last year’s Sausage Festival was held on Oct. 21 and was the first such contest in the history of the county. Contestant John “Little John” Davis captured top honors, winning a $500 grand prize and a “Yeti Stick” hand-crafted by Ricky Upton of Excel, the brother of Evergreen City Councilman Luther Upton, who MC’d the contest.

Tim Stewart of Greenville won the $100 second-place prize, and Tony Kyles came in third. Bigfoot witness Carl Pugh and Benjamin Whatley received honorable mention. Other contestants in the contest included Katie Brand, Jacob Baggett, Dakota Coleman, Gary Coleman and Ricky Hicks. Judges in that contest included McPhaul, local Bigfoot skeptic Stacey Turner Middleton and myself.

Earlier this year, on March 3, McPhaul and I judged a Bigfoot Calling Contest during the 13th Annual Baggett’s Chapel Wild Game Supper. There were seven contestants in the youth division, and there were five contestants in the adult division. Contestants in the youth division included Will Acreman, Tristan Bradley, Hunter Nichols, Robert Farish, Bucky Farish and Brady Busby. Adult competitors included Sue Brown, Bobby McInnis, Steven Bradley, Dennis McKinley and Will Driver.

In the adult division, Steven Bradley was named the Grand Champion Bigfoot Caller, and Dennis McKinley finished a close second. Hunter Nichols took home top honors in the youth division, and Tristan Bradley came in second. All of the other contestants were honorable mention winners in my book.

Special guests at that event included Don McDonald and Rogan Bird, who are stars of the TV show “Killing Bigfoot.” Don, who lives in Mississippi, had been to the Conecuh County area a number of times before, investigating claims of Bigfoot sightings, and it was good to see him again. It was also a pleasure meeting Rogan, who is from Louisiana.

In the end, I hope that there’s a big turnout for the Bigfoot Calling Contest this coming Saturday. I’m not a judge this time, but I’ve been told that on Saturday, the judges will be behind a screen where they can hear, but not see, the contestants. That should add a new wrinkle to the contest, and it’ll be interesting to see if someone new “comes out of the woods” to take top honors in this year’s contest.

Drew Skipper takes sole possession of first place in local football contest

The seventh weekend of the college football season wrapped up on Saturday, and we also wrapped up another weekend in our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest.

This week, when the dust settled after Saturday’s slate of games, Drew Skipper found himself in sole possession of first place. Brett Loftin, Mark Peacock, John Johnston and Jeremy Matheny were locked in a four-way tie for second place.

Justin Mixon, Travis Presley and myself were tied for sixth place while Calvin Casey and Ricky Taylor were tie for ninth place. Vanessa Sales and Josh Klaetsch were tied for 11th place overall.

With that said, if you didn’t do so great in the contest last weekend, don’t sweat it. As you’ve read here before, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve got seven more weeks to go, and the standings will no doubt change a lot during the next two months.

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By my count, we’ve got six games this weekend featuring SEC teams, and four of those are head-to-head conference games. For what it’s worth, here are my picks in those games. I like Alabama over Tennessee, Auburn over Ole Miss, LSU over Mississippi State, Kentucky over Vandy, Missouri over Memphis and Arkansas over Tulsa.

Last week: 4-2, Overall: 54-12

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Most folks in our neck of the woods are giving football their complete attention this time of year, but the Major League Baseball playoffs have been more than a little entertaining so far.

As of Monday, the National League and American League Championship Series were still ongoing with both series tied 1-1. In the NLCS, the Brewers and the Dodgers were scheduled to play Game 3 on Monday night in Los Angeles, and in the ALCS the Red Sox and Astros were scheduled to play their Game 3 on Tuesday afternoon. Both of these series are best-of-seven, so we’ve still got a ways to go before we know who will represent each league in this year’s World Series.

In the National League, I’m sort of pulling for the Dodgers because they were the team that eliminated Atlanta. I figure if the Dodgers go all the way, then at least the Braves can say they were put out by the eventual World Series winners. My 10-year-old is pulling for the Brewers because that was the Little League team he played on last year.

In the American League, I’m torn between the Sox and the Astros. I’ve always been a big Red Sox fan, even going back to the days when they couldn’t win with a winning machine. Not only are they Stephen King’s favorite team, but they are also the arch-rivals of the New York Yankees.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve always kind of liked the Astros, going back to the days when Nolan Ryan used to pitch for them. I got to see the Astros play in person in Houston a few years ago, and that only increased their esteem in my eyes.

In the end, if I’ve got to pick a match-up, I’d like to see the Dodgers and Red Sox in the World Series with the Sox taking it in seven games.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Oct. 17, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Ginning in Wilcox County: There were 7,378 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Wilcox County from the crop of 1918 prior to Sept. 25, 1918, as compared with 3,256 bales ginned to Sept. 25, 1917. – C.S. Dale, Special Agent.

Representatives from Taylor Field, Montgomery, are in Camden, arranging for a landing place for airships, which will soon make their appearance here.

Mrs. Dannie M. Aldridge, after a long illness, passed away Thursday night at the residence of her son-in-law, Dr. William Ezell, 2 Montery St. She had resided in Mobile for the past 10 years and was born at Lower Peach Tree, Ala., March 16, 1858. She was a daughter of the late K.A. Mayer of Mobile. Mrs. Aldridge was a member of the Government Street Methodist Church. The body will be sent to Lower Peach Tree for interment.

Prof. Bryant of Pineapple is at home, having dismissed school on account of prevalence of influenza.

Mrs. Tom Pruitt of Pine Hill died during the past week with influenza. The family have the sympathy of many friends throughout the county in their bereavement.

DEATH OF DR. J.C. GODBOLD: On Oct. 3, Dr. John C. Godbold died at his home at Blacks Bend, aged 70 years. The deceased was born at the ancestral home March 1, 1848 and has always resided there. He grew up as a farmer and later became a physician. In 1880, he was happily married to Miss Sallie West of Camden, who died some years ago.
Dr. Godbold was a good husband and father, a true Democrat and physician and citizen. He was a member of the Methodist church. In addition to caring for his own family, he raised seven orphan children. His interment was in Blacks Bend cemetery; the funeral rites were performed by Rev. Grant of Bells Landing. Neighbors and friends gathered to perform the last tokens of esteem to the deceased and many beautiful floral gifts were tokens of respect for Dr. Godbold.

Sheriff McDowell was called to Jacksonville, Fla. the past week on account of the serious illness of his brother, E.L. McDowell.

Mr. Claud Dale of Caledonia has been critically ill with pneumonia but is reported somewhat improved now.

In view of the present influenza conditions and on the advice and request of the public health authorities, the date for holding the annual meetings of Red Cross Chapters in the Gulf Division has been postponed until the 4th Wednesday in November. If further postponement should be necessary, due notice will be given.

Mr. J.K. Cammack of Columbia, Texas was in Camden recently. He lived in Wilcox until about a year ago when he moved to Texas. He says the crops around his vicinity are good but farther north they were complete failures.

Mrs. E. Bonner was called to Montevallo the past week by the illness of her daughter, Elise, who has the influenza. She is reported getting along nicely.

NOTICE: All previous permits for hunting privileges on my land are withdrawn. – Mrs. S.J. Erwin.