|The USS Tirante in 1944.|
16 YEARS AGO
MARCH 26, 1998
“Woman’s disappearance has authorities baffled: A North Carolina family has retained the services of a private investigator in an effort to find a missing woman whose car was found in Conecuh County.
“Betty Lou Dougherty, 57, of Asheville, N.C. was last known to have visited Alabama. Her car was found in a wooded area near Evergreen.
“Law enforcement authorities and her family are concerned following the discovery of her rental vehicle, a red 1997 Pontiac Sunfire, on Feb. 17, 1998. The car was found more than eight miles off a paved road in the Range community. The car still contained her personal belongings. No contact has been made with the subject.
“Dougherty was last seen on Jan. 21, 1998 after visiting Montgomery, Gulf Shores, Tuscaloosa and Hamilton areas of Alabama at the end of January. She has been reported missing to the local sheriff’s department of Buncombe County in Asheville.
“Dougherty is described as a white female, who stands 5-foot-3 inches tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. She has brown hair, blue eyes and uses reading glasses. She is currently on medication for mild seizures and her voice has a trembling quality.
“The family has retained The Jones Company, a private investigating fire in Asheville, in effort to locate her. There is a $500 reward for information which leads to her whereabouts.”
31 YEARS AGO
MARCH 22, 1984
Weather reporter Earl Windham reported .06 inches of rain in Evergreen on March 12, 1984. He also reported a high of 85 degrees on March 17 and a low of 33 degrees on March 11.
“The Eighth Annual Sparta Academy Talent Show and Contest is shaping up to be one of the best ever. Always one of the biggest nights of family entertainment, a full slate of continuous music and song will be the order of the night beginning at 7 p.m. March 30.
“It was announced Wednesday morning that country and western superstar Hank Locklin will perform at the Talent Show.”
“Pvt. Tracy L. Hawsey, son of Jimmy A. and Glenda Hawsey of 113 Desplous St., Evergreen, Ala. has completed an ammunition storage course at the U.S. Army Missile and Munitions Center and School, Redstone, Arsenal, Ala.
“During the course, students learned to ship, store and issue ammunition and military explosives under battlefield conditions.
“He is a 1983 graduate of Evergreen High School.”
“Kenneth Ausby, son of Mrs. Dot Floyd of Evergreen, graduated from the Southwest Alabama Police Academy at Faulkner State Jr. College in Bay Minette on March 2. While in attendance there he maintained a high record and upon graduating was listed in the top four of his class.
“He served his internship with the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department and has been a member of the Evergreen Police Department since July 1983.”
46 YEARS AGO
MARCH 27, 1969
“Miss Evergreen will be crowned Saturday night: The 1969 Miss Evergreen will be crowned Saturday night to succeed Miss Patricia Montgomery, 1968 Miss Evergreen. The Band Boosters will stage the annual pageant at Evergreen City School Auditorium at 7:30. A total of 45 young ladies are competing for the coveted Miss Evergreen title and will be seen during the pageant.”
“Grady Leon Ryals, 67, of Pensacola died March 17 in Pensacola Baptist Hospital. A native of Lenox, Mr. Ryals had lived in Pensacola for the past 40 years. He was a member of Escambia Masonic Lodge 15 and was a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason.”
“Specialist Five Lowell Jernigan, instructor, Atomic Demolition Munitions Systems Branch, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Division, Dept. of Engineering and Military Science, U.S. Army Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, is presented the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. Lt. Col. William F. Halley, deputy director of D-E&MS, makes the presentation as Jernigan’s wife, the former Diane Daniel of Monroeville, looks on. Jernigan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Jernigan of Evergreen and is a 1964 graduate of Evergreen High School. He attended the University of Alabama.”
“Paul Newman just bugs the Establishment as COOL HAND LUKE – Friday, Saturday, Sunday – PIX THEATRE.”
61 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1954
“L&N Station Will Be Retired At Deer Range: The L&N Railroad Co. has been granted permission by the Alabama Public Service Commission to retire and dismantle its combination passenger and freight station building at Deer Range in Conecuh County.”
“The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce is now soliciting dues for its second year of operations which runs from March 15, 1954 to March 15, 1955. The local organization of business and professional people has had a very successful first year under the leadership of President Bob Kendall.”
“Smoke was still pouring from the Western Auto Store when this picture was made by Owlen Philyaw last Monday. The fire threatened the West Front Street business district momentarily and did considerable damage to the Western Auto Building. Evergreen volunteer firemen did an efficient job of bringing the blaze under control. M.B. English is owner of the store and the building is owned by the W.K. Horton Sr. Estate.”
“Local Navy Man Visits Rotterdam, Netherlands: ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands (FHTNC) – While serving aboard the submarine USS Tirante, Earl T. Holman, engineman first class, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Holman of Evergreen, Ala., is scheduled to spend a four-day liberty in this storied land of picturesque canals and wooden shoes starting March 14.
“The Tirante will call here on her first stop after crossing the Atlantic. Her home port is New London, Conn.”
76 YEARS AGO
MARCH 23, 1939
“Harvey McGraw Held In Killing: Ten hours after he had robbed a filling station, kidnapped two men, shooting and killing them, later robbing his victims, Harvey McGraw, 20, former Conecuh County youth, was placed in jail at Milton, Fla., facing several charges, each of which carried the death penalty.
“Early last Friday morning, McGraw held up Jaxon’s Filling Station, a short distance south of Georgiana on Highway 31, and as two customers, Clifford T. Mann, 28, and Charles D. Wilkinson, 23, both of Montgomery, stopped to purchase gasoline, he forced them to drive away in their automobile with him, heading south on Highway 31. After traveling about eight miles across the Florida line on the Milton, Fla.-Brewton, Ala. highway, the car is said to have run out of gasoline, where upon the kidnaper ironically forced Wilkinson to tie and bind Mann with a rope, afterward being tied by McGraw, faces together in which position they were found dead, shot several times in the heads and chest.
“McGraw was paroled from Kilby prison in April of last year after serving less than a year of a sentence of from a year and a day to five years on a first-degree burglary charge, being convicted in October 1937 in Escambia Circuit Court for the robbery of W.F. Dantzler of Brewton.
“Officers stated he admitted buying a pair of rubber gloves, some cartridges and adhesive tape in Evergreen shortly before committing the crimes.
“Immediately after McGraw left Jaxon’s Filling Station, with his victims, the proprietor sounded the alarm over the radio transmission set of the Highway Patrol at the filling station. The message was then relayed to Alabama and Florida authorities.
“A Milton, Fla. taxicab driver heard the report given out by the Florida officials and without delay notified the officers that he had carried a fare answering the robber-kidnapper’s description, to the Pensacola depot and that the passenger stated he was going to catch an eastbound train. A sheriff boarded the train at Chipley, Fla., where he recognized and arrested McGraw. McGraw attempted to draw a pistol on the officer, who knocked it out of his (McGraw’s) hands.
“The offenses committed by McGaw, each carrying death penalty, were two first-degree murder charges, three armed robbery and two kidnapping charges.”