Thursday, June 4, 2015

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant from June 1915

It’s that time of the month again, time to take a trip down memory lane and review all of the interesting things that took place in Conecuh County 100 years ago, way back in June 1915.

In the June 2, 1915 edition of The Evergreen Courant, editor and owner George W. Salter Jr. reported that “the commencement exercises of the agricultural school have been in progress this week. Commencement this year reminds one of the intense interest manifested on these occasions during the early history of the institution when the lamented Prof. Liner presided over it.

“Tonight at eight o’clock the graduating exercises will take place at the courthouse when another large crowd is expected to be present. After the delivery of the senior essays, Hon. S.H. Dent, congressman from this district, will deliver the annual address.”

Salter also let readers know that week that “the Arcade Theatre has been closed this week on account of the commencement exercises of the Agricultural school, but will run Monday, Thursday and Friday nights of next week.”

Also that week, under the headline “Telephone to Brooklyn,” readers learned that “Manager Jones of the local telephone exchange informs The Courant that the telephone to Brooklyn will be in operation by the 15th. This will be a great convenience to citizens of both Brooklyn and Evergreen.”

Also that week is was reported that “the new Croom building is now completed and is a very ornate structure. One section of the ground floor will be occupied by J.H. Dey and the second story has been nicely fitted up and will be used as a Phythian and Woodmen hall.”

Salter closed out the week by letting readers know that “the Bowles baseball team played against Skinnerton last Saturday. The result of the game being 17 to 12 in favor of Bowles. They will play again Sat., June 5, everybody invited.”

In the June 9, 1915 edition of The Courant, under the headline “Evergreen Grows More City Like,” Salter let readers know “that Evergreen is constantly taking on city ways is seen almost every day. The firm of Dunn Hardware Co. has for some weeks been using an automobile delivery truck, and now, Mr. Dunn informs us, an order has been placed by his firm for a modern automobile hearse, which is expected to reach here at an early date.”

That week’s paper also included a couple of big news items from Monroe and Butler counties.

Under the headline “1,600 Pounds of Dynamite Explodes,” it was reported that “information was received here this morning of the explosion of 1,600 pounds of dynamite in a warehouse of the Blacksher Warehouse Co. at Uriah, several miles from Atmore, Sunday afternoon. The shock was a terrific one and was felt and heard for miles around. Seven persons were injured, none fatally, by the explosion and debris which was scattered for some distance. The warehouse and two residences, small ones, were virtually destroyed by the shock from the high explosive. The cause of the explosion was not given.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, under the headline “Liquor Confiscated,” it was reported that the “Sheriff of Butler County captured and confiscated 80 cases of whiskey at a farm house near Greenville on Saturday morning. The liquor is said to have come from a Montgomery liquor dealer and was conveyed in two large touring cars. It was delivered to the home of W.F. Walker, but now reposes in the Butler jail.”

Salter wrapped up the week by letting readers know that “the local camp Confederate Veterans will meet at the courthouse at 10 o’clock on July 1” and that “Winton Deming, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Deming, graduated at the Barnes School in Montgomery last week.”

In the June 16, 1915 edition of the newspaper, under the headline, “Man Disappears Mysteriously,” it was reported that “A.K. Williams, for some years an employee of the L.D. King Lumber Co., has been missing since last Saturday night, and his whereabouts are unknown to his family and associates. His object in leaving is also puzzling as he had the confidence of his employers and his domestic relations are said to have been of the happiest. It is stated that he boarded the southbound train on Saturday night, but where he went or where he is now, no one seems to know. His wife is left with a small boy and she is greatly distressed over his unceremonious departure.”

Also that week, readers learned that “the first cotton blooms of the season in this county came from the farm of W.T. Chapman, near West Side, on Friday last, June 11. Mr. Chapman says he has three acres and the weed is of luxuriant growth and now full of fruit. He says he has seen very little signs of weevils.”

Salter also let readers know that “Mr. T.A. Gantt, manager of the Arcade Theatre, requests us to announce that the Trey O Hearts has been discontinued on account of insufficient patronage. He also stated that he would have a vaudeville show in connection with pictures Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights of this week.”

Salter closed out the week by letting readers know that “there will be a picnic at the Varner bridge on Sepulga river July 3. Baseball in afternoon. Refreshments will be served. Everybody cordially invited to come and bring a well filled basket.”

In the June 23, 1915 edition of the paper, under the headline “Hot Wave,” Salter reported that “a hot wave very similar in intensity to the record-breaker of last June has been on for several days. Saturday the thermometer of the local weather bureau registered 99; Sunday and Monday the 100 mark was reached and yesterday 104 was recorded. It is thought the hot wave was broken last night when a terrific wind and rainstorm passed over.”

Elsewhere in the paper that week, under the headline “Wind Storm,” it was reported that “a windstorm of considerable intensity accompanied by a rain passed over about 10 o’clock last night doing considerable damage to property and crops. The front and back end of the livery stable building of R. Millsap Jr. was demolished.”

That week’s paper also let readers know that the following slate of new officers had been elected at Greening Masonic Lodge, No. 53, in Evergreen: J.T. Amos, Worshipful Master; T.B. McDonald, Senior Warden; Byron Tisdale, Junior Warden; H.H. Floyd, Treasurer; J.A. Smith, Secretary; J.W. Hagood, Senior Deacon; L.J. Mixon, Junior Deacon; F.N. Hawkins, Tyler; H.L. Tucker and S.L. Tisdale, Stewards; G.E. Mize, Chaplain; E.C. Barnes, Marshal.

Elsewhere in the paper, under the headline “County Masonic Conference,” readers learned that “the annual meeting of Conecuh County Masonic Conference will be held with Dean Lodge, No. 112, at Brooklyn on July 29 and will last three days. Bro. J.F. Hattmer will be in charge of the work. A full attendance is desired. G.W. Mixon, W.M., County Conference.”

Salter closed out the week by letting readers know that “three interesting games of ball were played here on Wednesday and Thursday last between the local team and Andalusia. Evergreen took the first game by a score of 8 to 2. A double header was played Thursday, Evergreen winning the first by 3 to 1 and losing the second 4 to 5. Quite a goodly number of Andalusia fans were present.”

In the June 30, 1915 edition of The Courant, under the large, sensational headline of “TWO MEN CONFESS TO MURDER, ROBBERY AND ARSON,” it was reported that “two men, John Salter and Robert Watkins, on Saturday afternoon made full confession of the brutal murder of Mrs. Martha Lassiter, the attempted murder of Wiley House and the robbery and burning of Mr. House’s home, three capital offenses committed at the same time on last Wednesday night.

“This is one of the foulest and most horrible crimes ever committed in this county, and a record of speedy justice rarely if ever equaled in this state will be meted out to the heartless assassins.”

Also that week, readers learned that “Melvin Hines (of Belleville) has gone to Kansas seeking employment in the harvesting of the wheat crop,” and “J.G. Barrow now has charge of Hotel Evergreen and, with his family, is welcomed back as a citizen of Evergreen.”

That week’s paper also included the following “Notice” – “Picnic at Tomlinson’s Mill Sat., July 3. Boating, bathing, public speaking, cool shady park. Come, bring your bathing suit, your wife, children, your friends, your basket and we’ll make it the biggest day in this eventful year 1915.”

Salter closed out the month of June with the following announcement – “Merchants and business houses of Evergreen yesterday signed an agreement to close their doors on July 5 in observance of the Fourth, which comes on Sunday. No business will be transacted on that date and people from out of town should be governed accordingly.”

Well, I guess that’s all that space will allow for this month. Next month, I plan to take a look at the events of July 1915 in Conecuh County. Until then, if you get the urge to research the county’s past yourself, take advantage of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library’s excellent selection of old newspapers on microfilm and other resources. The library’s friendly and courteous staff will be more than happy to get you started.

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