|Eugene A. Smith|
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of Editor and Proprietor H.R. Hood, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of August 1855. Those issues, which were dated Aug. 7, Aug. 14, Aug. 21 and Aug. 28, 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. 7, 1885
Commissioners court will convene Monday.
Mr. F.A. Seymour is having another room added to the post office building.
Several cases went before the County court last Monday.
Rev. James Lapsley of Brewton has been holding a series of meetings at the Presbyterian church at this place.
A protracted meeting is in progress at the Methodist church at this place. Rev. Mr. Moore is begin assisted by Rev. J.W. McCann and Rev. J.A. Moore.
Perdue Hill – The Perdue Hill Dramatic Club will give an entertainment on the evening of the 14th inst. Two splendid plays will be presented, one of which will be the “Persecuted Dutchman.” This club has splendid histrionic talent, and all those who attend may expect to witness a most excellent entertainment.
MARRIED – On the 29th ult. at the residence of the bride’s mother near Monroeville by G.W. Salter, Esq., Mr. T.F. Royster and Miss Addie Jones.
For Sale – A new Mosler & Bemanan fireproof safe combination lock and in perfect condition on easy terms. Apply to Mr. F.A. Seymour.
When you visit Mobile, don’t fail to call and examine the large, well selected and stylish stock of clothing at Brisk & Jacobson.
We want 500 new subscribers to The Monroe Journal by Sept. 1st in this county.
AUG. 14, 1885
Perdue Hill – Mr. J.S. Hines of the Hill has been appointed by U.S. Marshal Allen, deputy marshal for this county.
Glendale: A little colored boy, son of Isaac Ingram, aged seven or eight years, was drowned on Saturday last, while bathing with other small boys at Mosley’s Mill. None of the others were large enough to render any assistance.
The Evergreen Star last week appeared in an enlarged form and in a handsome new dress. It is now a seven-column paper and is printed in large new type, and not only presents a neat typographical appearance, showing superior mechanical taste in its make-up, but its editorial, local and news columns give evidence of journalistic ability. In its new form, the Star is a credit to Evergreen and to Conecuh County and it deserves a liberal and unstinted support. We wish our esteemed contemporary continued prosperity.
The Caterpillar is putting his destructive work in many portions of the county. The cotton of Col. John Lyon, who early sent to this office a worm found on his plantation, has been ragged, and like reports come from other points in the county. A great many are using poison with good results. Capt. C.W. Locklin of Perdue Hill, who is a close observer and a good planter, says that the late heavy rains and winds destroyed, he thinks, all the first worms that made their appearance in his cotton.
AUG. 21, 1885
A Good Change – The mail route from Repton to Bermuda, established July 1, last, has been changed to this point. Monroeville now has direct communication with the young and growing town of Repton three times a week. The mail leaves here Monday, Wednesday and Friday 3 p.m. and makes close connection with the incoming train at 7:30. This is a most excellent change in the interest of the general public and our citizens are indebted to their distinguished representative in Congress, Hon. J.T. Jones, for it.
River Ridge – Mr. John McDuffie and family, also Miss Laurie McDuffie, are visiting Turnbull.
Mr. W.B. Jones has again opened his beef market at this place where he will be pleased to furnish his customers with choice beef at lowest market price. Market will be open every Saturday morning at 6:30, northeast corner, Public Square.
We hear that Mr. W.A. George has accepted the position of principal of the school at Monroeville, and that he will move to that place the early part of the fall to enter upon his duties. – Camden Home Ruler.
Dr. W.A. Patrick of Monroeville, a promising young dentist of Monroe County, called on his friends in Evergreen this week. – Evergreen Star.
Buena Vista – Mr. H.B. Rikard, a live and enterprising young merchant at Buena Vista and Mr. A. Rhode of the same village, were in town Wednesday, and they report crops to be good, though they were injured some by the dry weather.
AUG. 28, 1885
Prof. Eugene A. Smith, state geologist, was in Monroeville Wednesday, and is at present in the county, examining our many marl heds, &c. He is an energetic worker and a competent officer.
Two Desperate Negro Scoundrels – One of the most daring attempts to secure their liberty ever recorded in the criminal annals of the state was made last Friday by George Fountain and Richard Kyle, two colored boys confined in the county jail, one charged with larceny and the other burglary. Sheriff Burns had occasion to go to the jail in the evening, and opened one of the cell doors and went into the cell, as was his usual custom to look after the prisoners and see that everything was all right. As he turned to come out, one of the prisoners, Richard Kyle, threw a blanket over his head, and George Fountain jumped on him and attempted to choke him down. In the scuffle, Sheriff Burns got the blanket off his head and grabbed George and choked him to the cell floor, when Richard ran up and choked the Sheriff until he was forced to relax his hold upon George, and fell to the floor himself, exhausted for want of breath. They had all got out by this time in the hall of the jail, and the negroes becoming frightened attempted to drag Sheriff Burns in one of the cells and lock him up, but he recovered sufficient strength to prevent this, but Richard, who was pulling Mr. Burns while George pushed, himself got in the cell, when Mr. B by accident or intention drew the iron door to him and locked Richard in. He was then left alone in the hall with George who seeing himself alone grappled desperately with Mr. B who was then quite exhausted; in the desperate struggle that followed, was struck in the head by George with a paint bucket and fell to the floor senseless. George repeated the blows upon the prostrate officer’s head till the door of the picket had been cut almost down by the excited crowd who had heard the noise and cries and had come to the jail to discover through crevices in the pickets the terrible drama being enacted within. The door was soon cut open, and the excited crowd rushed in. The negro crept in one of the cells and hid himself. Mr. B was at once brought out in an unconscious condition and carried to his room and a physician sent for. When Dr. Packer arrived, Mr. B had sufficiently recovered to tell who had attacked him, and state also that he had been robbed of his pocket book and some three or four dollars of loose change which he had in his pocket; but he was still faint and weak from the shock and loss of blood. He was covered with blood and was still bleeding profusely. The doctor dressed his wounds, which he did not regard as necessarily serious, as there was no fracture. Everything that could be done for Mr. B to relieve his sufferings was done by ready and willing hands, and at this writing, Thursday, is getting along as well as his physician has expected.
The negroes were brought out of the cells and questioned about the difficulty. They didn’t deny what they had done, but denied having taken Mr. B’s pocketbook. A few blows in the face from an excited bystander made George Fountain disgorge the pocketbook and three silver dollars in change. There was a great deal of feeling among the crowd, and there was at one time some danger of the negroes meeting summary punishment for their terrible crime.