Sunday, August 16, 2015

Posse formed in Monroeville in August 1895 to search for 'Railroad Bill'

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of Editor and Proprietor Q. Salter, published at least four, possibly five, editions 120 years ago during the month of August 1895. Known issues were dated Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 22 and Aug. 29, and can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. More than likely, an edition was also published on Aug. 15, 1895, but that edition is not among the microfilm files at the library. What follows are a few news highlights from the four editions that are among the microfilm records. Enjoy.

AUG. 1, 1895

Claiborne Dots: Mr. Hope Moore has about completed this warehouse and cotton sheds, which were destroyed by fire.

Axle Items: Prof. C.C. Sellers’ School will reopen on the 1st of September. Those wishing to educate or prepare their children for college would do well to patronize him.

Turkestan: A very interesting protracted meeting closed at the Indian Springs Baptist Church last week. Rev. A.P. Majors was efficiently assisted by Rev. I.S. Ridgway.

Dear Journal – It is with pleasure that I furnish this bit of good news: We have just closed a precious meeting of six days at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, resulting in 32 accessions to the church, 23 by experience and baptism, five by letter, two under the watch care of the church and two restored. The church is very much revived and at work. Rev. Dr. W.A. Locke did most of the preaching and in an effective way. To God be all the praise. - S.P. Lindsey.

Inter County Institute: Editor Journal – I am requested by Mr. S.C. Jenkins, Superintendent of Education for Wilcox County to ask you to say to the teachers of Monroe that Prof. E.R. Eldridge, president of the Troy Normal School, will hold one of his famous inter-county institutes for white teachers at Camden from August the 8th to 14th and will offer teachers a rare opportunity to learn something new about their profession. - W.A. George, Perdue Hill, July 26.

AUG. 8, 1895

Active work on Monroeville’s new Academy building has been in progress for several days past by a good force of workmen. The foundation will be laid in a few days after which the structure will rise with magical rapidity. The trustees say the building will be ready by the date of opening of the Fall term.

Monroeville Mail Robbed: On last Friday the Monroeville mail was robbed two miles east of Belleville. The horse, vehicle and riffled mail pouch were found concealed in the bushes on the roadside, but the driver is missing, and it is presumed that he either robbed the mail himself or was foully dealt with by the real robber. There were no indications of a struggle having taken place, hence the former theory is the more probable. The mail pouch contained eight registered packages, all of which were broken open and their contents extracted. The rumor is rife that “Railroad Bill” has been traced to that vicinity and it is believed by some that he committed the robbery.

A ripple of excitement was created in town on Wednesday by the rumor that the negro desperado “Railroad Bill” had been seen a mile or two south of this place. Two children of Mr. Chas. Busey were returning home from the performance of some errand, when they came upon a negro lying under the shade of a tree near the pathway leading through a dense wood, with his rifle beside him. On seeing the children, he bounded to his feet and took precipitate flight, leaving a piece of his clothing on the ground. The children hurried home and reported to their father what they had seen, who from their description of his arms and personal appearance suspected that it might be the notorious outlaw. He came at once to town and gave the alarm. An armed posse was quickly raised and set out on the hunt. After thoroughly scouring the woods without discovering any trace of “Railroad” the posse returned to town.

Mr. Wm. H. Louiselle and brother of Manistee gave this office a pleasant call on Monday. Mr. Louiselle informed us that work on the Bear Creek Mill Co.’s railroad is progressing satisfactorily. They expect to have the western division in operation in the course of a few weeks.

County Court was in session on Monday, his Honor N.J. Stallworth presiding and Solicitor W.G. McCorvey representing the state. Only a few unimportant cases were tried.

Cotton Opening: The first open boll of cotton reported in Monroe this season was left at The Journal office on the 6th inst. by Mr. Frank Salter, an energetic young farmer living near town. Mr. S. is laboring industriously to get the first bale on the market.

New Firm: Hudson and Roberts is the name of a new mercantile firm in Monroeville, successors to H.E. Hudson. The new firm has opened up in the building formerly occupied by L.R. Wiggins & Son, with a large stock of goods and solicit the patronage of the purchasing public. Both gentlemen are well and favorably known, Mr. Hudson as our efficient county treasurer and Mr. T.L. Roberts as a popular salesman and capable young businessman, formerly with Sowell & Son and lately with W.S. Wiggins Sr.

AUG. 22, 1895

Work on the new academy building is progressing steadily.

Prof. N.J. Ivey, A.B., of Fork this county, has been elected as principal of the Perdue Hill High School.

Mr. W.S. Moore, one of Claiborne’s enterprising young farmers, is entitled to the medal for the first bale of this year’s (cotton) crop in Monroe. He has gathered and shipped three bales.

Monroe Lodge No. 485 holds its regular communication Aug. 28, 1895, 10 o’clock a.m. Prompt Take Notice Brethren and be with the lodge at River Ridge, Ala. – A.H. Johnson, Sec.

Nero: A protracted meeting began at Poplar Springs church yesterday conducted by the Pastor, Dr. W.A. Locke.

Messrs. H.E. Hudson and T.L. Roberts went to Mobile last week to select their Fall stock.

The Fall term of Circuit Court for Monroe County will convene on Oct. 21st – just two months hence.

Dr. J.M. Wiggins is enlarging and otherwise improving the interior of his store building on the north side.

Mr. Gass of the firm of Junger and Gass, Mobile, dealers in musical instruments, was in Monroeville this week in the interest of his house.

Mr. J.A. Savage, Secretary and General Manager of the Monroe Mill Co., was in town on Saturday. He reports work progressing satisfactorily at the mill.

AUG. 29, 1895

The free scholarship in the Bailey Springs University has been awarded to Miss Lillie L. Lambert of Perdue Hill, Miss Mary J. Leslie, River Ridge, alternate.

Miss Imogen Russell went to Evergreen a few days since to be present at the opening of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School, she having accepted the election as a member of that institution. The school will open on Monday, the 2nd proximo.

Col. B.L. Hibbard left on Wednesday for Birmingham to attend the Midsummer Carnival of United Confederate Veterans, given under the auspices of Camp Hardee, of which he is a member. The Colonel is on the program for an address on the theme, “Fraternal Patriotism.”

Work on the Monroeville Academy building goes bravely on. The outside walls have already been put up and the materials for the interior work are on the ground and being put in place as rapidly as possible. The dimensions of the building are 36 x 60 feet, which will afford ample room for present necessities. When completed, the building will present a very attractive and creditable appearance.

The Dixie Mill Co. have completed and put in operation eight miles of logging railroad from their mill at Sullivan eastward in the direction of Monroeville.

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