Thursday, September 3, 2015

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

French 'His Night Out' poster
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 September 1915.

In the Sept. 1, 1915 edition of The Evergreen Courant, editor and owner George W. Salter Jr. reported, under the headline “Kills Friend While Hunting,” that “while out hunting on Cedar Creek on Saturday morning last Ernest Frazier shot and killed his friend, L.A. Palmer, mistaking him in the underbrush for a turkey, it is said. Deceased is survived by a wife and several children. The tragedy is greatly deplored and by no one more than Frazier who made the fatal mistake.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, Salter reported that “Uncle Jake Franklin, residing near Brooklyn for many years, died on Aug. 27 at the age of 107 years. Citizens residing in the vicinity where he died state that they believe his age is given correctly.”

Readers that week also learned that “Oscar Baxley, a member of the Brewton Military Co., was accidentally shot in the foot by a fellow soldier Thursday last while at the encampment in Montgomery and died from the effects of the wound the following day.”

Salter also advised readers that week to not “forget to see the ‘Wildfire,’ featuring Lillian Russell, at the Arcade (Theater) Thursday night, admission 10 and 20 cents. Charlie Chaplin, the funniest man in the world, in ‘His Night Out,’ Monday night, admission five cents and 15 cents.”

Salter also reported that week that “J.R. Myers of Owassa has been appointed registrar for this county. Under the new law, there is only one registrar for each county, instead of four as heretofore.”

In the Sept. 8, 1915 edition of The Courant, Salter reported that “Prof. L.H. Lewis, member of the Agricultural school faculty, arrived this week from his home in Blocton preparatory to the opening of the school.”

That week’s paper also included the following notice – “Members of Camp Wm. Lee, No. 338, will meet at the courthouse on the first day of October. Camp dues at five cents per capita for state reunion; all urged to attend or send dues in stamps to T.A. Jones, Adjutant. Failure to come or pay dues, may lose membership. By order of G.R. Boulware.”

Also that week, under the headline “At The Arcade Friday,” readers learned that “’Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch’ will be shown in five reels at the Arcade on Friday. Everybody who has read the book will be glad to see this picture. The show will open at five o’clock in the afternoon and 7:45 at night. Music will be furnished by the string band. Admission 10 cents and 20 cents.”

Readers that week also learned that “Aubrey Brown has recently established a drug business at Brooklyn. His numerous friends hope he will meet with success.”

Salter also reported that week that “County Court Monday had much the appearance of circuit court times. As a result of the days business, the county road crew was increased considerably.”

Readers that week also learned that the “Conecuh County teachers institute convened here Monday and will be in session probably until Friday. There is a fine attendance of teachers and the sessions quite interesting.”

In the Sept. 15, 1915 edition of The Courant, in news from the Effie community, it was reported that “two of the most interesting baseball games of the season were played between Holly Grove and Belleville Saturday. The first game was a tie, 6-6, and the second was, 4-5, in favor of Belleville.

“Burnie and Clinton Sanders attended the ball game at Belleville Saturday last and report plenty of dinner and a jolly time.”

Salter also reported that week that “probably the largest crowd that ever attended a session of commissioners court assembled here Monday. Most of them were here in the interest of improving public roads in various sections. All who cared to be heard were given a patient hearing.”

Readers that week also learned that the “contract was awarded by the commissioners court on Monday to Fowler & Watson, local contractors, for the construction of a road from Burnt Corn Creek to Bermuda and from the stage road to Repton.”

Salter also reported that week that “work on the state aid road has progressed to a point beyond the Stallworth mill site. When completed this will be one of the prettiest stretches of graded road in the county. It is 32 feet wide.”

In news from the Lenox community it was reported that “preparations are being made to complete the new school building at this place in which the state has liberally assisted.”

Salter also reported that week that “the price of cotton on the local market reached 10 cents yesterday.”

Also that week, readers learned that “the annual convention of the Conecuh County Sunday School Association closed this afternoon after a two days session in which a large number of Sunday schools of every denomination took part.”

In the Sept. 22, 1915 edition of The Courant, under the headline “Schools Open,” it was reported that “the Agricultural School and City School opened Thursday last.

“The Agricultural School starts off with a splendid enrollment of pupils. The outlook is for the largest enrollment in several years.

“The City School is full to overflowing. It was necessary to provide additional room and very cozy apartments have been provided in the old Baptist church where the first and second grade will be taught.
“Both schools are now getting down to real business and a good year is promised.”

Also that week, Salter reminded readers that “three weeks from today Conecuh’s first county fair will open and the prospects now are for a fine display of livestock, poultry, agricultural products, canned goods and ladies fancy work.”

Readers that week also learned that the “first car load of Conecuh County corn was shipped this week by F.L. Riley Dept. Store. This scores one big point in favor of diversification.”

Salter also reported that “cotton reached 11 cents yesterday and farmers are selling as rapidly as they get it ginned. This price will bring much of last year’s cotton from hiding places.”

Readers that week also learned that the “World Film Co. will present ‘The Daughter of the People,’ featuring Laura Sawyer, at the Arcade Theatre on Friday. On Wednesday, Mary Pickford will be shown in ‘The Eagle’s Mate.’”

Salter also reported that week that “D.C. Sawyer is spending a few days here with old friends. Mr. Sawyer was for many years agent of the express company here, but some dozen years ago he removed with his family to Montgomery and some years later to Chattanooga.”

In the Sept. 29, 1915 edition of The Courant, it was reported that the “opening of the Conecuh County High School was quite encouraging, the attendance on opening day being 52 percent better than on the corresponding day last year, and new students are coming in every week.”

In news from the Mt. Zion community, it was reported that the “Mt. Zion public school opened Monday, Sept. 30, with W.F. Chandler of China as principal and Miss Stella Mason of Wilcox County, assistant. Forty pupils were enrolled that day and the number has increased to 48.”

Salter also reported that “cotton has been selling on the local market for 12 cents and continues to play around that figure. Farmers who have any to sell are elated.”

Readers that week learned that the “Evergreen friends of Prof. C.M. Dannelly congratulate him upon his recent appointment to the important position of chief clerk in the office of state superintendent of education.”

It was also reported that “Capt. E. Downing of Castleberry was here a few days ago and was greatly pleased over the record made by the Conecuh Guards at Montgomery encampment. He said two prizes were offered and his company took both, that the deportment of his men was very highly complimented by the commanding officers. He is justly proud of the record of his company and is to be congratulated.”

Salter also reported that week that “Blake Webb, a seven-year-old inmate of the Orphans Home, died on Monday and his remains were shipped to Flomaton for interment. The little fellow had been a sufferer for a long while.”

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 October 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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