The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of manager Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of November 1885. Those issues, which were dated Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20 and Nov. 27, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.
NOV. 6, 1885
Sheriff Burns went to Greenville last Tuesday and returned Wednesday with a prisoner.
Mixon, the Artist, will be in town with his Gallery during court. Those who want good work at a reasonable price will remember this.
Large Potatoes – A card was received from Bell’s Landing last week on which was written – At D.W. Davis’ store, potato, perfectly formed, weight nine pounds, N.J. Stallworth.
This is a whopper – the potato, we mean; but as Col. Nick didn’t send it along with the card, we are not going to swear by it. But Mr. T.A. Nettles of Kempville brought to us, a potato weighing eight pounds, which we can swear by, as it is in our possession. These are certainly large potatoes and are hard to beat.
Monroeville – Beef now sells in this market for four and five cents.
Judge Sowell has bought nearly 200 bales of cotton this season.
T.L. Sowell, esq., is having some very neat improvements made on the front of his law office.
Mr. S.W. Yarbrough has had the Monroeville mill repaired, and is now ginning cotton and sawing lumber. This will be good news to our people who are wanting lumber.
The Journal and The Greenville Advocate are now clubbed together for the sum of $3 and those subscribing for the two together will be entitled to a chance in The Advocate’s ninth annual drawing or distribution of presents among its subscribers.
NOV. 13, 1885
A Brutal Murder – News of the dastardly and cowardly murder of James A. Stewart in his store at Ireland in this county on the night of the 6th, has reached this place.
The facts of the murder stated to The Journal by Sheriff Burns, who happened to be in the neighborhood at the time of the terrible crime, are substantially as follows:
“Mr. C.W. McClure, acting as a deputy sheriff, had, during the day, levied on a negro’s cotton at the instance of Mr. Stewart, to whom the negro was indebted for advances, &c., and while sitting in the store at night in front of the door, Mr. S. next him and more immediately in front of the door, with Mrs. Glenn’s son, a small boy, immediately opposite, a gun was discharged in the darkness near the door and Mr. Stewart fell forward shot through the head and died without speaking.”
There is no clue to the murderer. This is the second assassination that has occurred in this neighborhood within the past 12 or 18 months and the third or fourth in the county. Not one of the cowardly assassins has been discovered and punished. Is it not time to call a halt? Or shall the good and law-abiding citizens sit quietly down and permit the cowardly assassins to stalk abroad in their midst till he becomes so emboldened in his security that no man’s life is secure? Let the grand jury next week go to work in earnest to discover the murderer of Stewart and bring him to justice, and search out evidence that may bring other murderers to the bar of justice and quit hunting up little frivolous offenses involving the county in debt, and overlooking the graver crimes. Devote a little more time to the murderers and a little less time to the innocent amusement of honest people.
NOV. 20, 1885
That Horrible Murder – The following are additional and the correct particulars of one among the most diabolical murders recently committed in this county, as told by one who knows but requests The Journal to withhold his name:
“Stewart,” said our informant, “had just kindled a fire, taken down a box of cigars, given Deputy Sheriff McClure one, and taken one himself, and sat down in a chair, lit his cigar, and commenced smoking.
“It was a white man’s and not a negro’s cotton Deputy McClure had levied on in behalf of Mr. S., as was erroneously stated last week.
“They were talking about the cotton. McClure remarked that ‘Tatum to get the cotton would have to make a bond.’
“I don’t believe he can do that,” remarked Stewart.
“Just then Stewart suddenly turned his head toward the door, probably attracted and startled by the click of the gun of the assassin, lurking in the dark; he opened his mouth as if to speak; but just then the report of the gun reverberated through the lonely woods and with one bound Stewart threw himself back over the chair and fell to the floor, riddled with buckshot, dead.”
The coroner’s inquest was held the next day, but no facts were developed directly implicating any one. The grand jury is now investigating the case.
The remains were carried to Montgomery and interred in the Catholic cemetery in that city.
NOV. 27, 1885
The Alleged Murderer – Of Stewart, Charlie Tatum, was arrested by Sheriff Burns Monday and safely lodged in jail.
The Entertainment - Given at the Monroeville Institute recently, by the Perdue Hill Dramatic Club for the benefit of the Confederate soldiers’ monument, was one of the happiest and most pleasant events of the season, and the performance richly deserves all the kind things said of it by the audience who were profuse in their praises.
The house was crowded with an intelligent and appreciative audience, and the performance throughout reflected credit upon the histrionic talent of the several members of the Club, and more especially the ladies who understood and acted their parts almost perfectly.
Rev. B.H. Crumpton – We take pleasure in republishing the following kind reference to this distinguished divine well known in Monroe from The Evergreen Star of last week:
The re-election of this gentleman as pastor of the Baptist church for the ensuing year will give great satisfaction not only to the members of that church, but to the entire community. Mr. Crumpton is greatly beloved here, and the results of his labors as a minister will never be known until the consummation of all things. He is an earnest, indefatigable worker, an eloquent and persuasive preacher and a sincere Christian. His place in the capacity of pastor of the Baptist church would be difficult to fill, no other minister could fill is so acceptably to all concerned as he.