50 YEARS AGO
JAN. 13, 1966
Johnson earns combat badge: U.S. ARMY, Viet Nam (AH-TNC) – Pfc. Calvin S. Johnson, whose wife, Shirley, lives on Rt. 2, Box 79, Evergreen, Ala., was awarded the Army’s Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Dec. 28, for serving in combat with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam.
Johnson, a machine gunner with the division’s 12th Cavalry, has been with the division since its arrival in South Vietnam’s central highlands last September.
The 19-year-old soldier completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Johnson, Range, is a 1964 graduate of Repton High School.
BURT SELLS ANGUS BULL: David L. Burt Jr., Evergreen, recently sold an Aberdeen-Angus bull to Nathaniel McMillan, Repton.
Here are the 1966 leaders for the Evergreen Kiwanis Club who were recently installed. Delma Bowers was re-elected treasurer and Horace Deer won his secretary post again. Otis Bell is the new president, and on his left is Lamar Rogers, vice-president.
SALTER OFF TO VIET NAM: Fireman Apprentice Frederick W. Salter, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Salter of Rt. 2, Evergreen, is back on station off the coast of Viet Nam aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga, after a nine-day visit to Yokosuka, Japan. The visit gave Ticonderoga’s crew and air squadrons a rest after two months of operations with the Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea.
65 YEARS AGO
JAN. 11, 1951
John H. Brock succeeds W.D. Lewis as Sheriff of Conecuh County Mon., Jan. 15. Mr. Brock defeated Mr. Lewis in a close race in the Democratic Primary last May. Nomination in the primary in this county is equivalent to election as there is no active Republican organization here.
Mr. Lewis was elected to the office of sheriff in 1946, actually taking office in January 1947. He is a veteran of both World Wars and was commanding officer of the local National Guard Battery “C” when it was mobilized for World War II. He held the rank of major when discharged.
Mr. Brock is a Navy veteran of World War II. He has farmed and operated a cotton gin in this county as well as being for some time a lumberman. He served for some months as a deputy under Sheriff Lewis.
Conecuh County’s own Battery “C” 117th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st (Dixie Division) will be mobilized here next Tues., Jan. 16. The local guardsmen will go into active service with the United States Army on that date along with the rest of the 31st Division.
Battery “C” will mobilize at the Evergreen Armory. It marks the second federal mobilization of the local guard unit in only a little over 10 years. “C” went on active duty in November of 1940 and was moved shortly thereafter to Camp Blanding, Fla.
The battery is commanded by Capt. John C. Holman, who was executive officer under Capt. (later Major) Dave Lewis when the battery mobilized for World War II.
80 YEARS AGO
JAN. 9, 1936
Barney Blair Death Brings Four Arrests: Barney Blair, 28-year-old Conecuh County farmer, was killed Sunday afternoon with a pistol bullet through the center of his forehead and four of his neighbors are held in connection with the death.
Blair was killed at the home of Riley Merritt, 10 miles southwest of Castleberry, and Daniel Kent confessed to Sheriff Moore that he did the shooting. Kent, however, claimed that it was an accident and that a pistol which he had in his hands went off when he was attempting to tighten a crew with his knife.
In addition to Daniel Kent, officers also took into custody as possible accessories, his brother, Ben Kent; Riley Merritt and his father, Travis Merritt.
All four are in the county jail on murder charges and a date for a hearing has not yet been set.
Advertising of bids for the construction of an overpass where U.S. Highway No. 31 crosses the L&N Railroad in Evergreen is now being held up pending the adjustment of right-of-way matters, which are expected to be cleared up soon.
The city has been called upon by the state highway department for more right-of-way than had previously been obtained and steps to obtain it, some of which may require condemnation, are now being taken.
95 YEARS AGO
JAN. 12, 1921
Historic Home in Castleberry Burned: The Downing home in Castleberry was completely destroyed by fire on Thursday last about noon.
This was probably the most historic home in Conecuh County. According to old residents who have personal knowledge of it, the house was constructed about the year 1858 by Judge Henderson, who was judge of probate while the courthouse was at Sparta and before the railroad was completed. It was in course of construction but the track had not been laid. The site for the depot had been selected and Judge Henderson determined to build his home opposite the station.
The structure was in fine state of preservation and would have lasted many more years.
Veterans Elect Officers: At a recent meeting of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee, the following officers were elected: J.T. Fincher, commander; Jas. Alexander, Lt. Com.; Geo. W. Northcutt, adjutant; W.J. Tomlinson, ensign. W.L. Stallworth was elected chaplain to fill vacancy caused by the death of Rev. D.J. Wright.
An airplane was with us again last week for several days, but airplanes are coming to be so common about Evergreen that folk have ceased to suspend business as they formerly did and run out to see them.
A big gun, weighing 161 tons, passed through on Friday night enroute to Pensacola and a number of citizens got a glimpse of it. The train carrying it was required to travel at a slow rate of speed owing to its extreme weight. The gun, it is said, is superior to the one used by the Germans during the late war to bombard Paris 76 miles away.
110 YEARS AGO
JAN. 10, 1906
Hon. B.B. Comer will deliver a speech at the courthouse on the 15th inst., being the first day of court, in the interest of his candidacy for governor.
Notice Veterans: I am advised that Col. J.M. Falkner Chapter U.D.C. will hold a public meeting at the courthouse on Friday evening, Jan. 19, at 7:30 o’clock, commemorating the birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee, at which time crosses of honor will be presented to all veterans entitled thereto. I earnestly request all Veterans of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee to be present to receive these crosses. – P.M. Bruner, Commander.
The regular meeting of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee, U.C.V., was postponed until next Monday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m.
Work on the bank at this place (Castleberry) is progressing satisfactorily and in a short while will be complete. The contract was awarded to J.P. Baggett. The building will be made of concrete blocks.
The special term of the circuit court of this county will convene on next Monday at noon. The more important cases on the criminal docket set for trial at this term are the following:
The two cases against Jack Thompson, charged with murder, are set for trial on Monday, the 22nd.
The two cases against Dave Adams, charged with murder, are set for trial on Tuesday, 23rd.
The cases against Wade Oliver and Mack Knight, each charged with murder, are set for trial on the 24th.
The cases against Crawford Jackson and Henry Smith, each charged with murder, are set for trial on the 25th.