Thursday, February 4, 2016

100-year-old news highlights from The Conecuh Record from Feb. 1916

Matthew Kirkland grave in Castleberry.
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 February 1916.

In the Feb 3, 1916 edition of The Conecuh Record, editor J. C. Whitcomb reported that “W.R. James is engaged in taking a census of the town of Evergreen. The work is being done under a recent act of the legislature, and Mr. James was appointed by the municipal authorities to do the work. It is an actual or general census and serves the two-fold purpose of determining the present population and the number of children within the school age.”

Readers that week also learned that “the county commissioners were in session this week” and that a “partial eclipse of the sun occurred at 9:30 Thursday morning.”

Also that week, “Chief Jones created a ripple of excitement Monday by shooting a dog on the streets,” and that “a cold wave struck Evergreen Wednesday morning. The thermometer registered 18 above Thursday morning.”

Whitcomb also reported that week that the “negro school building located opposite the cemetery, was burned to the ground Wednesday night. The origin of the fire is unknown.”

Also that week, it was reported that “J.T. Williams has been appointed trustee of the Second District Agricultural School at Evergreen. The selection will give general satisfaction.”

Whitcomb also let readers know that “State Highway (Director) Keller will hold a road institute at Brewton on Monday, the 7th of February. Evergreen will be visited on the afternoon of the same day.”

In the Feb. 10, 1916 edition of The Record, Whitcomb told readers that “owing to circumstances beyond our control, we are late in going to press this week, will endeavor so to be on time in the future.”

Readers that week also learned that “Uncle Matthew Kirkland, one of Conecuh’s most highly respected citizens, died at his home near Castleberry last Saturday. He was 89 years old and is survived by a large number of children and grandchildren.”

Also that week, it was reported that “D.J. Foshee of Red Level was in the city on Saturday last,” and that “Mrs. Richard W. Whitcomb was taken to Mobile on Monday for a surgical operation.”

Readers that week also learned that “11,615 automobile licenses have been sold by the probate judges of the state since Oct. 1, 1915. Conecuh County is well represented in this number.”

Whitcomb also let readers know that week that the “pupils of the public school, assisted by the S.D.A. School Glee Club, will give a musical entertainment in the auditorium of the Agricultural School at eight o’clock p.m. Tues., Feb. 15. Admission 10 cents. A cordial invitation is extended to everybody.”

It was also reported that week that “only 4,753 bales of cotton were ginned in Conecuh County this week,” and that “E.L. Stallworth Jr. and Byron Northcutt attended the Sunday School Conference at Selma last week.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, readers saw that “Misses Francis Deming and Mamie Lou Smith represented the Baptist; Miss Pearl Wright, the Methodist; and Miss Ann Taylor, the Episcopal Sunday Schools at the Sunday School Conference at Opelika last week.”

In the Feb. 17, 1916 edition of The Record, readers saw the following political announcement – “James R. Kelley announces his candidacy for the office of Tax Collector. Mr. Kelley was born in Old Town Beat in this county 36 years ago and grew up with the sturdy boys of that section. His boyhood and young manhood was devoted to farming and he obtained a fair education in the public schools of his community and improved same by close application to reading and studying at home during leisure hours. He had the misfortune to lose one of his feet by having his leg severed between knee and ankle by a mowing machine, which greatly handicapped him as a farmer and he disposed of a portion of his farm and moved with his family to Evergreen where he has been engaged in blacksmith and woodwork business for the past five years.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, readers learned that “Mrs. Richard M. Whitcomb is reported to be recovering from her operation and will be at home within a short time.”

It was also announced that week that “a new lot of the Q.C. Cameo Rings for sale at Hugh’s Jewelry Store. They guarantee all the sets to stay in just as long as you wear the ring. Call at once and see them. – HUGHE’S, The Jeweler.”

Readers that week also learned that “T.D. Black and E.W. Taylor of Local were in the city this week,” and “J.L. Foshee of Cohasset spent Monday in Evergreen.”

That week’s paper also included the following advertisement – “Wanted – Good wood choppers; also have to rent, four good tenant houses. Come quick. RILEY MILLING CO., Evergreen, Ala.”

In the Feb. 24, 1916 edition of The Record, it was reported that “both banks and the post office were closed Tuesday in observance of Washington’s birthday.”

Whitcomb also reported that week that “The Living Truth, a paper formerly published in Greenville, is to be re-established with V.R. Thagard as editor and A. Newberry manager.”

Readers that week also learned that “nearly 100 children at the Orphanage are down with the la grippe. Dr. Stallworth has the situation well in hand and thinks they will all recover.”

It was also reported that week that “the Wiggins hotel is being remodeled and decorated and when finished will do credit to the city.”

Readers that week also learned that “last Friday night the Fiddlers entertained the citizens of Evergreen at the courthouse. It was an enjoyable affair.”

Elsewhere in the paper, it was reported that “Dr. and Mrs. Betts spent several days in Montgomery to see the play, ‘The Birth of a Nation.’”

Whitcomb also reported that “a party of railroad officials accompanied by several Evergreen gentlemen spent several days hunting near Brooklyn this week.”

It was also reported that “Mayor Ivey is still improving the streets of Evergreen,” and that “Evergreen has a variety of weather, hot one day and cold the next day.”

That week’s paper also included the following advertisement – “FOR SALE: Three four-month-old registered Berkshire Bears, best blood strain in the country. Price $15 each. Dr. E.L. Stallworth.”

Also that week, Whitcomb reported that “Capt. Cheney arrived in Evergreen Monday and will make his home here.”

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 March 1916 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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