The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of publisher and editor Q. Salter, published four editions 120 years ago during the month of February 1896. Those issues, which were dated Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 and Feb. 27, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.
FEB. 6, 1896
River Ridge Items: Our village is in a quiet boom. The Presbyterian church under construction, when finished, will be one of the nicest in the country.
Mexia Dots: Work has begun on the large new store of Mr. D.W. Davis, and the contractor says he will have it completed in a short time. It is quite an addition to our town. We are growing slowly, but surely. We can boast of a market too, our butcher comes around every Friday, he always has a big supply of beef and mutton. All we need now is a good doctor and drug store.
Nero: A series of rains fell here last week, causing the river at this point to rise almost out of its banks.
Tinela: The Knights of Pythias will organize a lodge at this place.
Perdue Hill: Messrs. G.W. and J.F. Gailliard are busy at their new mill sawing lumber.
The Monroeville Academy: Among the recent improvements in and near our little city, the Academy building is the most worthy of notice. It is situated on a beautiful eminence just south of town, in full view of the public square.
The school, under the management of Professor Powers, is in flourishing condition and giving general satisfaction to the patrons.
The second term began Feb. 3, 1896.
Hon. E.R. Morrisette of Mobile, U.S. marshall for the Southern District of Alabama, was in Monroeville Monday.
FEB. 13, 1896
The Monroe Journal issued on Thursday last a very interesting 12-paged special edition, edited by the women of Monroeville. The nice compliments paid the candidates for office should be valued, for the hand that rocks the cradle, and sometimes wields the pen in an able manner, as on this occasion, will also rule the man who does the voting. From this point of view, our friend, Morrisette, is a “dead sure winner” in Monroe. – Mobile Register.
Dr. J.T. Russell left Tuesday for Evergreen, where he will in future reside and practice his profession.
The regular term of the commissioners court convened in Monroeville on Monday with the full board in attendance. The all-absorbing question of “stock law” which occupied the attention of the court for the first two or three days, attracted an unusually large crowd, our streets presenting much the appearance of a circuit court occasion.
There was a petition from Beat Five to establish a district, and petitions from Beats Three, Six and Nine to abolish the districts already established, and interested parties pro and con were present to see the matter through.
After hearing argument on both sides and maturely considering the matter, the court rendered decision, sustaining its action in establishing districts in the beats named and declining to create a new district in Beat Five. We have heard it intimated that there is some dissatisfaction over the decision of the court.
Mr. W.H. Louiselle of the Bear Creek Mill Co. dropped in to see us Thursday. Mr. Louiselle says his company is progressing rapidly with its railroad. They have reached a point about four miles south of Monroeville.
Jones Mill Items: Mr. Tom Fincher, the photographer, called on us today. We are always glad to see Tom.
Obituary: Brother Luther R. Wiggins was born near Monroeville, Ala. March 19, 1825. He was converted at the age of 12 years and united with Salem Baptist Church and lived a faithful member there and at Monroeville 59 years when he went to his much longed for rest Jan. 15, 1896.
Brother Abner Dees was born Oct. 15, 1820 and was “born again” when about 25 years of age when he united with the Baptist church at Montgomery Hill, Ala. He was educated for the ministry, but was compelled to desist on account of failing health.
He lived a consistent member at Montgomery Hill, Zion, Pineville, Bethany, Monroeville and was called home Jan. 1, 1896 at a little over three score and 15 years.
Mr. John B. McMillan died at his home near Monroeville on Tues., Feb. 11, 1896 after a brief illness.
The Masonic fraternity has purchased a suitable lot in Montgomery and will begin the erection of a handsome Masonic temple and state home for Masons.
Heavy rains last week washed up the railroad bridge across Murder Creek, and trains were discontinued for 48 hours.
FEB. 20, 1896
A recent number of The Evergreen Courant announces the retirement of Mr. J.F. Marsh, one of the editors, he having sold his interest in the paper to Mr. Geo. Salter Jr., who becomes sole proprietor.
Manistee: Hon. W.H. Louiselle has returned home from Mobile where he has been attending court for the past few days.
We had quite a stampede in the mill last week. It happened in this way: somebody spiked one of the logs, and it came into the mill, they did not know it until the saw struck it, but when the teeth began to fly the boys began to leap from the mill like frogs.
Gauntlet Lodge No. 151, Knights of Pythias, was organized at Tinela, this county on the 4th inst., with the following officers: W.L. Abernethy, C.C.; L.K. Benson, V.C. and Rep. to G.L.; J.A. McCants, Prel.; R.C. Abernethy, K. of R&S and M. of F.; G.W. McCants, M. of E.; R.A.M. of W.; J.K. McLeod, M. at A.; T.S. Packer, I.G.; S.J. Grace, O.G.
Work has been commenced on the erection of the Presbyterian Manse, near town.
Miss Ellen Harrengton is visiting relatives at Manistee.
Capt. G.H. Gray of Perdue Hill was in Monroeville last Saturday looking after his fences.
Capt. W.B. Kemp and Mr. T.E. Dennis of Kempville were in the city a few days ago.
FEB. 27, 1896
Mr. W.H. Louiselle of Manistee was in the city Sunday.
Miss Ella Neville returned Sunday from a visit to friends at Manistee.
Mr. Marcus Sowell left last week for Jasper, Ala., where he will begin reading law in the office of his brother, Col. T.L. Sowell.
The Ladies Aid Society of the Presbyterian church, Perdue Hill, will serve oysters and other refreshments at the Masonic Hall Friday night March 6th.
Pineville: Log rolling is all the go with the farmers now.
Manistee: There will be preaching at Pleasant Hill church the first Sabbath in every month, also Saturday before. We are proud to have our noble brother Lambert to serve us, after having such a devoted minister as brother S.P. Lindsey. Brother L. is one of our oldest and best Ministers. We are glad to know that the Sabbath school at Pleasant Hill continues in the afternoon. The teachers, Misses Wills and Moore, are working earnestly. We wish the school true success.
Mr. J.J. Simpson had the fortune to lose his gin and grist mill at Repton by fire one day last week. The fire was accidental. No insurance.
Perdue Hill: The unexpected death of Miss Ada Thames, who was buried at the cemetery this morning, has cast a halo of gloom over all her friends and relatives at this place.
U.S. Marshall E.R. Morrisette was circulating among his Monroeville friends Saturday.