The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of manager Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of February 1886. Those issues, which were dated Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26, 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. 5, 1886
County court convened last Monday. Commissioners Court will convene next Monday, the 8th inst.
Mr. Lindsey Downs says that large numbers of frogs were frozen in his field on Limestone during the late cold spell.
Several nice tombs have been erected at the Baptist and Methodist graveyards recently.
Mr. John I. Watson and Ernest Ricou will open a new family grocery store in town in a few weeks.
The Monroe County Medical Society met in Monroeville last Monday. There were only three physicians present at the meeting: Drs. McMillan, Packer and Russell.
Ex-Sheriff Burns and Mr. Richard Nettes of Buena Vista were in town Monday.
Editor Robbins of the Pineapple Enterprise was in town Wednesday and gave The Journal a call.
One day last week, three young ladies while walking the Perdido trestle near Wilson, Ala., heard a train approaching and they became very much excited and while endeavoring to make it across, one of the party, Miss Minnie Harrington, missed her footing and fell a distance of 20 feet. We learn she is slowly recovering. – Brewton Times.
Mr. F.A. Seymour was stricken very suddenly and severely with apoplexy last Tuesday morning about 11 a.m., while sitting near the fire in the post office. Sheriff Burns chanced to be near and ran to his assistance. Dr. Russell was called in and immediately began treatment. At this writing (Thursday evening) Mr. Seymour is doing as well as could be reasonably expected.
Mr. J.B. Coleman, a brother of Mrs. Anna Fore, returned from Texas last week and has taken charge of his sister’s store.
Mr. John A. Riley, a rising merchant of Buena Vista, was in town Monday.
Col. Bertrand Hibbard, late consul general to Caracas, has returned to Alabama, and paid a visit to his old home at Monroeville last week. The Colonel is a genial and companionable gentleman, with whom you naturally love to be thrown in contact because he is entertaining and instructive as well as agreeable. Col. Hibbard gave up his position because his continued stay at Caracas would have necessitated the removal of his family there which was not desirable on account of the unhealthy climate of that country. He will locate in Alabama.
Business is rather dull in Monroeville.
Monroeville has two blacksmith and one wood shop.
When completed Mr. Sam Yarbrough will have the handsomest residence in or near town.
Capt. W.E. Kemp of Kempville was in Monroeville Tuesday.
Mr. Thomas Clausell is still very sick.
FEB. 12, 1886
Justice Salter’s court was in session Monday.
Commissioners court was in session from Monday to Thursday until 12 p.m.
Mr. M.M. Graham has been appointed Superintendent of Education of this county and his bond has been filed.
The county jail contains only three prisoners.
Mr. John Watson will move into his new store next week.
Buena Vista - Mr. S.M.C. Middleton seems to be making the best progress of any of our farmers; he has cleared up a great deal of Flat Creek land and intends building a bridge across the creek to his land and will, doubtless, have a fine plantation in perfect condition ere long.
Perdue Hill – Mrs. I.R. Marshall had the misfortune to lose her dwelling and its contents, near Perdue Hill, by fire Saturday night, the 6th inst. The fire originated in the kitchen, from a box of ashes and had made such progress before it was discovered that it was impossible to extinguish it. Nothing was saved from the fire but that was so badly damaged as to render it useless.
Mrs. Marshall’s residence was one of the finest in the county and her loss is estimated at about $8,000.
Sheriff Burns has been ill for some time but is now able to be on the streets.
Col. Hibbard returned to Mobile Tuesday.
Mr. F.A. Seymour is reported as improving slowly.
Eggs are worth 15 cents per dozen in Monroeville.
Our merchants ship both by way of Claiborne and Repton.
Rev. B.J. Skinner will fill his regular appointment at the Baptist church next Sunday.
If you need any horse shoeing done, call Charlie Yarbrough.
Mr. T.J. Emmons has received his new saw machinery.
The farmers are not purchasing as much guano this year as they did last.
Dr. H.T. Fountain of Burnt Corn was in town Monday.
N.C. Thames, Esq., of Claiborne was in Monroeville Monday.
Dr. W.W. McMillan of Glendale was in town Monday.
J.D. Frye, Esq., of Perdue Hill was in Monroeville Tuesday.
Dr. G.G. Stallworth of Newtown Academy was in town last Wednesday on professional business.
Dr. W.E. Whisenhunt of Buena Vista was in attendance upon the commissioners court.
FEB. 19, 1886
Two more prisoners were jailed last week.
Mr. Ernest Ricou’s handsome new storehouse is rapidly nearing completion and will be ready in a few days for the reception of his goods, where he will be pleased to see and wait upon his many friends.
We have heard numerous remarks made about the dilapidated condition of the graveyard at the Methodist church, recently, and not without cause, as the leaves of two winters or more have been suffered to collect on many of the mounds, almost erased by age – that mark the last resting place of those whom we love and who were once among us. The fencing, also, around many of the graves has fallen into decay. This matter ought to be attended to out of respect to them.
Rev. M.M. Graham of Burnt Corn, recently appointed superintendent of education of this county, was in town Wednesday.
Mr. John McDuffie of River Ridge, one of Monroe’s most successful farmers, was in Monroeville Wednesday.
Sheriff Burns has been absent for several days on official business.
Postmaster Seymour is improving slowly.
DIED – in Monroeville on Sunday morning, the 14 inst. after an illness of several weeks, Mr. Thomas Clausell.
Chancery Court – The February term of the Chancery court for this county adjourned yesterday evening after dispatching an unusual amount of business for one day. Chancellor Foster seems to be so familiar with his duties that he is enabled to make his decisions with great promptness and at the same time with correctness.
Among the visiting attorneys were S.J. Cumming, Esq., of Camden, who is always on time. J.C. Richardson, Esq., of Greenville and who is a law partner of Hon. John Gamble and C.J. Torrey, Esq., of Mobile.
Mr. Charles McKnight and family of Fisher, Minnesota, whose arrival we inadvertently failed to mention last week, are visiting relatives at Claiborne.
Capt. DeLoach returned from Mobile last Tuesday.
There has been some talk of a temperance organization at this place.
Capt. Wiggins paid a visit to his sister, Mrs. Lindsey, at Buena Vista last week.
Dr. J.M. Wiggins and family of Lower Peach Tree spent several days with Mr. L.R. Wiggins last week.
Messrs. S.L. Ellis and J.A. Jackson of Repton were in town last week.
Mr. J.A. Hightower of Nero, this county, was stopping at the Watson House yesterday.
Mr. Frank Emmons of Mt. Pleasant was in town yesterday.
Capt. W.B. Kemp of Kempville was in town yesterday.
Judge Sowell, Capt. Wiggins and Mr. John Fore went to Mobile Tuesday.
FEB. 26, 1886
The peach trees are in bloom.
The many friends of Mr. F.A. Seymour will be glad to learn that he has sufficiently recovered from his paralytic stroke to be able to be in his office. We hope that he will soon be able to again resume the responsible duties of an acceptable postmaster.
Sheriff Burns returned from Tuscaloosa today.
Jeff Powell, against whom an indictment has been pending in the Circuit Court of this county for several years for assault with intent to murder, and who, a few days ago shot and seriously wounded Mr. James Kearley of Buena Vista, who accompanied Deputy Sheriff Rhoad to his camp for the purpose of arresting him, made his escape under cover of the night. The citizens of Buena Vista offered a reward of $150 for his capture and delivery to the sheriff. He was accordingly captured on last Tuesday about seven miles south of Camden by the Messrs. Brooks and Martin who immediately brought him to Monroeville. He was lodged in jail where he now lies, awaiting his trial.
Thomas Brame Clausell – Died in Monroeville, Ala. on Sunday morning, Feb. 14, 1886 after an illness of several weeks, Mr. Thomas B. Clausell, in the 80th year of his age. He was the last member of an old Virginia family who came to this county near 50 years ago. He had been for many years a resident of this town, engaged in the mercantile business, which he ever endeavored to conduct on the strictest principals of honor and fair dealing.
Buena Vista – The following account of the shooting of Mr. James Kearley is from a correspondent of Buena Vista:
I am loath to inform you of one of the saddest things that has occurred in this community for a long time.
On last Saturday night, Deputy Sheriff Rhoad and a posse of men went to the camp of Jeff Powell against whom an indictment for assault with intent has been pending for several years, for the purpose of arresting him.
When the posse approached Powell and asked him to surrender, instead of obeying, he ran, leaving his gun behind. The posse pursued him. Powell ran a short distance and then wheeled in a semi-circle toward the fire, endeavoring to recover his gun.
Mr. James Kearley ran in to head him off from the gun, whereupon Powell drew his pistol and shot Kearley in the head, wounding him seriously, if not fatally. Powell was then fired upon by several of the posse, but to no effect, and he made good his escape for that night.
The next morning some one suggested that a reward be offered for his capture, and in a very few minutes $150 was subscribed by responsible citizens.
Your correspondent learns that he was captured about seven miles south of Camden in Wilcox County, and that he was taken through old Chestnut Corner neighborhood in route to Monroeville.
Mr. Kearley, we are glad to state, is doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. His physicians entertain some hope of his recovery.
Notice to Teachers of Public Schools – The Board of Education of Monroe County meets in Monroeville the first Saturday in each month. Office hours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.