The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published four editions 120 years ago during the month of March 1896. Those issues, which were dated March 5, March 12, March 19 and March 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.
MARCH 5, 1896
Miss Ellen Harrengton has returned from a pleasant visit to friends at Manistee.
The Journal is pleased to note that Capt. John DeLoach continues to improve.
Claiborne: Our old town is on a boom now, the streets are full of wagons from morning until night, hauling commercial fertilizer.
Mr. W.S. Moore was seen leaving the old town early Sunday morning in route to Pleasant Hill where he attended religious services.
Perdue Hill: On Tuesday night a very enthusiastic and encouraging meeting was held at the City Hall by some of the members of our company, under the supervision of Lt. Moore.
Cowardly Assassination: Monroe maintains her unenviable reputation for violence and bloodshed.
On the night of the 26th ult., in the northeast portion of the county near Simpkinsville, Jake Petty, son of Mr. John Petty, was assassinated by some party or parties unknown. Particulars of the killing are very meagre. It is learned that suspicion strongly attaches to one Yancey Stinson, between whom and the deceased a feud had for some time existed. The evidence adduced before the coroner’s jury tended to confirm the suspicion, and a warrant has been sworn out charging Stinson with murder.
The Spring Term 1896 of the Circuit Court of Monroe County will convene on Mon., April 20, but owing to the extreme lightness of the civil docket, the petit juries for the first week will not be organized until Thursday, as Circuit Clerk Emmons has been advised by Judge Anderson. The criminal docket is not as full as at last term, and but for two or three capital cases, three or four days would serve to clear it.
Mr. S.M. Roberts of the Monroe Mill was in town Tuesday.
Mexia: Prof. Ivey was in town Saturday on his bike.
Pineville: Ex-Sheriff J.S. Harrengton of Monroeville was in town several days last week.
Brother Crumpton filled his regular appointment at the Baptist Church Sunday and Sunday night.
MARCH 12, 1896
Prof. J.N. Ivey, principal of the Perdue Hill High School, was in town on Saturday, attending the meeting of the Board of Education.
Hon. Perry C. Walker of Evergreen, ex-Probate Judge of Conecuh County, was in Monroeville last Saturday on professional business.
Deputy Sheriff Neville came in Sunday afternoon, having in custody Yancey Stinson and Richard Edy, charged with killing Jacob Petty in the northeastern portion of the county on the 26th ult. The accused was arraigned before Hon. N.J. Stallworth on Monday morning, and waiving examination, were released on bond in the sum of $300 each.
Manistee: Our good Brother Lambert preached a most excellent sermon last Sunday.
Nero: Mumps are prevalent at Messrs. Hunter Been & Co. logging camps.
Mr. F.E. Robison, our popular Tax Collector, passed through our community last week.
Glendale: Brother Feagin filled his regular appointment here on last Sunday and preached a very impressive sermon.
Mobile News: Col. Chas. L. Scott of Monroe, the old Democratic war horse and ex-minster to Venezuela, is at the southern, and will remain a few days longer among his old friends. Col. Scott says Monroe is sure for Johnson.
Pineville: The farmers are all very busy planting corn and you can hear as you go through the woods the little birds just beginning to sing their sweet songs, while you can see a tree every now and then budding all unconscious of the cold to come.
Railroad Bill Killed: Mobile, March 7 – Morris Slater, alias Railroad, a noted negro desperado, who has terrorized Escambia and adjoining counties along the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad for a year or more past, was shot and instantly killed tonight about nine o’clock at Atmore, a small station on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, by a posse who had been on the lookout for him all day.
He was killed in the store of Tidmore & Ward, and the posse was taken somewhat unawares when he entered, but instantly they recognized him and opened fire on him with double-barreled shotguns. He was literally perforated with shot and was instantly killed.
He had a Winchester rifle in the leg of his pantaloons and two pistols in his belt, which was full of cartridges. Several nights ago the residence of the telegraph operator at Atmore was robbed, and a negro, Will Payne, was accused of the robbery, but said that Railroad Bill forced him at the point of a pistol to stand guard while he (Railroad Bill) went in and robbed the house, after which he took to the woods. The negro stuck to his story so earnestly that some of the white citizens believed him, and the posse was organized which killed the desperado tonight.
Railroad Bill has been pursued for the past year at intervals, but has always managed to elude is captors. During that time, he has killed a man named J.H. Stewart, near Hurricane Bayou, who was a member of a posse which was after him, and he also shot and killed Sheriff McMillan of Escambia County at Bluff Springs not very long ago. Of late there has not been much heard of whereabouts; at one time he was reported to have sailed from Savannah to Africa.
There were rewards of $1,350 for his captures.
Killing at Evergreen: Evergreen, March 10 – Yesterday afternoon Govan Moorer and Wm. Byrd, students in the Agricultural School, became involved in a difficulty at their boarding house. Moorer stabbed Byrd under the left shoulder and Byrd retaliated by striking Moorer on the head with a piece of scantling, inflicting injuries that resulted in the death of the latter. The deceased was from Lowndes County and Byrd from Monroe. The occurrence is greatly regretted as both the young men were popular.
MARCH 19, 1896
Mr. J. Hope Moore, the popular warehouseman of Claiborne, was in the city Saturday, shaking hands with his many friends.
Mr. W.H. Louiselle of the Bear Creek Mill, was in town a few days ago. Mr. Louiselle says Manistee is a unit for Joseph F. Johnston for governor.
Captain John DeLoach showed his familiar face on our streets Tuesday for the first time in many weeks. His late illness rendered him quite weak but he is rapidly regaining his wonted vigor.
Our townsman Dr. S.W. Yarbrough has been awarded the contracts for carrying the U.S. mail on the star routes from Monroeville to Pine Apple and from Evergreen to Perdue Hill for the term of four years, beginning on the first of July next. Dr. Yarbrough will give the public efficient service.
Perdue Hill: Another meeting of our military company was held at the city hall Tuesday night; attendance was very good.
Burnt Corn: Dr. W.F. Betts has just completed a handsome residence opposite Mr. Kysers.
Deputy Sheriff Harrengton received a telegram Monday announcing the capture at Hillsboro, Texas of James Nettles, charged with killed Dr. W.E. Whisenhunt at Buena Vista, this county, about a year ago, and who has since been at large. Mr. Harrengton left Thursday for Texas for the prisoner.
Mr. John Chunn had the misfortune to lose a barn containing a quantity of cotton seed, oats and farming implements by fire at Tinela recently.
Manistee News: Farmers are quite busy planting corn and preparing their lands for cotton.
Pineville: The debate at Pineville High School on Friday evening was a success in every sense. The arguments on both sides were well advanced, but the negative won.
MARCH 26, 1896
Miss Hortense Deer, who has been attending school at Pensacola, returned home Monday. The presence of small pox in Pensacola alarmed her parents, who advised her return.
Deputy Sheriff Harrengton returned Wednesday from Hillsboro, Texas with his prisoner, James Nettles, charged with murder. Mr. Harrengton is out again among “the dear people” making up for the time spent in the discharge of his official duty.
Jones Mill: We have a flourishing literary school at New Hope a few miles from the mill.
Kempville: We heard two excellent sermons during our pastor’s last appointment. Mr. Riffe is a truly consecrated Christian, therefore a good worker, and we are always benefited by his true, helpful sermons. We were glad to see several visitors among our congregation.
Pineville: Mr. B.F. Wiggins, representing Christian Craft Grocery Co. of Mobile, was in the city Wednesday.
Tinela: We have now two stores, a post office and a blacksmith shop here, besides three churches and Knights of Pythias Castle Hall.
Pineville: The children are taking the day at Pineville: A candy pulling and a dining on the same day.
Mount Pleasant: Col. Hibbard spoke here on the 16th to an audience of some 50 or 60. He is an able advocate of the free and unlimited coinage of silver and of the nomination of Capt. Johnston for governor. The Colonel is himself a candidate for representative from this county in the legislature.
Manistee News: We are sorry to learn that our amiable school teacher, Miss Wills, leaves for her home at Pine Hill Saturday.
A certain gentleman near this place ploughed up two acres of land last week and killed 69 rattlesnakes and hit at the 70th one.
At the Courthouse by special request, on Friday evening, the 27th inst., Robinson, Lightning Charcoal artist, will appear in a refined exhibition of rapid freehand drawing, introducing dexterous left and right hand sketches. Portraits, landscapes, caricatures, etc. will constitute the program, and an interesting and instructive entertainment is promised.
To each person upon entering the door will be furnished a chance in the prize picture. The holder of the lucky number will be given a lifesize nicely finished portrait and frame.
Admission is, adults 15 cents, children 10 cents.
News reached here Saturday of a terrible tragedy enacted at Bells Landing on the 19th. Jno. McLeod, who lived just over the line in Wilcox, while intoxicated, committed suicide by shooting himself with a pistol. The deceased was a near relative of Hon. E.R. Morrissette.