The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of manager Q. Salter, published five editions 130 years ago during the month of April 1886. Those issues, which were dated April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23 and April 30, 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.
APRIL 2, 1886
It began raining last Saturday and rained almost incessantly until Tuesday evening.
The work of repairing the Methodist parsonage is going rapidly on and it will be ready to be occupied in a short time.
Midway – We learn that a negro woman was burned to death on Mr. Cassel Garrett’s plantation near Midway, this county, on Tuesday, the 23rd ult. She was endeavoring to extinguish the fire, which had caught the fence from a burning tree, when her clothing became ignited and the poor woman burned to death before assistance could reach her.
Messrs. J.A. Savage and I.D. Roberts of Perdue Hill were in town Monday.
Col. D.L. Neville went to Mobile on business last week.
Mr. J.B. McMillan of Repton was in town Monday.
Mr. C.T. Simmons is making some needed repairs on the Clausell place.
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.
Judge Wm. E. Clarke of Marengo County, who, for the last five years, has presided with so much ability and dignity as judge of this circuit, is a candidate for the position before the nominating committee. For many years, Judge Clarke has been a prominent citizen of this state, and is a democrat of the old school.
APRIL 9, 1886
The County Court convened last Monday.
A Sudden Death – The following brief account of the circumstances relative to the death of Mrs. Balled, which occurred near Watson, this county, was given us by Rev. Mr. Stabler:
Editor Journal: There was a very sudden death in the vicinity of Watson a few days ago – that of Mrs. Jennet Balled. She was living with her daughter, Mrs. Sarah McKinley. She ate an unusually hearty breakfast and went out to milk her cow, and while in the act of milking, she was stricken helpless and expired in a few minutes.
MT. PLEASANT: Capt. T.J. English has returned and brought back his mare, stolen from him on the night of the 18th of August last. Upon invitation of Mr. John McDuffie of Bell’s Landing, he went up on the Burke and Mr. McD took him in his buggy and drove with him behind his span of spanking bays to the house of Mr. J.B. McWilliams, a distance of 35 miles, between a late breakfast and three o’clock in the afternoon. Capt. English says he expected every moment to be cast from the buggy and have his neck broken, so rapid was his flight over rocks and hills and mud. But this is John McDuffie’s way of doing things, and he is at home behind the team when he holds the ribbons. Mr. McWilliams had bought the mare of the thief and gave her up without hesitation.
Mr. J.H. Moore Jr. of Claiborne, the accommodating proprietor of the Lower Warehouse, was in town Tuesday. He says the river is several feet higher than it has ever been before and is still rising.
APRIL 16, 1886
Commissioners Court convened last Monday, commissioners J.W. Herrington, T.B. Green and D.W. Davis being present.
Frequent showers of rain, accompanied by light hail, have fallen recently.
Dr. J.T. Russell has very nearly completed his new frame dwelling, the erection of which he began some time ago, and when finished, it will be not only the handsomest but one of the finest residences in Monroe, and it is surrounded by one of the finest orchards in South Alabama.
Col. B.L. Hibbard, formerly of this place, and who recently resigned the Vice Consulship to Caraccas, Venezuela, has located at Birmingham for the purpose of practicing law, whither he will remove his family.
Rev. M.M. Graham of Burnt Corn, our efficient county Superintendent of Education, was in town Monday.
Mr. Charlie Yarbrough has just finished boring a well at the Methodist parsonage, which affords excellent water.
Judge Leslie has improved his place by running a new plank in place of the old rail fence.
Mr. Evans, an extensive planter of Fayetteville, N.C. spent several days in Monroe last week and returned home Tuesday.
Capt. W.B. Kemp of Kempville was in town Tuesday.
APRIL 23, 1886
Circuit Court convened Monday, Judge Clarke presiding.
Solicitor Taylor received a telegram Monday summoning him to attend the funeral of his father-in-law, Mr. E.H. Metcalf, whose death occurred very suddenly at his home in Montgomery last Sunday.
Col. H.T. Taylor, ex-editor of The Choctaw Courier, is discharging the duties of solicitor very efficiently in the absence of his brother.
The work of repairing the Methodist parsonage is progressing.
The hotels seem to be doing a good business this week.
The “twe twe” of the violin, the “trump trump” of the guitar and gingle of the triangle reverberates upon the midnight air.
Among the prominent visiting attorneys in attendance upon the circuit court this week are Col. S.J. Cumming of Camden, Col. C.J. Torrey of Mobile and Joseph Cloud, Esq., of Mobile.
The Methodist pulpit will be filled next Sabbath by Rev. E.E. Cowan.
The Confederate Monument – Special to The Birmingham Age: Montgomery, April 16 – The contract was closed today between the Confederate monument executive committee and Alexander Doyle of New York for the building of the Confederate monument for about $45,000. It will be erected on capitol hill here. The height will be 85 feet, with a base 30 feet square.
APRIL 30, 1886
Circuit Court adjourned last Saturday evening.
Rain fell in torrent last Wednesday.
The case of the State v. Charlie Tatum, charged with murder, was tried last Friday, and to the great surprise and mortification of nearly all who heard the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and sentenced him to penitentiary for life.
Mr. A.M. Leslie went to Montgomery Tuesday to witness the laying of the cornerstone of the Confederate Soldiers Monument.
Hon. N. Stallworth of Evergreen was in attendance upon the Circuit Court last week.
Capt. John DeLoach and Capt. W.S. Wiggins went to Mobile Tuesday.
Miss Ella Tucker, who has been visiting relatives in Mobile, returned home last Sunday.
Mrs. T.S. Sowell, who has been visiting relatives and friends at this place, returned to her home at Wallace, Escambia County last Tuesday.
Fishing excursions to Flat Creek and other streams are being talked of.
The grand jury found 29 true bills last week.
Candidates are on the wing.
County politics are becoming somewhat lively.