Wednesday, June 1, 2016

100-year-old news highlights from The Conecuh Record from June 1916

Dr. Zebulon Judd of Auburn.
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 June 1916.

In the June 1, 1916 edition of The Conecuh Record, editor J. C. Whitcomb reported that “the closing exercises of the Second District Agricultural School began last Friday night with a piano recital by the pupils of Mrs. Crumpton and Miss Gammon.

“Dr. J.A. Hendrix of Howard College preached the baccalaureate sermon at the Baptist church on Sunday morning to an appreciative congregation and all were well repaid for their attention.”

Monday evening a Chinese operetta, ‘The Feast of the Little Lanterns,’ was presented to a large and appreciative audience. All the girls in the play acquitted themselves splendidly; those deserving special mention are Misses Sara Cunningham, Edith Shields and Evelyn Chapman. Mrs. Dr. Hairston of Burnt Corn, who ably assisted Miss Gammon, played the part of a ‘Japanese Juggler Maid’ and her work could not have been surpassed.

“Wednesday was graduation day and the auditorium was filled that night with friends of the graduates, who entertained them with essays and orations. Misses Mamie Lou Smith, Mae and Aline Chapman, Annie Lovelace Moorer and Messrs. J.G. Lundy, Thomas Jackson, Bryan Northcutt and Percy Chapman composed the graduating class. The commencement address was a most eloquent one, delivered by Dr. Zebulon Judd of Auburn.

“Tomorrow night exercises will close with a presentation of ‘Sherwood, or Robin Hood and the Three Kings.’”

Also that week, under the headline “Picnic At Tomlinson’s Mill June 10,” readers learned that “the first picnic of the season will be given at Tomlinson’s Mill on Sat., June 10. This old mill is an historic place and one of the old ‘landmarks’ of the county. Everybody is cordially invited to attend this picnic. Don’t forget to carry a basket of something good to eat.”

In the June 8, 1916 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that “a number of our citizens attended the Brewton-Auburn ball game at Brewton yesterday.”

Also that week, readers learned that “county court was in session on Monday and quite a large docket was disposed of. The commissioners court was also in session this week.”

It was also reported that week “Hon. J.W. McDuffie, solicitor of the first judicial circuit, was in the city yesterday.” Readers that week also learned that “Gen. C.R. Bricken and party passed through Evergreen last Saturday en route to Monroe County. They were traveling by automobile.”

Whitcomb also reported that week that “Winton Deming, who is taking a four-year course in electrical engineering at Auburn, is at home for vacation.”

That week’s paper also included the following advertisement – “We are informed that the Evergreen Oil and Fertilizer Co. will buy all the peanuts you can raise this year. They will also have a machine that will pick them from the vines.”

Whitcomb also reported that “Misses Ann and George Taylor left yesterday for their home in Demopolis. The many friends of Miss George will learn with regret that she will not return here to teach next fall, having accepted a place in New York.”

Readers that week also learned that “Mrs. C.M. Dannelly of Montgomery is visiting her mother, Mrs. Hermione Farnham in Old Evergreen,” and that “the editor is under obligations to Mrs. Frank Simmons for a basket of excellent tomatoes.”

In the June 15, 1916 edition of the newspaper, under the headline “Residence Burns,” that “the handsome dwelling house on Park Street, owned by Hon. E.C. Page, was destroyed by fire on Monday last, about 12 o’clock. The house was occupied by Mr. J.C. Vann and family. The fire originated from a defective flue. The loss falls heavily on both Mr. Page and Mr. Vann as the house was completely destroyed and only a portion of the contents saved. The Presbyterian church and the residences of S.P. Dunn and Geo. W. Salter were badly damaged, being saved only by the heroic work of the department and citizens.”

Readers that week also learned that “J. Frank Davis, who has been appointed postmaster at Andalusia, is a Conecuh County boy, a son of the late M.A. Davis of Old Town beat. He moved to Andalusia several years ago and has been engaged in the mercantile business. He succeeds J.F. Brawner, who, by the way, is another native of Conecuh, son of Wm. Brawner, and was born in Evergreen, moving to Andalusia when a small boy.”

It was also reported that “chancery court was in session here Tuesday and Wednesday and quite a large crowd was in attendance.”

Whitcomb also reported that “Mrs. W.C. Crumpton left last week for Chicago, where she will spend the summer months with her brother and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Carter. While in Chicago, Mrs. Crumpton will study at the American Conservatory under the famous piano teacher, Silvio Scionti, and will also take a special course in the newer methods of piano teaching. In the fall Mrs. Crumpton will return to Evergreen and again take charge of the music classes in the two schools.”

In the June 22, 1916 edition of the paper, Whitcomb cryptically reported that “Armor Lodge Knights of Pythias conferred the rank of Page upon one candidate. They also elected officers for the ensuing term.”

That week’s paper also included the following announcement under the headline “Veterans Meeting” – “Members of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee No. 338 will meet at the courthouse at Evergreen Sat., July 1 – G.R. Boulware, Commander; T.A. Jones, Adjutant.”

Readers also learned that “Ray Tucker of Montgomery is at home for a few days recovering from typhoid fever,” and that “Mr. Long, turpentine operator, was up from Castleberry last week.” 

Subscribers also saw that “Edwin Page Jr. was taken to Montgomery Sunday for an operation. He is reported to be doing nicely.”

Whitcomb also reported that “Miss Loretta Schwaemmble, the talented violinist of Mobile, who has been visiting her sister, Mrs. Clarence Hawkins, left Sunday afternoon for North Carolina and Boston, Mass. She will be the guest of her sister here when she returns from Boston.”

Whitcomb closed out that week with the following announcement – “There will be a fish fry and picnic at Ell Pond on the Fourth of July. This entertainment is for the public and everybody is cordially invited. Those who can do so, will be expected to bring baskets. There will be plenty of ice water, ice cream, lemonade and other soft drinks on the ground. Those who want beer, whiskey or any other kind of intoxicating beverages are urgently requested to go somewhere else and not come to Ell Pond.”

In the June 29, 1916 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that “Knud Nielsen left this week for a visit to Chicago.” Readers that week also learned that the “Brooklyn and Evergreen Chapters U.D.C. will entertain the Veterans at a picnic dinner Sat., July 1, on the courthouse lawn. Every veteran in the county is cordially invited to be present.”

It was also reported that week that “Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Cargill of Montgomery, spent a day with Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Cargill this week. Mr. Cargill is a popular L&N conductor and a native of Evergreen.”
Readers that week also learned that “an opportunity to have high class portrait painting from life or photograph by Woodford J. Sanders, portrait painter, now paying Evergreen a visit first time in 20 years, lately from Montgomery, and having painted the portraits of Dr. John Massey, M.B. Houghton, J. Flowers, Judge W.A. Thomas and others for the Women’s College of Alabama.

“Mr. Sanders, while in our neighbor city of Brewton, placed some 50 or more portraits, among those of note, Dr. Downing, Mr. Shofner, for Downing Industrial School, also the family of Mr. Ed Lovelace, Mr. W. Martin, Mr. Luttrell, Mr. E. McGowin, Dr. Smith and others, giving entire satisfaction. Mr. Sanders will be here for a short stay, and those desiring to remember their loved ones as in life will do well to see him at once.”

Whitcomb also reported that “G.W. Miller was up from Brewton on business this week,” and that “watermelons are plentiful on the market.”

Whitcomb wrapped up the month by saying that “the Fourth of July will be celebrated in this section in the usual patriotic manner.”

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 July 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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