Thursday, October 6, 2016

100-year-old news highlights from The Conecuh Record from Oct. 1916

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 October 1916.

In the Oct. 5, 1916 edition of The Conecuh Record, editor J. C. Whitcomb had very little local news to offer readers for that week.

He did let readers know that in Butler County, it was “estimated that the cotton crop will not be much over 500 bales.

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, under the headline “Shark Taken in Gulf,” it was reported that “members of the crew of the pilot boat Alabama, stationed in the Gulf of Mexico off Mobile bar, captured a 14-foot tiger shark of the man-eating species. The shark fought for nearly an hour before it was landed.”

What local news wasn’t reported in the Oct. 5 edition of the newspaper, Whitcomb made up for it in the next three papers.

In the Oct. 12, 1916 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that “up to Sept. 25, there had been ginned in Conecuh County but 647 bales of cotton, 904 bales less than to the same date last year. The state as a whole is short 173,234 bales as compared with last year.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper, he encouraged readers to “get ready for the county fair to be held early in November. Select your best stock, canned goods and anything else that you may have that will make the fair a success. Let us make the fair the biggest thing that has ever been pulled off in Conecuh County.”

Readers that week also learned that “Dr. H.M. Hawthorn has moved from Brooklyn to Castleberry where he will have a larger field for practice of his profession. The Record wishes him much success.”

Whitcomb also let readers know that the “first week of circuit court commenced here on Mon., Oct. 9, Judge Gamble presiding. The business of the session is being dispatched in the usual careful and expeditious manner. Judge Gamble and Solicitor Dickey have things moving smoothly along in circuit court.”

It was also reported that week that the “Effie school opened last Monday with an attendance of 63. Miss Summerour is principal and Misses Mildred Rutland and Salome Glenn assistants.”

That week’s paper also included the following notice – “U.C.V. Camp Capt. Wm. Lee, No. 338, will meet at the courthouse at Evergreen, Ala., Mon., Oct. 2, 1916 at 10 o’clock a.m. sharp. – G.R. Boulware, commander; T.A. Jones, adjutant.”

In the Oct. 19, 1916 edition of The Record, local outdoorsmen learned that the “Alabama Fox Hunters Association will be held at Furman, Ala. on the first Monday in December.”

Readers that week learned that the “tropical storm that visited Evergreen Wednesday was a hummer. Very little damage was done in Evergreen, but many persons were frightened, as the wind must have blown 150 miles on hour.”

Elsewhere in that week’s paper it was reported that the “damage wrought by the storm at Andalusia, Opp and other places in that section was very great. One child was killed and several other persons injured at Andalusia.”

In news from the Owassa community that week, it was reported that “our school is progressing nicely, with Miss Summerour of Lakedale, Miss. as teacher.”

Whitcomb also let readers know that “many enjoyed the barbecue at the Agricultural school Friday afternoon. Meats of all kinds tickled the pallets of those who attended.”

In the Oct. 26, 1916 edition of The Record, it was reported that “four fire alarms were sounded this week in Evergreen, and all the fires occurred in Old Evergreen. Fortunately, no home was destroyed, the discovery in each case being made in time for “first aid” efforts to prove sufficient in subduing the flames. The Record heartily endorses the suggestion by Chief Jones that a Ford car be purchased by the city for fire purposes. The suggestion is a timely one and if carried out would be a step in the right direction.”

Readers that week also learned that “John O. Castleberry, a popular drummer with headquarters in Atlanta, spent a few days recently at his old home in Castleberry. Numerous friends were delighted to see him.”

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 November 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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