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 November 1896. Those issues, which were dated Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19 and Nov. 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.
NOV. 5, 1896
Scarce do the good people of Monroe recover from the nervous shock occasioned by the announcement of the occurrence of a bloody homicide in one section of the county than their blood runs chill at the harrowing details of a dastardly assassination in another.
On Friday night of last week, near Jones Mill, 10 miles south of Monroeville, one of the most cowardly assassinations in the history of the county took place. Several negroes, who had been engaged in building a chimney and doing some carpenter work on the premises of Mrs. Middleton, were sitting around a fire in the backyard after supper, when suddenly and without warning the pervading stillness was broken by the report of firearms discharging in quick succession. At the first shot, Sandy Clausell fell mortally wounded; at the second Robert Clausell was instantly killed and at the two succeeding shots George Wiggins and Spence Tucker sustained serious injuries. The assassins escaped under cover of darkness, leaving the identity of the perpetrators of this most atrocious crime enshrouded in profound mystery.
The citizens of the community feel outraged over the occurrence and express anxiety that the guilty parties be discovered and punished. Several arrests have been made of suspected persons who are having preliminary hearing as we write.
We are pained to chronicle the death of Mr. Manasseh Kearley, which occurred at his home at River Ridge on Tuesday morning, Nov. 3, 1896, after a protracted illness. Mr. Kearley was a young man of much promise and his untimely death is greatly regretted.
B.M. Miller, Esq., one of Camden’s brightest young lawyers, is attending court this week.
Mr. J.S. Harrengton has been appointed postmaster at Monroeville, vice E.J. Ri
ATTENTION MILITARY: Kempville Section of Co. M, 1st Inf. A.S.T., meet for monthly drill at Philadelphia church, Kempville, Ala., on Saturday p.m., Nov. 14. Every member must be present. By order of W.H. Andrews, Capt. Comdg. Co. M; G.F. Marshall, Ord. Sergeant.
Manistee: Married on Oct. 15 at the home of the bride, Mr. Joseph Grimes to Miss Cannie Stacey, in the presence of a large number of relatives and friends, ceremony was performed in a very impressive manner by Elder B. Sawyer.
NOV. 12, 1896
Miss Laura Kelly has recently opened up a flourishing school near Woodlawn, with an enrollment of over 30 pupils.
The commissioners court convened in regular session on Monday with the full board, Messrs. McNeil, Floyd, Lyon and Parker in attendance.
Capt. Thomas A. Rumbly, our efficient County Surveyor, has been reappointed to that position for a term of four years by the Board of County Commissioners.
Col. B.L. Hibbard, Monroe’s able Representative in the General Assembly, left on Sunday for Montgomery to be present at the convening of that body on Tuesday.
Mr. J.L. Ballard of Perdue Hill gave The Journal a pleasant call while attending court. Mr. Ballard informed us that he has been elected director of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural Experiment Farm at Jackson, whither he will shortly remove with his family.
Dr. and Mrs. J.L. Sowell visited relatives and friends at Perdue Hill last Sunday.
Dr. J.F. Busey of Jones Mill attended commissioners court Monday and favored The Journal with a pleasant call.
W.G. McCorvey, Esq., went to Montgomery on Monday to attend the opening of the legislature.
The circuit court adjourned in short order last Thursday.
The habeas corpus proceedings before Judge Stallworth commenced on Saturday by the attorney for Mr. E.J. Ricou were concluded on Monday. Bail was fixed at $3,000, which was afterwards reduced to $2,000. The bond has been approved and Mr. Ricou is again at liberty.
NOV. 19, 1896
Wreck on the L&N: A serious wreck of a fast train on the L&N occurred four miles south of Montgomery on Thursday night. The tender, mail and baggage car and smoker were thrown completely off the track, the last named being overturned. The first-class coach and sleepers escaped with a slight shaking up. No one was killed but several persons sustained serious injuries, among them being W.G. McCorvey, Esq., of Monroeville, and Mr. J.R. Latham of Atlanta, both of whom were at the time occupants of the smoker. Messrs. Latham and McCorvey were thrown partly through the windows as the car went over, one was fastened between the side of the car and the earth by the petitions between the windows. Mr. McCorvey had his leg caught and Mr. Latham his arm. They were thus imprisoned for more than an hour while as many trainsmen and passengers as could work were busy rescuing them. Their sufferings were intense. The only member of the train crew injured was the baggageman, whose hand was badly mashed.
A relief train was sent out from Montgomery and the passengers conveyed to Montgomery where the injured were given medical attention.
The wreck was evidently the work of a fiend. The end of one rail had been loosened, moved inward several inches and again spiked down.
Sheriff Watson went to Montgomery on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the State Association of Sheriffs.
The many friends of W.G. McCorvey, Esq., are gratified to know that he escaped the recent railroad wreck with only a severe shaking up and a few contusions, painful but not serious. He arrived home Friday evening.
The preliminary hearing before Judge Stallworth on last Saturday of the Messrs. Jones, Stinson, et al, who have been confined in jail on a charge of being accessory to the killing of Robert and Sandy Clausell at Jones Mill some week ago, resulted in the discharge of the accused, there being no evidence to sustain the prosecution.
NOV. 26, 1896
We learn that another homicide occurred in this county on last Sunday night, this time near Hollinger. Both the victim and his slayer were white men, but neither names nor other particulars could be definitely learned. When will the thirst for human blood be satiated?
The steamer Tinsie Moore has broken the record, carrying into Mobile on her trip of the 15th inst., 2,027 bales of cotton.
Mrs. Kate Kitchen of Burnt Corn is teaching a flourishing school at the Ivey schoolhouse, near Repton.
The new Methodist parsonage has been completed and accepted by the building committee. The building is admirably situated, tastefully designed, conveniently appointed and adds several hundred dollars to the value of church property on the circuit.
Axel: Mr. W.B. Herrin has a flourishing school at this place now and all are well pleased with him.
Natchez: Mr. G.H. Harper is conducting the school at Natchez Institute and has a large enrollment.
Brewton suffered another destructive fire on the 16th. Several stores were consumed.
Mr. J.F. Betts of Burnt Corn was among his Monroeville friends on Monday.
Mr. and Mrs. H.J. Coxwell of Perdue Hill attended church services at Monroeville last Sunday.