Sunday, December 18, 2016

120-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from Dec. 1896

James A. Bilbro
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published five editions 120 years ago during the month of December 1896. Those issues, which were dated Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. with the exception of the Dec. 17 issue, which is apparently missing. What follows are a few news highlights from the four editions that are available on microfilm. Enjoy.

DEC. 3, 1896

The “Willing Workers” of Perdue Hill will give an oyster supper at the Masonic Hall on Thursday night, Dec. 10, 1896, for the benefit of painting the Baptist church. All are cordially invited to attend.

Mr. John S. Harrengton, Monroeville’s new postmaster, assumed the duties of the office on Tuesday, the 1st inst. As soon as he succeeds in mastering its details the business will move on smoothly. The retiring postmaster, Mr. Ricou, has made a capable, courteous and obliging official, and it is but just to him that the public should know that his removal was due to dissatisfaction in neither of these particulars.

Circuit Clerk J.E. Witherington of Conecuh County died on the 24th ult. from the effects of a gunshot would received about two weeks ago at the hands of an unknown person.

Perdue Hill: Several of our boys attended the monthly drill at Kempville on Thursday, among them were Messrs. Carl Shiff, C.R. Crook, G.F. Marshall, G.C. Crook, H.A. Baggett, R.J. Lambert and John Mock. The boys report a most delightful time and say that they are always ready to go again when opportunity presents.

River Ridge: Prof. J.D. Forte of Chestnut has a thrifty school of 48 scholars, with Miss Mary Rachels as assistant teacher.

The first real intimation of Winter came Saturday afternoon, and for several days we have experienced some rather bitter weather – rain, sleet and cold. This morning, however, Old Sol once more unveils his beaming countenance, dispensing warmth and cheerfulness.

DEC. 10, 1896

Attention Military – Company M, First Infantry, A.S.T., meet at Perdue Hill Fri., Dec. 18, for drill. This being the quarterly drill, every member must be present. No excuse will be received. Guard mounting, 10 a.m. Inspection, 1 p.m. Company drill, 2 p.m. Guns must be clean for inspection. By order of W.H. Andrews, Capt. Com’dg; G.F. Marshall, Ord. Sergt.

The Masonic Grand Lodge of Alabama in session at Montgomery last week elected the following officers for the ensuring year: James A. Bilbro, grand master; B. Dudley Williams, deputy grand master; Russell M. Cunningham, senior grand warden; Robert J. Reddin, junior grand warden; William H. Dingley, grand treasurer; H. Clay Armstrong, grand secretary; Charles A. Allen, grand tyler; William C. Bledsoe, grand chaplain; Ben M. Jacobs, junior grand deacon; Bros. Cohn and Ott, grand stewards.

Editor Crumpton of The Evergreen Record has purchased The Covington Times. Brother Crumpton is a most worthy gentleman and we congratulate him upon the prosperity he is evidently enjoying.

The county jail has been practically unoccupied ever since the fall term of circuit court in November last.
County court held a busy term last Monday. In absence of the solicitor, Mr. Hugh Jones represented the state.

DEC. 24, 1896

Miss Annie Hobson, the accomplished instructress in the music and art departments of the Monroe Institute, left on Wednesday for her home at Greensboro to spend the holidays. Her many friends and admirers wish her a pleasant visit.

Rev. J.L. Grace and family arrived from Grove Hill on last Friday and are comfortably domiciled in the Methodist parsonage. Our people extend to Rev. Grace and family a cordial and hearty welcome to the village and community and trust that their stay among us may prove a mutually pleasant experience.

The card of J.H. Barefield, Esq., who has recently located at Monroeville for the practice of law, appears in this issue of The Journal. Mr. Barefield will spend the holidays with relatives in Clarke County, and will open his office here about the first of January next. We predict for him a successful career.

The Journal is in receipt of an artistically designed and beautifully executed souvenir of the Monroe Male and Female Institute lately incorporated by special act of the legislature. The souvenir consists of handsomely embossed gift tablets, held together with silk cord, upon which are engraved the name and date of incorporation of the school, the enrollment for the year, together with other facts which render it of historical value.

Cupid’s Capers: Married, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Newberry, Mexia on Wed., Dec. 23, 1896, Mr. Thomas Fincher and Miss Cornelia Newberry. The marriage was quiet and homelike and witnessed by only a few of the relatives and intimate friends of the contracting parties.

DEC. 31, 1896

Col. Andrew J. Hays, ex-U.S.N. officer, and distinguished colonel in the Confederate army, died at his residence near Finchburg on the 25th of December. He was the last colonel on General Bragg’s staff. He was wounded at the Battle of Perryville. He will be interred by the side of his brother, Capt. Chas. W. Hays, ex-U.S.N. officers and captain in the Confederate navy. These two brothers “sailed the seas over” in the service of their country and came back to “sleep their last sleep” on their native soil. One brother remains – Capt. Archie Hays of the 9th Alabama Regiment. They are the sons of Col. Harry Hays of Maryland and cousins of Brig. General Archer of that state, conspicuous for gallantry and military genius in the late conflict. The veterans of the Confederate Grand Army of the South are passing away, and thus “Sic transit gloria mundi.” Indeed, “Thus passes the glory of the world.”
“On fame’s eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread.
While glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.”
Finchburg, Ala., Dec. 26, ‘96

Mr. John Crittenden, living at Oakey Streak, Butler County, is a lucky farmer. While digging a flower pit a few days ago, he unearthed an old snuff jar which on examination he found to contain eleven hundred dollars in gold and sixty dollars in silver. This jar is one of three which he buried during the war in the time of the raid of the northern soldiers. The work was done under great excitement, and he never could remember where he placed them. The other two are being searched for. Their contents are in the neighborhood of three thousand dollars in gold.

The Evergreen Courant has donned the popular quarto form.

Mr. John McD. Ratcliffe of Camden, late of the Wilcox Progress, and now deputy sheriff of Wilcox County, was in Monroeville this week on business connected with his office.

Married, at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. J.H. Moore, near Manistee, this county, at 8:30 p.m., on Wed., Dec. 23, 1896, Mr. David R. Tolan and Miss Annie Moore, Rev. J.H. Riffe officiating.

An effort is being made by some of our citizens to incorporate the town, and an election has been called for Monday, the 4th inst., to ascertain the sentiment of the citizens on the subject. There seems to be a diversity of opinion as to the practicability of maintaining a corporation; some regard it as rather an expensive luxury.

A correspondent at River Ridge, writing under date of Dec. 21, says: “In Packer’s Bend last Thursday, Mr. Rufus Packer was killed by a falling tree. He was engaged with a lot of hands in clearing land for Mr. R.B. Brown, when a tree fell on him, crushing him to death. He lived only a short time. Mr. Packer was about 34 or 35 years old, and well liked by all who knew him. He is the last of the family after which the Bend takes its name.”

ROLEY DOTS: The Bear Creek mill is turning out a heavy per cent of square timber, as well as a great deal of lumber of all kinds.

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