Monday, October 31, 2016

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Oct. 31, 2016

NOV. 6, 2003

Warriors end season with 26-16 victory: The Sparta Academy Warriors ended their 2003 season on a winning note when they defeated the Ashford Falcons, 26-16, Friday night at Stuart-McGehee Field.
Will Ivey was the leading rusher for the Warriors with 170 yards on 17 carries. Perry Castleberry rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries and scored one touchdown. Cody Lowery had 20 yards on six carries. Brandon Burleson had nine yards on five carries and one touchdown, and Paul Castleberry had eight yards on three carries.
At the quarterback spot, Ivey completed three of his nine pass attempts for 46 yards, two for touchdowns. He also threw one interception. Perry Castleberry’s one pass attempt was complete for 12 yards.
Burleson had two pass receptions for 34 yards and two touchdowns. Lowery had one pass reception for 12 yards, and Paul Castleberry had one reception for 12 yards.
Burleson scored first for the Warriors on a 10-yard pass from Ivey. The PAT was no good. Perry Castleberry scored next on a one-yard run. The try for the two-point conversion failed. Burleson scored his second touchdown on a one-yard run. The try for the two-point conversion failed.
Patrick Cumagun tackled an Ashford runner in the end zone for a safety to put two more points on the board. Burleson scored the final touchdown of the night on a 24-yard pass from Ivey. The try for the two-point conversion failed.

This is the symbol that was trenched into the football field at Sparta Academy late last Thursday night. The symbol was misidentified by many as a satanic symbol. It was officially identified as a symbol of anarchy by the Evergreen Police Department. The perpetrators of the damage turned themselves in to authorities the next day.

NOV. 2, 1989

Meeks kicks Jags past T’loosa 3-0: His face wasn’t horribly burned and he wasn’t wearing a hockey mask, but Russell Meeks proved to be the boogie man for Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s early Halloween last Friday night.
On the first play of the game after the opening kickoff, Meeks sprinted 44 yards on the carry, on defense he contributed 11 solos and two assists, but it was high right leg that did the Patriots in as he kicked a 29-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the game to give the Jaguars a 3-0 win and end their 1989 football season with a record of 8-1.
A crucial play setting up the winning field goal was a 23-yard pass to Michael Stokes from Marvin Cunningham.
The field goal came with 12 seconds left in the game from 29 yards out. A large amount of credit goes to the holder, Derek Gessner, also as he received a high snap from center and calmly placed the ball down for Russell Meeks to kick the winning points.
On the night, the Jags were led offensively by Derrick Richardson with 67 yards on 23 carries and Russell Meeks with 57 yards on only five carries.

The Greenville Academy Tornadoes completely dominated the Sparta Academy Warriors on both sides of the ball here Friday night and handed the local team one of the worst defeats in its history, 37-0.
(Top Sparta players in that game included Jeff Brundage, Craig Blackburn, Tim Salter, Steven Gall, Brian Waters and Richard Weaver. Chuck Ledbetter was Sparta’s head coach.)

NOV. 7, 1974

Yellow Jackets rip Uriah 22-8: The Lyeffion High Yellow Jackets staged a second half comeback Friday night to defeat the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs of Uriah, 22-8. It was the fifth win of the season against four losses for Coach Wendell Hart’s Jackets.
Uriah took the lead when Mike Akins scored from the 5 in the first quarter. Akins passed to Wilkins for two points, and that was the score at halftime, Uriah 8, Lyeffion 0.
The Jackets buzzed back with a touchdown in the third quarter and two in the fourth to win it. Raymond Bruce scored on runs of five and 30 yards and Steve Anthony romped 40 yards for the third touchdown. Garrett added four points on runs after the last two scores.

Ft. Dale upsets Warriors 9-6: You can’t blame the Sparta Academy Warriors if they don’t like traveling to Greenville. They made their second trip of the season to the Butler County capital and were once again upset. The culprit this time was Fort Dale Academy whose Warriors downed the visiting Warriors, 9-6 Friday night.
Sparta got on the board in the third period with Joe Andrews passing to Bruce Hutcheson for 23 yards and the score. A run for the extra point was stopped.
Walker Scott continued his better than 100 yards per game rushing as he netted 115 yards for the night on total offense. Hutcheson had 77 and Andrews 40. In 10 games Scott has picked up 1,092 net yards rushing for an average of 109.2. The fullback is a junior.

NOV. 5, 1959

Frisco City Races Past Repton 52-0: The Frisco City Whippets dominated the RHS Bulldogs nearly the entire game, crashing the Bulldogs, 52-0.
The Whippets were led in scoring by the McCrory brothers, Vance and Billy.

Lyeffion Loses To McKenzie 21-6: Lyeffion lost to McKenzie, 21-6. The unique thing about the game was the fact that the Lyeffion coach, Dale Brown, went into the battle with only 11 players. The balance of the team were on the sick board. The coach used what he terms “the hidden ball play” that was good for 78 yards and Lyeffion’s only touchdown, in the first quarter of play. Willard Walls, left halfback, went the distance.
Coach Brown said: “My boys played their best game of the season by far. I had no extra men to send in to spell them off, and to my mind, they did a great job against much touted McKenzie.”

Aggies Down Red Level In Homecoming Tilt: The Evergreen Aggies spoiled Red Level’s homecoming Friday night in a thrilling 14-13 conquest of the favored Tigers. Trailing 13-7 at halftime, the Aggies scored a touchdown, then held Red Level’s single wing attack to minus yardage in the final two quarters.
Red Level took the kickoff and marched 66 yards in nine plays with J.C. McClain plunging the final yard. Late in the first quarter, Aggie quarterback Billy Melton intercepted a Red Level toss and took it to the Tiger 38. Eight plays later, halfback Jimmy Eddins went in from the 11-yard stripe. Key plays in the drive were Eddins’ nine-yard sprint on the play after the interception and Melton’s 14-yard pass to Eddins on the first play of the second quarter. Melton’s PAT kick was good and the visitors led, 7-6.
The Tigers took the kickoff and with the help of a 15-yard penalty against the Aggies for a personal foul, marched 60 yards in 13 plays with McClain again. The game ended a few minutes later with the Aggies on the Tiger 3 after Eddins had stolen another air attempt by the losers.

NOV. 7, 1929

Frisco City Trims Aggies Friday 13-0: The Evergreen Aggies lost their third game of the season to Frisco City Friday afternoon by the score of 13 to 0. Frisco City scored in the first quarter, after a 15-yard penalty and a fumbled punt. Then they scored in the second quarter.
The Frisco team didn’t lose a man from last year’s squad and with five or six extra men added to the squad this season. The Aggies have won five and lost three so far.

Friday at 3:15, the Aggies will meet another team which has the same squad that they brought to Evergreen last year. This is Georgiana. They boast of their hopes of beating the Aggies Friday. They have a mighty good team. Then Monday, “Armistice Day,” at 2:30 the Aggies will play the strong Rawls High School. Both of these teams are determined to win over Evergreen. Come out and watch the Aggies. Both games at Gantt Field. The Aggies play in Evergreen the next three Fridays. Arrange to see all three games.

Today in History for Oct. 31, 2016

Oct. 31, 1776 - In his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledged that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States. In his address, the king spoke about the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the revolutionary leaders who signed it, saying, “for daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country.” The king went on to inform Parliament of the successful British victory over General George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, but warned them that, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”

Oct. 31, 1776 - General George Washington chose to withdraw his forces to New Jersey before British General Howe could plan another attack with his newly arrived reinforcements.

Oct. 31, 1789 – In Lovecraftian fiction, preacher James Boon and his congregation attempted a ceremony contained within Ludwig Prinn’s “De Vermis Mysteriis.” On that night, all of the people of Jerusalem’s Lot vanished and were never seen again.

Oct. 31, 1795 – Romantic poet John Keats was born in London.

Oct. 31, 1843 - Alabama author Idora McClellan Moore was born on her family's plantation near Talladega, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Morgantown, Ky. with a Confederate attack on a Federal camp repulsed.

Oct. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Greenbrier, West Virginia.

Oct. 31, 1861 - Union General Winfield Scott stepped down as general in chief citing failing health, and George B. McClellan was elevated to the position. Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, recognized early in the Civil War that his health and advancing years were a liability in the daunting task of directing the Federal war effort. His resignation on October 31 did not end his influence on the war, however, as President Abraham Lincoln occasionally sought his counsel, and many of his former officers commanded forces and executed the same maneuvers that he had used in Mexico.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal forces advanced from Bolivar, Tenn. and Corinth, Miss. upon Grand Junction, Tenn.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, an 11-day series of operations began on the Mississippi Central Railroad from Bolivar, Tenn. to Coffeeville, Miss.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted in Monroe County, Mo.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Federal bombardment of Lavaca, Texas took place.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Aldie, Franklin, Mountville and Snickersville, Va. and near the Falls of the Kanawha, West Va.

Oct. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Congress of the Confederate States of America passed a bill authorizing two new divisions of the Navy Department. Brig. Gen. Gabriel J. Rains was placed in charge of the Torpedo Bureau, and Lt. Hunter Davidson was named to command the Naval Submarine Battery Service. The purpose of both bureaus was to investigate, organize and improve creative methods of “torpedo” warfare, what would today be described as mines.

Oct. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Barton’s Station, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Washington, La.; at Yazoo City, Miss.; and near Weaverville, Va.

Oct. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Federal bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C. continued to reduce the fort to rubble.

Oct. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Shoal Creek, Ala. as Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, CSA, prepared to move his Confederate Army in Tennessee, assuming Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, USA, would pursue him. Instead, Sherman moved in the opposite direction toward Savannah, GA, and the sea.

Oct. 31, 1864 - Nevada became the 36th state to join the United States.

Oct. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Federal naval occupation of Plymouth, N.C. began.

Oct. 31, 1876 – Hugh T. Fountain was named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1892 - On this day, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published. The book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.

Oct. 31, 1893 - Alabama author Hudson Strode was born in Cairo, Ill.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that C.W. Zimmerman of the Bear Creek Mill Co. had visited Monroeville during the preceding week and informed the newspaper that the company had completed and was operating about three miles of its railroad.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that in Monroe County Circuit Court, Lazarus James had been sentenced to work four years “in the coal mines” for burning J.H. Moore’s warehouse some months before. Albert Jackson was also sentenced to 25 years in the penitentiary, and Mose Hall was given a three-year sentence.

Oct. 31, 1903 – The Purdue Wreck, a railroad train collision in Indianapolis, killed 17 people, including 14 players of the Purdue University football team.

Oct. 31, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a “handsome new organ” had been placed in the Evergreen Methodist Church.

Oct. 31, 1908 – The members of Camp William Lee, No. 338, were scheduled to meet at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday “for the transaction of business in connection with the state reunion to be held at Mobile” on Nov. 24-26, 1908. G.R. Boulware was the camp’s commander and J.C. Travis was the camp’s adjutant.

Oct. 31, 1910 – Confederate veteran Francis Marion Grice, a member of the Conecuh Guards, died at the age of 73. He was buried in the Fort Crawford Cemetery in East Brewton.

Oct. 31, 1913 – The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road to traverse the entire continental United States, was officially dedicated. The highway ran from New York City’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park and was the first national memorial to Abraham Lincoln, predating Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial by nine years.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 1914 – The four-part “Photo-Drama of Creation” was shown for free at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini, 52, died of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. His appendix had been damaged 12 days earlier when he had been punched in the stomach by a student unexpectedly. During a lecture Houdini had commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows.

Oct. 31, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Lavinia Whateley, the albino daughter of Wizard Whateley and mother of Wilbur by an unknown father, vanished, perhaps killed by Wilbur. She first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.

Oct. 31, 1939 – South African cyclist Rowan Peacock was born in Wynberg, Cape Town, South Africa. He competed in the team pursuit at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Oct. 31, 1941 - Mount Rushmore was declared complete after 14 years of work. At the time, the 60-foot busts of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were finished.

Oct. 31, 1943 – Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo was born in Pittsfield, Mass.

Oct. 31, 1944 – Erich Göstl, a member of the Waffen-SS, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, to recognise extreme battlefield bravery, after losing his face and eyes during the Battle of Normandy.

Oct. 31, 1951 – During the Korean War, Army Pfc. Leonard E. Worrell of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in action.

Oct. 31, 1951 – University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban was born in Fairmont, West Va.

Oct. 31, 1954 - Martin Luther King Jr. of Atlanta was installed as minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. A little more than a year later, on the first day of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he was named president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, a role which made him a national civil rights figure.

Oct. 31, 1955 – Journalist and writer Susan Orlean was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

Oct. 31, 1956 - Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Dufek also became the first person to set foot on the South Pole.

Oct. 31, 1959 - Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine from Fort Worth, Texas, announced that he would never return to the U.S. At the time he was in Moscow, Russia.

Oct. 31, 1960 - On Halloween, an eight-foot-tall cross was burned at the home of Hazel Brannon Smith in Holmes County, Miss.; Smith blamed local teens influenced by adults' hate. Etowah County, Ala. native Hazel Brannon Smith (1914-1994) was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and supported the civil rights movement while running newspapers in Mississippi. She was awarded the prize in 1964 for her career of editorializing in the face of strong racial opposition and threat of violence.

Oct. 31, 1963 – Major League Basebal first baseman Fred McGriff was born in Tampa, Fla. He would go on to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oct. 31, 1968 – Thomas Charles Littles of Brooklyn, Ala. was inducted into the U.S. Army. He would be fatally wounded in Vietnam.

Oct. 31, 1968 – Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announced to the nation that he had ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.

Oct. 31, 1970 - South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu delivered a speech on the state of the nation before a joint session of the South Vietnamese National Assembly, asserting that 99.1 percent of the country had been “pacified.” The pacification program that he alluded to had been a long-term multi-faceted effort to provide territorial security, destroy the enemy’s underground government, reassert political control, involve the people in their own government, and provide for economic and social reforms. Citing success in this program, Thieu said that a military victory was close at hand and that “we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.” With regard to the ongoing peace talks in Paris, the South Vietnamese president declared that the Communists viewed negotiations merely as a way to gain time and “to achieve victory gradually.” He said he would never accept a coalition government with the Communists, because “countless past experiences” had already shown that such an approach would not bring peace.

Oct. 31, 1980 – On homecoming night at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Sparta Academy lost to South Butler Academy, 13-12. Andy Hammonds scored both of Sparta’s touchdowns, the first on a four-yard run and the second on a 23-yard touchdown reception from Jeff Johnson. Karen Brown was crowned Miss Homecoming, and she was escorted by Mike Raines. Jeena Simpson was crowned Miss Football, and she was escorted by Scott Baggett. Jack Miller was Sparta’s headmaster.

Oct. 31, 1982 – An air show, sponsored by the Conecuh County (Ala.) Rescue Squad, was scheduled to be held Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Evergreen’s Middleton Field Municipal Airport.

Oct. 31, 1983 – Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and player George Halas died at the age of 88 in Chicago, Ill. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963, he is considered one of the original founders of the NFL.
Oct. 31, 1988 - Debbie Gibson held a séance at her Halloween party to contact the spirits of Liberace and Sid Vicious.
Oct. 31, 1992 – Auburn University officially retired Bo Jackson’s No. 34 football number during a halftime ceremony.
Oct. 31, 1998 - Iraq announced that it was halting all dealings with U.N. arms inspectors. The inspectors were investigating the country's weapons of mass destruction stemming from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Oct. 31, 1999 - Bryan White sang the National Anthem at the Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville prior to the game between the Tennessee Titans and the St. Louis Rams. Following the game, White gave his second annual Howl-O-Ween concert at the north end of the coliseum.

Oct. 31, 1999 – Yachtsman Jesse Martin returned to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

Oct. 31, 2001 - In Miami Beach, Fla., Jose Canseco was involved in a nightclub brawl. Canseco later violated his probation and was sentenced to two years of house arrest and three years probation.

Oct. 31, 2001 - Evergreen weather reporter Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of October 2001 was 3.50 inches.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Two Mobile, Ala. residents lost their lives in a four-car accident on Interstate Highway 65 at the Owassa exit in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Sparta Academy wrapped up the 2003 football season with a 26-16 win over Ashford Academy in Evergreen, Ala. Quarterback Will Ivey led Sparta’s offense with 17 carries for 170 yards and completed three passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Other outstanding Sparta players in that game included Brandon Burleson, Paul Castleberry, Perry Castleberry, Patrick Cumagun and Cody Lowery.

Oct. 31, 2003 - Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.73 inches of total rainfall in Evergreen, Ala. for the month of October 2003 and year-to-date rainfall was 54.0 inches.

Oct. 31, 2007 – The episode of CSI: NY first broadcast on this date was a Halloween edition based on “The Amityville Horror.: Entitled "Boo," it featured a house in Amityville where a family has died in circumstances similar to the DeFeo murders.

Oct. 31, 2010 - For the first time in Major League Baseball history, two former presidents attended the same World Series Game. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush both attended Game 4 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Oct. 31, 2010 – “The Walking Dead” TV series debuted on AMC.

Oct. 31, 2012 – Searcy Hospital at Mount Vernon, Ala. closed permanently. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Oct. 31, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.00 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.40 inches

Notes: Today in the 304th day of 2016 and the 39th day of Fall. There are 62 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Five new locations added to list of 'Spookiest Places in Monroe County'

Second floor of the Claiborne Masonic Lodge at Perdue Hill.
Halloween is just one day away, and in the spirit of that ghostly holiday, I present to you today my seventh annual list of the “Spookiest Places in Monroe County.”

As with previous editions of this list, I compiled it after discussing the subject with a number of the county’s lifelong residents and individuals well versed in the county’s long history. Without further ado, here’s the list:

- Alabama River: Rumored to be the home of “Two-Toed Tom,” a giant killer alligator that was mentioned in Harper Lee’s most recent novel, “Go Set a Watchman.” Supposedly, this monster gator’s name comes from the fact that this massive alligator lost all but two of his toes in a steel trap. Also, somewhere along the river between the Claiborne Lock & Dam and the sandbar at Bailey’s Creek, witnesses have reported seeing a giant snake dubbed the “Mocca-Conda,” which is said to be a water moccasin the size of an anaconda.

- Bailey’s Well: According to George Singleton’s classic, “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” this well is located by an ironwood tree in a field at Franklin and is also known as the “Well That Won’t Stay Filled.” Curbed by old, handmade bricks, no one knows who originally dug the well, which has supposedly been abandoned since the early 1800s. Numerous attempts were made to fill it with rocks, track, junk and timber logs, but all of those items disappeared without a trace, leading some people to believe that the well connects with an underground river or that its bottom is filled with quicksand.

- The Bradley House: Located just off Upper County Road 17 at Franklin, this old dog trot-style house, which was constructed sometime in the 1800s, and is said to have been the site of multiple deaths, including at least one suicide. Former residents, claim that ghostly visitors come into their rooms in the middle of the night and unexplained knocks and bumps can be heard throughout the night. Eerily, many of the home’s previous occupants are buried in a family cemetery located just a stone’s throw from the home’s back door.

- Bradley Ridge: George Singleton, Monroe County’s pre-eminent paranormal investigator, had numerous experiences in this once “thriving community,” which was located off the Ridge Road north of Monroeville. The area is supposedly haunted by the ghost of an old man carrying a large sack who is always seen walking east near an old abandoned cemetery. Singleton also witnessed a phantom rooster and dog in the area, smelled cooking food, saw “several glowing balls” and heard disembodied voices, including the voices of “several small children, laughing and calling as though they were playing a game.”

- Butterfork Creek Bridge: Located on State Highway 59, a mile or so west of downtown Uriah, this bridge serves as a way for travelers to go between Uriah and the Palmers Crossroads community in south Monroe County. More than a few motorists over the years have repeatedly reported seeing a woman in dressed in white on the bridge. Most report seeing this ghostly woman on the east end of the bridge.

- Claiborne Bluff: Said to be where Leopold Lanier of Burnt Corn and the Indian maid Winona, the daughter of Indian shaman Prophet Francis, leapt to their deaths after being confronted by 12 Indian warriors who were ordered to kill Lanier. This was said to have happened during the heyday of Fort Claiborne, a two-acre military fortification constructed on the bluff during the Creek Indians War. This high bluff is also believed to have been the site of the ancient Indian village of Piachi, which was visited by Spanish explorers DeSoto and DeLuna.

- Claiborne Masonic Lodge: Located now at Perdue Hill on U.S. Highway 84, this building, pictured above, is the oldest existing manmade structure in Monroe County. Built in 1819 at Claiborne, this building was used as a courtroom, town hall, church, school and one of the earliest Masonic lodges in the state. Visited by Revolutionary War hero, Marquis De Lafayette, in 1825, this building was moved a few miles east to Perdue Hill in 1884. Lafayette was the last surviving general of the Revolutionary War at the time of his visit. This building was also used for Ku Klux Klan meetings at one time during its history.

- The C.L. Hybart House: Located on Hybart Drive in Monroeville, this restored 1920s house is one of Monroe County’s most distinctive buildings. Built in the manner of a Mediterranean Spanish villa, including stucco, tile and columns made with stones from Limestone Creek. Now owned by the Monroe County Heritage Museums and operated under the name of the “Hybart House Museum and Cultural Center,” this reputedly haunted residence was built by the late Charlie Hybart, a colorful local attorney who became known for holding lavish parties that were attended by VIPs and politicians from all over the state.

- Davis Ferry: Singleton described the night he spent at the base of a cliff near the ferry at the site of an old Indian camp on the east side of the Alabama River. Singleton awoke in the middle of the night to see what he called the “Night Walkers,” a number of ghosts that walked in a single-file line by his campsite. Each carried a bundle on his back and moved down the hill in a single-file line towards the river.

- The Devil’s Bowl: Located about three miles off of State Highway 21 in the vicinity of the Megargel and Goodway communities, this geological oddity is a pool that’s about 30 feet in diameter. Also called “The Devil’s Soup Bowl,” no surface stream feeds this freshwater pool of deep, dark water, which is said to be one of “Monroe County’s strangest sights.” Locals claim that this pool is bottomless. Possible explanations for its existence vary from an ancient meteor impact to the idea that it’s the shaft left behind by dead volcano.

- Dr. Watkins House: Located on the west side of County Road 5, about 1-1/2 miles north of Burnt Corn, this house was built in 1812 and was once the residence of Dr. John Watkins, the only doctor between the Alabama and Chattahoochee rivers. Watkins is said to have treated the wounded from the Fort Mims Massacre at the house in 1813, and some sources say Andrew Jackson spent the night there when he passed through the area on his way to the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

The ghost of Watkins has reportedly been seen standing in the doorway to one of the home’s first floor bedrooms and the top of the front porch is painted with traditional “haint paint” to keep spirits from entering the home. Perhaps the most bizarre thing to occur in the house in recent memory took place in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 when loggers fled the house after hearing a woman scream. Others who’ve stayed at the house have complained of the uneasy feelings they get from artwork inside the house, including an original painting of a woman carving a Jack o’ Lantern.

- Franklin: “Ghost lights” have been reported in this community north of Monroeville for years, and on May 6, 1971 Singleton saw a “mysterious ball of fire” that was “in and around the area across Flat Creek on the right of Highway 41.” Singleton saw “almost at tree-top level” a “glowing ball of reddish blue flame, floating southward at a lazy pace.” It was about 12 inches in diameter and looked like a “clear, plastic balloon with some type of light inside.” Similar “ghost lights” have also been reported in the Finchburg community.

- Gin House Bottom: Located north of Monroeville, near the intersection of the Ridge Road and State Highway 41 (formerly called the Camden Highway), there were once a number of stores and family residences in this area, which took its name from a local cotton gin.

Also in this area, a tale sprung to life about a headless horseman that was seen by a number of county residences.

“On moonlit nights, when one could see, the headless rider could be seen riding the road along Gin Bottom Road,” George Singleton wrote in one of his Monroe Journal columns. “This was a common sight to the men who had to travel the road late at night after a hard day at the cotton gin. I have been told that on several occasions, the horse and rider would pass so close to a traveler that he could try to reach out and touch the headless rider.”

- Kelly Mill Mercantile Store: Located in the Dottelle community, this store was constructed in the 1920s and has been fully restored as a museum. Witnesses since the store’s restoration have reported a wide variety of unusual tales about the building, including the unexplained opening and closing of windows. Others have reported seeing the faces of people looking out of the store’s windows late at night when the store is obviously closed and locked up.

- King Plantation House: Featured on two episodes of the Travel Channel’s “The Dead Files,” this 9,000-square feet Greek Revival Style house was originally located at Packer’s Bend in the northwest corner of Monroe County. Built by the nephew of U.S. Vice President William Rufus King in the late 1850s and early 1860s, it was moved to Uriah by former state legislator Eugene Garrett in 1965.

Creepy tales abound about this house, where supposedly a number of the King family passed away within its walls from yellow fever that was brought home by a family member who served in the Civil War. In “The Dead Files” the house’s owner said she feared her life was in danger from being attacked by the evil spirit of a man who once lived in the house.

Located on State Highway 59, about half a mile from the intersection of Hwy. 59 and State Highway 21, it’s said that this house has the broadest façade of any plantation house in Alabama.

- Klepac’s Old Store: Located near the intersection of the “old Franklin road” and the Ridge Road, and also known as the “Oak & Ash” for a giant oak and an ash tree that grew side by side and was one of the better known landmarks in the area. The trees are gone now, but were so close together that a horse could barely be rode between them. In the early 1900s, a man was hung from the oak tree.

- Locke Hill: A high hill located east of the Red Hills Cemetery, where hunters and other witnesses claimed to have seen the ghost of a tall lady with snow-white hair, walking along a narrow pathway to an old abandoned well. Others say they have seen the ghost of a tall, slender lady dressed in a long sack dress kneeling beside the tomb of an unknown Confederate soldier in the thick woods near the ruins of the abandoned log cabin.

- Louisville and Nashville Railroad Train Tunnel at Tunnel Springs: This abandoned train tunnel is now home to hundreds of thumb-sized bats. Completed in 1899, this 840-foot-long tunnel was built by four crews of 15 men each working day and night using simple equipment. One crew is said to have worked from the north side while the other worked from the south. The story also goes that a number of workers died during the construction of this eerie tunnel.

- McConnico Cemetery: Large cemetery, located off Monroe County Road 1 at Perdue Hill, containing some of the count’s oldest graves. According to “Haunted Places: The National Directory” by Dennis William Hauck, this cemetery is the setting for the county’s best known ghost story.

“The phantoms of 12 Union horsemen have been seen riding near this old graveyard,” Hauck wrote. “Captain and Mrs. Charles Locklin witnessed the ghostly parade in autumn of 1865. The Locklins were in their carriage early one morning when two columns of six soldiers on gray horses passed by on each side of them.

“Each member of the eerie troop wore white gloves, with his hands crossed on the pommel of his saddle, and every one wore a white bandage wrapped tightly around his head. The two respected citizens were certain they had been victims of Confederate solider Lafayette Sigler, who ambushed Northern patrols, killed them and cut off their ears. Sigler’s collection of Yankee ears was said to have been quite impressive.”

This first encounter with the ghost soldiers is also said to have occurred on Mount Pleasant Road and sporadic sightings were reported over the hundred years.

- Midway Cave: Large limestone cave located near the Midway community in northeast Monroe County, located near the Midway Fire Tower, about 200 yards off the road. Singleton says that the cave is 50 feet across and 20 feet deep with a roof blackened by the smoke of a thousand cook fires.

- Monroe County Public Library: Located on Pineville Road, this building houses over 60,000 volumes and is located in the former LaSalle Hotel. The library has been in this location since 1984, but the building is located on one of the oldest parcels of land recognized for continuous usage in Monroe County. In the past, the property has been used as a stable, various homes, a Methodist parsonage and as the LaSalle Hotel. Its famous guests included actor, Gregory Peck, who visited Monroeville during the 1960s.

More than a few library patrons have claim to have had unusual experiences on the library’s second floor.

“Once you leave the bright, sunny ground floor and climb the stairs to the second floor, where many of the former rooms were located, you just get a creepy feeling all over. Like most hotels, this building probably saw its fair share of visitors from all over, and I think that a few of them just decided to stay.”

- Mt. Pisgah Cemetery: Located off Wildfork Road (Monroe County Road 18) between Frisco City and the Wildfork community, this cemetery serves as the final resting place of hundreds of former community residents. Variations of the story exist, but more than a few people have reported parking at this cemetery late at night and when conditions are just right a mysterious red ball of light will emerge from the tree line on the east side of the cemetery. The ball of light is most often described as “basketball-sized” and reportedly travels from the trees towards the parked vehicle.

- Monroe Journal: Located on Hines Street in downtown Monroeville, many longtime employees report having heard a wide variety of unusual noises in the older part of the building. Employees there have chalked these noises up to the ghost of a man who died in the back part of the building decades ago. Who is to say if this is true or not, but one thing is for sure: Few employees will dare to visit the back part of the building alone and after dark.

- Mount Pleasant: Site of Monroe County’s only Civil War “skirmish” and said to be the site of a mass grave of 40 to 50 Confederate soldiers. The area is now supposedly haunted by the ghost of Mary Watkins, who roams the countryside with a lantern and shovel searching for the body of her husband, Cpl. Ezekiel Watkins. She’s also said to wear an old Rebel overcoat over her shoulders.

- Nancy Mountain at Haine’s Island: Located off Monroe County Road 17 at Franklin, this locale is the site of one of the county’s most enduring ghost stories, the story of “Crazy Nancy.”

Variations of this story exist, but the most common version says that the ghost of a woman, “Crazy Nancy” or “Aunt Nancy,” can be seen walking up and down the hill to Davis Ferry in hopes of meeting her son and husband who were claimed by the Civil War, never to return. Witnesses say that this female phantom is seen walking with a lantern (or long walking stick) in one hand and with a bucket of water in the other.

According to George B. Singleton’s book, “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” you’ll know this spirit by her long, gingham dress, her old bonnet and the long, white hair that hangs out the back of her bonnet and all the way down to her waist.

- Narrow Gap: This community, located just northeast of Uriah, is said to be the site of tales about huge balls of light that travel along roadways and up the trunks of large trees. This mysterious light is said to favor a large oak tree that’s about 150 yards from the Qualls Cemetery on George Williams Road. Longtime residents of this community also claim to have seen the ghost of a woman in a long dress and wearing a bonnet. This ghostly woman is said to always be seen walking toward the cemetery, and some have theorized that she is the long dead wife of Andrew Jackson Qualls.

- Nettles Auditorium at Alabama Southern Community College: Located in Monroeville, this building seats almost 900 people and is often the preferred venue for large community events. Former students and workers at the college claim to have heard unusual sounds at odd times as well as the unexplained malfunction of lights and other electrical devices. Others claim to have heard an unseen “entity” walking down the aisles, making his (or her) presence known by the scraping of their feet along the carpet. Witnesses have also reported hearing the loud pop of a seat back being slapped by unseen hands as well as the unexplained unlocking of door locks that should have been secured.

- Old Claiborne Cemetery: Located off of U.S. Highway 84 at Claiborne, Singleton remarked that almost everyone buried there was under the age of 50 at the time of their death. Cemetery includes many yellow fever and small pox victims, including Emily N. Bagby, the wife of Alabama governor Arthur P. Bagby. She was 21 years old when she died of yellow fever during a visit to Claiborne in May 1825.

- Old Frisco City High School Building: Located on School Street in Frisco City, this building was constructed in the early 1920s and served the community for decades before closing in 2009. Some passersby claim to see lights on inside the building late at night when no one is there. Others claim to have heard strange noises coming from the tunnel that runs beneath the school’s main building.

- Old Lois Wiggins Home Place: This old home place, located north of Monroeville, just off State Highway 41 and near Limestone Creek, burned down a number of years ago, but for years members of the Wiggins family and others reported hearing the sound of a small baby crying in the woods near the house. Family members and others searched off and on for the source of the sound for years, but never found anything. The child sounded like it was in pain and the cries grew louder the darker it got at night.

- Old Monroe County Courthouse: Nicknamed “America’s Most Famous Courthouse,” this building was constructed in 1903 and is now one of the most often photographed buildings in the state. From 1903 to the construction of a new courthouse in 1963, this building housed most county offices and was the center of the county’s court system. It’s most famous for being the model of the courtroom seen in the trial scenes in the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Now the home of the Monroe County Heritage Museums, frequent quests say that the upstairs part of the building can get very creepy on quiet nights. “Things blow in the breeze but there is no breeze,” one man said. “You hear sounds that don’t belong, and I have smelled pipe tobacco smoke when no one was smoking or even there to be smoking.”

- Old Scotland: Not far from the old Davison burial ground in this community, witnesses have claimed that the ghost of a wounded and sick Confederate soldier haunts the road near a bridge over a large creek in this area. Supposedly, this lone Rebel soldier camped under the bridge for four or five months, surviving on wild berries and small fish from the creek. One day, he disappeared, but witnesses claim to have seen his ghost, always walking west on the bridge.

- Pine Orchard: Located in northeast Monroe County, this community is the home of the “Mystery Stones.” These 12 circular stones found near Lone Star Church. Singleton theorizes that the site was a “huge, prehistoric Indian village” and that the stones may have been part of some ancient calendar. This community is also the site of multiple sightings of a Bigfoot-like creature and witnesses, including a local minister, have reported seeing the creature on more than one occasion. Unusual noises, rock-throwing and other activity in the community have been attributed to the creature.

- Red Hills community: Witnesses over the years have reported seeing a strange, disembodied “face that glowed like a huge jack-o-lantern.” Other witnesses described it as a “huge, red ball” that moves up and down before disappearing into a ravine. Singleton claimed to have personally seen this unusual phenomenon personally in October 1990. This community is also the location of a rock overhang said to have sheltered Confederate deserters during the War Between the States. Visitors to this overhang report unusual feelings, including the feeling that they’re being watched.

- Rikard’s Mill: Located about five miles north of Beatrice, this fully restored 19th century grist mill is currently owned and operated by the Monroe County Heritage Museums. Constructed over Flat Creek, multiple witnesses have reported seeing “shadow figures” pass in front of the mill’s windows when the mill was completely empty and no one else was in the area. Other witnesses have reported the unexplained sighting of a woman floating down the creek in a pink coffin.

- The Robbins Hotel Site: Used for years as a hunting club, this historic former hotel located in downtown Beatrice, adjacent to town hall, burned down in October 2012. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this hotel was located just off the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and was operated for many years by Miss Minnie Robbins. The hotel’s patrons were largely made up of railroad travelers, and the hotel featured 14 rooms, each with a fireplace.

- Robinson Creek Bridge: Located four miles northwest of Old Scotland Church on John Shannon Road, old-timers say that this bridge is haunted by the ghost of a wounded and sick Confederate soldier that died while camping out beneath the bridge during the War Between the States. Most often reported during the early morning hours or in the late evening, the soldier is reported to always be seen walking west, never east, on the narrow road near the bridge. He is always seen wearing a torn and dirty Confederate uniform, witnesses say.

Before I close this think out, I want to make perfectly clear that more than a few of the places mentioned above are located on private property, so if you get the idea to visit any of these places (especially at night), you’d better get permission first or run the risk of trespassing. Also, if you plan to visit any of these places, especially cemeteries, respect your surroundings.

In the end, contact me if you know a good local ghost story or have information about a spooky location in Monroe County. You can reach me by calling 578-1492, by e-mail at or by mail at The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401.

130-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from Oct. 1886

'Outlaw Sheriff' Stephen S. Renfroe
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of publisher Q. Salter, published five editions 130 years ago during the month of October 1886. Those issues, which were dated Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those five editions. Enjoy.

OCT. 1, 1886

Slight earthquake shocks continue to visit Charleston.

Notwithstanding the continuation of the earthquake shocks at Charleston, the work of rebuilding goes steadily on.

The fall term of the circuit court for Monroe County will convene Mon., Nov. 15.

Mr. John I. Watson, one of our enterprising grocery dealers – look out for his advertisement next week, and proprietor of that excellent hotel, the Watson House, has had the dead oak which stood in front of his store cut down and converted into fire wood.

MASONIC NOTICE: The Masonic Fraternity is invited to attend the funeral services of Bro. Elbert McKinley on the second Sunday in October at 10 o’clock a.m. from the Burnt House in the McKinley neighborhood. A.M. Leslie, Sec’y Monroeville Lodge 153.

Perdue Hill claims, and with a degree of justice too, to be the best cotton market in Alabama.

Died – At his home at Gainestown, Clarke County, after a brief illness. Mr. Floyd H. Avery, aged about 27 years.
Mr. Avery was the stepson of Mr. F.M. Jones, of this place, and a brother of Master Hugh Jones of the Journal office. He leaves a wife and mother, several brothers and sisters and many friends to mourn his untimely death.

Mr. B.F. Wiggins left for Marion last Sunday where he will attend another session of Howard College.

OCT. 8, 1886

County court was in session Monday and Tuesday of this week, Judge Sowell presiding.

Mr. J.H. Moore Jr. of Claiborne, the obliging proprietor of the Lower Warehouse, who was in town last week, says the river is now lower than it has been in a long while and is still falling.

Mr. John McDuffie of River Ridge was in town Monday.

Col. A.J. Hays of River Ridge gave us a call while in town Monday.

Hon. James T. Jones, democratic nominee for Congress in the First District, will address the people at the courthouse on the 15th inst. Come out and hear him.

Mr. S.P. Lindsey, with his mother and sister, is comfortably domiciled in his cozy new residence, in the eastern suburbs. Mr. L. says he now lives at home and boards at the same place.

Our doctors report considerable sickness in the community.

The Southern University at Greensboro opened with 150 students.

There are 97,600 acres of land in Clarke County belonging to the United States government.

OCT. 15, 1886

Quite a number of people attended the Masonic funeral of Mr. Elbert McKinley near River Ridge last Sunday.

Rain is needed badly in this section. The Alabama River is now lower than it has been for years we are told, and if it does not rain soon, the boats will have to tie up.

Mr. Emmons’ steam gin caught fire last Saturday, and but for the prompt action of the employees, the gin, saw and grist mill would have been destroyed.

Tax Collector Stevens is out on his first round for this year.

The Montgomery Dispatch last Sunday published a portrait of Steve Renfroe, the noted outlaw, together with a brief sketch of his remarkable career and death.

Hon. J.T. Jones, candidate for congress, will address the people at the courthouse today.

Don’t forget that the Perdue Hill Dramatic Society will give another of their pleasant entertainments on the 22nd.

Dr. W.W. McMillan of Glendale was in town Friday.

A.M. Leslie, Esq., paid a visit to Brewton last week.

Rev. E.E. Cowan and Mr. J.F. Fore paid Perdue Hill a visit Monday.

Dr. R.N. McMillan of Carlisle was in town Monday.

OCT. 22, 1886

The Tuscumbia North Alabamian has been purchased by Mr. James Keller. The Alabamian is in the 54th volume.

Thomas Garrett of our neighbor county of Baldwin is the most remarkable man in Alabama. He is 119 years old, is the father of 21 children, has voted the democratic ticket all his life. He cast his first vote for John Adams 90 years ago.

MOBILE, ALA., Oct. 18, 1886
Ed. Journal: Please announce in this week’s issue that Steamer Alabama will be delayed here one week in order to complete some necessary repairs. She will leave on her regular schedule Monday, 25th, and every Monday thereafter. C.J. English, Capt.

Hon. Jas. T. Jones addressed a small, but attentive assembly at the courthouse Friday afternoon.

A little negro boy entered The Journal office last Saturday night through a broken window pane. The boy found nothing but accounts against delinquent subscribers, and judging them to be of no value, he didn’t take anything. He had a preliminary examination before Judge Sowell Monday, but as a case could not be made out against him, he was discharged.

The assembly at the courthouse to hear Hon. James T. Jones’ address was small owing to the busy season of the year.

Hon. James T. Jones honored our editorial sanctum with his presence last Friday. We have known Capt. Jones by reputation for several years but had not before had the pleasure of forming his personal acquaintance.

OCT. 29, 1886

There was a heavy frost here yesterday morning.

There are six prisoners confined in the county jail.

Rev. E.E. Cowan commenced a protracted meeting at the Methodist church Wednesday night.

Mr. S.P. Lindsey went to Buena Vista Tuesday.

The cotton crop will in a few weeks be entirely gathered, ginned and sold.

A light shower of rain fell here last Monday night, in consequence of which the weather has grown much cooler.

Our esteemed friend, Mr. W.L. Rikard, had the misfortune to lose a valuable horse a few days ago.

Rev. E.E. Cowan closed a very interesting and successful revival meeting at Puryearville church near Burnt Corn Monday night with 17 accessions to the church.

Several young gentlemen and ladies from this place attended the entertainment given by the Dramatic Club at Perdue Hill last Friday evening.

Services at the Methodist church Sunday night were conducted by Rev. Eli Hendrix.

Today in History for Oct. 30, 2016

Ormsby M. Mitchel
Oct. 30, 1485 – King Henry VII of England was crowned.

Oct. 30, 1735 - John Adams, the second President of the United States, was born in Braintree, Mass. His son, John Quincy Adams, became the sixth President of the U.S.

Oct. 30, 1775 - The Continental Congress appointed seven members to serve on an administrative naval committee tasked with the acquisition, outfitting and manning of a naval fleet to be used in defense against the British. Almost two weeks earlier, on October 13, 1775, Congress had authorized the construction and arming of vessels for the country’s first navy. Members of the first naval committee included some of the most influential members of the Continental Congress and several “founding fathers,” including John Adams, Joseph Hewes, John Langdon, Richard Henry Lee, Silas Deane and Stephen Hopkins, the committee’s chairman.

Oct. 30, 1831 – In Southampton County, Virginia, escaped slave Nat Turner was captured and arrested for leading the bloodiest slave rebellion in United States history.

Oct. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Morgantown, Ky.

Oct. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Greenbriar, West Virginia.

Oct. 30, 1862 - Union General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchell, commander of the Department of the South, died from yellow fever at Beaufort, S.C. In 1862, Mitchell directed raids into northern Alabama and captured Huntsville, Ala. in April 1862.

Oct. 30, 1862 – Union Major General William S. Rosecrans assumed command of the Department of the Cumberland, superseding Union Major General Don Carlos Buell.

Oct. 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the area surrounding Salyersville, Ky.; in the vicinity of Opelousas, La.; near New Berne, N.C.; at Leiper’s Ferry (on the Holston River) and to push Confederates away from Brown’s Ferry, Tennessee; and near Catlett’s Station, Va. A second day of skirmishing also occurred at Fourteen Mile Creek in the Indian Territory.

Oct. 30, 1863 - The federal steamer Chattanooga delivered supplies to famished Federal defenders at Chattanooga, Tenn.

Oct. 30, 1864 - Union forces recaptured Plymouth, N.C.

Oct. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, a second day of skirmishing occurred in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals (or Raccoon Ford), near Florence, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest captured the gun boat, Undine (No. 55) and transports near Fort Heiman, Ky. A skirmish was also fought at Bainbridge, Tenn.

Oct. 30, 1869 – Monroe County Probate Judge Murdock McCorvey Fountain was born at Tunnel Springs, Ala. He graduated from Perdue Hill High School in 1889 and was appointed Monroe County Sheriff in 1902 when Sheriff John S. Howington was killed while in office. He was elected Monroe County Probate Judge in 1916.

Oct. 30, 1885 – Poet and critic Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho.

Oct. 30, 1898 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Bill Terry was born in Atlanta, Ga. He played his entire career for the New York Giants and managed the Giants from 1932 to 1941. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.

Oct. 30, 1912 - Alabama author Willis Brewer died in Montgomery, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1914 – Julian Andrews shot and killed Wright Eddins near Bone Hill church in northeastern Monroe County, Ala. Andrews was arrested, brought to Monroeville and placed in jail.

Oct. 30, 1915 – Pioneering broadcast journalist Fred W. Friendly was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in New York City.

Oct. 30, 1916 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Leon Day was born in Alexandria, Va. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Oct. 30, 1917 – Major League Baseball shortstop and catcher Bobby Bragan was born in Birmingham, Ala. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers, and he also managed the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves.

Oct. 30, 1918 – The Ottoman Empire signed an armistice with the Allies, ending the First World War in the Middle East.

Oct. 30, 1919 - The professional baseball association ruled that spitballs and shineballs were illegal.

Oct. 30, 1930 – The Evergreen Courant published a special “Conecuh County Agricultural, Industrial and Historical Edition.” The front page of the 50-page edition was printed in green ink, it was the largest newspaper ever published in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1936 – The first ever night football game in the history of Frisco City High School was played on this day. Frisco City faced Monroe County High School and lost, 13-12. It was FC’s only documented loss of the entire season.

Oct. 30, 1936 – In a game played at 2:30 p.m. during the Conecuh County Fair, Evergreen High School beat Repton High School, 47-0, at Gantt Field in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1936 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer Robert Caro was born in New York City.

Oct. 30, 1938 - Martians invaded New Jersey! Well, at least that's what many radio listeners thought, when they tuned into Orson Welles' broadcast of “War of the Worlds” on CBS radio. As part of the realistic radio play, an announcer interrupted a dance orchestra to describe a crash in a farmer's field, and then later he warned of tentacled creatures inside giant attack machines. The public went into a panic--it's estimated that as many as one million people believed a real invasion was underway.

Oct. 30, 1941 – One thousand five hundred Jews from Pidhaytsi (in western Ukraine) were sent by Nazis to Bełżec extermination camp.

Oct. 30, 1942 – Lt. Tony Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier and canteen assistant Tommy Brown from the HMS Petard boarded U-559, retrieving material which would lead to the decryption of the German Enigma code.

Oct. 30, 1944 – Anne and Margot Frank were deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they die from disease the following year, shortly before the end of World War II.

Oct. 30, 1945 – Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signed a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier.

Oct. 30, 1948 - Alabama author Dennis Covington was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen City Council had approved a zoning plan and ordinance as presented to them by the City Planning Commission.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that all the remaining right-of-way deeds for the paving of the portion of U.S. Highway 84 through Herbert and Cohassett to Andalusia by the Conecuh County (Ala.) Board of Directors had been signed. Up to that point, county officials had been working to have that portion of the highway paved for a number of years.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the State of Alabama, as part of a federal aid project, had completed the construction of the new bridge over Murder Creek between Evergreen and Fairview in Conecuh County, Ala. As of this date, the approaches to the bridge were being completed and was expected to be finished at an early date.

Oct. 30, 1953 – Excel High School’s football team beat Red Level, 12-0. Standout Excel players in that game included Charles Byrd, James Fleming and Gerald Stacey.

Oct. 30, 1954 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, a U.S. Navy Super Constellation disappeared with 42 passengers and crew while flying in fair weather from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. to the Azores.

Oct. 30, 1964 – The Monroe County Board of Education appointed Monroe County High School head coach James Allen as principal of MCHS and promoted assistant coach Ronald M. Dees to head coach. The changes were made due to the resignation of MCHS principal B.E. Lee, who had been named as the president of the forthcoming junior college in Monroeville. The changes were to take effect on Feb. 1, 1965.

Oct. 30, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, near Da Nang, United States Marines repelled an intense attack by Viet Cong forces, killing 56 guerrillas.

Oct. 30, 1970 - Jim Morrison was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500 for exposing himself in Miami, Fla.

Oct. 30, 1970 – In Vietnam, the worst monsoon to hit the area in six years caused severe floods, killed 293, left 200,000 homeless and virtually halted the Vietnam War.

Oct. 30, 1974 – Excel High School began a streak of 20 straight games without a loss (including ties) that ended on Nov. 6, 1975.

Oct. 30, 1974 – As a member of the California Angels, Major League Baseball player Nolan Ryan threw the fastest recorded pitch, at 100.9 MPH.

Oct. 30, 1976 – NBA power forward and center Maurice Taylor was born in Detroit, Mich. He went on to play for the University of Michigan, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings.

Oct. 30, 1979 - In a run-off, Richard Arrington was elected as the first black mayor of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city. Arrington served in that post for nearly 20 years, until his resignation in July 1999.

Oct. 30, 1988 - Kurt Cobain smashed his very first guitar.

Oct. 30, 1988 - The New York Jets beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time.

Oct. 30, 1988 - Over 2,000 people attended an open house on this Sunday afternoon at the new Hillcrest High School in Evergreen, Ala. The school cost over $5 million to construct and was set to open in the fall of 1989. The open house was hosted by the Conecuh County Board of Education and Superintendent Steve Coker.

Oct. 30, 2001 - In New York City, U.S. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Oct. 30, 2001 - The U.S. Postal Service temporarily suspended the sale of envelopes pre-printed with postage due to developments in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Oct. 30, 2003 – Late on this Thursday night, vandals trenched an anarchy symbol on the east end of the football field at Sparta Academy, and the vandalism was reported to the Evergreen Police Department the following day, which was Halloween. Estimated damages totaled $1,127, and the vandals turned themselves in the following day. Many at fist thought that the symbol was a satanic symbol.

Oct. 30, 2005 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and manager Al Lopez passed away at the age of 97 in Tampa, Fla. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers, the Boston Bees, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians, and he managed the Indians and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Oct. 30, 2006 - A television version of Alabama author Anne Rivers Siddons's book “The House Next Door” was broadcast.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Oct. 30, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.00 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.40 inches

Notes: Today in the 303rd day of 2016 and the 38th day of Fall. There are 63 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

George Singleton laments the passing of the bygone era of fox hunting

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Vanishing of hunters ends era” was originally published in the Nov. 7, 1996 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

There was a time, not too long ago, that this time of year was the beginning of the fox hunting season. The full moon and cool winds, which gave a slight chill to the early autumn evenings, would give warning to the sly old fox that the hunters moon now hung in the heavens.

But the time of the old fox hunters, as some of us once knew them, has slowly slipped from the scene. The nights of the chases across open pastures and across the freshly harvested fields and the fireside gatherings have almost disappeared. No more do the night winds of autumn carry the laughter of the fox hunters as they gather together for a hunt and the many stories of the great fox hounds that used to be. Such names like Danny Boy, Old Bottom, Dixie Darling and many, many more are no longer. This was truly a breed of special people; people who are fast vanishing from the scene and from a special place within the countryside.

No more does the smell of wonderful hot coffee, brewed over an open fire, ride the night winds of our autumn. And, having a glorious full moon overhead while feeling the warmth of an open campfire has almost been forgotten.

What is the reason for the end of such a wonderful era? Why has the beauty of the chase and the music of the faithful foxhounds, as they trail the crafty old fox across the meadows, have lost their calling? Is it the lack of love for the outdoors? Has the bloob tube (television) captured all of our interests? Have we become so weak and lazy until we no longer have the strength to go forth on a chilly autumn evening and be a part of the Creation?

Whatever the reason, a time in our history has almost disappeared from among us that will never be recaptured again. The beauty and the romance of the fox hunters moon will soon be no more. The campfire tales have disappeared from the scenes, never to return. Those few of us that remember have lost a beautiful portion of our lives.

What will we tell our children? Will they pass through life without the pleasures of hearing the music of a pack of fox hounds as they give chase to wise of gray fox? How will they know the feeling and satisfaction of hearing the tall tales of the fox hunters as they sat around the glowing fires? And, as they sat there, listening to sounds of the chasing hounds, deep in their hearts, each hoped that the hounds never caught up with the sly old fox. And, are we depriving them of knowing the love of an open campfire under a full harvest moon? Truly, we should never let this happen. If our trend of life continues on its present course, these wonderful times of our past has just about disappeared into the darkness of oblivion.

As Southerners, we are now at the time in history when we desperately need some of the old forms of entertainment and some of the pastimes of yesterday. I believe that we must have a knowledge of these if we are to identify ourselves with our past. Laugh if you must, but the time has come when we have separated ourselves almost completely from our upbringing. We have become so absorbed in our lives of fantasy, in a world of make believe, we have forgotten what has made us great.

I know that many of you smile, and many wonder just how, perhaps foolish to some, this form of entertainment could be of value in our today’s way of life. But, today our world is a finer place to live because of the ways of the generations before us. I do not wish to sound like the voice of doom, but I think the time is at hand when we need to share all the knowledge and know-how we can extract from our past so our youth of today may live a sane and more useful lives into tomorrow.

This does not mean that one has to be a dyed-in-wood fox hunter to survive the coming years. But, the peace and contentment of such a pastime will be a great plus in the minds of our youth when facing the coming tomorrows. It seems that we try very hard to separate ourselves from our history of the past. But, we should so whatever we can to pass our experiences, both good and bad, to our youth of today. I have a saying that a person, a family, a community or a nation does not know where they are going unless they know where they have been. This, I believe with all my heart.

Many of the problems of the day was talked about and discussed around those evening campfires and things looked much better with the coming of the new day. I know that honor, respect and decency were common words of the old fox hunters. These men put great faith in the words of others. Their word was law; that’s all they had. This practice could be of great use in today’s society.

Today, as we push deeper and deeper into the age of the computer, we are less inclined to give much honor and respect to the word of our neighbor. We turn to the machine for much of our thinking and advice. We cannot see the rising of a glorious full moon on our computers or televisions; we cannot sit in our dens and living rooms and feel the wonders of our surroundings and know that somewhere up there a loving and caring God is watching.

We must be a part of our creation; we must smell the campfires and taste the crisp evening air. And, as we feel the chill of the evening and listen to the lullaby of the autumn winds across the hills, we will know that our God is forever present and all is well within our souls. And, as the fox hounds race in the distance, you will know that peace of mind is at hand.

 (Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County in June 1964 (some sources say 1961) and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for Oct. 29, 2016

Kate Jackson in 1976.
Oct. 29, 1390 – The first trial for witchcraft in Paris was held, leading to the death of three people.

Oct. 29, 1618 – English adventurer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I of England. He was around 65 years old.

Oct. 29, 1682 – French historian, explorer and author Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix was born in Saint-Quentin, Picardy, Kingdom of France. He is considered the first historian of New France, which then occupied much of North America known to Europeans.

Oct. 29, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Massachusetts Bay Governor William Phips prohibited further arrests, released many accused witches and dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Oct. 29, 1740 – Biographer James Boswell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for his 1791 book, “The Life of Samuel Johnson.”

Oct. 29, 1777 - John Hancock resigned his position as president of the Continental Congress, due to a prolonged illness. Hancock was the first member of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence and is perhaps best known for his bold signature on the ground-breaking document. During his tenure as president, Hancock presided over some of the most historic moments of the American Revolution, culminating in the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

Oct. 29, 1778 - Future New Jersey Governor Joseph Bloomfield resigned his military post. He had accepted the elected position of clerk for the New Jersey Assembly. The city of Bloomfield, New Jersey, was incorporated in his name in 1812.

Oct. 29, 1792 – Mount Hood in Oregon was named after Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood by Lt. William E. Broughton who sighted the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.

Oct. 29, 1837 – Folk artist and quilt maker Harriet Powers was born into slavery outside Athens, Ga.

Oct. 29, 1844 – Ingraham Spense of the Conecuh Guards was born at Bermuda, Ala. He first entered Confederate service on April 9, 1863 in Evergreen with Co. E, 4th Ala. Infantry, and served with that unit until paroled at the close of the war in 1865. He was a Second Sergeant at the close of the war.

Oct. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Woodbury and Morgantown, Ky.

Oct. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Williamsport, Maryland; at Indian Mound, Missouri; at Sabine Pass, Texas; near Upperville and on the Blackwater River, Virginia; and at Petersbug, West Virginia.

Oct. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Cherokee Station, Alabama

Oct. 29, 1863 - In Hamilton County, Tenn., the Battle of Wauhatchie (Brown's Ferry) came to an end after forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant opened a supply line in Chattanooga after driving away a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet. Although the Confederates still held the high ground above Chattanooga, the new supply line allowed the Union to hold the city and prepare for a major new offensive the next month. The Union suffered 78 killed, 327 wounded, and 15 missing, while the Confederates suffered 34 killed, 305 wounded, and 69 missing.

Oct. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Ozark, Arkansas; at Fourteen Mile Creek in the Indian Territory; at Saylorsville, Kentucky; near Opelousas, Louisiana; near Warsaw, Missouri; at Ford’s Mill, near New Berne, North Carolina; at Leiper’s Ferry, on the Holston River, Tennessee; near Catlett’s Station, Virginia; and at Beverly, West Virginia.

Oct. 29, 1864 – Confederate heroine Emma Sansom of Gadsden married Christopher B. Johnson and moved to Texas in late 1876 or early 1877.

Oct. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Muscle Shoals (or Raccoon Ford) near Florence, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Fort Heiman, Kentucky; at Upshaw's Farm and near Warrenton, Missouri; at Bainbridge, Tennessee; and at Johnson's Farm and Uppervile, Virginia.

Oct. 29, 1877 – Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest died.

Oct. 29, 1885 - Union General George B. McClellan died from a heart attack at the age of 85 in Orange, New Jersey.

Oct. 29, 1895 – Monroe County (Ala.) Deputy Sheriff Ben McMillan returned from Jefferson Parish, La. with Sam Rogers, who broke out of the Monroe County Jail four years prior and had been at large until captured by Jefferson Parish officers. McMillan returned him to the Monroe County Jail, where he was set to be tried on a murder indictment.

Oct. 29, 1901 – Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley, was executed by electrocution at the age of 28 at Auburn State Prison in Auburn, N.Y.

Oct. 29, 1905 – British novelist Henry Green was born Henry Yorke in Tewkesbury, England.

Oct. 29, 1911 - American newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer passed away at the age of 64 in Charleston, S.C.

Oct. 29, 1914 – The Conecuh Record reported that a “shooting affray occurred at Castleberry, Ala. a few days ago” between John Parker and John Ellis. Ellis was shot and seriously wounded by Parker, who was arrested and placed in the Conecuh County Jail.

Oct. 29, 1914 – The Conecuh Record reported that Minnie L. Hart had been appointed postmaster at Range, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1921 – In one of the biggest upsets in college football history, Harvard lost to Centre College, ending a 25 game winning streak.

Oct. 29, 1922 - The second movie version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “To Have and To Hold” was released.

Oct. 29, 1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashed in what would be called the Crash of '29 or "Black Tuesday," ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.

Oct. 29, 1940 - The first peacetime military draft began in the United States.

Oct. 29, 1942 – In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures held a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews.

Oct. 29, 1947 - A forest fire in Concord, N.H. was soaked with rain produced by seeding cumulus clouds with dry ice-- the first such attempt in the U.S.

Oct. 29, 1948 - Actress and Birmingham native Kate Jackson was born. Jackson played Sabrina Duncan, the leader of the group of women detectives, in the television series Charlie's Angels, which ran from 1976 to 1981. Her first television series was the gothic-horror soap opera Dark Shadows, on which she played the ghost of a Victorian governess.

Oct. 29, 1953 – Beatrice High School, under head coach James Pace, beat Repton High School, 7-0, on this homecoming Thursday night in Repton, Ala. E.H. Penny was Repton’s principal that year, and Albert Arnold was Repton’s head football coach.

Oct. 29, 1958 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor of The New Yorker magazine David Remnick was born in Hackensack, N.J.

Oct. 29, 1960 – An airplane carrying the Cal Poly football team crashed on takeoff in Toledo, Ohio.

Oct. 29, 1965 – Evergreen High School lost its seventh straight game, a 19-6 loss to Red Level in Red Level, Ala. Evergreen’s only touchdown came on a pass from Bubba Faulkner to Jack White.

Oct. 29, 1965 – On homecoming night in Coffeeville, Ala., Lyeffion High School beat Coffeeville High School, 39-0. Lyeffion quarterback Homer Chaver scored on four touchdown runs. Other outstanding Lyeffion players in that game included Laymon Booker, Ronnie Booker, Harold Brown, Don Jones, Bo O’Gwyn, Don Salter, Jerry New and Stanley Wilson.

Oct. 29, 1965 – On homecoming night in Repton, Ala., Repton High School beat Dozier High School, 21-0. Players scoring for Repton included Terry Andrews, Ralph Baggett and Nickey Thompson. Players scoring on PAT plays included Larry Baggett, Frank Watson and Barry Blackwell.

Oct. 29, 1966 – In an incident often attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, “Southern Cities,” a 67-foot tugboat left Freeport, Texas with a 210-foot barge in tow. The tugboat and its crew disappeared, but the barge, complete with its cargo and intact towline would be found by searchers.

Oct. 29, 1967 - A power outage to do necessary work was scheduled for this Sunday morning in Evergreen, Ala., beginning at the City Café and extending to the Highway 31 South area. The current was to be turned off at 7 a.m. and was scheduled to be turned back on at approximately 9:30 a.m. J.W. Weaver was the City of Evergreen’s Electrical Superintendent.

Oct. 29, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, Judge Julius Hoffman ordered “Chicago Eight” defendant Bobby Seale gagged and chained to his chair during his trial.

Oct. 29, 1971 - The total number of U.S. troops remaining in Vietnam dropped to 196,700 – the lowest level since January 1966. This was a result of the Vietnamization program announced by President Richard Nixon at the June 1969 Midway Conference. U.S. troops were to be withdrawn as the South Vietnamese assumed more responsibility for the war. The first withdrawal included troops from the 9th Infantry Division, who departed in August 1969. The withdrawals continued steadily, and by January 1972 there were less than 75,000 U.S. troops remaining in South Vietnam.

Oct. 29, 1973 - O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills set two National Football League records. He carried the ball 39 times and he ran 157 yards putting him over 1,000 yards at the seventh game of the season.

Oct. 29, 1979 - Willie Mays severed all ties with Major League Baseball when he accepted a public relations job with an Atlantic City casino.

Oct. 29, 1981 – Mike Qualls was named sports editor of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1983 - An early morning fire, thought to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit, gutted the main building of The Garden Center at Ollie, Ala. on this Saturday and caused heavy damage to a greenhouse, according to Monroeville Fire Chief Wilbert Pickens.

Oct. 29, 1989 – Lee Roy Jordan of Excel, Ala. was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Oct. 29, 1989 - Ozzie Newsome ended his National Football League streak of 150 consecutive game receptions.

Oct. 29, 1990 - The United Nations Security Council voted to hold Saddam Hussein's regime liable for human rights abuses and war damages during its occupation of Kuwait.

Oct. 29, 1991 – The asteroid “Gaspra” was photographed for the first time by the space probe Galileo.
Oct. 29, 1993 – Episode No. 7 of “The X-Files” – entitled “Ghost in the Machine” – aired for the first time.

Oct. 29, 1993 - The movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” story adapted by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was released.

Oct. 29, 1995 - Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers became the National Football League's career leader in receiving yards with 14,040 yards.

Oct. 29, 1995 – “Degree of Guilt,” a television version of Alabama author Richard North Patterson's books “Degree of Guilt” and “Eyes of a Child,” was broadcast.

Oct. 29, 2001 – Prairie Mission (also known as the Prairie Mission School and Prairie Institute) in Prairie in Wilcox County, Ala. and the Opp Commercial Historic District in Covington County, Ala. were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Oct. 29, 2004 – The Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera broadcasted an excerpt from a 2004 Osama bin Laden video in which the terrorist leader first admits direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and referenced the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Oct. 29, 2014 – The San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series.