Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Five Wilcox County cemeteries are listed on Alabama Historic Cemetery Register

Melton monument at Pine Apple.
My daughter and I took a pleasant ride through the Wilcox County backroads last week and visited several of the county’s historic cemeteries. She was out of school for Thanksgiving, so we took the opportunity to check out such landmarks as the William Joseph Melton monument in Pine Apple and the mass grave of the Orline St. John disaster victims in Camden. I’d been to these locations many times, but it was all new to her, and I could tell that she was genuinely interested in the tales behind these historic sites.

Wilcox County is one of the oldest counties in Alabama, and it’s riddled with historically significant cemeteries. In fact, five Wilcox County cemeteries are considered so historically important that they are listed on the Alabama Historical Commission’s Historic Cemetery Register. Those cemeteries include the Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, the Camden Cemetery, the Dulaney Cemetery, the Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery and the McIntosh Cemetery.

The Historic Cemetery Register is the state’s official list of historic cemeteries in Alabama. The Alabama Historical Commission considers historic cemeteries of this type particularly worthy of preservation and appreciation and therefore deserving of the special recognition of being placed on the Historic Cemetery Register. The register is updated annually.

The Dulaney Cemetery became the first Wilcox County cemetery to be named to the Historic Cemetery Register when it was added to the register on May 29, 2003. This cemetery is located near the Dulaney AME Church on State Highway 10, between Camden and Oak Hill. Headstones in this cemetery bear death dates that go back into the 1930s, but the cemetery likely contains many older graves because there are at least 50 unidentified grave sites there.

The McIntosh Cemetery was added to the Historic Cemetery Register on July 1, 2004. This cemetery is located in the Neenah community, between Rosebud and Fatama on County Road 51. Graves in this cemetery date back to the 1820s, and records reflect that no one’s been buried there since the 1880s.

The Camden Cemetery was placed on the Historic Cemetery Register on July 17, 2008. This large, well-known cemetery is located on Broad Street adjacent to Camden Baptist Church and contains around 1,500 graves, some of which date back to before Camden was even the county seat. I think you can make the case that this cemetery is the most historic cemetery in the entire county as it contains the graves of numerous historic figures like former Alabama Governor Benjamin Meek Miller, the victims of the Orline St. John disaster and over 80 veterans of the Civil War.

The Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery was added to the Historic Cemetery Register on Oct. 15, 2012. This historic cemetery is located in Pine Apple, across Broad Street from Friendship Baptist Church. Exploration of this cemetery will let you know that it’s a lot larger than it appears from the street. It contains nearly 500 graves, including many from the early 1800s. The most notable grave in this cemetery and perhaps in all of Wilcox County is the unique, lifelike statue of William Joseph Melton.

Last, but not least, is the Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, which was placed on the Historic Cemetery Register on March 19, 2013. This old cemetery is located not far off of State Highway 21, between McWilliams and Oak Hill. Records show that this cemetery contains about 200 graves, including some from the 1800s and many with either unknown or unreadable headstone inscriptions.

In the end, by my count, there are nearly 200 known cemeteries in Wilcox County, and many of them are just as noteworthy as those mentioned above. The Alabama Cemetery Register was last updated on Dec. 29, 2015, and it’s possible that even more Wilcox County cemeteries will be added to the list when it’s updated again. Until then, it’s up for debate as to which other local cemeteries deserve inclusion on the state’s official list of historic cemeteries.

Today in History for Nov. 30, 2016

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Nov. 30, 1498 – Spanish captain and explorer Andrés de Urdaneta was born in Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, Crown of Castile. As a navigator, he achieved in 1536 the "second" world circumnavigation (after the first one led by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano and their crew in 1522). Urdaneta discovered and plotted a path across the Pacific from the Philippines to Acapulco in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico) used by the Manila galleons, which came to be known as “Urdaneta's route.”

Nov. 30, 1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola came to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Fla.

Nov. 30, 1765 – Scottish merchant and explorer George Glas was stabbed to death during a mutinty by Spanish and Portuguese members of the crew of the barque “Earl of Sandwich.” Glass was around 40 years old.

Nov. 30, 1776 - Admiral Richard Howe and General William Howe, “the King’s Commissioners for restoring Peace,” issued a proclamation from New York City, promising pardon to those who would within 60 days subscribe to a declaration that they would desist from “Treasonable Actings and Doings.” The Howes’ offer appealed to thousands of residents from downstate New York, who were willing to trade in their weapons for pardons. At the time, Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island were securely in British hands and would remain so until after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

Nov. 30, 1776 - General Charles Lee wrote a letter to General George Washington to report that he was about to cross into New York near Peekskill.

Nov. 30, 1781 – Scottish surgeon, merchant and explorer Alexander Berry was born at Hilltarvit Mains Farmhouse, Cupar, Fife, Scotland. In 1822, Berry was given a land grant of 10,000 acres and 100 convicts to establish the first European settlement on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. This settlement became known as the Coolangatta Estate and later developed into what is now the town of Berry, named in honour of Alexander and his brother David.

Nov. 30, 1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, and settling territorial claims of Great Britain and the United States of America. The Treaty of Paris established the southern boundary of the U.S. at the 31st parallel north. Great Britain would retain possession of the Floridas. These preliminary peace articles were later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Nov. 30, 1811 – Capt. Matthew Arbuckle of the 3rd Regiment U.S. Infantry commanded a road construction party from Fort Stoddert that met a construction party working from the east to open the Federal Road to Georgia.

Nov. 30, 1818 – Autauga County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature and was formed from part of Montgomery County on Dec. 13, 1820. The town of Washington became the first county seat. Now bordered on the north by Chilton County, on the east by Elmore County and Montgomery County, on the south by Lowndes County and on the west by Dallas County. Named for Autauga Creek. Its county seats have been Washington, 1820-30; Kingston, 1830-68; and Prattville, the present county seat, chosen in 1868.

Nov. 30, 1835 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, was born in Florida, Mo.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, the “Trent Affair”, as it was beginning to be called on both sides of the Atlantic, was rapidly turning from a glorious triumph for the US Navy, particularly Captain Charles Wilkes of the USS San Jacinto, into a hideous embarrassment for the US diplomatic corps. On this day, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord John Russell, composed a letter to be sent to Lord Lyons, the minister (ambassador) to the United States. In it he directed Lyons to inform the American government that if the Confederate ministers Mason and Slidell were not released to British custody, and if an apology for their seizure from a British ship were not forthcoming, Lyon was to close the embassy and return to London with the entire legation.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Grand River, or Black Walnut Creek, near Sedalia, Mo.

Nov. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near mouth of Little Cacapon River, West Virginia.

Nov. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin, the once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by General John Bell Hood, suffered a devastating defeat after Hood ordered a dramatically unsuccessful frontal assault on Union positions commanded by John McAllister Schofield around Franklin, Tennessee, with Hood losing six of his finest generals and almost a third of his troops. Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, some 200 were killed andmore than 2,000 were wounded. The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; approximately 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured.

Nov. 30, 1865 - Alabama author A. B. Meek died in Columbus, Miss.

Nov. 30, 1901 – English explorer and politician Edward John Eyre died at the age 86 in Yorkshire, England.

Nov. 30, 1905 – The Monroe Journal repored that Charlie Broughton, The Journal’s “faithful and efficient” composition and typesetting machine operator, was back at his post after having been laid up several days with tonsillitis.

Nov. 30, 1907 - Dr. W.A. Mason and family left Conecuh County, Ala. on this Saturday for their new home at Excel, Ala. “where the doctor (had) been enjoying a successful and lucrative practice for the past four months.”

Nov. 30, 1921 - Alabama author Eugene Walter was born in Mobile, Ala.

Nov. 30, 1931 - Legendary football coach Bill Walsh was born in Los Angeles, California.

Nov. 30, 1938 – The hog sale held in Monroeville on this Wednesday was “by far the best sale yet held.” At the sale, 775 hogs, weighing a total of 135,545 pounds, sold for $7,919.45 and 193 head of cattle sold for $2,632.52, making a total of $10,551.97. The Wilson Packing Co. of Columbus, Ga. bought all top grade hogs and the cattle were sold to packing houses and individuals from over the county.

Nov. 30, 1950 – Army MSG Tellis W. Donaldson of Covington County, Ala. was listed as “died/missing” in Korea.

Nov. 30, 1953 – Award-winning writer Rheta Grimsley Johnson was born in Colquitt, Ga. She would later live in Monroeville, Ala. and work at The Monroe Journal newspaper.

Nov. 30, 1954 – At 2:46 p.m., a meteorite weighing 8-1/2 pounds crashed into Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga as she rested on her living room couch. The meteorite crashed through the roof of her rented house, bounced off a console radio and struck her left hip and hand. Awakened by the pain and noise, she thought the gas space heater had exploded. When she noticed a grapefruit-sized rock lying on the floor and a ragged hole in the roof, she assumed children were the culprits. Her mother, Ida Franklin, rushed outside and saw only a black cloud in the sky. Alabamians in and around the area saw the event from a different perspective, with many reporting that they had seen a fireball in the sky and heard a tremendous explosion that produced a white or brownish cloud. Most assumed it involved an airplane accident. The event gave Hodges a severely bruised hip and instant celebrity status. She later became embroiled in a court battle with her landlord over ownership of the rock, which was eventually donated to a university, after being used as a doorstop. The meteorite, the first one known to have caused injury to a human, is housed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa. This is the only documented case in the Western Hemisphere of a human being hit by a rock from space.

Nov. 30, 1958 – Australian pilot, ornithologist, geographer and explorer Hubert Wilkins died at the age of 70 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The US Navy later took his ashes to the North Pole aboard the submarine USS Skate on March 17, 1959. The Navy confirmed on March 27 that, "In a solemn memorial ceremony conducted by Skate shortly after surfacing, the ashes of Sir Hubert Wilkins were scattered at the North Pole in accordance with his last wishes."

Nov. 30, 1960 – “All the Way Home,” a dramatic version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” opened on Broadway.

Nov. 30, 1961 – Four Conecuh County, Ala. high school basketball teams were scheduled to square off against each other in a “big doubleheader” at Evergreen High School’s Memorial Gym, beginning at 7 p.m. Evergreen High School, under Coach John Law Robinson, was scheduled to play Conecuh County High School, and that game was to be followed by a game between Lyeffion High School and Repton High School.

Nov. 30, 1962 - Football and baseball star, Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson was born in Bessemer, Ala. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 and was the first professional athlete to be named an all star in two major sports.

Nov. 30, 1962 - W.C. Nichols of Excel, Ala. was re-elected president of the Monroe County Board of Education for a ninth year at a meeting in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday. Tom W. Weatherford of Uriah was re-elected vice-president. Other board members were Dr. John L. Abbott of Monroeville, James C. Brooks of Megargel and S. Miller Fore of Beatrice.

Nov. 30, 1966 – A woman who wished to remain anonymous was changing a tire on a lonely stretch of Route 491 near Brooksville, Fla. when she became aware of an awful stench. She then heard a heavy crashing of brush, and she turned to see a large, hairy creature walking toward her. Moments later, the sound of an approaching vehicle caused the thing to turn and walk back into the woods.

Nov. 30, 1966 - “Dutch Christmas” entered by the Helen Keller Club won first place in the best float contest of the Evergreen Christmas parade on this Wednesday. “Christmas in Austria” by the Evergreen Study Club won second place. “Christmas Around the World” by Evergreen High School won third place.

Nov. 30, 1968 – Manager Harmon Gunter announced that an open house would be held at the new Steven Robert Corp. plant on Kendall Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1971 - ABC-TV aired "Brian's Song." The movie was about Chicago Bears' Brian Picolo and his friendship with Gale Sayers.

Nov. 30, 1983 – The National League of Cities Congress of Cities meeting began at the New Orleans Hilton Hotel, and Evergreen, Ala. Mayor Lee F. Smith attended as one of 20 voting delegates representing the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Nov. 30, 1983 – Evergreen, Alabama’s annual Christmas Parade was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Nov. 30, 1992 - The video "NFL Country," by various artists, was certified Gold by the RIAA.

Nov. 30, 1993 - The National Football League awarded the league's 30th franchise to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nov. 30, 1995 – Operation Desert Storm officially ended.

Nov. 30, 1998 - Author and poet Margaret Walker passed away in Chicago, Ill. at the age of 83. Her mother’s relatives lived in Greenville, Ala. and she set a portion of her 1966 novel, “Jubilee,” in Greenville.

Nov. 30, 2005 - The White House released a document titled "Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." The document accompanied an address by U.S. President George Bush.

Nov. 30, 2011 - Evergreen weather observer Betty Ellis reported a low temperature of 29 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

Nov. 30, 2011 - A host of local court officials, friends and family were on hand to wish Pat Wright well as she closed out her career as an employee at the Conecuh County Courthouse. Wright, a resident of Evergreen, began working in the Conecuh County Circuit Clerk’s Office on Sept. 13, 1972 and she closed out her 39-year career with a retirement reception on this Wednesday. At the time of her retirement, Wright was in charge of administering civil cases in circuit and district court as well as small claims court cases.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Nov. 30, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.50 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.60 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 2.20 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 47.00 inches

Notes: Today in the 334th day of 2016 and the 69th day of Fall. There are 32 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.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Nov. 30, 2016

DEC. 6, 1990

Leon A. Salter Jr., 81, of Westminster Village, Spanish Fort died Sat., Dec. 1. A well known Evergreen native, he lived most of his life here until retiring several years ago to Spanish Fort.
Col. Salter served as Circuit Clerk of Conecuh County for a number of years, serving from 1947 to 1951 (while serving in the Korean War) and again from 1965 until his retirement in 1977. He was a popular and efficient office holder as circuit clerk.
Col. Salter joined the Alabama National Guard at Evergreen in 1928 and went through the enlisted ranks to lieutenant colonel. The Alabama Guard, 117th Battalion was activated for federal service on Nov. 20, 1940 and Col. Salter served through World War II until June 1946. He continued his National Guard reserve role until the Alabama Guard was federalized in January 1951 for service during the Korean War. Col. Salter was reassigned to reserve status in 1953. He retired from his rank of lieutenant colonel on Nov. 27, 1969 after 41 years of Army service.
Mr. Salter was an excellent businessman and served his community in many ways.

Weatherman Harry Ellis reports .33 of an inch of rain on Nov. 28. Total rainfall for November was 1.74 inches.

The Courant continues this week publishing the pictures, names and addresses of local servicemen who are stationed in the Persian Gulf area. We ask that you take the time to send these young men a few words of encouragement as they desperately need news from home.

DEC. 4, 1975

Total rainfall for 1975 has topped the 100-inch mark, according to Earl Windham. This may be a new record for Evergreen and Conecuh County. Windham said the heavy rain Sunday evening, 2.4 inches, sent the total for the year up to 100.9 inches. Also, .8 of an inch of rain fell on Nov. 26.

Tommy Kimbrough of Boykin Jewelers recently graduated from the JIA University for Jewelers, Los Angeles, Calif. Kimbrough is the son of Mrs. Brown Boykin of Evergreen and is in charge of the watch and jewelry repair department at Boykin’s.

The U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster Eugene Hyde would like to remind patrons that Dec. 15 and Dec. 10 are the suggested deadlines for mailing letters and parcel post, respectively, within 48 contiguous states. The deadline for airmail parcels is Dec. 21.

Revenue from Conecuh County’s tax on beer was $9,590.40 for November, up $406.70 over the $9,183.70 collected in October, according to County Treasurer Wayne E. Johnston.

The Lyeffion Baptist Church had an ‘old fashioned day’ Sunday and burned a note indicating payment for the pastorium and broke ground to initiate the bricking of the wood-frame church building. Taking part in the ground-breaking ceremony are Ed Everage, missionary for the Conecuh Baptist Association, T.V. Covin, Hiram Beesley, Carlton McKenzie, Herbert Oakley, Elie Brewton, the Rev. Cliff Boggs, pastor and Talmadge Johnson.

DEC. 1, 1960

H.R. (Ronnie) Dailey, an Auburn University graduate in pharmacy, joined the staff of the City Drug Store this week, it is announced today by Cecil C. Hagood Sr., owner.

The (Evergreen) city council got organized for the incoming administration in the last council meeting, Nov. 23.
Henry Sessions, who led the ticket in the election was nominated as Mayor Pro Tem by Dr. Joe Hagood and as the custom is for the high-vote man, he was elected to that position. Chairman of the Utilities Committee is Jack Wild; the Streets, Parks and Cemetery Committee is headed by Walter Poole; Aubrey Griffin is chairman of the Police and Fire Department; the Finance Committee is headed by Dr. Joe Hagood; and Henry Sessions is over the Sanitation and Recreation Committee.

Santa Claus came to town yesterday on the heels of the first real cold snap of the winter… and promptly stole the hearts of all the children (eight to 80) on hand for the 11th annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival Parade.
A crowd estimated as “in excess of 5,000’ braved the cold wind to see the 11th annual, best-yet parade.
Adding much to the enjoyment was the music of five high school bands, T.R. Miller of Brewton, Repton High, Frisco City, Evergreen and the Eagle Band of Conecuh County Training School.

DEC. 6, 1945

One Time Negro Slave Dies Here Friday: Old Aunt Emma Lane, age 87, one time slave of the Ashleys, pioneer family of this county, died at her home Friday after a long period of failing health. Aunt Emma was a good and faithful citizen. Hard working and thrifty she had accumulate some right valuable property in the business section. She had many friends among both white and colored who are sincerely saddened at her passing.

Sgt. Max Ivey, U.S. Army Medical Corps, arrived home early Wednesday morning. He spent 24 months in the ETO and participated in five major battles, has the Meritorious Service Plaque awarded to the 13th Field Hospital, and is the holder of the Good Conduct Medal. Sgt. Ivey received his honorable discharge in Atlanta, Ga.

Pfc. and Mrs. Sid Lambert (Ruby Lee Pierce) announce the birth of a seven-pound boy at Stabler’s Hospital, who they have named Sidney Silver Lambert Jr.

FIFTY LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS WAITING TO BE ADOPTED FOR CHRISTMAS: We have the names of 50 boys and girls that will not be happy this Christmas unless you play Santa Claus for them. Just mail a card and say I will pack a box for a boy or girl and we will send you the name of the child, we will deliver the gifts for you. To be happy you must make others happy. Join our Santa Claus Club and you will be happy. SANTA CLAUS CLUB, Box 106.

DEC. 4, 1930

Clifton Ryland of Bermuda is one of nine boys who were given a free trip to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago for high achievements in club work. They left Alabama on Nov. 26 and will return Dec. 5.

The Evergreen Lions Club feels signally honored in having Melvin Jones, secretary-general of Lions International, founder of Lionism and the first President of Lions International, to be present and deliver an address at a meeting that will be held tonight in Newton’s Hall.

Twelve to 18 trucks, a number of mule teams and a large crew of men began work this week surfacing the highway from here to Brooklyn, a distance of approximately 20 miles.

With the latest and most modern equipment known for marketing purposes, Hyde’s Market will open to the public Sat., Dec. 6, in the building just north of I. Long and Sons and next door to the Rainbow Café.

Dr. Ealum, dentist who graduated from Southern Dental College in 1927, and who has since that time been practicing in Atlanta, Ga., and Red Level, Ala., has moved his offices to Evergreen and will henceforth be associated with his uncle, Dr. J.R. Brooks in the practice of his profession.

Conecuh Baptist Association had a great day at old Beulah Cemetery Tues., Nov. 25, when representatives from a number of churches met to clean off the grounds and hold services for the pioneer memorial leader and founder of Baptist work in Conecuh County, Rev. Alexander Travis.

Today in History for Nov. 29, 2016

General John Palmer
Nov. 29, 1729 – Natchez Indians massacred 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi.

Nov. 29, 1775 - The Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, established a Committee of Secret Correspondence. The committee’s goal was to provide European nations with a Patriot interpretation of events in Britain’s North American colonies, in the hope of soliciting aid for the American war effort.

Nov. 29, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia came to an end with the arrival of British reinforcements.

Nov. 29, 1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murdered 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea to claim insurance.

Nov. 29, 1813 – During the War of 1812, the Battle of Autosse took place at the Indian village of Autosse, on the southern bank of the Tallapoosa River, 20 miles above its junction with the Coosa River in Alabama. The battle lasted about two hours and was won by an American force of about 950 Georgia militia led by American Brigadier General John Floyd and 400 friendly Creeks led by William McIntosh and the son of Mad Dog. During the rad, over 200 hostile Creeks were killed and 400 dwellings were destroyed at the cost to Floyd of 11 killed and 54 wounded.

Nov. 29, 1832 – Novelist Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pa. She is best remembered for her 1868 book, “Little Women.”

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Warner’s Ranch, southwest of Los Angeles, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Confederate Legislature “accepted” the admission of Missouri into the Confederacy and ordered a star added to the flag in her honor, but in fact Missouri’s major cities and Mississippi River banks were firmly in control of the Union.

Nov. 29, 1862 - John Palmer and John Scholfield were promoted to major general for the Union army.

Nov. 29, 1864 – In what is now known as the “Sand Creek Massacre,” Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacred at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants at Sand Creek inside the Colorado Territory. Nine of Chivington’s men were killed; 148 of Black Kettle’s followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children.

Nov. 29, 1864 – During the Battle of Spring Hill, a Confederate advance into Tennessee missed an opportunity to crush the Union Army. General John Bell Hood, who approached Franklin, Tenn. on this day, was angered, which led to the Battle of Franklin the following day when Hood attacked troops under John Scholfield.

Nov. 29, 1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time.

Nov. 29, 1890 - Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. The game was played at West Point, NY.

Nov. 29, 1898 – Novelist and Christian apologist Clive Staples “C.S.” Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland. A World War I veteran, he was also good friends with fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkein. Lewis is best known for his books, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Nov. 29, 1902 - The New York Medical Record published an account of Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill performing the first open heart surgery in the western hemisphere when he sutured a knife wound in a young boy’s heart. Dr. Hill was the father of Alabama politician and U.S. senator Lister Hill.

Nov. 29, 1902 – The Pittsburgh Stars defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 11–0, at the Pittsburgh Coliseum, to win the first championship associated with an American national professional football league.

Nov. 29, 1914 - Mr. H.L. Dodson of Perdue Hill reported “the somewhat unusual incident of seeing a ‘belled buzzard’ flying over his place.”

Nov. 29, 1915 - The principal (Prof. Harris) and faculty of Monroe County High School hosted on this Monday Miss Sarah Luther, Conecuh County High School principal, and faculty, composed of Misses Skinner and Vaughn and Prof. Williams; and on Dec. 1, Prof. Claude Hardy, principal of the Wilcox County High School and Miss Palmer of the Alabama Girls’ School, Montevallo, visited MCHS.

Nov. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lee Montgomery of Beatrice, Ala. “died from disease.”

Nov. 29, 1918 – Newberry Award-winning novelist Madeleine L’Engle was born in New York City. She is best known for her 1963 book, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Nov. 29, 1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard E. Byrd led the first expedition to fly over the South Pole.

Nov. 29, 1946 – Thomas Charles Littles was born in Brewton, Ala. He would be fatally wounded during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 29, 1961 – During Project Mercury’s Mercury-Atlas V Mission, Enos, a chimpanzee, was launched into space aboard the Mercury-Atlantis V. The spacecraft orbited the Earth twice and splashed down off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Nov. 29, 1961 – Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival, which was sponsored by the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to be held on this Wednesday. The parade, which was to feature Santa Claus, was scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Nov. 29, 1962 - Major League Baseball decided to return to only one All-Star Game a year beginning in 1963.

Nov. 29, 1963 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission, headed by Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Nov. 29, 1967 – Evergreen’s annual Christmas parade was held as part of Conecuh County’s annual Christmas Carnival.

Nov. 29, 1971 – Birmingham, Ala. native Lee May was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Houston Astros.

Nov. 29, 1974 - Alabama author Ruby Pickens Tartt died in York, Ala.

Nov. 29, 1974 – A public ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled to be held at the new Southtown Plaza Shopping Center in Monroeville, Ala. on this day after Thanksgiving. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the shopping center, which was located on the Highway 21 Bypass at Mayfield Street. The shopping center included a new TG&Y store.

Nov. 29, 1976 – Actress Anna Faris was born in Baltimore, Md.

Nov. 29, 1980 - "Monday Night Football" was on the cover of TV Guide.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers completed a record 22 consecutive passes.

Nov. 29, 1987 - Venice Glenn of the San Diego Chargers ran back an interception for 103 yards, setting a NFL record.

Nov. 29, 1990 - The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of "all means necessary" to remove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait, giving Iraq the deadline of midnight on January 16, 1991, to leave or risk forcible removal.

Nov. 29, 1991 - The worst U.S. highway mishap took place in which a zero visibility dust storm caused 33 accidents, involving 164 vehicles near Kern Coubty, Calif.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Dennis Byrd of the New York Jets was paralyzed after a neck injury in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nov. 29, 1992 - Jerry Rice caught his 100th NFL touchdown pass.

Nov. 29, 1995 - Hurricane Opal hit the Florida panhandle and Alabama. Nine people died.

Nov. 29, 1997 - Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson coached his last college football game as Grambling’s Tigers played the Southern University Jaguars at the Superdome in New Orleans. Southern won, 30-7. Robinson had been coaching at Grambling, a historically black college near Shreveport, for 55 seasons.

Nov. 29, 2011 - Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team beat Wilcox Academy, 59-47, on this Tuesday in Evergreen. Dylan Middleton led Sparta with a double double. He scored 17 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and stole the ball twice.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Nov. 29, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 1.40 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.40 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.50 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 2.10 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.90 inches

Notes: Today in the 333rd day of 2016 and the 68th day of Fall. There are 33 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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Nov. 28, 2016

Alabama's Frank W. Thomas
DEC. 3, 1992

Senior Bryant Robinson will represent Sparta Academy in the AISA All Star football game to be played at Block Park in Selma Fri., Dec. 4. The game will start at 7 p.m. Bryant is the son of Wayne and Cathy Robinson of Evergreen.

It was a ‘clean sweep’ for Hillcrest High School on opening night of the 1992-93 basketball season. Each of the school’s four teams posted a victory against W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton Tuesday night.
The ninth graders started the evening with a 46-32 win, followed by the B-team with a 47-44 win. The Hillcrest girls picked up where they left off last year with a 52-48 victory over the Lady Eagles. The Jags varsity finished off the evening three points shy of the century mark with a 97-67 victory over W.S. Neal’s top players.

Conservation Officer Tommy Atkins along with hunter safety instructors Hoover Kynard and Garvey Gates, gave a lecture to students at Evergreen Junior High School. The lecture included requirements of becoming a conservation officer, laws and regulations, hunting accidents, night hunting and firearm safety.

DEC. 1, 1977

James Wendell Hart, 60, of Evergreen died Sat., Nov. 26, in an Atlanta hospital after a long illness.
He was known as Coach Hart to hundreds of former students as he served as head coach at Evergreen High School for over 20 years. He also coached at Luverne, Elba and Lyeffion and was one of the state’s most successful coaches and at one time the most senior in years of service.
Coach Hart was a native of Conecuh County, a member of a prominent pioneer family. He graduated from Evergreen High School where he was an outstanding athlete and then played at Sunflower Junior College and Millsaps College, both in Mississippi. He lettered in three major sports – football, basketball and baseball in both high school and college. He graduated from Troy State University.
After serving with the U.S. Army in World War II, Coach Hart returned to Evergreen and was named head coach at Evergreen High School in 1946. He coached football, basketball and baseball and was successful in all three sports. He coached the only undefeated team in Evergreen High School history, his 1949 Aggies winning eight, losing none and tying two. The 1949 and 1950 teams had a record of 17 wins, one loss and two ties.
Coach Hart was known for his coaching primarily, but he was also recognized as an outstanding classroom teacher.

DEC. 6, 1962

Coach Wayne Pope’s Conecuh County High Blue Devils crushed Excel 56 to 29 in Castleberry Friday night.
Donnie Kast fired 18 points and tall Henry Foster 16 to pace the Blue Devil attack as the home team grabbed an early lead and pulled away steadily.
(Other players on CCHS’s team that season included Larry Smith, Patton Brown, Don Garrett, Danny Norwood and Ronnie Golson.)

Mr. and Mrs. D.T. Stuart spent the weekend in Birmingham and attended the Alabama-Auburn football game.

There will be a donkey basketball game Saturday night at Lyeffion High School at 8:00. Local stars will compete from the beasts’ backs.
Advanced admission will be 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Prices at the gate will be 60 cents for adults and 35 cents for children.

The Evergreen Aggies will open their 1962-63 basketball season in Repton Friday night, Dec. 7. Admission is 35 cents for students and 60 cents for adults.
(Other teams on Evergreen’s regular season schedule that season included T.R. Miller, Atmore, Frisco City, Lyeffion, W.S. Neal, Repton, Greenville, Castleberry and Georgiana.)

DEC. 4, 1947

The boys who once took advantage of an understaffed game warden force killed their game and fish illegally and then sang a happy ditty about ‘never seeing one of them possum sheriffs’ aren’t singing that song so joyously these days.
Four hundred and 14 transgressors of game and fish laws and regulations felt the heavy hands of Alabama’s 72 game protectors on their shoulders during October, the first month of the present fiscal year, it was announced by C. Graham Hixon, fish and seafood chief of Alabama’s Department of Conservation.

Applications from alumni for Sugar Bowl tickets are being received this week by the University of Alabama Athletic Department, Frank W. Thomas, athletic director, announced.
Opening date for alumni ticket orders was Dec. 1 and a limit of two tickets for each alumnus has been set. All ticket applications must bear the class year and school of applicant, Thomas said.
Sugar Bowl ticket price is $5, and applications should included mailing fee of 25 cents, Athletic Business Manager Jeff Coleman said.
Alabama received the Sugar Bowl bid following its 41-12 victory over LSU.

DEC. 1, 1932

Alabama’s Crimson Tide left for San Francisco Saturday morning where they will clash with the St. Mary’s 11, Dec. 3.
The Tide will be making its fourth trip to the West Coast. They represented the South in the Rose Bowl of Pasadena in 1925, 1926 and 1930. They won two of these games and tied the third.
The 1932 Crimson Tide, although it has lost to both Tennessee and Georgia Tech this fall, is rated just as high as the others that have gone to the West Coast and Alabama fans are in high hopes of victory over the Galloping Gaels of St. Mary’s.

Today in History for Nov. 28, 2016

Ernie Nevers
Nov. 28, 1520 – After navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first European ships to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Nov. 28, 1640 – Flemish captain and explorer Willem de Vlamingh was born in Oost-Vlieland. He became a sea captain and explored the central west coast of Australia (then "New Holland") in the late 17th century. The mission charted parts of the continent's western coast.

Nov. 28, 1757 – Poet and artist William Blake was born in London.

Nov. 28, 1777 - After the judgment and loyalty of Silas Deane was called into question, Congress appointed John Adams to succeed Deane as the commissioner to France. Deane had been recalled to America by Congress after fellow diplomat Arthur Lee accused him of misappropriating French funds.

Nov. 28, 1805 – American archeologist and explorer John Lloyd Stephens was born in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America and in the planning of the Panama railroad.

Nov. 28, 1813 – Col. Gilbert C. Russell, the commander at Mount Vernon, arrived at Fort Claiborne, with the Third Regiment of the U.S. Infantry.

Nov. 28, 1814 – “The Times” newspaper in London was for the first time printed by automatic, steam-powered presses built by the German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer, signaling the beginning of the availability of newspapers to a mass audience.

Nov. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, Missouri was admitted as a member of the Confederate State of America.

Nov. 28, 1862 – In the Battle of Cane Hill, Union troops under General John Blunt drove Confederates under General John Marmaduke back into the Boston Mountains in northwestern Arkansas. The battle was part of a Confederate attempt topush the Yankees back into Missouri and recapture ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign of early 1862, when Union forces secured parts of northern Arkansas. The Yankees suffered 41 men killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost 45.

Nov. 28, 1863 - Confederate reinforcements arrived at Knoxville, Tennessee. Confederate General James Longstreet continued his siege in order to draw Union troops away from Chattanooga. Ultimately, Longstreet retreated back to Virginia.

Nov. 28, 1881 – In a letter to Alabama Gov. R.W. Cobb, Covington County Probate Judge Malachi Riley recommended Joseph Tarpley Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s father) for appointment as constable for Beat 12 (Red Level, Ala.) – apparently to fill a vacancy, since regular elections were held in August. He would be elected to the position on Jan. 9, 1882.

Nov. 28, 1888 – Thomasville, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality. (Ala. League of Mun.)

Nov. 28, 1894 – Young Madison Rabb, the author of “The Early History of What is Known as the Evergreen Beat,” passed away in Brewton, Ala. at the age of 68. He was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

Nov. 28, 1895 – The Monroe Journal announced the candidacy of and endorsed W.S. “Sam” Bowden for the office of Monroe County (Ala.) Sheriff.

Nov. 28, 1909 – Sergei Rachmaninoff made the debut performance of his Piano Concerto No. 3, considered to be one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire.

Nov. 28, 1910 – Brit Nelson allegedly murdered Manuel Rankin, who lived a short distance from Evergreen, Ala. A $100 reward was offered for Nelson’s capture.

Nov. 28, 1915 – On this Sunday afternoon, a sizeable crowd attended the dedication service at the “New Church” at Old Town. The Rev. J.G. Dickinson conducted a scripture reading and sermon, and the event also included singing and other music.

Nov. 28, 1925 – The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut when it began broadcasting on new radio station WSM in Nashville, Tenn. as the “WSM Barn Dance.”

Nov. 28, 1929 - Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals set a NFL record when he scored 40 points in a game. He scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points.

Nov. 28, 1932 - The Monroe County High School Association met in Excel on this Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Moore was the leader of the program, and the subject was “Character Education Through Health.”

Nov. 28, 1932 - R.G. Bozeman and J. Lamar Kelly of Evergreen were business visitors to Monroeville on this Monday afternoon.

Nov. 28, 1942 – NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield was born in Warren Ohio. He would go on to play for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

Nov. 28, 1944 – Edward Ballard, 22, of Belleville, Ala. was killed in action in Germany. His father was Fred Ballard of Belleville.

Nov. 28, 1944 – Novelist Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pa.

Nov. 28, 1946 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Jim Atwell of Panama City, Fla. attended the funeral of his cousin John Rountree last week. Atwell had last seen the Rountree family in October 1891 when he and his brother John Atwell walked over 100 miles from Houston County to Mt. Union in 3-1/2 days.

Nov. 28, 1947 – American journalist, novelist and poet Gustav Hasford was born in Russellville, Ala. His semi-autobiographical novel “The Short-Timers” (1979) was the basis of the film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). He was also a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Vietnam War.

Nov. 28, 1948 – NFL defensive end Vern Den Herder was born in Le Mars, Iowa. He would play for the Miami Dolphins from 1971 through 1982.

Nov. 28, 1948 - Dippy Evans of the Chicago Bears became the first NFL player to score two touchdowns on recovered fumbles in a game.

Nov. 28, 1949 - Alabama author John Bensko was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Nov. 28, 1950 – During the Korean War, Marine PFC Carl Hubert Lloyd of Monroe County, Ala.; Army Cpl. Leonard Watson of Escambia County, Ala.; and Army PFC Joseph D. Chancery of Escambia County, Ala. were killed in action.

Nov. 28, 1953 - New York City began 11 days without newspapers due to a strike of photoengravers.

Nov. 28, 1954 - Alabama author Lex Williford was born in El Paso, Texas.

Nov. 28, 1961 – Conecuh County High School, under Coach Wayne Pope, was scheduled to tip off te 1961-62 basketball season against T.R. Miller in Brewton, Ala. Returning lettermen on the team included senior Haskew Page and junior Henry Foster. Other players on the team included Larry Janes, Theo Ryals, Wayne Sims, Donnie Kast, Lester Warren, Dudley Jones and Thomas Shipp.

Nov. 28, 1964 - The U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 was launched on a flyby mission of Mars, providing the first ever close-up images of another planet. Many credit Mariner 4's images and data for altering the course of science fiction, shifting the home of intelligent aliens from Mars (or other planets in our solar system) to planets circling distant stars.

Nov. 28, 1968 – Alabama Highway Director Robert G. Kendall Jr. issued an advisory urging motorists not to travel on the unfinished sections of Interstate Highway 65 between Montgomery and Georgiana due to safety concerns and the presence of workers.

Nov. 28, 1969 – Excel High School won the 1A state football title by beating Sweet Water, 30-6, in Linden, Ala. Excel quarterback Jimmy Dale Dawson ran for two touchdowns and kicked two extra points. Tony Narrimore also ran for two touchdowns. Mike Ledkins and Danny Wiggins scored on PAT attempts each.

Nov. 28, 1974 – In Monroe Academy’s “fifth quarter” state championship win over Hooper Academy, three Vols scored touchdowns in the game – Ray Atkins, Keith Pugh and Fella Owens.

Nov. 28, 1977 – The newest addition to the McDonald’s fastfood restaurant chain was officially opened in Monroeville, Ala. on this Monday with a special “money ribbon” cutting. Owners John and Nancy Rice of Monroeville reported that the 50 one-dollar bills that made up the ribbon were to be donated to the Monroe Activity Center. Officially cutting the ribbon were the Rices’ sons, Billy, Johnny and Kevin. Also there were Mr. Rice’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Rice Sr., County Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs, Monroeville Mayor B.C. Hornady and Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Harhai.

Nov. 28, 1980 – During the Iran–Iraq War’s Operation Morvarid, the bulk of the Iraqi Navy was destroyed by the Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf. (Commemorated in Iran as Navy Day.)

Nov. 28, 1981 – Herman Regusters, an aerospace engineer from South Pasadena, and his wife Kia claimed to have seen and to have photographed a dinosaur-like animal in a remote African lake. Mrs. Regusters said that the gigantic reptile was a dark red with a long, thick neck, and longer than two hippopotamuses. Unfortunately, the photograph taken by the Regusters was rather fuzzy, and their tape recording of the “roaring trumpeting noise” heard frequently around Lake Tele was impossible to identify.

Nov. 28, 1989 – The Monroe County (Ala.) Commission, led by Commissioner Silas G. Tucker, proclaimed the week of Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 1989 as “Excel Panther Week” to mark the school’s participation in the 1A state championship football game.

Nov. 28, 2002 - LeAnne Rimes performed at the half time show at the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins Thanksgiving Day game.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Nov. 28, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.10 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.70 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.50 inches

Notes: Today in the 332nd day of 2016 and the 67th day of Fall. There are 34 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, November 27, 2016

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

John and Nancy Blanton
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of November 1886. 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, 1886

County court convened Monday.

The election passed off very quietly Tuesday.

The Journal was delayed last week on account of the cold “snap” and other unfortunate circumstances.

Mr. Ben Goldsmith died very suddenly at his home in Claiborne Sunday, the 31st inst.

Finchburg is the name of a new post office recently established in the neighborhood of Col. A.J. Hays, about six or seven miles west of River Ridge. It will be quite a convenience to the people of that community.

N. Smith was prosecuted recently in three cases and had a trial before Judge Sowell last Friday, and was acquitted in each case. Smith was represented by Col. James Faulk, who proved by the skillful manner in which he managed the cases that he understands his profession.

Rev. Mr. Morton preached at the Presbyterian church Wednesday at 3:45 p.m.

The weather has turned off much warmer.

Only one week from Monday until Circuit Court.

Rev. P.C. Morton, Presbyterian Evangelist, closed a meeting at Perdue Hill Tuesday with seven successions to the church. He stopped in town Wednesday, on his way to the Presbytery, which meets in Columbiana in a few days.

NOV. 12, 1886

The Congressional vote in Monroe last week was lighter than ever before.

The champion cotton-picker – Tommie Nettles of Kempville, this county, is the champion cotton-picker of the South. In three days, he picked 1,560 pounds of cotton – making an average of 520 pounds per day.

Mr. H.B. Rikard, a thriving young merchant of Buena Vista, was in Monroeville Monday.

Circuit Court will convene Monday.

Commissioners Court was in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Commissioners Herrington, Green and Davis were in attendance upon the Commissioners Court this week.

The County Board of Education met last Saturday.

Mr. E.D. Conover left for Athens, Ala. last week, where he will shortly remove his family.

If you want bargains, don’t forget to attend the Conover Auction Sale next week.

Mr. T.A. Nettles of Longstreet, Kempville, one of Monroe’s most prominent citizens, and live and enterprising men, was in town last week.

Capt. Jno. DeLoach, T.L. Sowell Esq., and Mr. G.W. McCorvey are attending the state fair at Montgomery this week.

NOV. 19, 1886

Mrs. Emma Seymour is occupying the Conover residence, which she leased for a term of three years.

Finchburg – We regret to learn that Mr. T.W. Marshall, near Finchburg, this county, had the misfortune to lose his dwelling, and the greater part of his household and kitchen furniture by fire on Thursday of last week.

J.A. Matheson, Esq., editor of The Pine Apple Gazette, was in town this week.

The fall term of Circuit Court convened Monday at 12 o’clock, Judge Clarke presiding.
H.T. Taylor, Esq., of Choctaw County was appointed special solicitor for the present term.
Capt. W.B. Kemp was sworn in as foreman of the grand jury.

Sudden Death – Mrs. Nancy Blanton, an aged lady of near Perdue Hill, had been on a visit to her daughter, Mrs. Thos. Watts, on Wednesday of last week, and in the evening she started to return home on foot, the distance being short. Her daughter essayed to accompany her a part of the way. They had gone but a short distance when Mrs. Blanton fell dead in the road. Her death is supposed to have been caused from heart disease.

A Gale – The wind blew quite a gale Thursday night and Wednesday, terminating in a very heavy shower of rain, in consequence of which the weather is decidedly colder.

Cadet T.M. Stevens returned to Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago, where he will attend another session of the state university.

APRIL 26, 1886

Circuit court adjourned Saturday.

Mr. A.A. Rhoad has resigned his position as deputy sheriff and will return to Buena Vista.

The grand jury found 34 true bills. This shows crime to be slightly on the decrease in Monroe.

Mrs. Conover left Sunday to join her husband at Athens, Ala.

E.J. Cloud, Esq., is attending court at Camden.

Escaped Convict: I will pay to anyone the award of $2,500 for the capture of a convict who left my place last week, William or Bill McWilliams, also defray any expense they may have in getting. He is black, 21 years old, five and one half feet high, large features, wears a small black hat, dark jeans, overshirt piped into red, buttons on each shoulder, No. 9 shoe, brown pants and carried with him a pair of No. 8 Sunday shoes and vest of common checked material, face is bumpy.
John McDuffie
River Ridge, Ala.

Mr. T.A. Nettles of Kempville killed a hog last week, 18 months old, of the Essex breed, weighing 276 pounds net.

Capt. W.S. Wiggins went to Mobile Tuesday to replenish his stock of goods.

Today in History for Nov. 27, 2016

Nov. 27, 1582 – William Shakespeare, 18, married Anne Hathaway, 26, of Shottery, a small hamlet a mile up the road from Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford.

Nov. 27, 1746 - Robert R. (or R.R.) Livingston — later known as “the Chancellor”—became the first of nine children eventually born to Judge Robert Livingston and Margaret Beekman Livingston in their family seat, Clermont, on the Hudson River in upstate New York. R.R. Livingston represented the Provincial Congress of New York at the Continental Congress in 1776 and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence, although he returned to New York before he was able to sign the document. In 1777, during the American Revolution, the British army burned down Clermont and another of R.R.’s estates, Belvedere, in retribution for Livingston’s decision to side with the Patriots.

Nov. 27, 1786 – Scottish poet Robert Burns borrowed a pony from a friend and made his way from his home in Ayrshire to the city of Edinburgh, just a few weeks after the publication of his famous book, “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect.”

Nov. 27, 1809 – Charles Tait began serving as a U.S. Senator from Georgia after being elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Milledge. Tait was reelected in 1813 and served in the Senate until to March 3, 1819. He would pass away in Claiborne, Ala. on Oct. 7, 1835.

Nov. 27, 1816 – The Town of Jackson, Ala. (originally called Pine Level) was officially incorporated by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature, a little over three years before Alabama even became a state in December 1819.

Nov. 27, 1829 – School teacher Murdock McPherson of Sparta, Ala., who was the first county clerk of Conecuh County, received the first Masonic funeral in Conecuh County history.

Nov. 27, 1830 - St. Catherine Laboure experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary standing on a globe and emanating rays of light from her hands.

Nov. 27, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fough near Fairfax Courthouse, Va.

Nov. 27, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Ship Island (Miss.) Expedition sailed from Hampton Roads, Va. with the mission to establish a base of operations against New Orleans, La. and vicinity.

Nov. 27, 1862 – During the Civil War, a 12-day Federal expedition from Helena, Ark. to the vicinity of Grenada, Miss. began. Confederates also captured the steamboat, New River, near New River Landing, La. Skirmishes were also fought at Carthage, Mo. and at Mill Creek, Tenn.

Nov. 27, 1863 – Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and his officers tunneled out of the newly opend Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus and escaped safely to the South. Morgan returned to his cavalry activities in Tennessee after his escape. However, at Greeneville, Tenn. in 1864, he was killed by Yankee cavalry.

Nov. 27, 1863 – During the Battle of Mine Run, Union forces under General George Meade took up positions against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Nov. 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Ringgold Gap, Taylor’s Ridge, Ga.; at La Fayette and Monticello, Ky.; and at Catlett’s Station, New Hope Church, Payne’s Farm, Wilderness Church and Locust Grove (or Robertson’s Tavern,) Va.

Nov. 27, 1864 - In Georgia, Union General Judson Kilpatrick began pursuing Confederate General Joseph Wheeler between Waynesboro and Millen. The engagment ended on Dec. 4. The battle allowed Union General Tecumseh Sherman to march to Savannah, Ga. on his famous "March to the Sea."

Nov. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation from Little Rock to Benton, Ark. began. Skirmishes were also fought at Sylvan Grove and Waynesborough, Ga. and at Piedmont, West Virginia.

Nov. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 19-day Federal expedition from Baton Rouge, La. against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad began. On Dec. 10, the Federals would skirmish with Col. Robert McCulloch, who was leading the 2nd Mo. Cavalry and Willis’ Texas Cavalry, at McLeod Mills near present-day Vernal, Miss. The Federals managed to cross the Amite, Pearl, Black Rivers, as well as Red Creek passing through the towns of Greensburg, Franklinton and Fordsville, La. and Columbia and Augusta, Miss. They also crossed the Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers. The Federal forces ended up in East Pascagoula, by way of West Pascagoula (present day Gautier, Miss.) This operation was known as the Davidson Raid and involved 4,000 cavalry troops with five support companies. The support companies included the pioneer corps [combat engineers], pontooniers, two batteries of light artillery, and a band. The Federals destroyed Camp Moore, La. effectively ending its use as a Confederate training camp. Given the large numbers of sweet potatoes that were foraged by the Yankee troops the raid became known locally as the “Great Sweet Potato Raid.” The only Yankee officer killed in the raid was Lt. Albert Westinghouse, a brother to inventor George Westinghouse. The yankee raider never got close to the M & O Railroad and it remained open to Meridian for the rest of the war.

Nov. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, the federal vessel, Greyhound, Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler’s headquarters ship, exploded on the James River in Virginia, possibly the work of Confederate saboteurs.

Nov. 27, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that “the entertainment” given recently at the Monroeville Institute by the Perdue Hill Dramatic Club for the benefit of the Confederate soldier’s monument “was one of the happiest and most pleasant events of the season. The house was crowded with an intelligent and appreciative audience, and the performance throughout reflected credit upon the histrionic talent of the several members of the Club, and more especially the ladies who understood and acted their parts almost perfectly.”

Nov. 27, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Rev. B.H. Crumpton had been re-elected as the pastor of the Evergreen Baptist Church for the ensuing year.

Nov. 27, 1905 - The Jones Mill School (in present-day Frisco City) started the school year on this Monday with 97 pupils present.

Nov. 27, 1907 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Buck Leonard was born in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Nov. 27, 1909 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Agee was born in Knoxville, Tenn. In 1936, Agee and photographer Walker Evans spent two months living with sharecroppers in Alabama on assignment for Fortune, and Agee turned it into a book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” (1941. He won the Pulitzer posthumously for his 1957 autobiographical novel, “A Death in the Family.”

Nov. 27, 1910 – Around 9 p.m., Will Stallworth was killed at the “warehouse crossing” in Evergreen, Ala. by a passing train.

Nov. 27, 1910 – New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, better known as “Penn Station,” opened.

Nov. 27, 1914 – In Monroe County, Ala. Circuit Court, Torrey Puryear was convicted of the murder of her husband and given a life sentence.

Nov. 27, 1914 – Confederate veteran Williamson Henderson passed away at the age of 83. He was born in Edgefield, S.C. on July 13, 1831 and moved to Monroe County, Ala. when he was 16 years old. He married Georgia Ann Pridgeon at Claiborne, Ala. on Oct. 17, 1854. At the opening of the Civil War, he enlisted in Co. G of the 7th Alabama Cavalry in Forrest’s command.

Nov. 27, 1915 - Thomas Chalmers McCorvey Jr., the second son of Col. and Mrs. Thomas C. McCorvey, passed away at 7 p.m. at the home of his parents on the University of Alabama campus, “death coming to relieve a long struggle which had been made against odds, for the deceased had been an invalid for three years.” Tom McCorvey, as he was known throughout the state, was born on Oct. 28, 1886. He finished preparatory school and entered the University of Alabama in the fall of 1904, leaving two years later to accept a position in the City Bank and Trust Co. of Mobile in which he was the first assistant cashier. When physical strength was no longer sufficient for the demands of service, McCorvey was granted a leave of absence from the bank and in 1912 “he went west hoping that the climate would invigorate him. But failing to recover completely he returned to his native home where, surrounded by his loved ones, he fought a valiant but losing battle.” His father, Col. T.C. McCorvey, was “one of the oldest and best loved professors in the University and (was) one of the best known educators in Alabama, while his mother, a member of the distinguished Tutwiler family, has been a friend to the University boys for many years.” (Monroe Journal)

Nov. 27, 1924 – In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.

Nov. 27, 1939 – During a meeting of the Monroeville, Ala. Chamber of Commerce, four Mobile, Ala. Kiwanis Club field representatives (Hoyt W. Lee, Ed Rincher, R.W. Golsby and Ed Shortess) proposed the organization of a Kiwanis Club in Monroeville, Ala.

Nov. 27, 1941 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Alice Lee of Birmingham and Edwin Lee of Auburn had spent the previous weekend with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee.

Nov. 27, 1941 – The Monroe Journal reported that Alabama had ginned 146,391 more bales of cotton in 1941 than had been ginned to the same date, Nov. 1, in 1940. According to federal and state ginning reports, 733,349 bales had been ginned in the state from the crop of 1941. Monroe County ginned 7,133 bales in 1941 as compared with 10,050 bales ginned in 1940.

Nov. 27, 1942 – During World War II, at Toulon, the French navy scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.

Nov. 27, 1942 – Football player and Olympic gold medal sprinter Henry Carr was born in Montgomery, Ala. During his football career, he played safety for Arizona State and the New York Giants.

Nov. 27, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon told U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned operations were to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam had to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.

Nov. 27, 1965 -  The Viet Cong released two U.S. special forces soldiers captured two years earlier during a battle of Hiep Hoa, 40 miles southwest of Saigon. At a news conference in Phnom Penh three days later, the two Americans, Sgt. George Smith and Specialist 5th Class Claude McClure, declared that they opposed U.S. actions in Vietnam and would campaign for the withdrawal of American troops. Although Smith later denied making the statement, U.S. authorities announced that the two men would face trial for cooperating with the enemy.

Nov. 27, 1965 - In Washington, nearly 35,000 war protestors circled the White House for two hours before moving on to the Washington Monument. Dr. Benjamin Spock, Coretta Scott King, and activist Norman Thomas were among those who gave speeches.

Nov. 27, 1970 - A South Vietnamese task force, operating in southeastern Cambodia, came under North Vietnamese attack near the town of Krek. The South Vietnamese command reported repelling the assault and killing enemy soldiers. The South Vietnamese command also reported killing 33 Viet Cong in the Rung Sat special zone, 23 miles southeast of Saigon.

Nov. 27, 1971 – Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Larry Allen was born in Los Angeles. He went on to play for Sonoma State, the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Nov. 27, 1976 – Actor and screenwriter Jaleel White was born in Culver City, Calif. He is best remembered for his role as Steve Urkel on the sitcom “Family Matters.”

Nov. 27, 1977 - Four Monroe County, Ala. football players were listed in The Birmingham News’ 1977 all-state football teams, which were announced on this Sunday. Getting the highest honor was Keith Bender of Excel High School, who was listed on the second team as an end on the Class AA-A all-state team. Receiving honorable mention in this class was Kevin Barnes of J.U. Blacksher, also at end. Under the Class AAA all-state team, two Monroe County High School players received honorable mention. Anthony Wiggins was listed at guard, and Tony McCants as back.

Nov. 27, 1980 - Dave Williams of the Chicago Bears became the first player in NFL history to return a kick for touchdown in overtime.

Nov. 27, 1983 - Violence broke out among Cabbage Patch doll shoppers.

Nov. 27, 1984 - The Seaboard System Railroad ceased all railroad service to Elba, Ala., including freight service.
Nov. 27, 1994 - Joe Montana of the Kansas City Chiefs became the fifth quarterback to surpass 40,000 yards passing.

Nov. 27, 1997 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Buck Leonard passed away at the age of 90 in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Nov. 27, 2003 - U.S. President Bush flew to Iraq and spent time with U.S. soldiers stationed there.

Nov. 27, 2007 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bill Willis died at the age of 86 in Columbus, Ohio. During his career, he played for Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Nov. 27, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  0.10 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.70 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 45.50 inches

Notes: Today in the 331st day of 2016 and the 66th day of Fall. There are 35 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, November 26, 2016

Singleton gives more clues to location of 'haunted grave' in Wilcox County

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 “Season of autumn is a time to wander” was originally published in the Nov. 5, 1998 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

It is strange how the changing seasons affect human beings. The slight cool breezes of early morning broadcast to the world that autumn has arrived. With the early morning breezes and beautiful sunsets of the past few weeks, a feeling of restlessness begins to beckon from within.

I often wonder why some never have the urge to wander the countryside to view the beauty that is there for mankind to appreciate. As I talk to people, I am amazed at the number who never bother to load up and ride to the nearest high hill to view an evening sunset. I’ve talked to many young people and very few have ever witnessed a sunset first hand. They have seen some on television, but very few have ever been taken to a special spot to view this marvel of creation.

This past week I had a couple of days to call my own. I threw caution to the wind, and followed my gypsy instincts, and spent two full days in vagabond fashion.

As I left the coffee shop, the cool breeze that tickled my cheeks didn’t help matters any. It seemed that somewhere in the distance someone was calling to me to head for the hill country to see a preview of what was to come. I knew that a few miles up the road the urge to wander would cover me like a blanket and only the setting sun would turn me around.

My first stop was near Chestnut. Pulling up a dim and grown up road, I stopped my transportation near an old home place. In a rough, grown-up area where the front yard once was, I walked to a lone grave marker. Here a lone Confederate soldier had been buried in a corner of the front yard of the family home place. Wiping away the dirt and mold on the marker as best I could, I made out these words.

T.J. Sadler
Co. A, 13th Ala. Inf.
Confederate States of America

Next to this is a crude handmade limestone marker. The initials J.E. have been roughly scratched into it. And the date, Aug. 7 1855. Below this is the roughly scratched number 29. The crude limestone marker is shaped roughly like a heart. Nearby is what appears to be three or four more graves with no markers. Sunken places in the ground are rough evidence that perhaps these might be some of the Confederate soldier’s family. Standing over the graves is one of the largest oak trees I have ever seen. The tree seems to stand guard, its protective branches reaching out as though to cover those who sleep here. I have come to this place many times. Such a shame that our fairy-land society has all but forgotten these places that lay abandoned and unkept throughout the southland.

As I made my way toward Camden, I decided to visit another grave. After unlocking a steel gate that blocked a narrow road, I was soon beside another lone grave. This person suffered greatly because of the dreaded Civil War. This young lady had been engaged to a soldier of the Confederacy. Receiving word that her husband to be had been killed, she chose to end her life by hanging herself in her upstairs bedroom.

As usual, the weeds and grass around her final resting place had been pulled up and thrown to the side. The story goes that the ghost of her lover returns to her grave from time to time and neatly trims around her place of burial. The one that related the story to me has witnessed the strange and ghostly figure, dressed in a Confederate uniform, kneeling by this grave in the early hours of the morning, pulling up the grass and weeds.

A quick stop in Camden for coffee was refreshing. To my amazement, there were three people in the coffee shop that I knew. As usual, I was asked where I was going. When I answered that I didn’t know, a lady sitting nearby looked at me in total amazement. She couldn’t believe that I didn’t know where I was going. As I left, this lady continued to look at me in a weird manner. The next night, one of my friends told me this lady questioned them at length as to what type business I was in. She couldn’t believe I was out on a motorcycle and didn’t know where I was going.

Passing quickly through Dixons Mills and Sweet Water, I found myself turning off the highway after crossing the river near Nanafalia. A wonderful lunch of fresh catfish at a restaurant overlooking the Tombigbee River was a delicious treat. I didn’t understand why, but it seemed everywhere I went, I saw friends that I had known for a long time. While eating lunch, who would come in, but two ladies that I had gone to high school with. It was almost like a homecoming.

Back on Highway 69, I passed through Putnam and Morvin. As I reached Campbell, I turned back toward the river to the old community of my maternal ancestors. As I stood in the small family cemetery, I realized that buried here are four soldiers of the Confederacy. Strange, how all these visits seemed came together as if by chance in a single day.

A quick detour atop a high hill known as the Mountain; a visit to the cemetery at Witch Creek church where several soldiers of the Confederacy are buried. Back on Highway 69, I continued west to Coffeeville and across the Tombigbee to the town of Silas. Since I was here I thought I would visit the grave of the uncle whom I had been named after. He was killed in a railroad accident three months before I was born. As I departed the small burial ground, I knew that if I was to get back to the Hub City during the hours of daylight, I had to hurry. After 12 hours of wandering and 236 miles, I rode into my yard. Another day of wandering had come and gone, it had been just wonderful.

(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.)