Thursday, October 19, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Benjamin Meek Miller
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Oct. 18, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

A Corkscrew With a Historical Record:
Editor Progressive Era:
I am sending you a clipping from the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. A great many of my friends in Wilcox and adjoining counties will remember this old corkscrew.
Yours truly,
Mrs. Mollie Richardson
Nacogdoches, Texas

Mrs. Mollie Richardson, a lady well-known and admired for her many sterling traits of character and womanly ways, exhibited an old corkscrew at this office a few mornings ago which has quite a record of patriotic service, and if we should be “conscripted,” we would delight to take this utility of patriotic record along.
The corkscrew seems to be made of steel and is a little crude in its manufacture, but strong and perfectly preserved. The historical connection runs as follows:
W.B. Mims, a brother of Mrs. Richardson, served his country in the Civil War as a member of Co. H, Second Alabama Cavalry, and carried it with him throughout the war. Mr. Mims was with President Jefferson Davis when he was captured.
In the Spanish-American War, J.E. Richardson served his company in Co. H, Sixth U.S. Infantry. He is a son of Mrs. Richardson, and carried this famous old corkscrew through three years service in the Philippines, returning it to his mother at the close of the service.
Mrs. Richardson says that the old relic was registered for service on June 5, and that she hopes it will serve through the present trouble with the same good fortune that it has in the past.

Cotton Report: There were 3,256 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Wilcox County, from the crop of 1917, prior to Sept. 25, 1917 as compared with 1,746 bales ginned to Sept. 25, 1916. – C.S. Dale, Special Agent.

Col. Ed N. Jones, now a full colonel in the U.S. Army, is at present located in Michigan.

Wilcox County continues to hold the banner for the largest number of cattle – 42,000 head – in any county in the state. In September, there were in our county 866 head which had been dipped this year; 33 herds were in quarantine; five herds were inspected; eight herds were infected in which were only 30 cattle. Dr. W.K. McConnell is supervisor state inspector for Wilcox. The cattle, hog, grain and hay industry has made our county wealthy again. Let us keep up the tick eradication. It may be expensive, but it pays to do so.

Mrs. Katherine Orr died in Prattville recently, aged 87 years. Her husband, W.K. Orr, was the founder of Orrville in Dallas County.

Judge B.M. Miller held the fall term of Circuit Court in Hale County last week. He is making a fine record for rapid dispatch of business.

The home of Ed Peavy, who resides in the Grampion Hills, was accidentally burned last Friday night. It caught from a defective kitchen flue. He lost all his household effects and a bale of cotton. With characteristic charity, the Camden people helped him his loss.


The following Wilcox young men are at Camp Gordon, Ga.: Sam J. Albritton, Irby Savage, Ernest Blount, Everette Pritchette, Camden; Joe Irby, Lower Peach Tree; Carl Weatherly, Sunny South; Fred Henderson, Millers Ferry; Claude Pharr, Caledonia; -- Hall, Snow Hill; -- Street, Furman; Henry Thomas, Bob Autrey, Pine Hill; -- Horton and Will Bennett, Darlington. There are a considerable number of young men in the camps in the South and in the North. The Progressive Era would be glad for their relatives and friends to give us their names for publication, so that these brave and courageous young men can be properly honored by our home folks.

George Singleton believed Bigfoot creatures protected ancient, native people

George Buster Singleton
More than a few readers have asked me on the street this week if I’ve heard any good Bigfoot reports lately, and the best one that I’ve heard was told to me by local Bigfoot enthusiast Ashley McPhaul.

McPhaul, who lives between Repton and Excel, told me that a husband and wife couple living in the Belleville area with their small children had an unusual experience that they think might involve Bigfoot. According to the story, the children frequently play out in the yard and often leave their toys scattered about. Several evenings in a row, before the children came in for the night, the parents had the kids pick up all their toys and put them beside their house, so they would be out of the way.

The following morning, the parents and children awoke to find their toys across the road, in the wood line and scattered about in the woods. McPhaul said that the parents described this as “very strange.”

Bigfoot comes into the story because years ago in that same area someone saw what they described as a Bigfoot-type creature throwing rocks at a woman who was riding a four-wheeler. With that in mind, the parents in the more recent case involving the toys began to wonder if perhaps one of these creatures was venturing into their yard at night and disturbing the toys.

McPhaul also told me another story that was told to him by a woman living between Belleville and Repton. She said that years ago she and a bunch of her cousins were playing outside when they spotted a Bigfoot-type creature about 20 yards away watching them. They saw the creature as “plain as day,” he said.

Her grandfather came outside, saw the creature and made the youngsters come in the house. Later that night, the creature was heard “hollering and screaming” about half the night, the woman told McPhaul.

Also during the past week, on the Southwest Alabama Bigfoot Hunters Facebook page, there was an interesting discussion about the average lifespan of a Bigfoot. Answers ranged from 25 to over 100 years. I’d never really thought much about it, but I figured 40 to 50 years because that’s about how long prehistoric people lived in ancient times.

Jeff Frye agreed and noted that when he was much younger he used to venture into the woods with the late George Buster Singleton. Some in the reading audience will remember Singleton, who wrote a column for The Monroe Journal in Monroeville for decades, prior to his death in 2007. Singleton, who was a renowned “ghost hunter” and investigator of the unusual, told Frye that he believed that Bigfoot creatures were the protectors of the ancient, native people who lived in the woods long ago.


With that said, if anyone in the reading audience has a Bigfoot story or report that they’d like to share, please contact me to let me know.

Just how serious is the injury to Atlanta Braves prospect Ronald Acuna?

The seventh weekend of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest wrapped up on Saturday, and we had another reshuffling in the local standings.

Phig Newton remained in first place, and Mike Dailey went from sixth place to second place. Ricky Taylor moved into third place from fourth place. “Murder Creek Man 78” and I were tied for fourth place.

Arthur Ingram went from seventh place to sixth place, and Sharon Peacock was in seventh place. Hunter Norris was in eighth place, Rod Sims was in ninth place and Travis Presley was in tenth place.

With that said, if you’re playing in the contest and didn’t make the Top 10, don’t give up. The contest will run for a total of 14 weeks, and we’ve got seven more weeks to go. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

----- 0 -----

This coming Saturday, there will be five football games involving SEC teams and four of those games will feature head-to-head matchups between SEC teams. Here are my predictions in those games. I like Alabama over Tennessee, Auburn over Arkansas, Mississippi State over Kentucky, LSU over Ole Miss and Missouri over Idaho. Last week: 4-3. So far this year: 50-14.

----- 0 -----

The big news from the world of the Atlanta Braves this week centered around former manager Fredi Gonzalez and hot prospect Ronald Acuna. Acuna, a 19-year-old outfielder, suffered a forearm contusion when he was hit by a pitch near his wrist during an Arizona Fall League game last Thursday. Acuna is arguably the top prospect in all of baseball, and the Braves removed him from the game early for medical tests to make sure it was nothing more than a severe bruise. I hope the injury to Acuna isn’t serious because, like most Braves fans, I would like to see him on the field next season.

Word around the campfire this week is that Gonzalez will likely be named the new manager for the Detroit Tigers very soon. Many in the reading audience will remember that Gonzalez managed the Braves from 2011 to 2016 after replacing longtime manager Bobby Cox. Gonzalez, who was fired and replaced by current Braves manager Brian Snitker, spent last season as the third base coach for the Miami Marlins. Personally, I was never a huge Gonzalez fan, but Detroit might be a good fit for him.

As of Monday, there were four teams left in the running for this year’s World Series title. The Los Angeles Dodgers held a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series, and the Houston Astros held a 2-0 lead over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.


The only team out of that bunch that I really don’t care for is the Dodgers, so I’m hoping that if they do make the World Series that Houston can pull it out in the end. Los Angeles and Houston both have really good teams, so a World Series between those two teams should prove to be very entertaining. 

Today in History for Oct. 19, 2017

Evander Holyfield of Atmore, Ala.
Oct. 19, 1765 - In the United States, the Stamp Act Congress met and drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.


Oct. 19, 1781 – During a formal surrender ceremony at Yorktown, Va., representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis handed over Cornwallis' sword and formally surrendered 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau, bringing the American Revolution to a close.

Oct. 19, 1789 – Chief Justice John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.

Oct. 19–22, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Williamsburg and the College of William & Mary.

Oct. 19, 1836 – The Creek Regiment joined the main Army of Keith Call, who was governor of Florida, and Capt. David Moniac of Alabama was promoted to major. Moniac was the first Native American graduate of West Point.

Oct. 19, 1859 - Soldiers under Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. J.E.B. Stuart captured abolitionist John Brown after his raid on Harpers Ferry, Va.

Oct. 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Big Hurricane Creek, Mo.

Oct. 19, 1862 – Motion picture pioneer August Lumiere was born in Besancon, France.

Oct. 19, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Helena, Ark.; on Madison Road, at Bardstown, Pittman’s Crossroads and at Wild Cat in Kentucky, as the Confederate Army of Tennessee retired through the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky; at Bonnet Carre, Saint John Baptist Parrish, La.; and at Warrenton Junction, Va.

Oct. 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Grand Coteau, La.; at Smith’s Bridge, Miss.; on Honey Creek, Mo.; and at Spurgeon’s Mill and Zollicoffer in Tennessee. An affair also occurred at Murrell's Inlet, S.C.

Oct. 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Buckland Mills occurred, and skirmishes were fought at Catlett's Station, Hay Market, New Baltimore and Gainesville in Virginia.

Oct. 19, 1864 – At the Battle of Cedar Creek, which was the last major battle of the Shenandoah Campaign, Union Calvary General Philip H. Sheridan defeated Confederate General Jubal Early's troops at Cedar Creek in Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan lost 5,500 out of 31,000 troops. Early lost almost 3,000 of the 22,000 men in his command, but nearly all of the Confederate artillery was captured during the battle.

Oct. 19, 1864 – In what is now known as the St. Albans Raid, Confederates entered Vermont from Canada and raided the town of St. Albans. Along the way, they robbed banks, looted and attempted to set fire to the town before being chased back into Canada. A judge in Canada released the raiders, creating a minor diplomatic crisis between the United States and Britain, but the British paid reparations to the town of St. Albans and the matter was resolved without further conflict.

Oct. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Crawford County, Ark.; at Ruffs Station and near Turner's and Howell’s Ferry in Georgia; and at Lexington and near Montevallo in Missouri. A six-day Federal expedition from Little Rock to Princeton in Arkansas began.

Oct. 19, 1873 – The first set of football rules were drafted in America at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City, written by representatives from three universities - Yale, Rutgers and Princeton.

Oct. 19, 1876 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown was born in Nyesville, Fla. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Terriers, the Brooklyn Tip-Tops and the Chicago Whales and also managed the Terriers for one season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1949.

Oct. 19, 1882 – Flames destroyed the two-story house belonging to Dr. J.T. Russell in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1913 - Alabama author William Garrott Brown died in New Canaan, Conn.

Oct. 19, 1914 - Near the Belgian city of Ypres, Allied and German forces began the first of what would be three battles to control the city and its advantageous positions on the north coast of Belgium during the First World War.

Oct. 19-21, 1915 – The Monroe County Fair was scheduled to be held in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. William Hopkins of Monroeville, Ala. died from wounds.

Oct. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Robert E. Thames, 22, of Roy, Ala. (Frisco City) “died from disease.” He is buried at Polar Bridge Cemetery at Manistee, Ala. He was called into service on July 22, 1918 at Camp Hancock in Augusta, Ga.

Oct. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Percy Wheatley Johnston, 23, of Monroeville, Ala. “died from disease” (pneumonia) at Camp Johnston in Jacksonville, Fla. Born on Nov. 3, 1894 to P.W. and L.B. Johnston, he was buried in the Brooklyn Baptist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala. He had been employed as an automobile mechanic in Monroeville for some time, but enlisted in the army during the summer of 1918.

Oct. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. William Robbert Hart, 27, of Andalusia, Ala. “died from disease” at Camp Hancock in Augusta, Ga. Born on Aug. 14, 1891, he was buried in Pleasant Home Baptist Cemetery in Covington County, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Thomas Jefferson Bell, 20, of Opp, Ala. “died from disease” during the great flu epidemic. Born on May 10, 1898, he was buried in the Hickory Grove Cemetery in Opp in Covington County, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1918 – Robert Lowrey Coxwell, a Freemason who was born and raised in Monroe County, died of influenza at an infirmary in Mobile. Coxwell, age 26, for several years had held a position in the Monroe County Bank and about three years ago was appointed by Governor Henderson as one of the state examiners of public accounts. He moved to Mobile shortly after his appointment. Born on Feb. 25, 1892, he was buried in the Mexia Cemetery in Monroe County, Ala. He was also a member of the Woodmen of the World and Alabama Masonic Lodge No. 3.

Oct. 19, 1922 – Journalist and columnist Jack Anderson was born in Long Beach, Calif.

Oct. 19, 1923 – Confederate veteran Andrew Jackson Dorman died suddenly at the age of 77 on this Friday night at his residence in Flomaton, where he’d moved only a few weeks before from Castleberry. According to The Evergreen Courant, Dorman joined General Joseph E. Johnston’s army when he was 15-1/2 years old and when Johnston surrendered at Greensboro, N.C., like many other Confederate soldiers, Dorman walked the 700 miles back to Alabama. Dorman was buried in the Houston Cemetery in Chickasaw County, Miss. and according to his headstone, he was a native of China Grove in Pike County, Ala., served in Co. A. of the 57th Alabama Infantry, was wounded in the leg in May 1864 at Resaca, Ga. and was paroled in Greensboro, N.C. on May 1, 1865.

Oct. 19, 1924 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Shunned House,” which was originally published in 1928’s “The Shunned House.”

Oct. 19, 1928 – Dr. Milton Monroe McPherson Sr., professor emeritus of history at Troy State University, was born in Pineville near Beatrice, Ala. He would go on to write “The 90-Day Wonders – OCS and the Modern American Army.”

Oct. 19, 1928 – Excel High School played McKenzie High School in football, but little is known about the game, including where it was played, who won and the final score.

Oct. 19, 1931 - Spy novelist David Cornwell who writes under the name John le Carre was born in Poole, England.

Oct. 19, 1934 – Excel High School beat Wallace High School, 19-0, in football.

Oct. 19, 1939 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mrs. J.W. Grace “who lives in the northern part of the county on Evergreen, Route 2,” killed a rattlesnake near her home that was five feet, two inches long and had 16 rattles.

Oct. 19, 1939 – The Monroe Journal warned readers of large rattlesnakes still being killed in the Monroeville, Ala. area. Game warden C.V. Hines killed a large rattler a few days earlier, and S.W. Westbrook killed a large one on Oct. 16 that had just swallowed a rabbit.

Oct. 19, 1942 - Alabama author Jim Rogers was born in Wetumpka, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1945 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman received the 33rd Masonic Degree.

Oct. 19, 1949 – NFL quarterback Lynn Dickey was born in Osawatomie, Kansas. He would go on to play for the Houston Oilers and the Green Bay Packers.

Oct. 19, 1951 – Under head coach Walter Allen, Excel High School improved to 4-1-1 on the season with a 39-0 win over Millry High School in Frisco City, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1951 – On homecoming night in Greenville, Ala., Greenville High School beat Evergreen High School, 18-12. While scoring Evergreen’s second touchdown, Aggie quarterback Gillis “Red” Morgan hit an unpadded light post only inches off the playing field head-on and cracked his collarbone, knocking him out of the game.

Oct. 19, 1954 – The Evergreen City Council considered a proposal to keep the Evergreen Airport partially lighted at night after the federal government notified them that they would withdraw the service of keeping the runways lighted and the beacon operating. The council considered paying the cost of operating the beacon and maintaining the lights on a standby basis, so that the field could be used in emergencies at night by aircraft in trouble.

Oct. 19, 1954 – Evergreen High School head football coach Wendell Hart was named The Montgomery Advertiser’s “Coach of the Week” after his team’s 6-0 win over undefeated Greenville on Oct. 15. Hart, Assistant Coach Bill Parsons, Capt. Richard Taylor and Co-Capt. Ward Alexander attended a luncheon on this day at the Montgomery Quarterback Club and their picture appeared in the Oct. 20, 1954 edition of The Montgomery Advertiser.

Oct. 19, 1954 - A public inquiry into the Comet airliner disasters found that metal fatigue was the most likely cause of two plane crashes that year.

Oct. 19, 1956 – Under head coach W.C. Majors, Excel High School improved to 2-3 on the season with a 26-13 win over Beatrice High School in Beatrice, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1959 - Patty Duke, at the age of 12, made her Broadway debut in "The Miracle Worker." The play lasted for 700 performances.

Oct. 19, 1962 – Evander Holyfield was born in Atmore, Ala. The youngest of nine children, Holyfield and his family moved to Atlanta, where he began boxing at age 12 and won the Boys Club boxing tournament. He would go on to become the Undisputed World Champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname "The Real Deal."

Oct. 19, 1962 –  Historical novelist Tracy Chevalier was born in Washington, D.C.

Oct. 19, 1963 – Under head coach Reed Hughes, Wilcox County High School beat Excel High School, 27-13, in Excel, Ala. Ed Comer was Excel’s head coach. Excel scored when Bobo Godwin scored on a one-yard run and when O’Neal Turberville threw a six-yard TD pass to Harry Lowery. Other outstanding Excel players in that game included Burt Alderman, Donald Moore, Randall Scruggs, Aaron White and Wayne Wright.

Oct. 19, 1965 - North Vietnamese troops launched a major assault on U.S. and South Vietnamese Special Forces Camp at Plei Me in the Central Highlands, 215 miles north of Saigon.

Oct. 19, 1967 - The 100th episode of "Batman" aired on ABC.

Oct. 19, 1968 – Under head coach Carvel Rowell, Excel High School improved to 5-1 with a 33-0 win over J.U. Blacksher High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1970 - Alabama author Harriet Hassell died in Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y.

Oct. 19, 1972 – The Monroe Journal reported that the sportswear firm of M. Hoffman & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Boston, Mass., had announced an agreement to purchase the Frisco City, Ala. plant of Marlene Industries, effective Dec. 1, 1972.

Oct. 19, 1972 - Henry Kissinger and U.S. officials held meetings in Saigon with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to discuss the proposed peace treaty drafted by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator in Paris.

Oct. 19, 1973 – President Richard Nixon rejected an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.

Oct. 19, 1973 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 8-0 on the season with a 42-6 win over Lowndes County High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1974 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 7-0 on the season with a 38-14 win over J.U. Blacksher High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1975 – As of this date, Evergreen, Ala. had received 94.2 inches of rain since Jan. 1, 1975.

Oct. 19, 1976 – Major League Baseball infielder Michael Young was born in Covina, Calif. He went on to play for the Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oct. 19, 1978 – In an unusual game in which Excel High School’s football stadium hosted a regular season football game between two teams from outside Monroe County, Ala., Millry High School played Dozier High School. Because of the distance between the two schools, they decided to play in Excel, which is roughly halfway between Millry and Dozier. Millry won, 28-8.

Oct. 19, 1979 – Evergreen High School upset undefeated T.R. Miller High School, the No. 1-ranked team in 3A, 16-14, at Brooks Memorial Stadium.


Oct. 19, 1979 – The Corry-Morton House and the Thaggard-Poole House, both in Greenville, Ala., were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Oct. 19, 1984 – Under head coach Roland Pettie, Georgiana High School improved to 5-3 with a 34-6 win over Excel High School in Excel, Ala. Larry Allen was Excel’s head coach.

Oct. 19, 1990 – Under head coach Bo Bishop, Excel High School improved to 6-1 on the season with a 33-0 win over Frisco City High School in Frisco City, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1991 – Under head coach Bo Bishop, Excel High School improved to 6-1 on the season with a 43-12 win over Frisco City High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 1997 – The day before the 30th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin filming of Bigfoot and just prior to a release by the North American Science Institute that would announce their analyses that the creature depicted on the film was genuine, stories appeared in the media claiming that John Chambers, the makeup genius behind such classic movies as “The Planet of the Apes,” had been responsible for creating the gorilla suit that had fooled the monster hunters.

Oct. 19, 1997 – In this day’s edition of the Sunday Telegraph, Bigfoot researcher Chris Murphy said that “very high computer enhancements of the (Patterson-Gimlin) film show conclusively that, whatever it was, it was not wearing a suit. The skin on the creature ripples as it walks.”

Oct. 19, 2001 – Under head coach Al Bowen, Excel High School dropped to 5-3 on the season after a 22-14 loss to Greene County High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 2001 - Two U.S. Army Rangers were killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan. The deaths were the first American deaths of the military campaign in Afghanistan.

Oct. 19, 2002 – Under head coach Al Bowen, Excel High School improved to 5-3 on the season with a 21-14 win over Georgiana High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 2004 – Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan was kidnapped in Iraq.

Oct. 19, 2005 – Saddam Hussein went on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

Oct. 19, 2007 – Under head coach Andy Lambert, Excel High School improved to 6-2 on the season with a 24-7 win over Flomaton High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 2012 – Under head coach Richard Anderson, Excel High School improved to 2-6 on the season with a 41-14 win over Southside-Selma High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 19, 2012 - Sparta Academy recorded its fifth win of the season and locked up a spot in the state playoffs on this Friday night with a 37-13 win over Meadowview Christian at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Jacob Hendrix, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound running back, led Sparta’s offense with 13 carries for 183 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown run. On defense, Hendrix finished the night with eight assists from his spot in the secondary. Other standout Sparta players in that game included Michael Brown, Shannon Buckhault, Jacob Burch, Brooks Carpenter, Cody Carter, Austin Chandler, Drew Hardin, Austin Hiers Johnson, Chance House, Jody House, Davis Johnson, Chase Kaylor, Jacob Lee, Zach Moon, Stone Riley, Lanse Robbins, Jessie Stabler, Allen Stuart and Ethan Tyree.

Oct. 19, 2012 - Hillcrest High School’s varsity football team dropped to 1-7 on the season and to 1-5 in region play Friday night with a 28-26 loss to region rival Escambia County at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen. Timothy Jones was the bright spot on the night for the Jaguars as he recorded 13 tackles on defense and ran the ball twice for 63 yards.

Oct. 19, 2014 - DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL player to run for more than 100 yards in each of the first 7 games of a season.


Oct. 19, 2015 – Former Alabama football player Leon Bramlett died at the age of 92 in Clarksdale, Miss.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Oct. 19, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.30 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.10 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.30 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 75.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 292nd day of 2017 and the 28th day of Fall. There are 73 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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hurricane Nate damages 'spooky' landmark in downtown Camden

Damaged 'Castro Tree' (Photo by Melissa Dove)
Hurricane Nate damaged one of Camden’s spookiest landmarks when that powerful storm passed through Wilcox County in the early morning hours of October 8.

Around 6 a.m. on that Sunday morning, Wilcox County Emergency Management Director Melissa Dove was out surveying the storm damage and was among the first to discover that the old pecan tree in the Roses Express Store parking lot had been severely damaged by the storm. Dove noted that the tree was not entirely destroyed, but one large limb did fall from the tree due to the storm.

Many in the reading audience will know that this tree is the mysterious “Castro Tree,” a lonely pecan tree that has stood for decades behind the old newspaper office on Claiborne Street in downtown Camden. Anyone who has ever visited the Roses Express Store parking lot has likely noticed this large tree behind the small, white block building between Jackson’s Fried Chicken and Railroad Street.
'Castro Tree' before Hurricane Nate.


The late Mark Curl, who worked at the old newspaper building for years, coined the nickname for this spooky old tree. When Curl was a young man working at the newspaper in the late 70s and early 80s, he would often take breaks beneath the tree. During this time, Curl was often visited by a young man on a bicycle known as “Castro.” Castro visited Curl like clockwork, and Curl said he always looked forward to talking with Castro, who was described as being a “young, good looking” man, who was “very clean cut.”

One reason that Curl looked forward to Castro’s visits was because Castro provided the newspaper with accurate news tips about what was going on in the local criminal underworld, especially when it came to who was breaking into houses and committing other street crimes. When the newspaper followed up on Castro’s information, he proved to be “very accurate,” Curl said.

Castro’s visits with Curl beneath the tree ended one Thursday when he told Curl that he knew who’d murdered a man who’d been found dead beside Interstate Highway 65 in Butler County. Curl had already finished the paper for that week, so he told Castro to go to the police with his story, and they would meet back up a few days later to do a story on the murder for the next week’s paper.

Castro peddled away on his bicycle, headed towards the police station, and Curl never saw him again. Sometime later, Curl asked the police if Castro had talked with them about the murder, and police told Curl that no one had shared any information with them about the case. Curl had a hard time believing this, and then the story got even weirder.

Castro didn’t go to the police station that day and, to top that off, officers had no idea who Curl was talking about. Curl had a hard time believing that they didn’t know Castro because he’d rode his bicycle up and down the city’s streets for years. Police said that they’d never seen anyone fitting Castro’s description and had no idea who Curl was talking about.

After talking with the police, Curl began to realize just how little he actually knew about Castro. Curl really didn’t know who Castro was or where he’d come from. He didn’t even know Castro’s last name and had no idea how Castro knew the things he knew. Perhaps worst of all, he didn’t know where Castro had gone or what happened to him. He just vanished.

Curl seemed to think that perhaps there was something supernatural about Castro and indicated that Castro may have been some type of ghostly messenger.

In the end, I hated to hear that Hurricane Nate damaged the old “Castro Tree,” and I hope that a portion of this unusual landmark can be saved. If anyone in the reading audience knows any other stories about this tree, especially if you’ve had an unusual experience or seen anything out of the ordinary there, please let me hear from you. Also, if anyone out there has any stories they’d like to share about Castro, please let me know.

Today in History for Oct. 18, 2017

Grave of Evan Austill at Gainestown.
Oct. 18, 1009 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church's foundations down to bedrock.


Oct. 18, 1540 - The largest Indian battle in North America occurred at the village of Mabila (or Mauvila) between Hernando de Soto’s Spaniards and Chief Tuscaloosa’s warriors. Accounts vary, but most agree that the Indian village and most of its more than 2,000 inhabitants were destroyed, including Chief Tuscaloosa. The exact location of this battle has eluded researchers for centuries.

Oct. 18, 1767 - The Mason-Dixon line was agreed upon when Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia. The Penn and Calvert families had hired Mason and Dixon, English surveyors, to settle their dispute over the boundary between their two proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Oct. 18, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Burning of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) took place.

Oct. 18, 1775 – African-American poet Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery.

Oct. 18, 1779 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Franco-American Siege of Savannah was lifted.

Oct. 18, 1785 – English author and poet Thomas Love Peacock was born in Weymouth, Dorset, England. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley and they influenced each other's work. Peacock wrote satirical novels, each with the same basic setting — characters at a table discussing and criticizing the philosophical opinions of the day.

Oct. 18, 1814 – Andrew Jackson Hall Sr. was born in Oak Grove in Escambia County, Fla. He founded Canoe in 1852 when he and his family moved from Florida across the state line and bought land to settle there. First called Canoe Station after Canoe Creek, which is situated five miles north of Atmore. Name refers to the long narrow boat used by Indians and later by many of the early settlers. Post office was established in 1915. Louisville and Nashville Railroad also passes through the town. Hall died on Nov. 25, 1890 and is buried in the Hall Family Cemetery in Atmore.

Oct. 18, 1818 – Capt. Evan Austill, who settled in the vicinity of Fort Madison (in present day Clarke County, Ala.) in 1812, passed away at the age of 49 “from exposure in Florida in the Indian strife.” Born in 1769 in Pendleton, Anderson County, S.C., he was buried in the Evan Austill Burial Ground at Gainestown in Clarke County.

Oct. 18–19, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived by steamer in Petersburg, Va. for a visit to Yorktown for festivities marking the 43rd anniversary of the battle.

Oct. 18, 1839 - Cyrus Reed Teed, an eclectic physician and alchemist turned religious leader, was born in Delaware County, N.Y. In 1869, after an "illumination," he took on the name Koresh, and proposed a new set of scientific principles including a Hollow Earth theory.

Oct. 18, 1842 - Samuel Finley Breese Morse laid his first telegraph cable.

Oct. 18, 1851 – Herman Melville's “Moby-Dick” was first published as “The Whale” by Richard Bentley of London.

Oct. 18, 1854 – Explorer Salomon Andree was born in Gränna, Småland.

Oct. 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Rockcastle Hills, Ky.; and at Warrensburg and Fredericktown in Missouri.

Oct. 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cross Hollow and near Helena in Arkansas; at Bloomtown, Nelson Crossroads, Big Hill, Little Rockcastle River, Lexington and Mountainside in Kentucky; at California House and near Uniontown in Missouri; at Kirk's Bluff, S.C.; and at Thoroughfare Gap, Va.

Oct. 18, 1863 - Union General Daniel Sickles returned to visit his old command, the Third Corps of the Army of the Potomac. He was recovering from the loss of his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. in July 1863, and the visit turned sour when the army's commander, General George Meade, informed Sickles that he would not be allowed to resume command until he completely recovered from his injury.

Oct. 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Carrion Crow Bayou, La.; in the Livingston Road, near Clinton, Miss.; at Carthage, Mo.; near Annandale, Berryville and at Bristoe Station in Virginia; and at Charlestown, W.Va.

Oct. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Huntsville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Milton, Fla.; at Summerville, Ga.; in Berry County, Mo.; and at Clinch Mountain, Tenn.

Oct. 18, 1867 - The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia. The land was purchased of a total of $7.2 million dollars, that is two cents per acre.

Oct. 18, 1873 - The first rules for intercollegiate football were drawn up by representatives from Rutgers, Yale, Columbia and Princeton Universities.

Oct. 18, 1889 – The Monroe Journal reported that there were four steam, one water and six horse and mule ginneries within a five-mile radius of Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1898 – The United States took possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.

Oct. 18, 1904 – Journalist Abbott Joseph “A.J.” Liebling was born in New York City. His 1956 boxing book, “The Sweet Science,” is generally considered to be one of the finest sports books ever written.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Manistee community, that the “town is quiet since the storm. There was no great loss sustained through this section, except cotton, there was quite a lot of cotton in the fields which was somewhat damaged. Some of our farmers are about through picking while others are in a rush.”

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Braxton Hobdy was the new postmaster at Manistee. Hobdy had been assistant for Dr. Harper, the former postmaster, for quite a while.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Manistee community, that “our town is still on the boom, new houses continue to go up. The new Methodist church is near completion, and we are looking forward to the building of a new Masonic Hall on north highway which we hope to see erected in the near future.”

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the McWilliams community, that Dave Maxwell brought his new wife home on Oct. 11, and that they would occupy the hotel.

Oct. 18, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Pineville community, that there had been “considerable sickness caused by dampness, cold and malaria.” Also, Dr. W.C. Farrish of Camden had been in the neighborhood the week before, engaged in the practice of his profession.

Oct. 18, 1912 - The Mt. Zion School Improvement Association was scheduled to have an ice cream supper on this Friday night at the school house.

Oct. 18, 1915 – Reports showed that 2,972 bales of cotton had been ginned in Conecuh County up to this date from the 1915 crop as compared with 10,447 bales up to that same date in 1914. Statewide, the 1915 crop was 252,267 bales short of the 1914 crop.

Oct. 18, 1915 - In the eastern sector of the Italian front in World War I, the Italians launched their third offensive of the year, known as the Third Battle of the Isonzo.

Oct. 18, 1916 - A strong earthquake occurred around 4 p.m. in an unnamed fault east of Birmingham, Ala., with the epicenter near Easonville in St. Clair County. The earthquake caused buildings to sway in downtown Birmingham and tied up all phone lines in the city with 25,000 calls recorded at the main exchange in the hour following the quake. Two additional weaker tremors were reported that evening.

Oct. 18, 1918 – During World War I, Army PFC Joseph Mason Wright, 15, of Georgiana, Ala. “died from disease” in France. Born on Jan. 21, 1903 in Conecuh County, he was buried in the Bethel West Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Milton McLeod of Grove Hill, Ala. “died from disease.”

Oct. 18, 1922 – The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) was founded by a consortium, to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters to provide a national broadcasting service.

Oct. 18, 1923 – The Conecuh County Game and Fish Protective Association was formed during an “enthusiastic meeting of sportsmen” at the Conecuh County Courthouse on this Friday afternoon in Evergreen, Ala. and originally consisted of 45 members. The following officers were elected during the meeting: R.F. Croom, President; A. Cunningham, J.R. Brooks, Ebin Hines, vice presidents; H.C. Fountain, secretary and treasurer; Board of Directors: R.F. Croom, A. Cunningham, J.R. Brooks, Ebin Hines, F.F. Feagin, R.G. Kendall, C.R. Taliaferro. The Hon. I.T. Quinn, state commissioner of conservation, was “present by invitation and made an excellent talk on the subject of protection and conservation of game and fish.”

Oct. 18, 1923 – Hunter McDuffie of River Ridge reportedly lost 150 bales of cotton and his entire ginning equipment in a fire on this Thursday.

Oct. 18, 1924 – At 10 a.m., a general meeting of all strawberry growers in the Castleberry area was held in Castleberry, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1924 - Red Grange of Illinois scored four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of a game against Michigan. He scored a fifth touchdown, intercepted a pass and threw a touchdown-pass in the second half.

Oct. 18, 1926 – Singer-songwriter Chuck Berry was born Charles Edward Anderson in St. Louis, Mo.

Oct. 18, 1928 – Sportscaster Keith Jackson was born in Roopville, Ga.

Oct. 18, 1929 – Excel and Monroe County High School played in Monroeville, Ala., but the result of that game is unknown.

Oct. 18, 1933 – Pro Football Hall of Fame player and coach Forrest Gregg was born in Birthright, Texas. He would go on to play for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys before serving as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Toronto Argonauts, Cinncinnati Bengals, Packers, SMU Mustangs and Shreveport Pirates.

Oct. 18, 1933 - Cecil Watkins killed his wife on this Wednesday night near Burnt Corn, following a family dispute. Monroe County Sheriff Sawyer and his deputies caught Watkins the following morning and brought him to the Monroe County Jail to await the action of the grand jury.

Oct. 18, 1935 - Peter Boyle, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the science-fiction drama “The X-Files,” was born in Norristown, Pa.

Oct. 18, 1935 – Excel defeated Monroe County, 14-7, in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1938 – The census bureau reported that 18,404 bales of cotton had been ginned in Monroe County from the 1938 crop prior to this date, compared with 25,336 bales up to that same date in 1937.

Oct. 18, 1939 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and coach Mike Ditka was born in Carnegie, Pa. He would go on to play for the Chicago Bears, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. He would later serve as the head coach of the Bears and New Orleans Saints. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Oct. 18, 1939 – Lee Harvey Oswald, who allegedly assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963, was born in New Orleans, La.

Oct. 18, 1942 – Major League Baseball left fielder and designated hitter Willie Horton was born in Arno, Va. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners.

Oct. 18, 1942 – Judge John McDuffie of Mobile was scheduled to speak at the Monroe County Courthouse at 2 p.m. “in the interest of the War Chest Drive,” when was to begin in Monroe County, Ala. on Oct. 20.

Oct. 18, 1943 - There had been 5,749 bales of cotton ginned in Conecuh County, Ala. prior to this date from the 1943 crop as compared to 5,763 bales ginned to the same date, Oct. 18, in 1942.

Oct. 18, 1944 – During World War II, the Soviet Union began the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany.

Oct. 18, 1948 – Playwright Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Williams in Trenton, N.J.

Oct. 18, 1950 – Dorothy Forstein mysteriously disappeared from her Philadelphia home, and her disappearance remains one of the most unusual, unexplained crimes in American history.

Oct. 18, 1950 - Connie Mack announced that he was going to retire after 50 seasons as the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.

Oct. 18, 1952 – Major League Baseball third baseman and manager Jerry Royster was born in Sacramento, Calif. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

Oct. 18, 1953 – Well known and highly respected farmer and farm leader Arthur Freeman Bell passed away at the age of 71 at his home at Lenox around 6:45 p.m. on this Sunday. He was considered one of the best farmers in Conecuh County and was a past president of the Conecuh County Farm Bureau. He was also a member of the Conecuh County Exchange’s Board of Directors and had been since its original organization. Born on Oct. 18, 1882, he was buried in the Springhill Methodist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1954 – Texas Instruments announced the first transistor radio to be put on the market. Texas Instruments produced the transistors, and they partnered with the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates, who manufactured the actual radios. Their new radio, the Regency TR-1, turned on immediately, weighed half a pound, could fit in your pocket and cost $49.95.

Oct. 18, 1955 – A communique from Emperor Bao Dai’s office in Paris announced that he had dismissed Ngo Dinh Diem from the premiership and annulled his powers.

Oct. 18, 1956 – National Football League commissioner Bert Bell disallowed the use of radio-equipped helmets by NFL quarterbacks.

Oct. 18, 1957 – Under head coach W.C. Majors, Excel improved to 1-2-2 on the season by beating Beatrice, 35-0, in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1957 - The Evergreen Aggies were scheduled to return to the football wars on this Friday night, taking to the road for their first game away from home that season. Evergreen had been out of action for two weeks as the game the week before with Greenville was postponed because of flu. McKenzie’s Tigers had nominated the Aggies to be the victim of their annual homecoming celebration. Players on Evergreen’s team that year included George Bolton, Robbie Boykin, Howard Claybrook, Robert Daniels, Robert Ellington, Billy Grace, Jerry Mitchell, Jimmy Moorer, James Nelson, Paul Pace, Byron Warren and Buddy Zukowski. Wendell Hart was Evergreen’s head coach.

Oct. 18, 1962 – Under head coach Gerald R. Irby, Excel High School picked up its first win of the season by beating Beatrice High School, 25-2, in Beatrice, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1967 - The American League granted permission for the A's to move to Oakland. Also, new franchises were awarded to Kansas City and Seattle.

Oct. 18, 1968 – Luverne High School beat Evergreen High School, 7-0, on homecoming night in Luverne, Ala. Buck Quarles led Evergreen with 50 yards rushing on nine carries, and Jimmy Bell followed with 13 yards on nine carries. Other outstanding Evergreen players in that game included Jimmy Hart, Hollis Tranum and Charlie Wild. Wendell Hart was Evergreen’s head coach.

Oct. 18, 1968 - Army Capt. Edward R. Tauscher, 25, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Tauscher of Monroeville, was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division near Pleiku, Vietnam as an air operations officer. Capt. Tauscher had visited his parents earlier that year after returning home from a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Oct. 18, 1968 - Rumors that the Johnson administration would soon announce a bombing halt sent sales volume on the New York Stock Exchange soaring; U.S. bond prices also climbed.

Oct. 18, 1969 – Under head coach Carvel Rowell, Excel High School improved to 7-0 on the season with a 40-0 win over J.U. Blacksher High School at Uriah, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1975 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 8-0 on the season with a 16-8 win over J.U. Blacksher High School at Uriah.

Oct. 18, 1977 - In the sixth game of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in a row off of three consecutive pitches from three different pitchers. Only the great Babe Ruth had ever hit three homers in a single World Series game (and he did it twice, once in 1926 and once in 1928) —but he didn’t do it on consecutive pitches or even consecutive at-bats. Jackson’s amazing home-run streak helped the Yankees win the game and the series, the team’s first since 1962.

Oct. 18, 1977 - Bill McKenzie, president of Evergreen Hospital, Inc., completed the purchase of the Conecuh County Hospital from the Conecuh County Hospital Association and hoped to have the hospital open by Oct. 20. “Facing seemingly insurmountable financial problems,” the Conecuh County Hospital Association voted to close the hospital in May 1977. Shortly after that, the association began negotiations with McKenzie for the sale of the hospital.

Oct. 18, 1980 – Under head coach Lee Holladay, Excel High School improved to 5-3 on the season with a 21-20 win over J.U. Blacksher High School in Excel, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1980 – Robert Gaston Bozeman Sr., who passed away in October 1974, was inducted into Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor.

Oct. 18, 1984 – The Evergreen Courant reported that William S. Stallworth of Evergreen, Ala. had been officially accepted into West Point Military Academy.
  
Oct. 18, 1985 - A television version of Alabama author Robert R. McCammon's book “Nightcrawlers” was broadcast as part of the “Twilight Zone” series.

Oct. 18, 1985 – Under head coach Roland Pettie, Georgiana High School improved to 4-3 on the season with a 35-0 win over Excel High School in Georgiana, Ala. Excel dropped to 1-7.
  
Oct. 18, 1990 - Iraq made an offer to the world that it would sell oil for $21 a barrel. The price level was the same as it had been before the invasion of Kuwait.

Oct. 18-20, 1991 – The first South East Regional Fly-In (SERFI) was held at Middleton Field in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 18, 1996 – Under head coach Al Bowen, Excel High School improved to 6-1 on the season with a 41-14 win at McIntosh High School.

Oct. 18, 1997 - Hanson sang the national anthem at the opening game of the World Series.

Oct. 18, 1997 – Under head coach Al Bowel, Excel High School improved to 7-0 on the season with a 34-6 win over McIntosh High School in Excel, Ala.


Oct. 18, 2013 – Under head coach Richard Anderson, Excel High School improved to 3-5 on the season with a 33-16 win over Southside-Selma High School in Selma, Ala.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Oct. 18, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.30 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.10 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 3.30 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 75.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 291st day of 2017 and the 27th day of Fall. There are 74 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 Oct. 17, 2017

George C. Wallace
60 YEARS AGO
OCT. 17, 1957

Judge George C. Wallace, Clayton, will speak to the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting at noon today at the Methodist Church.
Judge Wallace is judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama. Judge Wallace is mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in the 1958 Democratic primary.

Search still on for lost airplane: A search for a private plane missing since Saturday is being continued in this area. Civil Air Patrol pilots and ground searchers have combed the large area from Evergreen north to Montgomery several times, but no trace of the plane has been found.
The pilot, Larry Reid, construction company employee of Birmingham, and his fiancée, Miss Mary Catherine Finch, 21-year-old nurse at Montgomery hospital, were last heard from at 6:36 p.m. Saturday.

Two prisoners flee county jail: Maybe they didn’t like the food, or the service, or the sorry old building. Anyway, two non-paying gents at the Conecuh County Jail broke out Thursday night.
The fleeing prisoners were identified by the sheriff’s office as Andrew Cliff Harvey and Sam Brown Jr. They have not been recaptured.
Deputy Sheriffs Mancil Pearce and William Kent said that the prisoners filed through one of the bars in the window. They tied blankets together and slid down them to freedom. They tore loose a piece of pipe from the top of one of the cells and used it to pry the window bars.

75 YEARS AGO
OCT. 15, 1942

Jerry P. Matthews, age 74, former mayor of Castleberry, well known and beloved citizen, died at his home in Castleberry Fri., Oct. 9, after an illness of one week. Deceased was a native of this county and had lived his entire life in the community in which he died. He was well known throughout the county and had many friends who feel they have sustained a great loss in his death.

COTTON GIN REPORT: There were 4,399 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Conecuh County from the crop of 1942 prior to Oct. 1, 1942, as compared with 3,930 bales ginned to Oct. 1, 1941.

NOTICE: Beginning on the 19th of October, the mail for the night trains and the lobby of the post office will be closed at 7 p.m. daily instead of 8 p.m. – Laurie B. Kelly, acting postmaster.

First Cattle Sale Was Big Success: The first cattle sale of the season which was held at the pens of the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyard last Thursday was declared, by all who attended and participated, to be a complete success. The bidding on all offerings was keen and spirited and prices paid compared quite favorably with other markets in this section.
A total of 109 head of cattle and 18 head of hogs were sold, bringing approximately $4,600. Roy Moorer, auctioneer from Atmore, conducted the sale.

90 YEARS AGO
OCT. 20, 1927

Kidnapping Charged Against Three White Men: Martin Hancock, Leslie Morris and Everette Pritchett, three white men of Repton community were arrested Monday on warrants charging them with kidnapping and assault and battery. The warrants were sworn out by relatives of Malcolm Nicholson, who it is alleged was kidnapped by these men Sunday afternoon near Repton. Hancock and Morris are in jail now awaiting trial. Pritchett made bond immediately after his arrest.

School Child Run Over By Ford: The young son of J.A. Davis of near Owassa was run over by a Ford car last Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 12, and both legs were broken above the knees. The car was occupied by Jesse Dean and Will Chapman. The accident occurred at the school the child was attending, which is located near W.E. Cooks. Warrants were sworn out for both of the men, and they are now lodged in the county jail awaiting trial. Medical attention was given the child immediately and he is said to be getting along nicely at this time.

The Government Gin Report for Conecuh County shows that there were 8,783 bales of cotton ginned from the crop of 1927, as compared with 6,622 bales ginned to Oct. 1, 1926. This year’s crop was much earlier than last year’s and it is said that practically all of the crop has already been ginned. Most of the gins are now operating only on gin days and some have already stopped entirely.

J.S. Nall, well known citizen of this county residing near Repton, has been appointed License Inspector for Conecuh County by the State Tax Commission and is now engaged in the duties of this office.

105 YEARS AGO
OCT. 16, 1912

Circuit Court convened at 11 o’clock Monday morning when the criminal docket was taken up. Business is being dispatched rapidly, many cases having been disposed of on pleas of guilty. There are several capital cases to be disposed of and the entire week will likely be consumed. All the important murder cases were continued to the next term of court.

Town Officers and Committees: At a meeting of the town council Friday last the following officers and committees appointed:
Clerk and Treasurer: H.A. Shield.
Day Marshal: J.C. Jones.
Night Marshal: G.W. Miller.
Committees: Water and Lights, Shields and Lundy; Cemetery, Salter and Pritchett; Streets, Mason and Lundy; Health and Sanitation, Pritchett and Mason; Finance, Lundy and Shields; Fire and Building, Pritchett and Salter; Laws, Ordinances and Resolutions, Salter and Shields.

At the recent meeting of the Conecuh County Medical Society, Dr. E.L. Stallworth was elected health officer of the county, Dr. G. Newton was elected county physician; Dr. W.F. Betts city physician.

The Mt. Zion School Improvement Association will have an ice cream supper Friday night, Oct. 18, at the school house. The public is cordially invited to attend.

120 YEARS AGO
OCT. 15, 1897

Yellow Fever at Flomaton: It was learned here yesterday that there were five cases of yellow fever at Flomaton. The state health officer has been there to investigate the cases. The train yesterday did not go any further down than Pollard.

Mr. S.B. Strout, the newly appointed postmaster at this place, has qualified and taken charge of his office. Mr. W.T. Wiggins retires with a clean record and with many friends.

The streets of Evergreen and especially the courthouse square have been thronged with people this week.

Castleberry: Dr. R.T. Holland has just completed a large new storehouse, which adds greatly to the looks of that side of town.

CONFEDERATE PENSIONS: The auditor has announced that the Confederate pension warrants for the year will go out within the next week or 10 days, and that there is an increase of about 1,800 names on the roll. This increase will cut the approximation down so that each pensioner will only receive $12 or $13 instead of about $17, as heretofore.


Circuit court convened Monday with Judge Tyson presiding. The civil docket was taken up after empaneling the grand and petit juries, and the business is being disposed of with the usual promptitude and dispatch. We note the presence of an unusually large number of visitors.

Today in History for Oct. 17, 2017

Queen Elizabeth II in 1957
Oct. 17, 1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.


Oct. 17, 1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera “Ascanio in Alba,” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 15.

Oct. 17, 1777 - British general and playwright John Burgoyne surrendered 5,000 British and Hessian troops to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York.

Oct. 17, 1781 – During the American Revolutionary War, British General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown. George Washington accepted the British surrender, and this event effectively ended America's War for Independence.

Oct. 17, 1814 – Eight people died in the London Beer Flood.

Oct. 17, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Mount Vernon and George Washington's tomb in Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1841 – Greenberry “Green” Henry Shell was born in Georgia. He later moved to Escambia County, Ala. and the community of Appleton was named for his apple orchard. The name, a combination of “apple” and “-ton,” which means “town,” was suggested by Shell’s son, Andrew. The Appleton post office was established in 1901. Greenberry Shell was also a Civil War veteran, having served in Co. D, 16th Regt., Ala. Inf., CSA.

Oct. 17, 1859 - A company of marines arrived and surrounded abolitionist John Brown after his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. On the morning of Oct. 19, the soldiers overran Brown and his survivors. Ten of Brown's men were killed, including two of his sons.

Oct. 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, two days of skirmishing began at Federicktown, Mo.

Oct. 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mountain Home and Sugar Creek in Arkansas; at Camp Wild Cat, Valley Woods, and Rocky Hill in Kentucky; at Lexington, Mo.; and at Shepherdstown, W.Va. Civilian resistance to the Union draft also broke out in Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties in Pennsylvania.

Oct. 17, 1863 – During Civil War, an engagement was fought at Fort Brooke, Fla. Skirmishes were also fought at Bogue Chitto Creek, Robinson’s Mills (near Livingston) and near Sartarsia in Mississippi; in Cedar County, Mo.; near Camden Court House, N.C.; and at Accotink. near Chantilly, Groveton, Berryville, Frying Pan Church, and Manassas Junction in Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1864 - Confederate General James Longstreet assumed command of his corps in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia in May of that year, Longstreet missed the campaign for Richmond, Va. and spent five months recovering before returning to his command.

Oct. 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Eddyville, Kentucky; and Carrollton, Smithville, and near Lexington, Missouri. An affair also occurred at Cedar Run Church, Virginia.

Oct. 17, 1888 – Thomas Edison filed a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).

Oct. 17, 1888 - The first issue of "National Geographic Magazine" was released at newsstands.

Oct. 17, 1892 – German SS general Theodor Eicke was born in Hudingen, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire now Hampont, Moselle, France.

Oct. 17, 1898 – Shinichi Suzuki, who developed the Suzuki Violin Method, was born in Nagoya, Japan.

Oct. 17, 1915 – Dramatist and playwright Arthur Miller was born in New York City.

October 17, 1916 - Cumberland University (the forerunner of present-day Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham) was defeated by Georgia Tech, 222-0. The Georgia team was coached by a former elocution and oratory instructor, and football coach, at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University). His name was John Heisman.

Oct. 17, 1917 - Serving aboard the USS Cassin, Alabamian Kelly Ingram became the first American serviceman killed in action during World War I.

Oct. 17, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that there was “a vast quantity of timber throughout this section which was blown down by the recent hurricane, and unless persons who own it take prompt measures to utilize and get something out of it, much of it will go to decay.”


Oct. 17, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Will Frye of Lower Peachtree, Ala. “died from disease.”

Oct. 17, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Marion Lee Haigler, 22, of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.” Born on Feb. 26, 1896, he was buried in the Fort Dale Cemetery in Butler County.

Oct. 17, 1919 – RCA was incorporated as the Radio Corporation of America.

Oct. 17, 1924 – Evergreen was scheduled to play Florala in football at Gantt Field in Evergreen, starting at 3:30 p.m. Florala’s coach was Grady Vaughn, who was a former Evergreen coach.

Oct. 17, 1924 – Croatian SS officer Anton Geiser was born in Đak-Selci, Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Oct. 17, 1927 – Major League Baseball pitcher Johnny Klippstein was born in Washington, D.C. He would go on to pitch for the Cubs, the Red, the Dodgers, the Indians, the Senators, the Phillies, the Twins and the Tigers.

Oct. 17, 1927 - Martin Hancock, Leslie Morris and Everette Pritchett, three men of the Repton community were arrested on this Monday on warrants charging them with kidnapping and assault and battery. The warrants were sworn out by relatives of Malcolm Nicholson, who it was alleged was kidnapped by these men Sunday afternoon near Repton. Hancock and Morris were in jail as of Oct. 20 awaiting trial. Pritchett made bond immediately after his arrest.

Oct. 17, 1930 – A pep rally the night before the Alabama-Tennessee football game in Tuscaloosa turned into a near riot when parading students “bombarded” a movie theater with eggs and vegetables after being refused admittance. The fire department and police had to be called in to disperse the students, but no arrests were made. The theater suffered minor damage. The next day, Alabama beat Tennessee, 18-6.

Oct. 17, 1930 – Repton High School beat Conecuh County High School of Castleberry, 25-0, in Repton.

Oct. 17, 1932 – One of Evergreen’s oldest and most highly respected citizens Edward Johnston McCreary, 68, passed away around 11 p.m. at his home in Evergreen following “a stroke of paralysis” around 4 p.m. McCreary was born in the Johnstonville community on Feb. 5, 1864. He was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen.

Oct. 17, 1933 – Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany and moved to the United States.

Oct. 17, 1940 – The body of Communist propagandist Willi Münzenberg was found in South France, starting a never-resolved mystery.

Oct. 17, 1943 - The Detroit Lions set a rushing record when they achieved a -53 yards against the Chicago Cardinals.

Oct. 17, 1948 – The Evergreen Methodist Church dedicated its new, custom-built Moeller pipe organ during its Sunday morning worship service. Members of the organ committee included Mrs. E.B. Stowers, Mrs. O.C. McGehee and Mrs. Verna W. Millsap.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Monroe Journal reported that Capt. W.H. (Billy) Lee, a native Monroe Countian, had been named one of the physicians to attend Queen Elizabeth of England during her tour of the nation’s capital. Son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Lee Sr. of Frisco City, Capt. Lee was stationed at Ft. Myers, Va., where he was in charge of a clinic.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville Kiwanis Club had elected eight members to its board of directors for 1958. Those board members included C.H. Harper, J.P. Farish III, Chuck Pelham, Lee Duvall, John Finklea, R.A. Wible and L.L. Dees. Their election followed by a week the naming of new officers for the club: Robison Harper, president; A.B. Blass Jr., first vice-president; and George Gibson, treasurer.

Oct. 17, 1957 - Judge George C. Wallace of Clayton was scheduled to speak to the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting at noon at the Methodist Church. Wallace was judge of the Third Judicial Circuit of Alabama and had been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in the 1958 Democratic primary.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the search for a private plane missing since Sat., Oct. 12, was being continued in the area. Civil Air Patrol pilots and ground searchers had combed the large area from Evergreen north to Montgomery several times, but no trace of the plane had been found. The pilot, Larry Reid, construction company employee of Birmingham, and his fiancée, Miss Mary Catherine Finch, 21-year-old nurse at Montgomery hospital, were last heard from at 6:36 p.m. on Oct. 12.

Oct. 17, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen’s Conecuh County Training School Eagles, outweighed man for man by 20 pounds, played a valiant defensive game, though on the short end of a 7-0 score in a recent football game against Camden. The entire game was played practically on the Eagle’s side of the 50-yard line. The Eagles made four brilliant goal line stands to keep within striking distance. The Eagles made their only threat in the final stanza. With four minutes remaining in the game, Hood Johnson intercepted a Camden pass on his 30 and ran it back to the Camden 40. The Eagles failed to gain a first down and Camden took possession on their 35. Other standout CCTS players in that game included James Watson, Walter Hill, Johnny Tullis and Norman Nettles.

Oct. 17, 1961 – Scores of Algerian protesters (some claim up to 400) are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of former Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.

Oct. 17, 1962 - The New York Yankees won their 20th World Series when they beat the San Francisco Giants.

Oct. 17, 1963 – “All the Way Home,” a movie version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” was released.

Oct. 17, 1966 - President Johnson left Washington for a 17-day trip to seven Asian and Pacific nations and a conference scheduled in Manila.

Oct. 17, 1975 – On homecoming night, Sparta Academy improved to 6-1-1 by beating Chickasaw Academy, 56-20, at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Kelsey Nix was crowned Miss Homecoming.

Oct. 17, 1975 – T.R. Miller beat Evergreen, 22-8, at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen. Also that night, Frisco City beat Conecuh County High School, 36-0, in Castleberry. McKenzie beat Repton, 14-6, in Repton. Bill Watkins scored Repton’s only touchdown.

Oct. 17, 1976 - Part 2 of “The Biscuit Eater,” a movie version of the story by Alabama author James H. Street, was broadcast as part of the “Wonderful World of Disney” television series.

Oct. 17, 1978 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed a bill that restored full U.S. citizenship rights to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.


Oct. 17, 1989 - An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale hit the San Francisco Bay area in California at 5:04 p.m. The quake caused about 67 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and damages up to $7 billion. The tremor hit just before the live TV broadcast of the World Series game at Candlestick Park, and the sportscasters took on the role of news anchors.

Oct. 17, 2000 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Leo Nomellini died at the age of 76 in Stanford, Calif. During his career, he played for the University of Minnesota and the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Oct. 17, 2012 – The Mt. Moriah Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery in Butler County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
  

Oct. 17, 2014 – The World War II tanker movie, “Fury,” was released in U.S. theaters. Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal, the film portrays US tank crews in Nazi Germany during the final days of World War II.