Sunday, March 5, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from March 1917

Spright Dowell
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published five editions 100 years ago during the month of March 1917. Those issues, which were dated March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22 and March 29, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those five editions. Enjoy.

MARCH 1, 1917

DEATH OF CAPT. ANDY JOHNSON: Capt. Andy H. Johnson died at his home at Franklin, this county, on Saturday morning, Feb. 25, after an illness of several months, aged 76 years.
Captain Johnson was a man of generous impulses with a heart of gold.
Interment was made at the family cemetery on Sunday, a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives being present at the obsequies.

The girls basketball team of the Atmore high school defeated the Monroeville high school team by a score of 14 to 8 on the local court Saturday morning. This was the first match game of the season by the local girls team.

Mr. G.B. Sellers, proprietor of the local waterworks system, has removed with his family from Franklin to Monroeville and is occupying the dwelling lately vacated by Mr. T.W. Russell.

Dr. F.S. Dailey of Tunnel Springs, our efficient County Health Officer, was here yesterday after an official inspection of the convict camp. Dr. Dailey stated that he found the camp in excellent sanitary condition and complimented Warden Metts upon the intelligent precautions observed.

There was a strong blow of wind here Friday afternoon, filling the elements with dust and light debris, followed by heavy downpour of rain. No material damage in this immediate vicinity has been reported, but in some other parts of the county quantities of timber was blown down and in few instances barns were unroofed.

MARCH 8, 1917

Heavy frosts and ice on Monday and Tuesday mornings make a third effort at getting gardens started necessary. Practically all young vegetables that had emerged from the ground were nipped.

FAITHFUL MINISTER PASSES AWAY: Many of the people of Monroe County were surprised last Friday to learn of the sudden death of Rev. James S. Williams, pastor of the Baptist Church at Mexia and Ollie. He had been in usual health up to an hour or so prior to the closing scene, when he suffered an attack of acute indigestion. He was a native of Wilcox County where he did much good work in the Sunday school field.
He came to Mexia about two years ago, purchased a home and preached the gospel with good success. He was about 60 years of age and is survived by his wife and four sisters.
Rev. A.J. Kempton conducted the funeral at the Baptist Church at Mexia Friday afternoon and the remains were laid to rest in the adjacent cemetery. A good man has gone and his people mourn.

Judge Foster of the 12th Judicial Circuit has been assigned by Chief Justice Anderson to preside over the spring term of the circuit court of Monroe County in the stead of Judge Turner who has been in an infirmary for several weeks.

Mr. W.M. Crook, a former citizen of this county, died at his home at Muscogee, Fla. on the night of March 3. The remains were taken to Perdue Hill for interment.

MARCH 15, 1917

The spring term of the circuit court will convene next Monday for a two-week term. Judge Foster will preside in the absence of Judge Turner.

The Board of Revenue held its regular monthly meeting here Monday and Tuesday with all members present, including Mr. J.W. Jones of Roy, the new appointee succeeding Mr. Blacksher.

Mr. Henry Roberson, a well known citizen of Burnt Corn, died at his home near that place on Sunday, the 11th inst. Interment was made at Ramah cemetery Monday with Masonic honors.

The Lazenby Mercantile Co. has purchased a lot on the north side of the public square and will have the frame building at present occupying the site removed preparatory to the erection of a commodious and up-to-date brick building. The company expects to have the new store ready for occupancy by midsummer.

Excel School Notes: The people of Tunnel Springs enjoyed another game of basketball on the afternoon of March 2nd between the Excel and Tunnel Springs second teams. The scores stood: first game, 4 to 3 in favor of Tunnel Springs; second game, 6 to 8 in favor of Excel.

Mr. S.B. Nettles of Tunnel Springs contemplates the erection of a veneer mill at Fountain on the G.F.&A. railroad in the near future provided he can secure options on a sufficient quantity of suitable timber to warrant the cost of such a plant.

“Short” Millsap of the Monroe Stock Exchange Co. has gone to St. Louis to buy stock.

MARCH 22, 1917

The Monroe County Medical Society held its annual meeting in Monroeville Wednesday, concluding its session with its usual delightful banquet and smoker Wednesday night.

Bottling Works for Monroeville: Among the new enterprises soon to be established in Monroeville will be an up-to-date plant for bottling soft drinks. Mr. English, proprietor of the Monroe Bottling Works at Roy, will shortly remove his plant to Monroeville where more convenient facilities for distribution are afforded and the opportunities for expansion more favorable.
This institution has the exclusive right in this territory for bottling Coca-Cola, the most popular, perhaps, of all soft drinks dispensed both at founts and in bottled form. Mr. English has leased the large brick warehouse on Eastside where his plant will be installed.

Teachers Institute in Session: The Monroe County Teachers Institute convened in the high school auditorium Wednesday morning for a three-day session. About 75 teachers were enrolled at the opening session. The institute is under the direction of Hon. Spright Dowell, recently named by the Governor to succeed State Superintendent Feagin whose resignation will take effect in a few months hence. He is assisted in departmental work by Miss Clara Pitts.

MARCH 29, 1917

A light frost was reported yesterday morning, but the temperature was not sufficiently low to cause material injury to young vegetables.

A heavy rain fell throughout this neighborhood Monday night accompanied by high winds. Lands were considerably washed in some places and also some timber felled and fences damaged.

The Lazenby Mercantile Co. is having material placed on the ground for the erection of their new brick store on Northside. The contract has been let to Mr. J.M. Daniel, one of our local contractors who will rush the work as rapidly as possible.

Death of Prof. D.M. McCorvey: Prof. Daniel M. McCorvey, county examiner of Saline County (Ark.), was stricken on Tuesday morning in the school room at Mt. Harmony, and died Sunday of paralysis at his home at Hickory Grove.
He was born at Monroeville, Ala. Sept. 23, 1857 and came to Arkansas when still a young man and engaged in the profession of teaching. After a few years spent in Texas, Mexico and California, he again came to Arkansas where he devoted the remainder of his life to the educational interests of Saline County.
In 1894, he was married to Miss Flora McCray, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H.H. McCray of Congo, who still survives him.

Prof. McCorvey was a tireless worker in his profession and had the respect of the Saline County teachers to a marked degree. He will be greatly missed in Saline County, not only by the teachers who, outside of his family, knew him best, but by the businessmen and farmers. – Benton (Ark.) Courier, March 1.


  1. LOve reading all these. The descriptive words they used to use are just so much fun. I especially enjoyed reading about Tunnel Springs and Dr. Daily! Thanks so much!

    1. Me too, Valerie. Especially since Dr. Fielden Straughn Dailey was my great grandfather:-)). My grandmother told me so many stories about him. Wish I could have met him.