It’s that time of the month again, time to take a trip down memory lane and review all of the interesting things that took place in Conecuh County 100 years ago, way back in June 1917.
In the June 7, 1917 edition of The Conecuh Record, editor J.C. Whitcomb reported, under the headline “Flag Raising At Belleville,” that “the flag-raising at Belleville Tuesday attracted a large crowd. The exercises were held at the school house. Prof. Mancil made a few remarks and then introduced Dr. Dickinson, who gave an interesting talk on the origin of the flag and explained what the stars and stripes stood for and also the duty of every citizen in this trying period of our nation’s history. The doctor was followed by Rev. S.P. Lindsey who spoke along the same line. A detachment of Co. E, stationed at Evergreen, was present and assisted in raising the beautiful flag made by the young ladies of Belleville, after which the troops gave an exhibition drill.”
Also that week, under the headline “Sentenced to Hang July 13,” that “Joe Ingram, indicted Wednesday of last week for killing young Garrett near McKenzie a short time ago, was tried Thurs., June 6, before Judge Gamble at a special term of the circuit court. Solicitor Dickey represented the state while Hon. J.F. Jones appeared for the defendant. After a clear cut charge by his Honor, the jury retired, and after deliberating only eight minutes a verdict of murder in the first degree was returned. The condemned man was sentenced to hang July 13.
In the June 14, 1917 edition of The Record, readers learned that “the detachment of troops stationed at Evergreen for some time past were recently ordered to Montgomery, and the company left Wednesday morning on a hike for that city. From which point, they will be ordered later on to Charleston, S.C. The khaki boys made friends and were popular in Evergreen, and their departure was regretted by many.”
Readers that week also learned that “during the rain and blow Wednesday night, an electric bolt killed two valuable milch cows belonging to Hon. C.S. Rabb. The rain and wind were of short duration, but the vivid flashes of lightning continued for quite a while.”
In news from the Castleberry community that week it was reported that “Hubbard Baggett of Co. K, First Ala. Infantry, is home for a few days,” and that “Miss Luther, high school principal, left Sunday for Tuscaloosa to assume her duties as a teacher in the summer school of the University of Alabama.”
It was also reported that week, under the headline “Death of Dr. Williamson,” that “Dr. H.B. Williamson, after an illness of several months, although not confined to his bed all the while, died about nine o’clock Tuesday morning of Bright’s disease. The doctor practiced dentistry for years in this section and had many friends who will lament his death. The remains were laid to rest Wednesday morning, the burial services being conducted by Pastor Haskew, assisted by representatives of the Knights of Pythias fraternity, of which order deceased was a member for a number of years.”
Readers also learned that week that “Mr. Gus Riley died at his home six miles west of Evergreen, Monday morning, June 11. He was about 70 years of age, a Confederate veteran and a consistent member of Arkadelphia Baptist Church, near which the family reside.”
In the June 21, 1917 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that the “annual Fourth of July picnic will be held at Tomlinson mill. Everybody cordially invited.”
Also that week, it was reported that “the entertainment at the courthouse, ‘A Womanless Wedding,’ given under the auspices of the Mothers Club for the benefit of the school, was a decided hit – an all-around success. The different characters ‘looked’ their respective parts and each met fully public expectation. The management deserve credit for the successful manner in which the affair was carried out.”
Also that week, under the headline “Evergreen Mail Dispatch,” readers saw the following news item – “Effective July 1, 1917, mail is dispatched from the Evergreen post office as follows: 6 a.m. to the following offices – Brooklyn, Belleville, Bermuda, Nichburg, Rabb, Herbert, Melrose and Paul; 6:30 a.m., to all motor rural routes and the following post offices, Skinnerton and Burnt Corn; 7 a.m., to Nymph, three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 9:30 a.m., to Train No. 5; 1:30 p.m., to trains No. 1 and 6; 3:20 p.m., to Train No. 4; 8 p.m., to trains No. 37 and No. 38. The post office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Sundays, when it will remain closed all day.”
Also that week, readers saw the following announcement – “Meeting of United Confederate Veterans: Members of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee, No. 338, will meet Monday, July 2, 1917, at the courthouse in Evergreen, Ala., at 10 o’clock a.m. sharp. All are expected to attend. By command of G.R. Boulware, Commander.”
In the July 28, 1917 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that “next Sunday will be observed as ‘Patriotic Sunday’ in pursuance of a proclamation by the president of the United States.”
Also that week, readers learned that “the handsome two-story residence of Hon. E.C. Page will be an ornament to that locality when completed. The work is being rapidly pushed by Contractor Golightly.”
Whitcomb also put out there that “Mrs. J.C. Whitcomb and grandchildren left this week for Kentucky to visit her son, R.M. Whitcomb.”
Readers that week also learned that “A. Cunningham has improved the looks of his handsome home by widening an extension of the front gallery. Several interior changes were also made.”
As America’s involvement in World War I began to crank up, Whitcomb announced that “every woman and girl in Evergreen is urged to be present at a meeting at the courthouse next Friday afternoon, June 29, at 4:30 to organize an auxiliary to the Red Cross. An out-of-town speaker, who is familiar with the work will be present to give valuable aid. Let everyone help us in this noble work for humanity.”
Elsewhere in that week’s paper, Whitcomb noted that “the ladies of Evergreen may be counted upon to do their bit, which they are preparing to do by organizing a Red Cross.”
Whitcomb also reported that week that “crops (were) greatly revived by the rain which fell Wednesday.”
Readers that week also learned that the “Rev. J.W. Stewart will preach at Sepulga church next Sunday at 11 o’clock. All members are requested to be present.”
It was also reported that week that “V.C. Stubbs of Greenville spent Wednesday in Evergreen,” and “Mrs. J.W. Wright visited friends in Greenville last week.”
In news from Castleberry that week, it was reported that “Lieutenant R.A. Baird is home from Mobile on a furlough.”
Well, I guess that’s all that space will allow for this month. Next month, I plan to take a look at the events of July 1917 in Conecuh County. Until then, if you get the urge to research the county’s past yourself, take advantage of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library’s excellent selection of old newspapers on microfilm and other resources. The library’s friendly and courteous staff will be more than happy to get you started.