What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Sept. 27, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.
Cotton Report: There were 485 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Wilcox County from the crop of 1917, prior to Sept. 1, 1917, as compared with 349 bales ginned to Sept. 1, 1916.
The steamboat M.A. Burke recently came from the Alabama River to Mobile with 629 bales of cotton. The little cotton that is made is opening very fast and will soon be out of the fields.
Death of Melvin Hazel and Wife: Last Saturday morning, Mr. Melvin Hazel of Gees Bend, aged 37 years, died of congestive chills, and on Sunday night his wife also died of the same illness. Both died before physicians could reach them, after they were sent for. Mrs. Hazel was a daughter of Mr. J.M. Mitchell.
It is rumored that a two-story brick store with offices on the second floor is to be built in Camden. This is one evidence of better times.
There is considerable malarial fever in the county.
The County Commissioners’ Court will meet Fri., Oct. 5, in reference to graveling the Jackson Highway in West Wilcox, etc.
Hon. S.D. Bloch has returned from a visit to his brothers in Mobile. Mr. Bloch does not intend to leave Wilcox County and Camden, nor will he change his citizenship. He will, after Jan. 1, be a portion of his time in Mobile, but his business interests in the county and his management of The Progressive Era and its job printing department will remain as heretofore in Camden under his direction.
Dr. Paul Jones has received his commission as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He volunteered for foreign service.
The cool wave of last Tuesday and Wednesday made blankets and quilts comfortable.
Mr. A.J. Bigger of O’Lea has purchased the late Frank Stewart place near Camden and is living there with his family.
The Camden Chautauqua Circle met with Mrs. J.M. Bonner on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. P.W. Middlebrooks, formerly of our county, has moved from Consul to Tunnel Springs.
Dr. G.C. Kilpatrick of Mobile and a native of Camden is in camp somewhere on the shores of Lake Champlain. He is in command of an ambulance company of 150 men and doesn’t know when he will be sent to the front. He is much pleased with the location in one of the beauty spots of Vermont. – Mobile Register.
The following young men are at the University of Alabama this session: Camden, Robt. Hardy, Will Albritton, Hunter Farish, Ellie Jones; Pine Apple, George Snowdon, Jim Wright Snowdon, Grier Donald, Miss Ruth Feagin; and Henry Kimbrough of Lowndesboro, who graduated from the Wilcox County High School last year. The attendance so far is over 700 and it is estimated will reach 750.
Ackerville News: Mr. P.E. Wallace Jr., who spent last week with his parents, has returned to Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., where he is being trained to do his bit for Uncle Sam in the capacity of lieutenant.