Monday, December 31, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Dec. 31, 2018

Morris Higginbotham, at right.

DEC. 25, 1997

Robert Lee Franklin and Quintin Galloway of the Sparta Hill community killed their first deer (eight point) this year in the “WOODS!”

DEC. 30, 1982

Sparta girls, jayvees win: Sparta Academy’s girls defeated Fort Dale Academy, 35-28, while the junior varsity won, 48-42, in a battle of Warriors (nickname for both schools) in games played in Greenville on Dec. 17, according to Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.
Leah Carrier had 10 points, Tina Bybee and Cheri Johnson nine each, Jan Coker five and Tammy Booker two for the Sparta girls.
Dewan Salter hit for 19 points, and Wes Brown 15 to lead the Sparta Jayvees. Ed Carrier had eight points and Jason Evers, Scott Pate and Richard Starr two each.

Vol boys beat Sparta, but ‘our’ girls win: Sparta Academy’s girls beat Monroe Academy, 39-34, to prevent a visit to Monroeville on Dec. 18 from being a complete disaster for the Warriors. The boys varsity lost, 81-66, and the junior varsity boys were edged, 38-35, by the Vols.
Cheri Johnson, Jan Coker and Tina Bybee hit for 10 points each, Leah Carrier seven and Tammy Booker two for the Warrior girls.
Chris Blatz led the Warrior varsity in their losing cause with 25 points, and Al Etheridge was also in double figures with 15. Britt McNeil and Russ Brown had nine each, Connery Salter six and Joe McInvale two.
Mark Rigsby and Thad Ellis netted 11 points each to pace the Jayvees. Chad Grace had six, Tim Brantley five and Scott Salter two, according to Sparta Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.

DEC. 28, 1967

Faulkner gets letter at LSC: A Conecuh County boy has received a football letter at Livingston State College for his play during the 1967 season.
Head Coach Morris Higginbotham announced that Homer Faulkner, a kicker from Evergreen, is among the 31 boys receiving letters.
Coach Higginbotham’s Tigers, hard at work rebuilding, won four games this year, including one over Arkansas A&M, Champion Small College in Arkansas.

DEC. 25, 1952

Letters Awarded Nineteen Aggies At Annual QB Banquet Thursday: Billy Lewis Receives D.T. Stuart Trophy: Nineteen members of the 1952 Evergreen Aggie football team were awarded letters at the annual Quarterback Club Banquet last Thursday night. The group included nine seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and one freshman. The seniors were given gold footballs by the Quarterbacks.
President Brown Boykin was master of ceremonies at the banquet which was one of the best ever staged by the club. A wonderful speech by guest speaker James (Bubber) Nisbett, Alabama assistant coach, highlighted the program staged in the Evergreen High Cafeteria.
Coach Nisbett, an All-SEC fullback at Alabama in the thirties, was introduced by Bob Kendall.
Sportswriter Bob Bozeman of The Courant introduced Sam Hanks, all-state tackle at Evergreen High School in 1948 and letter winner at Auburn for the past three years. Hanks, starting right tackle at Auburn this year, is a senior and was recognized by the Quarterbacks for his fine record at Auburn.
Bozeman also reviewed the 1952 season, paying tribute to Coach Wendell Hart and Assistant Coach Ralph Law for their splendid work not only as coaches but also as builders of character.
Quarterback Billy Lewis was honored by his selection for the annual D.T. Stuart Football Sportsmanship Award. G.L. (Dock) Wilkinson explained briefly the purpose behind the giving of this award each year and the donor, D.T. Stuart, presented the handsome trophy to Lewis.
The other award made each year to an individual player, The Martin Theatres Trophy, was given by the Pix Theatre to the outstanding player as voted by the fans, went to Shirley Frazier. The junior award was made to Tommy Melton.
Coach Hart introduced the captains of the 1953 team elected last week. Sam Cope will captain the team next season with Ward Alexander serving as alternate captain. This year’s Captain Pace Bozeman and Alt. Capt. Shirley Frazier presented gifts in behalf of the team to the coaches.
Raymond DaLee presented the gold footballs to the senior letter winners. Principal C.W. Claybrook paid tribute to the team and coaches.
Coach Hart awarded letters to the following players:
Seniors, Pace Bozeman, Shirley Frazier, Billy Lewis, Bill Robinson, Joe Stowers, Cullen Edson, Sammy Robison, James Ansley and Clayton Cobb; Juniors, Sam Cope, Paul Hanks, Bud Ward, Lamar Sheffield; Sophomores, Ward Alexander, Jimmy Frazier, Wayne Douglas, Richard Taylor and Wayne Bell; Freshmen, Ronnie Edson.
Cheerleaders, Elaine Hassel, Phyliss Cunningham, Barbara DaLee and Patricia Alexander, and manager Garvin Langley were other letter winners.

Aggie Cagers Play Castleberry Quintet There Tuesday Night: Coach Wendell Hart’s Evergreen High Aggies will return to cage warfare Tuesday night, journeying to Castleberry for a brace of games with Coach Ray Owens’ Blue Devil five.
The Aggies posted a 4-1 mark in pre-Christmas play for their best start in several years. After racking up wins over Beatrice (2), Frisco City and Pine Apple, the Evergreen club was edged in its final game before the holidays by W.S. Neal, 53-50, on the East Brewton school’s court.
Coach Owens has made a successful coaching debut at Conecuh County High with his team posting a 4-1 record prior to Christmas. The Blue Devils lost their first game last Thursday night to the defending State Class A Champions, T.R. Miller High. They have defeated Lyeffion (twice), Pine Apple and Repton.
Capt. Shirley Frazier has led the Aggies to their early season successes. In five games, Frazier has racked up 77 points for an average of better than 15 a game. His high for the season was against Neal last week when he stripped the cords for 24 points.
(Other players on Evergreen’s team that year include Hugh Ellington, Wayne Douglas, Alt. Capt. Pace Bozeman, Ward Alexander, Cullen Edson and John Henry Brantley.)

DEC. 30, 1937

Bodies Of Two Hunters Found: Andalusia, Ala. – The bodies of two huntsmen Monday had been recovered, and three other men whose airplane crashed into a lake near here while they searched for the death victims, were being treated at a hospital here, the aftermath of a hunting trip which started last Thursday.
Charles Burke, 24, and T.J. Morgan, 23, both of Andalusia, lost their lives while hunting ducks on the lake Thursday. Their small boat was found intact and investigators said they had no clues as to how the pair went overboard.
Subsequently an airplane, used in the search for the two huntsmen, fell into the lake, injuring “Curley” Tathem, Grand Rapids, Mich., pilot; C.L. Tranium and Clyde Duggan, both of Andalusia.
Tathem suffered a fractured leg, Tranium a fractured skull and leg, while Duggan suffered a fractured skull, attaches to the hospital said.
The body of Burke was recovered Sunday, and that of Morgan was taken from the lake Monday morning.

THE ROSE BOWL GAME: All Alabama, as well as the nation, will be watching and listening with much interest Saturday when the Crimson Tide of Alabama meets the Golden Bears of California at the Rose Bowl for the Tournament of Roses game. Despite the fact that Alabama has played four games in the Bowl, winning three and tying one, she is going into this game as the underdog. (Cal won, 13-0.)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Old newspaper excerpts from The Monroe Journal newspaper of Monroe County, Alabama

U.S. Navy submarine tender USS Nereus (AS-17)

DEC. 29, 2005

Dewberry joins staff: Josh Dewberry, a Pensacola native and resident of Excel, has joined The Journal’s staff as a staff writer and copy editor.
Dewberry, 24, moved to the Repton area with his family in 1995. He is a 1999 Monroe County High School graduate and earned his B.S. in English with a minor in journalism from the University of West Alabama (UWA) in Livingston in 2003.
Among his college honors, he was named Staff Member of the Term for UWA’s student run newspaper, The Life; he won the Betty Jean Tucker Award for Critical Writing in 2003; and was runner-up the same year for the Tucker Award in Creative Writing.
Dewberry worked for South Alabama News in Evergreen for over two years as composition editor and managing editor.

MC spoils it for Panthers: Monroe County High School’s Terrell Armstrong and Josh Stallworth teamed up for 26 total points in a 59-54 win over in-county rival, Excel, Tuesday of last week in Monroeville.
Armstrong, a 6-0 senior point guard, and Stallworth, a 6-2 senior center, scored 13 points each in the win, handing previously undefeated Excel their first loss of the year.

DEC. 27, 1990

Restoring the dome: Workers erected scaffolding at the Old Monroe County Courthouse last Thursday and Friday to prepare for restoring the exterior of the dome. In coming weeks, workers will structurally upgrade the dome and give it a new coat of paint, replace and repair windows, and add a balustrade like the one built originally in 1903. The dome renovation, along with repair work on the clock and chime, is the first step in a project spearheaded by the Old Courthouse Restoration Committee.

Journal names its all-county team: Excel High School’s Bo Bishop and Monroe Academy’s K.J. Lazenby have been named coaches of the year for The Monroe Journal’s annual All-Monroe County all-star football team.
Excel senior Mack Ross is the Offensive Player of the Year, and Monroe Academy (MA) senior Chris Hare is Defensive Player of the Year.
(Other first team members of the All-County team included John Abernathy, MA; Nick Ackerman, MA; Greg Betts, Monroe County High School (MCHS); Carlos Booker, MCHS; John Bradley, Excel; Doug Brown, Blacksher; Kendall Deas, Excel; Jason Gunn, Blacksher; Michael Hanks, Excel; Trey Harris, Excel; Drexel Lambert, Excel; Tony Maye, Excel; Josh Mixon, MA; Ray Pharr, Excel; Tim Rigby, MCHS; Todd Salter, MA; Justin Sawyer, Excel; Damien Siglar, MCHS; Jamie Thomas, MCHS; Jerrod Thompson, MA; Luke Waller, MA; and Lorenzo Williams, MCHS. Honorable mentions included Coach Keith Cardwell, MCHS; Dallas Gamble, MA; Shane Stafford, MA; Larry McCorvey, MCHS; Chris McCall, Excel; Oliver Wright Shields; Chris Casey, Excel; Bart Lloyd, Excel; Craig Ivey, MA; Anthony McClain, MCHS; Todd Watson, MCHS; Warren Wood Blacksher; Shannon Richardson, Frisco; Jason Holmes, MCHS; A.J. White, Frisco; Ronald Marshall, Shields; Steven Ledkins, Excel; Larry Shirley, Frisco; Chris Harrell, MA; Stephen Graham, Blacksher; Michael Stacey, MA; Craig Peavy, Blacksher; Bart McCrory, Frisco; Bryan Luker, Excel, Curtis Sanders, Shields; and Joey Downs, MCHS.)

DEC. 25, 1975

Harold Harris, engineer and manager of radio station WMFC, has resigned from his position to enter an electronics business in Yazoo City, Miss.
He began his career with WMFC nearly 20 years ago as station engineer. He has served as manager and engineer for the last 15 years.

Several football players from the Monroe County area have been listed on the Birmingham Post-Herald’s 1A state football teams.
Rhett Barnes (a 175-pound senior running back, strong safety and kicker) of Coach Lee Holladay’s Excel High School Panthers was the only player from the area to make the first team, although Daniel Boothe (a 190-pound senior fullback and middle linebacker), also of Excel, was listed on the second team. Receiving honorable mentions were (linebacker) Patrick Brown of Repton and (junior quarterback and defensive back) Ben Rhodes of Blacksher.

Contract for hospital 10-year plan signed: Monroe County Hospital last week signed a contract for development of a 10-year master plan expected to include expanding the number of patient beds by two-thirds.
The plan should be adequate through 1990, said hospital administrator Harold Pittman.
Ellerbe, a firm of hospital architects, engineers and planners based in Bloomington, Minn., is to begin work on the plan early next month, Pittman said.
Pittman said the plan is expected to include construction of two additions of about 25 beds each by 1985. The hospital now has 74 beds.

DEC. 29, 1960

Miss Nelle Lee of New York City is a holiday guest of her father, A.C. Lee, and sister, Miss Alice Lee.

Mickey Ryland, star tackle on the champion Monroe County High School football team, is pictured above signing a four-year grant-in-aid football scholarship to Auburn University. Signing Ryland is B.H. Stallworth Jr., Monroeville businessman and Auburn alumnus, upon instruction from the Auburn Athletic Department. The MCHS athlete made All-Pine Belt Conference and was named to several state teams during the season.

Monroe Sailor Is Aboard Submarine: James D. White, electrician’s mate third class, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. White of Route 1, Monroeville, is serving aboard the submarine tender USS Nereus, operating out of San Diego, Calif. White enlisted Oct. 11 for six more years. Before entering the Navy in June 1958, he graduated from Excel High School, Excel, Ala.

The Beatrice High School Eagles captured second place in the Conecuh County Invitational tournament last weekend.
The Monroe quintet, after winning over Evergreen, 68-51, and Flomaton, 48-35, lost in the finals, 41-40, to Castleberry.
Beatrice placed three men on the all-tournament team. They were Paul Luker, guard; Mickey Tatum, forward; and Kenneth Armstrong, center.

“Songs of the Late Hank Williams” will be presented on radio station WMFC, Monroeville, at 10 a.m. Mon., Jan. 2, in a special program. Guest of honor for the occasion will be E.H. Williams of McWilliams, father of the late country and western singer.

DEC. 27, 1945

Miss Nelle Lee, student at the University, is spending the holidays with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee and family.

Nelvin Stacey is on his way home from Pearl Harbor about the U.S.S. Shamrock Bay after serving in the Navy in the South Pacific. His wife, Dorothy Stacey, lives on Monroeville, Route 1.

Landslide Fatal To Three Men: Three men were killed and a fourth was injured last Thursday afternoon when they were buried alive by a landslide in a gravel pit near Uriah.
The men were under a bank of earth in the pit to protect themselves from the cold when the whole side of the pit caved in, covering them with tons of earth. Gordon Williams and Percy Taylor were killed instantly and Roy Moore died a short time after reaching the hospital. Sam Turberville escaped with minor injuries.

Early A. Walden of Vredenburgh has been discharged from the Army after serving 43 months. He is the son of Mrs. J.D. Walden.

Mr. A.B. Blass Jr., student at the University, arrived last weekend to spend Christmas with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Blass Sr.

JESSE R. HARRISON ON THE WAY HOME: Naval Staging Center, Pearl Harbor, T.H. – Jesse R. Harrison, radio technician, first class, Frisco City, is getting ready to rejoin the ranks of civilians, together with thousands of others going through this Naval demobilization center headed for the States.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Singleton relates 'Civil War facts that our history forgets to mention'

Robert Todd Lincoln

(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 “Civil War facts that our history forgets to mention” was originally published in the Sept. 21, 2000 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

History teaching today gives little or no thought to the tragic and bloody sacrifices of that period in our history known as the Civil War.

This period from 1861 to 1865 was unlike any other event that has taken place anywhere else in the world because of the circumstances that caused this war to be different and unlike any war known to mankind. We should study the true history and learn the true facts about this time in our history.

I think the true history of our dreaded Civil War should be taught in greater detail due to the fact that with this knowledge our youth would have a greater knowledge of this period of our history.

Many unanswered questions we face today could be answered and many mysteries of this time would be solved. So this article is dedicated to those readers who care about our history and those who search for many answers. Here are some oddities of this bloody war that might open some eyes.

History fails to mention that the largest slave owner in the South was a black man by the name of Lanier. He owned more than 4,000 of his own people. Today, his home in southern Louisiana still stands. It has over 75 rooms in it. History also does not mention that the largest slave trader in the world was a black man by the name of Sinque. He sold more than 2 million of his own people.

In 1861, William McLean, distressed that a cannonball had crashed through his home during the Battle of Bull Run, moved to a farm where “the sound of battle would never again reach him and his family.”

Almost four years later, McLean’s Appomattox Courthouse home was used for Gen. Lee’s surrender to Gen. Grant. There wasn’t any damage from cannonballs, but souvenir-hunting Union officers stripped his house of almost all its furniture.

When Sam and Keith Blalock joined the 26th North Carolina Regiment, they claimed to be old friends who were distantly related. It was months before anyone discovered Sam’s real name was Malinda. When Keith signed up to fight, his wife put on a man’s attire and went to war with him.

After the Confederacy was defeated, Jefferson Davis was stripped of his citizenship. He died as a man without a country. His citizenship was restored by Congress during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Maj. Gen. George A. Custer, wounded one time during the bloody conflict, had 11 horses shot from under him. Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler continued to fight after having 16 horses killed under him. Still, the all-time record seems to have been set by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

After a thorough study of the matter, Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers reported that Forrest was under fire more than 100 times during which 36 horses were shot from under him. A later analysis, now widely accepted, led to the conclusion that Gen. Forrest actually had a total of 39 horses killed under him while he was in the saddle.

Unlike the Confederates, the Union cavalrymen were usually provided with a government-owned horse. There were a few exceptions.

By October 1861, virtually all units of the Union army were furnished animals owned by the government. By October 1862, the federal government owned approximately 150,000 horses and 100,000 mules.

During the first two years of the fighting, Union cavalry units that never had more than 60,000 men in the field, were supplied with about 240,000 horses. Before Gen. Lee surrendered, federal funds had paid for an estimated 840,000 horses and at least 430,000 mules.

Even then, politics played an important role in the decisions as to who went to war and those who were exempt from the draft. Shielded from battle because he was the son of the President, college student Robert Todd Lincoln was at a New Jersey railroad station waiting to board a train. Forced by the mass of many other passengers to lean from the waiting platform against the side of the train, he suddenly felt it begin to move.

The motion of the train spun young Lincoln off his feet and caused him to slide downward into the open space between the car and the platform. Suspended helplessly, he suddenly felt a hand grab his coat and lift him to safety.

Turning around to thank the bystander who had rescued him, he recognized the famous actor John Wilkes Booth, the brother of the man who a few months later would take the life of his father.

After Union Gen. William T. Sherman burned and destroyed the city of Atlanta, Ga., he began his famous March to the Sea. He decided that he and his army would burn a path 100 miles wide across the South and destroy all farm houses and mules and horses in his path.

During this march, he destroyed many homes, along with many crops in the fields. His army killed over 15,000 farm horses and over 18,000 mules used to cultivate the farm land along his march route.

Following his army were between 600 and 700 so-called freed slaves. Sherman’s army and the freed slaves pillaged the farms and destroyed an estimated 60 tons of cured meat that they took from the destroyed farm’s families.

By the time the army reached Ebenezer Creek just outside Savannah, Ga. there was no food for the followers of Sherman’s army. The followers were eating spilled rice swept from the wagon beds that had been taken from the farms along the way.

The stream named Ebenezer Creek was really a wide stream of water as wide as a river. No one to this day knows why the stream was called a creek.

Sherman ordered flatboats to be constructed for his army to cross the stream. After all the army and its equipment and animals had been ferried across, the flatboats were sent back to bring across the 600 or so freed slaves.

As the flatboats reached mid-stream, Sherman ordered his cannons to open fire on the loaded flatboats. None of those aboard the boats lived to reach the shore.

History describes Sherman as a gentle and kind soldier. Our history fails to mention that when some of Sherman’s riflemen killed three Confederate soldiers in a small skirmish, Sherman ordered the three bodies to be placed in a large hog pen nearby, to be eaten by the hungry hogs rather than take the time to bury them. Truly, indeed, Sherman was a gentle, gentle man.

If the true history about this dreadful time in our history was taught to our people, much of the unrest and disagreements over the Confederate flag would be solved and our citizens would have a better understanding of the past.

Due to the fact that both sides of my family were directly involved in this bloody conflict, I have done much research on this time in our history.

The citizens of our country need to take the bull by the horns and take it upon themselves to research the past, the forgotten and destroyed history of this period. By doing this, many of the disagreements that now exist would be solved.

(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 to Vincent William Singleton and Frances Cornelia Faile Singleton, during a late-night thunderstorm, on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served as a U.S. Marine paratrooper in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from June 28, 1964 to Dec. 14, 1987. He was promoted from the enlisted ranks to warrant officer in May 1972. For years, Singleton’s columns, titled “Monroe County history – Did you know?” and “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. It’s believed that his first column appeared in the March 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal. 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.)

Friday, December 28, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal newspaper

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Dec. 26, 1918 edition of The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroe County, Ala.

Mr. A.R. Boroughs has accepted a position as bookkeeper in the Bank of Monroeville.

The Monroe County High School suspended last Friday for the holidays. Work will be resumed on Dec. 27.

All the out-of-town boys and girls attending the high school here left last Friday for their respective homes to spend the holidays.

Death of Evaline Erline Sawyer: The many friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Sawyer sincerely sympathize with them in their loss of their little girl.
Evaline Erline Sawyer was born Feb. 3, 1916 and died Nov. 25, 1918. She had only a short illness, being attacked by Spanish influenza and she could not withstand the ravages of this awful disease.
Evaline was just a little girl but had won the love of all who knew her and we can only console the bereaved family by saying that she is sleeping peacefully on the bosom of the loving Jesus who gave her.

Miss Helen McMillan, who has been attending school at the Woman’s College, is at home to spend the holidays.

Misses Minnie Fountain and Lula Hixon who have been attending school at Marion are at home to spend Christmas.

Miss Lillie Belle Emmons, who has been teaching at Bermuda for some time, is at home to spend the holidays with relatives.

The Venetian Trio will be the next Lyceum attraction for the season. They will appear at the High School Auditorium in Monroeville on Monday evening, Jan. 6.

NOTICE TO ALL STOCK OWNERS: For several weeks the citizens of Monroeville have been very much annoyed by horses, cows and hogs running at large in the town and we wish to call attention to an ordinance which prohibits the running at large of all stock. The ordinance provides that the marshal shall impound all animals found running on the streets and for each day any animal is kept up, the marshal shall receive 50 cents, including 50 cents for feeding such animals. It also provides that any person who knowingly or willfully violates this ordinance shall be fined not more than $100 or sentenced to hard labor.
The town authorities have no disposition to wound the feelings or take any undue advantage of any citizen and all are earnestly requested to take up their stock on or before Mon., Dec. 30, after which time, the law will be strictly enforced.

Despite the inclement weather, Miss Emma Yarbrough took charge of the work of distributing the large number of posters for the Red Cross Christmas Roll Call last week. Her car got stuck in the mud and she was hindered all during the drive by bad roads but she proved equal to the occasion and carried the message of the big drive over the entire county. She was accompanied by Mrs. E.L. Baggett and little Sarah Elizabeth Ratcliffe.

Aside from the many calls for money for the Red Cross and other war work and charitable causes, the people of Monroe County have invested liberally in War Savings Stamps. The post offices in the county have sold $10,035.06 worth of these stamps, not mentioning those sold by the different banks in the county. The above represents sales during the month of November.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Dec. 28, 2018

DEC. 23, 2010

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported .05 inches of rain on Dec. 16 and .10 inches on Dec. 17. He also reported a high of 70 degrees on Dec. 16 and lows of 20 degrees on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14.

For the first time in over six years, the Town of Repton will soon have a full-time police chief, but the council had to increase water rates to pay for the protection.
The council approved the hiring of Daryl Knowles as the full-time chief. He has been the part-time chief for several years and works fulltime as a deputy with the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Office.
Mayor Terri Carter said the town needs more police coverage, but they don’t have the resources to cover the cost.
Carter said a $10 increase to the base water rate – an increase from $13 to $23 – should be enough to pay Knowles and handle the additional administrative costs the town will incur.

The Hillcrest High School Student Government Association recently held their 2010 Winter Beauty Pageant. Winners were Heather Smith, first alternate; Victoria Walden, Queen; and Sequoya Stallworth, second alternate.

Evergreen Elementary School Principal Tonya Bozeman, faculty, staff, students and families would like to thank 35th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tommy Chapman and his office for the donation of this beautiful live Christmas tree. The tree is proudly displayed at the entrance of the school and admired by all who enter.

DEC. 26, 1985

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported no rain between Dec. 15 and Dec. 21. He reported highs of 55 degrees on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21 and a low of 18 degrees on Dec. 15.

Kelley Searcy of Sparta Academy has been selected state finalist to represent this area in the State Homecoming Queen Pageant, sponsored by America’s Homecoming Queen of Memphis, Tenn. Kelley is the daughter of Charles Searcy of Evergreen.

Services are held for Leon Randolph: Leon Webb Randolph, 71, retired educator of Evergreen, died Mon., Dec. 16. He was a member of a well-known Evergreen family born here on Oct. 6, 1914 to the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Randolph Sr. He received his education in the public schools of Conecuh County and his B.S. degree from Alabama State University, Montgomery.
He taught in the schools of this county for 45 years and retired from his teaching position at Southside Elementary School. He was a member of the Conecuh County Education Association, the Alabama Education Association and National Education Association.

Melissa Travis, mammography technician, is shown with Evergreen Hospital’s new Mamex DC unit which is being used to take mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer.

DEC. 22, 1960

Mayor Zell Murphy cuts the ribbon to open Evergreen’s new Piggly Wiggly supermarket. Others taking part in the Thursday morning ceremony are: C.C. Cotter, general manager of Benson Wholesale Co., Geneva; the Rev. Robert Moore, pastor First Methodist Church; C.T. Ivey, building owner; and Wilfred T. Benson, president Benson Wholesale and Evergreen Piggly Wiggly. A huge crowd turned out for the opening and the store has been jammed with customers all week.

Mrs. A.J. Potts holds the distinction of being the first customer to pass through the “check-out” stands at the new Piggly Wiggly. Mrs. Potts, lunchroom supervisor at Evergreen High School, picked up a few items, checked out and hurried back to the school. Literally thousands of customers have followed her through this and the other three “check-outs.” The checker is Marvalene Price.

Cadet Neil Hyde, a junior at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., will arrive on the 23rd to spend the holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.O. Hyde.

Lt. John Wilson, U.S. Signal Corps, Fort Gordon, Ga., will arrive today (Thursday) to spend the holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson, on Rural Street.

John M. Raines Jr. is Conecuh County’s “Outstanding Young Man of 1960.” The announcement was made today by the Evergreen Pilot Club. Raines was chosen on the basis of services rendered to the community and achievement in his business.

DEC. 26, 1935

One-Inch Snowfall Ushers In Yule Week: A one-inch fall of snow blanketed Conecuh County Sunday morning to usher in the Christmas week and bring a thrill to many youngsters who had never seen the beautiful white flakes ascending.
The fall Sunday was the heaviest in more than 30 years in the county, according to oldtimers, and while almost every winter sees probably an occasional light flurry of fine particles of snow, many younger citizens of the county had never seen a snow flurry before.
The last fall of snow in this section occurred in 1928 when a comparatively heavy flurry of sleet and snow caused considerable damage in breaking down trees and shrubbery. On that occasion the snow melted upon contact with the ground, however.

O.B. Robinson Dies of Pneumonia Attack: Otha B. Robinson, prominent Repton merchant, fraternal and religious leader, died Friday following an attack of pneumonia.
He was worshipful master of his Masonic lodge and, until his retirement recently, had been counsel commander of his Woodmen of the World lodge for many years.
Mr. Robinson, who was 50 years of age at his death, had been a resident of Conecuh County for about 30 years, having come to Repton with his parents from Wilcox County in the early part of the century.
Funeral services were held Sunday from the Repton Methodist Church… At the grave, Masonic rites were conducted under the leadership of R.H. Meacham of Castleberry followed by burial in Repton cemetery.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Dec. 25, 1918 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.

Local Rainfall for 1918: The rainfall during the year now drawing to a close has been below the average and unevenly distributed. According to the records of the local observer of the weather bureau, the rainfall for each month is given below: January, 6.25 inches; February, 2.39 inches; March, 0.74 inches; April, 7.59 inches; May, 2.56 inches; June, 3.27 inches; July, 4.15 inches; August, 4.99 inches; September, 2.73 inches; October, 6.87 inches; November, 5.84 inches; December, 6.11 inches; Total, 53.45 inches.
The average rainfall is a fraction more than five inches per month. In the above record, it will be seen that the average is less than 4-1/2 inches.

A Pre-Christmas wedding occurred Monday afternoon at the Baptist Parsonage, when Dr. Dickinson officiated at the marriage of Wm. O’Brien and Mrs. Nancy Burgess, both of this county.

The people of Evergreen have been exceedingly liberal in their contributions to carrying forward all war work activities as well as in the purchase of war securities, but we seen to have forgotten or inexcusably neglected the care of our cemetery. The frequent calls we have had recently to wend our way to the “silent city of the dead,” there to deposit the remains of our loved ones and friends, and observe the deplorable condition of this sacred spot, must have pricked the conscience of every citizen who has relatives there. A few dollars would put the cemetery in a much more presentable  condition, and a small amount annually from all interested would maintain a janitor the year round, and in this way the premises could be kept in order. A Cemetery Improvement Association should be at once organized in order that the matter may be handled in a business way, and The Courant suggests that some of the ladies’ organizations of the city take the matter in hand. If they will do this, we may be sure that something will be done.

Bargain in Land: Here is your opportunity to own 214 acres of land for less than half its value. This property is situated near Jackson’s old store in Conecuh County, and $1,000 will buy it. Terms if desired. A.H. MASON, Evergreen, Ala.

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Dec. 24, 2018

Evergreen's Chris Hines

DEC. 23, 2010

Hines grabs team-high eight rebounds: Evergreen’s Chris Hines found himself among the game’s best performers Saturday as the University of Alabama’s men’s basketball team fell to Oklahoma State, 68-60.
Hines led the Crimson Tide with a team-high eight rebounds in the game, which was part of the Lane Furniture All-College Classic at OKC Arena in Oklahoma City. The game was televised nationally on ESPN2.
Hines, who started and logged 36 minutes of playing time, also scored two points, made two assists and blocked two shots.

Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team won first place in the Fort Dale Christmas Tournament Saturday night in Greenville. (Members of Sparta’s team included Drew Ann Lambert, Alex Etheridge, Ashton Raines, Emily Booker, Stephanie Martin, Jessica Coleman, Madelyn Black, Savannah Brown, April Palmer and Rachel Riley.) Black and Palmer were named to the all-tournament team, and Brown was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

In a battle of two of the state’s top Class 4A basketball teams, Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys came up two points shy Friday night in their quest to remain undefeated.
Friday night in Evergreen, fourth-ranked Hillcrest took on No. 3-ranked Andalusia, and lost, 49-47, when Andalusia’s Corinthian Sims scored with four seconds to go in the game to give the Bulldogs a two-point win.

DEC. 26, 1985

Sparta hosts cage tourney: Sparta Academy will host its 10th annual Basketball Tournament of Champions Dec. 26th and 27th.
This year’s teams include: Crenshaw of Luverne; Sparta, last year’s state Class A runner-up; Lakeside, last year’s state Class A champions; and Bullock, last year’s state Class AA champions.
Dec. 26: Bullock vs. Lakeside at 6:30 p.m.; and Sparta vs. Crenshaw at 8 p.m.
Dec. 27: Consolation Game at 6:30 p.m. and Championship Game at 8 p.m.

DEC. 22, 1960

Evergreen To Host Tourney Dec. 22-23: Eight high schools in this area will participate in the Conecuh County Invitational Basketball Tournament at the Memorial Gym in Evergreen on Dec. 22-23.
The tournament will begin at 2:00 Thursday afternoon, Dec. 22, with Evergreen playing Beatrice, Repton and Flomaton will match at 3:15.
On Thursday night the cagers will return at 7:00 with a game between Lyeffion and Pine Apple. Castleberry and Georgiana will meet on the floor at 8:15.
On Fri., Dec. 23, at 2:00 the Thursday afternoon winners will compete. Thursday night winners will compete at 3:15 on Friday afternoon.
The consolation playoff will be at 7:00 on Friday night and the championship meet will be at 8:15 Friday night.
The Invitational Tournament has the making of a fine display of talent among the several teams coming in to play. Admission to the games will be 25 cents and 50 cents per session.

Junior Basketball Scoreboard: The results of junior high basketball games played in the Conecuh County Training School gym under the auspices of the Conecuh County Athletic Association Sat., Dec. 17, are as follows: Sandy Grove 34, China 24; Lime Hill 43, Castleberry 20; Mt. Zion 44, CCTS 17.
Games slated to be played Friday night, Jan. 6, 1961 are as follows: Mt. Zion vs. Castleberry, Lime Hill vs. Sandy Grove and CCTS vs. Nichburg. Game time is 6 p.m.

Letters To The Editor:
Editor, The Courant:
We are interested in information on the Rebel Conference football teams. We generally try to follow the Montgomery and Mobile papers thereon but have seen very little about your team or ours. If you have back issues with information on standings, statistics and All-Conference selections, we would like very much to have several issues thereof. We will be glad to pay you for the service.
We are proud to be members of the Rebel Conference and have enjoyed our competition with your school which has consistently provided the cleanest and most highly entertaining sports event we ever see. We certainly have the highest respect and regards for your teams.
Sincerely yours,
J. Henry Johnson
Georgiana, Ala.

DEC. 26, 1935

The (Evergreen High School) boys and girls both played very good basketball Friday afternoon at Brooklyn. The boys won 14 to 9 and the girls won 37

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Old newspaper excerpts from The Monroe Journal newspaper of Monroe County, Alabama

USS Nereus (AS-17)

DEC. 26, 1985

Billy Barnes Enterprises of Mexia recently held its annual awards banquet and presented several awards for performance and service. In the top photo, Billy Barnes, president, looks on as Terry Kilpatrick, vice president, presents John Triplett with the Truck Driver of the Year award. Awards were presented to those with accident-free records for the last half-million miles. In the middle photo are Crawford Tate, Kenneth Green, Reva Green (accepting an award for her son, Jesse Stokes, who was absent) and Leo Young.

Cobras take 91-87 homecoming win: Monroe Senior High School at Packer’s Bend celebrated its homecoming last Thursday with a 91-87 basketball win over W.J. Jones High School of Pine Apple.
Dennis Morris paved the way to the victory with 25 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Winston Kidd added 21 points, five steals and five assists.
Joseph Timmons scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished off five assists. Joseph Diamond scored 15 points and had eight assists.

Holly Ross, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Ross of Excel, captured second place recently at the National 4-H Egg Demonstration in Louisville, Ky. Her recipe of “Crepes Flambe” also helped her to win a $400 savings bond and a gold 4-H pin. During the four-day stay in Louisville, 4-H’ers were treated to a tour of the city, a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum and a reception at Kentucky Fried Chicken Headquarters, among other activities.

DEC. 29, 1960

Miss Nelle Lee of New York City is a holiday guest of her father, A.C. Lee, and sister, Miss Alice Lee.

Mickey Ryland, star tackle on the champion Monroe County High School football team, is pictured above signing a four-year grant-in-aid football scholarship to Auburn University. Signing Ryland is B.H. Stallworth Jr., Monroeville businessman and Auburn alumnus, upon instruction from the Auburn athletic department. The MCHS athlete made All-Pine Belt Conference and was named to several state teams during the season.

Monroe Sailor Is Aboard Submarine: SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Dec. 29 – James D. White, electrician’s mate third class, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. White of Route 1, Monroeville, is serving aboard the submarine tender USS Nereus, operating out of San Diego, Calif. White reenlisted Oct. 11 for six years. Before entering the Navy in June 1958, he graduated from Excel High School, Excel, Ala.

Radio Station Plans Program As Tribute To Late Hank Williams: “Songs of the Late Hank Williams” will be presented on radio station WMFC, Monroeville, at 10 a.m. Mon., Jan. 2, in a special program.
Guest of honor for the occasion will be E.H. Williams of McWilliams, father of the late country and western singer. Mr. Williams will be interviewed and the singer’s top recordings will be heard.
Hank Williams was listed as the leading artist in his field at the time of his death Jan. 1, 1953.
The radio program will be presented by National Butane Co., Bowen’s Restaurant, Sam Williams Farm Supply and the Frisco City Western Auto Store.

DEC. 26, 1935

Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee and family, Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Finch of Finchburg and H.H. Conner Jr. of Eufaula were the guests of Dr. and Mrs. C.F. McKinley in Atmore Sunday.

Fourteen Make Letters This Year In Football: According to the announcement of Coach J.A. Dale of the Monroe County High School, 14 boys made their athletic letters during the football season just closed. The order for their sweaters and letters has been placed. These boys will be initiated into the “M” club at an early date.
The group of boys earning letters in 1935 are James Marion Veazey, Edwin Lee, Tiny Helton, John Barnett, Howard Fore, Francis Johnson, Malcolm Hayles, Zolan Hall, Billy Black, Joe Carnathan, Eugene Lazenby, Johnson Lathram, J.J. Pittman and George Baggett, who served the team as manager.

Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Carter Jr. are the parents of a 10-pound son born on Fri., Dec. 13. They have named him John Byron Carter.

Snow Falls In Monroeville Sunday: The heaviest snow Monroeville has experienced in a number of years fell early Sunday morning, Dec. 22. However, the condition of the ground quickly melted it and by the close of the day, every trace of the white blanket had been removed. Children, especially, were delighted when on Saturday night the snow began falling very slightly, but on Sunday morning it came down heavier than it did last January; and the January snow was the largest which many of the local children had ever experienced.
Reports from other sections of the state show that snow fell in abundance during the weekend and in Montgomery it reached a depth of 1.4 inches.

DEC. 22, 1910

The pupils of Mineola school will give an entertainment at Mineola schoolhouse Friday night, Jan. 6, beginning promptly at eight o’clock. Two popular plays, “The Sweet Family” and “Wooing Jane,” will be the feature of the occasion. Lots of fun for all. Refreshments will be served. Everybody cordially invited to attend. The proceeds will be for the benefit of Mineola school. Admission 25 cents, children 10 cents.

Dr. T.E. Dennis and party have returned from a delightful hunting expedition. They spent several days in camp in the fork of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers. They report game plentiful and the party bagged several fine bucks, a bear and other small game. Capt. John McDuffie killed his first buck while a second was slain by Robinson Nettles, the 14-year-old son of Capt. Thomas B. Nettles.

J.B. Barnett, Esq., returned home Saturday after a vacation of several weeks. Mr. Barnett made a voyage to Central America during his absence, his objective being the Panama Canal, but on account of quarantine restrictions, he was not permitted to inspect the great construction work now in progress there, the vessel on which he was a passenger having touched at a port under the ban.

Representative J.W. Jones was up from Jones Mill Monday. Mr. Jones is preparing to assume his duties as a member of the next legislature and would be pleased to have suggestions from such of his constituents as may be interested in any character of local or general legislation.

DEC. 25, 1885

Capt. John DeLoach, Capt. W.S. Wiggins and Mr. F. Metts returned from Mobile a few days ago.

Mr. J.O. Archer killed two fine wild turkeys Monday evening. He is a dead shot.

Prof. George’s school is flourishing.

The Russell & Hudson steam mill is again in operation, under the management of Mr. R.E. Hudson.

Mrs. E.L. Martin, living near Repton, killed a large deer last week.

Justice Court will hereafter be held on the second Monday in each month instead of on Saturday, as heretofore. – G.W. Salter, Justice of the Peace, Beat No. 3.

HOLIDAY ANNOUNCEMENT! New Goods! New Prices! at Fore & Co.’s where they are receiving a well-selected Assortment of General Merchandise consisting of Family Groceries, Dry Goods, Boots and Shoes, Hats, Clothing and have on hand a large lot of Fall and Winter Calicoes, which we are determined to sell at Bottom figures. All of which will be sold for Cash at Figures THAT WILL ASTONISH YOU!  - FORE & CO., Monroeville, Ala.

J.M. LOWERY & BRO., Watchmakers & Jewelers, PERDUE HILL, ALA. – We are prepared to repair watches, clocks and jewelry of ever description promptly and satisfaction guaranteed. Orders left at The Journal office will receive prompt attention.

Mr. C.C. Yarbrough has very nearly completed his residence in the eastern suburbs.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

George Singleton recounts Fonderoy Fishue's tax questions for Uncle Sam

Fonderoy Fishue writes Uncle Sam, pictured above.

(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 “Income tax deductions can be problem for ‘just a country boy’” was originally published in the Jan. 5, 1989 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Most people really don’t know just how lucky they are when it comes time each year to begin to gather information and ponder each item as to whether it can be on your annual tax return.

A letter was written by a fellow I know to the federal government, requesting information on a couple of items that are questionable as to whether they are deductible and can be used it his annual tax return. Here is the letter:

Dear Uncle Sam,

I take pen in hand and sit down to write you about some items that disturb me about my taxes. If for some reason you can’t answer these questions that I’m asking, please give this letter to someone who can – like the man who is over all the taxes, or someone like that.

First, I would like to know if I can count Ole Blue as one of my dependents this year on my tax return.

Since you probably don’t know, Ole Blue is my favorite coon dog. He is just like one of my chillun. He goes with me everywhere I go. He rides right beside me everywhere I go. He rides right beside me in my pickup truck when I go to town.

My wife says that I think more of Ole Blue than I do of her. You don’t have to mention anything about it, but if it came down to a vote between the two of them, I’ll tell you for sure that the vote would be close.

I have spent so much money on Ole Blue, like buying him one of them new-fangled televisions. Uncle Sam, you won’t believe what Ole Blue’s favorite programs are. I thought maybe I could charge the cost of the television off as education expense.

To be truthful with you, Uncle Sam, its got so bad around the house about which program is gonna be watched (my wife and Ole Blue seems to have a personality conflict) that I wish sometimes I hadn’t bought the darn thing; they get along something awful.

Then there’s the money that I gave my wife’s brother to leave town on. Uncle Sam, that boy will steal anything except something to work with.

Would you believe he stole a pair of overalls off a fellow’s clothes line? And that’s not all he took. He also took a corset that must have belonged to the man’s wife. That must be some big woman, because that crazy boy laced that big corset around the backside of my best plow mule. Would you believe that corset almost went around the mule twice?

I didn’t mind that too much, but the thing that really did upset me and got my system out of order was that that crazy brother-in-law put them small overalls on Ole Blue. That darn dog walked right in the house with them overalls on just like he had been wearing them all along.

Would you believe that Ole Blue wouldn’t let me take them overalls off him? That crazy dog tried to bite me twice. That’s the truth. I had to hide the television set in the barn before Ole Blue would let me take them overalls off him.

My wife got mad with me when I hid the television and hasn’t spoken two words to me since. She claimed that she missed some of her favorite operas; sounded like they had something to do with some kind of soap or something like that. I never did really understand why she got so mad.

The money that I mentioned earlier, Uncle Sam, I thought by giving some money to that crazy boy, he would go over in Conecuh County and visit his cousin and stay with him awhile until all the trouble blowed over about the overalls and that big corset.

Uncle Sam, I told that boy (my wife’s brother) that I would give him the money on two conditions.

First, he would have to catch that stupid mule and take that big corset off him. (Seems like that darn mule likes wearing that corset as much as Ole Blue liked wearing them overalls.) Second, he would have to find me another good coon dog that didn’t like to wear overalls.

Uncle Sam, please let me know just as soon as you can if you will let me use them two expenses as deductions. I like to send my tax return in as early as I can, I think this is the patriotic thing to do. You can ask anybody; I do try to be patriotic.

Yours very truly,
Fonderoy Fishue

P.S. My favorite sport of coon hunting has come to a screeching halt; this hurts me deeply. If I can get some kind of deductions for the loss of my only form of entertainment, please let me know in your letter.

Ole Blue won’t hurt anymore because he won’t want to get his overalls dirty. And that lazy wife of mine told me just where to go when I asked her if she would wash and iron Ole Blue’s overalls. You won’t believe what that woman called me. She talked dirty, dirty.

Uncle Sam, you can see that it don’t take a smart man to see that I need all the help I can get.

(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 to Vincent William Singleton and Frances Cornelia Faile Singleton, during a late-night thunderstorm, on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served as a U.S. Marine paratrooper in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from June 28, 1964 to Dec. 14, 1987. He was promoted from the enlisted ranks to warrant officer in May 1972. For years, Singleton’s columns, titled “Monroe County history – Did you know?” and “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. It’s believed that his first column appeared in the March 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal. 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.)

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Dec. 21, 2018

DEC. 15, 2011

Evergreen weather observer Betty Ellis reported 0.17 inches of rain on Dec. 5, 0.64 inches on Dec. 6 and 0.05 inches on Dec. 11. She also reported a high of 72 on Dec. 5 and a low of 28 on Dec. 7.

Booker named Teacher of the Year: The Conecuh County Board of Education honored the county’s teacher of the year as well as the teachers of the year at local schools during a meeting earlier this week at Lyeffion.
During a school board meeting Monday at Lyeffion Junior High School, school board chairman David Cook announced that Thurgood Marshall Middle School teacher Marion Booker has been selected as this year’s Conecuh County Teacher of the Year.
The other finalists, who were teachers of the year at their respective schools, included Karen Andrews, Repton Junior High School; Lisa Asberry, Conecuh County Junior High School; Jennifer Hancock, Evergreen Elementary School; Lisa Hatch, Hillcrest High School; and Voncile Riley, Lyeffion Junior High School.

Two killed in train accident: Two local men were killed after the truck they were riding in collided with a train Monday morning in downtown Evergreen.
Willie James McCreary, 85, and Freddie Lee McCreary, 54, were fatally injured when the 1988 Chevrolet truck they were riding in collided with a train at the intersection of Belleville Street and the L&N Railroad tracks, the accident report said. The accident took place at 8:35 a.m., the report said.

DEC. 18, 1986

Robert Lee (Bob) Salter, 66, died Sun., Dec. 14, at his home in Houston, Texas. A native of Evergreen and graduate of Evergreen High School, he followed heavy construction work most of his life. He retired as general manager of Construction Equipment International three months ago.
Mr. Salter was a member of a prominent, pioneer family. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He was a member of Greening Lodge No. 53, F.&A.M. of Evergreen and a Scottish Rite Shriner, Hadi Temple, Houston.
Masonic rites were held from Rideout Chapel, Birmingham, on Tuesday with burial in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham.

Conecuh School System is about to launch into a tremendous new building project. This undertaking will be for the purpose of constructing a new central high school for the county’s students.
Last Thursday night, Dec. 4, 1986, the school board awarded the contract to the firm of Barganier-McKee & Sims for architectural services. The firm was selected after a school board committee searched through some 50 architectural submittals and finally invited three firms in for interviews and presentations. The other two firms were Narrows, Brown, Parsons & Associates and Carl Herbert Lancester, Architect.
The new structure will offer educational and athletic facilities for 800 students, grades 9-12. Square footage is estimated at 65,000-square feet. Cost of the project, complete with furnishings, will probably run between $3.5 and $4 million.

DEC. 20, 1962

Dillard Accepts Position Here: Aubrey Dillard, a recent graduate of Auburn University, has accepted a position here with Conecuh Drug Co. as a pharmacist, owner J.S. Dunn announces.
A native of Loachapoka, Dillard was graduated from the Auburn School of Pharmacy this year. At Auburn, he was president of Rho Chi, professional honorary society. He is a veteran of four years service in the U.S. Air Force.
Dillard is married to the former Faye Perry of Roanoke and they have one son, Mike, age seven. They are living at 501 Shipp St. and belong to the Methodist Church.

City Council Fails To Reach Quorum: Unable to get a quorum, the Evergreen City Council did not hold its regular meeting Tuesday night. Deaths in the families of two councilmen and the absence from town of another left only Mayor Zell Murphy and two councilmen, one short of enough for a legal meeting.
The council will probably meet some time later this week as there could not be another meeting until over in January due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Lee Roy Ward, 69, of Evergreen and formerly of Dozier, died at a local hospital Dec. 16. Mr. Ward had lived here for several years and formerly worked as a pharmacist at a local drug store.

Judge Lloyd Hart has returned from St. Louis, Missouri, where he has been with Mrs. Hart who underwent two eye operations. She is doing nicely and is expected home Dec. 21.

DEC. 17, 1936

Congressman Lister J. Hill delivered the principal address at dedicatory exercises last Friday when the new Evergreen Post Office building was formally dedicated to “the service and progress of the town and county.”
Described as the result of many months of laborious effort, on the part of the district’s representative in congress, in addition to concerted activity on the part of civil leaders, Mr. Hill was elaborate in his praise of the beauty of the new structure.
A number of visiting dignitaries were present for the exercises, including Hon. John A. Brennan of New York, Director of the Parcel Post Division, United States Post Office Department.

THREE KILLED IN HEAD-ON COLLISION AT CASTLEBERRY: Three trainmen were killed and a fourth injured in a head-on collision between L&N passenger trains numbers 2 and 3 at Castleberry Thursday morning. The crash occurred shortly after 5 a.m.
The dead: Philip Grizzard, engineer, train No. 3; Leo Gorey, engineer, train No. 2; Fireman Barnes, train No. 3.
The injured man was the fireman on train No. 2, whose name was unavailable as The Courant went to press.
No passengers were injured, other than being shaken up considerably, according to best information obtainable from the wreck scene.
Cause of the wreck has not been definitely fixed, although train No. 3 failed to take the siding at Castleberry, under an order issued at wreck, according to reports.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

'Devil's in the Detail' describes unusual case of Alabama woman who vanished near Birmingham in 1951

I recently finished reading David Paulides’s 2014 book, “Missing 411: The Devil’s in the Detail,” and I found it to be just as fascinating as the other books in his “Missing 411” series. Regular readers of this column will know that his “Missing 411” books detail highly unusual disappearances around the world, especially in North America. This volume in the series is 446 pages long and is chock full of thoroughly investigated missing persons cases that will leave you scratching your head.

The first case discussed in “The Devil’s in the Detail” is actually a case from Alabama that took place in 1951. That case involves 76-year-old Ann Bragg, who was last seen around 10 a.m. on Dec. 2, 1951 near Double Oak Mountain, which is in Shelby County near Birmingham. At the time of her disappearance, this area was rugged with cliffs, boulders and lots of wildlife, Paulides said.

Ann and her immediate family lived in three homes that were about a quarter of a mile apart on the mountain. Ann was close to her family and on the day she disappeared she’d left her home to walk to her daughter’s home about a quarter of a mile away. After visiting with her daughter, she left on foot to return home around 10 a.m. and has never been seen again.

When they discovered her missing, Ann’s children searched the mountain and countryside to no avail before seeking additional help. Shelby County Sheriff A.E. Norwood took over the search, and more than 500 area residents searched for over a week for the missing woman. Planes and tracking dogs were also used in the search but discovered no trace of Ann. Fortune tellers and preachers were also contacted as part of the search, Paulides said.

Paulides noted that heavy, freezing rains moved into the area and interfered with the search efforts. Paulides also noted that Norwood said that it was possible that Ann had fallen victim to foul play, but it was hard to understand since “she was on a remote trail between two family homes, a trail she hiked regularly.”

David Paulides
The mysterious case of Ann Bragg is one of hundreds of unusual missing persons cases detailed in “The Devil’s in the Detail.” In addition to missing person cases in the United States and Canada, the book also describes unusual disappearances in Australia, Borneo, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria. The book also contains chapters on other weird disappearances such as people who go missing in the woods while traveling last in a line of people.

“The Devil’s in the Detail” is the fourth book in a series of eight such books that Paulides has published since 2013. I highly recommend that you check out the other seven books in the “Missing 411” series, which include “Missing 411: Western United States,” “Missing 411: A Sobering Coincidence,” “Missing 411: Hunters,” “Missing 411: North America and Beyond,” “Missing 411: Eastern United States,” “Missing 411: Off the Grid” and “Missing 411: LAWS.” In the end, the best way to purchase his books is online at his website,

Hillcrest boys, Sparta girls off to a fast start in basketball this season

Clinton Smith, right, receives game ball after 3A title game in 2017.

Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys and Sparta Academy’s varsity girls are out to a fast start in basketball this season.

Over the course of more than a century of local high school sports, Conecuh County has had a strong tradition in basketball, and these two programs are continuing to carry the banner for Conecuh County.

Hillcrest’s boys and Sparta’s girls often play larger schools, hold their own or win out right. While they may not win every game against bigger schools, it sharpens them as they march on towards the playoffs.

Both of these teams were ranked in their respective classifications when the first poll of the season was issued by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Wednesday of last week. The ASWA planned to release another poll yesterday (Wednesday) before signing off for the holidays. The first poll of 2019 will be released on Jan. 9.

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Hats off to Hillcrest head football coach Clinton Smith, who was one of the coaches for Alabama’s team in the 32nd Annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic. This year’s Classic was played Monday night at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

Not only is it an honor for a player to be selected to play in this all-star game, but it’s also an honor for a coach to be asked to participate. Smith served as the Alabama team’s running backs coach, and it should be noted that he is no stranger to Cramton Bowl. During his college days, Smith played quarterback at Alabama State, which played its home games at Cramton Bowl in the years before they built their new stadium.

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The college football bowl season kicked off this past Saturday with five somewhat lackluster bowls. The only ranked team playing in any of those games was No. 21 Fresno State, which beat Arizona State, 31-20, in the Las Vegas Bowl.

As we continue toward the National Championship Game, the bowls will keep getting better and better as more formidable teams square off against each other. There are four bowl games set for this Saturday and a couple of them look pretty interesting, especially the Armed Forces Bowl and the Dollar General Bowl.

The Armed Forces Bowl features Army and Houston, and Army is actually favored in that game. Troy and Buffalo will play in Saturday’s Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Buffalo is favored in that game, but I suspect the crowd will be overwhelming in Troy’s favor on Saturday night.

The first bowl game featuring an SEC team will be next Thursday’s Texas Bowl in which Vanderbilt and Baylor will square off for bragging rights. Hold on to your hat because Vandy is actually favored in that game and has a good shot of beating Baylor, which has yet to recover from its relatively recent sex scandal that sent players and coaches scurrying for other programs.

There’s a whole bunch of good games on tap later this month, but I’ll get into all of those next week. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s slate of games because I think that some of them are “diamonds in the rough.”