Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the June 6, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

On next Saturday afternoon, June 8th there will be an eclipse of the sun. The hour at which the eclipse will begin is fixed by the astronomers at 4:35 for this latitude. But this hour was fixed before the clocks were moved up so look for the eclipse at 5:35, new time. Have your smoked glasses ready to observe the sun, for this eclipse will be worth your closest observation.

Mr. J.B. Little, who has been teaching the past two or three years near Nadawah, was killed on Thursday of last week by a train on the Selma-Flomaton branch of the L&N Railroad. Report states he was lying across the track and was struck by the engine, being killed instantly. He has taught at different places in Wilcox. He also has a sister living in this county, Mrs. W.A.J. Stuart of Ackerville. The remains were sent to Greenville for interment.

Death of Dr. J.C. Benson: Citizens of Camden and Wilcox County were shocked on Saturday evening last when the message was received from a Selma infirmary that Dr. Benson was dead. Only a few of his friends and acquaintances realized that he was in a serious condition. About a week before he went to Selma for examination and it was found that an operation was necessary. On Thursday last he was operated on and seemed to be getting along nicely when suddenly a change for the worse occurred from which he rapidly grew worse, passing away at 9 p.m.
Dr. Benson was born at Oak Hill in 1867 and grew into manhood at Oak Hill. He was married to Miss Emmie Moore in December 1897, who, with one son, survive him. He also leaves an aged father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Benson of Forest Home, and four sisters, Corrie, Marie, Fannie Mable and Patton Benson, all of Forest Home, and four brothers, Joe of Mobile, Clark of Camden, Ark., Will of Florence and Larry, who recently sailed for France, where he is engaged in YMCA work.
Dr. Benson occupied a position in the esteem and respect of his fellow man that few are fortunate to hold. He was looked upon as an authority in practically all matters of public information, and his knowledge along all lines reached far beyond the average man. His ideals of honor and sincerity were distinguishing traits.
As a practicing physician and as a private citizen, his sympathy and ready response to his fellow man’s suffering won a place in the hearts of all who knew him. His life was an open book and every man knew him as one who never wavered from his high ideals.
He was an active Mason and his enthusiastic work in the local lodge has possibly had a greater influence on the chapter than any other member in its history. Truly a good man is gone and the town and county has lost a most valuable asset.
He was laid to rest Sunday afternoon in the Camden cemetery with Masonic honors. His popularity was attested to by the immense crowd that attended the last ceremonies, the largest seen in many years on such an occasion.

Rev. B.H. Grier received a telegram on Tuesday of this week from Dr. J.S. Moffat, President of Erskine College at Due West, S.C., notifying him that the degree of D.D. had been conferred on him by the college, his alma mater. His friends have been congratulating him.

The Red Cross ladies are now domiciled in the High School building where more comfortable quarters for the summer has been secured.

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