Friday, November 30, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Nov. 30, 2018

NOV. 28, 1991

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 1.82 inches of rain on Nov. 20 and 1.62 inches on Nov. 21. He also reported highs of 77 degrees on Nov. 18, Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 and a low of 27 degrees on Nov. 24.

Cellular Phone Service available for Christmas: Residents located between Mobile and Montgomery will receive a gift that’s just in time for Christmas this year. Southeastern Cellular plans to have its cellular phone service on air by mid-December.
As the area’s only wireline provider, Southeastern Cellular will be the first company to offer cellular phone equipment, airtime, installation and maintenance services.
The company went on-air in the region between Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma on Oct. 31 of this year.

The Evergreen Fire Department honored L.M. Nelson with a plaque for serving over 40 years on the Department. Nelson joined the fire department in October 1950. He has held the position of assistant chief in the past and now serves as a fireman. All of Nelson’s fellow firemen express their thanks to him for serving and being their friend.

Leo Willis, Andrew Walton and Piggly Wiggly manager John Johnson look over the scan checkout installed recently at the Evergreen Piggly Wiggly. The new checkouts will make it easier for their customers to checkout when buying groceries. The system has been in use for approximately two weeks.

NOV. 29, 1984

Earl Windham reports .11 of an inch of rain on Nov. 19.

Police Report: On Nov. 26, an unknown subject broke into radio station WEGN and stole all of their FM equipment.

Christmas Parade draws large crowd: The weather was perfect for our Christmas parade (Sat., Nov. 24, and we had some beautiful floats this year. The winners were: Farm Bureau’s ‘Visions of Sugar Plums’ – first place; NAACP Youth’s ‘Night Before Christmas’ – second place; and Alabama Forestry Commission – third place. The Marshall Middle School cheerleaders won best car with their ‘Ghost Busters’ theme.
Judges for the parade were Judge Sue Bell Evans, Mrs. Alice Presley and Mr. Joe Gordy.”

Mrs. Bettie McMillan, wife of Robert McMillan, Rt. 2, Evergreen is the proud winner of this 1985 LXIII Ford Mustang. Mrs. McMillan is employed at the Lady Arrow Co. on Pecan Street. The Continental Lottery Co. informed her that she won the car about three months ago, but she had to wait until the 1985 model was available. Mrs. McMillan said this is the first thing she has ever won and “I’m really happy.”

Kiwanian John Bewley welcomed Judge of Probate Frank T. Salter to Tuesday’s meeting of the Evergreen Kiwanis Club. The judge talked to the club on the duties of his office.

NOV. 24, 1966

Another honor: Dr. Sam Granade, widely known and respected pastor of the Evergreen Baptist Church, was named to the Board of Trustees of Samford University, Birmingham, this past week. He is an alumnus of the school, formerly Howard College.
Granade, pastor of the local church since 1948, recently served as chairman of the Executive Board of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Samford University had previously honored him by conferring the honorary doctorate degree.

Santa Claus coming to town Wednesday: The Evergreen Jaycees will present the annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival next Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 30. The parade is scheduled to get underway at three o’clock and with a large number of entries already, it should be bigger and better than ever.
Hero of the hour, naturally, will be Santa Claus who notified the Jaycees today that he will definitely be here. He plans to fly in from the North Pole shortly before the parade.
The Conecuh County Christmas Carnival is one of the state’s best and always attracts a crowd of several thousand.

Completes Boot Camp: Parris Island, S.C., Nov. 8 – Marine Private Benny C. Hammonds, son of Mrs. Jessie Hammonds of 1314 Liberty Hill Drive, Evergreen, was graduated from eight weeks of recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot here.
He will now undergo four weeks of individual combat training and four weeks of basic specialist training in his military job field before being assigned to a permanent unit.

NOV. 25, 1954

Discharge of firearms on Sunday is unlawful: Conecuh County Sheriff John Brock this week sternly warned hunters and anyone else using firearms on Sunday that it is unlawful and violators will be prosecuted.
Sheriff Brock told The Courant that repeated violations of this law have forced him and his deputies to take drastic action. ‘This is a state law and must be enforced,’ said Sheriff Brock. “Not only is it against the law to hunt on Sunday, but it is against the law to discharge a firearm of any type on Sunday,” he concluded.

Castleberry Sergeant Assigned to Formosa: Sergeant Willie Garrett of Castleberry has been assigned for duty to the U.S. Army forces in Formosa. He is now home on leave, and will depart for the west coast about Dec. 1.
During the early months of the Korean War Sgt. Garrett was in Pusan, Korea at the Ordinance Base Depot. He was in Korea for a total of 18 months and had just come from a tour of duty at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Alabama’s 1955 Maid of Cotton, lovely Hilda Smith of Bessemer, Ala., shown above at the Evergreen Community House, was a visitor to Evergreen last week. She was a guest of honor at a silver tea given by the Helen Keller Club at the Community House on Tuesday afternoon and was honored by the Kiwanis Club at their Ladies Night Banquet Tuesday night. Miss Smith will represent the state of Alabama in the National Cotton Maid Contest in Memphis, Tenn.

NOV. 27, 1941

Arthur Lee Held For Killing Ed Jones: John Arthur Lee, man in his early 20s, is being held in the county jail charged with killing Ed Jones, local drayman. The killing took place about noon Monday at the loading platform at the depot. There were a number of witnesses to the affair.
According to reports, Lee was employed by the National Butane Co. and was assisting in loading a large butane tank. Ed Jones came up and began helping with the job. It is said that Ed ordered Lee to go get a piece of scantling and upon his failure, ordered him the second time with an oath. Lee, it is said, had a piece of small iron pipe about two feet long in his hand and immediately after Ed spoke to him the second time, hit him on the side of the head just above the left ear. He then hit once or twice more on the head. He lived about 15 minutes but never spoke.
Lee went to the jail and gave himself over to the sheriff.
It will be recalled that Ed Jones shot and killed Alvin Lee, brother of John Arthur Lee, about three years ago. The killing took place near the courthouse in early December. Ed was tried and given a sentence of two years. He had been out for something like a year.

WINSTON HAGOOD GETS PROMOTED TO CORPORAL: Fort Knox, Ky. – Pvt. Winston W. Hagood, son of Dr. and Mrs. J.W. Hagood, 113, Bruner Ave., Evergreen, Ala. has been promoted to a Corporal. He has been working at the Fourth Battalion Headquarters here at the Armored Force Replacement Training Center, and before that Cpl. Hagood acted as company clerk for Co. A of the Fourth Battalion.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Murdock McPherson of Sparta received the first Masonic funeral in Conecuh County history

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Riley

Tuesday of this week marked a unique anniversary in Conecuh County history. It was the 189th anniversary of the death and burial of Murdock McPherson of Sparta, who is believed to have received the first Masonic funeral in the history of Conecuh County.

According to Benjamin F. Riley’s 1881 book, “History of Conecuh County, Alabama,” it was on Nov. 27, 1829 that McPherson “is said to have been the first Mason buried with the honors of that Fraternity upon the soil of Conecuh.”

Little is known about McPherson, but from all indications, he was an interesting man. He was among the first settlers at Sparta and is said to have been the first county clerk of Conecuh County. The first school at Sparta was directed by a man named John McCloud, who taught at Sparta’s first school for only a brief period, Riley said. McPherson succeeded McCloud as the director of the school, but McPherson must have died a short time later. (Some sources say he died before 1825, but others confirm that he passed away on Nov. 27, 1829.)

By 1820s standards, McPherson’s funeral was a big event, so big that Riley made sure to include it in his history of Conecuh County. “To give marked solemnity to the occasion, a fiddle was brought into requisition, and its solemn tones were evoked in the strain of a funeral march, by a wooden-legged doctor, named Ogden,” Riley wrote in his book.

Given the details about his funeral, McPherson was obviously a prominent early Freemason in Conecuh County, and he was likely around when Conecuh County’s third courthouse building was built at Sparta in 1823. According to Riley, this building was built by a man named Simmons from Tallahassee, Fla. and the local Masonic fraternity paid him $500 more to add a Masonic lodge room and attic to the building. Adjusted for inflation, this was no small amount of money. In 1823, $500 was worth $11,364 in today’s dollars.

I first read about McPherson in Riley’s “History of Conecuh County” a few years ago, and on and off since then I’ve tried to find out more about him. Riley’s book didn’t contain his exact date of death, but historian Sherry Johnston at the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library was able to supply me with that some time ago.

I’ve often wondered about where McPherson is buried and if his grave is accessible to the public today. Is he buried in the Old Beulah Cemetery as some say or is he buried somewhere on private property near the site of Old Sparta? Can anyone just walk up and visit his grave today or has the location been lost to time?

If anyone in the reading audience knows, I’d like to hear from you. Anyone with more information about Murdock McPherson is encouraged to contact me at The Courant office at 251-578-1492 or by e-mail at

Skipper maintains lead in football contest with one week left to go

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

The 13th weekend of the 2018 college football season wrapped up on Saturday, and we also wrapped up another weekend in our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest.

This week, after Saturday’s final game came to a close, Drew Skipper found himself in sole possession of first place in the local standings for the fifth week in a row. John Johnston and Brett Loftin were in second place, just three games behind Skipper.

Ricky Taylor and I were tied for fourth place. Justin Mixon and Jeremy Matheny were tied for sixth place. Travis Presley and Darrell Burch were tied for eighth place. Clint Hyde was in tenth place.

With that said, if you didn’t do so great last week, don’t sweat it. We’ve got one more week to go, and the standings will no doubt change again after this Saturday’s slate of games. The big question is, can anyone catch Drew Skipper. He’s led the standings for more than a month, and it’ll be hard to catch him at this point. Only time will tell, but it’ll sure make this week’s games interesting to watch.

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The only football game we’ve got this week involving SEC teams is the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, and it should be a good one as undefeated Alabama takes on 11-1 Georgia. Alabama enters the game ranked No. 1 in the country, and Georgia is ranked No. 5. Kick off is set for 3 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Georgia has won five straight games, going back to its 36-16 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge on Oct. 13. Since then, the Bulldogs have beaten ranked Florida, Kentucky and Auburn teams. They also posted a 39-point win over UMass and beat rival, Georgia Tech, by 24 points.

In that same amount of time, Alabama has run the table against Missouri, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, The Citadel and Auburn. LSU and Mississippi State were both ranked when they played Alabama, and the Tide beat them by a combined score of 53-0.

According to CBS on Monday afternoon, Alabama was a 13-point favorite over Georgia, but if Georgia comes to play, it could be a lot closer than that. I look for Alabama to win, but they better not take Georgia lightly.

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Like most local sports fans, I was disappointed by how Friday night’s Hillcrest-Andalusia football playoff game turned out, but on the bright side, Hillcrest had a great season, especially when you consider it from a historical standpoint. Prior to this season, Hillcrest had only made it to the third round of the state playoffs twice before, in 2015 and in 2017, both during the tenure of head coach Clinton Smith.

Also, from a defensive point of view, this was Hillcrest’s best season in 20 years, going back to 1998, when the Jags gave up just 141 points in 10 games. This season, Hillcrest gave up just 159 points in 13 games, an average of 12.2 points per game. They also shut out five of their 13 opponents.

Next season, I look for the Jags to just reload, but the key to their potential success will be whether or not Hillcrest can keep its coaching staff intact. Smith has proven himself to be one of the top young coaches in the state, and with the veteran group of assistant coaches he’s assembled, the Jags could be very formidable next season.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

This month marks 100 years since Wilcox County's first 'airship' landing

An early U.S. Army 'airship'

I was looking through some old newspapers the other day and discovered that this month – November 2018 – marks a significant anniversary in Wilcox County’s history – the 100th anniversary of the first documented “airship” landing in county history.

One day last week, I was flipping through the Nov. 21, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era, when my eyes fell on a big, bold headline that was hard to miss, “CAMDEN’S FIRST AIRSHIP.” Beneath that headline, it was reported that “on Saturday afternoon, an airship from Montgomery, Ala. flew over Camden for several minutes and alighted at the old Fair Ground. It was not on the program to stop here but descended for the purpose of securing gasoline. This is the first airship to pass over Camden and attracted considerable attention. There is no reason why Camden should not have a regular landing place and have the pleasure of frequent visits from them.”

News of this event, which came nearly 15 years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, raises more questions than answers, but a close reading of this news item is very revealing. I think it’s safe to say that this historic event occurred on Nov. 16, which was the Saturday before Nov. 21, the day the newspaper was published. While the short article indicates that it took place in the afternoon, it doesn’t give the specific time.

Again, the vagueness of the article leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Did the landing take place around lunch or was it closer to dark? What time did it take off from Montgomery? What time did it depart Camden after getting fuel? What time did the aircraft arrive at its final destination?

The use of the term “airship” also probably jumps out at modern readers and likely conjures up images of a blimp or zeppelin. This would be correct by the modern definition of the term, that is, “a power-driven aircraft that is kept buoyant by a body of gas (typically helium, formerly hydrogen) that is lighter than air.” However, in the early days of aviation, this term likely applied to a fixed-winged plane, although there is a chance that it actually was a dirigible.

I think it’s extremely interesting that the article mentioned that the airship was from Montgomery, especially when you consider that this landing took place just a few days after the formal end of World War I. Just eight years before, the famous Wright Brothers opened one of the world’s first flying schools at what we now call Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. This school was only open a short time, and during World War I, the facility was used as an aviation repair depot. While I don’t know for sure, I think it’s highly likely that the 1918 Camden airship originated from this facility.

The article also mentions that the Camden landing took place at the “old Fair Ground.” Where was this exactly? Was it on the same site where the Camden Municipal Airport is located today? Usually, but not in all cases, fair grounds in the old days were located a short distance from railroad tracks, which helped accommodate traveling circuses, carnivals and athletic teams. I think it’s also interesting that the article used the term “old” Fair Ground, which could indicate that there were newer fair grounds being used by the town in 1918.

Lastly, who was piloting the “airship” that landed in Camden on Nov. 16, 1918? Presumably, in these days of early aviation, the pilot was likely male, but was he alone? Was he a military pilot on some sort of training mission? Where did he go after departing Camden?

Once on the ground, who supplied the pilot with gasoline? Was it readily available at the Fair Grounds? How much fuel did he have to get to safely continue on his way to his final destination? 

In the end, I looked through editions of the newspaper that followed this historic landing, but found no further mention of the Nov. 16 landing. With that said, I’d love to hear from anyone in the reading audience with more information about this historic event. I’m especially interested in finding out where the “old Fair Grounds” were located and what type of aircraft was involved in Camden’s first documented “airship” landing.

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

Irvin Bacheller

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Nov. 28, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

The unusual bad weather of the past few days make it extremely necessary that everyone who has suffered from the influenza take extra precautions. There are still many cases in Camden and vicinity and the only way to prevent a continued spread is for everyone to exercise those ordinary precautions which all know are necessary.

The schools and churches are closed for another week as the epidemic of influenza is still widespread.

Thanksgiving and services scheduled for Sunday are called off on account of the influenza quarantine.

Rev. J.F. Brock of Thomasville, who was scheduled to preach at the Baptist church Sunday, was forced to cancel his engagement on account of quarantine regulations.

Mr. Ernest Turner, who has been stationed at Camp Sevier, has secured his discharge from the army and returned home Friday.

Mr. Bliss McLeod of Mobile, Mr. Will McLeod, who is connected with the DuPont munition company in Virginia, and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon of Montgomery, and Mr. McLeod of Grove Hill were at the bedside of their son and brother, Mr. T.A. McLeod, who died Saturday.

Judge Wm. Henderson of Millers Ferry suffered a dislocated hip when kicked by a horse Saturday afternoon. Judge Henderson is one of our most esteemed citizens and his misfortune is regretted by his many friends. Last reports stated he was getting along nicely.

BILL REEVES MAKES SUPREME SACRIFICE: Mr. W.M. Reeves of Camden, Route 3, received notice from the Department of War on Monday that his son, William, was killed in action on Oct. 11. The news of this death comes at a time when all are rejoicing over the termination of the war, and his parents have the sympathy of all in their sad bereavement. He was an industrious boy, kind, considerate of everyone, and was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him.

Lt. Irby Savage is in a base hospital, where he has been under treatment for wounds received in battle. His wounds were slight but he was gassed and is now recovering from the latter.

Patrick McDonald, son of Mrs. Mary McDonald, died on Friday night after a short illness of pneumonia. His death was unexpected as few knew he was desperately ill. Pat had hardly reached the first years of manhood and his death brings to the bereaved mother and family the sympathy of the entire community. He was buried Saturday afternoon, Rev. H.T. Strout officiating.

F.L. Moore Sr. – On Thursday afternoon at 3:30, Mr. F.L. Moore Sr. passed to his reward. The death of Mr. Moore marks the passing from our midst one of those lovable characters, a product of the old South and we hope a heritage of the new. He was laid to rest in the Camden cemetery Friday afternoon.

In continuance of our efforts to make the Progressive Era a better paper and more readable, we have procured at some expense the right to publish one of the greatest novels we have read recently – “The Light in the Clearing” by Irvin Bacheller, author of “Eben Holden,” etc. This story will run serially in The Progressive Era, beginning probably in the issue of Dec. 5. Watch for it and be sure to read the first installment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

Two-mule plowing team.

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Nov. 27, 1918 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.

County High Defeats Repton: Castleberry, Ala., Nov. 25 – The basketball team of Conecuh County High School at Castleberry met and defeated Repton High School by a score of 12 to 2 Friday, Nov. 23.
The game was slow and featureless on account of bad weather prevailing during the game. The Conecuh County High School would like to arrange games with the High Schools of this vicinity.

G.W. Salter Sr. of Monroeville is spending the week as guest of his son, editor of this paper.

C.H. Moorer left Tuesday for St. Louis to purchase a large shipment of mules and horses for his firm, F.D. Moorer & Son, to meet the growing demands of their trade.

Rev. Bob Jones to Preach Here: Rev. Bob Jones will preach at the Methodist church here on Monday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m.
Mr. Jones conducted a series of revival meetings here several years ago and is pleasantly remembered by all Evergreen citizens who had the pleasure of hearing him at that time. He will no doubt be greeted by a large audience when he comes.

County Teachers Institute will be held here on Friday and Saturday of this week.

J.D. Barrow and R.B. Booker of this county are serving on the federal grand jury in Mobile.

The local paper of Sanford, Fla. contained an interesting account of the marriage of a former Evergreen girl, Miss Francis Eugenie Chapman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Earl Chapman, and Cicero Franklin Brannon. The many Evergreen friends of the bride wish for her a long and happy wedded life. Mr. and Mrs. Brannon will make their home in Sanford.

Baptist Association Meeting: The Conecuh County Baptist Association, which was postponed last month on account of the health condition of our county, will convene at Jones Chapel, four miles east of Owassa, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 10th day of December. All churches are urged to send their full quota of messengers. – C.S. Rabb, Clerk.

Mrs. A. Giddens of Montgomery was here Monday.

J.A. Rumbley arrived Monday from Sanford, Fla. to spend a few days with relatives.

Mr. and Mrs. B.F. McArthur and daughter, Miss Mamie, of near Loree, spent Thursday with relatives here.

AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL NEWS: The Courant has consented to give to the Agricultural School each week space for reports from the school. We hope the parents of all the students in the school will read the school news in order that they may be kept posted as to the progress and attainments of the pupils.
This year, the students are beginning a system of student government. Monitors are appointed to see to the order of the room during the day. Demerits are given for misbehavior, and punishment is inflicted as the accumulation of a certain number of demerits. The students are also given charge of the chapel exercises one day during the week. The seniors and juniors have already led during the past month. The sophomores will have charge of the exercises for Thanksgiving. It is to be hoped that through this method the students will gain ability to speak naturally and interestingly in public.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Nov. 26, 2018

Alabama's Don Hutson.

NOV. 24, 1977

The previously undefeated Repton High School Bulldogs lost a 27-13 decision to the Brantley Bulldogs in Brantley in quarterfinal action in the State Class A playoffs Friday night in Brantley. Repton completed the season with an outstanding 11-1 record.
Repton fell victim to one of the state’s top running backs, Larry Dorsey, who scored on runs of 51 and 22 yards. Dorsey has rushed for 2,049 yards and 25 touchdowns this year.
Quarterback Donnie Reed drove one yard for a Repton score and passed to Fred Rudolph for 16 yards and the other. Terry Wilson kicked the extra point for Repton.

Larry Fluker, president of the Conecuh County Branch NAACP, presents a plaque from the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce to Clint Jackson. Fluker presided over the Clint Jackson Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn on Saturday night, climaxing Clint Jackson Day honoring Evergreen and Conecuh County’s first-ever member of an U.S. Olympics team.

NOV. 22, 1962

Barbara Stinson, “Miss Homecoming,” and Brenda Ellis, “Miss Football,” were the reigning royalty at Evergreen High School during the annual homecoming held recently. Barbara was chosen by the student body, and Brenda by the football team. Both are members of the senior class and both are cheerleaders.

Miss Gayle Ryland was crowned queen at homecoming festivities recently at Repton High School. She and her attendants were featured in a parade during the afternoon when the high school band also participated.

NOV. 27, 1947

Evergreen Battles Miller To A Scoreless Standstill: The Evergreen High Aggies battled a favored Miller High of Brewton team to a scoreless tie here Monday night to close the season on a successful note. Around 1,500 fans witnessed the thrill filled contest that featured wide-open football. Both teams drove deep into the others territory but neither could muster that vital scoring punch.
Miller threw a scare into the Evergreen fans late in the first quarter when Jernigan kicked out of bounds on the Evergreen 9 and Logue’s kick was short and out of bounds on the 23. Jernigan made two to the 21, Hanks broke through and blocked an attempted pass and Ralls intercepted on the Evergreen 15 to end Miller’s most serious threat.
Early in the second quarter Evergreen put together three first downs to move the ball to the Miller 42, but two successive penalties ended this drive. Later two completed passes gave the Aggies a first down on the Miller 32, but the half ended at this point to stop the drive.
Late in the third quarter the Aggies made their strongest threat. With the ball on the Evergreen 15, third down and 16 to go Miller evidently expected a pass but Logue gave the ball to McIntyre on a handoff and he dashed 45 yards to the Miller 40 almost getting away for the distance. Ralls made two and then McIntyre took the ball again on a handoff and went to the Miller 20 nearly getting away again with the last man dropping him. McIntyre fumbled the handoff for no gain, Ralls made three and McIntyre again was held for no gain. Ralls went to the Miller 14 on the fourth down and the Tigers took over.
While there was no scoring it was a nice game to watch. Both teams played wide-open ball tossing numerous long passes with each side intercepting four times. The blocking was sharp and the tackling hard as both teams fought hard for victory.
Leon, Martin, Benny Stokes and Harry Taylor were defensive stars for the Tigers. Jernigan, Lynn and Russell stood out in the rearworks.
Big Sammy Hanks was a wild man in the Aggie line breaking through for tackles constantly. Brooks, Salter and Johnson turned in sparkling performances. McIntyre, Ralls and Logue were offensive stars. Ralls and Ryan deserve a lot of credit for their able assists behind the line.
The game was as even in statistics as in score. Miller had 10 first downs to Evergreen’s nine, but the Aggies outgained the on the ground 117 yards to 92. Miller completed three of 23 passes for 60 yards with four interceptions. Evergreen had four completions on 16 tosses with four interceptions. Evergreen had a total net gain of 159 yards to Miller’s 152. Jernigan kicked five times for an average of 24 yards per kick and Logue averaged 27 on as many kicks.
This ended Coach Wendell Hart’s second season as head coach at Evergreen High. The teams season record was six won, one lost and two tied. Coach Hart’s two-year record is 12 won, three lost and three tied. This year, the Aggies scored 160 points while holding their opponents to 12.

Lyeffion Jr. Cagers Down North Brewton 30-21: The Lyeffion Junior High basketball team opened their 1947-48 season Friday in North Brewton was a 30 to 21 victory over the Junior High School team there. The Brewton team had a distinct advantage in height, but couldn’t match the Lyeffion sharp shooters paced by Miller Dees.
The North Brewton team jumped off to a quick lead which they lost shortly before the end of the first half. The halftime score was 16 to 15. The Lyeffion team quickly widened the lead in the final half and won going away.
Miller Dees, Lyeffion center, led the scoring with 16 points. Gwyn Daniels, guard, sparked the Lyeffion team with his floorwork and ball-hawking. Jernigan of East Brewton bagged 13 points.
Tuesday night the Lyeffion Juniors slipped by the Annex cagers for a thrilling, 19-18 win. The game was played in Lyeffion and filled with thrills from start to finish.

NOV. 24, 1932

M.A. Hansen attended the Auburn-Georgia game in Columbus Saturday.

Messrs. B.E. Jones, L.W. Price, Bayne Petrey and Frank Hagood are attending the Alabama-Vandy game in Montgomery.

Alabama Meets Vandy In Birmingham Today: University, Ala., Nov. 24 – Faced with meeting one of the strongest teams in the South and admittedly the best at Vandy in a number of years, the Alabama Crimsons are preparing to upset the dope bucket if possible and send the Commodores back to Nashville on the short end of the score when they clash Thanksgiving Day in Birmingham.
Alabama will enter the game with several cripples. Since the Tennessee tilt last month the injury jinx has persisted in pursuing the Tidesmen. Cain is slated to play but may not be his old crashing self, due to his bad knee. Godfree, alternate captain and aggressive leader in the line, may not play any more football for Alabama. His knee, which held up during most of the season, seems to have definitely collapsed. Don Hutson, flashy sophomore end, is on crutches and out for the rest of the season.
But in spite of these injuries Tide fans are hoping that Alabama will be “right” on Turkey Days and provide one of the season’s upsets by halting the rush of Vandy for conference honors.
Vandy is undefeated this Fall but has tied two contests. Only Alabama stands in its way to an undefeated season.
Alabama, on the other hand, has lost to both Tennessee and Georgia Tech. But the Tidesmen are determined to show their backers that they can play football with the best of them, and if they can show the stuff that they did against the Vols may surprise people on next Thursday.

NOV. 28, 1917

Miss Lucille Meadows was an interested onlooker at the football game between the Auburn and Ohio teams in the Capital city last week.

NOV. 24, 1887

Thanksgiving day passed very quietly in Evergreen. The T.B. Long hunting and fishing club had their regular barbecue at the club grounds. There was plenty to eat and a delightful day was spent by the members of the club and their invited guests.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

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

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong

NOV. 24, 1994

Veterans Day service: Jim Rowell, commander of James C. Marshall Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8485, and Alvin Bayles, commander of American Legion Post No. 61, exchange salutes after placing a wreath at the Armed Services Memorial on the courthouse grounds in Monroeville during Veterans Day services Nov. 11. Featured speaker was Charles Skinner of Monroeville. Skinner served in the Army air corps during World War II.

Monroe Academy’s varsity boys improved their basketball record to 2-0 Thursday in Evergreen when the Volunteers defeated Sparta Academy 54-53.
Coach H.L. Watson saw the Volunteers open the 1994-95 season Tuesday of last week with a 62-12 decision over Jackson Academy in Jackson.
(Top players on Monroe’s varsity boys basketball team that season included Robin Chandler, Will Crim, Jeff Fountain, Johnny Pickens, Tom Stallworth, Adam Till and Brian Walker.)

Countians may find themselves in new book: Monroe native Corky Pugh has written a book, and many county residents may recognize themselves or others in it.
“Family and Friends,” a 103-page collection of short stories written by Pugh, has been published by Longbeard Publishing Co. of Cecil, Ala., and is presently being distributed throughout the state, including some Monroeville shops.
Pugh, 41, grew up in Monroeville. He is assistant director of the Game & Fish Division for the state Department of Conservation.

NOV. 27, 1969

Is Bit Of Monroe County On Moon? There is a possibility that a bit of Monroe County is on the moon.
Paper made by Allied Paper, Inc., holds the distinction of being the first to go to the moon, and there is a possibility the pulp that was used to make the paper came from Monroe County wood, since Monroe County is one of the major counties in the Jackson plant’s wood drain areas.
While circling the moon, Apollo 10 astronaut Gene Cernan read from the Bible over national television networks. The Gideon Bible was printed by National Publishing Co. in Philadelphia on Allied’s Nato-Test 22-pound Bible paper.
At the time the paper was made, Allied’s Jackson plant was shipping pulp to Kalamazoo, according to Bill Hearn, personnel manager at Jackson.
And during the flight of Apollo 11, astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, placed an American flag and a specially-packaged Gideon Bible on the moon.
The Bible was printed on paper produced by Allied employees on the same two paper machines – Numbers 5 and 7.

Excel, the No. 2-ranked single-A football team in Alabama, will travel to Linden tomorrow (Friday) night to play Sweet Water, the No. 1 single-A team in the state.
Both teams have perfect records for the season. The Friday game will determine the single A championship for 1969 in Alabama.
(Players on Excel’s team that season included Pat Browning, Jerry Burkett, Jimmy Dawson, Niel Dawson, Elliot Fails, Larry Flowers, Leonard Flowers, Boyce Godwin, Eddie Hands, Arthur Hixon, Howard Kilpatrick, Thomas Lambert, Michael Ledkins, William Manning, Curtis McDaniel, Carl McMillian, Jesse McMillian, Keith McMillian, Arnold Millender, Mike Nall, Rufus McCants, Tony Narrimore, Mike Scruggs, Donnie White, Ronald White, Danny Wiggins, Eddie Wiggins and Douglas Williamson. Lloyd Baggett, Al Hall and Allen Robinson were managers. Carvel Rowell was head coach and his assistants included Paul Akins and Jim Bailey.)

NOV. 23, 1944

PFC CHARLES H. COALE WOUNDED IN ACTION: Word was received last week by his parents and other relatives of Perdue Hill that Pfc. Charles H. Coale had been wounded in action in Germany. He was able to write home that he was wounded by a German mortar shell and received shrapnel wounds on his right ear and head. He stated also that he was receiving the best of treatment in the hospital in Belgium.

Pvt. Ralph McMillan, son of S.J. McMillan Sr. of Drewry, has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. Pvt. McMillan was wounded Oct. 1 in France and was carried to England for treatment. He is still in the hospital but is showing improvement steadily.

Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Lathram and Mrs. Elizabeth Bland left Wednesday for Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with Sgt. Johnson Lathram, who is a patient at the Lawson General Hospital. Johnson, wounded in action in France last August, has only recently arrived in this country after more than two years in foreign service.

NOV. 27, 1919

PASSING OF A LANDMARK: The demolition of the old Methodist church building recently vacated by the congregation to assume occupancy of the handsome new brick structure, is another reminder of the inevitable changes wrought by time and circumstance in the onward march of progress in communities. It is not without a sense of sadness that we view the disappearance of the ancient landmarks, especially those consecrated by hallowed memories and happy associations.
Until torn down by its purchaser, the old church was one of the oldest buildings left standing in rejuvenated Monroeville.

Benjamin Joseph Garrett, aged 27 years, died at Denver, Colo. on Tues., Nov. 18. The young man went west several months ago in the hope of restoration to health, but without its realization. The body reached Monroeville Monday and was given sepulture in the Baptist cemetery. He had numerous friends in the county.

Doctors take notice that a called meeting of the Monroe County Medical Society Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. in Monroeville. Under the new laws of the State of Alabama, every doctor and midwife is summoned to appear. – W.T. Bayles, Secy.

County Registrar W.C. Neville will begin the registration of voters for the next general election on Dec. 8 and will continue the work at the courthouse for 30 days.

Mr. G.G. Stainton of Peterman was in to see us Thursday. Mr. Stainton has been a continuous subscriber to The Journal for upward of 30 years. No one on our lists is appreciated more.

The walls of the Wiggins brick garage and the adjoining store building are nearly complete and will soon be ready for the roof.

NOV. 30, 1867

HALF SHEET: We regret, on account of necessary absence, to be compelled to issue a half sheet this week. – However, “half a loaf is better than no bread,” so be patient kind readers, and we will make up for lost time.

Together with several ladies and gentlemen from our town (Claiborne), we took passage for Mobile last Monday evening on board the magnificent little steamer, Sallie List, commanded by the champion of steamboatsmen, Capt. Sandy English, while in the office is, our very accommodating friend, Capt. Charlie English, whose presence alone makes one feel at home on the “Lightning Sallie.” Without the least partiality whatever we have no hesitancy in pronouncing the Sallie List, according to our judgement, the finest sternwheeler that now navigates our river, while her tables are spread with the best the Mobile and New Orleans markets afford. We advise our friends, who wish to visit Mobile, to give her a trial and if they are not pleased “they may have our hat.”
We left Mobile Wednesday evening at five o’clock and arrived at Claiborne next morning at eight, the best time that has been made this year, by any boat.
She had on board nine convicts for the Penitentiary… who seemed to enjoy the trip.

CASTALIAN ACADEMY: This school was opened the third Monday of September 1867 and is pleasantly situated one and a half miles from Claiborne, near the site of the old Academy, and near also to three beautiful springs from which was suggested its Classical name.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Nov. 23, 2018

NOV. 27, 1947

Hoomes Given 20 Years By Conecuh County Jury: After a comparatively short period of deliberation last Thursday evening, the Conecuh County petit jury which tried Elbert J. Hoomes on a first-degree murder charge found him guilty of murder in the second degree and sentenced him to the penitentiary for a term of 20 years.
The trial was moved to Evergreen from Brewton on a change of venue granted by Judge F.W. Hare when the defendant plead that he could not get a fair trial in Escambia County. It was begun about 10 o’clock Wednesday morning and was completed late Thursday afternoon.

Gov. James E. Folsom has issued a proclamation setting aside Nov. 27 as Thanksgiving Day in Alabama.
In issuing the proclamation, Gov. Folsom asked Alabamians to go to church on Thanksgiving Day “to humbly thank Almighty God for the many blessings so bountifully bestowed upon our state and nation.”
Folsom further called upon citizens of the state “to ask Divine guidance that they may more fully shoulder responsibilities of citizenship and preserve the peace that we have won at such a tragic cost.”

Lt. Albert Hugh Holman has arrived in Guam and will be stationed there until the first of May.

Mr. and Mrs. Byron Warren and children are spending today with relatives in Enterprise.

NOV. 24, 1932

Agricultural School Closed Indefinitely: Prof. W.Y. Fleming, principal of the Agricultural School, announced to his pupils Wednesday before dismissing them for Thanksgiving holidays that school would be closed until some arrangements had been made for its continuance.
A meeting of the patrons of the school was held Monday afternoon for the purposes of devising a means of keeping it open. It was decided that an effort would be made to raise $750, which Prof. Fleming estimated was necessary to keep going for the remainder of this semester which will end about Jan. 15.

Dr. J.M. Carr Buried At Ft. Deposit Friday: Funeral services were held for Dr. J. Mark Carr, age 55, well known citizen of Brooklyn, who died suddenly at his home Friday afternoon. Rev. O.C. Stewart, pastor of the Baptist Church at Brooklyn was in charge of the services.
Dr. Carr, who had been almost an invalid for many years, was found dead in his garden by his wife when she returned home for school Thursday afternoon.
Deceased was a native of Ft. Deposit, having moved with his family to Brooklyn seven years ago where he had made his home since. His wife has held a position as teacher in the Brooklyn School since they moved there.

Repton: Dr. W.R. Carter attended the Southern Medical Convention in Birmingham last week.

The Masonic Home benefit party of the past week was given at the home of Mrs. H.C. Thomas with Mrs. S.J. Brundage as joint hosts. Several progressions of bunco were played at eight tables, and light refreshments were served.

NOV. 28, 1917

Our Boys Safe in France: Several cablegrams received here during the past week by relatives and friends from members of the Rainbow Division announced their safe arrival “somewhere in France.” This good news was a relief to many anxious relatives and friends.

Owassa: Mrs. T. Brooks entertained a few friends at a candy drawing on Friday night last.

Fire broke out in the roof of the White House hotel on Saturday afternoon, but was quickly extinguished by the bucket brigade before the fire department could respond. A serious fire was thus narrowly averted.

A sneak thief went into the hallway of Prof. Bennett’s home on Friday night last and relieved him his overcoat, hat and cup. The thief has not been apprehended.

Castleberry: A number of people attended the circus at Evergreen Friday.

Lt. Waddy McCreary came down from Camp Wheeler last week to spend a few days with his parents, Judge and Mrs. Dunn. He was accompanied by Mrs. McCreary.

Union Thanksgiving services will be held at the Baptist church tomorrow (Thursday) morning at seven o’clock. Dr. Dickinson will preach a special Thanksgiving sermon. The public is cordially invited to attend this service.

NOV. 29, 1902

S.A. Lowrey, our newly elected county superintendent of education, was here on Saturday to take charge of the books and papers of his office. Any teachers or other persons desiring to communicate with him should address him at Betts, Ala.

Burglar Captured: The party who burglarized the store of Mr. W.M. Newton at Belleville last week was captured by Deputy Harvey Riggs at Flomaton on Thursday last and brought here and lodged in jail. His name is Author Wright, a young boy. When captured he had on his person several articles of the stolen goods. He confessed his guilt and told where the stolen goods were concealed. Wright was tried before Justice R.H. Riggs at Belleville on Saturday and bound over to await the action of the grand jury.

R.H. Ellis of Repton has been appointed notary public by Gov. Jelks.

J.G. Guy, a prosperous farmer of Herbert, was here yesterday and paid us a visit.

Jas. H. Tucker of Monroe spent Friday here en route home from the reunion at Montgomery.

Fiddler: Public school opened here on Monday with an average attendance and with new equipment, all out of debt. Miss Ethel Bennett of Georgiana is in charge.

Betts: Miss Emma Betts is teaching a flourishing school here.

NOV. 24, 1887

The friends of Mr. A.D. Sampey were shocked Wednesday night of this week to hear of his sudden death. He had been in court most of the day, engaged in the settlement of an estate which he represented, and was compelled to leave court and go to the hotel to bed. Physicians were summoned and did all in their power for him, but it did not avail.
He was carried home in his buggy and died about 5:30 p.m., surrounded by his weeping, sorrow-stricken family. The immediate cause of his dissolution is supposed to have been the rupture of a blood vessel.

D.W. Kyser will open a public school in Castleberry Dec. 4.

Mr. Jno. Warr, who lives near Walker’s Mill, in Mill beat in this county, had the misfortune to lose his dwelling house and out houses and all their contents by fire one day this week.

Col. P.D. Bowles has been visiting the Gulf City during the week.

Lizzie, the great performing elephant, will amuse the crowds that will attend the circus at Evergreen Sat., Dec. 3.

For some time past, the passenger trains between here and Gravella have been rocked. For a time it seemed difficult to locate the perpetrators of this outrage, but now two of them have been caught and are in jail in default of bail. The rock throwers were (three little boys).

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Witnesses report seeing UFO in Crenshaw County, Ala. on Oct. 20

Today marks the fourth Thursday of the month, so this week I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network. A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 on MUFON’s website,, resulted in just one report from within our state during that time.

That incident occurred around midnight on Sat., Oct. 20, in Highland Home, which is in Crenshaw County, about 60 road miles from Evergreen. The witness in this case was sitting on the back porch with his wife and daughter-in-law when something very unexpected happened. While the daughter-in-law was seated facing the house, the husband and wife were facing west and were surprised to see an unidentified flying object pass between the house and a wide gap in nearby trees.

This unusual object flew left to right and appeared to be wider than the gap in the trees, the husband said. They continued to watch as the object moved behind some trees and then through another gap in the trees. The husband stood up for a better look, but the strange object was no longer visible.

The man said that the object moved silently, emitting no sound. Whatever the object was, the husband could see a reflection of clouds and sky on its top surface as well as the reflection of the plowed ground beneath it on its bottom. In all, the man only saw the object for about five seconds, but it was clearly visible, he said.

While it may have no bearing on the report above, I think it’s worth noting that early morning hours of Oct. 21 was one of the best times of the year to see the Orionid meteor shower. Stargazers up early that morning could see a number of bright “shooting stars” streaking across the sky. This annual meteor shower typically peaks before dawn.

There was a waxing gibbous moon in the sky that night and it didn’t set until around 4 a.m., so the sky wasn’t totally dark at the time of the incident in Highland Home. For those of you who have witnessed the Orionid meteor shower, you will know that it can be impressive. At its peak, this meteor shower can produce up to 20 “shooting stars” per hour.

Interestingly, the Orionid meteor shower is called such because the “shooting stars” appear to radiate from the northern part of the constellation, Orion the Hunter. From our neck of the woods, if you’re trying to find the Orion constellation in the October sky, look in the sky to the southwest for three stars in a straight line. These three stars make up the hunter’s “belt.”

I think it’s worth pointing out that the Highland Home witness was facing west when he saw something unusual in the sky. Perhaps the incident has something to do with the meteor shower? Then again, maybe it was something altogether different.

Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously.

Drew Skipper maintains lead in local College Football Pick 'Em Contest

The 12th weekend of the 2018 college football season closed out on Saturday, and we also closed out another weekend in our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest.

This week, after Saturday’s final game came to a close, Drew Skipper found himself in sole possession of first place in the local standings for the fourth week in a row. John Johnston was in second place, just two games behind Skipper.

We had a four-way tie for third place. Those tied for the No. 3 spot included Ricky Taylor, Jeremy Matheny, Brett Loftin and your friendly neighborhood sports reporter.

Travis Presley and Justin Mixon were tied for the No. 7 spot while Vanessa Sales and Darrell Burch were tied for ninth place. Clint Hyde was in 11th place.

With that said, if you didn’t do so great last week, don’t sweat it. We’ve got two more weeks to go, and the standings will no doubt change again during the next couple of weeks as we make the final push toward the end of the season.

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By my count, we’ve got nine games this weekend featuring SEC teams, and five of those are head-to-head conference games. For what it’s worth, here are my picks in those games. I like Alabama over Auburn, Mississippi State over Ole Miss, Missouri over Arkansas, Florida over Florida State, Georgia over Georgia Tech, Tennessee over Vanderbilt, Kentucky over Louisville, Clemson over South Carolina and LSU over Texas A&M.

Last week: 11-0, Overall: 86-16

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Tomorrow (Friday) night’s third-round playoff game is shaping up to be one of the biggest games in Hillcrest High School football history. Local sports fans who have followed Hillcrest closely this season will know that Hillcrest defeated Andalusia, 41-10, on Sept. 21 in Evergreen. That was then, this is now.

Eight weeks have passed since that Friday night in late September, and Hillcrest and Andalusia have both improved as the season has gone on. Since losing to Hillcrest, Andalusia has gone 6-1, recording wins over in-county rival Opp, region opponents Williamson, W.S. Neal and Clarke County and playoff opponents Montevallo and Headland. Inexplicably, Andalusia lost, 24-3, at home to an Escambia County team that didn’t even qualify for the playoffs.

Again, I look for tomorrow night’s game to be a good one, and I also look for Hillcrest to win. Since Oct. 5, Hillcrest has only been scored on twice and one of those touchdowns came at the end of the Monroe County game when the Tigers managed to score on Hillcrest’s fifth string. Since Oct. 5, Hillcrest has outscored its opponents, 159-13, so if Hillcrest takes care of business tomorrow night, I look for them to advance to the semi-finals for the second straight year.

With that said, it’ll be hard tomorrow night not to keep one eye on what’s happening in the UMS-Wright-American Christian game in Mobile. Both of those teams are undefeated, and it would be sweet if American Christian could upset UMS-Wright on their home turf. Presuming that Hillcrest beats Andalusia, the Jags will face the UMS-Wright-American Christian winner in the next round of the playoffs.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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

Mrs. R.J. Goode of Gastonburg, Ala.

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Nov. 21, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

CAMDEN’S FIRST AIRSHIP: On Saturday afternoon an airship from Montgomery, Ala. flew over Camden for several minutes and alighted at the old Fair Ground. It was not on the program to stop here but descended for the purpose of securing gasoline. This is the first airship to pass over Camden and attracted considerable attention. There is no reason why Camden should not have a regular landing place and have the pleasure of frequent visits from them.

Miss Strudwich has sent to Washington to be placed on exhibition, products of the Camden Club girls of Wilcox. At this exhibition will be products of every section of the country. It is assured that Wilcox will have a creditable exhibit.

Hon. Morgan Richards, Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Selma, was in Camden on Saturday morning and addressed the businessmen of the town on the lines of organizing a Labor Board whose duty shall be to adjust the labor difficulties which will be abundant after the war. This board is under the auspices of the War Industries Bureau. Mr. Richards told of effective work this organization has done in Dallas and other counties and it was the unanimous opinion of all present that Wilcox should likewise organize. Mr. S.L. Jones Sr. was selected by the assembly to represent the employers. Mr. R.C. Jones was named as representative of employees, and Sheriff McDowell was chosen as the third member and President of the Board. These three men are qualified in every respect to handle any labor or other problems that may arise, as they have the undivided confidence and respect of everyone. A resolution was also passed by the assembly endorsing the organization of a Loyalty League of Wilcox.

Plans are already being made to bring our boys back as rapidly as conditions will permit. Some of the veterans will realize their cherished hope to eat Christmas dinner with the home folks.

Mr. J.L. Bonner of Rosebud has broken all records on potato raising. In harvesting his recent crop, he unearthed some monsters, weighing from six to 10 pounds, but these were common and are not the subject of this story. The champion potato of this crop tipped the scales at 15 and one-half pounds. An idea of the size of this potato may be impressed when we consider that 56 pounds make a bushel. In other words, three and one-half potatoes like this will make a bushel. Mr. Bonner did not give us this information, but it reached us through a reliable source and is stated that this fact can be attested to by many prominent men of that section, who personally saw this phenomena of nature.

Read the full-page Christmas suggestions on page six of this issue of The Progressive Era. Tepper’s enjoys the reputation of being a house of square-dealing and honest values. Many Wilcox County people are regular customers of Tepper’s, and the number is constantly growing, for Tepper lets you know through The Progressive Era that he wants your business.

Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Goode of Gastonburg, Ala. announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Annie Grace, to Roy Marold, the wedding to take place Sun., Dec. 1, at 12 o’clock in the Presbyterian church. No invitations have been issued, and only a few friends and relatives are invited.

Hunter reports seeing strange light between Pine Apple and Oak Hill

"Pegues' Ghost" from "13 Alabama Ghosts & Jeffrey"

Deer season is now in full swing throughout Alabama, and lots of folks are visiting Wilcox County during this time of year to take advantage of the fine hunting opportunities that the county has to offer. One such hunter contacted me the other day to report something out of the ordinary that he saw while driving to his hunting camp late one night a week or so ago.

This gentleman, who asked not to be named, is in his sixties and is retired. He grew up in the Camden area, but moved away years ago to join the military. After getting out of the service, he took a job north of Birmingham and has lived in that part of the state ever since. He said he still loves to come home to Wilcox County, especially during deer season.

A little over a week ago, right before the cold snap we had last week, this man was driving alone, headed west on State Highway 10. It was around midnight, and he was just driving along, listening to the radio, when all of a sudden, somewhere between Pine Apple and Oak Hill, not far from Bear Creek, he saw an unusual light in the woods on the north side of the highway. He said that he first thought that it was a coon hunter’s headlamp or maybe someone with a flashlight.

The man in the truck said that he was the only person on the highway at that time of night, so he slowed down for a better look. That’s when he realized that it was no coon hunter or flashlight. The man went on to say that the strange light was “blueish-green,” “generally round-shaped” and seemed to float three or four feet off the ground.

The man said that he didn’t see anyone around the light and wondered if it might have been a swarm of fireflies or “swamp gas.” In all, he said that the unusual light was visible for probably less than two minutes, and that it eventually seemed to turn north before floating out of sight. A couple of days later, he contacted me wanting to know if anyone else had reported anything strange in that area.

I told him that his was the first such report that I had received, but I assured him that reports of strange lights were not uncommon. While I’ve never seen one myself, my own grandfather told stories of seeing a strange light moving through the woods when he was a boy, and I’ve even heard stories about ghostly balls of light in Dallas County and Monroe County. In fact, an entire chapter in Kathryn Tucker Windham’s iconic book, “13 Alabama Ghosts & Jeffrey,” describes the eerie ball of light at Old Cahawba that she calls “Pegues’ Ghost.”

I dug into the subject a little more deeply and learned that folklore is full of such reports of strange lights, and this phenomenon seems to happen all over the world. Sometimes called “corpse lights” or “will-o’-the-wisp,” people a long time ago believed they were caused by ghosts or spirits. However, some scientists believe these lights are caused by a mixture of gases given off by the decay of organic material, especially around swamps and marshes.

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone out there in the reading audience who has seen these types of unusual lights, especially between Pine Apple and Oak Hill. Were you alone? What were you doing when you saw the light? When did it happen? Where did it happen? The more details you can provide, the better, so please let me hear from you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Nov. 20, 1918 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.

There were 5,619 bales of cotton, counting round as half bales, ginned in Conecuh County from the crop of 1918, prior to Nov. 1, 1918, as compared with 3,618 bales ginned to Nov. 1, 1917.

The war came to a close just one year lacking seven days from the date of the landing in England of the Alabama boys of the Rainbow Division. They landed on Nov. 18, 1917. It now looks as if these boys will take their Christmas dinner at home.

Many friends of Prof. Copeland, who was a member of the Agricultural School faculty last year, will be pained to learn of his death, which occurred at Camp Pike several days ago from pneumonia.

Geo. W. Mason of Brownville, Texas is the guest of his brother, A.H. Mason. Mr. Mason was born and raised in this county, but for the past 23 years, he has been a citizen of the Lone Star State. He is enjoying looking over his old haunts and meeting associates of his boyhood. He will be with his brother for several days.

Judge Dunn and members of the board of County Commissioners today went over the route of the proposed extension of the State aid road from the Travis bridge to McKenzie. We are pleased to learn that work on this gap will be commenced at an early date. When completed it will connect with the Butler County highway, thus insuring a graded road to Montgomery.

Ms. Lucy C. Newton Passes Away: On Thursday night of last week, the sweet, gentle spirit of Mrs. Lucy C. Newton passed to the heavenly reward after many weeks of patient suffering. Mrs. Newton was the widow of the late Prof. Chas. A. Newton and was 73 years of age.
Surviving her are one daughter, Mrs. W.M. Carter of Laurel, Miss., and four sons, W.M., E.E., C.C. and Dr. G.G. Newton, all of Evergreen, to whom the sympathy of a host of friends goes out in the loss of their best friend.
The funeral occurred on Friday afternoon, conducted by Rev. D.W. Haskew. Interment was in the cemetery at Belleville.

Dr. R.A. Moody and Rev. D.W. Haskew will leave during the early part of the coming week to attend the annual session of Alabama Conference, which will convene on the 27th in Mobile. They have had a successful year in their respective fields of labor and will carry up a good report to the conference. Their many friends hope they will be returned to labor among us for another year.

L.S. Tisdale reached home last week from an extended visit to the family of his son, Dr. M.L. Tisdale, in Tampa, Fla. Uncle Same appears to “feel his keepin” since he became grandpa. The pleased smile is entirely excusable.

Miss Maud Miller of Florala now has charge of the Western Office, having succeeded Miss Grace Luttrell. Miss Luttrell left for Florala to spend some time with her parents after which she will visit her sister in Virginia.

W.E. Chapman of Sanford, Fla. spent a few days the past week with relatives here. He was accompanied home on Monday by his mother, Mrs. M.F. Chapman, who will spend the winter with him.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Nov. 19, 2018

Al Unser and the "Johnny Lightning Special"

NOV. 16, 1995

Congratulations! Hillcrest Jaguars - 1995 Area 4 Champions – On Your Playoff Win Over B.C. Rain, 14 to 13 – Good Luck Friday Night Against Hillcrest of Tuscaloosa at Brooks Memorial Stadium. Kickoff 7:30 p.m. We’re Behind You Jags!

NOV. 16, 1989

The Hillcrest High School Jaguars will open their season at 6:30 Friday night against Clarke County High School in Grove Hill. Their first home game will be Tuesday at 5 p.m. against W.S. Neal. Players are Laura Delaney, Tracey Dailey, LaRhonda Booker, Tracey Elliott, Nikki Likely, Katrina Bradley, Tammy Taylor, Sabrina Johnson, Kim January, Beronica Toliver, Coach Ronnie Williams, Rena White, Katina Cunningham, Shirley Bryant and Sandra Rogers.

Evergreen Tiny Mite Westside Team’s homecoming court and their escorts, honored in pre-game activities Oct. 14 were Raymond Taylor and fifth runner-up, Tamika Williams; Henry Scott and third runner-up, Lamika Rankin; Kevin Riley and first runner-up, Lawanda Hall; Miss Football Sherry Hines and Willie Likely; Miss Homecoming Crystal Boykin and Barry Grace; second runner-up Holly Hart and Lyle Bell; and fourth runner-up Casey Pugh and Carey Pugh.

Evergreen Pee Wee Westside Team’s homecoming court and their escorts honored in pre-game activities Oct. 14 were second runner-up Crystal Scott and Josh Scott; Miss Homecoming Shantell Scott and Donald Williams; Miss Football Aletha Perkins and Sedrick Williams; first runner-up Lakesha Womack and Reggie Boykin; and third runner-up Christina Grace and Ronald Riley.

NOV. 21, 1974

Bruce Hutcheson topped the Sparta runners with a net of 86 yards. Walker Scott had 70 and Sam Skipper, 68.

Coach Charles Branum and his Evergreen High School Aggies open their 1974-75 basketball season at Lyeffion High School gymnasium at 6:30 Friday night Nov. 22.
His starters for the 74-75 season will be 6-6 Ronald Fantroy and 6-5 Alfonzo Holder at forwards, 5-5 Chuck Jones at one guard and Percy Jones, 6-0, at the other guard. Center will be manned by 6-4 Gene Stallworth. The Aggies top two substitutes are Willie Ingram and Albert Stallworth. The second team consists of four tenth-graders, Walter Bullock, Johnny Jackson, Nelson Bradley and Marion Stanton and eleventh-grader Edwin Rankin.

Mr. and Mrs. Peyton Burford Jr., Chris and Danny of Camden, spent the weekend with Mr. and Mrs. Bill Seales. They all attended the Auburn-Georgia football game in Auburn Saturday.

NOV. 19, 1970

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Tate, Evergreen, are pictured here with Al Unser, 1970 Indianapolis 500 winner and United States Auto Club (USAC) points champion during a visit to the Firestone hospitality suite at the New York Hilton Hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Tate were in New York recently for the American Trucking Association (ATA) convention. He is an executive with Poole Truck Line.

Jaycees joyous over drag race: The Evergreen Jaycees are feeling great in spirit and in pocketbook thanks to the huge success enjoyed by their first drag races held Sunday afternoon at Middleton Field.
The crowd was so much larger than anticipated that the first race had to be postponed over 30 minutes to permit spectators to complete parking. Estimates ranged from 2,000 to 5,000 with this newspaper putting the mark at a conservative 2,300.
Top drivers from over the Southeast were on hand and provided the appreciative crowd with plenty of thrills and some high speeds. The crowd, at least most of it, stayed until dark to see the event completed in spite of the bitter cold Northeast wind.
A Jaycee spokesman said that a profit of nearly $2,000 would be realized, all to go toward civic projects. The first to be spent on the annual shopping tour for underprivileged children.

NOV. 21, 1929

Coach Robinson called the editor’s attention to the error immediately after the paper came out and requested that we make proper correction this week, which request we were glad to comply with. We regret that the error was made. We assure the Georgiana school that it was by no means intentional. The notes which were handed to this office were not distinct, and we honestly read the score from them just as it was published. We are glad to give prominent notice this week to the correction in order that no injustice be done our neighbor school.
The Georgiana student body enclosed an article which they state is their version of the game. This we are gladly publishing below.
“The Georgiana Panthers met the Evergreen Aggies on Gantt Field Fri., Nov. 8, 1929. During the first half, the spirit of the Panthers was somewhat crushed by successive offside penalties. During this time, the Aggies scored two touchdowns by passes and line plays.
“In the third quarter, the Aggies opened up their bag of freak plays. These plays netted them two more touchdowns.
“In the final period, the spirit of the Panthers had somewhat returned and opening up with a passing attack, scored two touchdowns. McGowin and Arant scoring one each.
“The game ended with a score of 28 to 12 in favor of the Aggies.”