Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tunnel Springs bike trail provides place for good, clean fun and exercise

Tunnel Springs bike trail lies along old railroad bed.

On Sunday, my young son and I loaded up our bikes and rode over to Tunnel Springs to check out that community’s relatively new bike trail.

For those of you unfamiliar with this bike trail, it’s a “Rails to Trails” asphalt bike trail that was constructed atop an old rail bed that runs north from Tunnel Springs, beneath State Highway 21, and almost all the way up to the abandoned train tunnel south of Beatrice. This trail is about 1.7 miles long and opened about a year ago to bikers, walkers and joggers.

The parking area at the trailhead is just off State Highway 21, near the intersection of Nettles Road. There you’ll find parking spaces for about a dozen vehicles, but on Sunday we had the place all to ourselves, except for a scattering of squirrels and songbirds. To boot, the weather was nice, sunny and cool – just right for a short bike ride.

Not far from the trailhead, the path takes you beneath the State Highway 21 bridge and north between the high railroad cuts that heavily-loaded trains passed through for more than a century. Large trees border almost the entire path, providing cool shade to those enjoying the trail.

However, if you get tired, you’ll find several benches along the way where you can stop and catch your breath. Sponsored by local businesses, these rest stops also include bike stands for a couple of bikes.

At the end of the trail, you’ll encounter a wooden fence, marking the boundary where private property begins, prompting trail users to turn around and head back to the trailhead. However, if you’re standing there at the fence, you can see the opening to the old abandoned train tunnel, which is about 100 yards away. If you go there yourself, remember that the tunnel is on private property and is off limits to those who don’t have permission to explore it.

The trail, which was paid for with grant funds, is generally flat and is an easy ride for those who are accustomed to riding a bike. I’d say the path is eight to 10 feet wide, easily wide enough to accommodate two side-by-side riders at once. Altogether, the trail is a little over three miles long, and if you don’t have a bike, it’ll make for a nice walk or jog.

If you’re interested in seeing this trail for yourself, be aware that it’s open seven days a week, but it’s not open at night. It opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset. Camping, fires, hunting, fishing and shooting guns or fireworks are prohibited.

In the end, I couldn’t help but wonder how such a trail would be received in Evergreen or Conecuh County. I know that we’ve got more than a few bike riders, walkers and joggers around, and I’m sure they would enjoy a nice, safe place to exercise. I don’t know of any abandoned, available railbeds in Conecuh County, but there may other options available.

Will slugger Connor Lien replace one of Atlanta's veterans in the outfield?

The Atlanta Braves played its first spring training game on Saturday and if you had Connor Lien in the office home run pool, then you need to collect your winnings.

Lien hit the first home run of the spring training season for the Braves as they fell, 4-3, to their division rivals, the New York Mets, in Port St. Lucie. When I first heard this news, my first thought was, “Who the heck is Connor Lien?”

As it turns out, Connor Lien is somewhat of a mystery man. So far as I can tell, he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, which prompted me to dig a little deeper.

According to, the “Official Site of Minor League Baseball,” Lien was born Connor McClain Lien on March 15, 1994 in Annapolis, Md. (This fact makes me feel particularly old since Lien was born about two months before I graduated high school.) Lien went on to play for Olympia High School in Orlando, which isn’t too far from Port St. Lucie.

Lien isn’t the only professional athlete to have come out of Olympia High over the years. Professional baseball players to have come out of the school include Brewers shortstop Brad Miller, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon and Reds outfielder Jesse Winker. This is pretty remarkable when you take into account that the school first opened in 2001.

Lien, age 24, is listed at 6-foot-3 and tips the scales at 225 pounds. He bats and throws right and was drafted by Atlanta in the 12th round of the 2012 June free agent draft. He began his professional career playing in the Rookie League for two seasons with the Gulf Coast League Braves and the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League.

From there, he moved up to Single A ball, playing two seasons at that level in 2014 and 2015, for the Rome Braves and the Carolina Mudcats. For the past three seasons (2016, 2017 and 2018), he played Double A ball for the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League. This is the same league that includes the Montgomery Biscuits, the Mobile BayBears and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

On Saturday, Lien, listed as a center fielder, pinch hit twice. He struck out once, but also hit the team’s only home run, their first of spring training. He hit the home run off of 23-year-old Stephen Villines.

I also found out that Lien wears jersey No. 5 and also has a Twitter account. You can follow him at @clien48. As of Monday afternoon, he had 840 followers, but if he keeps hitting home runs, he’ll probably pick up a lot more.

If Lien hopes to make the Braves roster at the end of spring training, he’ll have his work cut out for him. As an outfielder, he’ll be looking to take one of the spots held by such standouts as Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis and Adam Duvall. While not impossible, it’s a tough row to hoe for Lien.

In the end, it’s nice to see new blood in the Braves organization, rising to the occasion early in spring training. All of these young guys are doing all they can to make the Major League team, and it’s fun to watch them compete. Who knows, maybe one day soon, Lien will be a household name among Braves fans.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Feb. 28, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.65 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 14.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.55 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Camden woman passed away while serving as Alabama's 'First Lady'

Margaret Otis Miller of Camden, Ala.

This month – February 2019 – marks the 85th anniversary of one of the saddest events in Wilcox County history, the death of Alabama First Lady, Margaret Otis Miller.

Born on July 22, 1863 to Thomas and Nancy Duggan of Mobile, Margaret married future Alabama governor, Benjamin Meek Miller, in 1890. At the time of their marriage, Benjamin was a young lawyer who had graduated from law school only a year before and was building up his new law practice in Camden. Benjamin had also already entered the political arena as Wilcox County’s representative in the Alabama House of Representatives.

As the old saying goes, “behind every great man there is a great woman,” and Margaret no doubt supported her husband as he moved up the political ranks. He was elected as a circuit judge in 1904 and to the Supreme Court of Alabama in 1921. Benjamin, a Democrat, ran for Alabama governor in 1930 and defeated incumbent Bibb Graves.

Benjamin was inaugurated as Alabama’s 39th governor on Jan. 19, 1931 and as the governor’s wife, Margaret became Alabama’s First Lady on that same day. As Alabama’s First Lady, Margaret served as the state’s official hostess, but sadly, she would not live to see the end of her husband’s term in office. She passed away at the age of 70 “following a brief illness” on Feb. 16, 1934.

According to newspaper accounts at the time, funeral services, “impressive in their quiet simplicity,” were held for Margaret at the Executive Mansion in Montgomery on Feb. 18. The Executive Mansion where Margaret’s funeral was held is not to be confused with the current Alabama Governor’s Mansion, where Kay Ivey, another Wilcox County native, lives today. The old Executive Mansion was located at 702 South Perry St. and was demolished in 1963 when Interstate Highway 85 was built.

Margaret’s funeral was conducted by Dr. Donald C. MacGuire, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, and was attended by “state officials and attaches and many other friends from Montgomery and elsewhere.” After the funeral, Margaret’s body was “taken through the country” to Camden, where the last rites took place at the Miller family residence. Burial followed in the Camden Cemetery, with the Rev. R.C. Kennedy, pastor of the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church of Camden, officiating.

Margaret’s pallbearers at the Executive Mansion services included John C. Anderson, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court; Thomas E. Knight, an Alabama Supreme Court Justice; W.F. Feagin, Director of the State Board of Administration; John H. Peach, the governor’s personal legal advisor; D. Howell Turner, the governor’s private secretary; and W.F. Covington Jr., State Recording Secretary. Pallbearers in Camden included Judge John Miller, Hugh Dale, Pressley Dale, Joe Bonner, J.B. Holman and D. Howell Turner.

Benjamin’s term as governor ended on Jan. 14, 1935, and he was succeeded by former governor, Bibb Graves. One is left to wonder what impact Margaret’s death had on Benjamin’s political aspirations as he returned to his Camden law practice. He would pass away on Feb. 6, 1944 and was laid to rest in the Camden Cemetery alongside his faithful wife.

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading audience with more information about Margaret Otis Miller, especially regarding her activities as Alabama’s First Lady. No doubt she was an accomplished woman in her own right, and it would be interesting to know what sort of impact she had on her husband’s career. As the saying goes, “behind every great man there is a great woman,” and it would be a shame to let Margaret’s accomplishments fade into the forgotten pages of the past.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace amount.

Week to Date Rainfall: Trace amount.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.55 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 14.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.45 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Feb. 26, 1919 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.

The schools opened Monday morning and the children were eager to apply themselves in order to compete their grades.

Two Airplanes Passed Evergreen Monday: Two airplanes passed over Evergreen on Monday morning from Taylor Field, Montgomery, en route to Brewton, and after they had gone some distance they were seen to return and went too the ground, one of them in the Oliver plantation and the other in a field between there and Belleville. Motor trouble of one of the machines was given as the reason for coming down. The one farthest away was put in commission and went on its journey during the afternoon. The other remained overnight and yesterday morning proceeded to Brewton. All during Monday there was a stream of children and grownups going to and from the place to see the aircraft. When they passed over the machines were not flying high and a good view could be had of them.

R. Leon Riley has recently been appointed game warden of this county.

The ban having been lifted last Sunday and the weatherman giving us a fine day, the people of Evergreen enjoyed going to church.

Dr. C.C. Daniel, President of the Birmingham Southern College, spent Thursday night with Dr. Moore. Dr. Daniel is pleasantly remembered in Evergreen, he having preached the commencement sermon for the Agricultural School in 1916.

The Kindig community has been specially favored during flu epidemic. Not a case has been among them. During all the winter months their school has been in session and during all this time they have had 90 percent attendance in their Sunday School every Sunday. A record without an equal in this county.

Sheriff Kendall went cat hunting last Friday and a few miles above Owassa he succeeded in capturing two, bringing the operators to jail.

Young men of Evergreen, listen! Why can’t we have a good, live, up-to-date ball team in Evergreen this season? The boys are coming back from the army, and the war is over, and it is time for use to have some innocent amusements. The flu and a hundred other things have made us mope, and we want to see some real enthusiasm. Let’s play ball.

Luman Sinquefield Dead: Luman Sinquefield is dead.
This brief announcement will carry sadness to the hearts of the hundreds of people who knew and admired the man. Nearly four weeks ago, he was taken ill with influenza and soon thereafter serious complications developed, against which he battled heroically for many days, finally succumbing this morning about 8:30.
Luman was known personally to more people than any other businessman in the community. For many years, he had been a popular salesman in one of our leading mercantile houses, and here and elsewhere he was always the same, having a cordial greeting and friendly word for all with whom he came in contact, whether friend or stranger.
He will be missed. Deceased was about 43 years of age and is survived by his devoted wife and little son, besides his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Sinquefield. To each of them, the sympathy of many friends goes out in their irreparable affliction. The funeral will occur tomorrow.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Feb. 26, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.55 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 14.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.45 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Feb. 25, 2019

Bounty was in place for Conecuh County foxes in 1954.

FEB. 26, 2004

Steven Crosby and Luke Anthony caught this 33-pound catfish on Wed., Feb. 18, while fishing in the Alabama River.

FEB. 22, 1979

Hall is named All-Tournament; Sparta ends 8-12: John Glen Hall was named to the All-Tournament Team as the only representative of the Sparta Academy Warriors at the conclusion of the Alabama Private Schools Association District III Basketball Tournament held in Monroeville last week.
Sparta lost in the opening round to South Butler Academy by a 51-44 score on Wednesday evening of last week, according to Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr., who added that Coach Rob Kelly’s Warriors completed 1978-79 play with a record of eight wins and 13 losses.
Hall had 14 points to lead Sparta in the tournament game and also turned in a good floor game and got his share of rebounds. Tony Raines had 13 points; Terry Peacock, 12; Tony Baggett, three; and Bobby Padgett, two.

Lyeffion hosts Area II meet Feb. 26-March 2: Lyeffion High School will be the host of this year’s Class A, Region I, Area II basketball tournament. Eight area schools, including the three county Class A teams, will be competing for the area championship. The Area II winner will play the Area I winner for a berth in the state tournament.
Tournament action will begin Mon., Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. with Uriah playing Frisco City. A second game will feature last year’s state tournament runner-up, W.J. Jones, playing Repton at 7:30.
Tuesday night, action begins with Southern Normal playing Conecuh County High at 6 p.m., then host Lyeffion will play Excel at 7:30.
Thurs., March 1, at 6 p.m. the Jones-Repton winner will play the Southern Normal-Castleberry winner at 6 p.m. and the Frisco City-Uriah winner will play Lyeffion-Excel winner at 7:30.
The final two teams will meet Fri., March 2, at 7:30 for the Area II championship game. The region game is set at Chatom Middle School, March 3, at 7:30.
Admission for the tournament will be $2, school age and up. There will be no passes out.

Sparta’s Girls finish second District meet: Sparta Academy’s girls basketball team held Evergreen’s banner high as they advanced to the finals of the Alabama Private Schools Association District III Basketball Tournament in Monroeville last week, and earned a berth in the APSA State Tournament.
The Girl Warriors whipped the host Monroe Academy Girls Vols, 34-21, in the opening round of the District meet on Thursday evening. Sparta’s girls edged Escambia Academy, 25-23, in the semi-finals Friday night as (Melissa) Thacker hit for eight points and Mary Claire Robinson six, followed closely by (Angie) Driver with five.
Sparta lost to Wilcox Academy in the championship game Saturday night by 55 to 26.
The Girl Warriors wound up their play for 1978-79 by losing Monday night in the state finals in Selma to powerful Lakeside Academy, 55-33.

FEB. 25, 1954

The (Evergreen High School) Aggies were defeated by the Andalusia Bulldogs Friday night in Andalusia when the locals went down gallantly to a 59-52 score. Randy White led our scorers with 16 points, followed closely by Jimmy Frazier with 14. John Ford, high man for Andalusia, racked up 19 points for the victors.
Our hardwood bearers of the green and white journey to Greenville Friday night to encounter the Tigers of that city. The Kittens edged out our quints in their last meeting by a mere four points, and the Aggies are set for them at this encounter.
Evergreen’s hardwood five close out their season Monday night in Memorial Gym when they play host to the Bulldogs of Andalusia. It’s the Aggies final game, and they are looking for all their supporters to be on hand. We’ll see you at the Gym.
(Other players on Evergreen’s team that season included Ward Alexander, Wayne Douglas, Charlie King and Hosea King.)

Saturday Is Last Day For Bounties On Foxes: In a statement to The Courant Tuesday, J.H. Tranum, Chairman of the Conecuh County Board of Directors, said that this was the last week that bounties would be paid on foxes trapped in the county. Reports from various parts of the county together with information given to the Board by the County Health Department indicates that the rabies epidemic has subsided.
Mr. Tranum stated that through last Saturday bounties had been paid on about 30 foxes.

FEB. 28, 1929

Aggies Leave Thursday For Foley Tournament: The Evergreen Aggies left Thursday for Foley to enter the district boys tournament for South Alabama where they will attempt to emulate the girls and win the right to participate in the state tourney.
Players picked to make the trip were: Clint Hyde, Billy Kamplain, Wilbur Kelley, Elmer Kelley, Herbert Sanders, Andrew Jay McCreary, Mabry Murphy and J.C. Miller. They will be accompanied by Coach Robinson and Prof. Fisher and will travel in automobiles, one of which was donated for the trip by R.G. Carter.
Results of the tournament games in which the Aggies participate will be wired to Evergreen and posted in some prominent place downtown. Drawing will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday and the tournament will begin shortly thereafter and be concluded with the final game Saturday night.
Approximately $75 was donated by Evergreen citizens to defray the expenses of the team on the trip and before leaving, Coach Robinson expressed, in behalf of the team, appreciation for those who contributed to the fund.
The Aggies continued to amass victories during the past week, adding four to their string and making it 29 wins to one loss before leaving for Foley. The scores were: Aggies 19, Fort Deposit 7; Aggies 36, Georgiana 17; Aggies 32, Pine Apple 8; Aggies 27, Bay Minette 11.

FEB. 24, 1904

ZERU: E.J. McCreary and Jno. Henderson killed a nice lot of birds while down here. They did not speak of shooting any candidates.
We have been listening to a mysterious songster the past few evenings during twilight. We cannot tell from its voice whether it is a frog or a bird. It croaks and sings with many different tinkling thrills and seems to waver above, around, under, near and far away, again settling back to the starting point on the ground. All attempts to get a glimpse of it have been futile.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Feb. 25, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.55 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 14.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.45 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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

Katie Couric

FEB. 28, 2002

A crew with NBC’s “Today Show” will visit Monroeville today (Thursday) to film footage for a segment to air on national television later next month.
According to Museums Director Kathy McCoy, “Today Show” host Katie Couric, a native of Eufaula, and an assistant producer, Mary Elizabeth Webb, a native of Demopolis, are “big” fans of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
The crew of cameramen and a producer will spend the day in Monroeville today but will not shoot a live show, McCoy said.

Excel School, under the leadership of new head coach Robby Carpenter, opened the 2002 baseball season Saturday in Red Level with 11-1 and 16-6 wins over Red Level High School.
Carpenter, a native of Millry and graduate of South Choctaw Academy at Silas, joined the Panthers’ coaching staff in the fall.
(Players on Excel’s team that season included Josh Black, Jeremy Burch, Brandon Crutchfield, Kyle Holder, Josh House, Neal Jordan, Hunter Parden, Chase Reeves, Matt Smith, Ryan Smith, Michael Whatley, Blake White, Chris Wiggins, Derek Wiggins and Josh Wiggins. Al Bowen was assistant coach.)

The new members of the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors are Stuart Richeson, Stuart Rich, Bill Lamar, Jane Martin, Jeff Kircharr, Ray Owens, Kenneth Fairly, Lou Cummins and Tim Tirey. Other members of the board are president Kathy Johnson, treasurer Randy Nichols, Mike Colquett, Pattie Crawford, Butch Feaster, Kenny Johnson, John Estes Jr., Tom Lomenick, Jan Feaster, Patrick Harrigan and Robert Sims.

FEB. 22, 1979

Key case: Randall Watson of Monroeville holds a magnetic key case that is said to resemble one used to frame California sportswriter Bob Padecky on a drug charge at Gulf Shores. Watson says the case he holds here is the same one he asked a waitress to buy the same day the Padecky incident occurred. Watson, who was with Padecky and professional football player Kenny Stabler shortly before Padecky was arrested, has been prominent in recent state and national news about the incident. Watson said he needed the case because he had locked his keys in his car twice the night before and several other times. Watson said investigators had contacted him last week on their first trip, and had said they had known exactly where he was. A spokesman for Attorney General Charles Graddick said last week that Watson was not under investigation in the incident, but was wanted only for questioning.

Holladay said he would assume new duties as headmaster and coach at Fort Deposit Academy. Holladay has been Excel’s head coach since 1966, except for a one-year absence. He took the Panthers to 87 wins, 22 losses and four ties. Forty-three of the wins were in consecutive regular-season games.

J. Lindsey Finklea of Beatrice retired last month from the Board of Directors of Peoples Exchange Bank after serving on it for 44 years. Finklea was elected a director of the bank Jan. 10, 1935 and was named vice president the following May. He will now serve as chairman of the board emeritus.

FEB. 25, 1954

FOLSOM SPEAKS TONIGHT AT BEATRICE HIGH SCHOOL: James E. “Big Jim” Folsom, Alabama gubernatorial candidate in the Democratic May primary, will speak at Beatrice High School tonight (Thursday) at 7:30.

Tigers Chalk Win Over UMS, 64-46: The Monroeville Tigers were victorious for the sixteenth time of the current cage season Friday night as they downed the UMS Cadets, 64-46, in the local coliseum.
Guard Pat Cobb, an outstanding playmaker all season, hit the nets for 19 points to lead the Tigers, while center Bobby White followed closely with 14 markers.

Local Knights Templar Unit To Name, Install Officers On Friday: Officers for the Monroeville Commandery No. 47 of the Knights Templar will be elected and installed at the annual meeting of the organization, M.L. Bergman of Monroeville, Emminent Commander, declared recently.
The meeting is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the local Masonic Lodge.
The local Commandery covers a widespread area in South Alabama. Members are included from Monroe, Clarke, Conecuh, Butler, Baldwin and Wilcox Counties.

Four Monroe County veterans are shown above as they were recently sworn in as members of Monroeville’s Battery D, 408th National Guard Antiaircraft Battery by Lt. Windell Owens, commanding officer of the local unit. Members of the group, all receiving the rank of sergeant, are Winston Sanders of Frisco City, Claude McKinley, Alvin Lee and Marvin Andrews, all of Monroeville.

FEB. 28, 1929

New Post Office Building: Dirt was broken Monday for the erection of a new brick post office building situated on the site of the building formerly occupied by the Monroeville Pharmacy which was destroyed by fire two years ago.
The building will be erected for Mrs. L.S. Yarbrough under a long time lease to the Post Office Department, and will be equipped with modern fixtures. Mr. E.H. Hayles, local contractor, is supervising construction.

DEATH OF MR. E. TALBERT: Mr. Erastus Talbert died quite suddenly on Friday afternoon, Feb. 22, aged 65 years.
Mr. Talbert was engaged in the installation of a pumping outfit at the Williamson Amusement Park when he suffered an attack of heart failure and died before a physician could reach him.
He had lived in Monroeville for some 25 years, engaged in his occupation as a mechanic and plumber.

Mr. J.W. Hybart, prominent merchant and planter of Hybart, was at the county capital Monday.

Prof. W.S. Porter of Excel dropped in Saturday to renew his subscription.

It is time all spring gardens were well started, if yours is not you should be starting it now.
Mr. Julian Brown, our State Garden Specialist, will be with us Fri., March 1, to help us with our garden work.
We have planned for the meeting to be at Frisco City in the Masonic building at 2 p.m. March 1.

FEB. 25, 1904

Preliminary Hearing: Arthur Faulk, a young man, was arrested by Sheriff Fountain a few days ago on the charge of murdering Ernest Ryland, near town about two weeks ago, and the preliminary hearing is in progress as we go to press. The evidence, we understand, is circumstantial.

The new courthouse has been completed, the finishing touches having been put on this morning. The building will be formally delivered to the County Commissioners tomorrow.

Work on the remodeling and enlargement of Mr. J.W. Fore’s store was begun Wednesday and will be pushed rapidly to completion.

CLOSE OF JONES MILL SCHOOL: The winter term of the Jones Mill District School closed Friday, Feb. 19, 1904, with the record of being one of the most successful terms of the school’s history – due to the able principal, Prof. J.A. Barnes, and his able and accomplished assistant, Miss Correy King, also the better equipped school rooms which have added very much to our comfort during the cold winter days, and we are very sorry indeed that our school has closed, and especially to know that we will be so far from our able instructors, will miss their kind and wise instructions, so we are left wondering if during the next term of our school we will be fortunate enough to have the same able and talented instructors.

Dr. D.D. Cole and Mr. S.E. Northrop of Mount Pleasant were here Monday and favored us with a call.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Feb. 24, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.40 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.15 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.55 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 14.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.45 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Singleton recounts the days of old-fashioned fox-hunting in Alabama

The red fox is usually the main quarry in Alabama fox hunts.
(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 “Recalling the fox hunt” was originally published in the Nov. 20, 2003 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

There was a time, not too long ago, that this time of year was the beginning of the fox hunters season.

The full moon and cool winds that give a slight chill to the early autumn evenings would give warning to the sly old fox that the hunters’ moon now hung in the heavens.

But the time of the old fox hunters, as some of us once knew them, has slowly slipped from the scene. The nights of the chases across open pastures and across the freshly harvested fields and the fireside gatherings had almost disappeared.

No more do the night winds of autumn carry the laughter of the fox hunters as they gather together for a hunt and the many stories of the great fox hounds that used to be. Such names like Danny Boy, Old Bottom, Dixie Darling and many more. This was truly a breed of special people; people who are fast vanishing from the scene and from a special place within the countryside.

No more does the smell of wonderful hot coffee, brewed over an open fire, ride the night winds of our autumn. And having a glorious full moon overhead while feeling the warmth of an open campfire has almost been forgotten.

What is the reason for the end of such a wonderful era? Why has the beauty of the chase and the music of the faithful foxhounds, as they trail the crafty old fox across the meadows, lost their calling? Is it the lack of love for the outdoors? Has the boob tube captured all our interests? Have we become so weak and lazy until we no longer have the strength to go forth on a chilly autumn evening and be a part of the Creation?

Whatever the reason, a time in our history has almost disappeared from among us that will never be recaptured again. The beauty and the romance of the fox hunters’ moon will soon be no more. The campfire tales have disappeared from the scenes, never to return. Those few of us who remember has lost a beautiful portion of our lives.

What will we tell our children? Will they pass through life without the pleasures of hearing the music of a pack of fox hounds as they give chase to wise old gray fox?

How will they know the feeling and satisfaction of hearing the tall tales of the fox hunters as they sat around the glowing fires? And, as they sat there, listening to sounds of the chasing hounds, deep in their hearts, each hoped that the hounds never caught up with the sly old fox.

Are we depriving the of knowing the love of an open campfire under a full harvest moon? Truly, we should never let this happen. If our trend of life continues on its present course, these wonderful times of our past will just about disappear into the darkness of oblivion.

As Southerners, we are now at the time in history when we desperately need some of the old forms of entertainment and some of the past times of yesterday. I believe that we must have a knowledge of these if we are to identify ourselves with our past.

Laugh if you must, but the time has come when we have separated ourselves almost completely from our upbringing. We have become so absorbed in our lives of fantasy, in a world of make believe, we have forgotten what has made us great.

I know that many of you smile and many wonder just how, perhaps foolish to some, this form of entertainment could be of value in today’s way of life. But, today our world is a finer place to live because of the ways of the generations before us. I do not wish to sound like the voice of doom, but I think the time is at hand when we need to share all the knowledge and no-how we can extract from our past, so our youth of today may live a sane and more useful life into tomorrow.

This does not mean that one has to be a dyed-in-the-wool fox hunter to survive the coming years. But, the peace and contentment of such a pastime will be a great plus in the minds of our youth when facing the coming tomorrows.

It seems that we try very hard to separate ourselves from our history of the past. But, we should do whatever we can to pass our experiences, both good and bad, to our youth of today. I have a saying that a person, a family, a community or a nation does not know where they are going, unless they know where they have been. This, I believe with all my heart.

Many of the problems of the day were talked about and discussed around those evening campfires, and things looked much better with the coming of the new day. I know that honor, respect and decency were common words of the old fox hunters. These men put great faith in the words of others. Their word was law, that’s all they had. This practice could be of great use in today’s society.

Today, as we push deeper and deeper into the age of the computer, we are less inclined to give much honor and respect to the word of our neighbor. We turn to the machine for much of our thinking and advice. We cannot see the rising of a glorious full moon on our computers or televisions; we cannot sit in our dens and living rooms and feel the wonders of our surroundings and know that somewhere up there a loving and caring God is watching.

We must be a part of our creation; we must smell the campfires and taste the crisp evening air. And, as we feel the chill of the evening and listen to the lullaby of the autumn winds across the hills, we will know that our God is forever present, and all is well within our souls. And, as the fox hounds race in the distance, you will know that peace of mind is at hand.

(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.)

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Feb. 23, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.50 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.75 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.15 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 13.65 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 10.05 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Feb. 22, 2019

USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2), amphibious assault ship.
FEB. 26, 2004

Weather observer Harry Ellis reported .02 inches of rain on Feb. 16. He reported a high of 71 degrees on Feb. 20 and a low of 30 degrees on Feb. 17, Feb. 18 and Feb. 19.

The Conecuh County Chapter of the Alabama Treasure Forest Association planted a tree in front of Evergreen Elementary School on Tues., Feb. 24, in celebration of Arbor Day. Evergreen Mayor Lomax Cassady, as well as members of Mrs. Kit Moss’ second grade class, were on hand for the tree planting ceremony. Don Stinson and Victor Howell represented the Conecuh chapter of the ATFA. Also on Tuesday the ATFA gave away approximately 5,000 nursery grown tree seedlings in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. The promotion of tree planting is one of the many projects sponsored by the Conecuh Chapter of the ATFA.

Frankie Gibson, daughter of Robert and Lisa Gibson, won the AISA State Spelling Bee at Huntingdon College in Montgomery on Tues., Feb. 10, 2004. She is in the seventh grade at Sparta Academy and a student of Mrs. Kathy Jernigan, who coordinated the Sparta Spelling Bee as well as the District Spelling Bee. Frankie competed in the seventh-grade local, district and finally state spelling bee.

Dr. James Lamar Jackson, a minister who worked with the Alabama Baptist State Convention, passed away Sun., Feb. 22, 2004 at his home in Evergreen. He was 86.

FEB. 22, 1979

Weather observer Earl Windham reported .08 inches of rain on Feb. 17 and .21 inches on Feb. 18. He reported a high of 77 degrees on Feb. 16 and a low of 28 on Feb. 12.

Marine Cpl. James D. Morrow, son of Lois H. Browder of Rt. 2, Box 260, McKenzie, Ala., recently departed for deployment in the Mediterranean Sea.
He is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, Eighth Marines, based at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
His unit is embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, operating as a unit of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Palmer Smith is now serving as hospital pharmacist and purchasing agent for Evergreen Hospital, Inc. Smith graduated from Evergreen High School in 1958 where he was a popular student and athlete. A registered pharmacist, he graduated from Samford University, Birmingham, in 1963. He worked at the Conecuh Drug Co. here and then owned pharmacies in Montgomery for several years. Prior to accepting his recent position, he worked as a pharmacist with a Monroeville drug store. Smith and his wife, Jane, and their son, Eben, 10, live in the Fairview community and are members of the Evergreen Baptist Church. He is the son of Mrs. V.P. Smith and the late Mr. Smith of Route E, Evergreen.

Cynthia Rudolph won first place in the Birmingham Post-Herald Spelling Bee at Marshall Middle School and will compete in the County Spelling Bee in March.

FEB. 25, 1954

Unusual Exhibit Scheduled Here Next Monday and Tuesday: Marie O’Day’s Palace Car is coming Monday and Tuesday, March 1-2, to Evergreen.
On exhibit in the car will be some unusual attractions, including the mummified body of Marie O’Day.
The night club dancer and entertainer, according to the sponsors of the exhibit, was fatally stabbed by her husband and thrown into the Great Salt Lake inn Utah, where the body remained for 12 years.
After the body was recovered, the exhibitors say it was discovered that the hair was still growing in an apparently normal manner. The dancer’s husband is said to be still serving a life sentence in Utah for her murder.

O.E.S. Will Observe Master Mason Night: The local chapter of the Order of Eastern Star will observe Master Mason night Monday night, March 1, beginning at 7:30 at the Masonic Hall. All Master Masons and their wives are invited to attend and members of the O.E.S. may bring their husbands whether they are Masons or not.
A full night of entertainment has been provided including an old time fried chicken supper. All Masons and Eastern Stars are urged to participate.

Frank Chavers, a senior of Lyeffion High School, was recently selected Future Farmer of the Year. He cultivated 25 acres of land last year, entered an 800-pound Hereford Calf in the 1953 Fat Calf Show and he had a Gilt in the FFA Pig Chain.

FEB. 28, 1929

Confederate Veteran Dies At Age of 89: John J. Booker, well known and highly respected citizen of this county, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Joe Andrews, near Belleville, Feb. 16. Deceased was a native of Conecuh County, having been reared in what is known as the Lone Star community near Skinnerton. He was a veteran of the War Between the States and at the time of his death was 89 years old. Interment was made in Lone Star cemetery Sun., Feb. 17.

Four Guardsmen Prepare For Trip To Washington: Four picked men from Troop C, 55th Machine Gun Squadron, Alabama National Guard, were making final preparations this week for their trip to Washington, D.C. to take part in the inaugural ceremonies for President-Elect Herbert Hoover.
The four who will make the trip are Frank Brantley, D.C. Brooks, Willie I. Cook and W. McLean Dreaden. They will leave Evergreen Saturday and return about Wednesday.

Confederate Soldiers Will Get Gravestones: Washington, Feb. 23 – The Confederate dead of the Civil War, after sleeping for six decades as rebels, were given official recognition today as American soldiers when the senate passed a house bill conferring governmental honors upon them.
The bill authorized the secretary of war to erect headstones over the “graves of soldiers who served in the Confederate army and who have been buried in national, city, town or village cemeteries or in any other places,” the war department also was instructed to preserve in its record “the name, rank, company, regiment and date of death of the soldiers and his state.” The bill now goes to the White House for the president’s signature.

FEB. 24, 1904

Belleville: The new Methodist minister, Mr. Breedlove, at his regular appointment, delivered an earnest and impressive sermon. Although the weather was threatening, there was a good crowd out.

J.A. Amerson of Gregville was here Monday circulating among the people in the interest of his candidacy for commissioner. Mr. Amerson tips the beam at 307 pounds and if he is elected will no doubt be one of the biggest commissioners in the state.

The recent improvements of the streets and sidewalks are appreciated by everybody. One can now cross the streets in rainy weather without wading through mud and water.

SUDDEN DEATH: Prominent Citizen Drops Dead While at Work: A.T. Thomas, a well known citizen of this county, dropped dead while at work in the saw mill of John Murphy near Herbert on Thursday last. Mr. Thomas, up to the time of his death, was apparently in good health, and was at his post in the saw mill performing his duties when suddenly he was seen to fall and expire in a short while. Apoplexy was supposed to have been the cause. He was a good citizen and was respected and esteemed by his neighbors and all who knew him.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Feb. 22, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace amount.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.25 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.65 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 13.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 9.55 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Beck's book on Streight's Raid is a must-read for Alabama history buffs

If you’re looking for a good book to read, especially if you’re a history buff, I highly recommend that you check out “Streight’s Foiled Raid on the Western & Atlantic Railroad: Emma Sansom’s Courage & Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Pursuit” by Dr. Brandon H. Beck.

Published in 2016 by The History Press, this 111-page book details one of the most dramatic incidents to have occurred in Alabama during the Civil War, the ill-fated and embarrassing “Streight’s Raid” in North Alabama. For those of you unfamiliar with this incident, in the spring of 1863 Union Col. Abel D. Streight set out to destroy portions of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a vital supply and troop transport route in northern Georgia. Your first clue that this was going to be a disaster for the Union side was that Streight decided to set out on ill-mannered mules instead of horses.

Once the Confederates figured out what Streight was up to, they sicked Nathan Bedford Forrest on Streight’s forces, and Forrest proceeded to harass and chase Streight’s men all over North Alabama. The Yankees, who were as terrified of Forrest as they were of the boogeyman, were severely outmatched by a force of much smaller size that happened to be more ably led. The end result was Streight’s surrender to Forrest at Cedar Bluff after Forrest tricked Streight into thinking that he was grossly outnumbered.

Beck, who is the Director Emeritus of the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University in Virginia, does an outstanding job of describing the role that Gadsden teenager Emma Sansom played in Streight’s Raid. Sansom, who was just 15 years old, famously guided Forrest and his men to a shallow water crossing of Black Creek in Gadsden. Sansom earned Forrest’s personal thanks for her assistance and secured herself a place in Civil War lore for years and years to follow.

Beck’s book is also full of easy-to-understand maps and unique photographs that help illustrate the finer points of the subject matter. The book also makes mention of a number of sites and museums that will no doubt interest Civil War tourists in the reading audience. I was unfamiliar with several of the sites mentioned in the book, and I plan to pay them a visit the next time I’m in that part of the state.

Serious Civil War readers in the audience will also want to check out the nearly 10 pages of references in the back of the book. Beck has essentially laid out a roadmap for further reading in his detailed list of sources, which includes a comprehensive list of other books, articles and other sources.

I’ve read quite a bit about Streight’s Raid over the years, and I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better book about the incident than Beck’s 2016 book. Not only will it interest Civil War enthusiasts, but I’d say it’s also a “must-read” for Alabama history buffs. If you read this book and enjoy it, you might also want to check out some of Beck’s other books, including “The Battle of Okolona: Defending the Mississippi Prairie” and “Holly Springs: Earl Van Dorn, the CSS Arkansas and the Raid That Saved Vicksburg.”

Faith Academy's Josh Donaldson reports early on Sunday for Braves spring training

Pitchers and catchers for the Atlanta Braves reported for spring training on Friday and position players were scheduled to report for duty yesterday (Wednesday) with the first full-squad workouts set for today (Thursday) in Kissimmee, Fla.

Once the entire team arrives, they’ll waste little time getting right into their slate of spring training games. Over the course of the coming week, they’ll play the Mets twice, the Astros, the Nationals, the Cardinals and the Tigers before getting into the meat of their March schedule.

Perhaps the biggest news of the spring so far has been the arrival of new third baseman Josh Donaldson, who arrived early on Sunday after signing with the Braves as a free agent in the off-season. Last season, the 33-year-old Donaldson started out with the Toronto Blues before being traded to the Cleveland Indians in August. In November, Donaldson signed a one-year contract with the Braves for $23 million.

Many in the reading audience will know that Donaldson was born in Pensacola, but graduated from high school at Faith Academy in Mobile. Donaldson was a record-setting football and baseball player at Faith, where he helped lead the school to a state baseball title during his senior season. Donaldson went to Auburn University as a catcher, but transitioned to third base.

Donaldson was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and bounced around the minors for several years before making his Major League debut with the Oakland A’s in 2010. He went on to play for Toronto before ending up with the Indians and the Braves.

Personally, I’m hoping that Donaldson will make a good showing with the Braves. He’s had some injury issues, but being from the Pensacola-Mobile area, I think it’s safe to consider him a “local” boy. It’s always nice to have a really good reason to pull for the Braves, and having a person from our neck of the woods fits the bill in my book.

Speaking of baseball, Alabama opened their 2019 baseball season by winning two of three games in a series against Presbyterian College on Friday and Saturday in Tuscaloosa. My newspaper colleague Butch Adams and I were discussing this on Monday, and Butch asked me a question that I could not answer: Just where is Presbyterian College?

I immediately googleated it and learned that Presbyterian College is a private college located in Clinton, S.C. Presbyterian has one of the most interesting nicknames in college athletics. They call themselves the “Blue Hose.” This name comes from the socks worn by the school’s football team over a century ago. Presbyterian’s mascot is a guy dressed up like a Scottish highlander.

I also saw this week where Alabama dedicated its Hall of Fame at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in honor of Babe Ruth McAbee on Friday before Alabama’s season-opener. I was interested to learn that McAbee was a native of Northport and was named after her grandmother Rosanne “Ruth” Franklin and two famous “Babes” from the world of sports – baseball player Babe Ruth and Olympic medalist Babe Didrickson. McAbee, a co-founder of McAbee Construction in Tuscaloosa and a major supporter of Alabama athletics, passed away in 2014.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Feb. 21, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.25 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.25 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.65 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 13.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 9.55 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Little remains from the heyday of Wilcox County's once-thriving Rehoboth community

Old Rehoboth Cemetery in Wilcox County, Ala.
The Rehoboth community in northwestern Wilcox County was once a thriving village that prospered during the latter half of the 19th century, but little remains today from the heyday of this community just north of the Alabama River.

According to historical maps, “downtown” Rehoboth was located near Chilatchee Creek, at what is now the intersection of County Road 29 and County Road 4. If you go there today, the most remarkable thing you will see is the ABC Elementary School campus, which is just a stone’s throw away from this remote crossroads. Little else remains to show visitors that this was once one of the most prominent communities in Wilcox County.

Perhaps the best source of information about the Rehoboth community is W. Stuart Harris’s 1977 book “Dead Towns of Alabama.” According to Harris, Rehoboth “once contained stores, a hotel, the Rehoboth Male Academy (a private boarding school), and a number of homes. The cemetery of the church (for which the village was named) contains many graves; the oldest burial dates from the 1840s. The private cemetery of the Young family, surrounded by an iron fence, stands at the side of the village.”

Harris noted that in 1977, the antebellum home of the late John Laird, educator, was still occupied by his sisters, and that two other large antebellum houses were still standing. All of the other buildings of the village, including the old Rehoboth church, had already disappeared by the time of his book’s publication. He also mentioned that Rehoboth did not appear on any state maps until the early 1860s.

With all of this in mind, I jumped in my truck on Friday afternoon and rode up to Rehoboth. As I crossed the J. Lee Long Bridge at Millers Ferry, dark clouds began to gather from the northwest, and when I reached County Road 29 at Alberta, it was misting rain. By the time I reached the old Rehoboth crossroads, I had to use my windshield wipers just to see the road.

At the crossroads, I pulled over and spent several minutes taking in my surroundings. As the rain began to slacken, I noted that there was not much to see there aside from the modern school building. I tried to imagine what this spot must have looked like over a century ago when it was the center of a hustling, bustling community.

From there, I turned down County Road 4, a dirt road that runs from County Road 29 to State Highway 5. A few miles from the crossroads, on the right-hand side of the road, I came upon the remnants of the old Rehoboth cemetery. While a few of the more modern graves there are visible from the road, I discovered that almost all of the older graves are nearly hidden in the surrounding woods.

After a few minutes of paying my respects to the pioneer families buried there, I got back in the truck and continued down County Road 4 towards Highway 5. A few miles later, I came upon perhaps the most remarkable landmark in all of Wilcox County, that is, Jake Peavy’s private baseball field, which features a replica of Fenway Park’s famous “Green Monster.” From the road, I snapped a few pictures of the baseball field before continuing on my way.

On the ride home, I pondered all of the things that I had not seen during my trip to Rehoboth. Where were the antebellum homes mentioned by Harris in his 1977 book? Where was the Young family cemetery? I was pretty sure that none of these were visible from the road, but was it possible that I’d driven right by them without noticing?

In the end, I was certain of one thing: It would be a mistake to label modern-day Rehoboth as a “ghost town.” During my visit on Friday, I saw a number of residents working in their yards, kids shooting basketball and jumping on trampolines, and more than a few cars headed here and there on a surprisingly busy County Road 29. No doubt these people are proud of their community, and I’m sure that you can still say that Rehoboth continues to thrive as the home for many of Wilcox County’s finest residents.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Feb. 20, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace amount.

Week to Date Rainfall: Trace amount.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.40 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 12.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 9.30 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Today in History for Feb. 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 1807 – Former U.S. vice-president Aaron Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory at McIntosh Bluff, Washington County, in present-day Alabama and was escorted back to Fort Stoddert by Lt. Edward Gaines. Burr was accused of treason for attempting to form a new, independent republic in the southwest, plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico. After spending several weeks in custody in Alabama, Burr was returned to Richmond, Va. for trial. Burr was acquitted of the charges, but quickly left the country to avoid other charges relating to the murder of Alexander Hamilton during an 1804 duel.

Feb. 19, 1828 – Elisha Moseley became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Feb. 19, 1864 - The Knights of Pythias were founded in Washington, D.C. A dozen members formed what became Lodge No. 1.

Feb. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, a federal operation was conducted at Brown’s Ferry, Ala.

Feb. 19, 1865 – During the Civil War, the first day of a five-day Federal operation between Eastport, Miss. and Russellville, Ala. began.

Feb. 19, 1867 – Joseph Ganes Sanders, the “Turncoat of Dale County,” was killed outside Decatur, Ga.

Feb. 19, 1867 – The Alabama Legislature approved an act, “for the relief of maimed soldiers and sailors,” who were veterans of the War Between the States. Under the act, the state would provide an artificial leg to those veterans who had been maimed while in the service. (Men of Wilcox)

Feb. 19, 1884 – More than 60 tornadoes struck the Southern United States (including Mississippi, Alabama North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana), one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. About 800 people were killed.

Feb. 19, 1884 - The town of Goshen, in Pike County, Ala. lost 26 people to an F4 twister, classified as "devastating" with winds between 207 and 260 mph. A brick school building literally exploded when the tornado hit it dead on, killing six students and a teacher. Outside of Goshen, 13 more people lost their lives in Alabama.

Feb. 19, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Ernest Ricou’s “handsome new” storehouse was rapidly nearing completion and would “be ready in a few days for the reception of his goods, where he will be pleased to see and wait upon his many friends.”

Feb. 19, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Rev. M.M. Graham of Burnt Corn, who had recently appointed Monroe County Superintendent of Education, was in Monroeville, Ala. on Wed., Feb. 17.

Feb. 19, 1903 - The Vanderbilt Glee and Instrumental Club of Nashville, Tenn. planned to stop in Evergreen on this Thursday to give an entertainment for the benefit of the School Library. There were in the Glee Club, about 16; Instrumental Club, about 14, male quartette, string quartette, etc. Justin Thacher, perhaps the finest tenor in the south, was with them, as well as Prof. C. Roland Flick, the well-known violinist. They were on their way to De Funiak Springs, Fla., and an entertainment was promised that no one could afford to miss. In order to enable all to attend, the rate was to be as low as 50 cents; children, 25 cents; reserved seats, 75 cents.

Feb. 19, 1903 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Hon. Thos. S. Wiggins, Monroe County’s representative in the legislature, was home for a few days.

Feb. 19, 1903 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Burnt Corn community, that the building committee had about closed the contract for the new church at Puryearville; the building to be placed beside where the old one stood, the latter having been sold.

Feb. 19, 1903 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Drewry community, that J.B. McMillan was putting up a telephone line from the store to his residence, which was expected to be a great convenience. The people at Drewry had also built a “fine new school house” and a residence for the teacher, Prof. Hardy, to live in.

Feb. 19, 1903 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Perdue Hill community, that the oyster supper “was a complete success. A handsome cake was voted to Miss Callie Davis, and the quilt was won by Mr. Owen Burk of the Nettie Quill.”

Feb. 19, 1904 - The winter term of the Jones Mill District School closed on this Friday with the “record of being one of the most successful terms of the school’s history – due to the able principal, Prof. J.A. Barnes, and his able and accomplished assistant, Miss Correy King, also the better equipped school rooms which have added very much to our comfort during the cold winter days, and we are very sorry indeed that our school has closed, and especially to know that we will be so far from our able instructors, will miss their kind and wise instructions, so we are left wondering if during the next term of our school we will be fortunate enough to have the same able and talented instructors.”

Feb. 19, 1908 - Alabama author Mildred Lee was born in West Blocton, Ala.

Feb. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Jodie W. Booker, 18, of McKenzie, Ala. “died from disease.” Born on Jan. 19, 1900, he is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in McKenzie.

Feb. 19, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Dewey Morris, 21, of Flomaton, Ala. “died from disease.” Born on Dec. 18, 1897, he was buried in Rock Cemetery in Flomaton. He was serving in Co. C of the 161st U.S. Infantry Regiment when he died overseas.

Feb. 19, 1921 - J.D. Clark, 15-year-old son of W.A. Clark, a well known farmer residing about six miles east of Castleberry, was instantly killed late Saturday when the shotgun, it is thought he was attempting to clean, was discharged and the load of shot entered the boy’s breast and stomach.

Feb. 19, 1922 – Confederate veteran Mark Luke McClammy, age 78, passed away at his home in northern Conecuh County. On March 29, 1862, McClammy enlisted as a private in Co. H of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry, a predominately Monroe raised unit. His horse was valued at $350. Born on Feb. 25, 1843, he was buried in Concord Cemetery at Mixonville.

Feb. 19, 1924 – Monroe County Bank celebrated its 20th anniversary. The bank began business on Feb. 19, 1904 was $15,000 in capital. J.B. Barnett organized the bank and had served as its president continuously between 1904 and 1924. D.D. Mims had served as the bank’s cashier “during practically its entire career.”

Feb. 19, 1930 - Bosie Phillips of Dothan, Ala. fell under a freight train opposite the Louisville & Nashville depot on this Wednesday around 11 a.m. and suffered injuries which resulted in the loss of his left arm just below the elbow. Phillips was trying to board the train, which was running at a fast rate, when the accident occurred. Phillips was given emergency medical attention by Dr. E.L. Stallworth and was later carried to Montgomery on Train No. 6, where he was to receive treatment at the railroad hospital.

Feb. 19, 1931 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a 65-acre site for a landing field had been leased 5-1/2 miles west of Evergreen, Ala. on the Belleville Highway. The field was to serve as an intermediate landing field for use in the federal air mail service along the Atlanta-New Orleans mail route. Plans were also included for a revolving search light beacon mounted on a steel tower at the corner of the airfield.

Feb. 19, 1936 - Henry Hunter Lett of Lower Peach Tree died at his home on this Wednesday evening after an illness of five days during which time pneumonia developed. He was an outstanding citizen of the northwest section of Monroe County and was prominent among the agricultural leaders. He was one of the seven children of Henry Hunter Lett Sr. and Carolyn Goode King Lett; a great-grandson of General Edward D. King and a descendant of William Rufus King. Funeral services were conducted from the home on the following afternoon with the Rev. Barnett of Mobile officiating. Interment was made in Lower Peach Tree cemetery.
Feb. 19, 1943 - Alabama author Homer Hickam was born in Coalwood, West Virginia.
Feb. 19, 1948 – The Town of Excel, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.
Feb. 19, 1951 - The spring term of Conecuh County Circuit Court convened in Evergreen on this Monday morning with Judge F.W. Hare presiding. The grand jury was organized with Hugh M. Brown as foreman and after an able charge by Judge Hare promptly began its investigations with the assistance of Circuit Solicitor A.H. Elliott and County Solicitor E.C. Page Jr.

Feb. 19, 1951 – Effective on this Monday, J.R. Daughtry became local manager of the Piggly Wiggly in Evergreen, succeeding Mack Everage who had been there since this store was purchased by Euclid Cook of Andalusia in 1950. Everage had been transferred back to Andalusia as manager of the Piggly Wiggly store there.

Feb. 19, 1953 – The Evergreen Courant reported that I. Long & Sons, historic department store of Evergreen, was going out of business after 63 years, according to announcement made by owner Alfred Long, son and grandson of the store’s founders. Stock of the store had been purchased by Jack J. Levenson of Birmingham, who planned to sell it at the location on East Front Street. I. Long & Sons was founded in 1890 when Haiman and Max Long, brothers, established a store called the Red Front. In 1891, their father, I. Long, became a partner and the name was changed to I. Long & Sons, the style under which it operated until this year.

Feb. 19, 1953 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the grand jury of the Circuit Court of Conecuh County had made nine cases that week which were to be tried during criminal court week, starting March 2. According to Circuit Solicitor Robert E.L. Key, the grand jurors returned true bills on nine of the 10 cases on the criminal docket. Aaron (Bo) Griffin, alleged to have shot and killed Willie Guy Lee, woman, last November in Evergreen, was to face trial for murder in the first degree. His case had been set for trial on March 2.

Feb. 19, 1953 – The Monroe Journal reported that Cpl. Robert B. Lambert of Rt. 2, Frisco City, who was killed on Oct. 4, 1951, in action in Korea was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Feb. 11, 1953 by Maj. General D.W. Canham, Headquarters Third Army. Presentation of the award was made to the father of the deceased serviceman, Pleason Lambert, at the Lambert residence on Frisco City, Rt. 2. The citation which accompanied the presentation of the DSC medal declared Cpl. Lambert “distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Chungseri, Korea.”

Feb. 19, 1953 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroeville’s new deep water well, with a guaranteed capacity of 900 gallons of water per minute, was estimated to be in operation within a two-week period. Depth of the new well, which was begun in August 1952 was 1,500 feet. Local water board officials had stated the new deep was expected to alleviate a reoccurrence of a water shortage which was demanded by increased local consumption and dry weather in the summer months. Drilling of the well was instigated by a critical shortage in 1952 because of drought during the summer.

Feb. 19, 1954 - Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team were defeated by the Andalusia Bulldogs on this Friday night in Andalusia, 59-52. Randy White led Evergreen with 16 points, followed closely by Jimmy Frazier with 14. John Ford, high man for Andalusia, racked up 19 points for the victors. Other players on Evergreen’s team that season included Ward Alexander, Wayne Douglas, Charlie King and Hosea King.

Feb. 19, 1954 – Monroe County High School’s varsity boys basketball team won their 16th game of the season on this Friday night as they downed the UMS Cadets, 64-46, in the Monroeville coliseum. Guard Pat Cobb, an outstanding playmaker all season, hit the nets for 19 points to lead the Tigers, while center Bobby White followed closely with 14 markers.

Feb. 19, 1976 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team played Catherine Academy at 6 p.m. in the Alabama Private School Association’s District III playoffs at Wilcox Academy in Camden. The winner and runner-up advanced to the state tournament.

Feb. 19, 1976 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Bob Kendall was collecting historical information on Brooklyn and the surrounding area in connection with the bicentennial. He was particularly interested in the names of the people who organized the bank that never opened in Brooklyn.

Feb. 19, 1979 – Sparta Academy’s girls basketball team finished the 1978-79 season with a 55-33 loss to Lakeside Academy in the APSA state tournament on this Monday night in Selma.

Feb. 19, 1982 – On their way to an eventual berth in the 1A state tournament, Lyeffion beat Repton, 58-57, in the final round of the Class 1A, Area II tournament at Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, Ala. This win gave Lyeffion the Area II championship and they won the region championship game the following night by beating A.L. Johnson in Castleberry.

Feb. 19, 1999, “October Sky,” a movie version of Alabama author Homer Hickam's book “Rocket Boys,” was released.
Feb. 19, 2002 - J.F. Shields High School’s varsity girls were scheduled to begin play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Southeast Region basketball tournament in Troy on this Tuesday afternoon. Shields, sporting a 23-2 record, was set to meet defending state champion Notasulga High School at 3:30 p.m. at Troy State University. Shields won its tenth straight area championship two weeks before. Since Shields girls head coach Herbert Blackmon inherited the program 16 years before, his girls teams had won 13 area championships. Top players on Shields team that season included Tandra Blackmon, April Hollinger, Quantus Jones, Folake Knight, Tameka Knight, Latoya Lett, Constance Montgomery, Ashley Odom and Crystal Stanton.

Feb. 19, 2004 - Weather observer Harry Ellis reported a low of 30 degrees in Evergreen.

Feb. 19, 2016 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee died in her sleep on this morning, at the age of 89, in Monroeville, Ala. 

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

1919 Willys-Knight six-cylinder, 45 horsepower car.

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Feb. 19, 1919 edition of The Evergreen Courant newspaper in Conecuh County, Ala.

On last Friday when the wind was blowing so furiously, the school building at Kindig started to fall. The children made a rush for the door, but on reaching it, they found that the building had careened so far that the door could not be opened. As soon as the wave subsided, the house came back into position and the door was opened.

R.R. Long has exchanged his Willis Knight for the best grade of Oldsmobile and is now traveling in Class No. One.

Prof. W.R. Bennett is riding around in a brand new Overland. We like to see our public men ride around in the best.

The L&N work train has been sounding its whistle in our town early and late for the past week.

Andrew Riley spent several days with home folks this week. He has recently accepted a position as salesman with the Selma Grocery Co.

Miss Clara May Ellis in passing a dog in the store of Taliaferro McCreary and Ivey was bitten on the wrist, inflicting an awful wound. The beast did not show signs of hydrophobia, but evidently it was mad.

On Friday night, the fire alarm was given, but before the people could gather at the home of Jeff Millsap’s, the flame was quickly extinguished. Little damage was done.

Flu Ban Raised: The flu ban will be lifted on next Sunday when church services will be held as usual and on Monday the schools will be opened. This action was taken on the advice of the city health officer.

The children of town had a delightful time on Valentines night. They distributed their expressions of devotion and then followed up their efforts by notifying the receiver of the giver.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. All church lovers longed to turn their footsteps toward the house of God. It is thought now that there will be services at all the churches next Sunday.

Rev. J.E. Northcutt attended the YMCA school of instruction at Blue Ridge, N.C. and while there he contracted the flu. He is now able to be back at his work in Mobile.

Terry Richardson and his mother, Mrs. Riley, are moving to Montgomery this week. They will make the capitol city their future home.

Mr. and Mrs. Shirley, who have been rooming at the Mack Binion home for some time, returned to their home at Burnt Corn last week. There is no place like home.

Those who had business in the open last Friday were made conscious of the fact that spring is near at hand. Few days are ever more blustery than the 14th of February.

Mrs. M.F. Chapman, who returned last week from a visit to her son, Earl Chapman, at Sanford, Fla., tells us that land there is renting at $50 per acre, but that Earl had secured his at a bargain, paying $30 per acre.

The game warden has asked us to say that all hunters must provide themselves with a hunters license which can be obtained from the Judge of Probate. The law will be enforced and all hunters should not overlook this important matter.