Monday, February 4, 2019

Today in History for Feb. 4, 2019

Burney E. Pickens's Woodmen of the World monument. 

Feb. 4, 1818 – Lawrence County was created by the Alabama legislature, and Melton’s Bluff was selected as the first county seat.

Feb. 4, 1861 - Delegates from six break-away U.S. states that had recently seceded from the Union met in Montgomery, Ala. to establish the Confederate States of America. Four days later this provisional Confederate Congress, comprising representatives of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, organized the Confederacy with the adoption of a provisional constitution.

Feb. 4, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Ladd's House, Ala.

Feb. 4, 1887 – Confederate veteran Joseph A. Adams, the founder of The Southern Star newspaper in Dale County, Ala., passed away at the age of 43 in Ozark, Ala. Born on Oct. 15, 1843, he was buried in the Union Cemetery in Ozark, Ala. (Some sources say he died on Feb. 1, 1887.)

Feb. 4, 1896 - Gauntlet Lodge No. 151, Knights of Pythias, was organized at Tinela in Monroe County with the following officers: W.L. Abernethy, C.C.; L.K. Benson, V.C. and Rep. to G.L.; J.A. McCants, Prel.; R.C. Abernethy, K. of R&S and M. of F.; G.W. McCants, M. of E.; R.A.M. of W.; J.K. McLeod, M. at A.; T.S. Packer, I.G.; and S.J. Grace, O.G.

Feb. 4, 1909 – Burney E. Pickens, 27, of Owassa was fatally injured in a railroad accident in Brewton. Newspaper accounts at the time said that Pickens was working as the “pilot of a switch engine and losing his balance, fell, the engine severing both of his legs.” His remains were brought to Owassa on Feb. 5 and his funeral was conducted by the local Woodmen of the World lodge, of which he was a devoted member. A special escort of Woodmen accompanied the remains from Brewton, and his funeral was conducted by a pair of Woodmen officials and the Rev. E.A. Smith of Brewton, who was apparently the acting chaplain for the local Woodmen camp. There were about 70 Woodmen in the funeral procession and “the service was one of the most impressive ever witnessed here.” Active pallbearers included W.R. Brown, L.G. Johnson, J.Z. Brooks, L.R. Peacock, E.M. Angle, J.D. Grant, Leon Riley, Ed Ellis, A.E. Long, Manuel Walker and W.E. Baughman. Three months later, on May 9, 1909 a Woodmen of the World monument, likely the first of its type in Conecuh, was unveiled before an estimated crowd of 1,000.

Feb. 4, 1913 – Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Ala.

Feb. 4, 1914 - Alabama journalist Hazel Brannon Smith was born in Alabama City, in Etowah County, Ala.

Feb. 4, 1915 – Conecuh County, Ala. convicts commenced working on public roads, and work was progressing “satisfactorily.” There were 10 convicts at work at that time, and “two portable steel cages were received and put into use.”

Feb. 4, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that “notable improvements have been made in the condition of streets and roads within the corporate limits of Monroeville within the last few months, and the public square is now being graded and all stumps, decayed trees and other unsightly objects removed. A movement is on foot to enclose the square so as to prevent indiscriminate travel over it by vehicles and livestock.”

Feb. 4, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James O. Merrill of Andalusia, Ala. “died from disease.” A member of the 330th Supply Co., QMC, he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Feb. 4, 1920 – The Evergreen Courant reported that H.S. Hagood had announced his candidacy for re-election to the office of county tax assessor.

Feb. 4, 1923 - A movie version of Alabama author Milford W. Howard's book “The Bishop of the Ozarks, starring the author, was released.

Feb. 4, 1933 - Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Salter, Miss Ida Shomo and Miss Alice Lee spent this Saturday in Mobile, according to The Monroe Journal.

Feb. 4, 1935 – Jack Robinson of Baltimore, Md. arrived in Evergreen, Ala. to assume a position with the firm of I. Long & Sons. Robinson was the nephew of Evergreen businessmen, Robert Long and Haiman Long, his mother being a twin sister of Mr. Robert Long. Robinson was born and reared in Baltimore and this was his first trip south. He planned to live with the Longs on Belleville Street.

Feb. 4, 1935 - The regular first term of county court began n this Monday before Probate Judge M.M. Fountain. M.R. Sowell, who was appointed county solicitor last month to succeed R.L. Jones, represented the state.

Feb. 4, 1940 - The Coast Guard cutter Cartigan found the Gloria Colita “adrift, crippled and unmanned” about 150 miles south of Mobile, Ala. in the Gulf of Mexico. On Jan. 21, 1940, the Gloria Colita, a 125-foot schooner, sailed from Mobile, loaded with a cargo of lumber bound for Guantanamo, Cuba.

Feb. 4, 1955 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat W.S. Neal, 59-44, in East Brewton, Ala. Randy White led Evergreen with 31 points, and Ward Alexander followed with 14 points.

Feb. 4, 1960 – Conecuh County Training School’s basketball team was scheduled to play Camden on this Thursday in Evergreen.

Feb. 4, 1960 – The Evergreen Courant reported, under the headline “R.G. Bozeman Sr. Appears In History of ‘Bama Press Ass’n,” that 49 newspapers had furnished presidents of the Alabama Press Association since it was organized in 1871. R.G. Bozeman Sr., publisher emeritus of The Evergreen Courant, served a two-year term as president of the association. These and other facts were found in the “History of the Alabama Press Association,” a copy of which will be presented to each member attending the Association’s annual meeting in Montgomery on Feb. 4-6. The history was written by L.O. Brackeen, Director of Public Information, Auburn University.

Feb. 4, 1960 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Murrice G. Miniard, airman apprentice, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nobel Miniard of Repton, .Ala., was serving aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea which was recommissioned on Jan. 25, after three years of modernization at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.

Feb. 4, 1960 – The Evergreen Courant reported that William T. Sessions, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Sessions, Rt. 2, Castleberry, Ala., had recently been promoted to specialist five in Germany, where he was a member of the Army’s 4th Armored Division.

Feb. 4, 1960 – The Monroe Journal reported that four incumbents for Monroe County offices had qualified to run for re-election in the May Democratic primary following a recent meeting of the county Democratic Executive Committee. They were Walter L. Agee of Monroeville, District 2 Commissioner; John D. Black of Beatrice, District 4 Commissioner; John M. Coxwell of Monroeville, County Solicitor; and Mrs. Jennie R. Fountain of Monroeville, Justice of Peace, Beat 3. It was speculated that all other incumbents for county offices up for election would qualify. They were Harry L. Lazenby, Tax Assessor; Alfred L. Nettles, Tax Collector; W.C. Nicholas, member, board of education.

Feb. 4, 1960 – The Monroe Journal reported that Specialist Four John L. Melton, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Melton of Route 2, Frisco City, had been awarded the Good Conduct Medal while serving with the U.S. Army in Frankfurt, German. Melton was a graduate of Excel High School and had attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

Feb. 4, 1964 – A meeting was held at 7 p.m. in the Civic Room at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. to organize a women’s auxiliary for the Conecuh County Hospital.

Feb. 4, 1964 - The Administrator of General Services announced that the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had been ratified. The amendment banned the poll tax.

Feb. 4, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that construction would begin right away on the new addition to the educational building of the Evergreen Baptist Church. The new building joined the existing building, which was built in 1950, in the rear and was about the same size, i.e., 6,000 square feet and two stories tall. John Nielsen was the chairman of the building committee and the Rev. Sam Granade was the church’s pastor.

Feb. 4, 1969 – Tal Stuart Jr. and Jim Williams killed a 23-pound bobcat on his farm at Belleville. They caught the bobcat in a two-compartment trap baited with a live rooster.

Feb. 4, 1971 - “I Walk the Line,” a movie version of Alabama author Madison Jones's book “The Exile,” was released.

Feb. 4, 1975 – Conecuh County High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat T.R. Miller, 61-51, in Brewton.
Feb. 4, 1984 - Theron L. Sims, manager of the Piggly Wiggly Super Market in Evergreen, Ala. for 20 years, retired on this Saturday, ending a 40-year career in the grocery business. He was succeeded by Robby Stanford of Atmore.

Feb. 4, 1985 - The Frisco City Town Council on this Monday elected and swore in a new councilman: William A. “Billy” Hoffman, the controller-treasurer of Alabama River Pulp Co. Hoffman, 40, replaced Ralph Dawson, who resigned in January for health reasons. Hoffman filled Place 4 on the council.

Feb. 4, 1988 – The Monroe Journal reported that construction of the “new fire station” on East Claiborne Street in Monroeville, Ala. was nearing completion and would replace the old station behind City Hall. At that same time, another fire station was also under construction in front of the Whetstone Street Recreation Center.

Feb. 4, 1993 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Hillcrest High School’s varsity basketball team was experiencing unprecedented success for the school that season, thanks to Coach Danny Covin and players Isaac McMillan, Derrick Averett and Bryant Richardson, who were all named to the All-Tournament Team following the Third Annual Hillcrest High School Invitational Tournament the week before. The Jaguars took first place in the tournament, defeating Charles Henderson High School of Troy, 73-64. Averett was named the tournament’s most valuable player by a vote of the coaches from the six teams participating.

Feb. 4, 1993 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the trial dates for the two men accused of the murder of Clarene Haskew had been changed in an order by Circuit Judge Sam Welch so that defense attorneys could examine evidence in the case which they claimed had not been made available to them as a previous order by the judge decreed. In a motion hearing on Tues., Feb. 2, the defense attorney for Wayne Travis alleged that evidence in the possession of the state had not been made available to him and other evidence was made available to him only as late as Jan. 28. Judge Welch agreed to move Travis’ trial to Feb. 22, the date originally scheduled for (co-defendant Steven Wayne) Hall’s trial.

Feb. 4, 2000 – New Hope Baptist Church near Beatrice, Ala. was added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the Alabama Historical Commission.

Feb. 4, 2000 – Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team won the AISA Class AA, East Area II Regional Tournament in Evergreen, Ala. by beating Greenville Academy, 48-45. Katie Etheridge was named Tournament MVP and Ashley Hammonds and Jill Pate were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Feb. 4, 2005 – Escambia Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams defeated teams from Sparta Academy in the AISA’s Class AA East Area 1 tournament finals at Canoe.

Feb. 4, 2005 - J.U. Blacksher’s Lady Bulldogs wrapped up regular season play by beating W.S. Neal 44-37 on this Friday at Uriah to finish the regular season with a 9-8 record. In the win over Neal, the Blacksher got 19 points and six rebounds from senior guard Amber Caskey to key the win. Other top girls players at Blacksher that season included Tiffany Dale, Kayla House, Brooke Little, Arica Selzer and Parris White.

Feb. 4, 2010 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Monica Hanks had been selected by her co-workers as the Billy G. McKenzie Employee of the Year for Evergreen Medical Center for 2009. Hanks was a registered nurse in EMC’s Medical Surgical Department. “She is an experienced nurse, who is dedicated to the field of nursing and truly cares for her patients,” the newspaper reported. 

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