Sunday, March 31, 2019

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


20 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1999

Community mourns lost leader: Monroe County lost a friend during the weekend with the death of Col. Armistead R. Harper.
Harper, 82, died at Mobile Infirmary Sunday night from problems with his pancreas, according to his daughter, Pat Booker.
The Monroe County native retired in 1969 after 30 years in the regular Army and returned home five years later following a brief banking career in Yuma, Ariz.
It didn’t take him long to get involved in the community as he joined the Monroeville Presbyterian Church, Monroeville Kiwanis Club, was appointed to the Monroeville Planning Commission in 1975 and served in several other civic organizations.

Excel upends UMS in 3A Area 1 battle: Excel stunned UMS-Wright 2-0 to open its area baseball schedule Friday, then dropped an 8-4 decision to area rival Flomaton Monday.
Excel got the best of UMS-Wright’s Bulldogs at Murphy Park in Excel to open play in the 3A Area 1 race. Josh Deese scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning in Excel’s 2-0 win over UMS-Wright.
(Other top Excel players in that game included Al Black, Jamie Duke, Jacob Ledkins, Keith McKinley, Jason McLelland, Jared McPhaul, Justin Mixon and Nathan Mixon.)

The Second Annual Writers Symposium May 6-8 will continue its celebration of Alabama writers and scholars. The focus for this year’s symposium will be “Alabama – the Place.” Participants will also attend a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the old courthouse Friday night.

45 YEARS AGO
MARCH 28, 1974

Newspaperman E.M. Salter dies: Edward Motley (Ed) Salter of Monroeville, former part-owner and business manager of The Monroe Journal, whose family ties to the newspaper stretched back to the early 1880s, died Saturday in a Pensacola hospital. He was 87.
Mr. Salter was a partner in The Journal from 1929 to 1947, but he first worked for the paper in 1907 as a printer for his uncle, Q. Salter.

Twenty-six men have been practicing three weeks for the Frisco City Whippets (during spring football drills), with nine returning starters on the squad.
Returning to the squad will be Larry Watts, a 155-pound strong side guard; Johnny Ridgeway, a 185-pound strong side tackle; Wayne McGinnis, a 165-pound tight end; Pat Banks, a 153-pound running back; Floyd Williams, a 140-pound end; Johnny Alread, a 160-pound running back; Mitchel Evans, a 140-pound fullback converted to quarterback; Ronnie McGinnis, a 150-pound end converted to center; and Willie Earl Lee, a 135-pound fullback.
(Other players going through spring drills included Lester Banks, Scot Brown, Jerry Browning, Barry Childs, Kenneth Dudley, Robert Finklea, Julius Lambert, Raymond Lett, Bobby McGinnis, David Peavy, Craig Sawyer, Albert Sims, Christopher Williams, Jerry Williams and Kevin Williams.)

Ziebach joins local firm: Elmo Douglas Ziebach, a native of Theodore, has joined Prouty Forestry Service in Peterman and Monroeville. He will serve as a buyer for Prouty Forestry Service.

70 YEARS AGO
MARCH 31, 1949

Journal Gets New Assistant Editor: John E. Hill, 23-year-old native of Boaz, has joined the staff of The Journal as an assistant editor, assuming his duties Monday.
A former student at Snead Junior College in Boaz, Mr. Hill has been a student for the past two years at the University of Alabama.
He will serve primarily as news editor and reporter for The Journal.

Baseball Training Begins At MCHS: Seventeen players reported to Coach LaVaughn Hanks Monday afternoon to begin workouts for the baseball season. Monroe County High will be fielding its first baseball team in a number of years. The first game will be played with W.S. Neal High on April 8. Games will be played at the new recreation center.
(Players reporting for that first practice included Felix Nicholas, Curtis Tomlinson, Havard Jaye, Bill Jaye, Karl Mims Lazenby, Kenneth Hundley, Bobby Moore, Alvin Ryland, George Klepac, Rusty Smith, John Calvin White, Bill Dailey, John Arthur Sirmon, John Arthur Morgan, Pink Jackson, Douglas Hendrix and William Fowler.)

Monroeville Soldier Assigned To Famous 2nd Armored Division: Camp Hood, Texas, March 31 – Sgt. Clarence W. Rawls, Monroeville, recently arrived at Camp Hood and has been assigned to the famous “Hell on Wheels” 2nd Armored Division.
A veteran of eight years military service, Sgt. Rawls served 52 months in the European Theater of Operations. He participated in the invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and the Central European campaigns. For his services, he was awarded the European Theater ribbon and the Victory medal.

95 YEARS AGO
MARCH 27, 1924

The Monroe County High School will close its annual session in about two weeks. The graduating class this year will consist of forty-odd members, the largest in its history.

Mr. J.F. Davis has opened a new barber shop in the old courthouse annex. The place has been neatly fitted up and furnished with modern equipment.

Jacob Rikard, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Rikard, died at the family home on Thursday morning, March 20, after an illness of several weeks, aged 16 years. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. W.C. Tenney. Interment was made in the Baptist cemetery.

Judge I.B. Slaughter has been appointed trustee of creditors of the Moore Hardware company which recently closed its doors.

Mr. A.B. Tucker, traveling representative of the Montgomery Advertiser, spent a few days in Monroeville last week in the interest of that paper.

Hon. I.T. Quinn of Montgomery was a visitor to Monroeville Tuesday. Mr. Quinn has made a good record as State Commissioner of the Department of Game and Fisheries and is a candidate to succeed himself in that position.

BOY SCOUT MEETING: A meeting of local Boy Scouts will be held in the courthouse at three o’clock next Saturday afternoon for the purpose of electing a patrol leader and other officers. All boys throughout the county interesting in the organization of a troop are invited to be present at the meeting.

130 YEARS AGO
MARCH 29, 1889

Mr. J.T. Stevens is at work repairing the breaks made by the prisoners who recently escaped from the county jail.

The attractive new belfry to the Baptist Church has been completed, and the bell, which we learn is a gift to the church from Col. B.L. Hibbard of Birmingham, placed in position.

Distemper is prevailing among horses to a limited extent in this vicinity.

Tax Assessor Jones completed his second and last round of sittings for this year. He will start out soon to look up delinquents.

Mr. A.L. Boyd of Buena Vista has accepted a position as clerk in Capt. Wiggins’ store.

Judge Leslie has replaced the ancient rail fence opposite his residence with a nice plank fence.

Honor Roll of Bells Landing Academy for February 1889: Katie Stallworth, Minnie Hunt, Sarah Nettles, Minnie Chunn, Mattie Abernathy, Maria Pattison, Nannie Abernathy, Corinne Dunn, Katie Abernathy, Hellen Davis, Willie Davis, Ollie Grace, Harry Davis, Judson Chunn, Walton Hybart, Urn McCants and Willie Holloman. – M. Dannelly, Teacher.

Hon. Nick Stallworth of Evergreen was in town Monday on professional business.

Mr. Ryland, wife of Thos. Ryland of Burnt Corn, was stricken with paralysis last Thursday, 21st.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., March 31, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.95 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.50 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, March 30, 2019

Singleton lauds the blooming of wild mountain laurels in the 'Red Hills'

Wild mountain laurel blooms.

(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 “Beauty of Mountain Laurels” was originally published in the March 25, 2004 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

The Good Lord certainly knew what He was doing when He made the wild mountain laurel.

Today, March 18, was a perfect day to journey into the high hill country and view the wondrous beauty of the wild mountain laurel beginning to bud.

Their primitive beauty had just begun to dot the red clay hills of the Red Hills area. Here and there across the high ridges, the first blooms of this primitive beauty had begun to burst forth, making way for all that grew along the high ridges to follow later in all their beauty.

Many of the places where the mountain laurel had been so beautiful in the spring of 1996 had been damaged quite some years ago when a tornado swept across the Red Hills area. But, these beautiful and hardy hill flowers will not be destroyed.

As one examines the damaged area, one will see that the strong mountain laurel is slowly breaking through the red clay where once stood a large and beautiful flower.

As I stood there and looked at the struggle for survival of this beautiful flower, I was reminded of a beautiful country girl struggling to help her family to survive there in the rough hill country, but yet retaining the wondrous beauty of a red-headed mountain girl, standing there on the side of a steep red clay hill.

I am aware of the many beautiful flowers that abound throughout our area – the roses, azaleas, violets and many more. But, I have never seen any flower that will compare with the glorious mountain laurel or the most beautiful goldenrod that blooms during the fall months of the year.

I believe our Creator didn’t allow these two beautiful wildflowers to blossom during the same time of year because both were so beautiful until He chose to have each bloom at different times of the year. Both blooming at the same time would be more beauty than so many of us country folks could take.

Parking my vehicle, I walked over and began to examine the pinkish red and purple blooms of the mountain laurel in detail. It didn’t take but a minute to see that these were created by the Master Painter himself. With all of our know-how, we are yet unable to create anything so beautiful and perfect as these blooms that were before me. I was re-affirmed once again, that only He was capable of creating something so beautiful and so perfect.

What was so amazing was that those who were the most beautiful and perfect were the ones that grew in the worst places there on the hillside. A perfect and most beautiful mountain laurel grew majestically and proud on the steep edge of one of the worst looking gullies to be found there on the hillside. Standing there observing the glorious wild laurel, I remembered the old saying “that beauty is to be found anywhere.” This I believe with all my heart.

But, the wild mountain laurels were not the only beautiful thing to be found there in the Red Hills country. Scattered around throughout the area, the wild honeysuckles were struggling also to make their comeback after the terrible tornado has seriously damaged the hill country.

There, among the underbrush that had survived the tornado and the logging crews that had harvested the damaged timber, the wild honeysuckle was also determined to survive there on the red clay hillside.

As I made my way across the red clay hills, I thought of the early families who had lived at one time in the hill country. I thought of the many stories told to me by my good friends who had families that had dug a meager living out of the clay hilltops that surrounded the hill where I was standing.

With plenty of time on my hands, I sought out several old home places that wait almost unknown in their forgotten locations around on the hills in the grown up areas.

I visited again the old community cemetery there in the high country. This was the third visit to the old burial ground within the last few weeks. Regardless of the times coming here, I always seek out the burials of the old Confederate soldiers who sleep here. Those with such names as Wiggins, Stabler, Tolbert and two or three more are buried here. These men chose to join the cause of the South in the terrible Civil War and then return to their beloved hill country and be buried here to wait for the final roll call.

As I finished my tour of the old cemetery and home places, I returned to the area where the beautiful mountain laurels were beginning to bloom. Pulling off the dirt road, I sat down to meditate a bit and enjoy my surroundings. I had hardly gotten seated, when off to my right sounded the gobble of a wild turkey.

Thrilled at the call of the wild turkey gobbler, I found myself wishing that no hunters were in the area to cripple or kill this wonderful creature. I got my wish, because the wild gobbler called out at least six or seven times more.

The breathtaking beauty of the blooming mountain laurels and the calls of the turkey gobbler were something almost beyond describing. Sitting there, listening to the calls of the wild gobbler and enjoying the wondrous beauty of the blooming mountain laurels, caused me to feel sorry for those who were not a witness to what I was enjoying.

Looking across the red clay hills at the primitive beauty before me, I knew once again that this I was witnessing wasn’t by accident. The hands of my Creator had set the stage with the beauty and sounds around me. I was glad that I had come.

As I headed my transportation back toward home, the words of an ancient Indian prophet came to mind:

O’ Great Spirit, give me strength
That I may stroll across the land
And marvel at Thy Creation.
Let me go where the wild mountain laurels
Sway in the gentle breeze.
Let me smell the
Fragrance of the wild honeysuckles, as I rest
In the shade of the lofty cottonwood tree,
While listening to the lullaby of the winds.

(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., March 30, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.40 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, March 29, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for March 29, 2019


45 YEARS AGO
MARCH 28, 1974

Local weather observer Earl Windham reported 0.1 inches of rain on March 4, 0.2 inches on March 12, 1.2 inches on March 18 and 0.8 inches on March 21. He reported a high of 82 degrees on March 20 and lows of 38 degrees on March 17 and March 22.

Evergreen Police Chief James “Pappy” Ellis will turn the reins over to Russell Phillips when he retires Sunday. The popular chief is retiring after a career that saw him rise from “meter maid” to head of the police department. He will be honored Friday at a prayer breakfast.

It will be Chief Russell Phillips come Monday. The retired State Trooper Sergeant and former police chief at McIntosh will succeed Chief James Ellis who is retiring March 31. Phillips has been on duty with the Evergreen Police Department since March 1 to get familiar with the city and department personnel.

Phillip Harold Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Harold, Evergreen, an eighth-grade student, was winner of the spelling bee held at Marshall Middle School. Phillip, whose mother is the former Laurice Adams, will compete in the state finals in Birmingham on May 4 in a contest sponsored by The Birmingham Post-Herald.

Officer James R. Taylor of the Evergreen Police Dept. is attending the ninth session of the Southwest Alabama Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy at Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette.

60 YEARS AGO
MARCH 26, 1959

Youngsters to show fine cattle April 20: Plans are proceeding for the annual Conecuh County Fat Calf Show to be held April 20. Assistant County Agent John Horne, J.H. Witherington and W.S. Coker are organizing a committee to stage the 13th annual show.
The committee will take the place of the Evergreen Junior Chamber of Commerce as sponsors of the show. The local Jaycees founded the show in 1947 and had sponsored it each year since, but the group disbanded last fall.
County youngsters are feeding out some 40 beef calves to enter in the show. Horne states that a number of these will grade prime and that the top calves may be the best in the history of the show.
The show will have no financial troubles as county residents have already provided funds for it through their gifts to the United Fund of Conecuh County.
The show usually draws a large crowd and the auction sale following it is one of the best of the year. County cattlemen usually sell a number of fed animals at this sale.
The Conecuh County Fat Calf Show is considered the best county show in the state and rates favorably with the district shows. The show will again be held at the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyards and will be followed by the sale.

Firm Records Song By Local Composer: The Star-Crest Recording Company of Hollywood, Calif. announces that it is considering for recording and national album release a song written by a local composer.
The composer is Miss Lucile Ross of 114 Belleville St. Her song is “Separation: Two Friends Part.”

George Ashcraft will serve as president of the Evergreen High School Parent-Teacher Association during the 1959-1960 school year. He and other officers were elected at the regular meeting of the PTA Tuesday night.
Elected to serve with Ashcraft were: Mrs. Ruby Moses, vice-president; Percy Brantley, treasurer; and Mrs. W.J. Millsap, secretary.

75 YEARS AGO
MARCH 30, 1944

Dr. H.H. Kendrick, former citizen of Evergreen, died suddenly at his home in Montgomery Saturday evening about 7 p.m. His death was said to have been caused from heart ailment. He had worked all day at his office and was taken ill shortly after arriving home, the end coming soon after he was stricken.
Dr. Kendrick practiced his profession of dentistry here for a number of years before going to Montgomery more than 20 years ago. Prior to his residence here, he lived in Greenville for a time.

Aviation Cadet Harry L. Johnston, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin L. Johnston of Owassa, Ala., has completed approximately one-third of his Pilot Training and will soon report to an Air Corps Basic Flying School in Newport, Ark. for the intermediate phase of his flying training.
Before entering the Air Corps, Cadet Johnston attended Evergreen High School; Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, Ala.; and the 55th College Training Detachment, Gettysburg, Pa. Cadet Johnston was accepted as aviation cadet at Montgomery, Ala., in March 1943.

Ensign R.G. Kendall Jr. will leave Friday for Hollywood, Fla., where he goes for training.

PIX THEATRE – A Martin-Ray Theatre – Evergreen, Alabama: Sunday, April 9th – “Son of Dracula” – Robert Paige, Evelyn Ankers, Lon Chaney.

90 YEARS AGO
MARCH 28, 1929

BERRY SEASON OPENS AS 1ST CRATES ARRIVED: Movement of Conecuh County strawberries by express started with a rush this week with the advent of warm weather and its continuation will likely mean that cars will begin moving sometime next week.
The first full crates came in to both Evergreen and Castleberry Monday. Steve Howard brought and shipped to Birmingham, Evergreen’s first crate while at Castleberry, R.B. Findley started the season off with four crates which were brought by G.T. Young and also shipped to Birmingham.

LOCAL TROOP RETURNS FROM FLOOD DUTIES: Concluding a 10-day stay in the Brewton-Flomaton flood zone, members of Evergreen’s national guard company, Troop C, 55th Machine Gun squadron, returned home late Monday to receive the praises of the commander, Capt. W.D. Lewis, for duty well performed.
The company left Evergreen Saturday, arrived in Brewton Saturday afternoon where headquarters was maintained until Tuesday, then moved on to Flomaton where they remained until Monday.
During the stay in the area, the major tasks of the troop were feeding 3,334 people, guard and patrol duty to prevent pilfering and looting, establishing contact with the outside world, dispatching emergency cases for the Red Cross and doing needful buying.

The northbound and southbound crews which are clearing and grading for the Evergreen-Castleberry highway will meet in about 30 days, according to estimate Tuesday by W.L. Flaughter, resident engineer of the state highway department.

105 YEARS AGO
MARCH 26, 1914

A northern gentleman, who is spending some time in Evergreen, says he saw the first shot fired on Fort Sumter.

1,482,254 bales of cotton were ginned in Alabama from the 1913 crop, 19,295 bales were ginned in Conecuh County, which was 1,376 more bales than was ginned in the county from the 1912 crop.

C.F. Archer has recently added a picture framing department to his photo gallery, where he will be permanently located. Archer does viewing, copying and enlarging. If you have an old, faded tintype, bring it. He will make it new.

Commencement exercises of Effie school, Tues. evening, March 31. Everybody cordially invited. Admission 25 cents and 15 cents.

S.L. Witherington of China was in the city Wednesday.

John Deming, who has been attending school at Marion for the past three months, returned home Thursday on a short vacation.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., March 29, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.40 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, March 27, 2019

Wilcox County's 'Treasures of the Old South' Tour of Homes was a real treat for history lovers

Dale Masonic Lodge in Camden, Alabama.

Those of you who missed the Wilcox Historical Society’s “Treasures of the Old South” Tour of Homes on Saturday missed a real treat.

This year’s tour, which attracted nearly 900 attendees, featured 13 stops, including the Beck-Miller Law Office, the Old Wilcox County Jail, the Bell-Moore House, the Bethea-Strother-Stewart House, the Jones-McIntosh-Hicks House, Old St. Mary’s Church, the Sterrett McWilliams House, the Capell House, Black Belt Treasures, Coast to Coast Hardware, the Old Shoe Shop Museum, Dale Lodge No. 25 and the Wilcox Female Institute.

Each one of these sites was unique in its own way and was a pleasure to visit, but the highlight of the tour for me personally was the Masonic hall on Clifton Street. My wife and young son accompanied me on the tour and as we approached this stately old building, we tried to imagine what the scene looked like when Yankee soldiers camped out on the lodge grounds during the Civil War. Later inside, we saw a photo of how different the grounds looked years and years ago when large trees provided the property with ample shade.

I’d been by this building more times than I can remember, but I’d never actually been inside until Saturday. When we entered the ground floor, dozens of people were enjoying lunch prepared by members of the lodge. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the second floor of the lodge was open to visitors, and we couldn’t resist checking out a part of the building that’s normally off limits to the uninitiated.

At the top of the narrow stairs leading up to the lodge meeting room, my son got a big kick out of the old swords on display there. Also on display were Masonic aprons and the book that lodge members sign before entering regular meetings of the lodge. Not far from there was a table piled high with blindfolds and curious lengths of rope.

The lodge room itself seemed to radiate history. Standing there before the alter in the center of the room, one was left to wonder just how many prominent Freemasons had attended lodge in this very room. Looking down upon it all, no doubt as he has for many years, was an old portrait of George Washington, the first U.S. President and one of the most important Freemasons in American history.

According to the tour brochure, prepared by the Wilcox Historical Society, Dale Lodge was founded in Dale Town (now called Prairie Bluff) in 1827. The lodge eventually moved to the county seat of Camden and the current Masonic hall was built in 1848. George Lynch and William T. Mathews, local builders, are credited with the building’s design and construction.

In the end, hats off to everyone who had a hand in making Saturday’s Tour of Homes a big success. The organizers of this event really outdid themselves and are to be highly commended for their efforts. I know that I speak for a lot of people, especially those who attended Saturday’s event, when I say that I can hardly wait for next year’s Tour of Homes.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.40 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, March 26, 2019

100-year-old news highlights from The Evergreen Courant

Grave of Charles Graves Russell.

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

A meeting of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee will be held at the courthouse on April 1. A full attendance is desired as business of importance will come up for consideration. – J.T. Fincher, Commander.

A strange malady, new to the medical profession, known as “sleeping sickness,” is attacking people in various parts of the country, only one case being reported in Alabama. The malady appears to be an after effect of influenza. Wherever the disease has appeared the doctors are making a careful study of it, and to date they have been very successful in the treatment of it.

And the Alabama boys are coming home. It is stated that they will start on their homeward voyage next week. It will be a glorious homecoming to many. To many others it will be a particularly sad one, for some who went across with high hopes of returning to home and loved ones, now sleep in Flanders fields.

The spring term of circuit court will begin on Mon., April 7. The Courant extends a cordial invitation to persons attending court to make The Courant office frequent visits while here, and if there is any news in your community, tell us about it.

Dr. Moore delivered two excellent sermons at the Methodist church on Sunday, preaching for the pastor who is attending the Y conference at Blue Ridge.

Remember to set your time pieces back one hour on next Sunday night. This is the beginning of the period of daylight saving.

Allen Page was up from Castleberry yesterday.

Dr. and Mrs. J.S. Frazer have been guests of Evergreen relatives for the past few days.

S.H. Purnell was here Saturday, the first trip he has made to the county capital in several months.

Rev. E.E. Cowan stopped over yesterday for a few hours en route home from some appointments on the Andalusia district.

Ralph and Waddy McCreary left on Sunday afternoon via New Orleans to take up their work after doing their bit in the war and enjoying a brief respite with home folks. The former goes to Lake Village, Ark. and the latter to Panama.

Charles G. Russell celebrated his 83rd birthday on Sunday with a family reunion at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Brantley. His anniversary came on Monday, but the children and grandchildren assembled on Sunday in order that all would be afforded an opportunity to be present to enjoy the social intercourse and to wish the aged veteran many happy returns of the occasion. Mr. Russell himself enjoyed the event, and to say that the children and grandchildren also enjoyed it, would be but a real fact.
He endured the hardships and privations of war for four long years and coming home reared a large family of eight excellent daughters, who are thoughtful of his welfare as well as pleasure.

The Conecuh Livestock Sales Association will hold the next Hog Sale Day on Tues., April 1. If your hogs are ready for market, bring them to this sale. It will be better to feed hogs that are half fat a while longer.

Brownville Siftings: Jesse Northcutt is welcomed back home after contributing his part in whipping the Germans.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.40 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, March 25, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for March 25, 2019


14 YEARS AGO
MARCH 24, 2005

County mourns loss of ‘Coach’ Keith Nettles: William Keith Nettles Sr., age 41, of Evergreen died Sun., March 20, 2005 when he apparently lost control of the sport utility vehicle he was driving.
Nettles started his career with the Conecuh County Board of Education teaching at Lyeffion Junior High School, then he moved to Hillcrest where he was head basketball coach and assistant football coach and an English teacher.

24 YEARS AGO
MARCH 23, 1995

Coach Richard Brown of Evergreen was recently inducted into the Florida Community College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Coach Brown served seven years at North Florida Junior College as Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach.
His team averaged over 100 points per game for seven consecutive years (before three-point play). His team was No. 1 in the nation offensively, averaging 114.9 points per game. His 1972 team set a national all-time scoring record, averaging 115.3 points per game, which still stands. Offensively, his team was nationally ranked No. 2 for two seasons, No. 3 for one season and No. 4 and No. 5 for one season.
Brown was named Florida Junior College Coach of the Year (Men) in 1966. He later took his expertise to the Alabama Southern Community College women’s program in Monroeville, where he earned state Coach of the Year honors in 1990, Southern Division.
His women’s team was third in the nation offensively, averaging 96.3 points per game in 1990. Ninety-six percent of his college players graduated, 53 of his high school and junior college players went to 33 four-year colleges on scholarship, and 29 former players went into coaching in seven different states.
Brown has also coached on the high school level at Madison, Lee and Sparta Academy. He was Coach of the Year in three sports in Alabama and Florida at the Conference-Division level (football, basketball and track in high school). He has had two state championships in track, in 1976 and 1977, while coaching the Sparta Academy girls track team.

37 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1982

David Gorum celebrated the opening of the spring turkey season by killing this gobbler Saturday. The Tom weighed 17-1/2 pounds, had a 7-3/4 inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs.

Gregg Baggett of Baggetts Chapel brought in this turkey Monday. It weighed 16-3/4 pounds, had a 10-inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs.

Long distance runner Tarak Kauff passed through Evergreen last Thursday morning on his 50-state solo run which began Jan. 31 in New York City. He is accompanied by his friend and handler, Sahisnu, and will cover over 9,000 miles and pass through every state in the union before he completes his record-setting run. Tarak says: “I love America deeply and this run expresses that love. For me, the run stands as a symbol of self-transcendence, and that’s why I’m dedicating it to the individual who has been my teacher, in everything, for the past 11 years, Sri Chinmoy.” Tarak, who earns his living as a waiter, is financing the run through savings and assistance from family and friends.

43 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1976

Ronald Fantroy ends super cage career at EHS: Ronald Fantroy closed out a superb basketball career at Evergreen High School by representing the 3A schools of Region One in the 3A and 4A All-Star Game at the University of Alabama Memorial Coliseum on March 12.
Ronald, one of eight 3A players chosen for the game, scored eight points and pulled down 12 rebounds, according to Evergreen High Coach Charles Branum, in the contest even though his South team lost to the North Squad.
Fantroy, a 6-foot-6 senior, averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds a game this season. He made the All State Team, 3A, for two straight years, and also earned All Region and All County honors. He was selected the Most Valuable Player in the Southwest Conference this season.
Coach Branum says that Ronald is not only an outstanding athlete, but also a fine student and Christian youth. He is the son of Mrs. Matilda Fantroy of the Fairview community and an active member of the Evergreen Church of Christ. He is a member of the Beta Club and will graduate with honors in May.

Mrs. Matilda Fantroy looks on as her son, Ronald, signs a grant-in-aid scholarship with Alabama Christian College, Montgomery. Ronald was an outstanding basketball player at Evergreen High School under Coach Charles Branum and the Montgomery college feels fortunate that it will have him on the court in coming years.

Warriors host ‘Jamboree’ Saturday 7:30: The Sparta Academy Warriors will host a spring football practice game here Saturday night at Stuart-McGehee Field. Only two teams will be involved, Sparta and Escambia Academy, with the kickoff set at 7:30.
Sparta headmaster and coach Richard Brown listed the following young men who will compete for the Warriors: Bobby Johnson, Andy Skipper, John Cook, Kent Cook, Jerry Peacock, Hugh Bradford, Steve Debose, Joey Rayfield, David Sabino, Gray Stevens, Harry Crabtree, Jamie McKenzie, Tony Baggett, Tony Raines, Tommy Hutcheson, Bill Cope, Jimmy Ellis, Ronny Taylor, John McKenzie, Ronny McKenzie and Terry Peacock.

59 YEARS AGO
APRIL 14, 1960

Aggie Nine Battles For Conference Title: The Evergreen ‘Aggies’ Baseball Club will play in the Conference Championship game this afternoon in Atmore at 3:30. Evergreen has won the first four games of this playing season and defeated W.S. Neal and Flomaton in order to reach championship play.
The starting lineup for today will be Billy Bateman, pitcher; Billy Melton, catcher; Leon Stinson, first base; Jacob Coleman, second base; Shannon Griggers, third base; James Reeves, shortstop; Jerry Windham, left field; Johnny Ivey, center field; and Jimmy Eddins, right field. Coach Jeff Moorer said: “My boys are rar’in to go.”
Billy Bateman has been the winning pitcher in the first three games played, and James Pugh, the winner of the fourth game. Lead hitters of the team so far this season are Leon Stinson, James Reeves and Shannon Griggers.

Mrs. Greeley Moorer says that these men folks do a lot of bragging about their big catches, but she has proof here that she knows how to pull in a fine string of bream. These 20 beauties were pulled in in just a short time at the Country Club.

66 YEARS AGO
MARCH 26, 1953

County Schools Plan ‘Play Day’ On April 10 – “All work and no play, makes Jill a dull girl,” will not be true of the students of Conecuh County during the month of April. For the first time in the history of the local schools, every child will have the opportunity to participate in some form of activity during Play Day.
On Fri., April 10, 1953, at nine o’clock, all high school students in the county will meet at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen to actively engage in at least one activity which they have learned in the physical education classes in their local school. Every grade will perform beginning with the seventh grade girls who will have the Stride Ball Relay, through the 12-grade boys who will have tug-of-war. There will be no competition between schools as all children will be divided into color groups and play in their groups of the same color regardless of their individual school.
In addition to this program of all children playing, the healthiest boy and girl from each school will be presented at an honor court. Four boys and four girls in the county will be selected, one couple from each school, and this will indeed be one of the highest honors any student could receive in the county.

The Repton PTA will sponsor a barbecue Thursday night, April 2, on the high school football field.
The T.R. Miller High School Band will play and parade on the field. T.R. Miller has one of the better bands in the State of Alabama. Bewley’s Chuck Wagon Gang, string band from Texas, will play when the high school band is not playing.
The Orange Bowl football game will be shown in the high school auditorium.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.75 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.30 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.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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

Alabama Gov. Thomas Kilby

18 YEARS AGO
MARCH 22, 2001

After 44 years, Dr. Nicholas hangs up his stethoscope: After almost 44 years of serving the people of Monroe County as a family practitioner in Monroeville, Dr. Francis Nicholas has decided to hang up his stethoscope.
Nicholas, 76, saw his last patients Friday as he began a well-deserved retirement. His fellow doctors, whom he spent many years working beside at the Doctors Clinic on South Alabama Avenue, helped celebrate his final day at the office with a special party. Office staff and close friends were also there to wish him good luck.

Tigers down Lions in doubleheader: (Monroe County High School’s varsity baseball team) shut out Foley High School 4-0 Saturday during the first game of a twin bill in Monroeville. MCHS beat Foley 6-5 in the second game of the doubleheader.
(Top MCHS players in those games included Mark Beasley, Jonathan Black, Ben Busby, Travis Granberry, Derek Holley, Bragg Jordan, Dustin Kilgore, T.J. Mann, Stephen Mattox, Brett Pate, Michael Ramer and Taylor Ryland. Reid Utsey was MCHS’s head baseball coach.)

History program: Local historian and Monroe Journal columnist George Singleton of Monroeville spoke to Brownie Troop 225 about Monroe County’s early history Feb. 2 at Old Scotland Church and Cemetery at Tunnel Springs. With Singleton are Allie Martin, Lindsey Gearhart, Mary Rebecca Barfield, Abbie Tucker, Mary Carter English, Mary Caylor Menefee, Jenna Menefee, Nikki Whatley and Lauren Lambert. Dr. Lori Gearhart and Lori Menefee are the troop’s leaders.

43 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1976

Three from area seek beauty title: Three Monroe County area young women are among the 13 contestants in a preliminary Miss America pageant scheduled for Friday and Saturday of next week at Patrick Henry Junior College.
Contestants from this area are Rita Croley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Haywood Croley of Excel; Toni Luker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willie J. Luker of Monroeville; and Patsy Watson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Watson of Repton.
The second annual Miss South Alabama pageant will begin at 8 p.m. both nights in the gymnasium at PHJC.

Football coach at Frisco City to leave: Cecil L. (Corky) Newman, head football coach for the past two years at Frisco City High School, resigned last week. His resignation was accepted by the Monroe County Board of Education in their regular meeting Wednesday morning, March 17.
Newman, who has accepted a coaching job at a Florida school, will remain at Frisco City until the end of March.

Masons to have Friday meeting of York Rites: The York Rite bodies of Monroeville will hold their regular meeting Friday at the Masonic Temple on Sheffield Road at 7:30 p.m. All York Rite Masons are urged to attend.
The Spring York Rite class will be held Friday, April 9. Petitions should be in not later than Friday’s meeting. Petitions may be obtained from A.T. Lewis, secretary of the Monroeville York Rite bodies.

68 YEARS AGO
MARCH 22, 1951

U.S. Geologist To Make Survey Of Monroeville: Officials of the Monroeville Water Board this week announced that a geologist from the United States Geological Survey will soon make a survey of the town to determine locations for new test wells as the first step in increasing the town’s potential water supply.
The official will begin his work here next month. The survey is expected to require approximately 30 days, it was stated.
The employment of the geologist to make a survey here follows a declaration by State Geologist Dr. Walter Jones last week that Monroeville is one of two “critical areas” in the state insofar as water supply is concerned.

Tigers Will Be Feted At Banquet: Members of this season’s Monroe County High School football and basketball teams will be honored at a banquet at the Williams CafĂ© here tomorrow (Friday) night at 7:30 o’clock, sponsored by the Recreation Committee of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce.
Joel Eaves, head basketball coach at Auburn, will be featured speaker at the dinner. Coach Eaves, who recently completed his second season as head basketball coach at A.P.I. after compiling an outstanding record while coaching in service and at an Atlanta, Ga. high school, is one of the most popular cage mentors ever to tutor the Plainsmen.
County farm agent A.V. Culpepper will serve as master of ceremonies.

Uriah Twins Honored On 73rd Birthdays: Mr. A.F. Luker and twin sister, Mrs. Mollie Ray, whose birthdays were March 13, celebrated the occasion at the home of the former, Mr. Luker, Sun., March 11. This was their 73rd birthday.

93 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1926

Former Governor Thomas E. Kilby of Anniston was a visitor to Monroeville on Monday and delivered an address at the courthouse, presenting his claims upon the people for nomination to the United States Senate as the successor to Senator Underwood. Governor Kilby was given an attentive hearing.

COUNTY BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: The first annual Basketball Tournament for Monroe County held at Jones Mill last Friday and Saturday was a decided success. Much of the success of the tournament was attributed to the splendid officiating by Mr. Williams of Mobile, who holds a certificate as a national basketball official.
Both the boys and girls teams of Jones Mill were crowned as the county champions, while both of the Excel teams were awarded second place.

Rev. Brooks, a former Catholic priest and a native of Ireland, delivered three interesting and instructive lectures at the courthouse last Friday and Saturday. On Sunday morning, he delivered a lecture on the Sunday school lesson which proved most interesting and instructive.

‘FEMALE MASONRY’ ATTRACTS LARGE CROWD: One of the largest audiences ever assembled in Monroeville to witness a play put on by local talent, gathered at the courthouse on last Wednesday evening to witness the play “Female Masonry” put on by and for the benefit of the local Eastern Star Chapter. It proved to be one of the funniest plays in many moons and everybody enjoyed it to the fullest. From a financial standpoint it was a great success and the local chapter is under obligations to all who labored for the success of the play.

118 YEARS AGO
MARCH 14, 1901

A bill establishing Jones Mill Beat No. 14 was passed the legislature.

Mr. Pringle, the hustling log man of Pollard, is putting in a lot of logs for the Bear Creek Mill Co. now.

Mr. W.H. Louiselle of Manistee was in the city Saturday.

Hon. Jas. H. Jones, Monroe’s representative, returned home last week. Mr. Jones has made for himself a name and record of which he may be proud, and we are glad to welcome him home with the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Dr. Wiggins was called to Repton the first of the week to attend Dr. Wm. Watson who is quite sick there.

Mr. Ben Jones of the B.E. Jones Mercantile Co., Jones Mill, has gone east to purchase a fresh stock of goods. When he returns, his firm will have some extraordinary inducements to offer customers through the columns of The Journal. Watch for them.

FINCHBURG: Misses Lizzie and Kittie Williams returned on the steamer Mary from Mobile, where they attended Mardi Gras.

JONES MILL: Mr. Jasper Huggins was buried at the Coleman School House Friday. His death was caused from pneumonia. Also Mr. Billie Hall of Excel was buried at New Home church Saturday. They were two of Monroe’s good citizens and will be sadly missed. The bereaved have our sympathies. There is a lot of sickness in the settlement, guess it is caused from bad weather.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.75 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.30 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Cemeteries are a stark reminder of hardships along the Old Stage Road

Andrew Jackson

(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 “The Old Stage Road – pathway through history” was originally published in the Nov. 11, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Like the trail of a huge rattlesnake, Old Stage Road wound its way along the ridges and across the shallow streams, bringing with it a restless people who carved out the wilderness what is now Monroe County. Many of these people pushed onward to distant horizons beyond the big river. Many stayed to work the land and raise their families, and to be buried on the banks of the road that brought them here.

One has but to travel along the stretches of the road that is still passable to see the old homesteads that once marked the landscape. One has only to visit the many cemeteries along the road to be reminded of the heartbreaks and hardships that faced each new settler on his way into the wilderness. One has but to read the names and ages from the headstones to know that disease and death was ever present. Then, if one looks closely, he may see the shallow depressions that mark the final resting place of someone who was buried where they fell in the struggle for this wild and primitive land.

The scars of the struggle are yet visible, but the dust and dew of 200 years has softened the edges and covered from view the grim reminders of this bygone era.

One has but to imagine the wagons and men; women with dirty barefoot children walking this road, not knowing what danger was around the next bend. Or, Andrew Jackson and his ragged army of volunteers, cold and half starved moving southward along this road against the Creeks. The Indian himself, being moved like cattle along the same road as prisoners. Never to return.

The story is there, packed in the dirt by the thousands of feet that came this way.

I have traveled almost all of the Stage Road across Monroe County. Some of it has a covering of asphalt and has been improved to make way for transportation. Some of it still has the steep hills, the sand beds and rough wooden bridges. Then there is some of the road that has been abandoned altogether. As I traveled each stretch of road, I talked to some of the people who have lived along it all or most of their lives.

Always in the conversation an experience was relived; always about the road. A muddy hill, or a colder than average day, when the mail rider’s ear froze while traveling by horseback to Tunnel Springs.

“I remember when all the drummers (salesmen) used to come down the road by horse and buggy.” These are the words of Frank Stanton of Peterman. “See them big pine trees there: I used to pick cotton right there, beside the road. Saw just about everybody that passed this way. When the cars started coming down the road, we would help push them out of the mud and sand beds.”

Most of the old landmarks are gone; many of the stories have faded from memory. But the Old Stage Road remains. Though faded dim in places, its mark is still here. And for a long time to come, I hope.

(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., March 23, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.75 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.30 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.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for March 22, 2019

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions

10 YEARS AGO
MARCH 26, 2009

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) will visit Evergreen Saturday afternoon as part of the state’s “Year of Alabama History” campaign.
Sessions is scheduled to arrive at the Old Train Depot in downtown Evergreen at 2 p.m. and will be on hand until 4 p.m. His visit will coincide with a Conecuh County Historical Tour, organizer Sherry Johnston said.

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported .43 inches of rain on March 16. He also reported a high of 78 degrees on March 19 and a low of 43 on March 22.

Election lawsuit returns to court: The next chapter in the ongoing lawsuit over Evergreen’s disputed mayoral election will unfold today (Thursday) at the Conecuh County Government Center in Evergreen.
According to officials with the Conecuh County Circuit Clerk’s Office, an evidentiary hearing in the case is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will be held in Courtroom B.
Judge Edward McDermott, a retired Mobile judge who was appointed to hear the case, filed an order on March 11 that called for subpoenas to be issued to a number of individuals, including members of the Conecuh County Board of Registrars, who were in office at the time of the mayoral run-off election.

Sellers gets Class Act award: Sparta Academy sixth-grade teacher Cecelia Sellers was presented with the WSFA Channel 12 News Class Act Award Wednesday of last week at the Evergreen school.

36 YEARS AGO
MARCH 24, 1983

Local weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.21 inches of rain on March 15; .41 on March 16 and .34 on March 17. He reported a high temperature of 76 degrees on March 15 and a low of 29 on March 13.

McArthur Thompson is still missing, in spite of a massive widespread search for him by the Evergreen Police Department, Conecuh Sheriff Edwin Booker’s staff, the State Troopers and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Thompson, a black male, approximately six feet tall, 175 pounds, who drags one foot, was last seen about four weeks ago, according to his mother, who reported him missing.
Sheriff Booker said that all law enforcement agencies, including Conservation Department Enforcement Officers, were still working around the clock trying to locate the missing man. The sheriff also said that Larry Fluker, local NAACP leader, had offered the help of his organization and had “spread the word” in communities over the county.
Mack was last seen by some of his associates on March 11, 1983. The strangest thing about the case of missing Mack is that he was scheduled to appear in court as a prosecuting witness.

Trial of cases on the State Bar Criminal Docket, Conecuh County, are scheduled for trial next week. Circuit Court will begin Monday morning at 9 o’clock in the courtroom of the Conecuh County Courthouse with Judge Robert E.L. Key presiding.

43 YEARS AGO
MARCH 25, 1976

Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported that Evergreen received .34 of an inch of rain on March 21. He also reported a high of 81 degrees on March 20 and a low of 31 on March 17.

Three Conecuh County young women are among the 13 contestants in a preliminary Miss America pageant scheduled April 2 and 3 at Patrick Henry Junior College in Monroeville.
Contestants from this area are Ernestine Garrett, 23, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Garrett of Evergreen; Patsy Watson, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Watson of Repton; and Tammy Barlow, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Barlow, Rt. 1, McKenzie.

George W. Saxton of Evergreen has qualified for the Democratic nomination for the office of Constable, Beat 11, in the primary election of May 4.

Bobby Stewart, well-known farmer and cattleman of the Fairview community, qualified last Thursday as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Chairman of the Conecuh County Commission.

Wayne E. Johnston, County Treasurer and clerk to the County Commission, has been appointed absentee voting officer for the county in the primary elections this year by Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key. The appointment was made on Monday, being necessary because Circuit Clerk Leon A. Salter, who would normally serve in that capacity, is a candidate for re-election.

52 YEARS AGO
MARCH 30, 1967

Wolfe Ambulance Service will begin offering ambulance service to all of Conecuh County this Sat., April 1. Cope Funeral Home will end this service Friday. Frank Wolfe of Monroeville, owner of the new service, is already operating an ambulance service in Monroe County.

Warrant Officer One R.B. Griffin has started a 12-months tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He is the son of Mrs. Bertha Griffin of Rt. 1, Evergreen.

Service station operators were warned this week by Evergreen Police Chief John Andrews not to sell gasoline or other combustible fluids in glass containers. He pointed out that to do so is a violation of a city ordinance.
Andrews said that each year about this time when lawn-mowing is resumed there are violations of the ordinance reported. He said that it is very dangerous for gasoline to be carried in glass containers and enforcement of the law is necessary for public safety.

Marine Private First Class James C. Salter Jr., grandson of Mrs. Emmie Tatum of Rt. 1, Evergreen, is in Da Nang, Vietnam serving as a member of ‘A’ Battery, First Battalion, 13th Marine Regiment.

Lyeffion Principal Roy M. Davis crowns Ollie Mae Ward as Miss Lyeffion at the annual pageant Saturday night, sponsored by the Lyeffion FHA.

67 YEARS AGO
MARCH 27, 1952

Record Rainfall Here During Past Weekend: According to officials at the local Airways Communication and Weather reporting station at Evergreen Airport, the past weekend was the wettest since the opening of the station Nov. 19, 1949. Weather records beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday afternoon until 6 a.m. Monday morning show a total of 3.44 inches of rainfall for those 36 hours.
The station located at Middleton Field, Evergreen, is manned 24 hours daily by one or more of the following personnel: Walter L. Chambers, Chief, William S. Andrews Jr., Wiley H. Sanders Jr., Sparkman Long, Jack L. Broome.

With the Eighth Army in Korea – Cpl. Alton E. Cook, Belleville St., Evergreen, Ala., is now serving on the island of Kojedo, 40 miles off the coast of southern Korea, with the 121st Transportation Truck Co.

After serving for the past 10 months in Japanese and Korean waters, the landing ship tank USS 772 has arrived in San Diego, Calif. Serving aboard her is William E. Henderson, seaman apprentice, USN of Evergreen, Ala.

George W. Estes, age 44, popular and well known teacher of Vocational Agriculture at Lyeffion High School, died at a Greenville hospital March 19, following an illness of many months. He was a devoted member of the Church of Christ and a Mason.

Fort Riley, Kansas – Second Lt. William E. Dantzler, son of Samuel A. Dantzler, McKenzie, Rt. 2, Ala., received his gold bars at commissioning exercises for Army Officer Candidate Class 42 at Fort Riley, March 22. Lt. Dantzler graduated from the Evergreen High School in 1948 and entered the Army in October of that year.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.75 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.30 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.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Conecuh County's Brooklyn Baptist Church nears 200th anniversary

Brooklyn Baptist Church in Conecuh County, Ala.

I was out scouting around the other day and found myself in Brooklyn, way down in the southeastern corner of Conecuh County. I’d been to Brooklyn many times before, but on this particular day I didn’t have much going on, so I took my time as I eased down through the middle of town. When you take the time to slow down and really observe your surroundings, you’ll almost always see something you haven’t noticed before.

I entered Brooklyn from the direction of Evergreen and turned west on County Road 6 when I came to the main intersection in “downtown” Brooklyn. From there, I passed by the stores, the old fire station and the old Masonic hall that have been landmarks in Brooklyn for years and years. Brooklyn was once one of the largest communities in all of Conecuh County, and I tried to imagine what the town must have looked like more than a century ago.

According to B.F. Riley’s “History of Conecuh County,” the first settler of what is now Brooklyn was a man named Cameron, who established a ferry over the Sepulga River. In 1820, an intrepid pioneer named Edwin Robinson bought out Cameron’s ferry business, opened a store and named the community Brooklyn after his hometown of Brooklyn, Connecticut. Soon after, the village got a doctor, churches were constructed, a grist mill and other businesses sprung up, and more and more families moved in.

I continued west on County Road 6 until I arrived at the Brooklyn Baptist Church. I’d traveled past this church many times before, but as I pulled off the road in front of the church, it dawned on me that I’d never actually set foot on the church grounds. I switched off the truck and got out for a closer look.

No doubt, the Brooklyn Baptist Church is one of the most beautiful churches in all of Conecuh County. It is also one of the oldest. Founded in 1821, services were originally held inside a small wooden cabin, and the church that sits on the property now was built in 1861.

As I made my way around the front of the building, I snapped a few pictures of the church before making my way to the main gate of the cemetery. The gate creaked as I stepped inside, loudly enough to attract the attention of two sizeable black dogs from across the road. They barked at me a few times to let me know they were there, but they eventually grew bored with my presence and returned to the shade of their yard.

After about half an hour of exploring this large cemetery, I returned to my truck and headed back towards Evergreen. As the miles rolled beneath my wheels, my thoughts turned to Brooklyn’s most famous landmark, which I have never seen in person – Turk’s Cave. Often called “Sanders Cave,” this cave was supposedly used as a hideout by the outlaw, Joseph T. Hare.

Hare and his gang of highwaymen were said to have robbed and murdered travelers way back in the days of the Alabama Territory, back when the Indians still maintained possession of large parts of present-day Alabama. Hare and his companions supposedly stored their “treasures” in and around this cave and used it for a time as their camp and base of operations. Hare was eventually hung for his crimes in Baltimore, Maryland – many miles from his old hideout in Conecuh County.

In the end, I’ve always wanted to see Sanders Cave for myself, if only just for long enough to snap a picture of its entrance. I’ve been told that you can get very sick from breathing the unhealthy air inside this bat-infested cave, so I’d settle for just getting close enough to see the entrance and take a good photo of the cave. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get the chance to visit Sanders Cave in person, but until then that will be a story for another time.

Question: How are teams selected for the NIT basketball tournament?

The National Invitational Tournament Trophy.

Evergreen’s Clint Hyde asked me an interesting sports-related question earlier this week. He’d seen on ESPN.com that Alabama, Indiana, TCU and UNC-Greensboro were the top four seeds in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) by virtue of being the first four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament. His question was: How does one know that these were the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament.

This was something I’d never heard before, and I presumed that the organizers of the NCAA Tournament and NIT work closely together on Selection Sunday. To me it makes sense that the NCAA tourney folks would provide the NIT organizers with the rankings of their selection committee to let the NIT organizers know which teams are off the table. It would also allow the NIT organizers to reach out to those non-NCAA tourney teams immediately with invitations to their tourney.

A ranked list also benefits the NIT tourney because, for the good of the sport, they have a good idea of who to invite in order to make their tournament as competitive (and profitable) as possible and not an afterthought. Both tournaments benefit from the promotion of their sport, and I suspect that ranking the teams also helps the feelings of some teams that don’t make the big tournament.

When I took a closer look at this, I learned that like the big NCAA Tournament, the NIT is also administered by the NCAA. Only 32 teams are invited to the NIT and at one time ESPN (which televises the tourney) had a big hand in the selection process. Officially, a committee of former college coaches select the teams from the NIT. I suspect that to aid in their decisions they’re supplied with the NCAA selection committee rankings.

The big NCAA tournament features 68 teams. Thirty-two of those teams receive automatic bids by winning their conference championships. The other 36 teams receive at-large berths in the tourney, and they are selected for the tournament by the NCAA selection committee.

I was interested to learn that the current NCAA selection committee for the men’s basketball tourney only has 10 members. Eight of them are athletic directors and two of them are conference commissioners. This is a pretty small group, and they work for such universities as Stanford, Kentucky, BYU, Northwestern and Duke.

I consider myself a casual college basketball fan, but I like filling out an NCAA tournament bracket as much as the next fellow. Also, just like the next fellow, my bracket is usually busted after the first round or two. Just for fun, like millions of other people, I filled out a bracket on Monday with predictable results.

The only SEC teams I have getting to the Sweet 16 are LSU, Tennessee and Kentucky. I’ve got Duke winning the East bracket and Gonzaga wining the West. I look for Virginia to win the South bracket and for North Carolina to win the Midwest.

I predict that Duke and Virginia will meet in the National Championship Game on April 8 with Duke winning it all. With that said, I’ve never been a huge Duke fan, and my prediction of their winning the “Big Dance” will likely prove to be the kiss of death. In the end, only time will tell, but we’ve got a lot of good basketball to watch ahead of us.

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

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.75 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 16.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 13.30 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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Book relates tall tale of Wilcox County turkey-calling champion


I especially enjoyed listening to the latest episode of the “Gettin’ Outdoors Podcast,” which is hosted by well-known Wilcox County outdoorsman, James “Big Daddy” Lawler. The latest episode, which was released on March 14, was almost entirely about the start of turkey season and featured special guest David Hawley of the Wild Turkey Report. As I traveled down the road, listening to the podcast on my iPhone, I got to thinking about an unusual Wilcox County turkey story that I read years ago.

In 1981, the University of Alabama Press published a book called “Ghosts and Goosebumps: Ghost Stories, Tall Tales and Superstitions from Alabama” by Jack and Olivia Solomon. Most of the stories in this book were gathered during field investigations made between 1958 and 1962 by Troy State University students enrolled in an introductory folklore course. The book also includes folk tales from the Alabama Slave Narratives gathered in Alabama by field workers in the National Writers’ Project: Folklore Division of the Works Progress Administration.

In a section of the book called “The Tales,” readers will find a story titled “The Turkey Calling Champion,” as told by Bonnie Dean. According to this tall tale, a Wilcox County man won the title of champion Turkey Caller, and, as things go, a somewhat unusual story was told about this outstanding turkey hunter.

A “story is told that this man was out hunting turkey one day, and he was lying down behind a big log, using it for a blind. He started to call at short intervals, and it wasn’t long before a big gobbler started to answer. He could hear the big gobbler as he got closer and closer, but he could not see him because of the log.

“He knew if he raised up to look over the log, the turkey would see him, so he reached through the hole (under the log) and grabbed. The man couldn’t pull the turkey under the log through the hole because the turkey was so big. He didn’t know what to do since he knew he wouldn’t have time to let loose, grab his gun and shoot the turkey, so he finally decided what to do. He let loose the gobbler, picked up his call and called the turkey around to his side of the log and killed him.”

Now I know as well as the rest of you that this tale sounds a little hard to believe, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not true. After all, the man in this story was not your average turkey hunter. He was a champion turkey caller. Of course, if he could call a turkey around a log after grabbing it through a hole, his calling skills were truly extraordinary.

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading audience who might be able to shed more light on this tale. Who was Bonnie Dean? Who was the unnamed champion turkey caller in her story? When and exactly where did this turkey calling incident supposedly happen? Also, let me hear from you if you have your own tall tale you’d like to share, especially if it has to do with hunting and fishing.