Friday, January 31, 2020

Latest 'Missing 411' book includes 65 new disappearance cases


I recently finished reading David Paulides’s new book, “Missing 411-Canada: Unexplained Disappearances,” and I found it to be just as thought provoking and disturbing as the other eight books he’s published about mysterious missing persons cases.

Published late last year, “Missing 411: Canada” is the ninth book in Paulides’s series on bizarre disappearances, and it is the only book in the series dedicated entirely to one country. This 353-page book includes dozens and dozens of missing person accounts, including information on 65 new incidents. Some of the cases in the book were featured in earlier books in the series, but they’ve been updated with new information for readers.

For those of you unfamiliar with Paulides’s research and books, he looks at missing person cases that meet certain profile points, especially cases involving missing hunters, young men who’ve been drinking and are later found dead in bodies of water, and individuals who are found in areas previously searched. He also researches people who go missing while picking berries (there are a surprising number), cases where tracking dogs fail to locate the missing person, and missing person cases involving people with disabilities. He has also done a lot of research on missing person cases that involve people of high intellect and of German descent.

The case of Eva Hall is a typical case from the book. Hall was a 13-year-old berry picker, who went missing in Ontario in 1932. On Aug. 16 of that year, she went out to pick berries in a rural area with an extremely swampy landscape. Hall never returned and a large search party of over 400 looked for her for two days without any luck. To this day, she has never been found.

Another typical case from the book is that of 70-year-old fire tower attendant Stephanie Stewart, who disappeared in 2006 from her post in Alberta. When Stewart missed all three of her mandatory check-ins with supervisors in one day, they went to look for her they found a pot of water boiling on the stove, and a pillow, sheet and blanket missing from her cabin. Despite one of the “largest searches ever undertaken in Alberta forests” and a $20,000 reward, Stewart remains missing to this day.

There’s a lot more to the two cases mentioned above, and if those two cases piqued your interest, be aware that Paulides’s new book is full of other such cases. In fact, most are more bizarre than the two cases mentioned above. I think many in the reading audience, especially hunters and outdoorsmen, will find the cases in this book highly interesting.

I also enjoyed the portions of the book that discussed the methods and techniques used by professional search and rescue personnel. These people are highly trained, know their jobs and have access to high-tech equipment like military-grade forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR). Despite all this, they come up empty handed and scratching their heads over many of the cases in Paulides’s book.

In the end, I highly recommend this book to anyone in the reading audience with an interest in missing persons cases, the unexplained and the flat-out bizarre. If you like this book, you’ll also enjoy the other books in his series, some of which include cases from Alabama. My personal favorite in the series is “Missing 411: Hunters,” which presents readers with dozens of highly unusual cases involving hunters that have disappeared over the years. For more information about these books and to purchase a copy, visit www.canammissing.com.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

More bright days ahead for Hillcrest High School's 'Miracle Worker'

Smith, right, receives game ball after 2017 title game.

I call Hillcrest head football coach Clinton Smith the “Miracle Worker” because he and his talented staff have worked a miracle with the Hillcrest football program over the past five seasons. Prior to his arrival as head coach in 2015, I had serious doubts about whether Hillcrest would ever win a state title in football. He made a believer out of me in 2017 when the Jags captured the 3A state title, the first in school history, and the sky has been the limit for the program ever since.

Like a lot of people in the community, I was thrilled to learn that he changed his mind about leaving Hillcrest for another head coaching job at Shades Valley. The people of Conecuh County, especially those with sons of football-playing age, should thank their lucky stars that Smith is staying at Hillcrest. His remaining at Hillcrest will be life changing for this group of young men, especially when you consider his track record.

Coach Smith became the head football coach at Hillcrest in 2015, and he has had a remarkable five-year run at the school. Just how good have the past five year’s been for Hillcrest football? In short, it’s been the best in school history. Not knocking any of the other coaches the school has had, but the numbers bear this out.

Including Smith, Hillcrest has had seven head coaches since 1989. Smith has a 42-24 overall record at the school, and he’s the only coach in Hillcrest history to sport a winning overall record, with the exception of former Auburn University head football coach Doug Barfield who went 8-1 in one season as the school’s first football coach in 1989. Smith’s 42 wins are also the most of any coach in school history, and his record in playoff games, 12-4, is also far and away better than any coach in the history of the school.

Speaking of playoffs, Smith has gone to the playoffs in each of his five seasons at Hillcrest, and he’s taken the school to at least the quarterfinals three times, the semi-finals twice and the state championship game once (which he won). Many of these playoff games were among the greatest games in school history. Memorable games that come immediately to mind include Hillcrest’s 25-22 rematch road win over T.R. Miller in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs in 2015; the huge semi-final round win over Clarke County in 2017; and Hillcrest’s state championship victory over Randolph County in 2017 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Smith and his staff accomplished all of this while competing in arguably the toughest 3A and 4A regions in the state. When you have success against competition like UMS-Wright, T.R. Miller, Flomaton, Clarke County, Mobile Christian and Andalusia, you’ve have done something. These people aren’t pushovers, and they don’t lay down for anybody.

In the end, I want to thank Coach Smith for what he’s done for Hillcrest’s football program and his players. He has taken the program to new heights by winning more total games than any other coach in the history of the school, by turning Hillcrest into a team that you dread to play because they’re so tough to beat, and he’s had a huge impact on the lives of his players. No doubt he’s a future Hall of Famer and best of luck to him in his years to come at Hillcrest.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Do ghosts roam the halls of the old hotel at McWilliams, Alabama?

Old abandoned hotel at McWilliams, Alabama. 

The McWilliams community is one of the most interesting places in all of Wilcox County. Located on State Highway 21, just north of the Monroe County line, McWilliams was named for its first postmaster, Evander T. McWilliams, in 1900. McWilliams also prides itself on being the boyhood home of country music legend Hank Williams, who lived there as a child in the 1920s.

I was out riding around the other day and found myself passing through McWilliams. Not rushed to be anywhere in particular, I decided to take a few minutes to visit the town’s most prominent landmarks. Those of you who have been to McWilliams before will know that it’s not a big place, but there is a lot to see there if you take the time.

My first stop was at the McWilliams Baptist Church on Holly Street, where you’ll find a sign out front that says it was founded in 1904. I scouted around for a few minutes, snapping a few pictures and looking for a cornerstone that might provide more information about the church’s history. Finding no such cornerstone, I hopped back in my truck and continued down Holly Street.

A little farther down this quiet street, I pulled over at the McWilliams Methodist Church, which was founded in 1903. In front of this wood-frame church, I took a few minutes to look at the old church bell that’s mounted on a brick column in the yard and noted a partial inscription on the bell’s broken yoke that indicated that this old, rusted bell was manufactured many years ago by the C.S. Bell Company of Hillsboro, Ohio. One is left to wonder just how old this bell could be as the C.S Bell Co. was founded way back in 1875.

From there, I walked up onto the church’s porch, and cupped my hands around my eyes for a quick look inside the sanctuary. A minute or so later, I took the short stroll over to the Pineview Memorial Cemetery, which is located behind the church. This small cemetery looks to contain about 50 graves and the oldest marked grave that I saw was that of Addie E. Till, who was just five months old when she passed away in August 1904.

Next, I drove around to what is arguably the most historic structure in all of McWilliams, the old McWilliams Hotel. Looking at this old building from the street, one can only wonder how many people came and went through its doors when McWilliams was a booming railroad town. I also couldn’t help but wonder if there were any old ghost stories associated with this building. Horror writer Stephen King famously said that every big hotel has a ghost, lonely guests die in hotels sometimes, hotels are superstitious places, many with no Room 13.

I shook off the chill that ran down my spine and traveled down the street that took me by the Winters Excelsior Company, which is said to be one of the oldest operating private mills in the world. Operations seemed to be running at full blast as I eased down the street, doing my best to avoid a trio of curious dogs that barked at me as I passed down the street toward Highway 21. A man getting his sack lunch out of his truck saw the dogs and just shook his head and smiled.

A minute or so later, I passed by the locked-up McWilliams Kountry Mart and then turned down the side road that leads to the historic McWilliams Cemetery, which was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2017. I’ve been to this old cemetery many times before and as I strolled among the headstones, I was struck by the irony that the town’s namesake, Evander T. McWilliams, isn’t even buried in McWilliams. You will find his grave in the Bethel Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Oak Hill.

A glance at my watch and the rumble of my stomach reminded me that it was getting close to the lunch hour, so I got back in my truck and pointed it towards home. As I traveled down the highway, I couldn’t help but wonder about all the people who have called McWilliams home over the years. I’m sure they would have many stories to tell about their hometown and its heyday as a prominent railroad stop in Wilcox County.

In the end, let me hear from you if you have a good McWilliams story to share. I’m especially interested in any old ghost stories or local legends associated with McWilliams. Also, if you know of any old Indian village or mound sites in this area, please let me know. I think it’s important to document these tales for posterity before they become lost in the fading fogs of the past.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Jan. 28, 2020

Randy Brock takes his oath of office in 2015.

FIVE YEARS AGO
JAN. 22, 2015

Weather observer Betty Ellis reported 0.01 inches of rain in Evergreen on Jan. 12 and 0.06 inches on Jan. 14. She reported a high of 68 on Jan. 12 and a low of 29 on Jan. 18.

Randy Brock officially became Conecuh County’s new sheriff on Tuesday morning when he was administered the oath of office by his brother, District Judge Jeff Brock, in front of a large crowd of friends and family in the main courtroom at the Conecuh County Government Center in Evergreen.

Scores and scores of onlookers lined the streets of downtown Evergreen to see this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, which featured Hillcrest High School’s marching band, floats and numerous vehicles representing local churches, organizations and civic clubs.

Search on for missing woman: Evergreen police and family members are seeking information regarding the whereabouts of 30-year-old Evergreen resident Shandra Glover, who has been missing for over three weeks.
Shandra “Pooh” Glover lived in a residence on Belleview Avenue in Evergreen and was described by family members as 5-foot-3 and weighing around 200 pounds. She is the daughter of Narvel Glover, who taught school at Conecuh County Junior High School in Castleberry for 31 years.
Narvel Glover told The Courant that family members last saw her daughter on Dec. 28 and that she’s been missing since Dec. 30 when she signed out of a healthcare facility in Covington County.

30 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1990

Weather observer Harry Ellis reported 2.29 inches of rain on Jan. 18 and 1.7 inches of rain on Jan. 20. He reported a high of 76 degrees on Jan. 19 and a low of 37 degrees on Jan. 21.

County well represented by Jr. Miss Missi Sanford: Conecuh County was well represented by Missi Sanford at the State Junior Miss/Young Women of the Year pageant this past weekend (Jan. 19-20) in Montgomery. Missi is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Sanford and is a senior at Sparta Academy.

The Evergreen Garden Club planted a white dogwood during a dedication ceremony Monday morning in the mini-park at Evergreen City School in memory of the late Mrs. C.C. Miller, a long-time member and honorary member of the club. The Rev. Jack Williamson gave the prayer of dedication. Garden Club members taking part were Mrs. Marie Pugh, secretary; Mrs. Gloria Hartley, president; Mrs. Gene McDonald and Miss Ann Miller, daughter of Mrs. Miller; Mrs. Voncile Windham; and Mrs. Elaine Jones.

U.S. Representative William L. “Bill” Dickinson will be the featured speaker at the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce’s annual Promotion-Membership Banquet on Tuesday night, Feb. 13, at seven o’clock at the Quality Inn.
President Willene Whatley and other Chamber officials are elated that one of the states top elected officials has agreed to address the meeting.

55 YEARS AGO
JAN. 28, 1965

Child Killed Tuesday in freak accident: Robert Reginald Eros, age four, of Huntsville was killed Tuesday morning when a tire blowout caused a station wagon driven by his mother to overturn on I-65 near Evergreen. Mrs. Eros was in the northbound lane on Interstate 65 when the mishap occurred. Young Eros was thrown from the car and killed when the vehicle overturned on him.
Mrs. Eros was injured in the wreck along with four of her daughters, Mary Elizabeth, Charlotte Dian, Gabrielle and Margaret Lucinda. They were taken to Conecuh County Hospital. Their injuries were not believed to be serious. Troopers Sorrells and Pitchford were the investigating officers.

Jimmy Frazier completes OCS: James N. Frazier, 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis S. Frazier, 103 Williams Ave., Evergreen, was commissioned an Army second lieutenant after being graduated from the Officer Candidate School at the Artillery and Missile Center, Fort Sill, Okla., Jan. 19.
Lt. Frazier was graduated from Evergreen High School in 1955 and attended Holmes Junior College, Goodman, Miss.

Aubrey Lee Davis, prominent Conecuh County businessman and political leader, died unexpectedly at 2 a.m. Sun., Jan. 24, at a Monroeville hospital.
Mr. Davis had operated a general store in the Loree community for many years. He also had farming, cattle and other interests. He was very active in the Republican Party for many years serving on the executive committee as county chairman and in other offices. He was the husband of the Postmaster of Repton.

80 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1940

R.G. BOZEMAN RECOMMENDED FOR POSTMASTER APPOINTMENT: A telegram from Congressman George Grant Fri., Jan. 19, addressed to R.G. Bozeman informed him that he had been recommended for appointment as postmaster of Evergreen. Mr. Grant’s recommendation was made one day after the civil service commission had announced the eligible list composed of besides Bozeman, J.L. Kelly and Robt. L. Stallworth, the present postmaster.
Appointment of postmasters is made by the President of the United States subject to the confirmation of the U.S. Senate.

COMING Sat., Jan. 27, PIX THEATRE, Matinee 10-15 cents – Night 10-25 cents – In Person on the Stage – Nationally Known Magician – TUCKER KEY – and his entire company – FEATURING – The Girl From Nowhere – Disappearing Bird & Cage – The Hindu Tent Mystery – Where Does The Rabbit Go? – The Human Volcano – Fishing For Birds and THE GIRL THAT WALKS THROUGH A KEYHOLE – A Carload of COMEDY AND MAGIC – More Mystery Than A Real Live GHOST.

Father And Son Die In Horton Community: Horton community was saddened and shocked at the untimely passing Mon., Jan. 22, of Mr. Hilary Barlow and son, Aubry. The father passed away at 6:20 a.m. and his son 16 hours later.
Mr. Barlow was suffering from a broken leg at the time of his death, while his son was seriously ill with an acute kidney infection, which proved fatal to him.

105 YEARS AGO
JAN. 27, 1915

A light flurry of snow fell here for a short while on Monday.

Prof. C.C. Smith of Healing Springs has been elected superintendent of the Orphans Home to succeed Mr. Reynolds who will remove to Birmingham. Prof. Smith is expected to reach here next week with his family to take up his new work. The Orphanage board feel that they have made a wise selection in the person of Prof. Smith for this important and responsible work.

Charles Savage Jr. was painfully injured several days ago by being caught in some part of the machinery at the oil mill. He is doing as well as could be expected.

The Arcade Theatre will only run every other day next week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The people of Evergreen should show their appreciation of the only amusement in Evergreen by patronizing the show as Mr. Gantt secures first class pictures.

For a cool clean shave and a neat haircut, go to Moye’s Barber Shop, the finest place in town to get your barber work. Second door from post office.

The Mission Study Class of the Methodist Church met on Monday afternoon with Mrs. R.R. Phillips on Magnolia Street. After a very interesting program prepared by the class leader, Mrs. Phillips, refreshments, hot chocolate and sandwiches were served.

130 YEARS AGO
JAN. 23, 1890
THE EVERGREEN STAR

Mr. J.J. Carter had the misfortune to have a fine cow killed by a railroad train on yesterday.

Married – At Georgiana, Ala., on the 9th inst., Mr. J.A. Mason of Brooklyn to Miss J.A. Beasley of Georgiana, Rev. C.C. Lloyd officiating.

Five convicts, all white men, escaped from the prison at Pratt Mines a few days ago since, two of whom were captured four hours afterward within less than a mile of the prison through they had been running all the while.

Rev. W.F. Lunder will occupy the pulpit at the Protestant Methodist church on the first Sunday in February, at 11 o’clock a.m. The public are cordially invited to attend.

No better democratic doctrine was ever enunciated from the forum than that which was spoken here on Monday last by Hon. Ben Terrell, Lecturer of the National Farms Alliance. He is moreover a pleasing, forcible and attractive speaker, well calculated to convince men of the correctness of his views.

Col. P.D. Bowles paid a visit to the Gulf City on Monday last.

Mr. L. Quenin has removed with his family to Greenville where he has engaged in business.

Dr. W.J. Mason, President of the Monroe County Alliance, was in Evergreen on Monday last to hear the National Lecturer Terrell.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Jan. 27, 2020

Sparta's Jayden McKeough and Emily Rodgers in 2015.

FIVE YEARS AGO
JAN. 22, 2015

Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team improved to 15-2 on the season during the past week thanks to big wins over Opp and Escambia County.
Hillcrest, ranked No. 7 in 3A, beat area opponent Opp, 57-28, Tuesday of last week in Evergreen and blasted Escambia County, 53-36, Saturday night in Atmore.
(Top Hillcrest players in that game included Tyler Fountain, Matt Likely, Tyrell Riley and Keyshawn Roach.)

Sparta Academy’s varsity girls beat Lowndes Academy, 58-53, in an overtime battle of ranked region rivals Tuesday of last week in Evergreen.
Sparta’s Lady Warriors entered that game ranked No. 6 among the state’s AISA girls teams, and Lowndes entered the contest ranked No. 7.
Alex Etheridge led Sparta with a double double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Half of her points came from the free-throw line as she finished the game 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. She also had three steals, three assists and a block.
(Other top Sparta players in that game included Lauryn Bolton, Maggie Brock, Emily Deason, Abby Dunn, Roberta Hall, Amber Kirksey, Jayden McKeough, Zoe Philyaw, Ashley Riley, Emily Rodgers, Lisa Smith, Gaby Weaver and Reagan Wild.)

Jackson Conway, son of Terry and Kristy Conway of Evergreen, killed this nice eight-point buck recently. He is 11 years old and in the sixth grade at Sparta Academy.

30 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1990

Richard Melton killed this trophy buck Wednesday of last week. The deer weighed 170 pounds and had 10-point antlers with 17-1/2 inch spread.

55 YEARS AGO
JAN. 28, 1965

County High has county title back after just a year: The Conecuh County basketball championship is back where the Blue Devils apparently think it belongs at Conecuh County High School. The Castleberry team won the 1965 crown in the tournament held at Lyeffion to get the title back from Evergreen.
Last year, the Aggies won the championship after the Blue Devils had held it for several years in a row. This year the best they could do was finish second.
George Godwin netted 15 points to lead Castleberry to an easy 49-33 win over Evergreen in the finals. They advanced into the finals with a close win over Lyeffion. The Aggies bumped Repton to gain the finals. Larry Heaton added nine points for the winners; Ron Jones and Don Sawyer, eight each; Don Janes, seven; and Jim Oliver, two.
Wayne Tolbert with 11 and Mike Fields with 10 led the Aggies. Jim Warren had six; Bill Kendall, four; and Steve Baggett, two.

From “Front Page, Upper Left Corner” by Bob Bozeman: First, an apology to the fine Conecuh County High School basketball team and their many supporters for failing, through an oversight, to carry an account of their winning the county basketball championship. Coach Wayne Pope’s crew lost title to the crown for only a year.
The Blue Devils again have one of the better teams in this section and will be in the thick of the fight for a berth in the state tournament. Conecuh High has dominated county basketball about 10 years now.
Again, my apologies and congratulations to the Blue Devils.

80 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1940

Aggies Trip Red Level: A fast-passing and true-shooting Evergreen High School team defeated a dangerous Red Level five here Friday night to the tune of 24-15. The first half saw the two teams battle on even terms, Evergreen leading 8-5 at the half. In the second half the Aggies developed an eye for the hoop and salted the game away in the fourth quarter. D. Moorer was outstanding scorer for the night with 10 points.

McKenzie Bows To Aggies: The E.H.S. Aggies played host to the McKenzie High five here Tuesday night, Jan. 23, and walloped them to the tune of 34-19. High score honors for the night went to Wiggins and D. Moorer, who scored 14 and 12 points respectively. This apparently was one of the easiest wins of the season for the Aggie quint, who have won six straight games since the holidays.

Brewton defeats Castleberry: The Brewton Millers defeated the Conecuh County High School Panthers Tues., Jan. 16, by a 24-19 margin. Brawner Carr of Castleberry was the games leading scorer, dropping 14 points through the hoop. Reid of Brewton followed with 10.

Castleberry Defeats Damascus: The Castleberry Panthers defeated the Damascus High School Friday, Jan. 19, by a 34-10 margin. Little Calvin Deuel was high scorer in the game with 15 points. The Damascus five was led by Palmer who dropped eight points in the oval, the remaining two points were scored by Evans. Castleberry’s individual scoring was as follows: Gaston, four; C. Deuel, 15; G. Deuel, nine; H. Deuel, two; Carr, four.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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

Grave of Lyston Allen Hixon at Fountain, Ala.

30 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1990

Restoration featured nationally: The January-February 1990 National Trust for Historic Preservation magazine contained an article about the restoration of the Old Monroe County Courthouse. For any of you who are members, the article is on Page 13, or you may see the article at the Monroe County Library.
On Tues., Jan. 9, the Monroe County Commission approved the advertising of bids for the work of restoring the dome of the Old Courthouse. On Tues., Jan. 30, the bids will be opened and a contractor selected.

J.U. Blacksher is regular-season champion: J.U. Blacksher High School upended Excel High 67-48 Friday at Uriah to record its first 1A Area 2 regular-season varsity boys basketball championship since the Alabama High School Athletic Association began using the area system in 1974.
Kevin Bohannon led Blacksher’s scoring with his 17 points. Johnny Green and Jarrell Hollinger added 13 points each to Blacksher’s charge. Blacksher’s Mike Dailey followed with eight points off the bench.
(Other top Blacksher players in that game included Darrell Hollinger, Pat Lambert, Ed Taylor and Phillip Wallace. Gary Lambert was Blacksher’s head coach.)

Rescuer of the Year: Lt. James McKinley of Frisco City is awarded a plaque by Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs for being chosen “Rescuer of the Year” by the Monroe County Rescue Squad. McKinley helped organize the squad more than 30 years ago and has remained active since. This is the first year the award has been given, but the squad plans to make it an annual event.

55 YEARS AGO
JAN. 28, 1965

Death Said Caused By Blow On Head: The death of a Mobile man found in his car in Little River between the Monroe and Escambia County lines Sunday morning was caused by a blow on the head and not from drowning as was first reported, according to officials.
An autopsy performed by State Toxicologist Nelson Grubbs of Mobile Tuesday revealed the cause of death of Ernest Lee Keller, 60, of Mobile.
Mr. Keller was found Sunday morning in the river at Prestwood Bridge by a passing motorist who called Monroe County Sheriff Charlie Sizemore. The body was removed from the automobile, which was partially submerged in the river and taken to Monroeville but later transferred to Atmore.
Sheriff Sizemore said it appeared that Mr. Keller ran off the end of the bridge into the water. Investigators from both Monroe and Escambia Counties are investigating the accident.

OPENED THURSDAY – The new modern Piggly Wiggly building located on Claiborne Street had its grand opening Thursday. The new building boasts the most modern equipment and facilities and features a 200-car parking lot at the front.

Walter Cleveland Nicholas, 72, died Fri., Jan. 22, in the University Hospital in Birmingham following a short illness. Mr. Nicholas was a native of Monroe County. Mr. Nicholas was a World War I veteran, serving over two years in France.
He resided in Excel most of his life where he was in the general mercantile business for about 45 years.

80 YEARS AGO
JAN. 25, 1940

Faulk Residence Destroyed By Fire Last Friday Night: The home of Misses Jennie and Nannie Faulk, just south of town, was completely destroyed by fire last Friday night. Practically all the furniture and household effects were burned.
The building caught about 10 o’clock. It is thought that the blaze originated in the kitchen, but it is not definite because the occupants of the house had retired when the blaze started. Passersby discovered the fire in the house and aroused the family.

Football Banquet Held At LaSalle Hotel Thursday Night: A most enjoyable occasion was the banquet held at the new LaSalle Hotel last Thursday night, honoring the Monroe County High School football team. The people of Monroeville are proud of this fine bunch of boys, and they are deserving of the many nice compliments paid them on this occasion.
Mr. A.V. Culpepper acted as toastmaster, and the program opened with the invocation by Prof. H.G. Greer, followed by piano selections by Miss Sigler and a violin solo by Sam Yarbrough. Following timely remarks by Boyd Pullen, team captain, talks were made by R.L. Jones, A.C. Lee, H.G. Greer, G.L. Nettles, P.S. Jackson, L.L. Dees and others.

Mr. T.W. Weatherford died at his home at Eliska early last Thursday morning, following an illness of several months.
Mr. Weatherford had spent most of his life in Monroe County and was well known in other counties in South Alabama. He had been engaged for many years in extensive farming and stock raising, and at times had been engaged in the timber business in that section. For a number of years, he served as a member of the Board of Education of Monroe County.

105 YEARS AGO
JAN. 28, 1915

Dr. W.A. Mason of Excel killed an O.I.C. hog a few days ago that dressed 460 pounds.

Mr. W.C. Stinson, a prosperous farmer of South Monroe, was in to see us Monday. Mr. Stinson belongs to a happily increasing class of farmers that the prevailing hard times is not seriously affecting. He has a full corn crib, barn and smokehouse and is readily selling surplus property for hard cash.

DEATH OF LISTON A. HIXON: Mr. Liston A. Hixon died at his home in Monroeville on Tuesday night, Jan. 26, after an illness of several weeks, aged about 63 years.
For many years, Mr. Hixon had been successfully engaged in planting and merchandising in conjunction with his brother, the late Alfred C. Hixon, at his farm home at Hixon. A few years ago, he removed to Monroeville to afford his children better school advantages and during his residence here he continued in the mercantile business.
Interment was made on Wednesday at Hamilton Hill cemetery.

Dr. W.A. Stallworth and Mr. J.N. Andress of Beatrice were at the county capital Wednesday.

Rev. C.W. Henson attended the Baptist Ministers Institute at Repton last week.

Rev. D.F. Ellisor went to Montgomery Tuesday to attend the celebration of the Anti-Saloon League.

130 YEARS AGO
JAN. 24, 1890

It was our privilege and pleasure to be present, by invitation of the brethren, at the institution and public installation of officers of Monroe Lodge No. 485, A.F.&A.M., at River Ridge Tuesday last, for which purpose dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge at its last grand communication.
Upon our arrival, we met a number of visiting brethren from neighboring lodges and at the hour appointed all were assembled at the lodge hall and marched in procession to the church, which afforded greater seating capacity for the large number of interested spectators, where after a few pertinent remarks by Dr. W.H. Abernathy, the following officers-elect were introduced and duly installed by Hon. J.W. Leslie, in his most solemn and impressive manner: W.J. McCants, Worshipful Master; T.G. Reynolds, Senior Warden; H.L. Whisenhunt, Junior Warden; C.C. Nettles, Secretary; Jno. G. Johnson, Treasurer; W.A. Whisenhunt, Senior Deacon; C.T. Simmons, Junior Deacon; Jackson McKinley, Tiler.

A small tent show, consisting chiefly of acrobatic performances, visited us on Tuesday last. There was quite a large attendance both afternoon and night, and the management seemed highly pleased with Monroeville.

Prof. J.F. Mills of Canada gave a fine literary entertainment in the courthouse on Wednesday evening. His marvelous memory enables him to dispense with books and prompters, and he excels both in the serious and the comic. Altogether the performance was good and satisfactory, and worthy of the intelligent audience who patronized it.

MARRIED – At the residence of the bride’s father, Mr. Geo. Powell, by Rev. Geo. Fontaine, Mr. Joseph R. Stainton to Miss Mattie Powell.

Singleton relays holiday memories of an old, abandoned country home

Ball of mistletoe in a tree top.

(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 “A Christmas Story” was originally published in the Dec. 23, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

This is the story of a house. Built in the early 1800s in what used to be a thriving county community, this old house tells its story:

“I came into being some years before the Civil War. Though I am old and have been deserted for many years, it has not always been this way. My yards are grown over with weeds and brush, and the only sound I hear is the sighing wind through my broken windows and the creaking of my foundations as they settle to the decay of time.

“My hearths are cold, because there is no one to kindle the fires to keep out the chill. My family, the ones that built me, lie sleeping in the church yard up the road aways. I am alone now, but there was a time when I knew the sound of laughter and the patter of little feet in my hallways. These walls hold many memories – dear memories that will dwell within until my foundations crumble and return to the ground from which they came. But before this happens, let me tell of happier times.

“Of all that I remember, I think the happiest times that I recall were at Christmas. This was always the most special time of the year with my family.

“I remember the huge cedar tree that was brought out of the woods and trimmed to perfection before it was placed in the front room. The front room was where all the company that came to visit was received. The nicest bed, the best chairs, the sofa, and the piano were in the front room.

“After the tree was in place, decorations were made and pine cones painted all different colors. The sweet gum burrs were dipped in silver paint to look like huge snow flakes hanging in my windows. There also was the Indian corn with the many colored ears and they hung in clusters at each end of the mantel.

“I could never forget the colorful paper chains looped about the tree, with handmade little paper bells hanging everywhere. Always there was the silver star, made from tin foil saved from the chewing gum wrappers, in the top of the tree. The star was always carefully packed away after the holidays, so it could be used next year.

“Oh, yes. I almost forgot about that bunch of mistletoe tacked up in the hallway, just outside the front room door. All the young men would try and catch the young ladies under it, so they could kiss them. They would giggle and always would keep an eye on the older folks around the fire, hoping that they wouldn’t see and hear what was going on.

“I remember the little ones who were looking for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Each would place a box or a hat, and on occasion the dishpan, for old Santa to put the candy and fruit in. That was out all they got, because times were hard, and there wasn’t much money around.

“There would always be a fire left to burn in the fire place. Not a big one, but one large enough to warm Santa’s hands and feet. The coffee pot was placed beside the fire place, so that all Santa had to do was to drag out a few coals with the fire poker and warm the coffee left for him.

“After supper, all the little ones were sent off to bed in the loft. For the next two or three hours, threatening calls would come from the fire side telling them that if they didn’t go to sleep, Santa Claus wasn’t coming.

“Finally, when there were no more sounds from the loft, a hurried trip was made to the smoke house out back for a taste of homemade blackberry wine. This would help pass the hours while waiting for Santa Claus.

“The next morning was always rough on me, but really I didn’t mind. The little ones would wake up early and nearly knock the stairs down, coming to see what they had in the Christmas boxes. The fires were built up and the warmth slowly crept all over the floors and walls, giving me a peaceful feeling for the day ahead.

“I’ll never forget that breakfast my family served on Christmas morning. It was something to behold – those hot biscuits with the cane syrup, and always several kinds of meat. And on this day, they always served sliced cheese, which was some kind of family tradition, I think. And always there was fried chicken – that too was kinda special.

“Along about nine o’clock, the company would start arriving. I can hear the horses now stamping on the gravel rocks outside the gate. They were impatient to get in the barn where it was warm and where there was plenty of hay. I remember the jingle of the harnesses as the men folks unhitched the wagons, talking and laughing, hurrying to get back to the fire.

“I could never describe in detail, all the different kinds of pies, cakes and custards, and all the other food that came out of those wagons. Ham, turkey, roasts, and just about everything that one could imagine was put on the table. There were times when I really felt sorry for that table, loaded down with all that food.

“After the meal was over, everyone would gather around that heavy piano and sing Christmas carols. I’ll never forget that piano, it was so heavy until extra blocks had to be installed under the front room floor to keep it from sagging. I didn’t really mind because that piano had a sound unlike any piano in the county. That after-dinner singing was sure something to remember.

“I knew the day was about to end, when I heard the rattle of harnesses and the sound of the wagon wheels on the roadway outside. As the last goodbyes were said, quiet would come again to my hallways, and the fire was left to die away in the fireplace of the front room.

“Those days are gone, and many seasons have passed since I have felt the warmth of Christmas within me. The chill of age dwells inside my walls as the north wind blows its cold damp breath through my broken windows and doors. Perhaps in time, someone will come and claim me again. Then laughter and warmth will abide within these walls and the mistletoe will hand over the front room door as before. Christmas will come again, but until that time, I will just remember.”

(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.)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Where exactly was the old Wolf Trail from early Alabama history?


Way back in early November, local history buff Bill Hart stopped by The Courant office to show me a copy of a new book called “The Old Federal Road in Alabama: An Illustrated Guide” by Kathryn H. Braund, Gregory A. Waselkov and Raven M. Christopher. Published last year in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of Alabama statehood, this 164-page book is billed as a “concise illustrated guidebook” to the Old Federal Road, which in large part makes up the border between Conecuh and Monroe counties.

I finally got my hands on a copy of this book last Thursday and while flipping through the index, I noticed an entry for the “Wolf Trail.” I’ve always been interested in reading about these old Indian trails, and the old Wolf Trail is said to have passed right through Conecuh County. This old trail was actually mentioned by name as far back as June 1799 by U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins, who made a note of it in his journals.

According to “The Old Federal Road in Alabama,” the Wolf Trail was a major path to Pensacola that Hawkins passed three minutes below Burnt Corn Spring. With that said, most sources agree that it ran through Conecuh County on its way from the Montgomery area to Pensacola. However, not all sources agree which leads one to wonder where exactly this path was located.

The writings of Conecuh County historian B.F. Riley said that this “famous” Indian trail ran from Claiborne on the Alabama River through Belleville to the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia line. Other sources say that this trail follows the route of present-day U.S. Highway 29, which will carry you from Brewton to Pensacola.

Many sources note that the Wolf Path was heavily used by Creek Indians, who would travel to Pensacola to trade with Spaniards, who were in charge of Florida until 1821. Probably the most significant thing to happen along this path in the past 250 years was the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek,” which kicked off the Creek Indian War. During this attack, soldiers ambushed Indians on the path as they made their way back from Pensacola.

According to an Alabama Highway Department report titled, “Indian Trails to Interstates: The Story of Alabama’s Road System” by Don Dodd and Gary Reeves, the Wolf Trail was also known as the Great Pensacola Trading Path and served as a “Creek horse path between the Alabama towns in the central part of the state and Pensacola in Florida. The railroad from Montgomery to Pensacola later retraced the old Wolf Trail, on which the Battle of Burnt Corn was fought.”

Last, but not least, another source, “Alabama Encyclopedia, Vol. 1: Book of Facts” says that the “Burnt Corn Fight, which marked the beginning of the Creek War, 1813-14, [took place] near the county line at the crossing of Burnt Corn Creek and Pensacola Trail, which was also known as Wolf Path and was a great trading path used by the Indians, Creeks, English and Spaniards long before the Revolutionary period.” This source also notes that there’s a large “absence of aboriginal remains” in Conecuh County and that the “only Indian town known to have existed within its limits seems to have been a village on Old Town Creek.”

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading audience with more information about the Wolf Trail or any other Indian trails in Southwest Alabama. Also, if anyone out there has ever seen a reliable map of the old Wolf Trail, please let me know. It would be nice to lay to rest this minor local mystery by settling the question once and for all.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Both Super Bowl rosters have ties to Alabama college football programs

The NFL wrapped up its conference championship games on Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers beating the Green Bay Packers. Kansas City and San Francisco will meet in Super Bowl LIV (that’s 54 for us non-Romans), which will be played on Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. As of Monday, Kansas City was a one-point favorite.

When I got to the office on Monday morning, Butch asked me if either team had any former Alabama players on their rosters. Butch is like me: If my favorite team (the Saints) doesn’t make the Super Bowl, I tend to pull for the team with the most Alabama ties. When I looked into it on Monday morning, I learned that both teams have ties to the state of Alabama.

Kansas City’s official roster includes former Alabama defensive standout Reggie Ragland, who plays linebacker for the Chiefs. The 6-foot-2, 252-pound defender wears the No. 59 jersey. Ragland, who went to Bob Jones High School in Madison, helped lead Alabama to national championships in 2012 and 2015.

Kansas City’s practice squad also includes former Alabama player Gehrig Dieter, who plays wide receiver for the Chiefs. Dieter is 6-foot-3 and tips the scales at 207 pounds. Dieter played one season at Alabama (2016) after a two-year stint at Bowling Green and finished that season with 15 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns.

Kansas City’s practice squad also includes former Auburn defender Devaroe Lawrence, who now plays defensive tackle for the Chiefs. Lawrence is 6-foot-2 and weighs 295 pounds. Lawrence played three seasons at Auburn, finishing with 45 total tackles in 28 games played.

Kansas City’s active roster also features wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who played his final season of college ball at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Hill is 5-foot-10 and weighs 185 pounds. Nicknamed “Cheetah,” Hill has been to the Pro Bowl four times in his NFL career.

On the other side of the coin, San Francisco has no former Alabama players on its roster, but there are two former Auburn players on their team, Dee Ford and Shon Coleman.

Ford, who wears jersey No. 55, plays on San Francisco’s defensive line. He’s 6-foot-2 and weighs 252 pounds. Ford went to St. Clair County High School in Odenville, then went to Auburn, where he was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2013.

Coleman is on San Francisco’s reserved-injured roster and is listed as a 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle. Coleman was born in Memphis, Tenn. and played his high school ball in Olive Branch, Miss. Like Ford, Coleman was also an All-SEC selection while at Auburn.

The Super Bowl is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and will be televised on FOX. Many people watch the Super Bowl just to see the commercials, and a 30-second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl will only cost $5.6 million. Also of note, the halftime show will be headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Many in Wilcox County are likely descended from the 102 original Mayflower passengers

Signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620.

The year 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival with the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. This important anniversary has generated much interest in the Alabama Mayflower Society, a lineage society for the descendants of the 102 original Mayflower passengers.

According to Kevin Sellew, the Lt. Governor of the Gulf Coast Colony of the Alabama Mayflower Society, statistically, Alabama has about 161,000 Mayflower descendants, an average of around 2,400 per county. No doubt a number of these descendants live in Wilcox County, including some who probably have no idea that they are directly descended from this historic group of colonial settlers.

Many Mayflower descendants in Southwest Alabama (including Sellew and I) are directly descended from Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins. Hopkins was one of the 41 signers of the historic Mayflower Compact and served as assistant to the governor of the Plymouth Colony for many years. Hopkins was also the only Mayflower passenger with previous experience in the New World, having helped settle Jamestown, Virginia after surviving a shipwreck on the island of Bermuda in 1609.

Hopkins has numerous descendants in and around Butler County, including many in Conecuh, Monroe and Wilcox counties. Many of these descendants are related to Hopkins through Margaret McPherson Baldwin, the wife of Dr. John Augustus Baldwin of Butler County; Sarah Marble Sellers, the wife of John F. McPherson of Butler County; and Elizabeth N. Cromartie, the wife of Duncan Sellers of Butler County. All of these individuals died in the 19th Century, and if any of them are in your family tree, you are a direct descendant of Hopkins.

I say all that to say that a free family history workshop for those interested in researching the possibility that they are descended from the original 102 Mayflower passengers will be held at the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library on Wed., Jan. 29, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Susan Hatter Crowson of Mobile, who is a member of numerous lineage societies including the Jamestown Society and the Society of Mayflower Descendants, will be the guest presenter during the program.

Crowson, who is also a Hopkins descendant, has worked with over 50 Mayflower Society members to complete their society applications, and she volunteers at the Mobile Public Library Local History and Genealogy Library once a month. The upcoming workshop in Evergreen will focus on Hopkins descendants in Southwest Alabama, but the workshop will also be helpful to people researching other Mayflower family lines. Everyone attending is asked to bring their basic family lineage chart to the event.

The workshop will also address how to join the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the organizational structure of the Mayflower Society and the types of documentation and proof needed to apply for membership. In addition to the Gulf Coast Colony, there are three other colonies in Alabama, including the Capital Colony, the Tennessee Valley Colony and the Cahaba River Colony. According to Sellew, the colony “boundaries” are not absolute and members can support whatever colony they choose. For example, while Wilcox County is closer to the Capital Colony in Montgomery by driving distance, the Gulf Coast Colony has members from Greenville, Thomasville, Andalusia, Butler, Jackson and Enterprise.

The Jan. 29 workshop in Evergreen is a free program, but those planning to attend are asked to reserve a spot by contacting library historian Sherry Johnston at 251-578-2670 or canebrakesociety@yahoo.com. Attendees are asked to call ahead so that organizers can ensure that everyone has a seat and receives the appropriate number of handouts. Attendees are asked to call by Jan. 27.

In the end, I am sure that there are a number of Mayflower descendants living in Wilcox County, and the upcoming workshop presents you with a golden opportunity if you’re even remotely interested in learning more about your family history and the Mayflower Society. I know that organizers are hoping to have a nice crowd, plus you may end up meeting some distant cousins that you didn’t know you had. For more information about the society, visit www.AlabamaMayflowerSociety.com or www.GulfCoastMayflowerColony.org.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Jan. 22, 2020

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.30 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 7.40 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 4.30 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, January 21, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Jan. 21, 2020

Hillcrest's band in 2016 parade.
FOUR YEARS AGO
JAN. 21, 2016

Hillcrest High School’s marching band was one of the many highlights of Monday afternoon’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in downtown Evergreen. The parade featured over 50 entries, representing local churches, civic organizations, public officials and clubs.

Evergreen city officials and members of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday morning to welcome the new Zaxby’s restaurant to Evergreen. The new restaurant is located in the new Liberty Hill Development off Exit 96 and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A number of public officials, civic leaders and members of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning during the grand opening of the new Johnson & Son Appliance and Service business at 532 West Front St. in Evergreen.

Alumni invited to ASCC event: Alumni of Alabama Southern Community College living in Conecuh County are invited to attend the college’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming Alumni Award Reception and other events set for tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.
The reception for past graduates of the college, which was formerly known as Patrick Henry State Junior, will be held tomorrow at the Vanity Fair Golf & Tennis Club in Monroeville.

29 YEARS AGO
JAN. 17, 1991

Weather observer Harry Ellis reported 0.15 inches of rain on Jan. 7, 0.02 inches on Jan. 8, 0.03 inches on Jan. 9, 1.48 inches on Jan. 10 and 0.10 inches on Jan. 11. He reported highs of 66 degrees on Jan. 7 and Jan. 11 and a low of 25 on Jan. 13.

Conecuh’s Stacey Sims in Montgomery all week: Conecuh County’s 1991 Young Woman of the Year, Miss Stacey Sims, has been in Montgomery all week preparing for the 34th Annual Alabama Young Woman of the Year Program.
Stacey will perform her creative and performing arts routine at the Friday evening preliminary on Jan. 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. She will be featured in her poise and composure and physical fitness routines on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 19, at 1:30 p.m. Final competitions will be Saturday evening, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held at the Montgomery Civic Center.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby will be the featured speaker at the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Promotion Membership Banquet on Friday night, Jan. 25, at seven o’clock at the Quality Inn.
President Willene Whatley and other Chamber officials are elated that one of the state’s top elected officials has agreed to address the meeting.

Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin L. Booker was administered the oath of office for his fifth term Monday afternoon by his brother, Probate Judge Rogene Booker.

54 YEARS AGO
JAN. 13, 1966

Johnson earns combat badge: Pfc. Calvin S. Johnson, whose wife, Shirley, lives on Route 2, Box 79, Evergreen, Ala., was awarded the Army’s Combat Infantryman Badge, Dec. 28, for serving in combat with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam.
Johnson, a 19-year-old machine-gunner, has been with the division since its arrival in South Vietnam’s central highlands last September.
Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Johnson, Range, is a 1964 graduate of Repton High School.

RESOLUTION: Whereas, the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe in his providence has removed from our fellowship from labor to refreshment our beloved and co-laborer, Brother James Aubrey (Jim) Hassell, who departed this life Nov. 22, 1965. Be it therefore resolved by Dean Lodge No. 112 F&AM in communication duly assembled:
That by Brother Hassell’s passing, Dean Lodge has lost an honored and valuable member, the state a good, upright citizen, and his family a devoted, loving husband and father;
That we extend to his bereaved loved ones our sincere sympathy in this sad hour of sore affliction, and commend them to the Infinite Father who looks down with compassion on the widow and children in their hour of desolation;
That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the permanent minutes of Dean Lodge, that a copy be sent to the family of the deceased brother, and that a copy be sent to The Evergreen Courant for publication. – Robert V. McLendon, Tom M. Kendall, J.F. Clements.

79 YEARS AGO
JAN. 16, 1941

Conecuh Will Inaugurate First Woman Probate Judge: Conecuh County will inaugurate a new probate judge Mon., Jan. 20, when Mrs. Edna N. Dunn succeeds Judge L.W. Price. This inauguration is unusual in that it marks the first time that a woman has ever filled that office in Conecuh, in fact, there is only one other county in the state which has a woman serving in that capacity, Washington County.
Mrs. Dunn states that Lloyd G. Hart, a young Evergreen attorney, will take over the duties of chief clerk at the time she is inducted into office.

ORMAN BOWER: Orman Bower, age 68, lieutenant U.S. Army, retired, died at the Veterans Hospital in Biloxi, Miss., Mon., Jan. 13, after a short illness.
Lt. Bower was born in Troy, Ala. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at an early age, and was retired several years ago with the rank of first lieutenant. During the years he spent in the army, he saw service in many lands. He was a Spanish-American War veteran, a World War I veteran, and served with the American forces sent to China to quell the Boxer Rebellion.
Besides his brother, M.V. Bower, Evergreen, with whom he had made his home for the past 12 years, he is survived by three other brothers: Tom Bower, Evergreen; Henry, Troy; St. Clair, Leesburg, Fla., and one sister, Mrs. Carrie B. Young, Montgomery.
Interment was in Magnolia Cemetery, Evergreen, with Wild Brothers in charge.

104 YEARS AGO
JAN. 13, 1916
THE CONECUH RECORD

Killed As He Holds His Baby: Castleberry - Wade Longmyer was shot and instantly killed at his home six miles from Castleberry. Willis Johnson is held for the crime. When shot Longmyer held one of his babies in his arms, the child’s leg being broken by one of the shots that killed the father.


Thermometer went down to 20 during the cold snap.

Wednesday, Jan. 10, the birthday of that celebrated soldier and model Christian gentleman, Robert E. Lee, was observed as a holiday in Alabama.

The special train bearing the Southeastern Kansas Boosters will reach Evergreen at 2:32 p.m. Jan. 25 and will stop 30 minutes. They will be met by a delegation of our businessmen.

An inmate died a few nights ago in the county bastille.

Dr. Ellison’s pulpit was filled last Sunday by Rev. O.F. Welch of Prattville, representing the superannuated preachers’ fund. At the close of his sermon, in response to an earnest appeal for offerings to this worthy cause, the sum of $58 was realized, several big-hearted laymen heading the list with liberal contributions. Such examples of Christian giving characterize the membership of each of our churches.

A former citizen of Evergreen, W.L. Carter of Eufaula, is visiting his brothers, A.R. and G.M. Carter.

129 YEARS AGO
JAN. 15, 1891
THE EVERGREEN STAR

The remains of Mr. William Holloman were interred here (Gravella) on the 23rd of December. Reports say he was accidentally killed while performing railroad labor at some point in Florida.

Northern tourists are coming in to Evergreen by every train.

Rev. J.E. Massey of Richmond, Va., we learn, will occupy the pulpit of the Baptist church next Sunday. Mr. Massey is said to be a very able minister.

Sheriff McCreary brought William Wicks back from the coal mines Monday. Wicks has just served out a term and is brought back to answer the charge of setting fire to the jail.

We greatly sympathize with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wilson of Brooklyn, in the loss of their only child, an infant eight months old. They brought the remains to Evergreen last Monday and interred them in Pensacola Tuesday.

There will be services in the new Baptist church at Castleberry next Sunday afternoon. The chapel is not completed yet, but it is expected that services will be held in it once a month hereafter. Any one who will pay for a window or a pew, will confer a great favor and aid in a good cause. – JNO. W. STEWART, Missionary Pastor.

Mrs. F.L. Hickox has returned from her sojourn in Connecticut. This will be gratifying news to her many Evergreen friends.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Jan. 21, 2020

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.30 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 7.40 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 4.30 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.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Jan. 20, 2020

Sparta's Zane Lambert (2) goes up for a shot.

FOUR YEARS AGO
JAN. 21, 2016

Warriors win six straight: Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team, ranked No. 9 in the AISA, extended their winning streak to six straight games during the past week with double digit wins over Lowndes Academy and South Montgomery County Academy.
On Tuesday of last week, Sparta’s Warriors beat Class A, Region 2 opponent, Lowndes Academy, 78-45, in Lowndesboro, and last Thursday, the Warriors downed SMCA, 72-16, in Evergreen.
(Standout players for Sparta in those games included Tanner Bledsoe, Hunter Bolton, Tyler Davis, Sean Kelly, Colton Lambert, Zane Lambert, Peyton McCraney, Davis Nix, Noah Pettis, Lanse Robbins, Ethan Tyree and Griffin Weaver.)

Jaguars remain perfect in area play: Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team had a busy week last week, playing four tough opponents in the span of five days and keeping their record perfect in area play.
The Jags began the week with a 70-59 win over 3A Area 2 opponent, Opp High School, in Evergreen. On a night when every player on the team scored, sophomore Kobe Bradley led the Jags with 15 total points.
On Saturday night, the Jags wrapped up its five-day run with an 80-70 loss to Class 5A Escambia County High School in Atmore. Bradley led the way in the loss with a team-high 28 points.

29 YEARS AGO
JAN. 17, 1991

Warrior girls win tournament: The Sparta Academy girls won the championship of the Demopolis Christmas Tournament on Dec. 21-22.
Sparta defeated Cathedral 27-18 in the first round. Pam Brown made 10 points; Kelly Booker, eight; Kimberli Griffin, five; and Kaye Salter, four.
The Warrior girls won the championship game defeating Jackson Academy 40-33. Brown had 12 points; Griffin, nine; Becky Hooks, six; Salter, six; Pam Jones, four; and Booker, three.
Pam Brown, Kimberli Griffin and Kelly Booker were named to the all-tournament team.

Warriors take first at Demopolis meet: The Sparta Academy Warriors boys won the championship in the Demopolis Christmas Tournament on Dec. 21-22.
Sparta beat Cathedral 70-53. Tim Salter had 21 points, and Steven Gall 18 to lead the Warriors. Scott Brown had eight points; Wayne Cook, seven; Richard Weaver, six; and Mark Watts, two.
Sparta beat Demopolis 75-65 to win the championship game. Salter had 20 points; Gall, 18; Watts, 14; Brown, 12; Cook, seven; and Weaver, two.
Three players were named to the all-tournament team with Salter named Most Valuable Player. Cook and Gall were named to the all-tournament team.

The Sparta Warrior boys finished in second place in the Monroe Academy Christmas Tournament on Dec. 14-15. Sparta defeated Lowndes Academy, 80-64. The Warriors lost to Demopolis in a close 62-61 defeat. Tim Salter and Mark Watts were named to the all-tournament team.

54 YEARS AGO
JAN. 13, 1966

Brent Thornley captures awards at QB Banquet: Brent Thornley, a senior and co-captain of the 1965 football team at Evergreen High School, won both top awards at the Evergreen Quarterback Club’s annual football banquet last Friday night at the EHS lunchroom.
QB President Waynard Price was master of ceremonies and recognized special guests. The invocation was given by the Rev. Frank Scott.
The featured speaker was Coach Richard Williamson of the University of Alabama. Coach Williamson made a fine talk on “the values I got, and you are getting will get from football.” He stressed three things he had learned from football that he thought would help any young man in life as well as sport: 1. You must be dedicated, determined and willing to pay the price to succeed. 2. You must get along with your teammates and learn to depend on them and be dependable to them. 3. Perhaps most important you must learn to work.
Evergreen Jaycee President Harold Ryals presented the Jaycees’ Most Outstanding Player of the Year Award to Thornley. EHS Principal Morris Ward presented the D.T. Stuart Football Sportsmanship Trophy to Thornley in behalf of the donor, Tal Stuart. Ward said: “This is the most prized trophy of all, the winner was selected by his coaches and his teammates, those who know best.”

Sat., Jan. 8, Mr. Frank Chavers took his Sunday School class to the Senior Bowl Classic. They were Jimmy Bell, Hollis Tranum, Gerald Salter, Johnny Crook and Mark Chavers, his son. It was a great experience for all.

79 YEARS AGO
JAN. 16, 1941

Evergreen High School: The basketball team played Chumuckla last Friday night, but lost by the score of 22 to 28. Well, boys, you can’t win them all. You have all to gain and nothing to lose.
The next game to be played is with Excel at our school Fri., Jan. 17. The usual admission will be charged, 10 and 15 cents. Everyone is urged to come.

104 YEARS AGO
JAN. 13, 1916

A big dove shoot was enjoyed by a number of gentlemen at Chas. Ivey’s place this week.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Jan. 20, 2020

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.30 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 7.40 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 4.30 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, January 19, 2020

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

US Navy destroyer, USS Shelton. 

29 YEARS AGO
JAN. 17, 1991

Monroe County Sheriff Tom Tate takes his oath of office from Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs. Tate began his second four-year term this month. He was unopposed in November in his re-election bid for the county’s top law enforcement post.

Fifth-ranked J.F. Shields High School’s boys wrapped up their fourth-straight victory since losing to 4A Clarke County High School Dec. 21 when the Panthers beat Southern Normal School 73-62 Saturday in Beatrice.
Shields’ win over Southern Normal’s Cyclones, which came in the finals of the Panthers’ tournament this weekend, left Shields 11-2 on the season.
Tournament most valuable player Keith Montgomery, a 6-foot-2 senior forward for Shields, scored 26 points Friday (against McKenzie) and 21 points Saturday to earn the honors.
(Other top Shields players in that tourney included Derrick Castaphoney, Kirk Kemp, Rayford Lewis, Tony McBride, C.C. Riley, Curtis Sanders and Robert Sanders. Willie White was Shields’ head coach.)

McNeil to head Frisco chamber: Charles McNeil was elected president of the Frisco City Chamber of Commerce for 1991 when the chamber met Monday in the chamber office.
Other officers elected are: Hybart Sawyer, first vice president; Wayne Musson, second vice president; Ella Wayne Byrd secretary; and Mrs. Dot Sims, treasurer.
The chamber’s 1991 board of directors will be Ollie Wiggins, Oneal Stacey, Ronnie Ray, Alfred Nall, Alyne Sigler and Polly Weeks.

54 YEARS AGO
JAN. 20, 1966

Claiborne Dam Contract Called: Army Engineers will receive bids Feb. 17 at the Corps of Engineers district office at Mobile for construction of the Claiborne Lock and Dam, a navigation structure on the Alabama River near Monroeville.
The multi-million dollar contract will cover the construction of a combination fixed-crest and gated spillway across the river, a lock in the present east bank and a bituminous access road from the lock mound to County Road No. 17.
The Claiborne Lock and Dam is the lowermost of three dams in a scheme to provide barge navigation from Mobile to Montgomery, a substantial amount of hydroelectric power and two large lakes suitable for recreational use.

COUNTY CHAMPS: The Monroe County High School basketball team walked through three teams to win the Monroe County basketball tournament last week. The Tigers dropped Uriah 63-50 in the first game, followed with a 76-43 win over Beatrice and blasted Frisco City 94-17 in the finals Saturday night. Members of the team are Ronnie Pitts, Gary Downs, Johnny Brannon, Larry Bryant, Bobby Colquett, Mike Segers, Curt Wideman, Terry Salter and Coach Terry Wilkerson.

William Weaver With 7th Fleet: Boilerman Second Class William A. Weaver, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Weaver of Route 1, Uriah, is off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea, serving aboard the destroyer USS Shelton, a unit of the Seventh Fleet.
The destroyer spent Christmas and New Years in Hong Kong before returning to operations off Vietnam.

79 YEARS AGO
JAN. 16, 1941

Mr. Hugh Cameron died suddenly at his home in Monroeville early Wednesday night of last week, the result of a heart attack. He had gone out of the house after a tool, and failing to return immediately members of the family went out into the yard and found him slumped at the back of the house near his tool chest.
Mr. Cameron came to Monroe County from Canada about 30 years ago, and for several years was a saw-filer at Manistee. For the past 25 years, he had been a resident of Monroeville.

News has been received here that Edwin Lee, son of Editor and Mrs. A.C. Lee of Monroeville, has recently passed the physical examination for admission to the Aviation Training School in Auburn. Since enrolling at Auburn, he has been taking a course in Industrial Engineering.

Six Boys Leave To Enter Army: The following, selected from local Boards One and Two, left on Tues., Jan. 7, for Fort Barrancas, where they will enter training in the U.S. Army.
Board No. 1 – Eugene Emmie Armstrong and Robert Junior Lowery.
Board No. 2 – Otha Lee, Theodore Napoleon Ikner, John Tatum and Marshall Bryant Harris.

A.J. LOCKLIN HOUSE DAMAGED BY FIRE: Fire was discovered in the A.J. Locklin residence on last Friday shortly after noon. The firemen reached the house in time to extinguish the flames before any considerable damage was done.
On Sunday afternoon, about five o’clock, firemen were called to one of the servant houses on the Locklin place, but this fire was also brought under control with slight damage to the roof.

104 YEARS AGO
JAN. 20, 1916

Mr. E.R. Morrissette and family are occupying the cozy new bungalow recently erected on Claiborne Street.

Monroeville has experienced this week the first real breath of winter during the season. Following the rain on Sunday the temperature dropped with marked suddenness and sleet and ice were in evidence for three days.

The midwinter term of the Monroe County Law and Equity Court convened on Monday. Judge W.G. McCorvey presiding. The court is grinding away on the civil docket this week, the number of cases, however, is not usually large. Few besides jurors, witnesses, court officials and parties litigant are in attendance.

Mr. W.H. Thomas of Rollings & Thomas, who have the contract for constructing the state aid section of the Old Federal Road, was in the city the early part of the week. Mr. Thomas informed The Journal that work on the road had already been commenced and will be pushed as rapidly as possible. This firm will be associated with Mr. James K. Kyser in the construction of the county division of the road. They expect to have about 150 hands employed with all necessary equipment in the way of teams and machinery.

The Peoples Bank of Roy held its annual meeting of stockholders a few days ago and elected the following officers and directors: W.M. Newton, president; J.F. Busey, vice president; D.M. Maxwell, cashier; W.H. Tucker, W.H. Pearce, C.P. Deming, W.R. Blackwell, W.M. Newton, J.F. Busey and D.M. Maxwell, directors.

129 YEARS AGO
JAN. 15, 1891

ANOTHER SHOOTING: An epidemic of affrays seems to be prevailing in Monroe. Another serious shooting affair occurred last Thursday at Pineville in which Mr. John L. Stallworth was seriously wounded by a double barrel gun in the hands of Mr. Bob Graham.
It seems that Stallworth and Graham had a difficulty the day before, when Stallworth drew his knife on Graham and threatened to kill him the next day. Promptly the next morning, Stallworth drove over to Graham’s house and started in. Graham met him with a double barrel gun, both barrels of which he discharged. One load struck him in the forehead, glancing without serious injury, and the other in the breast. The gun was loaded with small shot, otherwise the result would have been fatal.
The above are the facts as we learn them. What the difficulty grew out of, we are not advised.

The weather for the past few days has been the coldest and most disagreeable of the winter.

Several pupils are out of school this week on account of La Grippe.
La Grippe has a terrible grip on Monroeville. Nearly everyone you meet has it, just had it or is taking it.

Our citizens have accepted the proposition of Maj. Van Praag to which reference was made last week, and Monroeville is included in the survey of the MGP&PS railroad. The survey has been made from Eutaw to Demopolis and from that place to Monroeville and is now expected to go to Pensacola. Mr. Van P. expects to begin grading within a few months.