Saturday, February 29, 2020

George Singleton shared his thoughts on world affairs as 1991 neared

The Colosseum of Rome.

(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 “What will the coming new year bring?” was originally published in the Dec. 27, 1990 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

The time is at hand to keep all eyes peeled toward the east for the first sunrise of the new year. The old year will be history, and as a newborn child, the brand new year will be upon us. What will 1991 bring with its dawning? Will there be peace and harmony among the nations of the world, or will there be war and bloodshed?

This will be the first time in a hundred years that one can read the year from front to back or back to front and it will be the same. Is this a sign that this year will be different? Will events begin to take shape in the coming months that will start to mold our world to come? I believe the time is at hand for this to happen.

Whether we realize it or not, our country has come of age. There is no difference between a person or a country when the aging process is at work. A human who has had the right upbringing will have prepared for the years when youth and carelessness are no longer on the sunrise. So it is with a country.

We have lived the good life, with total disregard for the coming tomorrow. We have wasted and destroyed many of our natural resources; we have fought wars when perhaps we should have taken a second look. We have in the past and are still pouring out our money to other countries, when we should have been building a nest egg for ourselves. We sell out our country to the very people who are responsible for the death of many thousands of our youth.

Our oceans are being filled with waste and garbage that will ride the waves for a thousand years or more. Our land is being polluted with millions of tons of chemicals that we so carelessly invented to help put us on the road for the good life. We totally disregard thoughts of survival; we live only for entertainment and pleasure and the fantasy world that we have come to know.

We spend millions at our arenas, watching our modern-day gladiators do battle while the cries of the hungry and the sick wail in the distance. We look the other way as our own leaders swindle the citizens of our land out of billions and billions. We spend millions on computers that are supposed to teach our youths to read, yet many can’t even write or read their own name.

The use of narcotics in our society has become the way to go. We can no longer stand proudly for what we have accomplished and marvel at our freedom and past history. We must get high on drugs and enter a fairy tale world, regardless of what it will cost us down the road. We hurriedly cast aside all responsibilities so we can get before the tube and for hours watch dirt and filth that will cause a maggot to vomit.

Our country’s history is being written all over again. We do not teach it as it actually happened; we change it to fit the occasion – the way some of our people wished it had happened. In the study of our past history, we are beginning to become confused. Just the other day, a person whom I thought to be intelligent asked the question, “Who fought in the Civil War?”

I do not mean to end the year with the voice of doom. I do think, however, that the year 1991 is the time of decision. If we are to survive, we have to begin our turnaround with as much haste as possible. We have to face reality and not turn away from the unpleasant things. Uncle Sam has to put a lid on things; we need to learn to slap ourselves in the mouths when we inform misfits like Saddam about our shortcomings.

Are we to fade into oblivion as did the Romans? Will our civilization be remembered by the fallen arenas and the conflicts of our gladiators? Or will we get our act together and say, “This is far enough.”

The time is at hand; the year of decision is upon us. The year 1991 is the appointed time. Part of a little-known poem might add some thought:

For Time, as he speeds on invisible wings
Disenamels and withers earth’s costliest things.
And the knight’s white plum, and
The shepherds’ crook.
And the minstrel’s pipe, and
The scholar’s book,
And the emperor’s crown, and
His Cossack’s spears
Will be dust alike in a hundred years.

As we look to the dawn of New Year’s morning, what will it be? Will we strive for a better tomorrow for all mankind, or will we continue on the path that we are traveling? The time of decision is at hand. The coming year, 1991, holds the answer.

(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, February 28, 2020

Evergreen's Edmund W. Martin was wounded at the First Battle of Dalton

Grave of Edmund W. Martin

Edmund W. Martin, one of the most accomplished men to ever walk the streets of Evergreen, was severely wounded 156 years ago this week – on Feb. 25, 1864 – while leading troops during the First Battle of Dalton in Whitfield County, Ga.

At the time, Martin was a 42-year-old major in the Confederate Army of Tennessee, which was led by famous Confederate general, Joseph E. Johnston. In this five-day engagement, Johnston’s army of around 40,000 defeated a force of 25,000 soldiers led by Union General George H. Thomas. The end result was a Confederate victory as Thomas eventually decided to withdraw his troops when it became apparent that continued attacks against Johnston’s army would be fruitless.

Even though the Rebels won, it didn’t come without a cost. Casualties and losses on both sides were relatively light with the Union losing around 300 to 140 on the Confederate side. However, among those Confederate casualties was Martin, who was severely wounded and knocked out of the battle when he was wounded by a shell fragment. As you’ll see, his story doesn’t end there.

According to B.F. Riley’s book, “The History of Conecuh County,” Martin was born near Montgomery on Dec. 15, 1821 and through the help of friend and relative, Senator Dixon H. Lewis, Martin received an appointment to West Point Military Academy. Martin later graduated from West Point, and he returned home to Alabama, where he became a lawyer in Hayneville around 1843.

When the Mexican-American War began in 1846, Martin raised a “gallant company” called the “Lowndes County Volunteers,” and Martin served as the company’s captain, according to Riley’s book. This relatively short war ended in February 1848 and after the war, in 1849, the 27-year-old Martin moved to Sparta, which was then the county seat of Conecuh County. Martin made “quite a reputation for himself” as a lawyer, Riley wrote, and his fellow lawyers regarded him as a “close, calm reasoner, dignified and keenly conscientious with regard to all questions of ethics.”

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Martin raised a company of volunteers, and he served as the unit’s captain. When that company was attached to a regiment, Martin was promoted to regimental major. He apparently served throughout the war until his wounding at the First Battle of Dalton.

Union soldiers burned Sparta near the end of the war, which is what likely promoted Martin to move to Evergreen, the county’s new county seat. Martin became active in the Democratic party and he was elected to the Alabama Senate in 1872, representing a district that was made up of Conecuh and Butler counties. Later, The Montgomery Advertiser described Martin as “an able and watchful Senator,” who possessed to the “fullest extent, the confidence and esteem of his associates.” Martin sought the Democratic nominations for lieutenant governor in 1874 and for U.S. Congress in 1878, but he came up short in both conventions.

Martin died relatively young, passing away on Oct. 22, 1878 at the age of 56, and one is left to wonder if the wounds he received at the First Battle of Dalton may have contributed to his death at such a young age. Today, Martin’s grave can be found beside that of his wife, Mary Virginia Sophia Hunley Martin, in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Braves name street in Florida after Wilcox County native Hank Aaron


The Atlanta Braves were scheduled to play their first Spring Training game this past Saturday at their new Spring Training home, CoolToday Park. Located in North Port, Fla., this new $125-million facility can host about 7,200 fans and marks the Braves move from their older Spring Training facilities in the Orlando area. The Braves, who have held Spring Training in Florida every spring since 1946, are scheduled to play 17 “home” games this spring at CoolToday Park.

Much has been made of Atlanta’s move to North Port, and I thought it was cool when on Tuesday of last week the Braves named a street outside the park “Hank Aaron Way” after 86-year-old Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron. Aaron, who was born in Wilcox County and grew up in Mobile, was on hand for the naming ceremony last week and said he was “extremely proud” of the honor. “Hank Aaron Way” runs alongside the new stadium and parallel with the park’s first-base line.

Atlanta is scheduled to wrap up Spring Training on March 24 against the Red Sox and will open their regular season schedule two days later when they play the Diamondbacks in Arizona. A three-game series at San Diego will follow before Atlanta heads back east for their home-opener. The first game scheduled to be played in Atlanta is set for April 3, when the Braves will host the Marlins.

A big addition to the Braves lineup this season will be 29-year-old outfielder Marcel Ozuna. Nicknamed “The Big Bear,” Ozuna is a native of the Dominican Republic and previously played for the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals before joining the Braves earlier this year. Ozuna signed a one-year, $18-million contract with the Braves on Jan. 21, which is a lot more money than I was making when I was 29.

Ozuna broke into the Major Leagues in 2013 with the Marlins and since then has racked up a lot of professional accolades. He’s a two-time All-Star and also has Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in his trophy case. Over the course of his career, he’s recorded 963 hits in 3,536 at bats, a career batting average of .272.

Professionally, Ozuna has scored 467 runs and hit 148 home runs. He’s driven in 538 runs and stolen 26 bases. His career on-base percentage is .329. His career OPS is .784.

OPS stands for “on-base plus slugging,” which is the sum of a players on-base percentage and slugging percentage. It’s basically a measurement of a player’s ability to hit for power and get on base. An OPS of over .900 is considered really, really good, so Ozuna is just a little shy of that mark.

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Youth baseball and softball is also just around the corner, and that’s always a fun time of year. At The Courant, we are happy to report all the local youth baseball and softball news there is to print, so if you’re coaching one of our local teams this year, please send in your scores, stats and comments. Win or lose, I know these young players want to see their names in the paper, so send me the information, and I’m happy to get them fixed up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Camden's Hank Harris played for Texas Longhorns, NFL's Redskins


Today – Feb. 26 – marks the 97th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest football players Wilcox County has ever produced, Henry “Hank” Franklin Harris.

Harris, who also went by the nickname “Demp,” was born in Camden on Feb. 26, 1923 to William and Narcissa Harris. Like many men of his generation, he fought in World War II. Records reflect that Harris served honorably in Co. C of the U.S. Army’s 365th Medical Battalion, and that he was awarded two Bronze Stars.

During World War II, the 365th was part of the Army’s 65th Infantry Division, which took part in brutal fighting across the Rhineland and Central Europe in 1945. This storied division fought its way from La Havre, France, across Germany and into Austria before eventually linking up with Russian forces. In all, the 65th suffered 1,230 casualties, including 233 killed in action.

Harris already had two years of college football under his belt before he went to fight in World War II. According to records at the University of Texas, Harris played for the Longhorns in 1941, 1942 and 1946, with him missing the 1944 and 1945 seasons due to military service. On old Texas team rosters, he is listed as a tackle.

Texas, which competed in the now defunct Southwest Conference, had a pretty good run during Harris’ years on the team. In 1941, the Longhorns won the conference title, going 8-1-1 overall and finishing with a No. 4 ranking in the final Associated Press Poll. In 1942, they won the conference title again, going 9-2 and finishing the season with a No. 11 ranking after beating Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl. In 1946, the Longhorns went 8-2 overall and finished the season ranked No. 15 in the nation.

In the 1947 NFL Draft, Harris was selected by the Washington Redskins in the eighth round as the 59th pick overall. The draft was held at the Commodore Hotel in New York City on Dec. 16, 1946. Interestingly, Harris was selected ahead of two future Hall of Famers, Ohio State end Dante Lavelli (103rd pick) and Texas defensive back Tom Landry (184th pick).

Harris would go on to play two seasons as a guard for the Redskins, 1947 and 1948. In all, he appeared in a total of 12 games, starting in two of them, and recovered one fumble. During his playing career, he was listed as being six feet tall, and he tipped the scales at 265 pounds.

Harris played in 10 games in 1947 as a rookie, and he appeared in two games in 1948. Under head coach Turk Edwards, the Redskins went 4-8 in 1947 and finished fourth in their division. Their 1948 season was only slightly better as the Redskins went 7-5 and finished second in their division.

Sadly, Harris died in a Birmingham hospital on Feb. 18, 1999 – just a few days shy of his 76th birthday. According to his obituary, he was survived by his wife of 44 years, Marion H. Harris of Camden; a daughter, Julian Ann Handly of Camden; two sons, H. Frank Harris Jr. of Birmingham and Floyd McDowell Harris of Montgomery; two sisters, Sara N. Harris and Mary H. Godbold, both of Camden; a brother, William P. Harris of Possum Bend; and five grandchildren.

If you go to the historic Camden Cemetery today, you will find Harris’ grave beside that of his wife, who passed away in 2010. The inscription on Harris’ grave makes no mention of his football career, but it does denote his military service. His grave marker also bears an inscription for Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

In the end, there’s no doubt that Harris was one of the best football players ever produced by Wilcox County. If anyone in the reading audience has more information about Harris, please let me hear from you. I’m especially interested in hearing more about where he played high school ball, how he ended up at the University of Texas and what he did for a living in the half-century after his NFL career.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Feb. 25, 2020


US Navy light cruiser USS Memphis.
11 YEARS AGO
FEB. 26, 2009


Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported a trace of rain on Feb. 17, 0.05 inches on Feb. 18 and 0.09 inches on Feb. 21. He reported a high of 74 degrees on Feb. 18 and a low of 27 on Feb. 20.

Kelly Goneke of Skinnerton fielded this year’s Grand Champion during the 64th Annual Conecuh County Steer & Heifer Show Monday at Breaking Ridge Farms in Evergreen. Jimmy Stone with Conecuh Woods purchased the steer during the sale portion of the show.

County mourns Stuart: Dewitt Talmage Stuart III, age 68, of Evergreen passed away Wed., Feb. 18, 2009 in Montgomery.
“Tal,” as he was affectionately called by his friends, was born Aug. 20, ,1940 in Montgomery.
Stuart worked for many years at the Bank of Evergreen, retiring as President in 1992 and serving as Chairman of the Board until 2000. During his tenure, he oversaw the moving of the bank from its original location on Rural Street to its present location on West Front Street.
He was a longtime member of the Evergreen Rotary Club and served two terms as president. He was very instrumental in the starting of the Rotary Wildlife Camp, which will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Ali Congdon of Bermuda fielded this year’s Reserve Champion in the 64th Annual Conecuh County Steer & Heifer Show Monday at Breaking Ridge Farms in Evergreen.

36 YEARS AGO
FEB. 23, 1984

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported 0.83 inches of rain on Feb. 12, 0.05 inches on Feb. 13 and 0.12 inches on Feb. 16. He reported a high of 78 degrees on Feb. 12 and low of 35 on Feb. 15.

New courtroom is dedicated: The new Conecuh County Courtroom was dedicated Thursday morning at an impressive ceremony hosted by the Conecuh County Bar Association. The handsome new facility is located on the second floor of the addition to the County Courthouse and includes judge’s chambers, jury and witness rooms and adequate restroom facilities.
William D. Melton of the Conecuh Bar Association introduced the dedicatory speaker, the Hon. Robert E.L. Key, presiding judge of the 35th Judicial Circuit.

The last week in February has been proclaimed Arbor Week by Gov. George C. Wallace. In deference thereto, the above shows a spruce pine (Pinus glabra) in the front yard of Mrs. Ella G. Martin in Castleberry, which is the largest of its kind in the State of Alabama. The champion tree, measured 4.5 feet above ground, is 12 feet in circumference and approximately four feet in diameter. It is 82 feet tall, with a crown spread of 66 feet and a formula value of 243. The tree was planted 62 years ago by Mrs. J.E. (Minnie) Skinner of Castleberry. Mrs. Martin was presented a plaque, which is displayed near the tree. Anyone owning a tree of a variety believed to be a champion, may nominate it by contacting Victor Howell, Forest Ranger, Alabama Forestry Commission, Evergreen.

46 YEARS AGO
FEB. 28, 1974

Earl Windham reports a total of 4.1 inches of rain this month through Feb. 21. Dates and amounts were: Feb. 6, 1 inch; Feb. 7, 2.4; Feb. 15, 0.3; Feb. 19, 0.3; and Feb. 21, 0.8.

Edwin L. Booker, 33, an Evergreen policeman, qualified Monday as a candidate for Sheriff of Conecuh County. It is his first venture in politics.
Booker grew up in the Pine Orchard community in the northwest corner of Conecuh County. He graduated from Beatrice High School, students in that part of Conecuh attending that school then.
Booker worked with Flxible Southern Co. for seven years, was shop foreman for Cotton-Hutcheson, Inc. for a year and has been on the local police force for nearly a year. He served for three years as an auxiliary deputy sheriff.

Robert J. (Bob) Floyd of Rt. C, Evergreen, has qualified as a candidate for member of the Conecuh County Board of Education, Place 4. Bob Floyd was appointed to the board by other members to carry out an unexpired term in November 1973 and is now seeking a full term of office.

The Depot Committee, appointed recently by the Evergreen City Council, met Monday morning with Dan G. Powers, president of The Cradle of the Confederacy Railroad Museum in Montgomery.

76 YEARS AGO
FEB. 24, 1944

Report of Evergreen Library for the month of February is as follows: Visitors, 304; books read, 266; and five new books received. Mrs. Mattie Lou Donald, Lib’n.

Mrs. Harold Bell and Mrs. Earl Sims spent Monday and Tuesday in Birmingham and attended the demonstration of Cold waving hair styling and shaping at the Thomas Jefferson Hotel.

Ensign Devon King, USNR, who graduated recently from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point Long Island, is spending two weeks at home.

Roland R. Riley, mm1/c, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. S.T. Riley, is now enrolled at the NTS (Turbo-Electric), General Electric Co., Syracuse, New York. He served aboard the USS Memphis for 3-1/2 years.

Specialist First Class (Recruiter) W.D. Paisley, Petty Officer in Charge of the Navy Recruiting Station, Evergreen, won honors in the recruitment of young men 17 and 18 years of age for naval aviation training in competition with 73 Southern recruiting stations, 11 of which are in Alabama, Lt. C.S. Carroll, Officer in Charge in Alabama announced.

Funeral services for Claude E. Hamilton, Sr., 74, who died in a Birmingham hospital at 10 p.m. Tuesday night will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday from the residence in Greenville.
Born here Jan. 10, 1870, he received his early education in local schools, and at Holbrook School in Lebanon, Ohio. He was a prominent figure in the State Bar Association, and served as its president at one time.

86 YEARS AGO
FEB. 22, 1934

Gov. Miller’s Wife Passes Away Friday: Montgomery, Feb. 17 – Mrs. Margaret Otis Miller, wife of Gov. B.M. Miller, died at the Executive Mansion, 702 South Perry St., Friday at 2:45 p.m., following a brief illness. She was 69 years old.
A short funeral service was held at the Mansion at 10 a.m. Saturday conducted by Dr. Donald C. MacGuire, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.
The body was then carried through the country to the family residence in Camden, where the last rites occurred at 11 a.m. Sunday with Dr. R.C. Kennedy, pastor of the Associate Reform Presbyterian Church of that place, officiating. Burial was in the Camden cemetery.

Aged Lady Passes Here On Monday: Mrs. Eleby Jane Ott, 87, much beloved and highly respected lady died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J.R. Simmons of this city at 12:30 Monday. Mrs. Ott had been practically an invalid for almost 30 years of her long and useful life.
Mrs. Ott was born and reared in Dale County. She moved with her husband to Campbell, Ala. in Clarke County when a young lady and made her home there until a few years ago, since which time she and her husband had lived with her children. Due to their advanced age and ill health, they could not maintain their home there. They had lived with Mrs. Simmons for the past several months.
Funeral services were held from the Simmons residence Tuesday at 10 o’clock. From here, the remains were carried to Mexia where interment was made.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Feb. 24, 2020

World Champion turkey caller Eddie Salter.

11 YEARS AGO
FEB. 26, 2009

Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team whipped ninth-ranked Cornerstone Christian School 61-34 last Thursday afternoon in Montgomery to bring home this year’s AISA Class A state championship trophy. (Members of the team included Shaina Hutcheson, Mallory Kendrick, Savannah Brown, Emily Booker, Ashton Raines, Rebekah Coleman, Jordan Smith, Madelyn Black, BreAnna Pate, Erica Palmer and Morgan Harden. Russ Brown was head coach, and Joey Rodgers was assistant coach.)

The members of this year’s AISA Class A all-tournament team included Mallory Kendrick of Sparta Academy, Erica Palmer of Sparta Academy, Morgan Harden of Sparta Academy, Tiffany Brown of Central Christian Academy, Rachel Bell of Wilcox Academy, Chelsey Dunnaway of Cornerstone Christian and Brittany Calma of Cornerstone Christian. Kendrick was also named tournament MVP.

SA girls climb to No. 2: Sparta Academy removed all doubt about their place in the AISA’s Class A last Thursday by whipping Cornerstone Christian School by 27 points in the state championship game.
The Lady Warriors also ended the season ranked No. 2 in the state in the final Alabama Sports Writers Association prep basketball poll, and they were second only to Lee-Scott Academy, which captured the Class AAA title on Saturday night.
Sparta was ranked No. 5 in the AISA in the season’s first poll.

23 YEARS AGO
FEB. 27, 1997

World Champion Turkey Caller Eddie Salter will be the featured speaker at an entertaining and informative dinner on Mon., March 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Bubba’s Barbecue. The cost is $15, which includes dinner. Tickets are available at the following locations: Vaughan Evergreen Medical Center, Home Center Plus and Brantley’s True Value Hardware. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Butler County Motorsports Park will reopen for the 1997 racing season on Sat., March 1.
BCMP is South Alabama’s newest amateur stock car racing complex located six miles east of Greenville off Highway 10 on County Road 65. On the half-mile dirt oval, racers will compete in the hogg, hobby, novice, super-street, late model, pony and truck classes.
The track opened for its first season in June 1996. After breaking records last year, Track Director Jimmy Neese expects the new season to be even better.

36 YEARS AGO
FEB. 23, 1984

Warriors are No. 2 in state: Sparta Academy’s Warriors advanced to the finals of the APSA State Basketball Tournament before losing to Tuscaloosa Academy, 86-61, in the championship game Saturday night. The No. 2 finish in the state climaxed the best season ever for Sparta. Headmaster Richard Brown’s cagers finished play with a 23-6 record.
Two Warriors were named to the All-State team at the conclusion of tournament play at Huntingdon College. Russ Brown, who averaged 23 points per game for four contests in the state meet, and Al Etheridge earned the honor, according to Sparta Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.
Sparta defeated Thomasville Academy 72-60 in the opening round played in Evergreen to advance to Montgomery. Brown fired in 22 points to lead Sparta past Monroe Academy, 67-59. The Warriors upset West End 81-71 in the semi-finals as Brown hit 23 points. Tall and talented Tuscaloosa outscored Sparta 86-61 in spite of Brown’s dazzling 32-point performance.
(Other players on the team that season included Tim Brantley, Jason Evers, Vince Watts, Connery Salter, Chad Grace, Thad Ellis, Danny Reid, Jim Wagstaff, Britt McNeill and Mark Rigsby.)

Old Timers play at Castleberry: The Conecuh County High School Tip Off Club will sponsor an Old Timer’s Basketball Tournament March 2-3 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Admission will be $1. All graduates of CCHS and their spouses and parents are eligible to participate.

53 YEARS AGO
FEB. 23, 1967

The Conecuh County Training School Eagles captured the South Alabama AA Championship for the second consecutive year by downing Beatrice by a score of 98-89 in Atmore Sat., Feb. 18.
A keen defense in which forwards Carey Pat Bradley, Willie Perkins, Richard Nettles, Napoleon White and guards Norton Hurd, Sandy McMillion and Stanley Blair contained Beatrice’s dead-eye gunner, Longmire, to 39 points.
The combination of playmaker center Johnny Atkins and ballhawk supreme Louis Meeks poured in 50 points. To finally capture this game, Meeks alone fired away 34 points, thus ending Beatrice’s desperate attempt to stay in this ball game.
(James “Buddy” Stallworth was CCTS’s head coach.)

The top-seeded Conecuh County High School Blue Devils of Castleberry advanced into the semi-finals of the Area I basketball tournament, winning easily over Frisco City, 62-44, Tuesday night. The meet is being held in the Coliseum at Monroeville.

Coach Cliff Little’s Evergreen High Aggies will play Georgiana in the opening game of the Region I, Area 2 basketball tournament in Flomaton Wednesday night at seven o’clock.

68 YEARS AGO
FEB. 28, 1952

The Evergreen High Aggies had their best night of the season here last Thursday as they swamped Lyeffion’s Yellow Jackets 62 to 22.
Shirley Frazier and Gwyn Daniels shared the scoring honors with 19 points each. William Stewart had seven; Pace Bozeman and Wayne ‘Dog’ Douglas, six each; Gillis Morgan, four; and Sammy Robinson, one.
David Eddins got 10 points to lead Lyeffion. Booker had six; Frank Burt, four, Hilton Dees, two.

Coach Wendell Hart’s victory starved Evergreen High School cagers had a feast of victories Tuesday night in Memorial Gym defeating Greenville’s Junior, ‘B,’ and Varsity teams. The Aggie varsity wrapped up its fourth win in the last six starts by closing fast to win a 51-43 verdict from the Tigers.
Douglas rode the boards and dropped six points through the hoop in his best all-around performance of the year.
Shirley Frazier paced the Aggie scorers with 21 points. Pace Bozeman led the team on rebounds, played a good floor game and scored 12 points in one of his top performances. Gillis Morgan swished in eight points; Gwyn Daniels and Ward Alexander Jr., two each.

86 YEARS AGO
FEB. 22, 1934

Nineteen girl scouts with their leader, Mrs. C.P. Deming, enjoyed a hike Saturday morning. Several members of the troop passed the cooking test and others practiced signaling.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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


11 YEARS AGO

FEB. 26, 2009

Frisco City High to close doors: Melanie Ryals, superintendent of the Monroe County Public School System, said weeks ago that proration of state funds and the economic recession would force her and the Board of Education to make some tough decisions this year.
One of those tough decisions was announced last Thursday night during the board’s monthly meeting at the Resource Center in Monroeville when Ryals recommended Frisco City High School be closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school term.
She said closing the school and transferring the students to Monroeville area schools, Excel School and J.U. Blacksher School would save the system $1,127,268 annually.
Closing FCHS will directly affect 240 students, 18 teachers, one principal, one assistant principal, a secretary, two aids, one counselor, one librarian, one nurse, two custodians, three lunchroom workers and four bus drivers.

Lady Panthers to play for title: J.F. Shields’ Lady Panthers will play for the AHSAA Class 1A state championship Friday at 4 p.m. in Birmingham while the Panthers’ boys were eliminated from the Final Four Tuesday night.
Shields girls used a 20-9 second-quarter run to key the 50-37 win over Gaston Tuesday evening. Shields will play Hazlewood Friday.
The Lady Panthers, 30-0, were paced by sophomore guard Tyika Robinson, who scored 21 points. (Other players on Shields girls team that season included Mariah Jones, Latresha Lyons, April Montgomery, Kelsey Murphy, Japlesha Primm and Brandi Wiggins. Herbert Blackmon was the team’s head coach.)

36 YEARS AGO
FEB. 23, 1984

Leap year birthday: Leann Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Johnson of Monroeville, and Mark McKenzie, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd McKenzie Jr. of Monroeville, look through 1972 issues of The Monroe Journal to find a picture taken 12 years ago for their first leap year birthday. By 1972, the four-year-olds had had only one birthday. Now 16 years old and sophomores at Monroe County High School, their birthdate will appear on the calendar again as they celebrate their fourth real birthday on Feb. 29.

Tigers prepare for jamboree: Coach Howard “Buzz” Busby has been busy the past two weeks gearing up his Monroe County High School Tiger football team for the spring football jamboree at Thomasville High March 9.
Of the 58 players currently being drilled at Tiger Stadium, seven are returning defensive starters, while Busby’s offense will be on the young and inexperienced side this season.
(Players going through spring drills at MCHS included Jerry Betts, Willie Carmichael, Lorenzo Johnson, Chuck Kidd, Anthony Morrissette, Steve Ramer, John Rawls, Robbie Rawls, Lonnie Richardson, Harold Tolson and Mark Williams.)

Hospital employee of year: Ola Bell Banks receives a certificate from Monroe County Hospital administrator Gene Sharpe and hospital board chairman Jackie Weatherford naming her the hospital’s employee of the year for 1983. The presentation was made Friday during the hospital’s annual employee of the year banquet at Vanity Fair Golf and Tennis Club.

61 YEARS AGO
FEB. 26, 1959

Sentences Listed In Pecan Burglaries: Sentences for 16 Monroeville youths, held in connection with theft of pecans from a local feed and seed store, were listed Wednesday by Carl M. Watson, Monroe County Deputy Sheriff, who headed the investigation.
The group reportedly took a total of $2,000 in pecans during the past several months from the Sam Williams Seed Store on Drewry Road. According to statements from the 16 youths, the pecans had been sold to other dealers in the area.

The J.U. Blacksher High School basketball quintet, after recently capturing the Pine Belt Conference championship, breezed through play at the annual First District Class A tournament at Brewton, downing T.R. Miller, 56-32, in the finals Saturday night.
Jackie Weatherford, forward on the Uriah squad, was chosen the tournament’s most valuable player and was named to the all-tourney team.
As winner in the district, Uriah is scheduled to enter state tournament play tonight (Thursday), meeting the winner of the fifth district at 9 p.m. in Tuscaloosa. (Jack Akins was Blacksher’s head coach that season.)

Lazenby Named To Head Hospital Board In County: Karl J. Lazenby of Monroeville was elected chairman of the Monroe County Hospital Board at a meeting of the group Tuesday night. The Hospital Board was appointed Feb. 9 by the County Commission. Duties of the board include planning for construction of a Hill-Burton Act hospital for Monroe County, to be located in Monroeville.

86 YEARS AGO
FEB. 22, 1934

Dixon Will Speak At Monroeville: Frank M. Dixon, candidate for Governor of Alabama, will speak to the voters of Monroe County at the courthouse in Monroeville at 10:30 Saturday morning, March 3. S.W. Hixon, well known merchant of Monroeville, has accepted the chairmanship of the Dixon-for-Governor campaign in Monroe County, and he states that a very thorough campaign for Dixon will be made in all sections of the county.

Death Claims Dr. George H. Harper: Dr. George H. Harper, for 14 years a resident and practicing physician of Monroeville, died shortly before seven o’clock Friday morning. He had practiced at several points in Monroe County before locating at Monroeville in 1920. He was a Mason and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

The FFA Chapter of the Frisco City High School sponsored an egg boiling on Friday night, Feb. 16. Twenty of the regular members took part in the event. Each boy furnished the eggs that he ate. After the boiling, all members enjoyed an hour telling jokes and stories. A mock trial was held and furnished amusement for everybody. Mr. Martin played the part of the plaintiff, and Hollis Greene the part of the defendant.

Bob Hubbird Enters Race For Sheriff: In today’s Journal will be found the announcement of C.D. (Bob) Hubbird as candidate for the office of Sheriff of Monroe County. Mr. Hubbird has been marshal and deputy in the north end of the county for the past several years. He is a veteran of the World War and a member of the Monroe County Post of the American Legion.

111 YEARS AGO
FEB. 25, 1909

Mumps has been epidemic in Monroeville for several weeks past.

MANISTEE: The Knights of Pythias gave an entertainment at the Masonic Hall last Friday night. Everyone present seemed to enjoy the occasion.

JAMES L. SMITH DEAD: Mr. James L. Smith died at his home near Monroe last Monday morning after an illness of nearly two months, aged 67 years. The interment too place at the Baptist cemetery on Tuesday with Masonic honors. The announcement of his death occasioned the keenest regret among his large circle of friends.
Mr. Smith was a good citizen, a devoted husband and father and true to the church and fraternities of which he was a member. He was a veteran of the Lost Cause, having served as a private in Co. C, 3rd Alabama Cavalry.
He filled the office of Tax Collector of the county in a most acceptable manner for two successive terms by election and an additional year under extension by the legislature.

F.W. Hare, Esq., spent a day or two in Mobile during the carnival.

Mr. C.M. Simmons continues to receive orders for cane syrup of his own manufacture. He has sold quite a lot in cans and it is of excellent quality.

Sheriff Fountain is on a business trip to Montgomery.

Miss Mattie Sessions of Chestnut, who has been teaching at Grimes school house near (Manistee), closed her school last Friday.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Singleton offers suggestions for overcoming boredom, finding peace

Black Elk the Indian.

(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 “Turn to the hills” was originally published in the March 4, 2004 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

It’s surprising the number of people that I come in contact with who tell me they are bored and have trouble finding something to occupy their time.

They watch television from the early morning until the late hours of the evening. During this time, they witness several fairy stories in a world of make believe and never really witness anything that is enjoyable or that might bring a few moments of peace of mind.

I don’t watch television very much because I don’t put much faith in today’s fairy world. I don’t think that some freak can suggest to me that he has some kind of product that will make you stay younger, smell better, live longer, or be happy living on an island all by yourself. And, I don’t believe that I can acquire that macho look by using a certain brand of snuff or smoke a certain brand of cigarettes or drinking a certain brand of beer.

Of course no one has asked me the secret to being happy, and probably won’t ever. But, I do believe that I can tell them a thing or two about happiness, adventure and several other things that can, and will, keep one occupied. At this time of year, when the glorious coming spring colors will soon begin to dot the countryside, I could map out a trip across the hills to the north that will cause one to throw rocks at their televisions.

I could challenge them to investigate certain stories and legends around this area that would keep them awake and wide-eyed for many hours. These investigations would create more interest and excitement than 40 murders or stories of hidden loves among the rich and famous actors on the television screen.

I could tell them the location of one early Indian village site that would provide enough interest and excitement to last a person a whole month. I could suggest going to a certain hilltop, not too far away, where, after viewing an evening sunset, would be remembered for years to come. Or, I could give directions to a small creek where one could stretch out in its cool waters on a hot summer day and never move again until the frost fell.

I hear these excuses every day of being old, tired, afraid, retired or just plain lazy. After all these years, I’m yet unable to understand people. I could devote all my time roaming the countryside, seeking and discovering the many things that await there.

I feel sorry for those individuals who don’t have the initiative to go forth and search for the unusual and strange happenings that are to be found around the countryside and places right here within our county.

Once the barriers mentioned above have been overcome, the cost of supplying one’s self for an excursion is almost next to nothing. A good pair of walking shoes, a cheap coffee pot, a box of matches, and some coffee in a small plastic bag, and you are ready for almost anything.

If you really want to live up to your highest expectations, acquire a cheap sleeping bag and a large piece of sheet plastic. Search out the high hills and find one where the winds of the evening whisper through the pine trees.

Prepare to spend the night there on a layer of pine needles. Wrap the plastic around you and your sleeping bag to keep out the heavy dew. Lay there in the solitude of the lullaby of the sighing winds through the tall pine trees. Don’t be alarmed if a curious armadillo tries to get in the sleeping bag with you. He won’t hurt you. He’s just looking for an easy evening meal.

Listen to the sounds of the night for awhile before going to sleep. Try and identify each of the sounds before the sandman makes his rounds and you fall asleep. If, at any time you feel that you are not the luckiest person in the world, remind yourself where you are and the feeling of peace that has come over you. Also remind yourself that you are not alone, because just a touch away, there is one that controls all things; the Creator of Heaven and Earth is just a breath’s distance.

And, before sleep comes upon your, promise yourself that you will learn to identify all species of plants that grow in the forests of our southland. Learn to identify those that can be eaten. Be able to identify those that can help cure various illnesses; know which ones are harmful, and those that can be beneficial to man.

The knowledge of being able to cope with nature brings on great satisfaction. One becomes more aggressive and more sure of one’s self. The desire to explore and seek out the mysteries of your surroundings draws you ever onward. (A word of warning: You might become a wandering vagabond as I have.)

As darkness covers the land, and your eyelids grow heavy, remember that you are part of this universe. You have a right to be here, but you must also respect the rights of everything else. They, too, are part of the great plan. Happiness and contentment are here for all that search for it. Don’t be found wanting.

As the coming spring slowly approaches on the horizon, remember the words of the Indian prophet, Black Elk – “March is the moon of the changing seasons. This is the time to view the glorious spring colors appearing across the land and see the handiwork of the Great Spirit. Raise your arms to the heavens and let Him know that the beauty that He has created  is forever appreciated.”

Some words of an old Indian prayer might say it better:

Creator of all the universe,
Make me know Thy presence,
As I feel the bark of the birch tree,
And smell the blooms of the wild flowers,
And let me linger under the tall pine trees,
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.)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Many prominent landmarks dot the landscape of Conecuh County, Alabama's old Nichburg community

Bethesda Baptist Church at Nichburg, Alabama.

About 13 miles from downtown Evergreen, as you travel down Rural Street and then onto the Loree Road, you’ll find yourself in the Nichburg community. Many readers have no doubt traveled through the historic Nichburg community, which sits between Brantley Switch and Burnt Corn Creek, northwest of Belleville. Most maps show “downtown” Nichburg at the intersection of the Loree Road and County Road 23, which is also called Church Road.

How Nichburg got its name is somewhat of a mystery. In Virginia O. Foscue’s book, “Place Names in Alabama,” there is no entry for Nichburg. More than likely, the community takes its name from its former post office, which operated within the community from 1906 to 1923.

Last Thursday, I found myself in Nichburg and took the time to visit some of the community most prominent landmarks. My first stop was at the Bethesda Baptist Church, which has one of the most distinctive steeples in all of Conecuh County. Instead of being topped by a cross, it’s topped by what appears to be a crown.

The front of this church also features a distinctive cornerstone that reads: Bethesda Baptist Church, Organized in 1909, Rev. H.J. Stallworth, New Church Built By Rev. R.E. Cotton In 1975, Dedicated Oct. 19, 1975, Deacon L.L. Autrey, Deacon W.E. Stallworth, Deacon Nathaniel McMillion, Deacon M.S. Stallworth, S.J. Bennett, G.M. of F.&.A.M. (Later research revealed that S.J. Bennett was the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Alabama, Free & Accepted Masons, from 1967 to 1999.)

Adjacent to the church you’ll find a large cemetery, which I’d say contains about 150 graves. The oldest marked grave that I saw belonged to little Dorothy T. Nicholson, who was just 29 days old when she died in August 1908. In all, there about 30 members of the Nicholson family buried here, which makes me wonder if the “Nich” in the community’s name might be taken from the “Nich” in the surname “Nicholson.”

From there, I hopped back in my truck and eased down to the old Nichburg Junior High School building, which sits across from where County Road 23 runs into the Loree Road. Many travelers along this road have seen this building, which is missing almost all the back wall that faces the highway. The section of wall that includes the school’s main entrance still remains as does an old cement cornerstone that reads, “NICHBURG JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, 1966, GEORGE C. WALLACE, GOVERNOR.”

From there, I continued west down the Loree Road and eventually pulled over at the Burnt Corn Creek Bridge. The creek was badly swollen from all the recent rain, and I could not help but wonder what this area must have looked like centuries ago before settlers and pioneers moved into this area. A significant water source like Burnt Corn Creek would have made this prime real estate for Indians. With this in mind, I would not be surprised to learn that there are ancient Indian village sites and old Indian mounds in the Nichburg area.

On the way back towards Evergreen, I decided to cut down County Road 23, where I knew that there was a historical marker about half a mile from the Loree Road. Those who have seen this historical marker before will know that it’s the Old Stallworth Landmark, which memorializes the lives of Anderson and Flora M. Stallworth, who died in the early 1900s. This landmark, which is located up a short dirt drive, is easy to see from the road thanks to a large United States flag that flies over the memorial.

As I drove by there last Thursday, I noticed a small, old cemetery that I’d never seen before. I pulled over, put the truck in park and got out to see a sign that told me that this was the “Straughn Cemetery.” This old cemetery sits atop a roadside embankment and looks to contain about 15 graves. As far as I could tell, everyone buried there was last-named “Straughn.” The oldest marked grave that I saw belonged to Brantley Straughn, who died at the age of 11 in September 1826.

I eventually got back in my truck and headed back to Evergreen. On the way back into town, I thought about all that I’d seen in Nichburg and realized that these few old landmarks are probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the community’s full history. It would be interesting to know what some of the community’s long-gone residents would think about Nichburg today.

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading who has any more information about Nichburg’s history, especially how it got its name. Also, let me hear from you if you know of any old Indian village sites or mounds in this area. All of this is important because if we don’t take the time to document this history today it will become lost for the generations of Conecuh County residents to come in the years ahead.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Little remains from the heyday of Wilcox County's Neenah community


I was out riding around the other day and found myself in the southeastern part of Wilcox County, not far from the old fire tower at Fatama. On a whim, I turned down County Road 51, which runs for about seven miles from State Highway 265 to Rosebud on State Highway 10. It had rained earlier that day, so I just eased along as the blacktop gave way to a well-traveled dirt road.

A little farther down the road, something to my left caught my eye, and I backed up for a better look. It was a sign that read “Rest in Peace, Jordan Cemetery, Neenah, Alabama, Restored August 2013.” Not having anywhere in particular to be at the time, I pulled over with an eye towards taking a closer look.

This cemetery is unique for a couple of reasons. It contains scores of old graves, but they are spread around into several different areas, with the oldest graves seemingly at the back of the property. This cemetery also seems to be, at least partially, surrounded by a trench or ditch, which I presume was dug long ago to help drain water away from the graveyard.

I couldn’t help but wonder if there had been a church here years and years ago. My feeling is that there probably was a church there at some point, but I saw no sign of it during my visit to the cemetery the other day. Perhaps the church was located somewhere else along the road.

I eventually made my way back to my truck, and as I backed out into the road, I was reminded that I was smackdab in the middle of the old Neenah community. I’d read about this community before and knew that it was once a bustling place with many residents. In fact, sources say there was a post office at Neenah between 1902 and 1955.

Later, when I checked “Places Names in Alabama” by Virginia O. Foscue, I learned that Neenah’s name is said to have been derived from the phonetic spelling of the given name of a woman named Nina Olinsky, who once lived in the area. Whatever became of Nina Olinsky? Was this her maiden name? Is she buried somewhere in or around the old community that bears some form of her name?

As I continued east on County Road 51, I couldn’t help but ponder what the old community must have looked like. If it had a post office, it probably also had a sizeable country store and more than likely had a school. No doubt the woods along County Road 51 contain the remnants of old homeplaces once occupied by the long-dead residents of Neenah.

My travels eventually took me over Pursley Creek, and a little later I emerged onto Highway 10 at Rosebud. There, I was reminded of the old ghost stories about that community’s infamous “Dancing Skulls.” But that is a tale for another day.

Before I close out, I feel I should say that if you ever get the itch to venture down County Road 51 to see the old Jordan Cemetery for yourself, I suggest that you go during dry weather. I encountered several big mud holes in my truck the day that I went, and I was glad that I wasn’t in a vehicle with low ground clearance. More than once, I just gave it the gas and hoped for the best.

In the end, please let me hear from you if you know anything more about the history of the old Neenah community. Also, if anyone knows what happened to Nina Olinsky, please let me know. It would be interesting to know what became of the lady whose name is still so closely attached to one of the county’s oldest communities.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Feb. 18, 2020

USS Boyd

32 YEARS AGO
FEB. 18, 1988

Ole Earl Windham was sick last week and didn’t turn in his report. He caught up this week by reporting 1.2 inches of snow and sleet on Feb. 4 and 5 and 1.04 inches of rain on Feb. 14.

Rogene Booker, well-known Evergreen businessman, today announced that he will be a candidate for judge of probate in the Democratic Primary Election in June. It will be his first political effort.

George Dewey (Mac) McKenzie, 81, of Magnolia Avenue, Evergreen, died Tues., Feb. 16, in a local hospital.
A native of Laurel, Miss. and a member of a prominent family of that city, Mr. McKenzie had resided in Evergreen for nearly 50 years. Mr. McKenzie was an early aviation enthusiast and a fine pilot. He became a licensed instructor and taught many people to fly. He was a Mason.

One of the largest judgments ever rendered in Circuit Court here was levied in a trial Thursday of last week, according to Circuit Clerk Mrs. Jean E. Riley.
A jury verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $400,000 was rendered in the suit of Willie James Crosby vs. Container Corporation of America. He sued the company for damages as a result of injuries sustained in an accident on the job. Paul M. Harden and Windell C. Owens represented Crosby while Carroll H. Sullivan and William T. Chapman represented Container.

47 YEARS AGO
FEB. 15, 1973

Snow blankets South Alabama: An almost unbelievable snowfall Friday blanketed South Alabama and turned it into a sparkling white “Winter Wonderland.”
Before day Friday morning freezing rain followed by sleet began falling. Then came the snow and instead of melting as it usually does in this area it stuck and piled up. Snow fell all day Friday and into the night.
Saturday morning all one could see was white as the snow had completely covered everything. Estimates of the snowfall ranged from six to 10 inches over the county. Some areas in South Alabama reported depths of 14 inches to 16 inches.
Children were not the only ones seen out enjoying the white stuff. Adults who had never before seen such snow were observed building snowmen and some (older girls, even) engaged in snowball fights. Improvised sleds brought enjoyment on well-covered hills.
The ice and snow brought some troubles on the roads and highways.
Bridges iced-over and caused many roads to be closed to traffic.
Conecuh County was lucky in that there were no serious traffic accidents. However, numbers of vehicles wound up in ditches as drivers unused to driving in such conditions lost control and went into skids.
There were some interruptions of electric service in various areas, but not for any extended periods. All in all, most seemed to fair well through the “white weekend.”
It was a sight not soon to be forgotten and many will be telling their grandchildren about the big snow of February 1973. It is said to be the heaviest snowfall in this area since 1914.

62 YEARS AGO
FEB. 20, 1958

Cold Weather Cools Conecuh County Folks: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” These familiar words were spoken by Mark Twain many a year ago, but the folks out at Uncle Sam’s weather station do something about it, they measure it!
According to the data gathered by the airport, Evergreen was blanketed under approximately two inches of snow last Wednesday night and generally speaking, it has been colder than an ice house during the past few days.

U.S.S. FLEET (FHTNC) – Charles R. Bolden, seaman, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie M. Bolden of Rt. 1, Box 142, Evergreen, Ala., aboard the destroyer USS Boyd, is serving with the U.S. First Fleet off the coast of California.

Battery C, 117th Field Artillery Battalion, local unit of the Alabama National Guard will hold an open house Sunday at Ft. Dave Lewis, according to Capt. J. Randolph Moorer, commander.
Capt. Moorer said that the public is invited to come to the armory and look over the equipment which will be on display and observe the classes which will be in progress.
Saturday is “Muster Day” for National Guardsmen across the country, but it is being observed here on Sunday. Muster Day honors the nation’s first president, George Washington.

77 YEARS AGO
FEB. 18, 1943

Oscar Ernest Riley, age 65, well known citizen and long time resident of the county, was found dead in bed early Tuesday morning at his room at the home of Mrs. P.H. Drake on Desplous Street. It is believed that his death was caused by heart failure. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War.
Deceased was born at Carlowville, Wilcox County, Ala., April 1, 1877, the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. B.F. Riley. His father was a prominent Baptist minister, author and was for a time President of Howard College.

“Every person should register for War Ration Book Two, whether he needs it at present or not,” Dr. H.C. Fountain, chairman of the Local War Price and Rationing Board, cautioned residents of Conecuh County today.

Pfc. Woodrow Windham, Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., was home last week visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Windham of the Mt. Union community.
Friends of Joseph Moye Windham will be interested to know that he is somewhere in the Pacific and the last letter his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Windham, had from him, he was doing fine.
Friends of George Earl Windham will be interested to know that he is at Maxwell Field, Ala. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Windham of Mt. Union.

Mrs. Billy Zepernick, formerly of Atmore, has accepted the position as Western Union operator in Evergreen and will make her home with her sister, Mrs. Bufred Johnson.

92 YEARS AGO
FEB. 16, 1928

Plans have been made for Conecuh County farmers to ship the first car load of poultry in the history of the county. By shipping poultry in car lots it is possible to get the highest price on the market.

State Begins War On Roscoe Machines: Giving warning that the state enforcement department intends to confiscate and destroy all slot machines and punchboards found in Alabama after Feb. 20, Walter K. McAdory, chief supervisor of the law enforcement department, Monday afternoon obtained from Judge Leon McCord in the circuit court, temporary injunctions preventing six persons from operating slot machines and Roscoes.

A meeting of the citizens of this county is called to take place at the City School Auditorium in Evergreen Thursday afternoon, Feb. 16, at three o’clock for the purpose of reorganizing the local Chapter of the Red Cross.

The Eastern Star of Castleberry is planning to give an entertainment on the evening of Feb. 24, which promises to be quite interesting. A program of music, readings and two very amusing plays will be given. The plays are “Sister Masons” and “Can a Woman Keep a Secret?” The price of admission will be 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children, high school pupils 20 cents.

Kelly-Brantley Whippet Co. – We will have New Whippets on display at Peoples Auto Co., Saturday. Come in to see us and let us show and tell you about the car that has stood more tests than any other car in the light car field.
The perfected Whippet, a product of Willys Overland Co., has been on the market for 19 months. During that time it has stood every test that proves the workmanship and material of a high class motor car. The perfected Whippet was the first to have successful four-wheel brakes. The long durability of the Whippet motors is due to force feed lubrication.
BE SURE TO COME FOR DEMONSTRATION.
Remember The Improved Whippet Is In The Low Price Field.
Roadster, $485; Touring, $455; Four Door Sedan, $585; Coupe, $535; Coach, $535; Cabriolet, $545 – Prices F.O.B. Toldeo, Ohio.
Kelly-Brantley Whippet Co., Evergreen, Alabama.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Feb. 17, 2020

World Champion turkey caller Eddie Salter.

15 YEARS AGO
FEB. 17, 2005

Jags 76, Opp 26: Frank Williams bagged 14 points that included two three-point shots. Chris Hines matched his totals exactly, 14 points and hit two from behind the three-point arc.
(Other players on Hillcrest’s varsity boys team that season included Maurice Bradley, Nick Lovelace, Cleveland Knight, P.K. Riley and Jerry Jackson. Tommy Dukes was the team’s head coach.)

Patrician 58, Lady Warriors 51 OT: The Lady Warriors blistered the cords behind the hot shooting of Cody Godwin to race out to a 16-point lead in the opening period. Godwin scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the opening stanza as Sparta had its way with the Saints from Butler.
(Other players on Sparta’s girls team that year included Ashton Garner, Preethi Covin and Samantha Seaman.)

South Choctaw 75, Warriors 63: Topping the scoring and rebounding was Michael Campbell with a double double. He tallied 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
(Other players on Sparta’s varsity boys team that year included Tony Raines, Will Ivey, Eric Talbot, Carter Smith and Chris Cinereski.)

Eddie Salter of Evergreen will appear on Turkey Call, a hunting series produced by the National Wild Turkey Federation. The show will air on The Outdoor Channel. The show will take viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at what pro-staff members do in the hunting industry and take a look at some of the country’s best known hunters.

30 YEARS AGO
FEB. 15, 1990

Conecuh County again has two Conservation Enforcement Officers. Steve Lawson, a four-year veteran with the State Conservation Department, Fish and Game Enforcement Division, joined Officer Tommy Atkins on Feb. 9. Officer Lawson has served four years in Choctaw County.
Lawson is a native of neighboring Covington County. He grew up in the Carolina community and is a graduate of Pleasant Home High School.

45 YEARS AGO
FEB. 20, 1975

The Castleberry Blue Devils visited the Georgiana Panthers Tuesday night, Feb. 11, and left amidst a hail of brick bats, the winners by a score of 63-61.
The victory came in the last nine seconds of the game when Sam McCreary hit a 25-foot jump shot to give the Devils the go ahead points,
Castleberry had five men in double figures with Bubba Moncrease and Larry Blackmon sharing top honors with 15 points apiece. They were followed closely by Melvin Moncrease with 13 and Sam McCreary and Kenny Gross with 10 apiece.
The Castleberry Blue Devils traveled to T.R. Miller Tiger Country on Feb. 4 to play its annual rivalry with the Miller Tigers. The Devils managed to defeat a scrappy Miller Five by the score of 61-51.
Scoring for the Blue Devils were McCreary with 22; Bubba Moncrease with 14; Melvin Moncrease had nine; (Kenny Gross), six; Lyons, two; and Blackmon had eight.
On Jan. 31, the Castleberry Blue Devils traveled to Lyeffion to meet the Lyeffion Yellow Jackets in what turned out to be quite a shoot out on the hardwood.
Scoring for the game went as follows: Sam McCreary had 16; Bubba Moncrease had 13; Melvin Moncrease had 12; Kenny Gross had nine; Pete Lyons had two; Moreno Philyaw, four; and Larry Blackmon, two.
Those scoring for the Yellow Jackets were high man for the game, Raymond Bruce with 17; Davis had 14; Kyser, 10; Mixson, five; Taylor, three; and Nevlous with three.

60 YEARS AGO
FEB. 18, 1960

Junior high basketball games scheduled for the week are as follows: Nichburg at Butterick, Mt. Rose at CCTS, Castleberry at Mt. Zion, Rabb at China, Lime Hill at Sandy Grove and Nymph.
Results of games played last week (those where scores were sent in) are as follows: Castleberry (girls) 26, Sandy Grove 10; Castleberry (boys) 45, Sandy Grove 40; CCTS (girls) 27, Rabb 16; CCTS (boys) 41, Rabb 10.

Tuesday night the Aggies played W.S. Neal. The final score was 66 to 44 in favor of W.S. Neal.

The Aggies overcome a 20-point, last quarter, deficit with a torrid scoring streak to slide by Repton, 44-43. Windham scored the winning point with seven seconds left to play. Bateman paced the Evergreen attack with 13 points. Sims led the Repton cagers with 17 points. At the end of the game there were only two of the Repton quints left on the court.

Evergreen met the Panther Five in an exciting game of skill. When the final horn blew, Georgiana took home the win by a score of 59 to 39. Bateman led the Aggies in scoring with 16 points.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

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

Dr. Lee Bidgood

35 YEARS AGO
FEB. 21, 1985

Dr. Hanks named Frisco’s top citizen: Dr. B.L. Hanks received the Outstanding Citizen of Frisco City Award during the Frisco City Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet last Thursday night in Frisco City Baptist Church’s Family Activity Center.
Hanks, who was born in Frisco City in 1910 and graduated from Frisco City High School, served in various cities as a streetcar inspector from 1927 until 1939, when he decided to become a doctor. He received his medical degree from Harvard College of Medicine in 1944.

MCHS attracts 74 prospects for spring football drills: Monroe County High School football coach and athletic director Howard Busby was impressed with the number of young men who turned out for the first day of spring drills Wednesday of last week.
Busby and assistant coaches Mike Kimberl, Tommy Keeton and Don Nelson began working with 74 prospective football players Wednesday of last week.
(Those players included Jim Campbell, Willie Carmichael, George Coker, Todd Hill, Steve Ramer, Donald Ray Tucker and Mark Williams.)

Chamber to get new home: A move to new headquarters was provided for in the 1985 budget approved by the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors in a special meeting Monday evening, according to John Egolf, executive director.
The new office, the old John Causey law office at 137 South Alabama Ave., provides more space and a meeting room, which is not available at the present office in the old Monroe County Courthouse, said Egolf. The chamber hopes to be in the new office by March 1.

60 YEARS AGO
FEB. 18, 1960

Final Hospital Plans Mapped At Meeting Of Doctors, Architects: Five physicians who practice in Monroe County met with representatives of a Montgomery architectural firm Tuesday night to map final plans for Monroe County’s new Hill-Burton Act hospital.
Karl J. Lazenby of Monroeville, chairman, Monroe County Hospital Board, said Wednesday the local doctors offered suggestions on basic construction plans for the structure.
He stated the architects speculated work will begin on the $544,500 facility on a 15-acre plot south of the city limits around the last of June or the first of July.

Coach Jack Akins’ J.U. Blacksher High School Bulldog quintet of Uriah is seeded first for the First District Class A basketball tournament scheduled at Frisco City High School, Feb. 24-27. The Uriah cagers will be seeking to retain the district title for a second year. (Players on Blacksher’s team that year included Jerry Brown, Curtis Harris, Ronnie Ikner, Gerald Johnson, Gary Newman, Doug Norris, Bill Solomon, Jerry Thomas, Willard Turk and Burl Woods.)

New Rescue Squad Elects Officials: Officers for the new Monroe County Rescue Squad were elected at an organizational meeting in Frisco City recently.
President is Claud Wilkerson of Frisco City. Vice presidents are Jewel King, Jesse McQueen, Wilbur Pickens and Ralph Manning. Secretary-treasurer is George Burns.

85 YEARS AGO
FEB. 21, 1935

Dr. Bidgood Is Banquet Speaker: About 40 bankers from the counties in Southwest Alabama, composing the fourth banking district, gathered in Monroeville for the annual meeting on last Thursday evening. The meeting was held in the form of a banquet at the American Legion club house, with the business session immediately following the entertainment.
Dr. Lee Bidgood, Dean of the School of Commerce and Business Administration of the University of Alabama, was the chief speaker of the evening.

Rev. Bibb Mills, head of the Anti-Saloon League in Alabama, spent several hours in Monroeville Saturday.

Young Violinist Appears In Recital Sunday: Miss Elizabeth Feagin delighted a Monroeville audience on the evening of Feb. 17 with a violin recital given at the Methodist Church under the auspices of the young women’s circle of the Missionary Society.
The brilliant young artist was assisted by Messrs. Joe Puckett, M.E. Skinner, C.O. Hundley and Byron Hendrix.

New Service Station To Open Soon: The new Cities Service Station to be opened at an early date on the main highway in the Solomon old stand offers everything in the way of first-class service any motorist could wish for. This new station will specialize in gas, oil, washing, polishing, greasing, tires, tubes and automobile accessories. Mr. Olin Moore will be the manager of this station, and he promises the very best in a 24-hour service to all people who drive automobiles.
Mr. Brent Metts, who has had a number of years experience as a mechanic, will put new life into your motor when it goes wrong.

110 YEARS AGO
FEB. 17, 1910

Oscar Brantley Dead: The many friends of the family were shocked and pained to learn of the death of Oscar Brantley, which occurred at Auburn on Saturday last. The young man had been in school at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute for some months past and was taken suddenly and violently ill after engaging in a ball game, lingering about 10 days. The remains were brought to Monroeville and interred in the family lot on Sunday.

Robert Stacey and J.F. Grimes of Manistee were in to see us the first of the week. L.A. Hale, J.F. Grimes, Robert Stacey and J.W. Wilkinson attended county court the first of the week.

A.M. English was up from Mt. Pleasant the first of the week. Mr. English related to interested groups a thrilling account of a bear hunt in which he participated a few weeks ago.

PERDUE HILL R.F.D. – W.B. Runyan and C.R. Burgoyne, who have lately purchased the property of the Manistee Mill company, are beginning to repair their plant and get the machinery into running condition.

Local physicians assure us that all danger of a further outbreak of smallpox in Monroeville has now passed and there is no further occasion for uneasiness on that account. As a result of this confidence, business is picking up and merchants are feeling correspondingly cheerful. All points of infection in the town have been thoroughly fumigated and otherwise disinfected, so that those having occasion to visit Monroeville on business or pleasure may do so without the slightest risk.

135 YEARS AGO
FEB. 16, 1885

Snow fell to the depth of about six inches last Thursday.

Skipper, the mail carrier from Bermuda to Claiborne, has had some severe weather for carrying the mail.

Mr. F. Metts, while out hauling wood one day last week, had the misfortune to break his wooden leg. He sustained no serious injury excepting some inconvenience and loss of time.

Capt. W.S. Wiggins has secured the services of that rising young carpenter, Mr. S.P. Lindsay of Buena Vista, to complete the repairs on his store house.

Prof. G.L. Graham, our worthy schoolmaster, was compelled to suspend teaching Thursday and Friday on account of the severe cold weather. The Academy needs a new stove and should have one.

W.J. Gleaner, a practical and experienced sewing machine builder and repairer of Chicago, spent several days in town last week at that excellent hotel, the Jones White House. He was kept quite busy repairing.

Mr. R.P. Fay of Green Cove Springs passed through town last week on his way to Mr. R. Maibin’s mill, where he will take charge of the sawing department.

Rev. P.C. Morton, Presbyterian Evangelist, closed a very interesting meeting at the Presbyterian church at Claiborne last Friday evening. He went to Scotland from this place Saturday, where he will commence a meeting to continue several days, and thence to River Ridge.