Thursday, August 4, 2011

Headlines from Conecuh County from August 1911

It’s that time of the month again, time to take a trip down memory lane and review all of the interesting things that took place in Conecuh County 100 years ago, way back in August 1911.

In the Aug. 3, 1911 edition of The Conecuh Record newspaper, editor J.D. Whitcomb reported that “a number of farmers in this vicinity report that a worm is destroying their cotton. It is not the boll weevil, but it is claimed that it is equally as destructive in its work.”

That week’s paper also included the following announcement.

“The 19th Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School will open Tues., Aug. 29, 1911. Every young man in the district who wants to learn the science of agriculture, how to make the soil produce, production limited only by the sunshine and rain, should attend this session of school. For further information, address Henry T. Lile, President, Evergreen, Ala.”

Whitcomb also reported that week that “the following gentlemen assembled at the home of Capt. T.M. Riley at Riley, Ala. on July 29 to partake of the sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion of the annual reunion of Co. C., 5th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, C.S.A.

“The figures given below represent the ages of the different gentlemen: Capt. T.M. Riley, 71, Riley, Ala.; C.C. Nettles, 73, Mobile; H.E. Courtney, 69, Beatrice; Fern Metts, 78, Monroeville; W.E. Wiggins, 68, River Ridge; Jos. A. McCants, 68, Tinela; Joe F. Watson, 71, Brewton; W.G. Riley, 69, Evergreen; R.W. McCants, 65, Tinela; George C. Nettles, 72, Natchez.

“The following visitors were also present: T.A. Nettles, Tunnel Springs; F.M. McKenzie, Riley; W.W. Riley, Beatrice; C.R. Riley, Drewry; J.E. Robinson, Repton; Hugh Courtney Jr., Beatrice; Miller Stallworth, Pineville; Robert L. Lyon, Riley.”

In the Aug. 10, 1911 edition of The Record, readers learned that “reports continue to come in from the farmers that the cotton worm is getting in its work on many fields and they are doing considerable damage to the crop. Prompt action on the part of cotton growers is urged by the state agricultural department. Daily inspection of the plant and use of Paris green is recommended by the department.”

Much of the news that week also centered on a gathering of teachers in Evergreen.

Whitcomb reported that “Superintendent of Education Harper informs us that about 50 teachers are in attendance at the teachers institute in session here this week.

“J.B. Hobdy of Auburn is attending the teachers institute here this week.

“Misses Daisy and Lottie Blair, Ella and Frankie Deer are in attendance at the teachers institute.

“Misses Nannie Baggett and Julia Perdue of Castleberry are attending the teachers institute here this week.”

Readers also learned that “Mrs. Bryan Crumpton left last week for Blountsville, where Mr. Crumpton is principal of the public school.”

In the Aug. 17, 1911 edition of the newspaper, under the headline “First Bale of Cotton,” Whitcomb reported that “on Monday W.O. Hudson, residing near Evergreen, brought in the first bale of cotton raised in this county this season. The bale weighed 371 pounds and brought $40.00 or about 11 cents per pound. The J.H. Farnham Mercantile Co. were the purchasers.”

In news from the Finklea community, a correspondent named “Jason” let readers know that “we had a fine meeting at Ramah which closed Thursday night. Sixteen were baptized at Watkins’ mill and two received by letter. Our church is in better condition now than ever before.”

“Jason” also reported that “we attended the Masonic conference at Burnt Corn last week. Bro. Scott delivered an address.”

In related news, Whitcomb reported that “Lieutenant Governor Walter D. Seed was in the city last Saturday. He delivered an address to the masons at Burnt Corn.”

Subscribers that week also learned that “Miss Mary Salter went to St. Louis Saturday to purchase her fall stock of millinery.”

Whitcomb closed out the week with a report that “a substantial sum of money has been subscribed by our citizens to improve Main Street in old Evergreen. This street has not been worked in many years and in consequence needs it badly.”

In the Aug. 24, 1911 edition of the paper, readers learned that the “Republicans of the county held a convention here last Saturday and transacted considerable business of importance.

Whitcomb also noted that “S.M. Long of Range was here last Saturday to attend the republican convention. He presented the editor with some fine Japan chestnuts, the largest we have ever seen.”

Readers that week also learned that “Dr. and Mrs. McRogers of Birmingham are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Robson. They are touring the state in their automobile.”

Under the headline “Baseball,” Whitcomb reported that “one of the greatest games of ball ever played in Evergreen was pulled off Tuesday afternoon when the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World crossed bats at the ball park. The base running of some of the players would have made a Sphinx laugh. The W.O.W. won the game by a score of 21 to 9.”

Beneath the headline “Dr. Patrick to Preach,” readers that week also learned that “Dr. Robert G. Patrick, president of Judson College at Marion, will preach at the Baptist church next Sunday at the morning service and also at the union service to be held at the Methodist church Sunday night.”

In the Aug. 31, 1911 edition of The Record, Whitcomb reported that “Zack Spears, a mail carrier between Evergreen and Brooklyn, was caught stealing letters from the mail. He was taken to Mobile Tuesday by U.S. Marshal Gates and placed in jail under a $300 bond. Postmaster Dean states that he stole about $25 from letters.”

Readers also learned that week that “several bales of cotton have been brought to Evergreen during the past week. Cotton is opening fast and the girls will soon be running full blast.”

Subscribers were also informed that “Mrs. Gertrude Lowrey of Blue Mountain, Miss. will be a guest of Mrs. W.C. Crumpton next week. Mrs. Lowrey is an accomplished musician having received her musical training in Europe where she and Mrs. Crumpton met and have since been personal friends.”

Readers also learned that “Misses Ponder and Clendenin arrived here Monday and will teach in the public school.”

Whitcomb closed out the month with a report that “Dr. Mason of Owassa left Wednesday for Riderville, Ala., where he has a position as surgeon for a mill. Dr. Shanks will take his place at Owassa.”

Well, I guess that’s all that space will allow for this month. Next month, I plan to take a look at the events of September 1911 in Conecuh County. Until then, if you get the urge to research the county’s past yourself, take advantage of the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library’s excellent selection of old newspapers on microfilm and other resources. The library’s friendly and courteous staff will be more than happy to get you started.

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