Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 319: Eat “Oysters Rockefeller”

Just about like everyone walking around, I’d heard of Oysters Rockefeller all of my life, but for whatever reason I’d never eaten any. I’m pretty sure that the only reason I’d never tried them was mostly because I’d never been anywhere that served them. I put them on my “bucket list” several years ago, and finally got the chance to eat some the other day.

For those of you unfamiliar with Oysters Rockefeller, they are oysters on a half-shell and usually topped with parsley, butter, bread crumbs and sometimes cheese. The oyster itself is usually either baked or broiled. Around where I live, about the only place you can get them is at a seafood restaurant.

My interest in eating Oysters Rockefeller really ramped up when my buddy Gilbert Harden came back from Pensacola a while back regaling me with tales of the delicious Oysters Rockefellers he’d eaten there. With that in mind, a week or so ago, my wife and I went to the Wintzel’s Oyster House in Greenville, Ala. Not long after we arrived, I noticed that they had Oysters Rockefeller on the menu, so I ordered half a dozen to see what all the fuss was about.

I ate my six Oysters Rockefeller slowly, savoring them as I slowly thought about their taste and texture. I thought they were really, really good with a cheesy vegetable taste with an aftertaste that reminded me of Parmesan. I’d eat them again in a heartbeat, but my wife declined my repeated offers to try one.

While researching this bucket list item, I was interested to learn that Oysters Rockefeller, despite its New England-sounding name, is actually a Southern dish. It was created in 1899 by Jules Alciatore, who worked at his father’s restaurant, Antoine’s in New Orleans. This famous restaurant has been serving Oysters Rockefeller for the past 118 years and the estimate that they’ve served nearly four million over the years.

I’ve always been somewhat curious about how this oyster dish got its name, which always made me think about the wealthy Rockefeller, which is also probably why I thought the dish had New England roots. As it turns out, the dish was named after John D. Rockefeller, who happened to be one of the wealthiest men in American in the 1890s. Rockefeller, who died at the age of 97 in 1937, made a huge fortune in the oil business.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would try Oysters Rockefeller again if given the opportunity. In fact, I think I could easily eat more than half a dozen because I still had room left for more after my recent trip to Wintzel’s in Evergreen. Off the top of my head, I bet I could eat 18 or more at one sitting and not be overly stuffed.

In the end, how many of you have eaten “Oysters Rockefeller”? What did you think about it? What other unusual foods would you recommend trying? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Feb. 28, 2017

MARCH 4, 1999

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported .03 inches of rain on Feb. 23 and .55 inches on Feb. 27. He reported a high of 78 degrees on Feb. 26 and a low of 28 degrees on Feb. 22. Total rainfall for the month of February was 1.51 inches.

The 54th Annual Conecuh County 4-H/Future Farmers of America Steer and Heifer Show will be held this Sat., March 6, 1999 at the Evergreen Stockyard Livestock Arena.
Exhibitors this year in the Steer category are: Brandon Coleman, Christopher Garner and Ashton Garner, all of Castleberry; Clint Casey of Bermuda; Noel Goneke and Chip Stacey of Lyeffion, Michael Landon and Chris Landon of Evergreen; and Carolyn Pritchett of Brooklyn.
In the Heifer show, exhibitors will be Noel Goneke and Chip Stacey, Georgeanne Pritchett and Christopher Garner.
The event begins promptly at 9 a.m. with the official weigh-in. The Heifer Show follows at 1 p.m., which is immediately followed by the Steer Show.
At 6:30 p.m., following the steer show, the sale will be held.
The annual event is sponsored by the Conecuh County Steer Show Committee and the State Department of Agriculture and Industries in cooperation with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the State Department of Education Agri-Science and Technology Education.

In honor of Evergreen being named a Tree City USA Forester Victor Howell planted a tree with the aid of some special guests at Evergreen City School. Pictured Anita Watson, principal at ECS; Peggy Howell, City of Evergreen; Chief Lynn Taylor, James North, Forestry Commission; Mayor Lomax Cassady and Smokey Bear.

MARCH 7, 1974

Young black man reported missing: Allen Sanders Jr., 25-year-old black male, has disappeared according to members of his family. He was last seen Feb. 24. At that time, he was wearing a western jacket and western jeans.
Sanders is five feet, five inches tall and weighs 115 to 120 pounds. He has a light black complexion, black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone having any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact Sheriff James M. (Shorty) Brock’s office.

Booker graduates police training, receives honors: BAY MINETTE, ALA. - Edwin L. Booker of the Evergreen Police Department recently received his diploma after completing a six-week course in Basic Police Training at James H. Faulkner State Jr. College here.
Booker was elected president of the class of 37 and was presented a certificate of achievement for outstanding service and accomplishments as a student in the Law Enforcement Training Program. Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key of Evergreen, the commencement speaker, made the presentation to Booker.
Booker was also commended by his instructors for maintaining an average of 96 out of a possible 100 in the course.
Evergreen Mayor and Mrs. Henry Sessions, Chief of Police James Ellis and two sons, Policeman Ernest Sexton and Booker’s wife, Ruby, and their two daughters attended the graduation program.

The Spring Term of Circuit Court will begin here Monday morning in the Conecuh County Courthouse with Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key presiding.

MARCH 3, 1949

CARL L. NALL: Funeral services for S 1/c Carl L. Nall, who was killed in action in the Pacific theatre in the recent World War, will be held from Ramer Church Saturday at 11 a.m. with full military honors. Officiating will be Rev. J.L. Higdon and Elder A.J. Parrish with Cope Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

The Conecuh County grand jury in session last week examined 48 witnesses and returned only six true bills which was probably the smallest number of indictments ever returned by a grand jury in this county.
Among the indictments returned were two for second degree murder against Mrs. Mary Sue Waller and her son, John D. Chunn, who are charged with killing Willie Blake on Christmas Day. Blake was Mrs. Waller’s son-in-law. This case has been set for trial next Wed., March 9.
Other cases of general interest to be tried at the criminal session next week are:
The State of Alabama vs. Ebb Hoomes, who is charged with murder, moved here on a change of venue from Escambia County. The case was reversed by the Supreme Court and is set for retrial next Thurs., March 10.
The State of Alabama vs. Clyde Johnson, charged with murder in the second degree, is set for Mon., March 7.
The State of Alabama vs. Burley Jackson, charged with manslaughter in the first degree, is set for Tues., March 8.

MARCH 5, 1924

Birmingham Flyers Land Here Saturday: Saturday morning at 10:30 o’clock, the Birmingham escadrille, 106th Observation Squadron, Alabama National Guard, from Roberts Field, Birmingham, landed on the field of Troop 55, Machine Gun Squadron, here. The flyers were guests of the local guard officers. The four planes were in command of Capt. Sumter Smith and with him were lieutenants Price, Jonds, Babson and Kirkham and sergeants Parsons, Gobbert and Elder. The aviators were shown around the city and were luncheon guests at the Evergreen hotel. Their departure was made at 1:30 p.m. Capt. Smith and his officers were on their way to Mobile for the aerial meet at Mardi Gras.

Leon Layfield pleaded guilty to the murder of Melvin Brantley in the circuit court at Mobile last week and was sentenced to imprisonment for life in the state penitentiary. The youthful murderer refused to reveal the reasons that prompted him to take the life of his companion. Young Brantley’s body was found about a week after the crime in a swamp near Tensaw river with eight bullet wounds from a 22-calibre rifle in his head. The murder was committed in November last. Young Brantley was born and reared in Beat One of this county.

Charles B. Savage, long a prominent citizen of Evergreen, died on Monday at his home in Brundidge. The news of his death came in a telegram to Judge Dunn from Mrs. Savage. The funeral occurred on Tuesday morning at Brundidge.

Today in History for Feb. 28, 2017

Charles Pawson Atmore
Feb. 28, 1510 – Spanish cartographer and explorer Juan de la Cosa died in Turbaco, Columbia.

Feb. 28, 1525 – The Aztec king Cuauhtémoc was executed by Hernán Cortés's forces.

Feb. 28, 1533 – Essayist Michel de Montaigne was born in Perigord in Bordeaux, France.

Feb. 28, 1692 - In Salem, Massachusetts 10 children identify the "witches" in their community who afflicted them: Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and an old Native American woman named Tituba. Warrants were obtained, and they were arrested.

Feb. 28, 1766 - Revolutionary War soldier and Georgia Governor John Clarke was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Clarke County, Ala. was named in his honor on Dec. 10, 1812.

Feb. 28, 1784 - John Wesley chartered the first Methodist Church in the United States.

Feb. 28, 1824 - Charles Blondin, the first person to walk across Niagra Falls on a tightrope, was born in St Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Feb. 28, 1827 - The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for the commercial transportation of people and freight.

Feb. 28, 1829 – Edgar Allan Poe’s foster mother, Frances Allan, died.

Feb. 28, 1834 – Charles Pawson Atmore was born on the island of Guernsey. Atmore, Ala. would later be named in his honor.

Feb. 28, 1836 - The Alamo endured prolonged cannonade fire from Santa Anna’s artillery batteries.

Feb. 28, 1840 – French explorer Henri Duveyrier was born in Paris, France.

Feb. 28, 1855 – Hinchey W. Warren passed away at the age of 67 near Sparta, Ala. and was buried in the Warren Family Cemetery. A War of 1812 veteran, he was also the great-grandfather of U.S. President Warren G. Harding.

Feb. 28, 1858 – The ill-fated Eliza Battle left Demopolis, Ala. fully loaded with passengers and with more than 1,200 bales of cotton. During an already cold night, a strong north wind began to blow, with the air temperature decreasing another 40°F in the two hours after nightfall. (13 Alabama Ghosts)

Feb. 28, 1861 - The U.S. territory of Colorado was organized.

Feb. 28, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Fayetteville, Ark., at Osage Springs. Federal operations at New Madrid, Mo. and Island Number 10 began. Charleston, Va. was occupied by Federal forces.

Feb. 28, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Federal naval attacked Fort McAllister, Ga., and a Naval encounter occurred on the Ogeechee River, south of Savannah, Ga. A skirmish was also fought out from Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory.

Feb. 28, 1864 – After getting captured by the Union at Campbell’s Station, Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) was transferred from Asylum General Hospital in Nashville to Louisville Military Prison.

Feb. 28, 1864 - A major Union cavalry raid began when General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick led 3,500 troopers south from Stevensburg, Virginia. Aimed at Richmond, the raid sought to free Federal prisoners and spread word of President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction in hopes of convincing Confederates to lay down their arms. Kilpatrick took with him Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren to conduct the prisoner release while Kilpatrick covered him with the main force

Feb. 28, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the Peal River and at Yazoo City, Miss.; at Dukedom Tenn.; and at Ely’s Ford, Va. A Federal operation took place in Gloucester County and Albermarle County, Va.

Feb. 28, 1865 – During the Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest was finally appointed Lieutenant General, and a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Cheraw and Rocky Mount, S.C.

Feb. 28, 1872 - John Gassaway Rush passed away at the age of 54 and was buried in McIntosh Cemetery, which is located behind Andrews Chapel in McIntosh, Ala. In 1860, he and his wife donated the land where the church was constructed.

Feb. 28, 1887 - Alabama passed its first child labor law, fixing age limits and restricting work hours for certain types of labor. The legislation, which also protected women workers, was repealed in the 1890s, but efforts of reformers like Rev. Edgar Gardner Murphy of Montgomery resulted in new child labor laws during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Feb. 28, 1894 – Novelist, playwright and screenwriter Ben Hecht was born in New York City.

Feb., 28, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that “a little colored girl was shot and killed by her brother near Perdue Hill last week. The two children were playing with an old gun which went off with the above result.”

Feb. 28, 1901 – The Town of Beatrice, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality. While the Selma to Pensacola branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad was being built, the general superintendent of construction, a Col. Seymour of Nashville, Tenn., asked that the town growing up around the station in present-day Beatrice be named for his granddaughter, Beatrice Seymour. The Beatrice post office was established in 1900. (Places Names in Alabama)

Feb. 28, 1901 – According to the Alabama League of Municipalities, Opp was officially incorporated as a municipality.

Feb. 28, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen Bottling Co. had opened a supply depot next door to McNutt’s barber shop, and was prepared to supply dealers with bottled soda water, ginger ale, etc. on short notice.

Feb. 28, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Frank Simmons of Evergreen, Ala. had brought the newspaper a 9-1/2 pound “monster turnip” that was bigger than the 7-3/4 pound turnip recently grown by J.J. Pearce of Bowles.

Feb. 28, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Daughters of the Confederacy planned to make a donation to the Soldiers’ Home at Mountain Creek and earnestly desired the cooperation of every Confederate veteran. All contributions were to be left at the McCreary Drug Store. Mrs. M. McCreary was President of the U.D.C. and Mrs. Edwin C. Page was Corresponding Secretary.

Feb. 28, 1915 - Asa Goodwin, the oldest man in Alabama, died at Bessemer, Ala. on the eve of his 108th birthday. He was born in Henry County, Ga. in 1807 and had lived since 1829 in Alabama and Mississippi. He was survived by one son, 74 grandchildren, 227 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

Feb. 28, 1916 - Riley Kelly and W.R. Manning of Excel, Ala. transacted business in Monroeville on this Monday.

Feb. 28, 1916 – Around noon on this Monday, a fire broke out on the roof of M.M. Fountain’s cook room and threatened to destroy his house. According to The Monroe Journal, “half a hundred citizens and visitors quickly resolved themselves into a bucket brigade and the fire was soon extinguished with slight damage.”

Feb. 28, 1916 – The L&N Railroad depot and freight house at Monroe, together with all office furniture and supplies, were destroyed by fire on this Monday night. There was only a small quantity of freight in the warehouse at the time so the loss, aside from the building, was not heavy. The fire was discovered at a late hour of the night by Mr. W.R. Shirley but was already beyond control. It was believed that the building caught fire from an overcharged telegraph wire, as an electric storm prevailed at an earlier hour of the night.

Feb. 28, 1916 - Allied forces completed their conquest of the Cameroons, a German protectorate on the coast of western Africa.

Feb. 28, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Edward E. English of Evergreen, Ala. “died in an accident.”

Feb. 28, 1921 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Quest of Iranon,” which was originally published in the July-August 1935 issue of The Galleon.

Feb. 28, 1925 – In Lovecraftian fiction, the lost island of R’lyeh rose once again.

Feb. 28, 1930 – Major League Baseball third baseman Frank Malzone was born in Bronx, N.Y. He would go on to play for the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels.

Feb. 28, 1932 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Dreams in the Witch House,” which was originally published in the July 1933 issue of Weird Tales.

Feb. 28, 1933 – The Reichstag Fire Decree was passed in Germany, a day after the Reichstag fire.

Feb. 28, 1945 – NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was born in Orange, Texas. He would go on to play for Michigan State, the Baltimore Colts, the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Oilers.

Feb. 28, 1946 – Ernie and Dot Lind, aka “The Shooting Linds,” performed a “spectacular exhibition of fancy shooting” in Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 28, 1947 – Major League Baseball shortstop and second baseman Marty Perez was born in Visalia, Calif. He would go on to play for the California Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.

Feb. 28, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that PFC William Howard Peacock of Route One, Owasssa, Ala., was preparing to return to Fort Campbell, Ky. from Camp Drum, N.Y. after several weeks of extensive cold weather warfare training in Exercise Snow Fall in northern New York state. Peacock was a member of the 11th Airborne Division and a gunner with the 188th Airborne Regiment’s Support Command. He attended Evergreen High School, entered the Army in 1949 and completed Parachutist School at Fort Benning, Ga.

Feb. 28, 1953 – NFL running back Roland Harper was born in Seguin, Texas. He would go on to play for Louisiana Tech and the Chicago Bears.

Feb. 28, 1953 - In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

Feb. 28, 1964 - A television version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" was broadcast as part of the series “The Twilight Zone.

Feb. 28, 1965 – National Book Award-winning novelist Colum McCann was born in Dublin.

Feb. 28, 1968 - General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, returned from his recent round of talks with General William Westmoreland in Saigon and immediately delivered a written report to President Lyndon B. Johnson, stated that despite the heavy casualties incurred during the Tet Offensive, North Vietnam and Viet Cong forces had the initiative and were “operating with relative freedom in the countryside.”

Feb. 28, 1976 – Actress Ali Larter was born in Cherry Hills, New Jersey.

Feb. 28, 1980 – Evergreen High School’s varsity basketball team, led by head coach Charles Branum, beat Wilcox County, 81-51, in the opening round of the area tournament, which was played at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, Ala. Horace Smith and Perona Rankins led Evergreen with 26 points and 22 points, respectively. Others scoring were Joe Mitchell, 12; Sanford Moye, six; David Floyd, five; Philander Rogers, two; Johnny Allen, two; Anthony Williams, two; Arturo Scott, two; and Michael Lampley, two.

Feb. 28, 1980 – Evergreen, Ala. radio station WBLO began broadcasting after being off the air since Feb. 16 so that broadcast equipment could be repaired and improved and the station’s signal expanded. John Bolton was the station’s DJ.

Feb. 28, 1988 - A television version of Alabama author Borden Deal's book “Bluegrass” was broadcast.

Feb. 28, 1991 – The first Gulf War ended as U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein pledged to honor future United Nations peace terms.

Feb. 28, 1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raided the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group's leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians died in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.

Feb. 28, 1995 - The Monroe County Hospital Board on this Tuesday approved a new chief financial officer (CFO). Nellie Chunn, 24, of Rocky Hill was recommended by Administrator Floyd Price to replace Chris Johns as CFO. Chunn had worked as accounting manager at the hospital for the previous three years. Chunn was a 1992 graduate of Troy State University with a degree in computer science and accounting and a graduate of J.U. Blacksher High School. She was selected from six applicants interviewed.

Feb. 28, 2002 - It was announced that John Madden would be replacing Dennis Miller on "Monday Night Football." Madden signed a four-year $20 million deal with ABC Sports.

Feb. 28, 2005 – A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq killed 127.

Feb. 28, 2008 – The Barnes Cemetery in Butler County was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Feb. 28, 2010 - Weather observer Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of February 2010 was 3.50 inches and total snowfall was five inches.

Feb. 28, 2014 – Country music singer-songwriter Hank Locklin of Brewton, Ala. was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Feb. 28, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.60 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.30 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 19.10 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 18.60 inches

Notes: Today is the 59th day of 2017 and the 69th day of Winter. There are 306 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Feb. 27, 2017

MARCH 4, 1999

Hillcrest Jaguars defeat Georgiana, 8-2, on Feb. 26: Hillcrest High School won their first home game of the 1999 baseball season against Georgiana High School, 8-2, on Fri., Feb. 26. Alvis Griffin and Keith Kent combined to keep Georgiana to a total of seven hits and two runs.
Alvis pitched four innings and gave up five hits, one run and four strikeouts. Keith gave up two hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts in three innings. Both runs were unearned due to three errors.
Scoring for Hillcrest were Josh Merrills, one run; Alvin Griffin, one run; Kelvin Fluker, one run; Mario Taylor, one run; Ronald Grace, one run; Drew Armstrong (courtesy runner for Keith Kent), one run.
Josh Merrills had two RBI; Steven Daniels, one RBI; Mario Taylor, one RBI; and Ron Grace, one RBI.

Hillcrest High School lost their opening baseball game, 9-8, to Clarke County High School on Fri., Feb. 19, 1999 in Grove Hill.
Alvis Griffin pitched four innings of play and gave up three runs on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Keith Kent had three RBI; Kenny Riley, two RBI; and Alvis Griffin, two RBI.

Hillcrest High School defeated Red Level High School, 8-1, on Tues., Feb. 23, 1999 in Red Level. The game was called after 4-1/2 innings of play because of darkness. Therefore, the score reverted back to the last full inning.
Keith Kent gave up one run on four hits and three strikeouts in five innings of pitching.

MARCH 7, 1974

It’s two years in a row for the Evergreen High Aggies to compete in the State 3A Basketball Tournament at the University of Alabama. Coach Charles Branum’s cagers will tangle with Russellville at nine o’clock this morning in the opening round. They carry a superb, 29-2, record into the state meet. The Aggies are Albert Stallworth, Eddie Stallworth, Chuck Jones, Willie Ingram, Anthony Merrill, Coach Branum, Donald Perkins, David Thomas, Cleve Fields, Ronald Fantroy, Alfonza Holder and Gene Stallworth.

Aggies open play in state meet this morning: The Evergreen High Aggies return to the state Class AAA tournament for the second year in a row today after completing a 29-2 season.
The road to state this year began last week with the Region 1, Area 2 tournament in Evergreen in which the Aggies knocked off Grove Hill, 81-72, in the semi-finals and stopped arch-rival Jackson in the finals, 65-53, playing one of their finest games of the season.
Saturday night, the Aggies took their second straight Region 1 title by crushing the Alba Sharks, 69-43, behind a 19-point effort by sophomore center Ronald Fantroy. Fantroy dominated play underneath, taking the game away from Alba’s 6-8 pivotman Barry Montgomery, an all-state and all-America candidate.
Under the coaching of Charles Branum, the Aggies have compiled an impressive two-year record of 62 wins and four losses, one of the top records in the state. Branum’s personal record is 187-35.
This year’s area all-star team featured three Aggie performers: forwards David Thomas and Eddie Stallworth and guard Cleve Fields.

MARCH 3, 1949

Lyeffion, Evergreen Win In Benefit Doubleheader: The curtain fell on the 1948-49 basketball season in Conecuh County Tuesday night at Evergreen High’s Memorial Gym and caught in its swirl were Repton’s Bulldogs and the Blue Devils of County High at Castleberry. Lyeffion topped Repton, 44-23, and Evergreen downed Castleberry, 55-31, before a near capacity crowd with all proceeds divided by the March of Dimes and Crippled Children’s Clinic.
Miller Dees paced the Lyeffion Yellow Jackets to their win over the fighting Repton Bulldogs in the opener. With Dees hitting for 11 the Jackets took a 15-8 lead at the quarter, Dees hit for six in the second as Lyeffion surged to a 28-10 halftime lead. Three more in the final two periods gave Dees a night high total of 20 points.
Bobby Thompson and Don Ivey sparked the Repton Bulldogs. Thompson sank 11 points and Ivey eight for the bulk of the Bulldogs’ counters. Coach Roy Davis’ five had trouble hitting their shots. Coach Harry Engle’s boys put them in from everywhere and were especially accurate at the foul throw line sinking 14 of 19 charity tosses.
Scoring for Lyeffion were Ferris McCrory, 11; Bill Booker, one; Junior Watts, three; Miller Dees, 20; Billy Wayne Cook, six; George Waters, one; and Gilmore, two. For Repton, Bobby Thompson, 11; Andress, two; Allen Thompson, two; and Don Ivey, eight.
Coach Wendell Hart’s Evergreen Aggies went wild in the second quarter to account for 23 points as they outscored Coach M.C. Thomasson’s County High Blue Devils, 53-31. The game started out slowly with the score deadlocked, 7-7, at the quarter, but the Blue Devils couldn’t match the Aggies speed in the second period and it was 30-11 at the half.
Local fans were treated to some of the fanciest shooting of the year as both the Aggies and Blue Devils sent a neat percentage of their shots through the cords. Evergreen tried 58 shots from the floor with 25 good for an excellent 43 percent (normal high school percentage ranges from 22 to 28 percent). Castleberry hit well above the average sinking 12 of 40 for an even 30 percent.
Lee Owen (Pill) Dees, Castleberry ace, set the pace as he topped the scorers with 18 points. Dees sank seven field goals, all from way way out, and dropped four of five foul shots. It was his sixth and last year of varsity basketball and he finished in a blaze of glory.
Evergreen divided the points evenly. Dickey Bozeman, John Greel Ralls and Guerry Moorer netted 11 each and Billy Mudge Lee sank 10. Finishing up the scoring for Evergreen, Bobby Frank Snowden, six; Pete Wells, two; Jeff Moorer, two; and Gwyn Daniels, two. For Castleberry, Herbert Smith, two; Baggett, two; Edd Beasley, seven; and Curt Sullivan, two.
Officials were Sauer and Gwinn of the Central Alabama Officials Association of Montgomery.

Three County Teams Lose In Frisco City Tourney: The three Conecuh County high schools entered in the First District “B” Tournament at Frisco City were eliminated last weekend. Lyeffion went to the quarterfinals for the furtherest advance made by any team.
Coach Ray Davis’s Repton Bulldogs battled second-seeded Monroeville down to the wire but couldn’t cope with the two-team system employed by the Monroe Countians. Monroeville finished fourth in the tournament.
Coach M.C. Thompson’s Castleberry Blue Devils lost a heart-breaking, 19-18, decision to fourth-seeded Chatom. Herbert Smith shot nine points and Lee Owen (Pill) Dees eight for the Devils. Dees, although playing in only one game, was named to a forward post on the second string all-district team. Chatom finished second in the tournament.
Coach Harry Engle’s Lyeffion Yellow Jackets advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to T.R. Miller High. The Jackets trounced Excel in their opening game and gave the Millers a battle before falling. Miller was seeded third, but were convincingly superior as they took the title, defeating Chatom in the finals. Miller and Chatom will represent the first district in the state “B” tournament in Tuscaloosa this weekend.
The Evergreen squad will carry a 16-won, seven-lost record into the tournament. They have won nine and lost two against first district competition.

Coach Hart states that the Aggies will go down to Mobile tonight (Thursday). He will start his usual five, consisting of Dickey Bozeman and Billy Mudge Lee at forwards, Guerry Moorer at center, John Greel Ralls and John Law Robinson at guards. In addition to these starters, varsity reserves Bobby Frank Snowden and Gwyn Daniels and “B” squad members Jeff Moorer, Bobby (Pete) Wells and Gillis (Choo-Choo) Morgan will make the trip.

Today in History for Feb. 27, 2017

William Barrett Travis
Feb. 27, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, 1,000 Patriots troops under the command of Richard Caswell defeated 1,600 British Loyalist militia at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in North Carolina, the first American victory in the first organized campaign of the Revolutionary War.

Feb. 27, 1782 – During the American Revolutionary War, the House of Commons of Great Britain voted against further war in America.

Feb. 27, 1807 – Poet and author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine. His most famous works include “Ballads and Other Poems” (1841), “Evangeline” (1847), “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855) and “The Courtship of Miles Standish” (1858).

Feb. 27, 1827 - The first Mardi Gras in New Orleans took place with a group of masked and costumed students dancing through the streets.

Feb. 27, 1829 – William Barrett Travis passed his law exam at Claiborne, Ala., allowing him to practice the profession of lawyer and attorney.

Feb. 27, 1834 – Portland, Maine native William Coombs, also known as “The Brokenhearted Stranger,” died at Claiborne, Ala. He was buried in the Old Cemetery at Claiborne. (Some sources say he died in 1838.)

Feb. 27, 1836 - Work continued on the batteries and entrenchments ringing the Alamo, and Santa Anna sent foraging parties to nearby ranches to look for supplies.  

Feb. 27, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln made an anti-slavery speech at the Cooper Union in the city of New York that was largely responsible for his election to the Presidency. About 1,500 people were in attendance and The New York Times reprinted the speech in its entirety.

Feb. 27, 1860 – Just moments before his speech at the Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln posed for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph was published on the cover of Harper's Bazaar with the caption, “Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.”

Feb. 27, 1862 – The Confederate Congress gave President Jefferson Davis the authority to suspend the right (or privilege) of habeas corpus. The right (or privilege) of habeas corpus was enshrined in the Constitution of the Confederate States of America as well as the one in Washington from which it came. Based on much older common law, it required that persons only be arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a judge, specifying what law had been broken. Davis, actually, used this authority much less than Lincoln eventually would.

Feb. 27, 1863 – Confederate Naval Captain Raphael Semmes, the captain of the CSS Alabama, captured the merchant vessel Washington with a cannonball which, Semmes wrote, “wet the people on her poop [deck], by the spray of a shot...” The ship, undamaged, was released on a bond.

Feb. 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation was conducted out from Fort Pillow, Tenn., and a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Bloomington, Tenn., on the Hatchie River. A two-day Federal reconnaissance from Centreville to Falmouth, Va. began.

Feb. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, the first Northern prisoners arrived at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia (Camp Sumter). Nearly a quarter of all inmates died in captivity during the war. Henry Wirz, the commandant of the 16-acre prison, was executed in the aftermath of the Civil War for the brutality and the mistreatment committed under his command.

Feb. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Pinos Altos in the Arizona Territory; at Madison and Sharon, Miss.; near Dalton, Ga.; near Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and in the Sequatchie Valley, Tenn. The Confederate salt works on Goose Creek, near St. Mark’s, Fla. were destroyed.

Feb. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Spring Place, Ga.; in the vicinity of Sturgeon, Mo.; and at Mount Elon and Cloud’s House, S.C.

Feb. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, what would prove to be the final Federal operation in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia began. Spring was not quite yet come to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but Phil Sheridan’s men were stirring anyway. Ten thousand cavalrymen, under command of Wesley Merritt, departed on this day from Winchester, heading south. All that the Confederacy had left to oppose them were two weak brigades, headed by Jubal Early. Merritt’s orders were to wreck the Virginia Central Railroad, and do what damage he could to the James River Canal.

Feb. 27, 1886 – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was born in Ashland, Ala.

Feb. 27, 1890 - A 100-round boxing match was fought in San Francisco, and declared to be a draw after 6-1/2 hours.

Feb. 27, 1894 – The Pine Belt News newspaper in Brewton, Ala. was established.

Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Marcus Sowell left during the previous week for Jasper, Ala., where he planned to begin reading law in the office of his brother, Col. T.L. Sowell.

Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from its correspondent from Manistee, that there would be preaching at Pleasant Hill church on the first Sabbath in every month, and also the Saturday before. “We are proud to have our noble brother Lambert to serve us, after having such a devoted minister as brother S.P. Lindsey. Brother L. is one of our oldest and best Ministers. We are glad to know that the Sabbath school at Pleasant Hill continues in the afternoon. The teachers, Misses Wills and Moore, are working earnestly.”

Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.J. Simpson had the misfortune to lose his gin and grist mill at Repton by fire one day during the previous week. The fire was accidental, and he had no insurance.

Feb. 27, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the unexpected death of Miss Ada Thames, who was buried at McConnico Cemetery on Feb. 27, had “cast a halo of gloom over all her friends and relatives “at Perdue Hill.

Feb. 27, 1902 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif. His most famous works include “Tortilla Flat” (1935), “Of Mice and Men” (1937) and “The Grapes of Wrath” (1939).

Feb. 27, 1908 - Major League Baseball adopted a sacrifice fly rule for the first time. It was repealed, reinstated and then changed several times before being permanently accepted in 1954.

Feb. 27, 1912 - The New York Yankees announced that they would be wearing pinstripes on their uniforms.

Feb. 27, 1915 - “The Valley of Fear” by Arthur Conan Doyle was published in novel form.

Feb. 27, 1916 - After completing their conquest of Serbia and Montenegro, the Austro-Hungarian army turned its attentions toward Albania, occupying the coastal city of Durazzo on the Adriatic Sea.

Feb. 27, 1917 - John Connally, the governor of Texas who was shot during the John F. Kennedy assassination, was born in Floresville, Texas.

Feb. 27, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Sam Johnson of Flomaton, Ala. “died from disease.”

Feb. 27, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Henry Crenshaw of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.”

Feb. 27, 1922 – Former Confederate soldier James Hampton Simpson passed away at the age of 77. Born on Dec. 18, 1844, he enlisted in Monroeville as a private in Co. F of the 36th Alabama Regiment on April 10, 1862. He surrendered at Greensboro, N.C. on April 26, 1865. After the war, he worked as a farmer, storekeeper and grist mill operator. He is buried in the Mexia Cemetery.

Feb. 27, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “All Balled Up” was released.

Feb. 27, 1930 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “COURT HOUSE SQUARE IS GREATLY IMPROVED,” that the “improvement of the court house square by the additional shrubbery set out is so noticeable that we are again referring to it. Perhaps no single improvement has changed the appearance of things in town so much, and the visitor is bound to be favorably impressed.”

Feb. 27, 1930 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “NEW WATER SYSTEM FOR MONROEVILLE,” that “the work of installing the new water system for Monroeville is proceeding at a very gratifying rate. The large mains around the square are being laid rapidly, and work of erecting the new stand pipe is well along toward completion.”

Feb. 27, 1930 - The Alabama Military Institute Band was scheduled to give a concert at the Frisco City High School auditorium at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Feb. 27-28, 1931 – The first district basketball tournament was held in Evergreen, Ala. and included 10 teams. “Fob” James of Enterprise was the official referee.

Feb. 27, 1933 – Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, was set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claimed responsibility. The Nazis used the fire to solidify their power and eliminate the communists as political rivals.

Feb. 27, 1933 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Raymond Berry was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He went on to play for Southern Methodist and the Baltimore Colts and served as the head coach of the New England Patriots for five seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.

Feb. 27, 1936 - Alabama author Helen Keller was interviewed on the radio program “The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour.

Feb. 27, 1948 - Alabama author Trudier Harris was born in Mantua, Ala.

Feb. 27, 1950 - William Kendall “W.K.” Horton, age 86, died at a Montgomery hospital on this Monday night following an extended illness. Horton was a pioneer citizen and lifelong resident of Conecuh County. He was born and reared on a farm 10 miles from Evergreen on the Brooklyn Highway and lived there until a few years before 1950 when he moved to Evergreen. He owned a large farm and thousands of acres of timber land and engaged in farming, timbering and mercantile business. He also owned considerable business and residence property in Evergreen. He was president of the Bank of Evergreen, director of All States Life Insurance Co., Montgomery, stockholder in Andala Co., Andalusia, and had many and varied interests elsewhere. Funeral services were held from New Bethel Baptist Church on Wed., March 1, at 11 a.m., conducted by Rev. Sam Granade, pastor of the Evergreen Baptist Church. Interment was in the family lot in Horton Cemetery.

Feb. 27, 1951 - The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting U.S. Presidents to two terms.

Feb. 27, 1962 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem survived another coup attempt when Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots Lieutenants Pham Phu Quoc and Nguyen Van Cu try to kill him and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu by bombing and strafing the presidential palace.

Feb. 27, 1963 - Mickey Mantle signed a contact worth $100,000 with the New York Yankees.

Feb. 27, 1965 - Robert Lee Page, age 72, died at the home of Mike O’Brien in Baker, La. on this Saturday. Page was born in Evergreen on March 4, 1892. He was employed by the L&N Railroad Co. as train dispatcher and telegrapher for a number of years, working at local stations from Montgomery to Mobile, including about seven years at Georgiana. He later became associated with the Illinois Central Railroad as train dispatcher and after 41 years service, he retired as chief train dispatcher in 1958 with a total of more than 53 years service with two railroads.

Feb. 27, 1965 - The U.S. State Department released a 14,000-word report entitled “Aggression from the North–The Record of North Vietnam’s Campaign to Conquer South Vietnam.”

Feb. 27, 1969 - Communist forces shelled 30 military installations and nine towns in South Vietnam, in what becomes known as the “Post-Tet Offensive.”

Feb. 27, 1973 - Dick Allen of the Chicago White Sox signed a contract worth $250,000 a year for three years.

Feb. 27, 1975 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroe Academy varsity basketball team, led by Coach Melvin Middleton, won the District 3 basketball tournament of the Alabama Private School Athletic Association by upsetting the two teams thought most likely to win. The team beat Escambia Academy, then upset Wilcox Academy and Fort Dale Academy. Members of the team were Greg Petty, Chuck Lambert, Ricky Eddins, Sam Bowden, Hudson Lazenby, David Steele, Bryant Hooks, Harold King, John Winters, Ricky Robinson and Keith Pugh.

Feb. 27, 1976 – NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez was born in Torrance, Calif. He would go on to play for Cal, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons.

Feb. 27, 1978 – Liberty Chapel Church near Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Feb. 27, 1978 – The W.O. Carter Log House near Andalusia, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Feb. 27, 1987 - The NCAA cancelled Southern Methodist University’s entire 1987 football schedule for gross violations of NCAA rules on athletic corruption.

Feb. 27, 1991 – During the Gulf War, U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced on U.S. television that "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations."

Feb. 27, 1995 - Dr. Stanley Barnes was one of the featured speakers at a Black History Month program at Evergreen Junior High School on this Monday. Dr. Douglas Littles, Dean of Students at Reid State Technical College, was the other featured speaker.

Feb. 27-March 3, 2001 – Weather observer Harry Ellis reported 8.76 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala. over this five day period. Total rainfall for the month of February 2001 was 3.18 inches.

Feb. 27, 2002 - The Houston Astros announced that they had struck a deal with Enron to buy back the naming rights of their ballpark for $2.1 million. The ballpark would be called "Astros Field" until a new sponsor came along.

Feb. 27, 2003 - Emmitt Smith became a free agent for the first time when the Dallas Cowboys released him.

Feb. 27, 2011 – National Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder Duke Snider died at the age of 84 in Escondido, Calif. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.70 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 18.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 18.00 inches

Notes: Today is the 58th day of 2017 and the 68th day of Winter. There are 307 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

130-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from Feb. 1887

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of February 1887. Those issues, which were dated Feb. 3, Feb. 10, Feb. 17 and Feb. 24, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.

FEB. 3, 1887

NOTICE – The Journal is considerably behind time this week on account of the failure of our shipment of paper to reach us at the proper time.

Sheriff Burns spent several days with his family at Newtown Academy last week.

Mr. W.T. Nettles of Kempville, our popular county surveyor, was in town Wednesday.

Capt. DeLoach received a fall from the steps of his store gallery last week, severely injured his right knee, from which he has not yet entirely recovered.

Mr. Hillary Hudson has made extensive improvements on his place recently.

Mr. John Watts now has charge of the Repton mail route.

Burnt Corn will soon have a school to the satisfaction Burnt Cornites, a Miss Buel of Mobile will be the teacher.

Capt. Heck Graham went to Evergreen this week on business.

Dr. R.N. McMillian of Carlisle was in town Friday.

County court will convene Monday.

Dr. S.F. Dailey of Kempville was in town Friday.

Mr. Charlie Savage of Evergreen passed through Monroeville last Sunday on his way to Perdue Hill to visit his father, Col. H.J. Savage.

FEB. 10, 1887

The County Medical Society met in Monroeville Monday.

Sheriff Burns returned Sunday from a brief visit to Montgomery.

There are four prisoners confined in the county jail, partaking of and enjoying the county’s hospitality.

Capt. W.S. Wiggins went to Mobile Sunday to purchase a stock of spring goods, groceries and plantation supplies.

Rev. B.J. Skinner will preach at the Baptist church Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Mr. J.H. Moore, the popular proprietor of the Claiborne Lower Warehouse, gave The Journal a pleasant call Tuesday.

Mr. W.M. Webb, principal of the Perdue Hill High School and a polished young gentleman, was in Monroeville last Saturday.

G.W. Gaillard, Perdue Hill’s favorite young doctor, gave The Journal a call Monday.

County Court convened Monday, Judge W.C. Sowell presiding.

Capt. T.A. Nettles, the live and progressive merchant of Longstreet, Kempville, was in attendance upon the county court Monday.

Married – At the residence of the bride’s father, Wed., 9th inst., Mr. Peter Stanton to Miss Alice Carter, G.W. Salter, Esq., officiating.

FEB. 17, 1887

A bill was passed by the House last Saturday, appropriating 5,000 dollars to the building of the Confederate Monument. The bill now goes to the Senate for final action.

A number of young people of this place will attend the Mardi Gras at Mobile on the 22nd.

Capt. C.W. Locklin of Perdue Hill, a member of our efficient board of commissioners, was in attendance last week.

Perdue Hill – Rev. W.A. Lock is arranging the “Cotter Hotel” for use as a private residence, which he and his family will soon occupy.

Mr. John McDuffie of River Ridge was in town Monday.

Tax assessor Jones spent several days with his family last week.

Sheriff Burns treated himself to a fine saddle horse while in Montgomery recently.

The board of commissioners met Monday with a full attendance.

The commissioners devoted Monday to the consideration and disposal of pauper claims.

Rev. B.J. Skinner filled his regular appointment at the Baptist church Saturday and Sunday.

Dr. R.I. Draughon of Perdue Hill was in town last week.

Bermuda – Capt. Heck Graham has sold out and is going to Evergreen.

FEB. 24, 1887

We offer as an excuse for the scarcity of local and editorial matter and the delay in issuing The Journal this week that the proprietor, editor, reporters, foreman, compositors and devil – two persons in all – have been “taking in” the Mardi Gras at Mobile and did not return until Wednesday evening. We will try to make it up in our next issue.

Louise Henderson, a colored woman, was found dead near Hatters mill, about four miles from Monroeville, last Saturday. She left home on some errand and not returning the family became alarmed and started in search of her and found her sitting in a fence corner dead.

Chancellor Foster was taken ill while holding court here last week in consequence of which the court was adjourned and the Chancellor returned home via Evergreen.

Our worthy tax assessor, Capt. F.M. Jones, thinks he will be able to increase the tax assessment for this year $100,000.

Dr. R.I. Draughon of Perdue Hill delivered a lecture at the courthouse Thursday night on the “Science of Language and English Composition.” The attendance was quite small on account of the very inclement weather though the lecture was none the less instructive because of that.

Light but continuous showers of rain have fallen here for several days past, in consequence of which the roads are in a very disagreeable condition.

Dr. W.W. McMillan of Glendale was in town last week.

Today in History for Feb. 26, 2017

Army Pvt. John C. Sawyer
Feb. 26, 1564 – English playwright Christopher Marlowe was baptized in Canterbury.

Feb. 26, 1802 – French author Victor Hugo was born in Besançon. His most famous books include “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1831) and “Les Miserables” (1862).

Feb. 26, 1813 - Robert R. Livingston, a prominent Freemason also known as "the Chancellor," passed away at the age of 66 in Clermont, N.Y. and was buried in Tivoli, New York. In 1776, he represented the Provincial Congress of New York at the Continental Congress and helped to draft the Declaration of Independence. He also administered President George Washington's first oath of office, and under President Thomas Jefferson, he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.

Feb. 26, 1832 – John George Nicolay, who would go on to serve as President Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary and official biographer, was born in Bavaria, Germany.

Feb. 26, 1836 – At the Alamo, a “norther” or cold front blew in, dropping the temperature and bringing rain. James W. Fannin returned to Goliad after learning that a column of Centralist Mexican troops under Col. José Urrea was approaching that area, advancing northward from Matamoros.

Feb. 26, 1846 – Frontiersman and showman William "Buffalo Bill" Cody was born in Le Claire, Iowa.

Feb. 26, 1855 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, the James B. Chester, a three-master, was found by the Marathon, sailing aimlessly without her crew but with her sails set within the Sargasso Sea.

Feb. 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, Camp Colorado, Texas was abandoned by Federal forces.

Feb. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Keytesville, Mo., and Confederate reconnaissance was conducted as far as Nashville, Tenn.

Feb. 26, 1862 - Union soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes visited Washington, D.C., during a typical week in winter quarters. Although combat was the main job of a soldier, most men serving in the Civil War spent very few days each year in actual combat. Rhodes kept a diary during his four years in the Union Army, and his notes reveal the monotony of the winter months for the Army of the Potomac. A member of the 2nd Rhode Island, Rhodes fought in every campaign from First Bull Run to Appomattox, and rose from private to colonel in four years. On Feb. 26, 1862, Rhodes went to hear Senator Henry Wilson from Massachusetts speak on expelling disloyal members of Congress. After listening to the speech, Rhodes and his friend Isaac Cooper attended a fair at a Methodist church and met two young women, who the soldiers escorted home.

Feb. 26, 1863 - The National Currency Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, creating a national banking system, a Currency Bureau and the office of Comptroller of the Currency. The act's goal was to establish a single currency.

Feb. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Woodbury, Tenn. and at Germantown, Va.

Feb. 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Canton, Miss.; near Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and at Sulphur Springs and Washington, Tenn.

Feb. 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at McMilley’s Farm, near Pine Bluff, Ark. and at Lynch Creek and Stroud’s Mill, S.C.

Feb. 26, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that “the peach trees are in bloom.”

Feb. 26, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Jeff Powell, against whom an indictment had been pending in the Circuit Court of Monroe County for several years for assault with intent to murder, and who, a few days before shot and seriously wounded James Kearley of Buena Vista, who accompanied Deputy Sheriff Rhoad to his camp for the purpose of arresting Powell, made his escape under cover of night. The citizens of Buena Vista offered a reward of $150 for his capture and delivery to the sheriff. He was accordingly captured on Tues., Feb. 23, about seven miles south of Camden by the Messrs. Brooks and Martin who immediately brought him to Monroeville. He was lodged in jail where he was as of Feb. 26, awaiting his trial.

Feb. 26, 1887 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander was born in Elba, Nebraska. He would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1838.

Feb. 26, 1896 - Alabama author William Russell Smith died in Washington, D.C.

Feb. 26, 1896 - On this night in the northeast portion of Monroe County, near Simpkinsville, Jake Petty, son of John Petty, was assassinated by some party or parties unknown. Yancey Stinson was strongly suspected of the crime due to an ongoing feud between Petty and Stinson. The evidence adduced before the coroner’s jury tended to confirm the suspicion, and a warrant has been sworn out charging Stinson with murder.

Feb. 26, 1906 - Mr. Jas. Stacey of Manistee, Ala. visited The Monroe Journal on this Monday.

Feb. 26, 1909 – According to the Alabama League of Municipalities, the Town of Frisco City, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.

Feb. 26, 1917 – The Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the first jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.

Feb. 26, 1917 - In a crucial step toward U.S. entry into World War I, President Woodrow Wilson learned of the so-called Zimmermann Telegram, a message from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to the German ambassador to Mexico proposing a Mexican-German alliance in the event of a war between the U.S. and Germany.

Feb. 26, 1919 – President Woodrow Wilson signed an act of the U.S. Congress establishing most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park, the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Feb. 26, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. John C. Sawyer of Roy (present-day Frisco City, Ala.) “died from disease” at the age of 26 in France. Born on March 13, 1892, he was a member of Co. B of the 308th Artillery in France. He is buried in Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Frisco City.

Feb. 26, 1928 – R&B singer Fats Domino was born Antoine Domino Jr. in New Orleans.

Feb. 26, 1929 - Alabama author Idora McClellan Moore died in Talladega, Ala.

Feb. 26, 1929 – President Calvin Coolidge signed an Executive Order establishing the 96,000-acre Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Feb. 26, 1932 – Musician Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland, Ark.

Feb. 26, 1935 - The New York Yankees released Babe Ruth, who went on to sign with the Boston Braves for $20,000 and a share in the team's profits.

Feb. 26, 1935 – Adolf Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to be re-formed, violating the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.

Feb. 26, 1936 - Actual work began on this Monday on the Standard Oil Co. service station at the intersection of West Front and Cooper streets, following completion of negotiations and survey of the site, in Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 26, 1946 – Finnish observers reported the first of many thousands of sightings of “ghost rockets.”

Feb. 26, 1952 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team, led by Head Coach Wendell Hart, beat Greenville, 51-43, at Memorial Gym in Evergreen. Shirley Frazier led Evergreen with 21 points.

Feb. 26, 1952 – State Geologist Dr. Walter B. Jones was the guest speaker at the Evergreen (Ala.) Kiwanis Club meeting held in the Evergreen City School lunchroom.

Feb. 26, 1959 – Searchers found the Dyatlov Expedition’s abandoned and badly damaged tent on Kholat Syakhl.

Feb. 26, 1965 - Ann Brooks Salter, age 50, died unexpectedly at her residence on Liberty Hill Drive on this Friday morning. She was one of the few women to ever hold elective office in Conecuh County, having served as Circuit Clerk and Register. Mrs. Salter served as Circuit Clerk by appointment in the 1940s, and as Deputy Clerk when her husband, who held the office, was recalled to active Army duty during the Korean War. In 1952, when her husband was on active duty and due to time limitations could not qualify for re-election, she filed for the office and won it.

Feb. 26, 1965 - The first contingent of South Korean troops arrived in Saigon.

Feb. 26, 1966 – During the Vietnam War, the ROK Capital Division of the South Korean Army massacred 380 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam.

Feb. 26, 1968 - Allied troops who had recaptured the imperial capital of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive discovered the first mass graves in Hue.

Feb. 26, 1970 – National Public Radio was officially incorporated on this day, when it replaced the National Educational Radio Network.

Feb. 26, 1973 – The Sparta Academy Key Club received its charter from the Evergreen Kiwanis Club.

Feb. 26, 1975 – Major League Baseball utility player Mark DeRosa was born in Passaic, N.J. He would go on to play for the Atlanta Braves, the Texas Rangers, the Chicago Cubs, the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Feb. 26, 1975 - On the Today Show, the first televised kidney transplant took place.

Feb. 26, 1981 - Edgar F. Kaiser Jr. purchased the Denver Broncos from Gerald and Allan Phillips.

Feb. 26, 1985 – The 11th Annual Miss Alpha Pageant at Sparta Academy was held at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s gymnatorium in Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 26, 1989 - The New York Yankees announced that Tom Seaver would be their new TV sportscaster.

Feb. 26, 1991 – During the Gulf War, United States Army forces captured the town of Al Busayyah.

Feb. 26, 1991 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that Iraqi troops were being withdrawn from Kuwait.

Feb. 26, 1999 – Two locations in Wilcox County were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Those locations included the Dry Fork Plantation at Coy and the Pine Apple Historic District in Pine Apple. The historic district’s boundaries are roughly Wilcox County Roads 59, 7 and 61, Broad Street, Banana Street, AL 10 and Adams Drive. It contains 3,350 acres, 54 buildings, and one structure.

Feb. 26, 2004 – The Alabama Senate received House Joint Resolution No. 100, which proposed making Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey the Alabama State Spirit. The Senate voted to approve it by two to one (14-6) on March 9.

Feb. 26, 2006 - The U.S. Census Bureau's World Population Clock ticked up to 6.5 billion people.

Feb. 26, 2010 - Sparta Academy’s Erica Palmer and Nick Andrews were selected as members of the AISA All-Star Boys and Girls Basketball Teams and played in the annual all-star games on this Friday at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

Feb. 26, 2010 - Hillcrest High School’s varsity softball team opened the 2010 season with a 10-8 win over Monroe County High School on this Friday in Monroeville. The Lady Jags put the game away in the top of the seventh inning when junior second baseman Leslie Wiggins hit a clutch single that drove in runners from second and third and gave Hillcrest the two-run win. Hillcrest head coach Terry Gandy said Monday that he was more than a little happy to start the season off with a win. Other standout players on Hillcrest’s team that season included Amerisha Mixon, Victoria Walden, Sasha Rankins, Trishana Lee, Shanika Taylor, Lakarress Riley, Kabrina Peters, Khadedra Nettles, Crystal Meeks, Haley Drakeford and T’kiya Pittman.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Feb. 26, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.70 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 18.50 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 18.00 inches

Notes: Today is the 57th day of 2017 and the 67th day of Winter. There are 308 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Singleton talks of strange Civil War facts that 'history forgot to mention'

Edwin Thomas Booth
(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 “Strange facts of the war that history forgot to mention” was originally published in the Feb. 22, 2001 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Our history teachings of today give little or no thought to the tragic and bloody sacrifices of that period in our history known as the Civil War.

This period, from 1861 to 1865, was unlike any other event that has taken place anywhere else in the world because of the circumstances and happenings which caused this war to be different and unlike any war known to mankind.

As for myself, I think the history of our dreaded Civil War should be taught in greater detail, due to the fact that with this teaching, our youth would have a greater knowledge of this period of our history.

Many unanswered questions that we face today could be answered and many mysteries of this time would be solved. This article is dedicated to those of my readers who care about our history and those who search for many answers.

Here are some oddities of this bloody war that might open some eyes.

In 1861, Wilmer McLean, distressed that a cannonball had crashed through his home during the battle of Bull Run, moved to a farm where “the sound of battle would never again reach him and his family.”

Almost four years later, McLean’s Appomattox Courthouse home was used for General Lee’s surrender to General Grant. There wasn’t any damage from cannonballs, but souvenir-hunting Union officers stripped his house of almost all of its furniture.

When Sam and Keith Blalock joined the 26th North Carolina Regiment, they claimed to be old friends who were distantly related. It was months before anyone discovered Sam’s real name was Malinda. When Keith signed up to fight the Yankees, his wife put on man’s attire and went to war with him.

After the Confederacy was defeated, Jefferson Davis was stripped of his citizenship. He died as a man without a country. His citizenship was restored by Congress during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Major General George A. Custer, only wounded one time during the bloody conflict, had 11 horses shot from under him. Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler continued to fight after having 16 horses killed under him. Still, the all-time record seems to have been set by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. After a thorough study of the matter, Brigadier General James R. Chalmers reported that Forrest was under fire more than 100 times during which 36 horses were shot from under him.

A later analysis, now widely accepted, led to the conclusion that General Forrest actually had a total of 39 horses killed under him while he was in the saddle.

Unlike the Confederates, the Union cavalrymen were usually provided with a government-owned horse. There were a few exceptions.

By October 1861, virtually all units of the Union Army were furnished animals owned by the government. By October 1862, the federal government owned about 150,000 horses and 100,000 mules.

During the first two years of the fighting, Union cavalry units, which never had more than 60,000 men in the field, were supplied with about 240,000 horses. Before General Lee surrendered, federal funds had paid for an estimated 840,000 horses and at least 430,000 mules.

Even then, politics played an important role in the decisions as to who went to war and those who were exempt from the draft.

Shielded from battle because he was the son of the president, college student Robert Todd Lincoln was at a New Jersey railroad station waiting to board a train. Forced by the mass of many other passengers to lean from the waiting platform against the side of the train, he suddenly felt it begin to move.

The motion of the train spun young Lincoln off his feet and caused him to slide downward into the open space between the car and the platform. Suspended helplessly, he suddenly felt a hand grab his coat and lift him to safety.

Turning around to thank the bystander who had rescued him, he recognized the famous actor Edwin Booth, the brother of the man who, a few months later, would take the life of his father.

After Union General William T. Sherman burned and destroyed the city of Atlanta, Ga., he began his famous March to the Sea. He decided that he and his army would burn a path 100 miles wide across the South and destroy all farm houses and mules and horses in his path.

During this march, he destroyed many homes, along with many crops in the fields. His army killed over 15,000 farm horses and over 18,000 mules that were used to cultivate the farm land along his march route.

Following his army were between 600 to 700 freed slaves. Sherman’s army and the freed slaves pillaged the farms and destroyed an estimated 60 tons of cured meat that they took from the destroyed farm’s families.

By the time the army reached Ebenezer Creek just outside Savannah, Ga., there was no food for the followers of Sherman’s army.

The followers were eating spilled rice swept from the wagon beds that had been taken from the farms along the way.

The stream named Ebenezer Creek was really a wide stream of water as wide as a river. No one to this day knows why the stream was called a creek.

Sherman ordered flatboats to be constructed for his army to cross the stream on. After all the army and its equipment and animals had been ferried across, the flatboats were sent back to bring across the 600 or so freed slaves.

As the flatboats reached midstream, Sherman ordered his cannons to open fire on the loaded flatboats. None of those aboard the boats lived to reach the shore.

History describes Sherman as a gentle and kind soldier. Our history fails to mention also that upon an occasion when some of Sherman’s riflemen killed three Confederate soldiers in a small skirmish, Sherman ordered the three bodies to be placed in a large hog pen nearby, to be eaten by the hungry hogs rather than take the time to bury them. Truly, indeed, Sherman was a kind and gentle man.

History also forgets to mention that the largest slave owner in the South was a black man by the name of Lanier who lived in southern Louisiana. He owned over 4,000 of his own people. Also, the largest slave trader in the world was a black man by the name of Sinque. This black slave trader sold over two million of his own people.

If our teaching of history continues on the path that we follow today, within a very short time, the true stories of the dreadful years of our Civil War will have faded into oblivion. And the many who lie sleeping in the thousands of unknown graves throughout our nation will forever be forgotten.

History will rewrite our past, not like it actually happened, but like we wanted it to happen.

(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 on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County in June 1964 (some sources say 1961) and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “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. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” 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.)