Friday, August 31, 2018

What 'famous practical joke' did Capt. Simon Suggs pull on the innkeeper at Midway, Alabama?

Historical marker today in Midway, Alabama.

I was looking through some old newspapers the other day when I ran across an interesting historical article that was published on the front page of The Evergreen Courant on Aug. 31, 1939.

The story’s headline, “Town of Midway Once Was Famous Crossing Of Trails,” was what caught my eye and this short, six-paragraph article contained information that I’d never heard before or seen anywhere else. It also seemed to raise as many questions as it answered. Before I go any further, here’s what the article had to say.

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BEATRICE, Ala., Aug. 29 – Ten miles east of here is the historic country village of Midway, of which very little is said.

Back in the days of stagecoaches, Midway was a noted place in the fork of the Wolf Path, an Indian trail between North Alabama, Georgia and Pensacola, Fla, and the famous old Federal Road from the Indian agency at Macon, Ga. to Mobile. A famous stagecoach hostelry with “abundant provender for man and beast” was located in the fork of the two roads.

Many distinguished travelers took their meals at the old stage coach inn at Midway. European travelers frequently mentioned the inn in their journals. The noted Capt. Simon Suggs, largely a mythical character of Dadeville, Ala., is credited with playing his most famous practical joke on the Midway innkeeper.

High Head Jim and Peter McQueen came down the Wolf Path on their way to Pensacola. A few miles south, at Burnt Corn, they pilfered and burned Jim Cornell’s trading post. Gen. Sam Dale and Col. Caller waylaid the Indians on their way back to north Alabama, and fought a losing battle with them. The battle was fought at noon, and Fort Mims was the Indian’s reply to Burnt Corn. The Fort Mims attack was made at noon.

Major Gen. John Coffee halted here on his way to New Orleans over the Federal Road. Coffee’s 900 cavalrymen were all mounted on blooded Habletonian bays with white stocking feet.

Eleven miles east of Midway, a few hundred yards from Fort Bibb, is the birthplace of Thomas Hill Watts, last wartime governor of Alabama. Watts served as colonel of the 7th Alabama at Shiloh, was attorney general of the Confederate States and governor of Alabama from 1863 to 1865. His picture hangs in Alabama’s Hall of Fame at Montgomery.

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Those of you familiar with Conecuh County geography will know that the community of Midway sits way up in the northwest corner of the county, where Conecuh County and Monroe County border one another, and not far from the Butler County line. I’ve been through Midway many, many times over the years, and I’ve always felt a connection with Midway since many of my old Stacey ancestors were from this neck of the woods. With that in mind, a close reading of the newspaper article above brought many questions to mind.

First, why did the article carry a Beatrice dateline? Beatrice is a small town in northern Monroe County, and the likely explanation is that the unnamed author of the article was from that town. It’s also possible that the article was reprinted from an earlier edition of The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville.

The article also makes mention of the Wolf Path, and I’ve always found information about these old Indian paths to be interesting. There isn’t much information about these old paths readily available, and I’d love to hear from anyone in the audience with more information about the Wolf Path and others that crisscrossed this part of the country centuries ago. If anyone knows of any good books on the subject, let me know.

Last, but not least, the brief mention of Capt. Simon Suggs and his “most famous practical joke” caught my eye. I honestly can’t say that I’d ever heard of this “mythical character” from Alabama history, and the writer of the article left us hanging when it comes to details about what must have been an epic practical joke. Again, if anyone out there in the reading audience has any more information about Suggs and his practical joke, please let me hear from you, and I’ll be sure you pass the information along to our readers.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

If you've ever wondered about Austin Peay, then wonder no more

Tennessee Gov. Austin Peay

The college football season will officially get underway this week and there are 14 games on tap featuring SEC schools.

With that said, here are my predictions on how I see those games turning out. I like Alabama over Louisville, Auburn over Washington, Miami over LSU, West Virginia over Tennessee, Texas Tech over Ole Miss, Vandy over Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina over Coastal Carolina, Florida over Charleston Southern, Georgia over Austin Peay, Kentucky over Central Michigan, Missouri over UT-Martin, Arkansas over Eastern Illinois, Mississippi State over Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M over Northwestern State.

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Looking over this slate of games, I’m left wondering where a lot of these colleges are located. Middle Tennessee State is located in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Coastal Carolina University is in Conway, S.C. Austin Peay State University is in Clarksville, Tenn., and Central Michigan is in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Eastern Illinois is in Charleston, Ill., and Stephen F. Austin State University is in Nacogdoches, Texas. Last, but not least, Northwestern State University is located in Natchitoches, La.

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While I’m on the subject, I’ve always kind of wondered who Austin Peay was, but I’d never taken time to look him up prior to Monday. Austin Peay State University was established in 1927 and was named after Austin Peay, who was the sitting governor of Tennessee at that time. For this reason, the school’s sports teams are known as the Governors.

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I haven’t watched much NFL football for about two years, and I didn’t watch one second of last year’s Super Bowl because of all the controversy over the national anthem.

Like most years around this time, I start getting the urge to watch the pros, especially the New Orleans Saints. I haven’t watched any of their preseason games this year, but I did see on Monday where they were 2-1 so far in preseason games. Their final preseason game is scheduled to be played tonight (Thursday), and then they will open their regular season schedule on Sept. 9 when they play the Bucs in New Orleans.

At this point, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and give the NFL another chance, but my feeling is that this won’t last long. I imagine that about 10 minutes into the first game I watch, I’ll be so ticked off that I’ll just switch it over to the Atlanta Braves-Arizona Diamondbacks game.

Most fans that I’ve talked to seem to feel about the same way about the NFL. If the players and media would just play the game and leave the politics out of it, we’ll all be better off. I seriously doubt that will happen though, so thank the good Lord for Major League Baseball.

Studies have shown that the NFL has lost millions of viewers over the past two years as its popularity continues to dip into unchartered waters. In a classic case of cutting their nose off despite their face, the protesters are destroying the very thing that gives them an opportunity to display their talents and make millions in the process.

If things don’t change, the NFL will eventually die on the vine as it becomes financially unable to support itself.

Last one out, cut the lights off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Harry Irby Savage (April 15, 1894-Dec. 17, 1918)

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Aug. 29, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

It appears to a casual observer that Camden should install a city scale and place it in charge of a bonded weigher. Other towns have these conveniences for the public. Why should not Camden and Wilcox County take every little step to keep up with the progressive spirit of the times? This suggestion is not intended as a “hit,” a “jab” or in any way to “knock” any business concern or individual. It would seem a little puerile if this paper should suggest a steam laundry and every washerwoman would rise up in their wrath and swear by all that’s good and holy this paper was “knocking” them.

For CHEVROLET CARS And Accessories, See L.Y. SADLER, Camden, Ala. or COLEMAN MOTOR CO., Demopolis, Ala.

The progressive citizens of Nellie district have about assembled all material for the erecting of their four-room consolidated school building. The building committee, Messrs. J.M. McLeod, R.M. Dickinson, and N.M. Newell and others of that district who have energetically pushed the proposition, are to be congratulated on their efforts.

LOSES HIS HAND: Although his left hand has been shot off with the exception of his little finger – and it is possible that he will lose that – Pvt. J.M. McWilliams of McWilliams, Ala., still wants to get another chance at the Germans, but as he has lost his hand there is not much probability of his getting back. McWilliams was hit by a piece of shrapnel, and in the letter to his mother stated that he considered himself to be lucky as the man next to him was killed by a fragment of the same shell. – Mobile Register.

Our Mobile mail is a great disappointment at times. The train on the M&B Railroad is late reaching Catherine and misses connection with the mail car from Catherine to Camden. Last Saturday the train was six hours late and Old Man Public was disappointed, indeed, when the mail car rolled in on schedule time without any war news. But big-hearted W.F. McWilliams, the owner of the car-line, ordered a second trip and relieved the tension.

Dr. J.I. Bonner and son, Joel, of Oak Hill were Camden visitors Monday.

Hon. N.D. Godbold left for Washington, D.C. Sunday where he was called on business.

The Red Cross ladies have removed their headquarters from the High School building to their old location downtown

Dr. and Mrs. B.H. Grier have returned from Camp Gordon, where they visited their son, Mark.

Mr. Glenn Liddell is on a visit to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Liddell. Lt. Will Liddell has returned to the army after a short visit.

Messrs. Claude Hardy, E.H. Pritchett, W.A. McDowell and S.M. Cobb motored to Selma Thursday to view the airplanes which visit the Central City weekly.

Mr. Malcolm Maxwell Hale of Camp Gordon visited relatives here Sunday and left Monday for overseas service.

Word from Lt. Irby Savage states that he has already been over the top one time.

Harris Kilpatrick, a former Camden boy and son of Dr. R.H. Kilpatrick, for many years a resident physician of Camden, was killed instantly Saturday afternoon when he fell under the engine on which he was working. Harris was an unusually bright boy and had won the esteem and affection of his employees with whom he had been working only about 30 days.

Wilcox County settler left Fort Mims a day before infamous massacre

Massacre at Fort Mims in present-day Baldwin County, Ala.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will mark the 205th anniversary of the “Massacre at Fort Mims,” and had that bloody event happened just a few days before, the history of Wilcox County would have been changed forever.

Many of you will remember from Alabama History class that the “Battle at Fort Mims” took place on Aug. 30, 1813 at Fort Mims, which was located near the Tensaw River, not far from Stockton, in present-day Baldwin County. During the battle, an estimated 700 Red Stick Creek warriors descended on the poorly defended stockade and killed or captured 500 soldiers and settlers. Only about 40 people managed to escape by fleeing into the surrounding woods.

In the days leading up to the battle, there were indications that something bad was about to happen. In fact, slaves working outside the fort reported seeing Creek warriors in the area, but the fort’s commander, Major Daniel Beasley, had them beaten for causing a panic. As it turned out, Beasley was among the first to die when the Creeks rushed the fort around noon on Aug. 30.

However, days before the battle, some settlers inside the stockade saw the writing on the wall and left. One such settler was 29-year-old pioneer Methodist minister, the Rev. John Jenkins, who went on to become one of the “founding fathers” of Wilcox County when it was established in 1819.

Historical documents say that John and his family left Fort Mims on Aug. 29, the day before the attack, and crossed the river into what is now Clarke County. From there, they made their way up the Alabama River and eventually settled in what is now Wilcox County. John settled in what was then called “the prairies” of Wilcox County, while other members of his family settled a few miles east of present-day Camden.

Alabama’s young state legislature established Wilcox County on Dec. 13, 1819, and in early 1820 John was appointed to the board of commissioners tasked with selecting a county seat and having public buildings constructed. John also has the distinction of being named Wilcox County’s first tax collector in 1820. Others on the early county seat committee were William Black, John Blackman, Robert Brown, Thornton Brown, Thomas Evans, John Gamble, Elijah Lumsden, William McCarrell and John Speight. They selected Canton Bend as the first county seat.

John had at least eight sons, and they went on to become some of the most prominent men in early Wilcox County history. Among their number were lawyers, state legislators, university trustees, circuit judges, doctors and prominent Freemasons. Their descendants continued this long tradition of local leadership, and the Jenkins family name remains one of the most prominent and recognizable names in Wilcox County.

Of course, none of this would have come to pass if the Rev. John Jenkins had not left Fort Mims on the day before the famous attack. More than likely, he and his family would have been cut down like hundreds of other pioneers, and they and their descendants would have been wiped from the pages of history. As things go, John Jenkins lived to the ripe old age of 70 before passing away on June 18, 1854 – four decades after the “Massacre at Fort Mims.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Aug. 28, 2018

AUG. 25, 2005

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 0.95 inches of rain on Aug. 15, 0.15 on Aug. 16, 0.26 on Aug. 17 and 0.15 on Aug. 18. He reported highs of 94 degrees on Aug. 19, Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 and lows of 71 on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.

Heavy equipment began moving dirt Tuesday in preparation for construction of the new Conecuh County Courthouse. The county commission approved the bond issue that will pay for the new building at the regular meeting Monday morning.

Former Governor Don Siegleman was in Evergreen Tuesday morning to feel out the political waters for the upcoming 2006 election. Gov. Siegelman is shown discussing some of the issues with Revenue Commissioner Terry Sullivan in his office. Siegelman served as Governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. 

Steven Bledsoe, owner of Bledsoe Realty, is pleased to announce that Michelle O’Brien has joined his company as a real estate sales associate. She will join the company effective immediately on a part-time basis. O’Brien has two years’ experience as a real estate salesperson in Evergreen.

Darlene Barnes was honored during Reid State Technical College’s LPN Pinning and Candlelighting ceremonies on Thurs., Aug. 4, at 6 p.m. Barnes, a resident of Castleberry, received the Florence Nightingale Award. This honor is bestowed on the student which fellow students feel displayed the best nursing care of the graduating class.

AUG. 28, 1980

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.7 inches of rain on Aug. 18 and 1.0 inches on Aug. 19. He reported highs of 97 on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 and a low of 70 on Aug. 23.

Guy Straughn Kelly, 69, of Camden died in a hospital there on Fri., Aug. 22, of an apparent heart attack. He was a native of Repton and a member of a prominent pioneer family.
Mr. Kelly was a retired educator who had earned many honors in his chosen profession. He obtained his early education in the public schools of this county and was a graduate of the University of Alabama. He later earned his Master’s Degree and AA Certificate in school administration.
He served two terms as Conecuh County Superintendent of Education, 1957-1965, after serving over 20 years as a classroom teacher and principal in county schools. He later served as Wilcox County Superintendent of Education for a number of years prior to his retirement several years ago.
Mr. Kelly earned the respect and esteem of both students and fellow teachers and administrators during the more than 40 years he served as an educator.

This monster of a rattlesnake was killed Wednesday night of last week on the Loree Road by James Williamson and Danny Johnson. The rattler was six feet long and had eight rattles and a button.

AUG. 25, 1955

First L&N Passenger Train Was Launched 100 Years Ago Today: One hundred years ago today – Aug. 25, 1855 – the L&N Railroad proudly launched its first passenger train.
Pushing two “platform” cars with seats, and pulling two more, an ornate little balloon stack locomotive called the “Hart County” chuffed its way to a point eight miles south of Louisville, the entire length of the L&N Railroad at that time.
This now historic train left the Louisville station near where the L&N general office building stands today, at 4 p.m., loaded with some 300 railroad officials, including its president, John L. Helm, twice governor of Kentucky and Louisville’s Mayor, John Barbee. As it moved away from the platform and “outburst of enthusiasm” rose from the crowd that had gathered to witness this first departure.
Contemporary newspaper reports state that the outgoing trip required 35 minutes due to three stops, one for water and two made necessary because of cows on the track. The return was made in 20 minutes.
It wasn’t until Oct. 27, 1859 that the first train ran from Louisville to Nashville, over 187 miles of completed road, the original route that gave the line its name. Today, this thriving Class 1 railroad operates over nearly 5,000 miles of track. Its scheduled trains which make connections with many of the nation’s other major railroads, travel more than 36,000 miles each 24 hours.

Hugh S. Hagood, age 73, widely known and prominent farmer, died unexpectedly Thurs., Aug. 18, at the local hospital where he had been carried a short time earlier for treatment from a heart attack which he suffered at his home a few miles east of Evergreen.

AUG. 28, 1930

Conecuh Gins 446 Bales To Aug. 16: According to a report handed The Courant by W.T. Hagood, Conecuh County ginned 446 bales of cotton prior to Aug. 16 as compared with 201 bales ginned to Aug. 16, 1929.

Mr. G.C. Crook Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Crook of Atmore, will take over the management of the Evergreen Hotel on Sept. 1, as lease. Mr. Crook arrived this week and is completing arrangements for opening the hotel Monday.
Messrs. Taliaferro and Cunningham, owners of the hotel have recently completely remodeled the hotel.

Some County Schools To Open Monday: Schools in the strawberry district and those in Evergreen will open Mon., Sept. 1, so that they may close earlier in the spring. Owing to late crop conditions other schools will open later in the month. – Mrs. J.R. Taylor, Attendance Supervisor.

Lt. and Mrs. Wylie Ganey are visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Ganey en route from Booklyn, N.Y. to San Antonio, Texas, where Lt. Ganey will be stationed, he having recently graduated from West Point.

Friends of L.H. Cardwell regret to know that he is confined to his bed, as the result of an injury sustained Monday, when his car overturned on the Mobile Highway. Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell, his mother and sister, Mrs. S.H. Gentry of Auburn, were en route to Mobile to attend the deep sea rodeo when the accident occurred.

AUG. 23, 1905

FOR COUNTY REUNION: At the meeting of Camp Capt. Wm. Lee, U.C.V., held on Friday last, it was decided to hold the annual county reunion in Evergreen on Wed., Oct. 25. The barbecue feature was eliminated and a basket dinner will be provided for. A committee on arrangements was appointed composed of M.A. Gantt, P.D. Bowles and W.L. Stallworth.

School Opening: The next regular session of our school will open on Mon., Sept. 4, at 10 o’clock a.m. The usual opening exercises will be arranged, to which patrons and friends of the school are cordially invited. The faculty will be the same as last session, except that Miss Davis of Dothan will take the place of Miss Ethel King, resigned. – J.A. Liner, Principal.

Mrs. T.D. Jackson took charge of the Evergreen Hotel on Monday and will in the future conduct that well known hostelry.

W.A. Clarke, who is logging for the Cedar Creek Mill Co. near Castleberry, had five fine steers killed and two badly injured by lightning on last Wednesday. The driver of the team received a severe shock from the bolt. Mr. Clarke passed through Evergreen with this team several months ago and his steers were admired by a large number of persons who saw them. They were worth about $100 each.

Edwin H. Southers, one of the country’s most noted comedians, will deliver a lecture in Greenville on the evening of Sept. 4. A party of Evergreen people will probably go up to hear him.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Aug. 27, 2018

AUG. 25, 2005

“We looked as though we came a long way from the first scrimmage with Lowndes,” said Hand, who saw the Warriors suffer 21-0 and 14-0 losses to Lowndes and Macon-East last week, respectively.
Sparta opens its season Friday at home against a Fort Dale Academy team that feels it can compete for the 3A East Region title this season. Sparta is a 2A team.
(Players on Sparta’s team that year included Mason Black, Brian Bolton, Justin Booker, Gaston Bozeman, Chase Brown, Taylor Brown, D.J. Buckhault, Jacob Burch, Michael Campbell, Michael Chris Cinereski, Kyle Cinereski, Dylan Davis, Riley Davis, Damon Godwin, Hunter Hutcheson, Jamie Mason, Eric Morris, Casey Pierce, Tony Raines, Neil Salter, Will Ivey, Justin Sexton, Steven Stuart, Eric Talbot, Perry Thompson, Peyton Thompson, Cory Waters, Justin Webb and Myles Wiggins. Assistant coaches were Gary Watson, Daniel Wilson and Russ Brown.)

Hillcrest’s offense churned up 245 yards rushing last Friday but came up short on the scoreboard in a preseason game with W.S. Neal in Evergreen.
Neal’s Blue Eagles, sporting a team that features 15 seniors and 13 returning starters, took a 27-18 win over Hillcrest’s young team.
Hillcrest opens its regular season Friday in Evergreen against R.C. Hatch with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Brooks Memorial Stadium.

AUG. 28, 1980

New head coach Danny Covin and his 1980 Evergreen High Aggie football team will make their debut here Friday night at 7:30 in Brooks Stadium with the visiting team being Wilcox County High School of Camden. Since this is one of only three home games the Aggies have this year, fans are expected to turn out in large numbers.
(Players on Evergreen’s team that year included Terry Nettles, Curtis Williams, Philander Rogers, Mitch Crutchfield, David Floyd, Harold Byrd, James Crosby, Michael Lampkins, Jeff Brock, Tracy Scott, Stefon Bradley, James Thomas, Carlos Thomas, Don Grace, Gary Bowen, Talmus Philyaw, Max Cassady, Russell Bozeman, Autoria Scott, Robert Johnston, James Lee, Bobby Booker, Randy Higdon, Shannon Hall, Napoleon Brown, Darryl Stallworth, Randy Millender, Tony Sims, Gary Weaver, Chris Blatz, Al Hendricks, Deatrich Wise, Wayne Locke, Wayne Harrison, Mark Bell, Frank Likely, Guyton Rogers and Efrem Stallworth. Assistant coaches that season were Harold A. Manley and Bobby Pierson.)

The Sparta Academy Warriors will open their 1980 football season when they play Greenville Academy’s Tornados in Greenville on Saturday at 8 p.m.
The Warriors have six returning lettermen, all seniors, around which to build the 1980 team: Scott Baggett, Jeff Johnson, Bobby Mason, Terry Shipp, Richard Nix and Darwin Nix. (Richard Brown was head coach, and Bob Parker was assistant coach.)

AUG. 25, 1955

Evergreen Aggies Are Busy Conditioning For Tough Schedule: The 1955 edition of the Evergreen Aggies is busy preparing for its opening game which is a little more than two weeks off with Bay Minette. The Aggies have been limited mostly to conditioning, passing and kicking drills. Contact work will begin Monday when the boys will be issued full equipment.
Walter Carrier, who has been working under center, will probably handle the passing and he will be throwing to targets like Randy White, Eddie Kelley, Neil Hyde, Ronnie Edson, Buck Lewis, Bert Tuggle and “Pee Wee” Hyde. Eddie Kelly is a newcomer to the Aggies, having transferred from Repton where he was a mainstay on the Bulldog eleven. Randy White, Walt Carrier and Wayne Frazier are working on punting and Murray Johnson and Wayne Frazier will do the kicking duties.
Coaches Hart and Robinson will probably use a T-formation offense and they will be depending on veteran backs Carrier, Lewis Edson and Hyde. The line will be built around such veterans as Randy White, Eddie Kelley, Neil Hyde, Wayne Frazier, Murray Johnson, James Nelson, Milton Moorer, Robert Mason, Timmy Boykin and Bert Cook.
This year’s team will probably be lighter and less experienced than last year’s, but with experienced men in key positions and lots of hard work the Aggies will deal misery to a tough schedule.
The 1955 schedule is as follows: Sept. 9, at Bay Minette; Sept. 16, at Atmore; Sept. 23, v. Andalusia; Sept. 30, v. Monroeville; Oct. 7, v. W.S. Neal; Oct. 14, at Greenville; Oct. 21, Open; Oct. 28, at Frisco City; Nov. 4, v. Prattville; Nov. 11, v. T.R. Miller; Nov. 18, v. Georgiana.

AUG. 28, 1930

Tennis Players Make New Endurance Record: Two local tennis players are believed to have broken the world’s endurance record for tennis playing here Tuesday. The players are Claude Pritchett and Winston Hagood.
The playing was begun at five o’clock in the morning and continued until seven in the evening. No time was taken out for any purpose.
The boys ate sandwiches and drank cold drinks, water, milk, etc. while playing. Both were going strong when darkness forced them to stop and no doubt they might have continued even longer had the day been longer. Both players stated that they suffered more from tired feet than in any other way.
The boys recently found a statement which disclosed that the world’s record for continuous tennis playing was slightly over 13 hours. They set out to break this record and succeeded in doing so.

Robert Conner Jr., professional golf player of Birmingham, is spending the week here, promoting the Miniature Golf Tournament for the Jeff-Led Golf Links.

AUG. 23, 1905

Brooklyn, Ala., Aug. 19 – The school boys defeated the Roustabouts in a game of baseball by a score of 3 to 1. Batteries for school: Stallworth and Johnson; for Roustabouts; Brewer and McCall. Struck out by Stallworth, 12; by Brewer, 4. Hits on Stallworth, 2; on Brewer, 10.

Baseball Players and Foot Racers! Louis J. Kruger, ex-champion long-distance foot racer of Germany and Holland, writes Oct. 27, 1901: “During my training of eight weeks’ foot races at Salt Lake City, in April last, I used Ballard’s Snow Liniment to my greatest satisfaction. Therefore, I highly recommend Snow Liniment to all who are troubled with sprains, bruises or rheumatism.” 25 cents, 50 cents and $1. Sold by Reid’s Drug Store.

Bermuda: Cotton picking is in progress and the boys won’t have so much time to play ball. Belleville and Bermuda crossed bats last Saturday evening, the score being 25 to 5, in favor of Bermuda. Come again, boys. You are welcome. Some of us play “mumble peg.”

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Singleton writes about the effect of the 'Dog Star' on nature and mankind

(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 “Sirius, the Dog Star, returns” was originally published in the Aug. 9, 2001 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

As the dawn broke across the heavens on Saturday morning, July 28, the reign of Sirius, the Dog Star, began.

For a total of 40 days, which end Sept. 5, many events may happen that we give little or no thought to.

In our society of fairyland and make believe, we have forgotten almost all of the old folk tales that were handed down through the past generations.

On this certain day in July, the Dog Star will take its place between our earth and the sun for a period of 40 days. Many events that we take for granted will change or disappear from the skies above us.

Many happenings in our everyday lives will change or make a turn around during this period of time. With our lives and entertainment centered around the boob tube, we might travel through this period and not be aware that anything has changed.

The dog star does not appear on the same day in July each year. It can appear as early as the 20th of July and as late as the 28th of the month. The few who think they known something of this event think that Sirius appears always on the 28th of July; this is not true. The position of the planets above relate the date of Sirius’ appearance in the heavens.

For example, should it rain on the first day of Dog Days, the legends states that it will rain for the remaining 40 days. If it should be dry on that first day, then the countryside will suffer a 40-day drought.

Another legend is that all snakes go blind during this period. Being unable to see and search for food, this causes them to become short-tempered and hungry. They will strike blindly at the slightest sound or movement, causing the risk of getting snake bit to be much greater to those who wander in the thick underbrush or tall weeds.

Another story is that milk cows give less milk during this time. Hogs and cattle, dogs and various other animals that are born during Dog Days are less likely to survive than those born at other times during the year.

It is said that dogs are more likely to go mad or grow vicious during the reign of Sirius. Among us humans, our tempers tend to grow shorter and less patience is shown to those who cross us. Cuts and bruises are slower to heal during this time; our bodies seem to lose much of its resistance, and we become weaker during the passing of this evil star.

Infection and fever blisters are said to be more common during this time as the devil star makes its journey across the heavens. An early Indian legend has it that the cool fresh drinking water found in the fresh water springs along the hillsides are less pure during the time when Sirius is on the prowl.

The early Indian paid a lot of attention to the coming of the Dog Star. If at all possible, much of the crops that could be harvested were gathered and brought out of the fields before the arrival of Sirius.

If, during this 40 days, the weather was wet and rainy, legend has it that the thunder was more severe and the lightning that flashed across the darkened skies was more likely to strike the earth and cause damage to the villages along the rivers and streams.

The medicine men or the wind walkers of the tribes watched the heavens closely during this time, so they could warn their people of the dangers to come. They also believed that the spirits of the departed were more apt to wander on the winds of the evening during the reign of the devil star.

As the members of the tribes gathered around the evening fires, prayers were raised to the Great Spirit to ward off the curse of the devil star. This 40-day period was truly a time of mystery for the early Indian who roamed the hills and flatland of our area. Much of their life was based around this period of the year and the signs that they looked for as the Dog Star made its way across the heavens.

Much of their religion was focused around this star that roamed at will between the early and the sun. They watched the heavens, and they watched the rivers, knowing that the mystery star would have great affect on their search for food in the deep waters of the great rivers. Living off the land as they did, all signs of the heavens were very important to their everyday living.

Today, in our modern lifestyles, we hear very little about the mystery signs and goings on within our universe. We pay little or no attention if it rains for 40 days or if it stays dry for this same period of time. We pay little or no attention to the heavens on a clear night during the month of August when the full moon hangs high in the heavens.

If it does not appear on our television sets, most times we know nothing of the happenings above us. Once in a great while one might find a calendar that shows the start of the period of Dog Days. There was a time when much of the life of the local country folks was based on the signs of the heavens and what the Almanac had to say about the planting and growing of crops.

Much was also done in regards to the signs of the moon. No farmer in their right mind would begin to plant his crops if the signs were not right. From planting corn to killing hogs, it all bordered on the signs of the moon. Even though the coming of the Dog Star was much surrounded in mystery, many of the older citizens of the farm communities kept an eye toward the heavens, hoping to know in advance what was about to happen next.

I don’t profess to be smart, but as I wander around the countryside and talk to the younger generation of our society about certain happenings and signs in the skies above to look for, I see total disinterest. Very few care whether it rains for 40 days unless it interferes with a trip to the beach or some local event of entertainment.

None of our youth of today know how to search for food that they can eat in the deep forests of our area or along the banks of our rivers. I am not a fatalist by no means, but it frightens me to know that our youth know totally nothing about how to survive if worst came to worst.

In writing this article, I do not intend to preach my readers a sermon. I do believe that we, as creatures of this universe, should strive to learn all we can about this world that we live in and the heavens above it.

If we disregard the signs that have been placed here for us to see and abide by, we are doomed to roam forever in a world that has no meaning. If we try to understand that which is around us, our lives will be richer and many facts of the unknowns will come to life and even be helpful in our journey through time and distance.

As July 28 has come and gone take time to look and learn all you can about that devil star and the effect its journey across the heavens has on man and his surroundings.

Don’t be afraid to seek out a high hill on a night of the full moo and watch the heavens. It will surprise you what you will be witness to.

Let us not journey through this life without learning as much as we can about this universe – this universe we call home.

(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.)

Today in History for Aug. 25, 2018

Johnny and Joanne Carson.

Aug. 25, 1718 - Hundreds of colonists from France arrived in Louisiana and founded the present-day city of New Orleans. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville named the new settlement for Philippe II, the Duke of Orléans. The duke was the regent of France, ruling in place of King Louis XV, who was only a boy.

Aug. 25, 1768 – James Cook begins his first voyage.

Aug. 25, 1776 - Political philosopher David Hume died in Edinburgh, Scotland at the age of 65. His essay "Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth" affected the ideas of the drafters of the federal Constitution in 1787.

Aug. 25, 1814 – The British were permitted by the Spanish authorities to land some 300 men in Pensacola, and the British officers were permitted by these same authorities to equip and discipline fugitive Creek warriors that they might aid the British in an aggressive movement which they played against Mobile and New Orleans.

Aug. 25, 1814 – During the War of 1812, on the second day of the Burning of Washington, British troops torched the Library of Congress, United States Treasury, Department of War and other public buildings.

Aug. 25, 1819 – Scottish-American detective Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

Aug. 25, 1823 – Samuel McColl was commissioned for his first of three consecutive terms as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerk. He would be commissioned twice more – in September 1831 and August 1835.

Aug. 25, 1824 – During his extended tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Cambridge, Mass. During the following days, he visited former President John Adams at the latter's estate, Peacefield, in Quincy, Mass.

Aug. 25, 1835 - The Great Moon Hoax was perpetrated by The New York Sun newspaper. They launched a series of articles about the supposed discovery of life on the moon, which they falsely attributed to the well-known astronomer Sir John Herschel. Life forms were said to include such fantastical creatures as unicorns, and bat-like winged humanoids.

Aug. 25, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought with Apache Indians near Fort Bliss, Texas by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor. Baylor has the distinction of being dismissed from the Confederate army by none other than Jefferson Davis himself because of his harshness toward Native Americans. Later on, he was back in a gray uniform as a Colonel.

Aug. 25, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Red Bird Creek and Madisonville in Kentucky; at Bolivar, Miss.; and at Waterloo Bridge and Bristoe Station in Virginia.

Aug. 25, 1862 – During the Civil War, fearing further Sioux Indian attacks, New Ulm, Minnesota was evacuated by the citizens and the Federal Garrison.

Aug. 25, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Brownsville, Ark.; on the Atchafalaya River, at Morgan's Ferry, on the Comite River, and at Olive Branch in Louisiana; at Bullit's Bayou, Miss.; near Hopewell, Waynesville and Independence in Missouri; near Lamb's Ferry and at Hartwood Church in Virginia; and near Kearnysville, Shepherdstown and Halltown in West Virginia.

Aug. 25, 1863 – During the Civil War, because of the Williams C. Quantrill massacre at Lawrence, Kansas, Union Brigadier General Thomas Ewing located at Kansas City, Kansas, ordered all residents of Bates, Cass, and Jackson counties in Kansas to leave, allowing citizens loyal to the Union authorities to remain at military posts. Great resentment that lasted for years was generated by the estimated 20,000 displaced people.

Aug. 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Second Battle of Ream’s Station, Va., Confederate troops secured a vital supply line into Petersburg, Va., when they halted the destruction of the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad by Union troops. The railroad, which ran from Weldon, North Carolina, was a major supply line for General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

Aug. 25, 1879 – The Evergreen News reported that P. McGlinn & Co. applied for a new post office, to be called “Ireland,” at a store near Burnt Corn, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1883 – France and Viet Nam signed the Treaty of Huế, recognizing a French protectorate over Annam and Tonkin.

Aug. 25, 1884 – John Burns was commissioned for his second term as Monroe County, Alabama’s Sheriff.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that S.W. Yarbrough had purchased the steam gin, saw and grist mill of T.J. Emmons, about two miles from Monroeville.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. L. Daniel, who had been visiting relatives in Monroe, had returned to his home in Robeline, La.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that R.F. Metts’s “cozy new residence” was rapidly nearing completion and was expected to be ready for occupancy in a few weeks.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Katie Cuming of Birmingham was visiting the family of Capt. T.S. Wiggins.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that Master Willie Neville had been employed as clerk in Mr. Jno. I. Watson’s grocery store.

Aug. 25, 1887 – The Monroe Journal reported that there had “been quite a race between several of our young farmers the present week to see which could get the first bale of new cotton on the market.”

Aug. 25, 1890 – Army Private Charles Frances McDonald Jr. of Monroeville, Ala. was born to Charles Frances McDonald Sr. and Annie Strock. He “died from disease” during World War I on July 14, 1919 at General Hospital No. in Spartanburg, S.C. He enlisted on June 4, 1917 in Mobile and was sent to France on May 7, 1918, serving with HQ Detachment, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, AEF and with the Army of Occupation-Germany. He reported sick to the hospital, was shipped to Fort Gordon, Ga. on April 28, 1918 and was buried in Old Salem Cemetery near Mexia.

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that work on the Methodist parsonage was “progressing in a satisfactory manner.”

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the annual session of the Monroeville Academy would open on Tues., Sept. 1.

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Geo. W. Salter Jr. of The Evergreen Courant paid a brief visit to relatives at Monroeville during the previous week.

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the change in the Louisville & Nashville schedule which gave Repton only one train per week rendered “it very inconvenient for shippers.”

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Bear Creek Mill Co. had extended its railroad to within four miles of the city. It was possible that they might extend it via Monroeville to a point several miles east of there, tapping the timber belt beyond the Limestone range, the newspaper reported. Mr. Louiselle was the manager of the company.

Aug. 25, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “An Interesting Relic,” that an “aged negro,” living a few miles west of Monroeville, possed a relic in the shape of a gun that had an interesting history. “All the readers of Alabama history are familiar with the incident recorded by both Col. Pickett and Gen. Claiborne, of the noted ‘Canoe fight’ which occurred at Dale’s Ferry, in 1812, in which the famous Indian fighters, Sam Dale, and Jerry Austill, in a hand-to-hand combat on the broad bosom of the majestic Alabama killed nine Indians and put the tenth to flight. The gun used by Mr. Austill in this noted encounter was one that the borrowed from a neighbor Mr. Tommy Thompson Sr., but which was broken in the fight. Mr. Austill replaced the gun with one that he captured from his vanquished foes. This gun was kept by Mr. Thompson so long as he lived and prized by him no less, perhaps for its excellence as a firearm than for the noted exploit in which it bore a part. After the death of the old gentleman the gun passed out of the possession of the family and for many years its whereabouts was unknown to them. Recently however, Mr. Jack Thompson, grandson of the former owner of the gun, to whom were are indebted for this information, has succeeded in tracing the weapon to its present owner. Notwithstanding the 84 years that have transpired the gun is yet in good condition, having the same stock that it had when owned by the “noble red man.” Its owner refuses to part with the gun for a price much beyond its real value.”

Aug. 25, 1896 - The outlaw William “Bill” Doolin, age 38, was killed by a posse at Lawson, Oklahoma and was buried in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Aug. 25, 1902 - John D. Burnett Jr. left Evergreen on this Monday for West Point, New York, where he was attending the Military School.

Aug. 25, 1914 – John P. Anderson, “one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens” of Conecuh County, Ala. passed away at his home at Hampden Ridge after a “lingering illness” at the age of about 70 years old. A Mason and charter member of the local Confederate veterans camp, he was buried at Hampden Ridge the following day. During the Civil War, he enlisted in Co. E of the 38th Alabama Regiment in 1861 and surrendered in Charlotte, N.C. with General Johnston.

Aug. 25, 1914 – During World War I, the library of the Catholic University of Leuven was deliberately destroyed by the German Army. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts are lost.

Aug. 25, 1914 - Over the course of five days, beginning August 25, 1914, German troops stationed in the Belgian village of Louvain during the opening month of World War I burn and loot much of the town, executing hundreds of civilians.

Aug. 25, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that George and Robert Jones had just completed the construction of a new home on Salter Street in Evergreen, Ala, and that work was in progress on a home on Bruner Avenue. The former Orrie Hotel building was also being torn down to make room for another building being constructed for Miss Barfield.

Aug. 25, 1916 – The United States National Park Service was created.

Aug. 25, 1918 – Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Mass.

Aug. 25, 1919 – Four-time Alabama governor and three-time candidate for U.S. president, George C. Wallace, was born in Clio in Barbour County, Ala. Wallace early in his career epitomized white resistance to Civil Rights demands in the 1960s. Almost killed by a would-be assassin in 1972, Wallace later recanted his segregationist views and was re-elected governor largely due to votes of African Americans.

Aug. 25, 1921 – Novelist Brian Moore was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Aug. 25, 1928 – NFL fullback John “Kayo” Dottley was born in Birmingham, Ala. He went on to play for Ole Miss, where he was an All American in 1949, and for the Chicago Bears, where he was a Pro Bowl selection in 1951.

Aug. 25, 1932 – The Evergreen Courant reported that if Senator J.M. Bonner of Camden, Ala. had succeeded in passing a measure, which he introduced into the Senate the previous week, to abolish the 11 State Secondary Agricultural Schools of Alabama. Evergreen had one of these schools, so there was much interest locally as to the final outcome of the measure. Obviously, there was considerable opposition to the bill and plans had been laid to fight it every step of the way.

Aug. 25, 1935 – Poet Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tenn.

Aug. 25, 1936 - When he was still only 17, Bob Feller made his first Major League pitching start, striking out 15 St. Louis Browns with a blazing fastball and knee-buckling curveball that would be the hallmarks of his long and storied career.

Aug. 25, 1938 – Russian explorer Aleksandr Kuprin passed away at the age of 68 in Leningrad, Soviet Union. In addition to being an explorer, he was also a writer, pilot and adventurer, who is perhaps best known for his 1905 story, “The Duel.”

Aug. 25, 1939 - The movie "Wizard of Oz" opened around the United States.

Aug. 25, 1946 - Alabama author Charles Ghigna was born in Bayside, N.Y.

Aug. 25, 1946 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers was born in Steubenville, Ohio. During his career, he played for the Oakland A’s, the San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Aug. 25, 1946 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders was born in Richlands, N.C. He went on to play for the University of Minnesota and the Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

Aug. 25, 1948 - A movie version of Alabama author James H. Street's book “Tap Roots” was released.

Aug. 25, 1949 – Novelist Martin Amis was born in Oxford, England.

Aug. 25, 1952 - Alabama baseball great Virgil Trucks pitched his second of two no-hitters during the 1952 season, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees. He pitched his first no-hitter in May, and became one of just five major league pitchers to throw two no-hitters in a single season.

Aug. 25, 1955 – The Conecuh County Board of Education abolished high school tuition fees in all of the county’s high school.

Aug. 25, 1956 - Author Han Nolan was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1956 - During the ninth month of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the home of Montgomery, Ala. minister and boycott activist Robert Graetz was bombed. A white West Virginian, Graetz pastored Trinity Lutheran Church, a black congregation. Graetz and his family were away from home when the dynamite blast occurred.

Aug. 25, 1957 - The Conecuh County Amateur Baseball League was scheduled to end its season on this Sunday with the finals of the Shaughnessy playoffs in Brewton, Ala. starting at 1:30 p.m. This round robin series featured finalists Lyeffion and Castleberry. Robert Dees was scheduled to pitch for Lyeffion, and Red Green was scheduled to pitch for Castleberry.

Aug. 25, 1965 – NFL linebacker Cornelius Bennett was born in Birmingham, Ala. He went on to play for Ensley High School, Alabama, the Buffalo Bills, the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts.

Aug. 25, 1967 - Defense Secretary McNamara conceded that the U.S. bombing campaign had had little effect on the North’s “war-making capability.”

Aug. 25, 1968 – U.S. Army Sgt. William Wayne Seay, a native of Brewton, Ala., would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on this day near Ap Nhi, Vietnam.

Aug. 25, 1971 - U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade, among the first U.S. ground units sent to Vietnam, ceased combat operations and prepared to redeploy to the United States as part of Nixon’s troop withdrawal plan.

Aug. 25, 1972 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison was born in Philadelphia, Pa. He went on to play for Syracuse and the Indianapolis Colts.

Aug. 25, 1973 – Cadet Ellis W. Golson, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Mylous T. Golson, Rt. 2, Evergreen, completed summer training at Camp Buckner on the reservation of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. The eight-week program was designed to acquaint the West Point Third Classmen (sophomores) with all equipment and weapons used at the platoon and company level in Army combat and combat support units.

Aug. 25, 1976 – NBA point guard/shooting guard Damon Jones was born in Galveston, Texas. He went on to play for the University of Houston, the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks, the Vancouver Grizzlies, the Detroit Pistons, the Sacramento Kings, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Aug. 25, 1977 - The 1977 edition of the Evergreen High School Aggies were scheduled to open their football season in Evergreen on this Thursday night when they were to meet traditional rival W.S. Neal. Kickoff in Brooks Stadium was set for 7:30 against the Golden Eagles. Evergreen Head Coach Charles Branum and assistants Ronnie Brogden and Danny Covin had been working their charges hard in an attempt to get the season off to a winning start. Players expected to start in the opener included QB Tony Rogers, LHB William McCreary, RHB John Crosby, FB Greg Johnson, WR John Ingram or Phillip Harold, TE Byron Bradley or John Ingram, tackles Warren Locke and Keith Rabb, and guards Terrell Rabb and Johnny Hill. Mark Phillips and Wendell Parker would not be starting due to illness. Others players expected to see action were Mike Adams, Chris McNeil, Greg Thomas, Calvin Thomas, Earnest Williams, Tommy Freeman, Garvin Freeman, Sanford Moye, Johnny Stowers, Melvin Pitts, Willie Willis, Leo Cobb, Ernie Edeker, Frank Davis and Jimmy Lambert.

Aug. 25, 1977 - Conecuh County schools were scheduled to begin the fall term on this Thursday. Teachers were to meet at Repton on Aug. 23 and were to report to their assigned schools on Aug. 25, according to Superintendent of Education Wayne Pope.

Aug. 25, 1978 - The “Turin Shroud,” believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, went on display for the first time in 45 years.

Aug. 25, 1978 – Excel opened the 1978 football season with a 28-0 win over Southern Normal in Excel, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1980 - Monroe Academy students reported for classes on this Monday to start the 1980-81 school year.

Aug. 25, 1984 – Truman Capote died from liver disease at the age of 59 in Los Angeles at the home of Joanne Carson, the second wife of talk-show host Johnny Carson.

Aug. 25, 1984 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Waite Hoyt passed away at the age of 84 in Cincinnati, Ohio. During his career, he played for the New York Giants, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers, the Philadelphia Athletics, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Aug. 25, 1985 - Dwight “Doc” Gooden led the New York Mets to a 9-3 win over the San Diego Padres at Shea Stadium to become the youngest pitcher to win 20 major league baseball games in a season.

Aug. 25, 1986 - There was to be an organizational meeting on this day at 7 p.m. at the field house for any boys interested in playing Junior High football at Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1987 – State Fire Marshal Ken Smith was called in to investigate a house fire at an unoccupied house at 408 Bruner Ave. in Evergreen, Ala. The fire occurred around 9:10 p.m. on this Tuesday night, and this was the second fire to have occurred at this house within the course of a few months. Smith said the fire was of a “suspicious nature,” The Evergreen Courant reported.

Aug. 25, 1989 – Hillcrest High School played its first football game ever and defeated W.S. Neal, 14-0, at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1989 – Excel opened the 1989 football season with a 32-0 win over A.L. Johnson in Excel, Ala.

Aug. 25, 1989 – “Heart of Dixie,” a movie version of Alabama author Anne Rivers Siddons' book “Heartbreak Hotel,” was released.

Aug. 25, 1990 - Military action was authorized by the United Nations to enforce the trade embargo that had been placed on Iraq after their invasion of Kuwait.

Aug. 25, 1994 – The Evergreen Courant announced that Livingston University student Christopher “Chris” Evans had been awarded the 1994 Wendell Hart Scholarship.

Aug. 25, 1994 - Jimmy Buffett's plane flipped after taking off in Nantucket, Mass. He swam to safety.

Aug. 25, 2001 – Springdale in Andalusia was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Aug. 25, 2005 – Excel opened the 2005 season with a 7-6 win over Frisco City at Panther Stadium in Excel, Ala.

Aug. 25, 2011 – Bessie Munden Park in Camden, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Aug. 25, 2011 – The Alabama Textile Products Corporation and the Church Street School, both in Andalusia, was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Aug. 25, 2011 – Excel opened the 2011 season with a 55-20 win over J.U. Blacksher at Panther Stadium in Excel, Ala.

Aug. 25, 2012 – The Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space, becoming the first man-made object to do so.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Today in History for Aug. 23, 2018

Aug. 23, 1305 – Sir William Wallace was executed for high treason at Smithfield in London.

Aug. 23, 1541 – French explorer Jacques Cartier landed near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada.

Aug. 23, 1741 – French explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was born near Albi, France.

Aug. 23, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, King George III delivered his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St. James's stating that the American colonies have proceeded to a state of open and avowed rebellion.

Aug. 23, 1784 - Four counties in western North Carolina declared their independence as the state of Franklin. The area, known as the Cumberland River Valley, would eventually become part of Tennessee. The petition for acceptance did not pass in the U.S. Congress. Franklin defied Congress until it rejoined North Carolina in 1788 when Cherokee, Chickamauga and Chickasaw began attacking settlements.

Aug. 23, 1790 – Early Conecuh County pioneer and minister Alexander Travis was born in Edgefield District, S.C.

Aug. 23, 1831 – Nat Turner's slave rebellion was suppressed.

Aug. 23, 1849 – Poet and editor William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester, England.

Aug. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Medoe, Mo.

Aug. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Fort Craig in the New Mexico Territory.

Aug. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, an engagement was fought between the U.S. steamers, Yankee and Release, with the batteries at the mouth of the Potomac Creek in Virginia.

Aug. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Springfield, W.Va.

Aug. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, Allan Pinkerton, head of the new secret service agency of the Federal government, placed Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow under house arrest in Washington, D.C. Greenhow was a wealthy widow living in Washington at the outbreak of the war, was well connected in the capital and was especially close with Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson. The Maryland native was openly committed to the Southern cause, and she soon formed a substantial spy network.

Aug. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Trinity, Ala.

Aug. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians on Little River, Calif.; at Big Hill, Ky.; at Greenville, Miss.; at Four Mile, Hickory Grove and Wayman’s Mill (Fort Spring Creek) in Missouri; near Fort Donelson, Tenn.; at Beverly Ford and Fant’s Ford in Virginia; at Sulphur (or Warrenton) Springs, Smithfield (or Smithfield Springs) and Rappahannock Station in Virginia; at Moorefield, W.Va.; and at Bayou Sara, La. A naval action also took place at Bayou Sara, La.

Aug. 23, 1862 – During the Civil war, a Union train was captured between Harpers Ferry, W.Va. and Winchester, Va.

Aug. 23, 1863 - Alabama author Amelie Rives was born in Richmond, Va.

Aug. 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fayetteville, Ark. and at Bennett’s’ Bayou, Mo.

Aug. 23, 1863 – During the Civil war, Union batteries ceased their first bombardment of Fort Sumter, leaving it a mass of rubble but still unconquered by the Northern besiegers.

Aug. 23, 1864 – Confederate 4th Cpl. Lewis Lavon Peacock, who is buried at Flat Rock in Conecuh County, was granted a 45-day furlough on this day after being admitted earlier to the General Hospital at Howard’s Grove in Richmond, Va. for sickness after the Bermuda Hundred campaign.

Aug. 23, 1864 – The Battle of Mobile Bay ended with the Confederate surrender of Fort Morgan. Alabama had seized the fort from federal control in January 1861 and then turned it over to Confederate forces, which, until August 1864, used it to keep the U.S. Navy out of Mobile Bay, while letting blockade runners in. The surrender of Fort Morgan left Wilmington, N.C. as the last port open for Confederate blockade runners.

Aug. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Blue Springs, Tenn.; at Gerald Mountain, Ark.; at Webster, Mo; at Abbeville, Miss.; on the Dinwiddie Road, near Ream’s Station, Va.; and at Kearneysville, W.Va.

Aug. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation began in the Clinton, Olive Branch and Comite River vicinity of Louisiana; and a five-day Federal operation between Cassville, Mo. to Fayetteville, Ark. began. A three-day Federal operation began from Ozark, Mo. to Dubuque Crossing and Sugar Loaf Prairie in Missouri.

Aug. 23, 1865 - The trial of Henry Wirz began. He had been charged with conspiracy to injure the health and lives of Union soldiers and murder. The trial lasted two months, and he was executed on Nov. 10.

Aug. 23, 1868 – Writer and poet Edgar Lee Masters was born in Garnett, Kansas. He is best known for his 1915 book, “Spoon River Anthology.”

Aug. 23, 1877 – Texas Ranger John Armstrong arrested John Wesley Hardin, who lived for about 18 months in Pollard, Ala., in a Florida rail car near Pensacola, and returned the outlaw to Texas to stand trial for the murder of Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb three years earlier in a small town near Austin, Texas. Webb’s murder was one in a long series of killings committed by the famous outlaw-the 39th by Hardin’s own count. Tried in Austin, a jury found Hardin guilty of killing Sheriff Webb and sentenced him to life in the Texas state prison at Huntsville, but he served only 15 years before the governor pardoned him.

Aug. 23, 1884 – Humorist Will Cuppy was born in Auburn, Indiana.

Aug. 23, 1886 – Mrs. Sarah B. Page Faulk, aged about 72 years, died at the residence of John W. Rumbly, near Monroeville on this Monday night. Born on Sept. 14, 1814 in Jefferson County, Ga., she was buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Monroeville, Ala. (Some sources say that she died on Aug. 22.)

Aug. 23, 1887 - Mark Taylor of Buena Vista passed through Monroeville on this Tuesday on his way to the “pine section” a few miles south of Monroeville for the purpose of locating a homestead.

Aug. 23, 1888 - Alabama author Philip Henry Gosse died in Marychurch, Devon, England.

Aug. 23, 1896 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Viennese occult scholar Dr. Stanislaus Hinterstoisser was born. The doctor, who first appeared in 1978’s “The Necronomicon: The Book of Dead Names” by George Hay, is most famous for his discovery of Lovecraft’s father’s ties to the freemasons.

Aug. 23, 1898 – The Southern Cross Expedition, the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, departed from London.

Aug. 23, 1901 - Evergreen received her first bale of new cotton of the season on this day. It was grown by John S. Johnston of the Callihan beat, and was sold to Chas. B. Savage, a leading merchant and cotton buyer, for 7.61 cents per pound. The bale weighed 577 pounds. Johnston had brought to the market the first bale of cotton of the season for the past three years, and Savage had purchased each bale at a good price.

Aug. 23, 1902 - Dr. W.J. Mason of Monroe County spent this Saturday in Evergreen.

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Prof. L.K. Benson, the new principal of Monroeville’s school, had arrived and was “at work in its behalf.”

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Jennie Faulk left a few days before for St. Louis to purchase her fall stock of hats, millinery and ladies goods.

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Messrs. Barnett & Jackson had unloaded three solid carloads of furniture and stoves within the previous few days, the first carloads that had been actually shipped into the town. These came over the Monroeville branch of the Manistee & Repton railway.

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Perdue Hill community, that Dr. G.H. Harper and W.M. Florey were up from Manistee that week.

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Buena Vista community, that M.V. Middleton was having his store repaired and had put in a “nice lot of furniture.” J.J. Finklea had also “put a pretty new face on his nicely furnished store.”

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Pineville community, that Julius Farish’s little boy was playing in the yard at home, a few days before, and was badly bitten by an angry dog. His cheek was mangled and his eyelid bitten, but he was reportedly recovering. They shot the dog.

Aug. 23, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that a new store had opened up in Beatrice by Messrs. Fox and Wasden.

Aug. 23, 1911 – The Woodmen of the World baseball team beat the Knights of Pythias, 21-9, in “one of the greatest games of ball ever played in Evergreen.”

Aug. 23, 1914 - Alabama State Highway Engineer William Simpson Keller (Helen Keller’s half-brother) led a group through Evergreen, Ala. while scouting a route for a new trunk road between Montgomery and Mobile. They came to Evergreen from Georgiana and were received by a large crowd that included a band from Brewton. They were treated to a large barbecue dinner at the Country Club and greeted guests from Evergreen, Greenville, Georgiana, Garland, Owassa, Castleberry, Brewton, Pollard, Burnt Corn and Pensacola. Speeches were delivered by Rep. E.C. Page, attorneys Jas. A. Stallworth and E.E. Newton, the Hon. J.F. Jones and the Rev. A. Arnold Ross. Keller’s party departed Conecuh County early the next morning.

Aug. 23, 1914 – During World War I’s Battle of Mons, the British Army began its withdrawal.

Aug. 23, 1914 - In their first confrontation on European soil since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, four divisions of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Sir John French, struggled with the German 1st Army over the 60-foot-wide Mons Canal in Belgium, near the French frontier.

Aug. 23, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that four individual electric lighting plants were in operation in Monroeville at that time and a fifth was soon to be installed. The owners of these plants were delighted with their convenience and the comfort afforded by the numerous fans operated.

Aug. 23, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that John L. Kearley had accepted a position with the Peoples Bank of Roy and moved with his family to that place the early part of the week.

Aug. 23, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. W.B. Simmons of Piedmont, S.C., accompanied by Mrs. Simmons and their little son, was in Monroeville for a few days visit to his mother and other relatives.

Aug. 23, 1917 - The Monroe Journal noted, as an evidence of Monroeville’s growing commercial importance, that the town was to have that season a resident cotton buyer in the person of R.D. Hendrix, whose advertisement was found elsewhere in that day’s paper. Hendrix had opened an office in the Fore building and planned to keep in close telegraphic touch with the leading markets and be prepared to pay spot cash for cotton.

Aug. 23, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “MONROES QUOTA SECURED,” that the local Board had concluded its examination of registrants under the first call and had certified to the district board the names of 211 persons who had not been exempted or discharged from military service.

Aug. 23, 1917 - J.H. Moore of Perdue Hill was in Monroeville on this Thursday circulating among his numerous friends. Moore had two sons in the service of their country, W. Locklin, being in the officers training camp at Ft. Oglethorpe, and John Hope Jr. at the naval training station, Norfolk.

Aug. 23, 1922 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell was born in Swifton, Ark. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Aug. 23, 1934 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen was born in Wilmington, N.C. He went on to play for Duke, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Aug. 23, 1939 - Alabama author Lewis Nordan was born in Forest, Miss.

Aug. 23, 1939 – During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania and Poland were divided between the two nations.

Aug. 23, 1941 - After a lingering illness, W.H. Sellers passed away at his home in Monroeville on this Saturday afternoon about five p.m. Sellers was born in Montgomery County on Sept. 14, 1855, and when in his teens came with his family to Monroe County and settled near Franklin. For more than 25 years, he was engaged in the mercantile business at Franklin and in 1922 he moved to Monroeville and continued in business until a short time before his death. Burial was in the Methodist cemetery.

Aug. 23, 1944 – During World War II, King Michael of Romania dismissed the pro-Nazi government of Marshal Antonescu, who was arrested. Romania switched sides from the Axis to the Allies.

Aug. 23, 1945 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Rayfield Wright was born in Griffin, Ga. He went on to play for Fort Valley State and the Dallas Cowboys. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Aug. 23, 1957 – Evergreen High School’s football team was scheduled to hold its first preseason practice of the 1957 season on this Friday morning at 5 a.m. under head coach Wendell Hart and assistant coach Jeff Moorer. Standout players expected to be returning that season included Jimmy Bell, George Bolton, Robbie Boykin, Cleveland Brown, Howard Claybrook, Robert Daniels, Robert Ellington, Bobby English, Billy Grace, Jerry Mitchell, Jimmy Moorer, Paul Pace, Wayne Peacock, Ceylon Strong, Byron Warren, Dale Wiggins and Zeke Zukowski.

Aug. 23-24, 1957 – The grand opening for the new Standard Service Station at 231 South Alabama Ave. in Monroeville was set for this Friday and Saturday. Paul Winters, manager, said there would be free gifts for all customers on opening days with Fire-King Mixing Bowls to be given away with each purchase of five or more gallons of Crown gasoline. The new, modern station planned to serve the people of the Monroeville area with Standard Oil products.

Aug. 23, 1959 – The Conecuh County Amateur Baseball League’s All-Star Game was scheduled to be played in Evergreen.

Aug. 23, 1962 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Ronald Lee Shumack of Repton would be among the 557 degree earning candidates at Auburn University on Aug. 24. Shumack was a candidate for the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education degree.

Aug. 23, 1962 – The Evergreen Courant reported that optimism, hard work and enthusiasm were the key words in the Evergreen High Aggie camp that week as 38 candidates for the 1962 edition of the Green and White went through opening drills. Coach John Law Robinson wasted no time getting his charges down to cases as preparation for the opener with Atmore in Evergreen on Thursday night, Sept. 13, moved at a fast tempo. Mon., Aug. 20, and Tues., Aug. 21, the Aggies went through conditioning drills in sweat togs, but on Wed., Aug. 22, they had on the pads for the first “knocking” session. Robinson also welcomed on Mon., Aug. 20, his new assistant, Line Coach Fred Allmon. Robinson singled out two non-lettermen as the most improved men on the squad over spring drills. Tackle Stan Coker, up from the “B” team, and Halfback Bob Ivey, also a “B” grad, had shown up well. Other players on the team included Leon Adams, Johnny Bell, Scott Cook, Van Davis, Paul Deason, Alvin Dees, Marshall Dees, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Glass, DeWayne Grace, Benny Hammonds, Bobby Hammonds, Kenny Harper, Tommy Hartley, Bob Ivey, Donnie “Big” Jones, Ronnie Jones, Bill Kendall, Sid Lambert, Billy Lynch, Bobby Lynch, Mike Miniger Rodney Mitchell, Arlie Phillips, Charles Pierce, Winston Pugh, Jimmy Raines, Robert Rigsby, Joe Sasser, William Sessions, Ronnie Shaver, Calvin Smith, Johnny Snowden, Bob Tanner, Brent Thornley, James Ward and Jimmy Warren. Mike Moorer was on the team, but was lost for the season due to a surgery.

Aug. 23, 1964 – Huntsville, Ala. native Don Mincher of the Minnesota Twins became one of only 21 players to hit a home run completely over the right field roof and out of Tiger Stadium in Detroit during the 64-year history of its final configuration.

Aug. 23, 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of the Earth from space.

Aug. 23, 1966 - The American cargo ship Baton Rouge Victory struck a mine laid by the Viet Cong in the Long Tao River, 22 miles south of Saigon.

Aug. 23, 1968 - Communist forces launched rocket and mortar attacks on numerous cities, provincial capitals and military installations. The heaviest shelling was on the U.S. airfield at Da Nang, the cities of Hue and Quang Tri. North Vietnamese forces numbering between 1200 and 1500 troops attacked the U.S. Special Forces camp at Duc Lap, 130 miles northeast of Saigon near the Cambodian border.

Aug. 23, 1976 – Actor, director and screenwriter Scott Caan was born in Los Angeles, Calif.

Aug. 23, 1976 – NBA power forward Pat Garrity was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He went on to play for Notre Dame, the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic.

Aug. 23, 1982 - Gaylord Perry of the Seattle Mariners was tossed out of a game for throwing an illegal spitball.

Aug. 23, 1989 - Pete Rose, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball after being accused of gambling on baseball.

Aug. 23, 1990 – Carlisle Hall, near Marion, Ala., was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Aug. 23, 1990 – Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a number of Western "guests" (actually hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War. He told the group that they were being held "to prevent the scourge of war."

Aug. 23, 1996 – Osama bin Laden issued message entitled 'A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.'

Aug. 23, 2002 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm passed away at the age of 80 in Sarasota, Fla. During his career, he played for the New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox, the California Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

Aug. 23, 2005 - A movie version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" was released.

Aug. 23, 2007 – The skeletal remains of Russia's last royal family members Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Grand Duchess Anastasia are discovered near Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Aug. 23, 2012 – Pro Football Hall of Fame half back Steve Van Buren died at the age of 91 in Lancaster, Pa. During his career, he played for LSU and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.

Aug. 23, 2013 – “Devil’s Pass,” a fictionalized movie about the Dyatlov Pass Incident, was released in theaters.

Aug. 23, 2014 - Evergreen, Ala. recorded a high of 100 this afternoon. This was the first triple digit high temperature in Evergreen since Aug. 31, 2011.

Aug. 23, 2014 – Monroe Academy’s football team defeated Lancaster Christian, 41-6, in Smyrna, Tenn.
Aug. 23, 2016 – Phil Creswell won the mayor’s election in Camden, and Leslie Dusty McDanal won the mayor’s election in Pine Hill. Incumbent Pine Apple mayor Christopher Carter Stone also won reelection.