Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Fatama community in Wilcox County was named in honor of Fatama Mims

The Progressive Era has some of the best readers around. If you want to know something, just ask the question. Chances are, one of the newspaper’s readers will know the answer.

A month or so ago, I wrote about the Fatama community and mentioned that the book “Place Names in Alabama” by Virginia O. Foscue said that the origin of that community’s name was unknown. That book, which is usually very reliable, said that the name “Fatama” might be a variation of “Fatima,” which is the name of a village with a religious shrine in Portugal. As it turns out, the origin of the community’s name has a much simpler explanation.

Not long after that column ran in the paper, Gladys Mason was kind enough to send me a copy of a book on the history of Enon Baptist Church. This church is located in the heart of Fatama, and the book on its history was prepared to celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary in 2003. For those of you who haven’t read it, this book is one of the best church histories I’ve ever encountered, and its authors are to be commended.

In the opening pages of this book, it quickly clears up the mystery behind how Fatama got its name. “Fatama was for many years the only post office in the (Mims Beat) and was named for the wife of Captain (John J.) Mims, who was Mrs. Fatama Mims, also buried in the Enon Cemetery.” In other words, the community was named after the wife of one of the community’s most prominent citizens.

A few weeks after the Fatama column ran in the paper, I wrote about a visit that I’d made to Gastonburg. In that column, I mentioned that, according to “Place Names in Alabama,” Gastonburg was first known as “Paris,” probably for the French city. When the Southern Railroad reached this area in 1887 the name was changed to Gastonburg in honor of the Gaston family, who were early settlers of the area.

A few days after that column was published in the newspaper, Marty Pickett sent me some additional information that shed more light on why this area might have first been called Paris. According to her research, what we now call Gastonburg was first settled by David Finis Gaston, whose great-grandmother was Mary Gaston de Foix of France. Her father, William Gaston de Foix of France, was a “zealous adherent of the Huguenot Cause and sought refuge in Scotland and subsequently transferred to Ireland.”

The Huguenots were French Protestants who were severely persecuted by French Catholics in the 1500s and 1600s. Many Huguenots were forced to convert to Catholicism during this time or flee the country as refugees. The first Huguenots to settle in present-day America did so in 1562 when they colonized Parris Island, South Carolina.

In the end, big thanks to Gladys Mason and Marty Pickett for sharing their historical insights with me. I receive a fair amount of e-mail from readers of The Progressive Era each week, and it’s nice to pass along what they have to say when I get the chance. I especially enjoy hearing old ghost stories, folk tales and local legends from Wilcox County’s past, so if you’d like to share anything along those lines, please let me hear from you.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., July 31, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.40 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 28.85 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 30, 2019

JULY 23, 1998

Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported .95 inches of rain on July 13, 1.15 inches on July 14 and .50 inches on July 16. He also reported a high of 94 degrees on July 19 and lows of 71 on July 13, July 18 and July 19.

LaFrancis Davis was recently hired as the new band director at Hillcrest High School. A reception welcoming him to Evergreen will be held Thurs., July 23, at 7 p.m. in the cafetorium at the school.

Landstar Systems, Inc. agrees to sell Poole to Schneider National: If all goes well, Landstar Poole will be under new ownership by late August, after agreeing to sell out to Schneider National, Inc.
Landstar Poole is a wholly owned subsidiary by its parent company Landstar Systems, Inc. The announcement was made Thurs., July 16.
Poole has its headquarters in Evergreen and is the third acquisition made by Schneider National in the last several months. Prior acquisitions were Highway Carrier Corporation of Des Moines, Iowa and Builders Transport of Camden, South Carolina.
(Purchase price for the Poole-Schneider National deal was $42 million.)

Clint Casey exhibited the 1998 Grand Champion market hog at his year’s County Market Hog Show held June 13, 1998. This year’s judge was Mr. Derek Bryan, County Agent, Crenshaw County.

JULY 26, 1973

Airman Anthony J. Weaver, son of William J. Weaver of Evergreen, has graduated at Keesler AFB, Miss. from the Air Training Command’s basic course for electronic specialists.
The airman, who received instruction in communications and electronic systems principles, is remaining at Keesler for advanced training as a radar repairman.
Airman Weaver is a 1972 graduate of Evergreen High School. His wife, Frances, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Peacock of Evergreen.

Final rites held Marvin A. Hanks, noted educator: Marvin A. Hanks Sr. of Repton died on July 19 in a Mobile hospital.
A native of the Annex community of this county, Mr. Hanks was a noted educator. After receiving his early education in the schools of this county, he attended Troy Normal (now Troy State University) and the University of Alabama.
He was elected to a short term as county superintendent of education by the county board on July 1, 1923 and elected to a full term in 1924. He won re-election in 1928 and 1932 and did not seek re-election in 1936. He served for 14 years as superintendent during which time much progress was made in the county school system.
Mr. Hanks served as principal at Repton High School and Evergreen High School and after leaving the county system held a responsible position with the Monroe County Board of Education until his retirement.
He was a veteran of World War I and a member of the Monroeville Presbyterian Church.

JULY 22, 1948

H.W. Ward Brings In First Open Cotton: The distinction of being the first farmer to bring in open cotton to the Courant office goes this year to H.W. Ward, who lives on Evergreen Route E about four miles west of Evergreen. Mr. Ward brought in this cotton last Saturday. Others have reported they had open cotton since that time.

Forrest Castleberry Is Mayor of Castleberry: In an election held last Monday, Forrest Castleberry was elected Mayor of Castleberry over his opponent, A.B. Kennedy, the vote being 96 for Castleberry and 24 for Kennedy. In the race for members of the council there were nine running for the five places. Four of this number received clear majorities. They are H.G. Green, 102 votes; Joe H. Carr, 79; Haskew Page Jr., 75; L.H. Wilson, 69. Other candidates ran as follows: John Lee Carter, 65; L.H. Riggs, 65; W.E. Pate, 53; John Vivian Seale, 51; W.H. Britton, 49.
By agreement of all parties concerned, the successful nominees for Mayor and the four places on the Council will select the fifth member from the two runner-ups, L.H. Riggs and John Lee Carter. This is being done to avoid a runoff election.
Castleberry, Wilson, Riggs and Pate are members of the present Council.

Those attending the funeral of Lt. Winton D. McIntyre in Mobile Wednesday were Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Hyde, Levon and Truman Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Salter, Hunter Hines, Quinton Gaston, J. Garvin, Grady Garvin, E.M. McIntyre, Mrs. W.K. Smith, J.R. Harper, John Murphy, D.N. McIntyre and G.L. McIntyre.

JULY 25, 1923

Dave Lewis has been appointed special sanitary officer of Evergreen and the state authorities request us to ask our citizens to give to him their hearty cooperation in his efforts to prevent contagious and infectious diseases.

A bill to raise Confederate soldiers’ pensions to $25 a month and to raise pensions of Confederate soldiers’ widows has been favorable reported in the House.

The body of Mrs. Irene Weaver of Georgiana was buried in Evergreen cemetery on Thursday last. Deceased was a daughter of S.E. Gibbons, who formerly was a resident of Evergreen.

Rev. J.C. Harrison, State Evangelist for Woodmen of the World, will deliver an address on Woodcraft at Herbert school house on Friday night, 27th inst. Public cordially invited.

Three Evergreen citizens were taken to hospitals within the past few days for treatment for appendicitis. On Saturday evening W.C. Rumbley was taken to Mobile. Monday morning Leon Riley was taken to Montgomery and on Monday afternoon, Miss Bettie Brooks was taken to the same city. All of these patients are doing well according to latest reports.

Many friends throughout the county sincerely sympathize with Mr. and Mrs. Barlow, residing near Belleville in the death of their son. Hugh Hardy Barlow, a promising young man who was the victim of pneumonia.

JULY 24, 1879

The wife of Hon. Augustus W. Jones, formerly of Conecuh County, died in Florida on the 24th of June last.

The Conecuh County Historical Society will meet the first Saturday in August next.

Dr. Lucian Sykes of Monroe County, while riding over his plantation Wednesday evening, the 16th, was struck by lightning and instantly killed.

A few young ladies and gentlemen enjoyed themselves at a picnic at the mineral springs yesterday. Thanks for an invitation to be present; we regret exceedingly that we could not attend – pressing business prevented us from so long.

EVERGREEN ACADEMY: The exercises of this school will begin on Monday, the 15th day of September next, with a full compliment of teachers in all departments. – J.F. Tate, Principal; Mrs. S.U. Sampey and Mrs. J.F. Tate, assistants.

The pine trees around the courthouse are dying out rapidly. Our commissioners ought to have them cut down and oak trees planted out in their stead.

Dr. R.A. Lee of Evergreen is now with Capt. W.H. Bryant at the new drug store. The doctor is a clever gentleman, and we wish him success.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., July 30, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.40 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 28.85 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for July 29, 2019

JULY 23, 1998

Wesley Persons, a graduate of Auburn University and a star player with the Cleveland Cavaliers, visited Evergreen recently. He was here to help the Evergreen Summer Youth Basketball Camp. This year, 74 potential players participated in the camp. Earnest Boykin, youth basketball director, said this was one of the biggest camps ever, and he extended his thanks to Persons and his staff.

JULY 26, 1973

District Horse Show Aug. 2: The District III Horse Show will be held this year at the Ran-Jo Stables in Montgomery on Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. Those young people eligible should contact Herbert Oakley, Extension Farm Agent, for application forms, this week.
This is a large horse show with both English and Western Classes. Thirty-six events will be offered.
Winners in this event will compete for state championship in a week or so.

JULY 22, 1948

No Social Or Softball Tonight, Postponed: There will be no softball games at the stadium tonight, but the scheduled games will be played next Wednesday night, according to Percy R. Johnson Jr., league head. Mrs. E.L. McInnis also announced that there would not be a social at the high school tonight.
The softball games and the social were cancelled to avoid conflict with the Evergreen Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Duke of Paducah Show being held in the High School Stadium tonight at eight o’clock.

Greenies Edge Flomaton With Ninth Inning Rally: Manager Zell Murphy’s Evergreen Greenies came from behind with a two-run rally on four hits in the last of the ninth inning to defeat Flomaton here Sunday 6 to 5. Flomaton had taken the lead in the fifth and were leading 5 to 4 when the Greenies rallied to take the game. It was the Greenies 15th win in 17 starts this season.
George “Lefty” Gaston started on the hill for the Greenies, but had trouble getting the ball across the plate. Ellis took over with two on in the fifth and one man scored before he could put out the fire. “Check” gave way to Big Wendell Hart, who had been holding the initial sack, in the seventh after the visitors had tallied once.
Hart held the Flomaton squad in check except for the eighth when they tallied once on one hit and two errors.
Edsel Johnson flied out to right center to start the ninth. Ottis Johnson followed with a booming triple that went to the fence in left. Fast fielding alone kept this mighty wallop from going for four bases. Wendell Hart singled to center scoring Johnson and moved to third on Bolton’s double to right. Glenn “Sleepy” Hart sent Wendell Hart in with the winning run with a single to left.
The Greenies will meet Frisco City here Sunday in a single game at Brooks Stadium starting at three o’clock. The Frisco City team has shown improvement and will be out to cut the Aggies loop lead.

FISHERMEN – We have live fish bait, Indiana grown Grassy Fork Minnows, Bell Seed & Supply Co.

Career Girls, Queens Win Games Monday Night: Playing with mixed squads, the Career Girls and the College Queens each marked up a win in Monday night’s games in the Ladies Softball League. All the teams did not have a full quota of players, so those present were divided into four squads.
The Career Girls wiped away an 8 to 5 lead held by Tiny’s Sweets with a four-run rally in the fifth inning and then iced the game with a two-run cluster in the sixth after holding the Sweets scoreless in the top half. Betty Ward was on the mound for the Career Gals and Fay Salter did the hurling for the Sweets.
The College Queens won a slugging match from the High School Girls in an overtime contest by a 15 to 14 score. The county was knotted in the third, fifth and seventh innings. The High School Girls rallied for a four-run outburst in the seventh and final inning to tie the score, but the Queens countered with a single tally in the first of the eighth to win. Sis Price hurled the winners to the victory. Reeves was on the mound for the losers.
Next Monday, July 26, Tiny’s Sweets will meet the College Queens in the first half of a twin bill at 7:15. At 8:30, the High School Girls will encounter the Career Girls.

Play Begins Anew In Men’s Softball Loop: The eight teams of the Evergreen Men’s Softball League resumed play and began the second half Tuesday night with four games. The White Way Laundry and Dry Cleaning team were winners of the first half.
The teams will continue to play six games a week, playing two games each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night. The first games will begin promptly at 7:15 p.m. and the second at 8:30 p.m.

JULY 25, 1923

Sunday Observance Bill: Senator Bonner has introduced another Sunday observance bill into the Senate. The bill is particularly aimed at Sunday baseball games and moving picture houses and prohibits any form of amusement where an admission fee is charged on the Sabbath day. The church folk of the entire state are fostering the passage of the bill and success is being predicted for the measure. Bonner’s first bill still rests in the Senate, as it was indefinitely postponed during the winter session.

JULY 24, 1879

Croquet parties are becoming quite fashionable hereabouts – and of course the boys and girls are having a pleasant time.

Croquet parties by lamplight is a new feature in Evergreen life. They are enjoyed by the young ladies and gentlemen.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., July 29, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.40 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 28.85 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

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

JULY 23, 1998

Beetles infest county: Monroe County Forester Gary Cole said hot, dry conditions have aggravated an already serious problem for Monroe County landowners, Pine Beetle infestations. This year, the beetle will bring more trouble than just dead trees, Cole said.
Cole, who works for the Alabama Forestry Commission in Monroe County, said his office found 52 beetle infestations last June. Last week, that number increased to 95.
The most seriously affected areas in Monroe County stretch from Mexia through Franklin and into Old Texas.

Monroeville advances to Dixie Youth championship: Monroeville nipped Grove Hill 6-5 Monday to reach Tuesday’s championship game in the Dixie Youth District AAA all-star tournament for 11- and 12-year-olds in Thomasville.
Monroeville and host Thomasville, a team that edged Monroeville 3-0 Saturday in the finals of the winners’ brackets, were set to meet in the championship round Tuesday.
(Players on Monroeville’s team that year included Kyle Beasley, Anthony Brantley, Bryson Crutchfield, Buckie Dawson, Josh Kilpatrick, Colby Mixon, Josh Sellers, Sage Smith, Thomas Steele, Heath Wiggins and Bonner Williams.)

Emily Barnes of Excel received the 1998 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Sophomore Scholarship at the University of Alabama. A certificate is awarded at the spring Honors Day ceremony and a $1,000 scholarship is given for the following academic year. Criteria includes academic accomplishments, community service, leadership and future goals and aspirations.

JULY 26, 1973

Countian is among lost on jetliner: A former Monroe Countian is among the 78 persons presumed dead in the crash of a Pan American jetliner in the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti Monday night.
He is Isaac Lambert, 34, who was a flight engineer aboard the plane, which had just taken off from Papeete on the Tahitian island after arriving from Auckland, New Zealand, and was headed non-stop for Los Angeles. Mr. Lambert is the son of Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Lambert of Route 1, Uriah (and a 1956 graduate of J.U. Blacksher High School).

The South Monroe Little League (all-stars) swept the Atmore Little League tournament and won the right to meet Andalusia, the winner of the tournament in that city. The playoff game is set for Thursday night, July 26, in Frisco City at the Little League park (at 7:30 p.m.). The winner of the game will advance into the state playoffs set for Thurs., Aug. 2, in Huntsville.
(Players on South Monroe’s team that year George Curry, Kenny Baggett, Chuck Black, Dennis Curry, Jeff Tatum, Rickie Smith, Timmy Qualls, Mitchel Mixon, Kevin Barnes, Ben Wiggins, Mike Turberville, Tracey Baggett, Jeff Kilpatrick and Phil Hollinger. Grafton Coleman was the team’s manager, and Lawrence Brantley was coach.)

Masons hold installation: Woodrow Ikner was installed as Worshipful Master of Alabama Lodge No. 3 Tues., July 17, when the formal installation of officers were held.
(The other new lodge officers included Bill Sky, senior warden; Cecil White, junior warden; Tom Lemons, treasurer; Jim Andrews, secretary; Clyde Boulware, chaplain; Claude Green, senior deacon; Alvin Kilpatrick, junior deacon; James Thomas, tyler; Leroy Green, senior steward; D.D. Mims, junior steward; and Marion Craft, marshal.)

JULY 22, 1948

Local Attorney Speaks To Excel HD Club: The Excel Home Demonstration Club met on Tuesday evening in the home of Mrs. W.C. Nicholas.
The subject for the evening was “Legacies of Deeds and Wills,” discussed by Miss Alice Lee, Monroeville attorney.

Baseball Team Plays Atmore There Today: Monroeville’s baseball team will play Atmore there today (Thursday) with the game scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m.
The local nine edged Atmore here Sunday 3-1 behind the two-hit pitching of Ralph Stewart. The 18-year-old twirler had perfect control, walking only one man. He helped his own cause in the sixth when he drove in a run with a three-bagger.
Monroeville will play Flomaton there Sunday afternoon at three o’clock.

Frisco City Farmer Has Open Cotton Boll: W.T. Bates, Route 2, Frisco City, has the first open cotton boll of the current season as far as The Journal is concerned.
The Journal received open boils from Mr. Bates by mail Tuesday.

Work Now Underway On Beatrice Gymnasium: H.G. Greer, county superintendent of education, announced Wednesday that work on the new gymnasium at Beatrice High School is now underway.
He said that practically all of the material for the project has been purchased and contractors are rushing to complete the building in time for basketball season this fall.

JULY 26, 1923

Mr. C.L. Brown of Mexia brought in the first open cotton for this season. The stalk shown was no pet or stubble, but was taken from his regular field crop.

NOTICE TO ALL AUTOMOBILE DRIVERS: The town of Monroeville has on its Code of Ordinances a speed limit of 15 miles per hour. A car making 15 miles an hour is traveling at very slow speed. So I hope all drivers of automobiles will consider the danger of operating cars at a greater rate of speed on the narrow and crooked streets of Monroeville. I will prosecute all offenders to the fullest extent of the law after this date, July 3, 1923. – J.L. Bowden, Sheriff.

E.J. Pearce & Co. sold out of all mules and horses as soon as they arrived here last Friday and as a result had no auction Saturday as advertised. Mr. Pearce stated that he would have a fine lot of horses and mules here in about six weeks. Due notice of future sales will be given.

COLEY-BLACKSHER MAKING PROGRESS: The summer school at Coley-Blacksher is being well-attended for the first session. The enrollment in the boarding department is 18, while others will enroll for the last six weeks.
Prospects are bright for a small dairy. A fine Jersey cow was recently given by Mr. W.I. Walker of Clarke County. Mr. F.H. Davis of Suggsville and the Grove Hill charge gave the school a cream separator. The school is offered two fine cows for the dairy for only 60 dollars.

JULY 23, 1870

A very fine shower visited this place yesterday afternoon, accompanied by some thunder and lightning, during the prevalence of which, one of the large oak trees in front of the jail was struck by the lightning and shivered. A cow, that was under the tree at the time, was knocked down, but soon got up and walked off.

FIRE IN WILCOX – The steam mill belonging to Major Robbins, near Lower Peachtree, was totally destroyed by fire on the night of the 11th inst.

MASONIC FUNERAL – The funeral services of the late I.M. Henderson will take place at the Puryearville Chapel on the fourth Sunday of July (24th inst.). The Masonic Fraternity are respectfully invited to attend.

F.S. Daily, Physician and Surgeon: Having located at his father’s residence near Philadelphia Church, Monroe County, respectfully tenders his professional services to the people of that vicinity. Reasonable charges and prompt attention to calls.

LOST – Between Monroeville and Scotland, a cane with silver head, engraved R.L. Dabney to J.C. Stiles. The finder will be rewarded by leaving it with J.F. McCorvey at Monroeville or Dr. W.W. McMillan, Scotland.

TAKE NOTICE: I am now prepared to do every kind of work on wagons and buggies at the most reasonable rates and in the most substantial manner, and will take pay in gold, silver, greenbacks or cotton in the seed. – A. Morehouse, Monroeville.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., July 29, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: .30 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.40 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 4.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 28.85 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Singleton recounts lesser known Civil War facts for history buffs

George Armstrong Custer

(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 “Civil War facts that history forgot to mention” was originally published in the Aug. 14, 2003 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.

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 knowledge 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 Gen. 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” was really Malinda. When Keith signed up to fight the Yankees, his wife put on a 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.

Maj. Gen. George A. Custer, only wounded one time during the bloody conflict, had 11 horses shot from under him. Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler continued to fight after having 16 horses killed under him.

Still, the all-time record seems to have been set by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. After a thorough study of the matter, Brig. Gen. 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 Gen. 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 approximately 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 Gen. Lee surrendered, federal funds were paid for an estimated 840,000 horses and at least 430,000 mules.

Even then, politics played an important role in the decision as to who went to war and those that 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 to 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 Gen. 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 the army were between 600 or 700 so-called 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. 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.

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

(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.)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Singleton recounts circus crossing of Alabama River at Claiborne in 1908

Old bridge across the Alabama River at Claiborne.

(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 “The day the circus crossed the Alabama” was originally published in the March 9, 1972 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

It was in the fall of 1908 – before the present bridge was built, spanning the Alabama River at Claiborne. Up the river, where the boating landing is now located, was the ferry. This was, at the time, the only means of crossing the swift river, other than swimming.

The ferry was a busy place this particular day in 1908 due to the fact the circus was coming to Claiborne. It would be coming down the Gosport Road, from the area of Grove Hill, where it held its last performance.

The wagons and equipment were strung out for several hundred yards and along the road approaching the ferry. The wild animals’ cages were mounted on wagons with one or two teams of horses pulling each wagon, depending on the size and number of the animals. Last, but not least, was the circus elephant bringing up the rear, walking at a slow swinging gait.

For the next few hours the ferry would be busy making several hurried trips across the river so the wagons could reach the east bank and the top of the hill in time to set up for the night.

The bank on the Claiborne side of the river was lined with the local population, waiting and watching for the big event of ferrying the circus across. Slowly, one by one, the big wagons eased their way into the flat boat which was to take them safely across to the other side.

The deep sand on the west bank was a problem for the heavy wagons as they moved down to the water to board the ferry. The elephant was used to help push the heavy wagons through the deep sand. The huge beast would be the last to cross the river because of its use in the moving of the equipment.

After much struggling and shouting and sweat, the last wagon was loaded aboard the ferry for the trip across the river. All that remained on the west side was the elephant and its trainer. At last the ferry returned for its cargo of bone and muscle. After the flat was secured to the west bank, the elephant was walked down for boarding.

Slowly the big animal placed his huge front feet on the ferry, and as the flat settled down in the water under his great weight, the elephant would back away, refusing to step up and stand on the flat boat. Three times the wise old beast refused to trust the ferry with its equipment.

Finally, a long rope was placed around its neck and as the ferry backed away from the bank, the elephant gracefully eased himself into the water. He waded until the water began to cover the whole body. Then he submerged and continued to walk along the bottom with nothing more than the end of his truck above the water. As the ferry approached the east bank, the huge mammoth slowly emerged from the river, walking slowly and carefully, enjoying every minute of it.

Today, with our modern methods of transportation, no thought would be given to the crossing of the river by an elephant. A huge van would speed across the bridge and no one would be the wiser. But in 1908, it was a day to be remembered. After all, it’s not everyday that one sees a elephant wade the Alabama River.

[This column also included a photo taken by Singleton that carried the following caption: The Claiborne Bridge. A ferry once did its job, and once even an elephant helped out.]

(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.)

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., July 20, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.95 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.10 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 28.55 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Eli McMorn & The Strange Case of the Missing Professor - Chapter 12

I was in hell of a fix. I got to my feet and looked for a weapon, but it was hard to see in the darkness of the clearing. Aside from a firefly here and there, the only source of the light was the ambient light provided by the night sky above.

A moment later, laughter – hollow and eerie – echoed through the strange, swampy woods of the Claiborne Sinks. The source of this bone-chilling laughter was only about 20 feet away. I turned to look and saw the dreaded stranger. His old stovepipe hat sat crazily atop his oversized head.

The bizarre stranger adjusted his ancient lantern with a claw-like hand, and it started to give off an ominous light. He glanced up to make sure I hadn’t moved, and I knew that he aimed to dissolve me into a weird mass like Claiborne Police Sgt. Bill Friemann. The thought of the dead policeman caused me to look down at what was left of his clothes and equipment, all in one confused pile at my feet.

My hands had been cuffed all day, ever since Friemann found me standing over the belongings of the missing Prof. Gruner. My wrists were sore and my hands dripped blood from where I’d smashed the bottle of holy water in the face of Old Shuck, the stranger’s giant, daemonic hound. I glanced up and saw the hound at the edge of the clearing, one fantastic shadow against a forest of secret shadows.

The hound was disoriented and smoke issued from its corpse-green eyes, which danced like the flames of an emerald fire. I caught another whiff of brimstone and was jolted back to my senses. I only had seconds to spare and had to act fast if I hoped to see the sun rise. I had to get the handcuffs off.

As if he read my mind, the stranger closed the distance and swung his lantern at my head. I heard it squeak, as if it needed oil, and I ducked to avoid the blow. I rolled and used my cuffed hands to grab my backpack and a bundle of what I hoped was Friemann’s utility belt, uniform pants and shirt.

The stranger’s momentum caused him to stumble in the dark and before he could recover, I ran from the clearing and into the thick, dark woods. I ran as hard as I could, but it was slow going due to the attic-like darkness, trees and underbrush. I didn’t dare look back for fear that I would stare into the stranger’s black magic lantern and be blasted from this world like the police officer.

I held the backpack and bundle of clothes to my chest as jagged limbs and thorny vines tore at my clothes, forearms and head. I had only two things in mind. I had to put as much distance as possible between myself and the mysterious menace behind me and find somewhere to stop and search for the handcuff keys.

It was morbidly dark, and I had no flashlight. The ground underfoot began to squish as it became wetter, less firm. I’d lost all sense of direction, and I prayed that I didn’t step into an empty stump hole.

I eventually stopped to listen and catch my breath. All was quiet. Not even the sounds of insects or night birds could be heard. As if in answer to my thoughts, a nerve-wracking howl reached my ears from much too close.

I began to run. My breath came hard, and sweat poured down my face. Something supernaturally large tore through the woods behind me. It sounded like a bulldozer. It snapped limbs and pushed down tree trunks like a giant in an orphan’s bedtime story.

Suddenly and without warning, I stepped out into unknown nothingness, and my eyes registered what looked like streetlights in the ghostly distance. A moment later, the ground disappeared, and I pitched forward into what I realized much too late was the deep, warm waters of the Alabama River.

My momentum carried me off a high bluff, and I was reminded that my hands were cuffed as the muddy waters closed over my head. My boots were so heavy, and I was so tired. The water was warm and womblike. I began to sink into the darkness.

(All rights reserved. This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.)

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., July 19, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.15 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 2.95 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.60 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Old Claiborne-related stories from the July 14, 1983 edition of The Monroe Journal newspaper

Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill, Alabama

(Claiborne-related stories from the July 14, 1983 edition of The Monroe Journal newspaper) 

Restoration to continue on Perdue Hill building

By Jim Plott

The first phase of restoring the Perdue Hill Masonic Hall has been completed and some parts of the second phase have begun, but sponsors are waiting for a fundraising effort this fall before continuing.

“We have been very pleased with the progress we have made, and we’re more or less just waiting for more funds before we go any further,” said Nancy Boroughs, treasurer of the Perdue Hill-Claiborne Historic Preservation Foundation, Inc., which is sponsoring the project.

The first phase involved repairing the building’s foundation and reroofing it, which Mrs. Boroughs said was completed in the spring.

Because some money was left over from the first phase, members decided to go into the second phase and replace the building’s 36 windows, she said.

Mrs. Boroughs said painting would be the next step in renovating the building, which is more than 150 years old. That phase is expected to cost about $3,000, and members hope to obtain it from some type of fundraising event this fall.

“A lot of people may pass by and think we haven’t done anything, but a lot of work is not visible. Just because you might not see anyone out there, I don’t want people to think that we have forgotten it (the renovation) or anything – we haven’t,” Mrs. Boroughs said.

“We haven’t totally stopped. We’re still doing little things and all.”

Mrs. Boroughs said the historic William Travis house was also moved from Claiborne to the site beside the Masonic Hall and is being restored.

The relocation of the house was funded by Palmer and Ann Bedsole of Mobile, who are natives of the area.

Mrs. Boroughs said the foundation is accepting contributions for the projects.

House urges precautions in bridge construction

The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a resolution urging the State Highway Department and Department of Public Safety to do everything possible to prevent traffic accidents during the construction of the new Alabama River bridge at Claiborne.

Rep. Jimmy Warren of Castleberry, who sponsored the resolution, said several people had told him they were concerned about safety.

“Serious inconvenience will be caused the driving public,” the resolution says. “and it is quite possible that even hazardous conditions will exist throughout the construction period.” It asks the two state agencies to “take every possible step to insure the safety of the driving public.”

Warren said he wanted the construction period to be safe “even if it means one-way traffic, or whatever it means.”

Relief bridges and approach roads are already under construction, and the state will open bids Friday of next week on the main river span that will replace the narrow, half-century-old Claiborne-Murphy Bridge on U.S. 84.

Work can be expected to start soon after that, Warren said. He said contractors were “very anxious for the job.” Several big companies are bidding, and “we should get a good deal,” he observed.

Man theorizes that 'wendigo' may be to blame for local Bigfoot reports

Is a 'Wendigo' to blame for local Bigfoot reports?

I received an unexpected call last Thursday from Re Monteith, an investigator with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) in Florida, who wanted to know if I’d received any Bigfoot reports lately. I told her that I hadn’t heard any new local reports lately, but that I was keeping my ears open.

To my surprise, she said that the BFRO was recently contacted by someone from our area, who reported Bigfoot activity in an area where there’d been previous reports. She said that the BFRO planned to look into it and she would contact me later if anything comes out of it.

When I got off the phone with her, I was reminded of a Bigfoot-related conversation that I’d had with a local man about a month ago. This man enjoys reading and studying about Native American folklore, and he posed an interesting theory about the local Bigfoot reports. He said that people might not be seeing a Bigfoot or Sasquatch at all. Instead, they’re seeing what the Indians called a “Wendigo.”

Being unfamiliar with the wendigo, I did a little research and what I found was pretty interesting. Indians believed that a wendigo was a supernatural man-eating creature or evil ghost that lived in the forest. Translations of the word “wendigo” say it means “spirit of lonely places” or the “evil spirt that devours mankind.”

Some sources described them as giants while others describe them as skeletal and emaciated. Some descriptions say that they have sunken yellow eyes or large eyes like an owl. Others say that they have large horns, razor-sharp claws and smell really bad.

A number of legends indicate that when a person goes missing in the forest, the wendigo is to blame. Some say that they can mimic human voices and some are unnaturally fast. Some Indians even believed that the wendigo could control the weather, was able to endure the harshest climates and was even known to hibernate, sometimes for years and years at a time.

Some Native American tribes even had special ceremonies they performed to keep the wendigo away. These ceremonies included special dances that were supposed to prevent members of the tribe from falling victim to the wendigo. Other sources say that only the most powerful Medicine Men had the ability to protect their tribes from the wendigo.

Many sources that I read said that wendigos favor cold weather and that most of the wendigo stories come from Indians tribes that lived in parts of Canada and the Great Lakes. This is the sort of thing that I like to hear because that’s a long way from Conecuh County, where the weather is usually a lot warmer than it is in Canada.

In the end, I’d be interested in hearing from anyone in the reading audience who has seen anything out of the ordinary in the woods of Conecuh County. I think it’s important to document these incidents because it helps make the big picture a lot clearer.

Yankee's pitcher David Cone threw perfect game 20 years ago today

New York Yankees pitcher David Cone.

One sure sign that high school football season is right around the corner is that, behind the scenes, the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) is preparing to put out its preseason football poll.

Voting in the poll will begin this coming Monday with voting to close the following Monday. Votes will be counted in the days to follow with the official poll to be released online at 11 p.m. on Aug. 4. The poll will be released in print media on Mon., Aug. 5.

Aug. 5 will also mark the first official day of practice for Alabama High School Athletic Association teams. Alabama Independent School Association teams will kick off practice on Thurs., Aug. 1.

----- 0 -----

I was talking with local youth football coach Robert Caldwell on Monday and he said that the local youth football league is in dire need of some new equipment. Caldwell said he plans to discuss this with local officials and business owners in hopes of securing some new equipment for the league. He noted that player safety is a huge issue nowadays, so if you have the ability to help Caldwell and the league in this area, please do so.

----- 0 -----

Also this week, big congratulations to Tyler Lowery, who will represent Hillcrest in the North-South All-Star Football Game tonight (Thursday) in Montgomery. This all-star game has a long tradition and many great players have played in this game over the years. Evergreen High School sent a number of players to this game in years past, but I’m not exactly sure just how many. That would be an interesting thing to research someday, but until then it’s nice seeing a Hillcrest player on the field.

----- 0 -----

I was looking through my notes the other day and saw where it’s been 20 years since New York Yankee David Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. Cone’s perfect game was a no-hit, no-walk victory over the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999 at Yankee Stadium.

Cone’s perfect game was remarkable for a number of reasons. It was the third perfect game in Yankee history and was also marked the first time that a no-hitter had been thrown during a regular season inter-league game. Interestingly, the game was interrupted by a 33-minute rain delay.

By definition, a perfect game has to go at least nine innings and no opposing player can reach base in any form or fashion. In other words, it’s “27 up, 27 down.” Since Cone’s perfect game in 1999, seven others have been thrown by Randy Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, Philip Humber, Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez.

I’ve always wanted to be in the seats to see a Major League no-hitter or perfect game, but I know that my chances are pretty slim. One stat that I saw said that in the 144-year history of Major League Baseball, there have been over 218,000 games played. Of that number, there have only been 23 perfect games and 301 no-hitters. You’re probably more likely to be struck by lightning or win the lottery than luck up and see a Major League perfect game.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., July 18, 2019

 Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.15 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 2.95 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.60 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wilcox County's Gastonburg community was once named 'Paris'

Gastonburg Presbyterian Church
My ramblings took me this week to Gastonburg, a quaint village in northwestern Wilcox County, between Catherine and Alberta on State Highway 5.

Early pioneers settled this area in the early 1800s, and folks have been living in and around Gastonburg for nearly two centuries. In fact, there were people living there even before it was called Gastonburg.

According to the book “Place Names in Alabama” by Virginia O. Foscue, Gastonburg was first known as “Paris” and was probably named after the famous city in France. However, when the Southern Railroad reached this point in 1887, the name was changed to “Gastonburg” in honor of the Gaston family, who were early settlers of the area. A post office was established there in 1891, and John W. Gaston was appointed the town’s first postmaster.

I’ve been through Gastonburg many times on State Highway 5, but prior to Friday I’d never taken the time to explore the streets that make up the heart of this old town. When I arrived, I scouted around slowly with an eye toward seeing what makes this community unique and remarkable. As it goes, there was much to see.

As many of you know, there are a number of beautiful homes in Gastonburg as well as several historic churches. My first stop on Friday was at the Gastonburg Presbyterian Church on Boiling Springs Road. Sources say that this church was built around 1890 to replace a much older wood frame church that was built around 1830. The 1830s church replaced an even older log church that was built years before.

I got out for a closer look and was impressed by how much work has been done to preserve this historic structure. As I walked back to my truck, a gentleman on an ATV rolled by and gave me a friendly nod, and a few seconds later a nice lady in a yard across the street exchanged “good afternoons” with me. Back in my truck, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that someone had painted a nearby fire hydrant like an American flag – red, white and blue, complete with stars.

County Road 4 runs down behind the church and where it runs into Boiling Springs Road, you’ll see a sign that reads “Gastonburg Cemetery.” I followed the sign and eventually found myself at the graveyard, which sits atop an isolated hill north of the town. As I stepped out of my truck, black clouds began to roll in and thunder rumbled like distant artillery.

I’d estimate that this old cemetery contains about 150 graves, and the oldest grave marker that I saw belonged to Revolutionary War veteran Hugh Gaston, who died in 1836. I strolled beneath the moss-covered trees of this graveyard for the better part of half an hour and noted that this cemetery contains many historic graves, including that of early postmaster John William Gaston, who died in 1918. Heavy rain eventually cut my explorations short, so I jumped back in the truck and returned to the town proper.

From there, as thunder boomed overhead, I drove slowly around the town and paid a visit to the Gastonburg Methodist Church, which was built in the 1890s. I stopped for a better look and was amused by a grumpy, well-fed cat on the front steps, riding out the rain. This cat was mostly black with a broad collar of white fur around his throat, and he looked like he was accustomed to having the run of the town in much calmer weather.

Last, but not least, I rode over to Macedonia Baptist Church, which is just up Highway 5 from the main part of town. This stately old church sits well off the highway, and I was struck by its red-colored roof and distinctive steeple and spire. The rain slacked up just long enough for me to spend a few minutes in the cemetery there.

In the end, as I drove home through the heavy rain, I thought about Gastonburg and all of the people who have called it home over the years. No doubt, my trip there on Friday provided me with just a taste of what the town has to offer visitors. Before I even reached home, I’d made up my mind to visit it again sometime very soon, but not before I check the color weather radar.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., July 17, 2019

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.15 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 2.95 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 27.60 inches.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily in Monroe County, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.405783N Lon -87.479861W. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-6, Station Name: Frisco City 5.0 WSW.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 16, 2019

JULY 16, 2009

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 0.37 inches of rain on July 6, 1.00 inches on July 7 and 0.05 inches on July 9. He reported a high of 91 on July 12 and lows of 68 on July 8 and July 9.

Sparta Academy’s annual Miss Alpha Pageant was held April 25, 2009. Winners in the Miss Alpha Division were Mallory Kendrick, first alternate; Emsley Lambert, Miss Alpha 2009; and Madelyn Black, second alternate.

Evergreen Animal Control Officer John Dees and a couple of good Samaritans teamed up Tuesday morning to rescue a cat that was trapped in the wall of a building in downtown Evergreen. Pictured, from left, are Dees, Andre Young and John Green. Green said that they’d been hearing the cat in the wall all morning and others had been hearing the cat in the wall for about a week.

Larry Ryland of Bermuda was recently recognized for over 40 years of fire and emergency medical service. Ryland received the Medal of Service during the opening ceremonies of the Alabama Sports Festival on June 19 in Birmingham. The medal was presented by the Alabama Legislature, the Alabama Sports Festival and the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness.

Conecuh County District Attorney Tommy Chapman staked his claim to another statewide position late last month when he was elected to the Executive Board of the Alabama District Attorneys Association.

JULY 19, 1984

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.13 inches of rain on July 12, 1.00 inches on July 13 and 0.42 inches on July 14. He reported a high of 96 degrees on July 12 and a low of 66 on July 8.

Conecuh Junior Miss Pageant July 28: High school senior girls of Conecuh who participate in the Junior Miss competition are taking part in a nationwide scholarship program to recognize, reward and encourage excellence in young women.
The local finals are scheduled for 8 p.m. on July 28 at the Evergreen City School.

Sally Land of the Evergreen Pilot Club presents a check for $200 to Dr. Bert Kinsey, Chairman of the Conecuh County Emergency Medical Services Council. The money will go toward the purchase of a RTSS radio.

State Rep. Jimmy Warren presents a check for $2,000 from Gov. George Wallace’s discretionary fund to Mrs. Ethel Hanks, site manager of the Lenox Nutrition Center for the Elderly. Present when the award was made were Mrs. Marjorie Gilmer, Janice Armstrong and Glen Morris. Mrs. Gilmer and Morris, county coordinators for Gov. Wallace, hand delivered a request for assistance for the Lenox Center to the governor.

Karen Varner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Varner, won four awards at the Summer’s Most Beautiful Pageant held June 19 in Monroeville.

JULY 16, 1959

Conecuh County’s corps of fast-rising young leaders scored again in Auburn last week.
Everette (Doc) Price Jr., 17-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. E.A. Price, Evergreen, was elected State Song Leader by the 4-H Clubs at the annual State 4-H Conference and Short Course at API.
Also at the Auburn meeting, Gerry Seales, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Seales, Castleberry, represented District III in the state cooperative essay and speaking contest; and Marilyn Dees and William Patten of Evergreen, Rebecca Lee, Faye Andrews and Jerry Hanks of Lenox-Springhill and Thomas Shipp of Castleberry represented Conecuh in the camp meetings and leadership courses.

E’green Textile starts sewing first pants today: Fifteen days early and anxious to really get rolling, Evergreen Textiles, Inc. will begin to make its first pants today.
Russ White, manager, told The Courant that three operators would begin sewing today on three of about 60 operations used in making the polished cotton, semi-dress pants.
Three employees sounds small, but White points out that operations are actually beginning 15 days prior to the Aug. 1 initiating time that was in original plans.
He also said that if things go as planned there will be 30 to 40 operators at work by the first of August.

JULY 19, 1934

Young Conecuh Soldier Meets Tragic Death: Relatives here received word late yesterday afternoon of the tragic death of Jesse Dickerson who was killed instantly by a stroke of lightning at Camp Jackson, S.C. at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Young Dickerson was in camp there with the local National Guard unit. He is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Dickerson, who live several miles north of Evergreen in the Holly Grove community.

Accident Proves Fatal To Brewton Man: Castleberry, Ala., July 18 – William Gowan, 20-year-old district agent for the Shell Petroleum company, was killed almost instantly here today when he fell from a height of 20 feet to the pavement at the Blue Bell camp.
Gowan had climbed a ladder and was preparing to stretch a wire from one pole to another across the highway on which Shell advertising signs were to be hung. According to spectators, he apparently lost balance and took hold of a live wire of the Deuel Power company which was stretched near him.
He fell almost immediately to the pavement, landing on his chin, never to recover consciousness, and died about 40 minutes after the accident, while on the way to a Brewton hospital.
Physicians were uncertain whether the shock or the fall or both caused death. No bones were broken.
Young Gowan had only recently been made district agent for the oil company and was a member of a prominent Brewton, Ala. family, the son of Dr. Gowan.

JULY 17, 1884

Col. P.D. Bowles and daughter, Miss Katie, returned from Troy last Tuesday, where they had been visiting Senator L.H. Bowles, a brother of the Colonel’s.

At the semi-annual election of officers of Armor No. 31, Knights of Pythias, the following gentlemen were elected to fill the various stations for the ensuing six months: E. Rosenfield, P.C.; W.H. Herrington, C.C.; R.A. Lee, V.C.; Rev. B.H. Crumpton, P.; J.W. Crook, M. of E.; A.R. McCreary, M. of F.; W.N. Brawner, K. of R. & S.; S.F. Forbes, M. of A.; J.M. Morman, I.G.; S. Weis, O.G.

Death of Mr. John Rhodes of Gravella: The sudden and unexpected death of this gentleman last Sabbath, at his home in this county, has cast a gloom over a large circle of friends and left a vacuum in a family circle which can never be filled. Mr. Rhodes was one among the best citizens of the county. Retired in his habits of life, devoted to business, he was known and loved best in the near and dear relations of home.

A son of Mr. Charles Albrest of Castleberry was accidently killed by shotgun near Castleberry one day last week. The young man had been hunting and was returning home, when he stopped at a spring to get some water and was attempting to get upon his horse the gun fired off. His body was found in a position which indicated that he was killed that way. The afflicted family have the sympathy of numerous friends.

A rope-walking performance was witnessed by many of our citizens last Tuesday evening.