Sunday, August 31, 2014

135-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from August 1879

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville published four editions 135 years ago during the month of August 1879. Those papers came out on Aug. 4, Aug. 11, Aug. 18 and Aug. 25. Horace R. Hood was the newspaper’s publisher and editor. What follows are a few new highlights from each of those papers. Enjoy.

AUG. 4, 1879

The many friends of J.J. Autry announce him as a candidate for Circuit Clerk at the next election, subject to the action of the Democratic and Conservative voters of Monroe County.

The many friends of F. Metts announce him as a candidate for the office of sheriff at the next election…

The case of the state vs. Roberts will be carried before Judge Henry on a writ of habeas corpus.

Perdue Hill – Mr. Jno. L. Marshal, an excellent officer and a clever and intelligent gentleman, has tendered his resignation as justice of the peace in the beat No. 2.

“Where shall we get a coffin if a friend or relative dies?” is a question now easily answered. Go to J.A. Savage’s at Perdue Hill and you can be served on short notice.

Col. T.C. McCorvey of Tuscaloosa is recreating in Monroeville. His many friends here are always glad to see the colonel.

CIRCUIT JUDGESHIP – The name of Col. B.L. Hibbard of Monroe is mentioned in connection with the circuit judgeship of this circuit. – Clarke County Democrat.

Mt. Pleasant – A negro man under the employ of Mr. Jo. Boyles Jr. was shot and probably fatally wounded at the Mount a few nights ago. He was going from his house to his corn crib when someone emptied a load of buckshot in his thigh, crushing the bone and making a horrible wound. The negro is said to have been quiet and inoffensive and no cause is assigned for the cowardly act. The party who did the shooting is not known. Comment is unnecessary.

Buena Vista – Mr. J.B. Finklea died at Buena Vista several days ago.

Attempted Murder! – Jordon Collins, a colored man living near Mr. A.C. Hixon’s plantation in this county, shot Fannie Deese, a colored girl, in the face with small shot, several days ago. The girl is not expected to recover. The negro is still at large, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

A Slight Error – We are informed by D.L. Neville, esq., that in the following statement, which appeared in The Journal last week, relating to the re-arrest of Charles Roberts for shooting D.W. Rankin, we have done an injustice to Judge Sowell:
Charles Roberts has been re-arrested on a warrant issued from the county court for the same offense. Saturday, a day set for hearing the case, Col. Hibbard, representing the defendant, moved to discharge the prisoner on the ground that he had been previously been tried and bound over for the same offense. The motion was ably argued pro and con by Col. Hibbard and D.L. Neville, esq.
Judge Sowell overruled the motion for the prisoner’s discharge, whereupon the counsel for the defense, waived a re-examination.
We certainly stated what we believed to be the facts in the case at the time and had no desire to place anyone before the public in a false light. Mr. Neville says that Mr. Roberts was arrested for murder, and not for the charge he had been bound over to answer.

AUG. 11, 1879

I respectfully announce myself a candidate for Circuit Clerk of Monroe County subject to the action of the democratic party of the county – W.R. AGEE.

The Monroeville Institute opens on the 22nd of September, with W.Y. Titcomb, principal, and Mrs. B.C. McCorvey, assistant.

Claiborne has another real sensation. For years past merchants and others who have had goods, wares and merchandise to come through warehouses at Claiborne have met with short weights and short measures, and a plan of systematic stealing has been going on, until growing bold from past success, thieves took too many into their confidence and they have at last been caught up with.
Merchants would complain to their merchants in Mobile of short weights, and, in many cases, rather than have suspicions resting upon their houses for any intentional wrong, they would make good the losses. In some cases much ill feeling has been aroused between the country merchants and the Mobile merchants, and the latter have, in many instances, been forced to get clerks and other employees to make affidavits to the weights and measures as left their houses.
But “murder will out” and “truth is mighty and will prevail,” after a time. Sunday night, 31st inst., after the Emma had passed up the river, the freight was left on the wharf as usual at the Lower Warehouse in Claiborne, and with usually trusted guard to attend it. Having reason to suspect wrong doing on the part of the colored man left in charge of the freight, Mr. J.B. Crow, with a couple of young men were on the lookout.
About 10 o’clock at night, the following Negroes, eight in all, were caught in the act of bursting heads of barrels of flour and taking flour out and replacing head with surprising nicety, and extracting coffee from sacks: Allen Howard, Ran Taswell, Dick James, Adam Taswell, Lang Agee, Singleton James and Jesse McGrew. Rushing on them, the Negroes were ordered to give up, and refusing to do so, and starting to run, they were fired on, when Ran Taswell was shot in the leg, and died from the effects of the wound in about four hours, and Lang Agee was shot in the foot, but made his escape.
Jesse McGrew and Allen Howard were arrested and placed in jail, but Dick James, Adam Taswell and Singleton James also made good their escape, but the officers of the law are now after them, and may yet get the scoundrels.
Thus has one of the boldest and most shameless band of thieves been bursted up that has been organized in this section in many years.

The Roberts-Rankin Affair Again – We have received the following which we are requested to publish in justice to Mr. Roberts:
H.R. Hood, Esq.:
Editor Journal – As you evidently intend to desire to get the Roberts arrest properly before the public, you may publish as matters of fact, the following:
On the 21st day of July, Mr. Jno. L. Marshall, a Justice of the Peace for Monroe County, issued his warrant for the arrest of Chas. Roberts charging him with the offense of murder; Roberts was arrested and brought before Mr. Marshall on that charge, and after a full and thorough investigation of all the fact pertaining to the killing of D.W. Rankin by Roberts, in which investigation the state as well as the defendant was represented by counsel, Mr. Marshall decided that in his opinion Charles Roberts was not guilty of murder as charged, but guilty of manslaughter in the second degree; and accordingly the Justice of the Peace, Mr. Marshall, fixed bail in the sum of $400, which was given by Roberts without difficulty; thereupon Roberts was released from custody.
Judge Sowell, acting as a Justice of the Peace, then issued his warrant for the arrest of Roberts, charging him as did the first warrant with the offense of murder; after being arrested and brought before Judge Sowell, Roberts moved for his discharge, on the ground that the identical offense with which he stood charged before Sowell, had been judicially investigated by a competent magistrate viz: Mr. J.L. Marshall. Judge Sowell overruled this motion, and on Mr. Roberts declining to go into, and waiving a reexamination, Judge Sowell committed him to jail. – These are the simple facts.

A young man from the upper portion of the county, visiting friends at Claiborne a few days since, wanted to swim his horse across the Alabama to go over in Clarke to see his sweetheart, but was prevailed on not to risk so much for the fair one.

Mr. Lawrence Rikard, after a long and lingering illness, died at his residence, a few miles from Monroeville last week. He was about 70 years old and was buried at the Methodist Church burying ground Tuesday last.”

AUG. 18, 1879

The Selma & Gulf Railroad is again advertised for sale, and the 22nd of September next is the day appointed for such sale.

W.H. Nettles, who recently escaped from the Dallas County jail, passed through Kempville, in this county Monday, the 4th. He was seen by several parties, stopped and swapped horses and took dinner with an old countryman, and didn’t seem to be the least uneasy. He had three pistols – two derringers and a navy six – and was as happy as a big sunflower.
He got a bottle of whiskey from Mr. P. McGlinn and got drunk, and, meeting Charlie McClure, an old college mate, he told all about killing Powell in Selma some time ago; but said he intended to kill Powell’s brother and not the one he did kill. Nettles told other parties that his name was Ledger, and by this name he was traced to a point near the Florida line.
He said he was bound for Jacksonville, Fla., whither he was going for his health. From what we can learn, if Nettles is not caught, it will not be his (Nettles’) fault.

The record of crime in Monroe County for the past 30 or 35 days is very sad and shows a wanton and reckless regard of human life hardly to be equaled by any of the counties in the border states. We give below a summary account of the several murders and attempts at taking human life that have occurred in Monroe – one of the first settled counties in the state – which will afford food for thought for the law-abiding men, who have the welfare of our county at heart.
July 5th, Jesse D. Andrews and Daniel Powell got into a difficulty at Cokerville, when the latter was shot and killed. Andrews is still at large and defies arrest.
A few days later, a colored man, living near Mt. Pleasant, while passing from his house to his corn crib, after supper, was shot and mortally wounded by some party unknown. The assassin is still at large.
At about the same time, a colored girl, named Fannie Deese, living near Mr. Alfred Hixon’s place, was shot by one Jordon Collins, a colored man. The girl, it was thought, was mortally wounded, and may be dead. We are not informed, however, as to this. The murderer, or would be murderer, is still at large and defies arrest.
On the 21st ult., still a few days later, Chas. Roberts shot and killed D.W. Ranking at Perdue Hill. At this writing, Roberts is in custody, but was rearrested. The readers of The Journal are well informed as to this case.
And a few days ago, a man by the name of Davis was shot and wounded at Kempville while some parties from Wilcox were attempting to arrest him for some alleged offense.
This is a very good showing for one county.

Pineville – Jno. McCreary, Wm. Mac Stallworth and J.M. Herrington were appointed by the commissioners court, Monday last, a committee to let out the contract for building a bridge across Flat Creek on the state road leading from Pine Orchard to Smiths bridge on or near the Lindsey plantation.

Glendale – Died at his residence in this county on the 11th inst., after a protracted illness, Mr. Neil McCorvey in the 76th year of his age. He was a native of Robeson County, N.C. But for 60 years had been a respected and useful citizen of Monroe County.

Mr. R.A. Lambert has purchased his brother’s interest in the well-boring machine, and is now sole owner and proprietor of the same. Mr. Lambert can be addressed at Claiborne.

A new post office has been established at Simpkinsville with Mr. J.J. Simpkins as postmaster.

Sustained – In the habeas corpus proceeding before Judge Henry last Saturday in the case, state vs. Chas. Roberts, the opinion rendered by Judge Sowell the he had legal right to rearrest and try Roberts for murder was sustained.

Mt. Pleasant – Chas. L. Scott, J.W. Shomo and D.R. King were appointed by the court of county commissioners, last Monday, a committee to let out contract for building a new bridge across the bayou on the road leading from Mt. Pleasant to Gainstown.

AUG. 25, 1879

W.W. Wilkinson – The prince of Greenville merchants, and one of the wealthiest and most enterprising businessmen in South Alabama, recently went on a business trip to Boston, to lay in his large fall stock of goods, which he will be enabled to sell cheaper than anybody else to our country friends.

Strayed - Last December from his place near Monroeville, 22 head of sheep, marked: hole and crop in right ear and split in left ear. Any information concerning them will be thankfully received by Jno. H. Ryland.

Jail Delivery – Five persons – three whites and two Negroes – broke jail at this place last Tuesday evening about dusk.
It seems that Chas. Roberts (white) charged with murder, secured through some unaccountable means, a bar of iron, with which he prized the large iron bolt in his lock back, and thus opened his way into the alleyway in the jail where he found the keys to the other cells, and released the prisoners mentioned above. What could have been his object in this can only be conjectured. The following are the parties who escaped: Chas. Roberts, J.W. Collins and Jeff Powell, all white; and Tom Riley and Geo. King, both colored.
Roberts was rearrested about three o’clock a.m., the following day about two miles this side of Perdue Hill, by a posse of men composed of Jno. I. Watson, W.C. Tucker and Dr. Henry Rankin. Roberts it seems, was making his way back to Claiborne, where he formerly resided. When caught, he was completely exhausted, having walked all night, and made no resistance. Mr. Watson alone arrested Roberts.

INTERVIEW WITH ROBERTS: The crime of which Roberts is accused – murder – gives an additional interest to anything connected with him. When Roberts was returned under arrest to Monroeville Wednesday, he had this to say with reference to breaking jail:
“I was kindly treated by the jailor, Mr. Parker. I wanted for nothing and so far as these things were concerned, I was satisfied.”
“But,” he added. “If I had have had nectar and ambrosia and a Brussels carpet, I could not have lost sight of the fact that I was in jail.”
In reply to the question in regard to the particulars of his escape, and peregrination and nocturnal ramblings, Mr. Roberts said:
“I got out of my cell about three o’clock in the afternoon, and while waiting till dark, expecting every moment to be detected, I thought it was the longest evening I ever experienced.
“When sunset did come, I was the first to get under the pickets. In running down the hill, back of the jail, I attempted to jump the ditch, and in doing so, fell into it and somewhat disabled myself. Here we parted, every man going his own direction; but Collins told me if I would follow him, he would carry me through safely.
“I then got lost and traveled through the woods for about 25 miles, going now one direction, then another. I finally got into a road and not knowing where I was, struck matches at every tree at a crossroads, looking for a sign board, but could find none.
“That is, by the way,” turning to a Journal representative, “an item for you – the want of sign boards at crossroads, which you might call attention to; not,” (added he smilingly) “to benefit fugitives, but for the public good.
“When arrested, I had just found out where I was, and was feeling good over my escape from imprisonment; but was completely worn out and exhausted, and had become somewhat careless and indifferent as to my fate. I knew parties would be on the lookout for me, and was not surprised.”
Mr. Roberts is an intelligent man, a fine conversationalist and talks freely about his attempted escape. He has been placed in an iron cage, and securely pinioned with shackles and irons. He will probably pay dearly for his attempted escape.
G.W. Collins (white) was found dead near Easts’ Store on the following day. His death was probably brought about by over-exertion. No others have been captured but are being pursued by the Sheriff’s deputies.

How It Was Done – The jailor is not to blame for the jail delivery last week. It has been the usual custom of Mr. Parker to leave the keys of the cells in the passage, in the day time, as he has to visit the jail three or four times a day to feed the prisoners. There was no danger in this, as the keys were clearly out of the prisoners’ reach, and besides, if they should get the keys, the large iron front door would still be to open, and it was never thought possible for this to have been opened without making sufficient noise to attract the attention of the outsiders.
The Negroes who refused to leave say that Mr. Roberts, with a piece of iron (which was afterwards found in the jail) which he broke from the wall in his cell, prized his own door open and with the keys in the passage, opened other cells then with a piece of wire found in one of the cells, they all succeeded in turning the bolt in the outside door, and thus effected their escape.
Mr. Roberts corroborates this statement with the exception that he was the first to get out of his cell. He says that, with a long string and a hook attached to it, Sandy, a colored man, succeeded in getting hold of keys and drawing them within his reach who opened the cells. He says he gave the negro $5 to free him, and $5 was found in Sandy’s possession.
We give this version in the matter in justice to Roberts. At any rate, no blame can attach to Mr. Parker, who is one of the most prudent, careful and painstaking jailors in the state.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Aug. 31, 2014

Temp: 73.0 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Birds and bees audible and visible; dogs audible; Mostly cloudy skies; light dew on the ground.

Barometric pressure: 29.63 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 0.95 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.60 inches

NOTES: Today is the 243rd day of 2014 and the 72nd day of Summer. There are 122 days left in the year.

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

Today in History for Aug. 31, 2014

Hernando de Soto
Aug. 31, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition reached the Indian town of Hoithlewalli on the right bank of the Tallapoosa River in present day Elmore County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1813 – Lt. Montgomery sent out a mounted patrol that reported that Fort Mims had fallen and the river swamp was full of Indians.

Aug. 31, 1824 – During his extended tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette left Boston, traveled through and made stops at Lexington, Concord, Salem, Marblehead, and Newburyport, Mass.

Aug. 31, 1850 – John Watkins became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1861 – U.S. Representative James Adam Stallworth died in Evergreen, Ala. of enteritis.

Aug. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Stevenson, Ala. in Jackson County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Will's Valley, Ala. in Etowah County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1864 – Samuel C.H. Dailey commissioned for a second term as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

Aug. 31, 1864 - At the Battle of Jonesboro, Ga., U.S. General William T. Sherman launched the attack that finally secured Atlanta, Ga., for the Union, and sealed the fate of Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which was forced to evacuate the area.

Aug. 31, 1873 – Eliza Allen Watts, the wife of Thomas Hill Watts of Butler County, who served as Alabama’s governor, passed away, leaving a family of 10 children.

Aug. 31, 1888 - Prostitute Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," was found murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel's Buck's Row.

Aug. 31, 1907 – William Shawn, the longtime editor of The New Yorker, was born William Chon in Chicago. In 1965, he first published Truman Capote's “In Cold Blood” as a series of articles.

Aug. 31, 1911 – Freight and passenger service on the Manistee & Repton Railroad was discontinued.

Aug. 31, 1920 - The first news program to be broadcast on radio was aired. The station was 8MK in Detroit, Mich.

Aug. 31, 1925 – Evergreen’s Agricultural School and City School opened for the 1925-26 school year. Public schools throughout the county opened on Oct. 5.

Aug. 31, 1931 – First service held in current Monroeville Methodist Church building on Pineville Road with the Rev. R.K. Jones delivering the sermon.

Aug. 31, 1947 – Locke Thompson and A.B. Blass, both of Monroeville, members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry in Japan with postwar occupational forces, summit 12,388-foot Mount Fuji. Of the 44 who started the climb, only seven reached the top.

Aug. 31, 1950 – Army Cpl. Elven J. Hobbs of Conecuh County was killed in action in Korea.

Aug. 31, 1950 - Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit four home runs in a single game off of four different pitchers.

Aug. 31, 1958 – The Orpheus Club of Evergreen celebrated its 50th anniversary with a “Silver Tea” at the Evergreen City School. The club was organized in 1908 and was federated in 1909.

Aug. 31, 1959 - Brooklyn Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax struck out 18 batters, setting a new National League record for most strikeouts in a single game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won, 5-2. Koufax’s total of 18 strikeouts in the game broke Dizzy Dean’s 26-year-old National League record, and tied the major league record held by Cleveland Indian ace Bob Feller. Koufax also broke the record for strikeouts over two consecutive games, fanning 31 men combined, having struck out 13 batters in his previous start.

Aug. 31, 1968 – Marine Lance Cpl. Henry Beall Smith Jr. of Andalusia was killed in action in Vietnam.

Aug. 31, 1973 – Monroe Academy lost its first ever football game, falling to Central Alabama Academy, 14-9, in Montgomery. This loss snapped the school’s streak of 39 straight games without a loss.

Aug. 31, 1995 – MCHS graduate Kenny Croft was the football team’s honorary team captain for a game against Paramount in Monroeville. Monroeville won the toss, elected to receive and Chris Kirkland returned the kick 90 yards for a touchdown. MCHS won, 28-18. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Singleton's adventurous thoughts stirred during the month of October

George Buster Singleton
(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 “October: The month of change” was originally published in the Oct. 9, 1986 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

As the early days of October come forward and the fading days of September disappear from the horizon, change fills the air. The hot sulky dog days that began during the last of July have faded in oblivion. And on the evening winds, the touch of autumn blows across the hills.

October is a time for change, just as the old Indian legends describe it to be. The murky days of hot and sticky weather are giving way to cooler temperatures, and the pace of life begins to wind down, just as an exhausted runner does after a long and tiresome journey. A time of adjustment comes upon us as our bodies begin to lose the tension that has been with us during the hot summer months.

The urge to travel is ever present as the evening winds whisper in the pine needles, and the thoughts of distant places play tricks on the minds of those with wanderlust. The thoughts of adventure become stronger, and the feel of restlessness stirs through the passages of the mind, as the distant hills call silently to that part of you that is yet primitive and will always remain so.

The blood of the vagabond rushes through the veins as though it wants to release itself and climb upon the winds, never to return. And in the distance, the thoughts of approaching autumn add to the impatience, and memories of the changing colors slowly creeping across the faces of the evening make one know that the time of change is at hand.

Then, as the cool evening air slips steadily down from the north, the thoughts of burning wood and the smell of evening campfires play havoc with the imagination. The desire to search for high places becomes an obsession, and your eyes scan the evening sunsets for the flocks of wild geese that are so vivid in your memory.

And you wait and listen for the first faint sounds of the leaves, as they flutter down through the branches to their final resting places there on the ground.

For behind are the hot sticky days that have been so uncomfortable, and ahead are the changing days of Indian summer. Then, as one looks further, the cold chilly days of winter loom far on the edges of the horizon.

October is truly a time for change, a time for adjustment, a time for the evaluation of one’s thoughts, and a time for making plans. And, too, it is a time for making peace with oneself.

October is the month for all these things, and, above all, it is a time to seek out the high places – places where one can be alone and reach for the sky. A place where one can reach up and touch the heavens, and pray to the Great Spirit, as man once did, asking for the help that he knew was needed for the days ahead.

“O Great Spirit that holds all life in one hand
And the warm sun in the other,
Reach down and touch my soul,
And give the strength that I may run
With the swiftness of the deer
And I may have the strength of the giant oak tree
That grows beside the rippling waters.

Give me the wisdom, that I might seek food
And shelter from the cold winter winds
That howl down from the north.
Guide my hands, that I use only
That which I need, and that I walk
Straight and true toward the sunset.

As I grow old from the passing of many winters,
Let me look into the dawn of that great day
When I will rest forever
By the waters that give Eternal Life,
And where the air is pure
And the sky is forever blue.”

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. 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. 30, 2014

Historical marker at Fort Mims in Baldwin County.
Aug. 30, 1797 – “Frankenstein” author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in Somers Town, London.

Aug. 30, 1813 – About 1,000 Creek Indians under the command of William Weatherford attacked Fort Mims in what is now Baldwin County, Ala., killing nearly 250 settlers gathered there for protection. The attack caused fear and hysteria among frontier settlers, who quickly raised militia companies to fight the Indians in the Creek War of 1813-1814.

Aug. 30, 1825 – Creek chieftain William McIntosh was killed by Creeks who believed he betrayed them in his role of getting treaties signed that ceded Creek lands to the U.S. government.

Aug. 30, 1833 – The post office at Centerville, Ala. had its name officially changed to “Monroeville.”

Aug. 30, 1862 - Confederates defeated Union forces at the second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va.

Aug. 30, 1862 - Confederate troops under Edmund Kirby Smith soundly defeated a Union army under General Mahlon D. Manson at Richmond, Ky. Manson and his entire staff were captured.

Aug. 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Larkinsville, Ala. in Jackson County.

Aug. 30, 1868 – Minnie Lee “Miss Minnie” Robbins of Beatrice, who operated Robbins Hotel (built 1861) as “an elegant haven for commercial men,” was born.

Aug. 30, 1873 – Rev. Pitts Milner, founder of Georgiana, Ala., passed away at the age of 67.

Aug. 30, 1905 – Baseball legend Ty Cobb made his major league batting debut with the Detroit Tigers.

Aug. 30, 1908 - Officials of the United Mine Workers (UMW) in Birmingham called off a bitter coal strike, prompting The Birmingham News to declare that the result would be "Prosperity in the Birmingham District." Workers had walked out of the mines in early July to protest wage conditions, and almost two months of violence ensued. As many as 18,000 black and white workers had joined UMW, but resistance by employers, intervention by Gov. B. B. Comer, and public dissatisfaction broke the strike and debilitated UMW's strength in Birmingham for years.

Aug. 30, 1918 – Baseball legend Ted Williams was born in San Diego, Calif.

Aug. 30, 1918 - The New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1-0, in a game that only took 57 minutes to play.

Aug. 30, 1925 – During the closing sermon at the end of a three-week revival in Andalusia, about 5,000 people in a “big, open air tabernacle” watched as 24 masked and white robed members of the Ku Klux Klan silently presented the Rev. Bob Jones with a $1,568 check from Andalusia Klan No. 29. The donation to Jones was believed to be “a record for the amount of such contributions.”

Aug. 30, 1965 - New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announced his retirement, ending his 56-year career in professional baseball.

Aug. 30, 1966 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a game against St. Louis.

Aug. 30, 1984 – The Central of Georgia Depot on Central Street in Andalusia was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Aug. 30, 1985 – J.W. Weaver, Superintendent of the City Electrical Department in Evergreen, retired after 37 years of service to the City of Evergreen.

Aug. 30, 1985 – Lyeffion opened the 1985 football season by blasting Alabama Christian, 60-0, in Montgomery. Willie King led Lyeffion’s offense with eight carries for 240 yards and five touchdowns.

Aug. 30, 1985 – Evergreen High School beat Wilcox County High School, 26-0, in Camden

Aug. 30, 2002 - The major league baseball players union and the team owners came to an agreement that avoided a player's strike set to begin on this day.

Aug. 30, 2007 – The final high school football game between Excel and Frisco City was played in Excel. Excel won, 22-14, closing out a series that is believed to have begun in 1921. 

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Aug. 30, 2014

Temp: 73.4 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Birds and bees audible and visible; Partly cloudy skies; light dew on the ground; security lights still on in the distance.

Barometric pressure: 29.60 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 0.95 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.60 inches

NOTES: Today is the 242nd day of 2014 and the 71st day of Summer. There are 123 days left in the year.

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Today in History for Aug. 29, 2014

'Massacre at Fort Mims'
Aug. 29, 1813 – Paddy Welsh and William Weatherford hid their main force in the woods and tall grass about six miles from Fort Mims, where soldiers and settlers were enjoying a supply of whiskey that had arrived that day.

August 29, 1813 - Two black slaves tending cattle outside Fort Mims also reported that "painted warriors" were in the vicinity. But, mounted scouts from the fort found no signs of the war party. To the detriment of Fort Mims, Major Daniel Beasley had the second slave flogged for "raising a false alarm."

Aug. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, in North Carolina, Confederate troops at Fort Hatteras surrendered after a two-day battle.

Aug. 29, 1862 - The Second Battle of Bull Run continued. Confederate troops defeated Union troops under General John Pope at Manassas Junction. Pope retreated the next day.

Aug. 29, 1863 – The H.L. Hunley submarine sinks during training exercise, killing five of her crew.

Aug. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Carperton's Ferry, Ala.

Aug. 29, 1864 - Democrats nominated George B. McClellan for president to run against the Republican incumbent, Abraham Lincoln.

Aug. 29, 1892 – “Pop” Billy Shriver of the Chicago Cubs caught a ball that was dropped from the top of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

Aug. 29, 1896 – The first issue of The Monroe Democrat newspaper was published by D.M. Gordon and associates. That newspaper moved to Daphne about two years later.

Aug. 29, 1911 – State Superintendent of Education Henry J. Willingham and State Auditor C. Brooks Smith visited Monroeville and Jones Mill (now Frisco City) to announce that the state high school commission had awarded Monroeville the County High School by a unanimous vote on Aug. 24.

Aug. 29, 1911 – The 19th Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School opened in Evergreen with Henry T. Lile as President.

Aug. 29, 1911 – The Evergreen Motor Car Co., which “featured entirely and completely Ford automobiles and Ford products,” was established by C.P. Deming Sr., H.W. Dunn, W.B. Ivey and R.B. Lee. It operated under that name in the same block on Rural Street until Sept. 1, 1955 when it sold out to Bryon Warren, who changed the name to Warren Ford Co.

Aug. 29, 1918 – Laula M. Middleton born near Evergreen. He would later become a military pilot and would be killed in World War II. Evergreen’s airport was later named in his honor. A memorial marker for Middleton came be found in Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Aug. 29, 1940 – Evergreen’s Rotary Club defeated Brewton’s Rotary Club, 19-9, in a softball game in Brewton.

Aug. 29, 1957 – Future NFL player Benjamin Rudolph born in Evergreen.

Aug. 29, 1971 - Hank Aaron became the first baseball player in the National League to hit 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons.

Aug. 29, 1977 - Lou Brock brought his total of stolen bases to 893. The record he beat was held by Ty Cobb for 49 years.

Aug. 29, 1983 - The anchor of the USS Monitor from the U.S. Civil War was retrieved by divers.

Aug. 29, 1985 – Sparta Academy opened the 1985 football season with a 34-12 win over Greenville Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Chad Grace and Danny Reed led Sparta’s offense with two touchdowns each, and Mark Rigsby, who also scored a touchdown, led the defense with eight solos, six assists, an interceptions and two caused fumbles.

Aug. 29, 1988 – Public schools in Conecuh County opened on this day to start the 1988-89 school year.

Aug. 29, 2008 – Hillcrest upset Class 6A Theodore, 21-20, at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen. The game included Theodore junior linebacker C.J. Mosley, who would go on to star at Alabama and to be selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. 

Another season of high school football kicks off tonight for Conecuh County

Another season of high school football will officially begin tonight when Hillcrest High School and Sparta Academy kick off their regular season schedules, and both football programs will pass a few milestones this year.

This year marks the 44th season of football at Sparta Academy and tonight’s game at Southern Academy will be the 461st official game in the history of Sparta football. It will also be the 234th road game in the history of Sparta football and the tenth all-time game between Sparta and Southern. It’ll mark the fifth time that Sparta has faced Southern in Greensboro.

Tonight’s game will also mark the first official game for young head coach Justin Chandler, an experienced assistant coach who is getting his first crack at being a head coach. Chandler is the 19th all-time head football coach at Sparta, which goes through a head coach about once every 2.3 years.

Chandler will be out to top last year’s 3-8 record and to keep Sparta’s playoff streak alive. The Warriors have made the playoffs two years in a row and a trip to the playoffs this year will be Sparta’s 16th all-time trip to the state playoffs.

This year also marks the 26th season of football at Hillcrest High School and tonight’s game at Monroe County High School will be the 261st official game in the history of Hillcrest football. It will also be the 151st road game in the history of Hillcrest football and the 23rd all-time game between Hillcrest and Monroe County. It’ll also mark Hillcrest’s 12th all-time trip to Tiger Stadium in Monroeville.

Tonight’s game will also mark the start of Larry Boykin’s fifth season as head coach at Hillcrest. Boykin, who is a lock for the AHSAA Hall of Fame one day, is the sixth all-time head coach at Hillcrest and enters the season with a 21-21 record at Hillcrest.

I think it’s worth noting that Boykin was in his fifth year at Southern Choctaw in 1998 when he began to put that program on the map in a big way. In the four seasons prior to that, he was 15-27 overall, including a 1-9 season in 1995. However, in 1998, Southern Choctaw went 15-0, won the Class 2A state title and garnered Boykin the 2A Coach of the Year Award. His teams at Southern Choctaw would repeat again as state champions in 1999 and 2002.

I say all that to say that you shouldn’t be surprised if Hillcrest becomes a big winner this season. Last year, the Jags won a school record seven-straight games, and this year’s team could be poised to do even better. Only time will tell, but I won’t be surprised if this year’s team turns out to be one of the best in school history.

In the end, everyone at The Courant is wishing both teams all the best as they enter their respective seasons, and we hope that they have all the success they can earn this season. 

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Aug. 29, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 0.95 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.60 inches

NOTES: Today is the 241st day of 2014 and the 70th day of Summer. There are 124 days left in the year.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today in History for Aug. 28, 2014

Leroy, Alabama's Kelvin Moore.
Aug. 28-30, 1862 – The Second Battle of Manassas (Second Bull Run) took place in Prince William County, Va. and four members of the Conecuh Guards were killed there - Thomas Robertson, Joseph Stallworth, James H. Thomas (who’d been wounded earlier at Seven Pines on May, 31, 1862) and Jasper Newton Stinson (who’d been promoted to color sergeant of the Fourth Alabama Regiment about a month before). Five other members of the Conecuh Guards were wounded - 1st Lt. Alfred Christian, 1st Lt. John G. Guice (who was wounded in two places, lost a leg and was honorably discharged), William Morrow (who was later wounded at Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864 and returned to live in Mobile County after war), Buck Stuckey (who would be killed at the Battle of Darbytown Road in September 1864) and Francis M. Sampey (who would be wounded later near Farmville, Va. in April 1865 and die in Selma in 1874).

Aug. 28, 1862 - Confederate General Braxton Bragg captured a Union garrison at Mumfordsvilled, Ky.

Aug. 28, 1863 - Confederate Naval Lt. George W. Gift paid a visit to the shipyard above Mobile Bay, Ala. to observe the progress in construction of the two vessels, the Tennessee and Nashville.

Aug. 28, 1864 - Union General Alfred Terry was promoted from brigadier general to major general in the United States Volunteers.

Aug. 28, 1941 - The Football Writers Association of America was organized.

Aug. 28, 1963 – In a disappearance attributed to the “Bermuda Triangle,” two new KC-135, four-engine jet Stratotankers, on a refueling mission out of Homestead Air Force Base, Fla. on their way to a classified refueling range in the Atlantic, disappeared shortly after giving their position as 300 miles southwest of Bermuda.

Aug. 28, 1963 - Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 28, 1981 – Leroy native Kelvin Moore would make his major league debut, playing first base for the Oakland A’s against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. Oakland lost, 12-5. Batting fifth, Moore went 1-for-4, his hit coming on a single to center field in the top of the eighth.

Aug. 28, 1985 – Hurricane Elena, which destroyed about 300 coastal Alabama homes, formed in the Atlantic.

Aug. 28, 1986 – Five historic districts in Greenville were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Those districts included the Commerce Street Residential Historic District, the Fort Dale-College Street Historic District, the King Street Historic District, the South Greenville Historic District, the South Street Historic District and the West Commerce Street Historic District.

Aug. 28, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast of the United States. At least 1,200 people were killed in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Four members of the Conecuh Guards lost their lives at Second Manassas

Today (Thursday) marks the 152nd anniversary of the Second Battle of Manassas, which was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War for the Confederate military unit from Conecuh County.

On Aug. 28, 1862, Confederate forces under the command of Robert E. Lee clashed with Union forces under the command of John Pope at the Second Battle of Manassas, which is also known as the Second Battle of Bull Run. The battle ended three days later, on Aug. 30, 1862.

The battle took place in Prince William County, Va. and resulted in a Confederate victory, but it was costly for Co. E of the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, which was known as the “Conecuh Guards” when it was organized at Sparta in April 1861.

At the Second Battle of Manassas, around 10,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded with Confederate losses amounting to an estimated 1,300 killed and 7,000 wounded. Nine members of the Conecuh Guards were among those numbers.

According to B.F. Riley’s 1881 book, “The History of Conecuh County, Alabama,” four members of the Conecuh Guards were killed at the Second Battle of Manassas – Thomas Robertson, Joseph Stallworth, James H. Thomas and Jasper Newton Stinson, who’d been promoted to regimental color sergeant only a month before the battle.

Five other members of the Conecuh Guards were wounded at the Second Battle of Manassas, and some of them would survive the war while others would not. Among the wounded were 1st Lt. Alfred Christian, 1st Lt. John G. Guice, William Morrow, Buck Stuckey and Francis M. Sampey.

Of the two Conecuh Guard lieutenants wounded at Second Manassas, much is known about Guice, who had been promoted to first lieutenant from second lieutenant on Aug. 22, just six days before the battle’s first shot. During Second Manassas, Guice was wounded in two places, lost one of his legs and was honorably discharged.

Guice had been wounded at least twice before during the war, including once at the First Battle of Manassas, which was also known as the First Battle of Bull Run. The First Battle of Manassas occurred on July 21, 1861 in the same location as the second battle, but the second battle was on a much larger scale and included about three times as many soldiers.

About a month before the Second Battle of Manassas, Guice was also among the 16 members of the Conecuh Guards who were wounded at the Battle of Gaine’s Mill. That battle occurred on June 27, 1862 in Hanover County, Va.

Christian, also a first lieutenant, apparently survived the war, but Riley’s book doesn’t say what eventually became of him.

Morrow’s wounds at Second Manassas weren’t serious enough to put him out of the war. He continued to serve with the Conecuh Guards only to be wounded again on May 9, 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Spotsylvania County, Va. Morris survived the war and moved to Mobile afterwards.

Stuckey also continued to serve with the Conecuh Guards despite his wounds at Second Manassas. However, a little over two years later, he would be killed at the Battle of Darbytown Road near Sandston, Va. on Oct. 13, 1864.

Sampey also continued to fight, and later suffered wounds near Farmville, Va. as the war drew to a close in April 1865. Sampey survived the war and died in Selma in 1874.

In the end, if you’ve got any other information about the men mentioned above, I’d like to hear about it. You can contact me at The Courant at 578-1492 or e-mail me at You can reach me by mail at The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401. 

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Aug. 28, 2014

Wendell Hart
AUG. 25, 1994

“The 1993-94 cheerleaders of Sparta Academy had a very successful clinic at Huntingdon College in Montgomery Aug. 1 through Aug. 5. They won several superior ribbons and a superior trophy. They also brought home a spirit stick for the enthusiasm they showed during the week. Members of the squad are Jesse Adams and Aundria Griffin, Rachel Bohannon, Co-Captain; Carla Grimes, Captain; and Kelly Booker; Heather Wright, Bethany Campbell and Landra Padgett. Kelly Booker, a senior, was chosen as an AISA All-Star Cheerleader. She will represent Sparta at the All-Star Football and Basketball games.”

“The Wendell Hart Scholarship Committee is proud to award to Christopher ‘Chris’ Evans $1,000 to be applied to his 1994 school year at Livingston University.”

“The 1994 Sparta Academy Warriors will open their season here Friday night against the Grove Hill Rebels. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Stuart-McGehee Field. The coaches for the Warriors this year are Head Coach Mike Bledsoe and Assistant Coach Paul Knox, Assistant Coach and Headmaster David Clanton and Assistant Coach Keith York.”

AUG. 23, 1979

“The Outlaws were champions of the Castleberry Men’s Softball League this summer. Shown with their trophy are Stoney Sims, Bill Baisel, Jaimey Weaver, David Sims and Alan Gray; and Michael Sims, Jaime Josey, Russell Marino and Stan Pate. Not present for picture: Edward Sims, Johnny Blackmon and Eddie Hamrick.”

“The Moore Handley Homecrafters were champions of the Castleberry Women’s Softball League this summer. Team members are Margaret Brown, Becky Ward, Ethel Billingsly, Loma Covin, Mamie Weaver, Wanda Baker and Jerry Godwin; and Judy Brown, Vivian Reed, Patricia Ballard, Margie Kirksey, Coach Bobby Ballard, Janie Salter, Denise Reed and Daisy Madden. Not present for picture: Betty Oliver, Christine Cobb, June Findley and Tammy Darby.”

“David Sims is presented a trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Castleberry’s Men’s Softball League by Pete Findley, president of the Castleberry Summer League.”

“Margie Kirksey was named Most Valuable Player of the Castleberry Women’s Softball League. Pete Findley, president of the Castleberry Summer League, presents the trophy to Margie.”

“A large crowd had a laughing good time Friday night at Stuart-McGehee Field as the Gold Team edged the Greens, second, and the Whites, third, in very close competition in Sparta Academy’s second ‘Everything Goes.’ Here James Wilson of the Gold struggles to get into a pair of pantyhose while blindfolded in the golf car race. Bob Thacker and Johnny Etheridge cheer him on in the background.”

AUG. 27, 1964

“Grid jamboree is set here Sept. 4: Lyeffion and Evergreen football fans can get a pre-season glimpse at their favorites here Friday night, Sept. 4, at the ‘football jamboree.’ The jamboree is something brand new to Alabama and this is the first year it has been permitted in Alabama.
“The jamboree shapes up like this: four 10-minutes quarters will be played with the teams involved changing at the end of each quarter. Lyeffion will play Frisco City and W.S. Neal and Evergreen will also play one quarter against each of these visiting teams.”

“Aggies to preview in jamboree Sept. 4: If hard work in hot weather will get a football player ‘in shape,’ the Evergreen Aggies should be in excellent condition when they play in the jamboree here Sept. 4.
“Coach John L. Robinson and Assistant Henry Allman have been putting their Aggie charges through some hard drills twice-a-day at Brooks Stadium last week and this week.
“(Robinson) has some 29 boys working out with more due to report when school opens a week from today.”
Players on that year’s team included Lonnie Baggett, Steve Baggett, Glenn Bolton, Billy Brooks, Scott Cook, Van Davis, Alvin Dees, Jimmy Ellis, Mike Fields, Harold Hamiter, Kenny Harper, Tommy Hartley, Ronnie Hayes, Johnny Huggins, Andy Jackson, Billy Lynch, Mike Moorer, Arlie Phillips, Rusty Price, Elliott Quarles, Truett Sims, Calvin Smith, Bill Snowden, George Stinson, Tim Stinson, Bob Tanner, Brent Thornley, Wayne Tolbert and Jimmy Warren.

AUG. 25, 1949

“Coach Hart Calls Aggie Footballers To Practice: Coach Wendell Hart issued a call this week for candidates for the 1949 Evergreen High football squad to report for the initial practice session next Thursday morning at eight o’clock at Memorial Gymnasium.
“Equipment will be issued Wednesday at the gym.
“Two practices a day are slated for the first several days as the Aggies will have only two weeks to get ready for their season opener with ever tough Thomasville and must get down to serious work as soon as possible. Thomasville will come here Friday night, Sept. 19, for the opener.
“Coach Hart will have the assistance of Coach John Lockwood, Troy State Teachers College graduate, who will be director of physical education and teach two subjects here this year. Thirteen lettermen are expected to meet Coaches Hart and Lockwood next Thursday morning. Seven of these were starters on last year’s 11, but Coach Hart has announced that every position is wide open and no one has a starting berth cinched.
“Lettermen expected are ends, Dickey Bozeman and Ed Hooks; tackles, Shelton Craig and Max Pope; guards, Bruce Johnson, Jeff Moorer and Donahue Edson; center, Jack Cunningham; and backs, John Greel Ralls, Pete Wells and Bertie Hassel.
“Coaches Hart and Lockwood must find replacements for Sammy Hanks, 217-pound all-state tackle, Dean Shaver, 170-pound guard, Nick Stallworth and Pete White, a pair of 160-pounders who shared the right end spot last year, quarterback-halfback John Law Robinson, and halfback Thomas Coker. Another gridster who will be sorely missed is Dudley Bartlett, who backed the line most capably for the past three seasons. All these players graduated last year.”

AUG. 23, 1934

“Melton Clan Loses Chance For Pennant: Weakening afield in the seventh and eight innings Sunday, the local baseball club lost its chance to stay in the race for the last half championship, by losing to Luverne, 4 to 3. The visitors scored two runs each in the seventh and eighth, when some slow fielding coupled with an error paved the way for their defeat.
“Evergreen started the game like they intended to make short work of Wilson Hayes and his fastball, scoring three runs in the first chukker on a triple by Sam Jones, Hansen’s bunt and Barfield’s single, the latter poke scoring two runs after Jones had crossed the pan with the first tally.
“With Woody Mott toiling smoothly and breaking up the efforts of the enemy to shove runs around, the Melton outfit seemed to take it for granted they had worsted their old nemesis until trouble started in the seventh frame. Three ‘handle hits’ – pop flies which fell safe just behind the infield were responsible for the two runs scored in that frame.
In the eighth, Mott found himself again in hot water when a pair of flukey hits coupled with a fielding lapse at third base allowed the tying and winning markers to cross the pan. Mott was jerked after retiring the side in the eighth, Doc Jones pinch-hitting for the portly chunker. Skinny Hyde pitched the ninth and held the visitors at bay.
“The locals threatened to win in the last frame when, with two away, Melton was hit by a pitched ball, Barfield beat out a hit to deep short on which Melton went to third. Barfield stole second on the first pitch and Hanna, after working the count to three and two, poked a Texas Leaguer behind short that looked safe. The Luverne shortsmith raced back and made a circus catch to retire the side.
“Luverne’s victory cinched the pennant for the second half for the Crenshaw countians, and gives them the right to meet Florala in the playoff for the title. Florala won the first half flag, and a nip and tuck battle is in prospect in the playoff.
“Evergreen journeys to Andalusia for a doubleheader today, these two games winding up the season in the Central Alabama League.
“The season as a whole has been spotty from a local standpoint. Failure of Skin Hyde to round into top form until late in the second half crippled the team’s chances, despite yeoman service performed by the elongated righthand speedballer in the closing stages of the campaign. Doc Jones and Woody Mott carried the pitching burden, but despite excellent performances at times, the light hitting of the club prevented the winning of many a game.
“With the present season practically over, local fans and sponsors of the club are building for next season. With the nucleus for a strong club, and excellent material to draw from scattered among various other clubs in the county, Manager Melton plans to have a large squad working with the opening of ‘spring’ practice, from which he is confident of producing a faster, better balanced ball club than he has been able to muster this season.” 

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Aug. 28, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 0.95 inches

Summer to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 46.60 inches

NOTES: Today is the 240th day of 2014 and the 69th day of Summer. There are 125 days left in the year.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Historical marker tells of house that was moved over Tombigbee River

'Taylor House' historical marker in Leroy, Ala.
This week’s featured historical marker is the “THE TAYLOR HOUSE” marker in Washington County, Ala. This marker is in front of the Capstone Bank at 27188 U.S. Highway 84 in Leroy.

This marker was erected by the Alabama Historical Association in 1986. There’s text on both sides of this marker, and both sides are different. What follows in the complete text from the marker:

----- 0 -----

“THE TAYLOR HOUSE: Built circa 1841 by Walter Taylor on Commerce Street in Jackson. In 1985, it was removed from its original site to make way for a new City Hall Complex and was brought to this site and restored as the Leroy Branch of the Washington County State Bank.”

“THE TAYLOR HOUSE: Walter Taylor (1817-1886) was the son of David Taylor, one of the original Commissioners of the Town of Jackson in 1816. He was a prominent attorney, farmer and merchant and with his wife Amanda Caroline Lankford Taylor, founded the Jackson Methodist Church in 1842.”

----- 0 -----

Walter Taylor was born in Jackson, Ala. on Sept. 14, 1817 and he passed away at the age of 69 on March 24, 1886. (I tried to find out where he was buried, but didn’t have any luck.) The Taylor House was once located on Commerce Street in Jackson, and Jackon’s current City Hall Complex is currently located at 400 Commerce St. in Jackson, which is just down from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

What’s interesting about the Taylor House relocation from Jackson to Leroy in 1985 is that the two towns are in entirely different counties. Jackson is in Clarke County, and Leroy is in neighboring Washington County. According to Google Maps, it’s about six miles from Jackson City Hall to the Capstone Bank in Leroy, but the house had to be transported over the Tombigbee River to get there, which couldn’t have been a simple task.

I also thought the note about David Taylor being one of Jackson’s original commissioners was interesting. Jackson was officially incorporated by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature on Nov. 27, 1816 – a little over three years before Alabama even became a state in December 1819. Named after President Andrew Jackson, the town’s original commissioners included Taylor, Peregrene F. Bayard, Reuben Saffold, Benjamin I. Bedell, David White, Secretary Abel Farrer and Treasurer John G. Creagh.

David Taylor moved to Jackson (then called Pine Level) from Augusta, Ga. around 1812 and his son and daughter-in-law helped found what is today called the First United Methodist Church. Currently located at 146 College Ave. in Jackson, the church was originally located, like the old Taylor House, on Commerce Street near Pine Crest Cemetery, not far from the present day Jackson City Hall.

I’ve never stopped to check, but I’d love to know if Jackson or Leroy had historical walking tours. My feeling is that if either of them do, it would be Jackson, simply because the town is larger. If anyone out there knows, let me hear from you.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below.

Today in History for Aug. 27, 2014

Aug. 27, 1846 – Samuel G. Portis was commissioned as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

Aug. 27, 1856 – R. Hunley Agee was born at Perdue Hill. He later became the president of the R.H.&W.C. Agee Grocery Co. and one of Selma’s leading businessmen. He served as a member of Selma’s city council and as city tax assessor for two years.

Aug. 27, 1861 - Union ships sailed into Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The two-day operation secured the area for the Federals and denied the Confederates an important outlet to the Atlantic.

Aug. 27, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Bridgeport, Alabama.

Aug. 27, 1921 - The owner of Acme Packing Company bought a pro football team for Green Bay, Wisc. J.E. Clair paid tribute to those who worked in his plant by naming the team the Green Bay Packers.

Aug. 27, 1943 - The USS Eldridge was officially commissioned with Lieutenant C. R. Hamilton, USNR, in command.

Aug. 27, 1955 – The first edition of the “Guinness Book of World Records” was printed.

Aug. 27, 1964 – Baldwin County High School principal C.V. Daniels announced that Vance McCrory of Frisco City had been named assistant coach and science teacher at Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette.

Aug. 27, 1981 – Mike Qualls’ long-running “From the Sidelines” sports column made its first appearance in The Monroe Journal.

Aug. 27, 1982 - Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson stole his 119th base of the year, breaking Hall of Famer Lou Brock's 1979 record for stolen bases in a season.

Aug. 27, 1985 – The “Claiborne-Murphy Bridge” at Claiborne, which opened to traffic in October 1930, was demolished and replaced by more modern bridge.

Aug. 27, 1986 – Excel’s Scott Bell played offensive tackle for the University of Alabama in the Tide’s 16-10 win over Ohio State in the “Kickoff Classic” in New York City. Between his careers at Excel and Alabama, he played OT at Miss. Delta Jr. College, where he was named to the Miss. Jr. College Conf. All-State Football Team in 1985.

Aug. 27, 1986 - Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros earned his 250th career win against the Chicago Cubs.

Aug. 27, 2003 - Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years.

Aug. 27, 2007 - Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleaded guilty before a Richmond, Va., judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring.