Saturday, October 31, 2015

Singleton recounts notable epitaphs from old cemeteries throughout area

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 “Cemeteries can be good teachers” was originally published in the Nov. 10, 1983 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Much can be learned about certain areas by visiting the old cemeteries that are always to be found. One can learn a great deal about the wealth of the departed and the well-being of the community by just observing the headstones on the many graves that date back to yesteryear.

I, for one, believe that all the old final resting places of our early settlers should be preserved. We in our society know little enough about our past as it is, but there are some who delight in defacing and destroying the old graveyards scattered throughout the area.

Most of us take death and dying seriously, but there are some who have made jokes about their last moments on this earth and have written their own epitaphs with all the humor and deviltry of a joyous party.

I will not disclose the locations of any of these final resting places, but I would like to share with you some of the epitaphs that I have found during my excursions throughout the area.

I mean no disrespect in any way, but after seeing these epitaphs and reading them, I feel that the ones for whom the epitaphs were intended, would not mind or raise a fuss if I shared them with you.

This one I found a few days back:

Here lies our darling baby boy;
He never cries or hollers.
He lived for one and twenty days
And cost us forty dollars.

Then there was this one:

Reader, pass on, and ne’er waste your time
On bad biography and bitter rhyme.
For what I am, this cumb’rous clay insures,
And what I was, is no affair of yours.

Then there was this one, who departed this life in the late 1800s:

He was sweet to my repose,
Now has become a stink under my nose.
This is said of me,
So it will be said of thee.

This one was of a man who died on his wedding day:

The wedding day
Decided was,
The wedding wine provided,
But ere the day did
Come along,
He’d drunk it up
And died, did.
Ah, Sidney! Ah, Sidney!

The epitaph of one Mrs. Wood, age 45, read this way:

Here lies one Wood
Enclosed in wood –
One Wood
Within another.
The outer wood
Is very good;
We cannot praise
The other.

And finally, the sad epitaph of the 46-year-old man whose family had hastened his demise:

My wife from me departed
And robbed me like a knave,
Which caused me, brokenhearted,
To descend into my grave.
My children took an active part
And doom me did contrive,
Which stuck a dagger to my heart
Which I could not survive.

These are a few of the many that I have collected down through the years. Some were written in jest, others perhaps to tell a story. Some were probably written to give a clue as to the murderer of the victim.

Then there were those written by other members of the community, to tell the world of their contributions or their shortcomings. What better way could one voice his last tragic laments than on a tomb, through time immortal?

(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 Oct. 31, 2015

Arthur Conan Doyle
Oct. 31, 1776 - In his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledged that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States. In his address, the king spoke about the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the revolutionary leaders who signed it, saying, “for daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country.” The king went on to inform Parliament of the successful British victory over General George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, but warned them that, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”

Oct. 31, 1776 - General George Washington chose to withdraw his forces to New Jersey before British General Howe could plan another attack with his newly arrived reinforcements.

Oct. 31, 1789 – In Lovecraftian fiction, preacher James Boon and his congregation attempted a ceremony contained within Ludwig Prinn’s “De Vermis Mysteriis.” On that night, all of the people of Jerusalem’s Lot vanished and were never seen again.

Oct. 31, 1795 – Romantic poet John Keats was born in London.

Oct. 31, 1843 - Alabama author Idora McClellan Moore was born on her family's plantation near Talladega, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1861 - Union General Winfield Scott stepped down as general in chief citing failing health, and George B. McClellan was elevated to the position. Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, recognized early in the Civil War that his health and advancing years were a liability in the daunting task of directing the Federal war effort. His resignation on October 31 did not end his influence on the war, however, as President Abraham Lincoln occasionally sought his counsel, and many of his former officers commanded forces and executed the same maneuvers that he had used in Mexico.

Oct. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Barton’s Station, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Shoal Creek, Ala. as Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, CSA, prepared to move his Confederate Army in Tennessee, assuming Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, USA, would pursue him. Instead, Sherman moved in the opposite direction toward Savannah, GA, and the sea.

Oct. 31, 1864 - Nevada became the 36th state to join the United States.

Oct. 31, 1876 – Hugh T. Fountain was named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1892 - On this day, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published. The book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.

Oct. 31, 1893 - Alabama author Hudson Strode was born in Cairo, Ill.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that C.W. Zimmerman of the Bear Creek Mill Co. had visited Monroeville during the preceding week and informed the newspaper that the company had completed and was operating about three miles of its railroad.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that in Monroe County Circuit Court, Lazarus James had been sentenced to work four years “in the coal mines” for burning J.H. Moore’s warehouse some months before. Albert Jackson was also sentenced to 25 years in the penitentiary, and Mose Hall was given a three-year sentence.

Oct. 31, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a “handsome new organ” had been placed in the Evergreen Methodist Church.

Oct. 31, 1908 – The members of Camp William Lee, No. 338, were scheduled to meet at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday “for the transaction of business in connection with the state reunion to be held at Mobile” on Nov. 24-26, 1908. G.R. Boulware was the camp’s commander and J.C. Travis was the camp’s adjutant.

Oct. 31, 1913 – The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road to traverse the entire continental United States, was officially dedicated. The highway ran from New York City’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park and was the first national memorial to Abraham Lincoln, predating Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial by nine years.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 1914 – The four-part “Photo-Drama of Creation” was shown for free at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini, 52, died of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. His appendix had been damaged 12 days earlier when he had been punched in the stomach by a student unexpectedly. During a lecture Houdini had commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows.

Oct. 31, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Lavinia Whateley, the albino daughter of Wizard Whateley and mother of Wilbur by an unknown father, vanished, perhaps killed by Wilbur. She first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.

Oct. 31, 1939 – South African cyclist Rowan Peacock was born in Wynberg, Cape Town, South Africa. He competed in the team pursuit at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Oct. 31, 1941 - Mount Rushmore was declared complete after 14 years of work. At the time, the 60-foot busts of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were finished.

Oct. 31, 1943 – Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo was born in Pittsfield, Mass.

Oct. 31, 1951 – During the Korean War, Army Pfc. Leonard E. Worrell of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in action.

Oct. 31, 1954 - Martin Luther King Jr. of Atlanta was installed as minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. A little more than a year later, on the first day of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he was named president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, a role which made him a national civil rights figure.

Oct. 31, 1956 - Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Dufek also became the first person to set foot on the South Pole.

Oct. 31, 1959 - Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine from Fort Worth, Texas, announced that he would never return to the U.S. At the time he was in Moscow, Russia.

Oct. 31, 1963 – Major League Basebal first baseman Fred McGriff was born in Tampa, Fla. He would go on to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oct. 31, 1968 – Thomas Charles Littles of Brooklyn, Ala. was inducted into the U.S. Army. He would be fatally wounded in Vietnam.

Oct. 31, 1980 – On homecoming night at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Sparta Academy lost to South Butler Academy, 13-12. Andy Hammonds scored both of Sparta’s touchdowns, the first on a four-yard run and the second on a 23-yard touchdown reception from Jeff Johnson. Karen Brown was crowned Miss Homecoming, and she was escorted by Mike Raines. Jeena Simpson was crowned Miss Football, and she was escorted by Scott Baggett. Jack Miller was Sparta’s headmaster.

Oct. 31, 1982 – An air show, sponsored by the Conecuh County (Ala.) Rescue Squad, was scheduled to be held Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Evergreen’s Middleton Field Municipal Airport.
Oct. 31, 1988 - Debbie Gibson held a séance at her Halloween party to contact the spirits of Liberace and Sid Vicious.
Oct. 31, 1992 – Auburn University officially retired Bo Jackson’s No. 34 football number during a halftime ceremony.
Oct. 31, 1998 - Iraq announced that it was halting all dealings with U.N. arms inspectors. The inspectors were investigating the country's weapons of mass destruction stemming from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Oct. 31, 1999 - Bryan White sang the National Anthem at the Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville prior to the game between the Tennessee Titans and the St. Louis Rams. Following the game, White gave his second annual Howl-O-Ween concert at the north end of the coliseum.

Oct. 31, 2001 - In Miami Beach, Fla., Jose Canseco was involved in a nightclub brawl. Canseco later violated his probation and was sentenced to two years of house arrest and three years probation.

Oct. 31, 2001 - Evergreen weather reporter Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of October 2001 was 3.50 inches.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Two Mobile, Ala. residents lost their lives in a four-car accident on Interstate Highway 65 at the Owassa exit in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Sparta Academy wrapped up the 2003 football season with a 26-16 win over Ashford Academy in Evergreen, Ala. Quarterback Will Ivey led Sparta’s offense with 17 carries for 170 yards and completed three passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Other outstanding Sparta players in that game included Brandon Burleson, Paul Castleberry, Perry Castleberry, Patrick Cumagun and Cody Lowery.

Oct. 31, 2007 – The episode of CSI: NY first broadcast on this date was a Halloween edition based on “The Amityville Horror.: Entitled "Boo," it featured a house in Amityville where a family has died in circumstances similar to the DeFeo murders.

Oct. 31, 2010 - For the first time in Major League Baseball history, two former presidents attended the same World Series Game. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush both attended Game 4 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Oct. 31, 2010 – “The Walking Dead” TV series debuted on AMC.

Oct. 31, 2012 – Searcy Hospital at Mount Vernon, Ala. closed permanently. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Oct. 31, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.15 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 40.55 inches

Notes: Today is the 304th day of 2015 and the 39th day of Fall. There are 60 days left in the year.

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

Friday, October 30, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 387 miles down and 1,412 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging six more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Wednesday and three more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 387 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,412 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 21.5 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 25th day of his trip, which is Oct. 18 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off on my last update on Mile 381, which was one mile after the start of Day 24 (Oct. 17). In all, Frodo’s group covers six total miles on Day 24, so I was five miles from the end of this day, which was the 11th day from Weathertop.


On Day 24, the rain stops and Strider scouts around for the best route, with an eye out for bad guys. The group gets a late start and then turns southeast, scrambling over rocky ground for part of the trip. They eventually find their way into a valley, but it ends in a high ridge.


The group climbs the ridge and camps in a saddle at the top at Mile 386. It’s cold, so they build a fire under a gnarled pine tree. On the following day, I cover one additional mile, finishing up the week at Mile 387. It’s at this point that the slope beyond the ridge becomes much easier for travel.


Day 25 is a bright, fair day, and it’s around Mile 387 that Strider briefly sees the Loudwater/Bruinen in the distance. The next significant milestone comes two miles later, at Mile 389, when the group stumbles upon a trail.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


The folks who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound very familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least nine more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

Today in History for Oct. 30, 2015

Alabama's Bobby Bragan.
Oct. 30, 1735 - John Adams, the second President of the United States, was born in Braintree, Mass. His son, John Quincy Adams, became the sixth President of the U.S.

Oct. 30, 1775 - The Continental Congress appointed seven members to serve on an administrative naval committee tasked with the acquisition, outfitting and manning of a naval fleet to be used in defense against the British. Almost two weeks earlier, on October 13, 1775, Congress had authorized the construction and arming of vessels for the country’s first navy. Members of the first naval committee included some of the most influential members of the Continental Congress and several “founding fathers,” including John Adams, Joseph Hewes, John Langdon, Richard Henry Lee, Silas Deane and Stephen Hopkins, the committee’s chairman.

Oct. 30, 1831 – In Southampton County, Virginia, escaped slave Nat Turner was captured and arrested for leading the bloodiest slave rebellion in United States history.

Oct. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Morgantown, Ky.

Oct. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Greenbriar, West Virginia.

Oct. 30, 1862 - Union General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchell, commander of the Department of the South, died from yellow fever at Beaufort, S.C. In 1862, Mitchell directed raids into northern Alabama and captured Huntsville, Ala. in April 1862.

Oct. 30, 1864 - Union forces recaptured Plymouth, N.C.

Oct. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, a second day of skirmishing occurred in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals (or Raccoon Ford), near Florence, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1869 – Monroe County Probate Judge Murdock McCorvey Fountain was born at Tunnel Springs, Ala. He graduated from Perdue Hill High School in 1889 and was appointed Monroe County Sheriff in 1902 when Sheriff John S. Howington was killed while in office. He was elected Monroe County Probate Judge in 1916.

Oct. 30, 1885 – Poet and critic Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho.

Oct. 30, 1898 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Bill Terry was born in Atlanta, Ga. He played his entire career for the New York Giants and managed the Giants from 1932 to 1941. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.

Oct. 30, 1912 - Alabama author Willis Brewer died in Montgomery, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1914 – Julian Andrews shot and killed Wright Eddins near Bone Hill church in northeastern Monroe County, Ala. Andrews was arrested, brought to Monroeville and placed in jail.

Oct. 30, 1915 – Pioneering broadcast journalist Fred W. Friendly was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in New York City.

Oct. 30, 1916 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Leon Day was born in Alexandria, Va. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Oct. 30, 1917 – Major League Baseball shortstop and catcher Bobby Bragan was born in Birmingham, Ala. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers, and he also managed the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves.

Oct. 30, 1919 - The professional baseball association ruled that spitballs and shineballs were illegal.

Oct. 30, 1930 – The Evergreen Courant published a special “Conecuh County Agricultural, Industrial and Historical Edition.” The front page of the 50-page edition was printed in green ink, it was the largest newspaper ever published in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1936 – The first ever night football game in the history of Frisco City High School was played on this day. Frisco City faced Monroe County High School and lost, 13-12. It was FC’s only documented loss of the entire season.

Oct. 30, 1936 – In a game played at 2:30 p.m. during the Conecuh County Fair, Evergreen High School beat Repton High School, 47-0, at Gantt Field in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1936 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer Robert Caro was born in New York City.

Oct. 30, 1938 - Martians invaded New Jersey! Well, at least that's what many radio listeners thought, when they tuned into Orson Welles' broadcast of “War of the Worlds” on CBS radio. As part of the realistic radio play, an announcer interrupted a dance orchestra to describe a crash in a farmer's field, and then later he warned of tentacled creatures inside giant attack machines. The public went into a panic--it's estimated that as many as one million people believed a real invasion was underway.

Oct. 30, 1942 – Lt. Tony Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier and canteen assistant Tommy Brown from the HMS Petard boarded U-559, retrieving material which would lead to the decryption of the German Enigma code.

Oct. 30, 1944 – Anne and Margot Frank were deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they die from disease the following year, shortly before the end of World War II.

Oct. 30, 1945 – Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signed a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball color barrier.

Oct. 30, 1948 - Alabama author Dennis Covington was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen City Council had approved a zoning plan and ordinance as presented to them by the City Planning Commission.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that all the remaining right-of-way deeds for the paving of the portion of U.S. Highway 84 through Herbert and Cohassett to Andalusia by the Conecuh County (Ala.) Board of Directors had been signed. Up to that point, county officials had been working to have that portion of the highway paved for a number of years.

Oct. 30, 1952 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the State of Alabama, as part of a federal aid project, had completed the construction of the new bridge over Murder Creek between Evergreen and Fairview in Conecuh County, Ala. As of this date, the approaches to the bridge were being completed and was expected to be finished at an early date.

Oct. 30, 1954 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, a U.S. Navy Super Constellation disappeared with 42 passengers and crew while flying in fair weather from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. to the Azores.

Oct. 30, 1964 – The Monroe County Board of Education appointed Monroe County High School head coach James Allen as principal of MCHS and promoted assistant coach Ronald M. Dees to head coach. The changes were made due to the resignation of MCHS principal B.E. Lee, who had been named as the president of the forthcoming junior college in Monroeville. The changes were to take effect on Feb. 1, 1965.

Oct. 30, 1970 - Jim Morrison was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500 for exposing himself in Miami, Fla.

Oct. 30, 1974 – Excel High School began a streak of 20 straight games without a loss (including ties) that ended on Nov. 6, 1975.

Oct. 30, 1974 – As a member of the California Angels, Major League Baseball player Nolan Ryan threw the fastest recorded pitch, at 100.9 MPH.

Oct. 30, 1979 - In a run-off, Richard Arrington was elected as the first black mayor of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city. Arrington served in that post for nearly 20 years, until his resignation in July 1999.

Oct. 30, 1988 - Kurt Cobain smashed his very first guitar.

Oct. 30, 1988 - The New York Jets beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time.

Oct. 30, 2001 - In New York City, U.S. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Oct. 30, 2001 - The U.S. Postal Service temporarily suspended the sale of envelopes pre-printed with postage due to developments in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Oct. 30, 2005 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and manager Al Lopez passed away at the age of 97 in Tampa, Fla. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers, the Boston Bees, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cleveland Indians, and he managed the Indians and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Oct. 30, 2006 - A television version of Alabama author Anne Rivers Siddons's book “The House Next Door” was broadcast.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Oct. 30, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.15 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 40.55 inches

Notes: Today is the 303rd day of 2015 and the 38th day of Fall. There are 61 days left in the year.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Is the Old Bradley House the most haunted location in Monroe County?

The Old Bradley House at Franklin, Ala.
Over the years, I’ve been to my fair share of creepy places, but few of these places were as creepy as the Old Bradley House at Franklin.

This past Friday night, as part of its annual Halloween investigation, The Evergreen Courant teamed up with Monroe Journal award-winning reporter and photographer Josh Dewberry, and John and Brandi Higginbotham, members of the Singleton Society of Paranormal Investigators, to investigate this reportedly haunted house.

As the crow flies, the Bradley House is located 36 miles from downtown Evergreen, and it’s generally considered to be one of the most haunted locations in this part of the state. Built in the early 1800s, this old dogtrot-style house is currently vacant and has no electricity or running water.

Past residents claim to have experienced a wide variety of unusual happenings in the house, which has seen more than a few deaths, including at least one confirmed suicide. Former residents claim to have heard disembodied footsteps, knocking, stomping, rapping, banging on the walls, creaking doors, rattling door chains and ghostly visitors coming into their rooms in the middle of the night.

Added to this, a small family cemetery, containing about 20 graves, is located beneath a pair of giant magnolia trees, just a stone’s throw from the home’s back door. This small cemetery contains the remains of many of the home’s former residents, and witnesses in the past have reported seeing lights floating above the cemetery in the middle of the night.

This past Friday night, I visited this reputed haunted house with Dewberry and the Higginbothams and found it to be one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been. Armed with flashlights, cameras and audio recorders, we investigated the house for over three hours on this unseasonably warm night and one of the first things we noticed was that most of the home’s interior was painted with “haint paint.” At least three of the home’s rooms appeared to have been painted in this soft blue-green color, which people once believed would scare away evil spirits. In the fourth main room, it appeared that someone had attempted to remove the paint from the walls and ceilings, but you could still tell that this room had at one time been painted with this color, which is sometimes called “haint blue.”

Much of the investigation consisted of EVP sessions in which investigators used digital audio recorders in an attempt to capture “Electronic Voice Phenomena,” which are believed to be the voices of spirits. During these sessions, investigators sat quietly in each dark room and took turns asking questions with 20 to 30 seconds of complete silence between each question. Later, when those recordings were reviewed, investigators discovered responses in the spaces between some of the questions, even though nothing was heard with the human ear when the recordings were originally made.

Most of the responses were either single words or short phrases that were hard to understand. At one point, one of the investigators asked if someone would touch the recorder on the table, and a woman’s voice was heard to reply “no… thanks.” Later, during a break between another question, the recorder picked up a man’s voice saying either the word “coffin” or “cotton.”

On several occasions throughout the night, investigators stepped outside for a breath of fresh, cooler air and recorders were left running inside the house during those times. During one of these breaks, while investigators were totally outside of the house, the recorders picked up all sorts of unexplained tapping, bumps and bangs from inside the otherwise silent house.

Aside from all this, we noted a number of other unusual aspects about the house. For one, it has 14-foot ceilings and nine-foot windows, almost all of which were boarded up with plywood, which made the home’s interior extremely dark, especially when we clicked our flashlights off. Also, it appeared that someone had used a small piece of chalk to draw pairs of small crosses over every door in the house, except for the one where the haint paint had been removed. In another room, someone had gone to great lengths to nail a closet door tightly shut for no apparent reason.

Later that night, we also checked out the cemetery, which contains 20 graves enclosed by an old, iron fence. The skies were clear on Friday night and a bright half moon lighted our way as we crossed the field between the old house and the cemetery. About halfway across, our steps were met with the unnerving howls of a large group of coyotes in the woods not far away. Moments later, those howls were met with the answering howls from another pack of coyotes in the woods, close by in another direction.

Despite the coyotes, we soldiered on into the cemetery and spent several minutes inspecting the large central monument, which was engraved with the names of  almost all of the people buried in the cemetery, including Bradley family patriarch, Jesse Bradley, who died in 1838. Oddly, we found only one grave outside the old, iron fence – the grave of John D. DuBose, who passed away in 1902. DuBose was a former Monroe County Superintendent of Education, and he was married to the late Laura Bradley DuBose, who died in 1886 and was buried within the iron fence.

In the end, we departed the Old Bradley House shortly before midnight, and as I traveled those dark, wooded roads back home, I couldn’t help but think about all that had transpired that night and in the house over the past century. No doubt the house has seen its fair share of good times and bad, and one is left to wonder if something continues to dwell within the walls of this deserted, old home place. What ever the case may be, you can take my word for it when I say that the Old Bradley House definitely lives up to its haunted reputation.

(Special thanks to the caretaker of the Bradley House, Margie Wiggins, who gave us permission to investigate the house for Halloween.)

Which team are you pulling for in the 2015 MLB World Series?

Alex Rios was born in Alabama in 1981.
The 2015 Major League Baseball World Series was scheduled to get underway Tuesday night with the New York Mets taking on the Kansas City Royals in the first of a best-of-seven series at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City.

I’m lukewarm about this series, but I’m going to pull for the Royals since they haven’t won a World Series since 1985. The Mets last won a World Series in 1986, but it’s hard to pull for them since they not only put the Cubs out of the “Back to the Future” World Series, but they’re also in the same division with the Atlanta Braves.

Also, neither of these teams have any close ties to Alabama, so far as I can tell. The only player on either team’s active roster who was born in Alabama is Kansas City right fielder Alex Rios. Rios was born in Coffee, Ala. on Feb. 18, 1981, but his parents, Israel and Maritza, left Alabama when he was just a couple of months old, and he grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

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The eighth weekend of the college football season is now in the history books, and still only one SEC team – LSU - remains unbeaten. After Saturday’s 48-20 win over Western Kentucky, LSU is 7-0 overall and they’ve got this weekend off as they prepare for their Nov. 7 showdown with Alabama.

Taking a look at this week’s upcoming SEC football schedule there are four head-to-head SEC games this weekend and two games involving SEC teams and non-conference opponents. The head-to-head SEC games included Tennessee at Kentucky, South Carolina at Texas A&M, Ole Miss at Auburn and the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, Fla. Also on Saturday, Vanderbilt will play at Houston, and UT-Martin will play at Arkansas. Alabama, Missouri, LSU and Mississippi State have the weekend off.

With that said, here are my predictions for this week’s slate of games. I like Ole Miss over Auburn, Tennessee over Kentucky, Texas A&M over South Carolina, Florida over Georgia, Houston over Vanderbilt and Arkansas over UT-Martin.

Last week: 5-1. So far this season: 58-13.

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This past weekend also marked the eighth weekend of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest. Sharon Peacock remained in first place for the fifth week in a row, and Ricky Taylor remained in second place for the second straight week. Ricky Powell remained in third place for the second week in a row.

Hunter Norris climbed from fifth place to fourth place, and Casey Grant went from seventh place to fifth place. Deagan Daily found himself in sixth place, and his dad, Mike Dailey, dropped from sixth place to seventh place. I went from 11th place to eighth place, and Sam Rowell found himself in ninth place. Jeremy Matheny rounded out the Top 10 in the No. 10 spot in the standings.

If you’re one of the contestants in the contest and didn’t do well over the weekend, don’t sweat it. We’ve got five weeks to go before the end of the season, and the Top 10 will change a lot over the course of the next month and a half.

Today in History for Oct. 29, 2015

George B. McClellan in 1880.
Oct. 29, 1390 – The first trial for witchcraft in Paris was held, leading to the death of three people.

Oct. 29, 1618 – English adventurer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I of England. He was around 65 years old.

Oct. 29, 1682 – French historian, explorer and author Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix was born in Saint-Quentin, Picardy, Kingdom of France. He is considered the first historian of New France, which then occupied much of North America known to Europeans.

Oct. 29, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Massachusetts Bay Governor William Phips prohibited further arrests, released many accused witches and dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

Oct. 29, 1740 – Biographer James Boswell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for his 1791 book, “The Life of Samuel Johnson.”

Oct. 29, 1777 - John Hancock resigned his position as president of the Continental Congress, due to a prolonged illness. Hancock was the first member of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence and is perhaps best known for his bold signature on the ground-breaking document. During his tenure as president, Hancock presided over some of the most historic moments of the American Revolution, culminating in the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

Oct. 29, 1778 - Future New Jersey Governor Joseph Bloomfield resigned his military post. He had accepted the elected position of clerk for the New Jersey Assembly. The city of Bloomfield, New Jersey, was incorporated in his name in 1812.

Oct. 29, 1792 – Mount Hood in Oregon was named after Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood by Lt. William E. Broughton who sighted the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.

Oct. 29, 1837 – Folk artist and quilt maker Harriet Powers was born into slavery outside Athens, Ga.

Oct. 29, 1844 – Ingraham Spense of the Conecuh Guards was born at Bermuda, Ala. He first entered Confederate service on April 9, 1863 in Evergreen with Co. E, 4th Ala. Infantry, and served with that unit until paroled at the close of the war in 1865. He was a Second Sergeant at the close of the war.

Oct. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Woodbury and Morgantown, Ky.

Oct. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Cherokee Station, Alabama

Oct. 29, 1863 - In Hamilton County, Tenn., the Battle of Wauhatchie (Brown's Ferry) came to an end after forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant opened a supply line in Chattanooga after driving away a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet. Although the Confederates still held the high ground above Chattanooga, the new supply line allowed the Union to hold the city and prepare for a major new offensive the next month. The Union suffered 78 killed, 327 wounded, and 15 missing, while the Confederates suffered 34 killed, 305 wounded, and 69 missing.

Oct. 29, 1864 – Confederate heroine Emma Sansom of Gadsden married Christopher B. Johnson and moved to Texas in late 1876 or early 1877.

Oct. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Muscle Shoals (or Raccoon Ford) near Florence, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1885 - Union General George B. McClellan died from a heart attack at the age of 85 in Orange, New Jersey.

Oct. 29, 1895 – Monroe County (Ala.) Deputy Sheriff Ben McMillan returned from Jefferson Parish, La. with Sam Rogers, who broke out of the Monroe County Jail four years prior and had been at large until captured by Jefferson Parish officers. McMillan returned him to the Monroe County Jail, where he was set to be tried on a murder indictment.

Oct. 29, 1901 – Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley, was executed by electrocution at the age of 28 at Auburn State Prison in Auburn, N.Y.

Oct. 29, 1911 - American newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer passed away at the age of 64 in Charleston, S.C.

Oct. 29, 1914 – The Conecuh Record reported that a “shooting affray occurred at Castleberry, Ala. a few days ago” between John Parker and John Ellis. Ellis was shot and seriously wounded by Parker, who was arrested and placed in the Conecuh County Jail.

Oct. 29, 1914 – The Conecuh Record reported that Minnie L. Hart had been appointed postmaster at Range, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1921 – In one of the biggest upsets in college football history, Harvard lost to Centre College, ending a 25 game winning streak.

Oct. 29, 1922 - The second movie version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “To Have and To Hold” was released.

Oct. 29, 1940 - The first peacetime military draft began in the United States.

Oct. 29, 1947 - A forest fire in Concord, N.H. was soaked with rain produced by seeding cumulus clouds with dry ice-- the first such attempt in the U.S.

Oct. 29, 1953 – Beatrice High School, under head coach James Pace, beat Repton High School, 7-0, on this homecoming Thursday night in Repton, Ala. E.H. Penny was Repton’s principal that year, and Albert Arnold was Repton’s head football coach.

Oct. 29, 1958 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor of The New Yorker magazine David Remnick was born in Hackensack, N.J.

Oct. 29, 1960 – An airplane carrying the Cal Poly football team crashed on takeoff in Toledo, Ohio.

Oct. 29, 1965 – Evergreen High School lost its seventh straight game, a 19-6 loss to Red Level in Red Level, Ala. Evergreen’s only touchdown came on a pass from Bubba Faulkner to Jack White.

Oct. 29, 1965 – On homecoming night in Coffeeville, Ala., Lyeffion High School beat Coffeeville High School, 39-0. Lyeffion quarterback Homer Chaver scored on four touchdown runs. Other outstanding Lyeffion players in that game included Laymon Booker, Ronnie Booker, Harold Brown, Don Jones, Bo O’Gwyn, Don Salter, Jerry New and Stanley Wilson.

Oct. 29, 1965 – On homecoming night in Repton, Ala., Repton High School beat Dozier High School, 21-0. Players scoring for Repton included Terry Andrews, Ralph Baggett and Nickey Thompson. Players scoring on PAT plays included Larry Baggett, Frank Watson and Barry Blackwell.

Oct. 29, 1966 – In an incident often attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, “Southern Cities,” a 67-foot tugboat left Freeport, Texas with a 210-foot barge in tow. The tugboat and its crew disappeared, but the barge, complete with its cargo and intact towline would be found by searchers.

Oct. 29, 1967 - A power outage to do necessary work was scheduled for this Sunday morning in Evergreen, Ala., beginning at the City Café and extending to the Highway 31 South area. The current was to be turned off at 7 a.m. and was scheduled to be turned back on at approximately 9:30 a.m. J.W. Weaver was the City of Evergreen’s Electrical Superintendent.

Oct. 29, 1973 - O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills set two National Football League records. He carried the ball 39 times and he ran 157 yards putting him over 1,000 yards at the seventh game of the season.

Oct. 29, 1979 - Willie Mays severed all ties with Major League Baseball when he accepted a public relations job with an Atlantic City casino.

Oct. 29, 1981 – Mike Qualls was named sports editor of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 29, 1989 – Lee Roy Jordan of Excel, Ala. was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Oct. 29, 1989 - Ozzie Newsome ended his National Football League streak of 150 consecutive game receptions.

Oct. 29, 1990 - The United Nations Security Council voted to hold Saddam Hussein's regime liable for human rights abuses and war damages during its occupation of Kuwait.

Oct. 29, 1991 – The asteroid “Gaspra” was photographed for the first time by the space probe Galileo.
Oct. 29, 1993 – Episode No. 7 of “The X-Files” – entitled “Ghost in the Machine” – aired for the first time.

Oct. 29, 1993 - The movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” story adapted by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was released.

Oct. 29, 1995 - Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers became the National Football League's career leader in receiving yards with 14,040 yards.

Oct. 29, 1995 – “Degree of Guilt,” a television version of Alabama author Richard North Patterson's books “Degree of Guilt” and “Eyes of a Child,” was broadcast.

Oct. 29, 2001 – Prairie Mission (also known as the Prairie Mission School and Prairie Institute) in Prairie in Wilcox County, Ala. and the Opp Commercial Historic District in Covington County, Ala. were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Oct. 29, 2004 – The Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera broadcasted an excerpt from a 2004 Osama bin Laden video in which the terrorist leader first admits direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and referenced the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Oct. 29, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.15 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 40.55 inches

Notes: Today is the 302nd day of 2015 and the 37th day of Fall. There are 62 days left in the year.

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Oct. 28, 2015

OCT. 25, 2012

“Doug Darby and June Stinson were the overall winners of the Eighth Annual EMC Health & Wellness Center 5-K Race and 1-Mile Fun Run Saturday morning in downtown Evergreen. Darby was the overall male winner, running the race in 19:56.443. Stinson was the overall female winner, finishing the race in 25:37.62.”

“Sparta Academy racked up its fifth win of the season and locked up a spot in the state playoffs Friday night with a 37-13 win over Meadowview Christian at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen.
“Jacob Hendrix, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound running back, led Sparta’s offense with 13 carries for 183 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown run. On defense, Hendrix finished the night with eight assists from his spot in the secondary.”
Other standout Sparta players in that game included Michael Brown, Shannon Buckhault, Jacob Burch, Brooks Carpenter, Cody Carter, Austin Chandler, Drew Hardin, Austin Hiers Johnson, Chance House, Jody House, Davis Johnson, Chase Kaylor, Jacob Lee, Zach Moon, Stone Riley, Lanse Robbins, Jessie Stabler, Allen Stuart and Ethan Tyree.

“Hillcrest High School’s varsity football team dropped to 1-7 on the season and to 1-5 in region play Friday night with a 28-26 loss to region rival Escambia County at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen.
“Timothy Jones was the bright spot on the night for the Jaguars as he recorded 13 tackles on defense and ran the ball twice for 63 yards.”

OCT. 30, 1997

“These young men were selected as Players of the Week by the coaches at Hillcrest High School. They are: Defensive Player of the Week is Tim Bush, who had nine tackles, 12 assists, one pass break-up and one interception. The offensive player is Cedric Johnson, who graded 2.00 and had 18 knock downs. Hillcrest pulled off a massive upset by defeating T.R. Miller, 21-13.”

“The Sparta Academy Warriors upped their record to 7-2 this past Friday night when they defeated the Macon-East Montgomery Knights, 44-14, in an important region game played at Sparta.
“Cliff Herbest was the leading rusher for the Warriors with 183 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown. Lee Goodwin was next with 106 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns, Seth McIntyre, 47 yards on five carries; and Chris Mitchell, 23 yards on six carries.
“Quarterback Seth McIntyre connected with Charlie Ward for two of his six pass attempts for 104 yards and a touchdown.
“Goodwin led off the scoring for the Warriors with a five-yard run. The try for the two-point conversion failed. Goodwin then scored on a 28-yard run and added the two-point conversion.
“Herbest then scored on a lone 90-yard run. He also added the two-point conversion. Ward scored next on a 60-yard pass from McIntyre. Goodwin scored the two-point conversion.
“Goodwin added the last two touchdowns for the Warriors on runs of two and five yards, respectively. The two-point conversion failed on the first TD, but McIntyre scored the two-point conversion on the last one.”

OCT. 28, 1982

“The Evergreen Aggies completed a successful homecoming celebration by defeating the Choctaw County Tigers 21-7 last Friday night in Brooks Memorial Stadium.
“Leading the way on offense for Evergreen was quarterback Tracey Hawsey with 99 yards rushing on just nine carries. On defense, the Aggies were led by Fredrick Middleton with five solos and seven assists.”
Other standout Evergreen players in that game included Mark Bell, DeWayne Booker, Don Jackson, Frank Likely, Marion Oliver, Ben Rigsby, Ricky Stallworth and Deatrich Wise.

“The Sparta Academy Warriors made homecoming happy for their fellow students and their fans as they beat Thomasville Academy 21-6 here Friday night.
“Sparta used a powerful rushing game to push past the visiting Panthers. Joey Johnson netted 149 yards and a touchdown, and Ed Carrier, the other half of the running tandem, collected 120 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.”
Other standout Sparta players in that game included Chris Blatz, Russ Brown, Wes Brown, Trent Carrier, Al Etheridge, Charles Floyd, Scotty Grace, Don Langham, Joe McInvale, Britt McNeill, Tom Reed, Dewan Salter, Scott Smith and Mike Wilson. Richard Brown was Sparta’s head coach.

OCT. 26, 1967

“These are the 1967 Yellow Jackets who are coached by Buck Powell. So far this season the Jackets have won two and lost four. The entire squad was selected Outstanding Player of the Week by the Evergreen Jaycees for the homecoming game with Brantley. Gary Hamac was absent when the picture was made. The players are (listing player, weight and position): Skip Stacey, 130, halfback; Raymond Macks, 173, tackle; Randall Griffin, 128, tackle; James Riley, 151, halfback; Murray Griffin, 140, halfback; Warren Brown, 160, tackle; Bradley Pugh, 170, guard; Vernon Chavers, 140, halfback; David Grimes, 145, center; Don Middleton, 115, guard; Mickey Williams, 150, guard; Don Salter, 170, fullback; Terry McInnis, 170, end; David Cook, 155, end; Don Black, 145, end; Doug Williams, 160, center; Johnny Shaw, 160, quarterback; and Jerry Dykes, 145, end.”

“Aggies roll over Frisco City 32-0 for third win: The Evergreen Aggies ran past a hapless Frisco City club, 32-0, in Frisco City last Friday night.
“Hollis Tranum had one of the biggest nights on offense that an Aggie has enjoyed in many years. He piled up 168 yards rushing on 22 carries, averaging nearly eight yards per trip, completed two of five passes for 15 yards, scored on runs of 25 and four yards and passed for another touchdown.”
Other standout Evergreen players in that game included Wayne Caylor, Jimmy Hamiter, Leon Hinson, Don Montgomery, Elliott “Buck” Quarles, Eddie Ralls, Ernest Shipp, Forrest Simpson, Ed Smith, George Stinson, Lavon Tolbert and Tommy Weaver.

OCT. 30, 1952

“Bay Minette Too Much For Aggies; Tigers Roll In Last Half To 38-7: A Baldwin County High School football team that was billed as one of South Alabama’s best in pre-season estimates lived up to its notices here Friday night. The Tigers showed local fans one of the most powerful offenses they have seen in many years as they exploded a four-touchdown last half assault that submerged the scrapping Evergreen Aggies, 38-7.
“Defensively Sam Cope, Richard Taylor, Jimmy Frazier and Ward Alexander sparked the Aggies who never stopped trying. The offense was paced by Billy Lewis and Alexander.”
Other outstanding Evergreen players in that game included Pace Bozeman, Wayne Douglas, Ronnie Edson and Shirley Frazier.

“Lyeffion Jackets Lose To J.U. Blacksher 32-0: After a scrapping band of Lyeffion Yellow Jackets had held them to a 6-0 margin in the first half the Bulldogs of J.U. Blacksher High of Uriah exploded for four touchdowns in the last half and a 32-0 victory. The game was played here in Brooks Stadium last Thursday night.
“The middle of Coach Julian Moore’s line stood fast all night, but the Bulldogs were able to pile up big gains by sweeping the flanks and their passes also covered a lot of territory.”
Outstanding Lyeffion players in that game included Frank Chavers, Coleman Olmstead and Wayne Thames.

“Plans are underway to stage the biggest homecoming celebration in the school’s history at Evergreen High School next Friday, Nov. 7.”

Today in History for Oct. 28, 2015

William Rufus King
Oct. 28, 1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba on his first voyage to the New World.

Oct. 28, 1718 – Croatian explorer Ignacije Szentmartony was born in Kotoriba (Međimurje).

Oct. 28, 1758 - Alabama poet Jean-Simon Chaudron was born in Vignery, France.

Oct. 28, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, new commander in chief of the British army, Major General Sir William Howe, issued a proclamation to the residents of Boston that forbid them from leaving the city and ordered citizens to organize into military companies in order to “contribute all in his power for the preservation of order and good government within the town of Boston.”

Oct. 28, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, at the Battle of White Plains, British Army forces arrived at White Plains, New York, attacked and captured Chatterton Hill from the Americans.

Oct. 28, 1794 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Alexis Ladeau, the author of “Reminiscences of Friedrich Wilheim von Junzt,” was born in Vienna. He first appeared in 1931’s “The Black Stone” by Robert E. Howard.

Oct. 28, 1818 – Belleville Baptist Church in Belleville, Ala. was organized by the Rev. Alexander Travis and the Rev. David Wood.

Oct. 28, 1819 - The Alabama legislature elected William Rufus King and John W. Walker as Alabama's first United States senators. King served several terms in the Senate and in 1852 was elected U.S. Vice President. Walker, who had been president of the Alabama constitutional convention of 1819, served in the Senate until 1822, when he resigned. The terms of both senators officially began December 14, 1819, the day that Alabama became the 22nd state.

Oct. 28, 1819 – Abel Farrar was commissioned as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerk and Sheriff Yancey was commissioned as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

Oct,. 28, 1824 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, the USS Wild Cat disappeared while en route from Cuba to Thompson’s Island with a crew of 14.

Oct. 28, 1841 – The steamboat “Jewess” struck a snag and sank in the area of Prairie Bluff (Prairie Blue), a river landing on a high bluff on the north bank of the Alabama River in the section of the river known as Canton Bend, near the present day Miller’s Ferry Bridge in Wilcox County, Ala.

Oct. 28, 1846 - Alabama poet Jean-Simon Chaudron died in Mobile, Ala.

Oct. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Laurel Bridge, Laurel County, Ky.

Oct. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Budd’s Ferry, Md.

Oct. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, a Federal expedition to Fulton, Mo. was carried out.

Oct. 28, 1863 - Union troops retained control of Brown's Ferry in Hamilton County, Tenn. after counter attacks. Confederate General Longstreet withdrew his troops before dawn.

Oct. 28, 1864 - The Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road (also known as the Second Battle of Fair Oaks) ended with Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant withdrawing from Fair Oaks, Virginia after failing to breach the Confederate defenses around Richmond, Virginia. The assault was actually a diversion to draw attention from a larger Union offensive around Petersburg, Virginia. Some 1,100 Union men were killed, wounded, or captured during the attack, while the Confederates lost some 450 troops.

Oct. 28, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Goshen, Ala. as Lt. General John B. Hood, CSA, moved his Army of Tennessee westward. A skirmish also occurred at Ladiga, Ala. as Hood moved westward and contrary to previous army theory, Major General William T. Sherman, USA, moved eastward back towards Atlanta, Ga.

Oct. 28, 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled and dedicated in New York Harbor by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 152 feet tall. It was originally known as "Liberty Enlightening the World."

Oct. 28, 1888 – William Joseph Mason, who served as mayor of Beatrice, Ala. for 12 years, was born at Midway.

Oct. 28, 1903 – Novelist Evelyn Waugh was born in London, England.

Oct. 28, 1908 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the trial of K. Wyrosdick, who was charged with the murder of Claud Vickery, resulted in Wyrosdick’s acquittal. The cases against Jno. Wyrosdick and Frank Whitlock were nol prossed.

Oct. 28, 1914 – The first frost of the season was observed in Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 28, 1914 – B.W. Slaughter shot and killed Watt Cobb, who was a sheriff’s deputy and constable, at Slaughter’s gin near Lower Peachtree. Cobb went to the gin to arrest a black man who worked for Slaughter, but Slaughter agreed to be responsible for his appearance in court, which Cobb agreed to. As Slaughter began to walk away, Cobb called him back and said he wanted to settle a dispute they’d had for several months. During the ensuring argument, Cobb drew his pistol, and Slaughter shot him twice, “causing his death within a short time.” The black man who worked for Slaughter was the only witness to the incident. Slaughter traveled to Monroeville the following day and voluntarily surrendered to Sheriff Stallworth. Slaughter was discharged after a preliminary hearing before Judge McCorvey.

Oct. 28, 1914 – Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in the mid-1950s, was born in New York City.

Oct. 28, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Archie D. McCrory of Repton, Ala. and Army Pvt. Claude Chapman of Grove Hill, Ala. “died from disease.”

Oct. 28, 1919 – The U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act (also known as the National Prohibition Act) over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, paving the way for Prohibition to begin the following January. Prohibition was repealed in 1933 with the passing of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Oct. 28, 1921 – The Citizens Military Committee of Conecuh County held a meeting at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. at 11 a.m. for the purpose of organizing a Machine Gun Company in Conecuh County.

Oct. 28, 1922 – The first ever cross-country broadcast of a college football game took place when the University of Chicago took on Princeton University at Stagg Field in Chicago.

Oct. 28, 1923 – Wilbur “Fats” Henry of the Canton Bulldogs set a pro football record for longest punt with a 94-yarder.

Oct. 28, 1926 – Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn was born in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Oct. 28, 1927 - Mrs. J.W. Rutherford was scheduled to give a Halloween supper on this Friday evening at the Masonic hall at Franklin with the proceeds to go to the Episcopal church at Monroeville, Ala.

Oct. 28, 1929 - The first child was born in an aircraft, a girl over Miami, Florida.

Oct. 28, 1938 – A humorous contest – a diaper pinning contest – was scheduled to be held at the Pix Theatre in Evergreen, Ala. on this Friday night with a number of local men planned as the contestants.

Oct. 28, 1939 – The final coat of paving was applied to the one-mile stretch of road west of the downtown square in Monroeville, Ala. Also on that day, contractors poured slag and put the final coat of paving on the east side of the square and on the highway east of the square to the Shell service station.

Oct. 28, 1950 – Prominent Conecuh County, Ala. merchant William T. Wiggins passed away in a Greenville hospital at the age of 75. A native of Butler County, Wiggins had lived in the Mt. Union community of Conecuh County for many years.

Oct. 28, 1952 - Annie Potts, who played receptionist Janine Melnitz in “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II,” was born in Nashville, Tenn.

Oct. 28, 1953 – Famed marksman Ken Beegle was scheduled to give an exhibition of his shooting abilities and trick shots at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala. at 1:30 p.m. The exhibition was sponsored by local dealers, who sold Remington guns and ammunition.

Oct. 28, 1955 - Alabama author Frances Gaither died in Cocoa, Fla.

Oct. 28, 1960 – In their last home game of the season, Evergreen High School beat Red Level High School, 14-0, at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 28, 1961 - Construction began on Municipal (Shea) Stadium for the New York Mets.

Oct. 28, 1963 - The 100th episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" aired.

Oct. 28, 1965 – Construction on the St. Louis Arch was completed.

Oct. 28, 1967 - Minnie Lee “Miss Minnie” Robbins of Beatrice, Ala., who operated Robbins Hotel as “an elegant haven for commercial men,” passed away at the age of 99.

Oct. 28, 1972 – NFL running back Terrell Davis was born in San Diego, Calif. He would go on to star at the University of Georgia and for the Denver Broncos.

Oct. 28, 1976 - John D. Erlichman, a former aide to U.S. President Richard Nixon, entered a federal prison camp in Safford, Az. to begin serving his sentence for Watergate-related convictions.

Oct. 28, 1977 – The River Falls Post Office in River Falls in Covington County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Oct. 28-29, 1980 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported 3.88 inches of rain during this two-day period, including 3.02 inches on Oct. 28 and .86 inches on Oct. 29.

Oct. 28, 1990 - Iraq announced that it was halting gasoline rationing.

Oct. 28, 1992 - Scientists used sonar to map Scotland's Loch Ness. Though they reportedly discovered a mysterious object, they declined to speculate whether it might be Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.
Oct. 28, 1994 - U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Kuwait and implied that all the troops there would be home by Christmas.

Oct. 28, 1994 - The NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association announced an agreement for the formulation and implementation of the most comprehensive drug and alcohol policy in sports.

Oct. 28, 1995 – The Alabama Historical Commission presented Lucy Warren of Evergreen, Ala. with a Distinguished Service Award during the commission’s annual historical preservation conference at the state capitol in Montgomery.

Oct. 28, 1996 - Members of the New York Yankees and their manager appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Oct. 28, 2010 – Josh Dewberry of The Monroe Journal newspaper and Lee Peacock of The Evergreen Courant conducted a paranormal investigation at the Old Carter Hospital in Repton, Ala.

Oct. 28, 2010 – The Conecuh County Board of Eduction said farewell to three out-going board members – Jean Harter, Mary Moncrease and David Thomas during the last official school board meeting of their terms in office. In all, they represented 42 years of combined service on the board.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Oct. 28, 2015

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 1.15 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.05 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 4.15 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 40.55 inches

Notes: Today is the 301st day of 2015 and the 36th day of Fall. There are 63 days left in the year.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Oct. 27, 2015

OCT. 25, 2012

“The 21st Annual South-East Regional Fly-In is scheduled to officially open tomorrow at Middleton Field in Evergreen.”

“The Courant teamed up with Monroe Journal reporter Josh Dewberry and paranormal investigator John Higginbotham Saturday night to investigate the supposedly haunted old Castleberry bank building.”

“In what investigators are calling a ‘low down’ crime, they are asking anyone who might have information about the vandalism of a scarecrow display on the grounds of the Old Evergreen City School to contact the Evergreen Police Department.
“In the days leading up to Saturday’s 10th Annual Evergreen Sausage Festival in downtown Evergreen, members of the Conecuh County Cultural Foundation staged a ‘Scarecrow Convention’ in front of the old school building. The display of scarecrows included dozens of scarecrows made by young children from every school in the county.
“According to Evergreen Police Detective Mike Ellis, an unknown number of vandals destroyed almost all of the scarecrows in the display except for those closest to Perryman Street. Police believe that the vandalism took place sometime between 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday morning.”

“Evergreen native Gaston Bozeman was among a number of entertainers that took part in the 10th Annual Evergreen Sausage Festival Saturday in downtown Evergreen.”

OCT. 30, 1997

“Cass Ralls, daughter of Eddie Ralls and Sandra O. Ralls, was crowned Miss Homecoming 1997 during Sparta Academy’s Homecoming activities Friday night, Oct. 24.”

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.11 inches of rain on Oct. 24 and a total of 3.46 inches between Oct. 21 and Oct. 26.

“Cary’s Grocery Murder Trial Set To Begin In Mid February: After much anticipation, a trial date has been set for one of the men accused of three counts of capital murder.
“Ethan Eugene Dorsey, a 28-year-old black male, will stand trial beginning Feb. 16, 1998 in Judge Sam Welch’s courtroom.
“Dorsey is accused of killing Richard Cary, 52, Scott Williams, 39, and Timothy Bryan Cane, 13, on Nov. 20 at Cary’s Store in the Brooklyn community.
“Also charged in that case is Calvin Middleton. Both of the accused are residents of Andalusia.
“The three victims were found gunned down at the store on Wed., Nov. 20, 1996, sometimes after 8 p.m.
“According to District Attorney Tommy Chapman at the time of the murders, forensics determined that three guns had been used to kill the victims.
“Cary was killed by a blast from a shotgun to the head. Williams was apparently killed with a .357 caliber pistol and Crane died as a result of being shot with a .22 or .25 caliber weapon."

OCT. 28, 1982

“A freak accident ended with this big North American Van tractor and trailer rig blocking the Rural Street-West Front Street intersection in downtown Evergreen for several hours Monday afternoon. A sliding tandem on the rear of the trailer broke loose, dumping the back end of the trailer on the street. The rig was heading south when the tandem broke loose. Evergreen police did an excellent job of directing traffic while folks from Knud Nielsen Co. unloaded the 30,000-pound cargo onto a flatbed trailer from Poole Truck Line, and Conway Diesel Co. got the trailer up, the tandem back under and the truck able to move. It all created a good bit of excitement on an otherwise dull Monday afternoon.”

“Heritage Festival is Nov. 6: Artists and craftsmen are registered for the arts and crafts division of the Conecuh Heritage Festival to be held in downtown Evergreen on Sat., Nov. 6.
“Exhibits of historic interest will go on display in downtown show windows on Mon., Nov. 1, and remain throughout the week. In addition to the Arts and Crafts Fair and the historic exhibits, the festival will include a mini-county fair in the historic Evergreen Depot.”

“An air show will be staged Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Evergreen’s Middleton Field Municipal Airport on Highway 84 West. The gates will open at 12 noon for the big show which is sponsored by the Conecuh County Rescue Squad.”

OCT. 26, 1967

“Members of Battery D – 278th Artillery – Brewton National Guard pulled a surprise inspection at the Boy Scouts Fall Rally Camp at Camp McMillan this past week end.
“National Guard members were impressed with Evergreen Troop 40 and their ready answers to questions. Leaders for the Camp were Ruben Hyde, Ralph Garrett and Fred Stevens.
“Boys attending from Evergreen were Sammy Garrett, Kenny Brown, Allen Covin, Mike Chambers, Len Price, Troy Bakel, Fred Stevens, Lewis Price, Frank Murphy and Lester Daw.”

“VIETNAM – Marine Lance Corporal Calvin D. ‘Snuffy’ Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith of 147 Knoxville St., Evergreen is serving with the 7th Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division of Vietnam. The mission of the battalion is to build and maintain roads, support the infantry units and instruct Marines in the use of mines and booby traps. In support of infantry units, the engineers clear mine fields, destroy caves and tunnels and other enemy fortifications.”

“Carl Wilson, DVM announces The Opening of a new Veterinary Clinic to be known as Animal Health Center with Facilities for large and small animals. Located on Yarbrough (Old Sparta) Road.”

“Power outage is set Sunday: A power outage to do necessary work is scheduled this Sunday morning beginning at the City Café and extending to the Highway 31 South area. The current will be turned off at 7 a.m. and should be back on at approximately 9:30 a.m., according to J.W. Weaver, City Electrical Superintendent.”

OCT. 30, 1952

“The Evergreen City Council has approved the zoning plan and ordinance as presented to them by the City Planning Commission. The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed plan and ordinance at a date to be advertised soon. Following the public hearing, the plan and ordinance will come up before the council against before going into effect.
“The council also announced the employment of a new member of the city police force. The new policeman is Otto Bush of Greenville. He will start work on Nov. 1. H.L. Riley, present member of the force, has been given a leave of absence.”

“Most Deeds Are Signed For Paving Of Highway 84 County Board Reports: The Conecuh County Board of Directors reports that most of the remaining right-of-way deeds on the paving of Highway 84 through Herbert and Cohassett to Andalusia have already been signed.
“Once all the right-of-way deeds have been secured the project will be advertised for bids and the contract let. County officials have sought to have this highway paved for a number of years.”

“The state has completed the construction of the new bridge over Murder Creek between Evergreen and Fairview. The approaches to this bridge are now being completed. The project should be finished at an early date. It is a federal aid project.”