The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, published four editions 100 years ago during the month of July 1917. Those four issues, which were dated June 5, June 12, June 19 and June 26, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions on microfilm. Enjoy.
JULY 5, 1917
Prof. W.L. Porter, the new principal of the Monroe County High School, has arrived with his family. They are cordially welcomed.
County Masonic Conference: The twelfth annual session of the Monroe County Masonic Conference will be held with Monroeville Lodge No. 153, Monroeville, Ala., on Wed., July 18, 1917 at 10 a.m. Good lecturers will be present to instruct in the ritualistic work and it is expected that every Lodge throughout the county will be well represented. – W.S. Nash, Secretary.
Mr. Riley Kelly of Excel was at the county capital Tuesday.
Friends of the family throughout the county were pained to learn of the death of Mrs. Costen (nee Miss Hortense Deer) at her home at Red Level a few days ago.
The Monroe County Bank at the meeting of Directors on Tuesday declared a special dividend of one-half of one percent ($300) with the suggestion that stockholders donate this dividend to the Red Cross fund.
Mr. W.P. Smith of Peoria, Miss., representing the United States Department of Agriculture, who was here recently, stated that he found finer crop prospects in the neighborhood of Excel than any place he had visited in his tour of a large portion of Alabama.
There will be memorial services held at Oak Grove church in memory of Prof. S.O. Arnold, beginning promptly 10 o’clock a.m. the second Sunday in July.
JULY 12, 1917
MASONS ELECT OFFICERS: The following officers have been elected to serve Mizpah Lodge No. 667 for the ensuing Masonic year: Jno. W. Wilkinson, worshipful master; Robt. T. Lambert, senior warden; Jos. T. Grimes, junior warden; Chas. A. Florey, treasurer; Jno. T. Lambert, secretary; W. Lafayette Morris, senior deacon; Thomas J. Morris, junior deacon; Benj. F. Lambert, tyler.
Miss Charlotte Busey will give an expression recital at the High School auditorium this (Thursday) evening under the auspices of the Baptist Ladies Aid. Miss Busey’s marked talent in this department has elicited the highest encomiums and those privileged to hear her on this occasion have an evening of rare enjoyment awaiting them.
After several days of unavailing effort, work on the old well at the town pumping station has been abandoned and a new well is being drilled at another point. The old well had been sunk to the depth of 275 feet but the streams tapped in the descent afforded a water supply too inadequate to meet the increasing demands of the town. It is sincerely hoped that better success will be met with at the new site. The contractors are prepared to sink the well to whatever depth may be necessary to secure an abundant supply.
Dr. and Mrs. Hairston of Burnt Corn were among Monroeville friends Monday.
Mr. Thomas Marshall of Mobile spent a few days with his father, Capt. J.L. Marshall, last week.
JULY 19, 1917
Dr. J.H. McCormick of Mobile, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Alabama, is here today on an official visit to the local body of that order.
The Monroe County Masonic Conference convened in annual session with the Monroeville Lodge yesterday and will continue its sessions today. The attendance at the opening session was usually large and increased as the day advanced. All active lodges in the county are represented, indicating a sustained and lively interest in Masonry. Mr. John C. Rennie of Selma, District Lecturer, is present and the ritualistic work is being exemplified by him in a most impressive manner.
Death of Charles J. Torrey: Friends throughout Monroe County and all Alabama learned with sincere regret of the death of Mr. Charles J. Torrey of Mobile at a hospital in Baltimore on Friday night, July 13, following a surgical operation. The body reached Mobile Sunday and was brought to Claiborne for interment in the family lot on Tuesday.
Mr. Torrey was born in Claiborne, this county, April 25, 1850. His father was Judge Rufus C. Torrey, who moved from Massachusetts to Alabama sometime in the thirties, and spent the remainder of his days in this county. Judge Torrey was for many years a leading lawyer of the county and held the office of county judge for a number of years. He died at Claiborne in 1882.
Charles J. Torrey received his education in Massachusetts and Virginia. He began the study of law in the office of his father in 1872 and in the fall of the following year was admitted to the bar. Shortly after his admission he was appointed register in chancery and resided in Monroeville during his continuance in that office and until his removal to Mobile in 1878. As a member of the firm of Pillans, Torrey and Hanaw he attained prominence in his profession. The association was dissolved some years ago, since which time he practiced alone. He served as city attorney from 1889 to 1894 and was prominent in the business and social life of the city.
Though holding his citizenship in Mobile, Mr. Torrey never entirely severed the relationship which bound him to the county of his nativity. He maintained his delightful old country home at Claiborne, and each summer with his estimable wife spent a portion of the heated term at that classic retreat overlooking the historic Alabama River.
JULY 26, 1917
MASONIC CONFERENCE: The Monroe County Masonic Conference closed a very interesting and instructive session in Monroeville last Friday at noon. All the lodges in the county, 11 in number, were represented and all delegates and visitors seemed to enjoy the occasion in full measure. The next session will convene with Enon Lodge at a date to suit the convenience of the District Lecturer.
Mr. E.R. Morrissette Jr. attended the convention of Buick automobile dealers in Montgomery the early part of the week.
During the thunder shower Saturday night lightning played pranks at several points in town although no personal injury has been reported. A heavy bolt struck a large oak in front of Mr. J.B. Barnett’s residence, riving the trunk and literally stripping the tree of bark. The local telephone system was put temporarily out of commission by the burning of fuses.
The first open boll of cotton of the 1917 crop reported to The Journal was sent in on Monday by Mr. K. Jay of Goodway. This is about 10 days later than the average, due doubtless to excess of moisture. Reports from various parts of the county agree in the statement that a fair bottom crop of cotton is maturing and although the plants are fruiting heavily the yield from mid-stalk and top crops is a problem on which it is too early to speculate.
Dr. J.W. Rutherford was over from Franklin Monday. Dr. Rutherford said crop prospects in his neighborhood are the most promising within the recollection of the oldest citizens.
Messrs. J.B. Barnett and J.K. Kyser left Monday on a business trip to New York, Washington and other points in the north and east. They will be absent about 10 days.
Mr. Joseph O’Neal, the popular traveling salesman, was here Tuesday on his periodic tour. Asked concerning crop conditions throughout his territory, Mr. O’Neal said the prospect was without exception the finest he had ever seen.
The Journal had hoped to print today the names of those young men of our county drawn for military service under the first call of the government. The official list has not yet been certified to the local board and will not be available for several days.
PETERMAN: After the draft day, we are sorry to learn of so many of our boys being drawn into the war service which has left everybody with sad hearts.