|Grave of Dr. J.W. Cotter at Perdue Hill, Ala.|
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of publisher Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of July 1887. Those four issues, which were dated July 7, July 14, July 21 and July 28, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.
JULY 7, 1887
All members of Monroeville Lodge No. 153 are requested to attend a special meeting of said lodge at 10 o’clock a.m. on July 8, 1887 at which time T.J. Peacock, Grand Lecturer, will be with us, and members of any other lodge are cordially invited to be present also. – A.M. LESLIE, Sec’y.
Mrs. Rebecca Thompson, wife of Mr. Jack Thompson, commenced a school Monday about two miles from Monroeville, near T.J. Emmons’, with 19 pupils.
County Court convened Monday, Judge Sewell presiding. The following cases were disposed of: State v. Rosa McMillan, continued; State v. P.S. McKinley, not guilty; State v. Wm. Lee, call for jury.
Sheriff Burns had a very sick horse the first of the week.
Mr. Conover will begin the erection of his photographic gallery soon.
Prof. S.H. Daily of Kempville attended the Board of Education Saturday.
Dr. J.T. Russell, assisted by Dr. McMillan, very skillfully and successfully performed the operation of “tapping” the person of Mr. Elijah Wiggins, living about six miles southwest of Monroeville on the 26th ult. Mr. Wiggins has been suffering from dropsy for several months. The doctor informs us that four and a half gallons of water was taken from his patient and left him much relieved.
The Board of County Commissioners will meet Monday for the examination of the tax assessor’s book.
JULY 14, 1887
Delayed – We are behind time in publishing The Journal this week, caused by the delay in the arrival of our shipment of paper.
Kempville – Mr. Wm. Faulkenberry, one of Monroe’s oldest and respected citizens, died at his home near Kempville on the 9th inst. of consumption.
Mr. H.B. Rikard, Pineville’s popular postmaster and enterprising young merchant, gave the Journal a pleasant call this week.
At the last communication of Bells Landing Lodge No. 373 F.&A.M., the following officers were elected for the ensuing Masonic year: J.F. Burson, worshipful master; W.M. Hestle, senior warden; S.M.C. Middleton, junior warden; E.P. Wright, treasurer; W.G. Johnson, secretary; W.D. Brown, senior deacon; G.C. Nettles, junior deacon; W.T. Reaves, tyler.
Killed by Lightning – Twenty-seven goats belonging to Judge J.W. Leslie were killed by lightning last Saturday evening, a short distance from the residence of Dr. J.T. Russell. There were 30 goats in the flock which had taken shelter under a tree during a shower of rain when the tree was struck by lightning and all but three of the goats instantly killed. The three that escaped were struck by not so severely. We are informed that the space covered by the dead carcasses was not larger than 12 feet square.
DIED: At the residence of her uncle, N.A. Agee, at Perdue Hill, June 30, after a protracted illness, Silian May Rives, daughter of R.C. and Estelle Agee Rives, deceased, of Lowndes County, aged 18 years.
JULY 21, 1887
Dr. J.W. Cotter: This learned old gentleman and distinguished scholar and teacher, so long a citizen of Monroe County, Ala., and resident of Perdue Hill, died after a protracted illness from dropsy on the 21st of June 1887; and his many friends throughout our state, and elsewhere, will doubtless be pleased to have some memoranda of his history.
Dr. Cotter was a native of Chester, England and came to this country about 1852, landing first at Quebec, Canada, then to New York and Philadelphia and finally about the year 1857, south to Monroeville, Ala., since which time he has been a resident among us, for the most of his time, teaching schools in various places, as Monroeville, Claiborne and Perdue Hill in Monroe County, Suggsville in Clarke, and Carlton and Columbus, Mississippi; at the last named place being married in 1859 to his present relict, then Miss Sallie Sickler, formerly of Philadelphia, who yet survives his without children.
His paternal home was Forest Castle, Ireland, and his father was Sir James Cotter, at one time a wealthy banker of Cork, and for many years a Member of Parliament, as were his ancestors on the paternal side, for several generations. He had but one sister, Margaret, by name, who died in maidenhood, and but one brother, since a distinguished physician, Dr. William Cotter, of late supposed to be a citizen of Kentucky, U.S.A. He was, himself, in early life, as were also many of his family, an Episcopalian clergyman, ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and, at one time, preached, in the absence of her pastor, to Queen Victoria, in St. James Church, London, as her substituted supply. That his pulpit performances were eminent for learning and ability, is shown by the olden time MSS. preserved, and it is clear that he was a regularly educated Minister of no ordinary capacity. It is remarkable that he was born on the same day, with Queen Victoria, May 15 A.D. 1819.
At the age of nine years, he was carried from Chester, England, to Ireland, and placed at school; and as soon as prepared for it by age and study, entered the Trinity College, Dublin; where he was graduated finally, with highest honors – his entire curriculum of study embracing in point of time, about 17 years.
At one period, since his coming to this country, he was a teacher in the college at Burlington, New Jersey; and after the war, during the era of the reconstruction, he held for several years, the office of State Superintendent of Education for Alabama and left it, as was said by the Democratic papers, with a clear record.
His coming south was at the solicitation of our late fellow citizen, Asa Parker, Esq., whose children he prepared for college and educated, with others in this county, to whom this brief memoir will be interesting.
After relinquishing the office of Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cotter embarked in merchandise; and opened a small store near his residence, on Perdue Hill, becoming thus the first pioneer Merchant Father of our Hill, followed soon after by the more extensive houses of H.J. Savage & C., J.M. Agee & Sons and others as business increased; but not finding success in this line and reduced in means, he again returned to his old business, and taught school at different periods, during the remainder of his life. Last winter he was induced to make a prospective tour to Birmingham, Ala., and, we believe, did make an engagement there to take a school; but returning to make arrangements and see his family, he was taken down with a severe malady of the lungs, and up to the time of his death since, had no established or regular health.
Dr. Cotter was a Mason of High Degree, and to the credit of the Fraternity it is due to say, that from his brethren of the order, he received in his illness, the most sympathizing and assiduous assistance and attention.
JULY 28, 1887
A little difficulty occurred at Ward’s mill Monday evening between Messrs. Sylvester Medlock and Beauregard Matoose, which resulted in a mashed nose for one and a warrant being issued for the other. Particulars not learned.
A very pleasant picnic was given at Hatter’s Mill last Saturday in honor of the visit of Miss Julia Hatter of Mobile to the family of their uncle, Mr. D.J. Hatter.
Judge J.W. Leslie and Capt. T.S. Wiggins attended the county Sunday school convention at Bell’s Landing last week. They report having had a very pleasant time.
A very interesting protracted meeting is in progress at the Methodist church at this place. Rev. Mr. Cowan is being assisted at present by Rev. J.C. Sturgeon, Presbyterian minister, and Rev. Mr. Barnes of Repton.
Col. D.L. Neville and Esquire J.M. Daugette attended justice court at Glendale Tuesday.
A protracted meeting will be held at Salem Baptist church beginning on the first Saturday in August.
Judge Leslie and Capt. Tom Wiggins are attending the District Sunday school convention at Evergreen this week.
Notice – Owing to his limited stay in Monroe, Mr. Conover will not be able to remove his photograph gallery to Perdue Hill and other places in the county, as was his original intention. He respectfully invites those in any and all parts of the county desiring work in is line to call on him here. Specimens of his work can be seen at the Watson House.