Friday, September 22, 2017

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 29.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 72.60 inches.

Notes: Today is the 265th day of 2017 and the first day of Fall. There are 100 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 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some believe that Bigfoot creature lurks in swamp off Langham Road

Langham Road in Conecuh County, Ala.
I’ve received at least two possible Bigfoot activity reports during the past month, and I’m working to gather more information about both of these incidents in hopes of passing more details along to interested readers.

Earlier this month, local Bigfoot enthusiast Ashley McPhaul, who lives between Repton and Excel, reported that a woman living in the vicinity of Langham Road told him that she believes she heard a Bigfoot-type creature early one Friday morning several weeks ago. For readers unfamiliar with Langham Road, it’s west of Belleville and runs from County Road 11 all the way to County Road 5, on the Monroe County line, coming out just south of Owens Chapel.

The witness in this case told McPhaul that around 3 a.m. she heard a “hollering” noise that “sounded like a siren” coming from a swamp not far from her home. The incident shook the woman up so badly that she immediately went back inside.

Looking at a topographical map of the area, there are a number of sizeable creeks in this area that no doubt have produced some large, swampy areas. Most of these creeks appear to feed into Burnt Corn Creek, and one of the theories about Bigfoot creatures is that they like to stick close to reliable water sources surrounded by thick vegetation.

On Monday morning, Wesley Acreman with the Southwest Alabama Bigfoot Hunters called me to say that his brother, Virgil Acreman, was told by a woman who works at the McDonald’s restaurant in Evergreen that her son had found a suspected Bigfoot track on the sandy bank of a creek off County Road 8 in Conecuh County.

County Road 8 runs from County Road 43 at Paul all the way to the Brooklyn Road, coming out southeast of the Spring Hill community. Again, looking at the topo map, there are a number of creeks in this area, including Simmons Creek, Bottle Creek and others. Also, through the woods, the east end of County Road 8 isn’t that far from the Sepulga River.

Many in the reading audience will remember that Wesley and Virgil, along with their younger brother Roman Acreman, had multiple Bigfoot encounters while living off County Road 5 at Pine Orchard. Wesley said he planned to contact the young man who found the suspected Bigfoot track off County Road 8 and question him about it to see if he could find out more information.

I told Virgil on Monday that if he could find out exactly where the track was found and if we could get permission to visit the location, that I’d accompany him on a field trip there in the near future. More than likely, the track will be long gone by then, but who knows, we might get lucky and find another one. I plan to take my camera along just in case.

With that said, if anyone in the reading audience has a Bigfoot story or report that they’d like to tell, call me at The Courant at 578-1492. You can also reach me by e-mail at or write me at The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401.

Hunter Norris takes over No. 1 spot in local ESPN college pick 'em contest

Jalen Hurts (2) comes up to the line against CSU.
The third week of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest is officially in the books, and when the dust settled after Saturday’s games, Hunter Norris found himself in sole possession of first place in the local standings.

Last week, Norris and Mike Dailey were tied for the No. 1 spot.

David Parker moved into second place, up from fifth place, and Dailey dropped into third place. We had a three-way tie for fourth place involving Arthur Ingram III, Drew Skipper and Mark Peacock.

Steven Newton was in eighth place while Luther Upton and Ricky Taylor were tied for ninth place. Casey Grant, Sharon Peacock and Travis Presley were tied for the No. 11 spot.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was among three contestants tied for the No. 16 spot in the standings.

With that said, if you’re playing in the contest and didn’t make the Top 10, don’t give up. The contest will run for a total of 14 weeks, and we’ve got 11 more weeks to go. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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This coming Saturday, there will be eight games involving SEC football teams, including five games that will feature head-to-head match-ups between SEC opponents. For what it’s worth, here’s how I see those games coming out. I like Alabama over Vanderbilt, Auburn over Missouri, Texas A&M over Arkansas, Georgia over Mississippi State, Florida over Kentucky, Tennessee over UMass, LSU over Syracuse and South Carolina over La. Tech. Ole Miss is off this week.

Last week: 5-5. So far this year: 28-8.

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I got the chance to watch Alabama play in person on Saturday, and Alabama’s win over Colorado State was telling in many ways.

Alabama is obviously struggling with injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so it should have come as no surprise when the Rams were able to pile up a bunch of yards against the Crimson Tide. Also, for whatever reason, Alabama seemed to substitute a little more freely in this game and perhaps a little earlier than they normally would, which may have contributed to their lack of crispness throughout the game.

On the positive side of the coin, quarterback Jalen Hurts played well and Alabama’s running game seemed to be headed toward mid-season form. Alabama also had no interceptions and no lost fumbles, which bodes well for a team that will open conference play this coming Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt is riding high with a 3-0 record, but reality will likely set in for the Commodores around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Alabama hasn’t played Vanderbilt in Nashville in around a decade, but I don’t figure the home field advantage will help Vanderbilt that much. In many ways, the “real season” begins for Alabama on Saturday, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Crimson Tide can get off on the right foot. Like most folks, I would be shocked if Vanderbilt upsets Alabama, but I’ll be almost just as shocked if this one is close after the third quarter.

Today in History for Sept. 21, 2017

Mark Childress
Sept. 21, 1452 – Girolamo Savonarola was born in Ferrara, Italy.

Sept. 21, 1645 – Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet was born near Quebec City, Canada.

Sept. 21, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Robert Mailea was accused of being a witch.

Sept. 21, 1776 - The Great Fire of New York destroyed 10 to 25 percent of the city, shortly after the city was occupied by British forces during the American Revolution.

Sept. 21, 1776 - Nathan Hale was captured while sailing Long Island Sound en route to American-controlled territory. He was executed the next day for spying.

Sept. 21, 1779 - Louisiana governor and Spanish military officer Bernardo de Galvez, with the aid of American troops and militia volunteers, captured the British post and garrison at Baton Rouge, located in what was then British-controlled West Florida.

Sept 21, 1780 – During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold met with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”

Sept. 21, 1784 - "The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser" was published for the first time in Philadelphia. It was the first daily paper in America.

Sept. 21, 1820 - Union Civil War General John Fulton Reynolds was born in Lancaster, Pa. Reynolds commanded the left wing of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg, Pa. campaign and on the morning of July 1, he rode into Gettysburg and placed his force in front of advancing Confederates, forcing Union General George Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, to fight. The 42-year-old Reynolds was killed that day, most likely by a Confederate volley, and was buried in Lancaster, his birthplace.

Sept. 21, 1823 - Joseph Smith Jr. reported his initial visitation with the Angel Moroni. Smith said the angel led him to gold plates buried near his home in western New York; some of the plates he later translated into the Book of Mormon.

Sept. 21, 1841 – Former Alabama governor John Murphy of Monroe County, Ala. died at his plantation in Clarke County and was buried at Gosport. He was 54 or 55 years old.

Sept. 21, 1858 – Former Alabama Governor and U.S. Senator Arthur P. Bagby passed away in Mobile, Ala. around the age of 64. Born in Louisa County, Va., in 1794, he arrived at Claiborne in 1818 with his worldly belongings tied in a handkerchief and affixed to a stick over his shoulder. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1819 and opened a practice in Claiborne. He served in the Alabama State House of Representatives and in the Alabama State Senate. In 1837, he was elected as the tenth Governor of Alabama, serving until 1841. After his term, he was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Clement C. Clay. He was later appointed Minister to Russia and later served as a member of the commission to codify the State laws of Alabama in 1852. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile.

Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at San Pedro Crossing, Ariz.; on the Yreka Road, near Forth Crook, Calif.; at Cassville, Mo.; at Van Buren, Tenn.; and at Donaldsonville, La.

Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal expedition began from Carrollton to Donaldsonville in Louisiana.

Sept. 21, 1863 - Federal General George Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga” as he would come to be known as soon as the newspaper stories were written up, continued in that role on this day. Having held the core of the Union army together the day before on Snodgrass Hill, he had retired towards Chattanooga after nightfall. On this day, he again held the defenses of the city with the remnants of the Army of the Cumberland. His commanding officer, Rosecrans, was frantically preparing the city for siege. Bragg, commanding the Confederates, issued orders for a pursuit before the defenses could be completed, then cancelled the order. Yet another chance to annihilate the Union forces was lost.

Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rossville, Lookout Church and Dry Valley, Ga.; at Jonesborough, Tenn.; at Fisher's Hill, White’s Ford and Madison Court House in Virginia; and at Moorefield, W.Va.

Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation started from Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. into Loudoun County, Va. began.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Athens, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Council Grove, Kansas; and at Fisher's Hill, Front Royal and Strasburg in Virginia.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal expedition from Vicksburg into the Mississippi Delta as far as Deer Creek, Miss. began.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the pursuit of Jubal Early’s Confederate force “up” the Shenandoah Valley continued on this day. Having resisted the move back to Lee in Petersburg for as long as he could, Early now was in a desperate race to do exactly that. The impediment was the Union forces of General Phil Sheridan, who accomplished two things on this day. First, there was the fighting: Early had fortified Fisher’s Hill, and Sheridan had to advance slowly there. Additional actions took place at Strasburg, and at Front Royal, where the Confederates managed to keep Sheridan’s men out of the Luray Valley for one more day. After nightfall, Sheridan detached Gen. Crook and one corps to move around the left flank of Early.

Sept. 21, 1866 – Herbert George “H.G.” Wells, pioneer of science fiction, was born on this day in Bromley, England.

Sept. 21, 1878 – Prominent Wilcox County physician John Daniel Caldwell died in Camden at the age of 71 and was buried in the Camden Cemetery. Caldwell was born in Sumterville, S.C. on Jan. 27, 1807 and he went on to graduate from the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston in March 1830. He married Mary Anderson Bowen on June 5, 1833 and moved to Linden, Ala. in 1836. They moved to Barboursville in Wilcox County in 1838. When the county was incorporated in 1841, Caldwell, as intendent, suggested that they change Barboursville’s name to Camden in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.

Sept. 21, 1897 - The New York Sun ran the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.

Sept. 21, 1902 – Sir Allen Lane, the creator of Penguin Books, was born Allen Williams Lane in Bristol, England.

Sept. 21, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that L.N. Parson was the winner of a recent one-hour cotton-picking contest at Jones Mill. He picked 53 pounds in one hour, beating J. Driscoll, who picked 48 pounds in that time.

Sept. 21, 1908 – The Sixteenth Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School was scheduled to open for the 1908-1909 school year on this day in Evergreen, Ala. Henry T. Lile was the president of the school, which was scheduled to end the year on June 4, 1909.

Sept. 21, 1912 – Around 5:30 a.m., the No. 2 passenger train and a freight train collided a few hundred feet above the north switch on the L&N Railroad in Evergreen, Ala. The Courant described it as “one of the worst train wrecks that has been on this division of the L&N in a long while” and that “it was nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed.”

Sept. 21, 1914 – The new Conecuh County High School opened in Castleberry, Ala. for the first time in a building that cost $10,000 to construct. Members of the building committee included Elisha Downing, Dr. R.T. Holland and P.M. Skinner. Miss Sarah E. Luther was principal and had the distinction of being the only female principal of a high school in the state. The faculty included C.E. Williams (a science and manual training teacher and director of boys’ athletics) and Lucile M. Cobb of Tuskegee (teacher of English, expression and physical culture). The school’s opening ceremonies included a big barbecue, an exhibition drill by the Conecuh Guards and a baseball doubleheader with Garland. “It was a history-making day, and it will be pointed to in the years to come as one of the greatest occasions in the history of Castleberry.” Speeches were made by Mayor E. Downing, Supt. R.E.L. Key, C.S. Rabb and State Superintendent W.F. Feagin and members of the school faculty, the principal speech being made by Feagin.

Sept. 21, 1914 – The Evergreen (Ala.) City School opened to begin the 1914-15 school year.

Sept. 21, 1914 – Monroeville, Ala. held its municipal elections and L.J. Bugg was elected mayor. G.C. Watson, J.A. Lazenby, T.E. Dennis, G.B. Barnett and J.R. Lyon were elected city councilmen. I.B. Slaughter, M.M. Fountain, J.M. Coxwell, A.R. Boulware and A.T. Sowell were elected to the school board.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that workmen were rapidly progressing on the dwelling of Mr. D.M. Ratcliffe.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. Samuel S. Gaillard of Perdue Hill had been granted a patent on a rotary valve for gasoline engines.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that federal authorities had turned down the cavalry troop recently organized in Monroe County on the grounds that the volunteers were “too badly scattered to conveniently attend the frequent drills. Sixty or more young had joined and were naturally disappointed at the decision of the authorities, however several troops in different parts of the state have been rejected for reason stated above.”

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that four additional students enrolled at Monroe County High School on Mon., Sept. 18, and others were expected to follow. “The enrollment should easily reach 150 during this term. The classification of students was satisfactorily arranged during the first week and the school is hard down at work on the daily routine. In athletics, a football team has been organized and is in training under the direction of Prof. Jones.”

Sept. 21, 1916 - The Monroe Journal reported that “upon reconsideration,” the management of the Monroe County Fair Association had definitely determined to hold another County Fair in Monroeville on the Oct. 19-20, the dates originally set apart for the event.

Sept. 21, 1917 - Austria-Hungary and Germany made separate replies to the proposal issued by Pope Benedict XV at the beginning of the previous month calling for an immediate armistice between the Allied and Central Powers in World War I.

Sept. 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Will Dickson of Repton, Ala. “died from disease.”

Sept. 21, 1928 – Evergreen High School’s Aggies were scheduled to play their first game of the season on this Friday against Rawls High School. Players on Evergreen’s team included Hyde, L.; Hagood; Hyde, C.; Goodson; Stallworth; Kelly, E.; Kelly, W; Feagin, Sanders; Smith; Guy; Bates; Kindig; McCreary; Ellis; Kamplain; Martin; Mills; Kelly, C.; Miller; Murphy; Knight; Middleton; Thornley; Letford and Capt. Waller. Evergreen’s schedule that year was as follows: Sept. 21, Rawls in Evergreen; Sept. 28, Opp in Opp; Oct. 5, Camden in Camden; Oct. 12, Brewton in Evergreen; Oct. 19, Uriah in Evergreen; Oct. 26, Red Level in Evergreen; Nov. 2, Atmore in Atmore; Nov. 9, McKenzie in Evergreen; Nov. 11, (Open) Armistice Day; Nov. 16, Greenville in Greenville; Nov. 23, Flomaton in Flomaton; Nov. 29, Jones Mill in Evergreen.

Sept. 21-22, 1928 - The people of Conecuh County were to hear the issues of the ongoing presidential campaign discussed by Congressman Lister Hill on this Friday and Saturday. He was to deliver three speeches in Conecuh County, beginning at Castleberry High School on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Friday night at 7:30 o’clock he was to speak at Repton High School. The last engagement was to be in Evergreen on Saturday morning at 10:30 when he planned to deliver an address at the County Courthouse.

Sept. 21, 1934 – Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal.

Sept. 21, 1937 - J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit" was first published.

Sept. 21, 1939 – Brutus H. Bailey of Franklin, Ala. was bit by a snake, believed to have been either a rattlesnake or copperhead, just before noon while surveying a piece of land with several other men near Franklin.

Sept. 21, 1941 - Alabama author Fannie Flagg was born in Irondale, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1942 – Conecuh County, Ala. schools were scheduled to begin the 1942-43 school year after a delay of about two weeks to the school year. School was originally supposed to begin on Sept. 7, but the Conecuh County Board of Education decided on Aug. 21to postpone the start of school because farmers were dependent on their children for help in gathering their cotton and peanut crops during a labor shortage.

Sept. 21, 1942 – During the Holocaust, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis sent over 1,000 Jews of Pidhaitsi (west Ukraine) to Bełżec extermination camp.

Sept. 21, 1942 – In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murdered 2,588 Jews.

Sept. 21, 1943 – At the Pix Theatre in Evergreen on this Tuesday, “Harrigan’s Kid” with Bobby Readick, Frank Craven and William Gargan, was scheduled to be shown.

Sept. 21, 1947 – Horror novelist Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine.

Sept. 21, 1951 – In high school football, Brantley High School beat Repton High School, 33-0, in Brantley, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1957 – “Crazy in Alabama” author Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1961 - The U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. The 5th S.F. Group was sent to Vietnam in October 1964, to assume control of all Special Forces operations in Vietnam, and in February 1971, the 5th Special Forces Group was withdrawn as part of the U.S. troop drawdown.

Sept. 21, 1967 – Evergreen High School’s Elliott “Buck” Quarles was named the Outstanding Player of the Week by the Evergreen Jaycees for his performance against Monroe County High School on Sept. 15.

Sept. 21, 1967 - General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, welcomed 1,200 Thai troops as they arrived in Saigon.

Sept. 21, 1968 - "All Along the Watchtower" was released by Jimi Hendrix.

Sept. 21, 1970 - "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won, 31-21.

Sept. 21, 1970 – The New York Times premiered a new section called the “Op. Ed. Page,” a section opposite the traditional editorial page that was to be devoted to the columns of outside writers and to illustrations and political cartoons.

Sept. 21, 1971 - The American League approved the move of the Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas.

Sept. 21, 1972 – Liam Gallagher, the founder and lead singer of the rock band Oasis, was born in Burnage, Manchester, England.

Sept. 21, 1980 - The Giants retired Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey’s uniform number 44, which he wore in honor of Hank Aaron, a fellow Mobile native.

Sept. 21, 1980 - The body of a Peterman man was found on this Sunday about 10 a.m. in a creek in a wooded area between Peterman and Skinner’s Mill. Richard McCorvey, 28, had been missing since Thurs., Sept. 18, when his body was discovered. Monroe County Coroner Farish Manning and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said there was apparently no violence involved in his death. An autopsy was performed in Mobile, but the details were unavailable as of Wed., Sept. 25. McCorvey was buried on Mon., Sept. 23.

Sept. 21, 1981 - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton struck out the 3,118th batter of his career to break Bob Gibson’s National League record for career strikeouts. Despite Carlton’s 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts, the Phillies lost the marathon game to the Montreal Expos in the 17th inning, 1-0.

Sept. 21, 1982 - National Football League (NFL) players began a 57-day strike. It was their first regular-season walkout.

Sept. 21, 1989 - Ronald Faulkner of 220 Bruner Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. killed a “monster water moccasin” on this Thursday on Highway 31 South. The snake, which was five feet long and weighed an estimated 20 to 25 pounds, was crawling across the highway when Faulkner killed it.

Sept. 21, 1993 - Nirvana's album "In Utero" was released.

Sept. 21, 1996 - Hank Williams III made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 23.

Sept. 21, 2003 - After eight years studying the Jovian system, the Galileo space probe was terminated, crashing into Jupiter's atmosphere.

Sept. 21, 2008 - The New York Yankees played their last game at Yankee Stadium. The new Yankee Stadium opened across the street in 2009.

Sept. 21, 2015 – Former Alabama wide receiver and running back Richard Williamson, a native of Fort Deposit, died at the age of 74 in Charlotte, N.C. He played at Alabama from 1959 to 1962 and went on to serve as head coach for Memphis and for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Sept. 21, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 29.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 72.60 inches.

Notes: Today is the 264th day of 2017 and the 93rd day of Summer. There are 101 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 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Hon. James Buchanan Lloyd
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Sept. 20, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Death of Dr. C.C. Lloyd: The many friends of Hon. J.B. Lloyd throughout Wilcox County will sympathize with him in the death of his brother, Dr. C.C. Lloyd, who died at his home at Greenville, Ala. on Sept. 8.
Dr. Lloyd was quite an old man, having passed his 83rd milestone. He was a Confederate veteran and a member of the 17th Alabama Regiment during the war, and took a great deal of interest in the Confederate reunions and until his death was chaplain of his camp.
Dr. Lloyd retired from the practice of medicine about 35 years ago since which time he has devoted his life to the ministry of the gospel.

Wilcox Boys Leave: War as a reality was more vividly impressed on Wilcox in the past week than ever before. On Wednesday morning, 22 young men entrained for Camp Wheeler, near Macon, Ga. Quite a number of citizens were present at the depot to give the departing boys a last farewell.
(The group of 22 included John Ernest Blount, Will Bennett, Richard Coates McWilliams, Thomas Jones Horton, Henry W. Thomas, Carlos P. Weatherly, Josiah Forniss Irby, John William Rogers, Albert Streit, Horace Falls, John Henry Daily, Walter Bright Godbold, William McDaniel Reaves Jr., Willie O. Morgan, Bob Autrey, Silas Henry Ricketts, George Calvin Rikard, Henry Loftin, Sam Jones Albritton, Eugene Lafayette Cathcart, Harry Irby Savage and John George Daily.)

The people of Neenah are building a road from there to the Black’s Bluff road. Every beat ought to have improved roads.

The Camden Grammar School, with Mrs. J.S. Foster as principal, has reached the highest initial enrollment of its history. The first week showed 122 with quite a number still to come in. The High School has enrolled 98 to date.

The McWilliams Public School opened on Monday last. The interest manifested by the patrons was evidenced by the fact that funds were raised to employ a third teacher and all seemed enthused over the prospect for the year. Supt. O.C. Weaver, Dr. W.P. Roberts and Prof. J.B. Sellers made talks encouraging the movement to employ an extra teacher. Prof. J.B. Sellers, Misses Olivia McArthur and Willie Sadler will be the faculty for the ensuing year.

Prof. Irby Savage, who recently left for Uniontown, to begin his work there, and Mr. Sam Albritton of the University, arrived home Sunday in response to a call to the colors. They left Wednesday of this week to report at training camp.

Rev. Howard R. Walker, an Episcopalian minister, died suddenly in Mobile recently. He was at one time Rector of St. Mary’s Church at Camden.

Many travelers now visit Camden. This is an indication of better times. However, we need an improved train service, for a visit to Camden by railroad means a stay of two nights and a day, and only those come who cannot avoid the trip.

Mr. Frank Tait has gone North to serve in the U.S. Navy.

Misses Mary and Natallie Cappell of Cappells will attend the high school here this season.

Vanderbilt's first football coach was born and raised in Camden, Alabama

Vanderbilt's first football team with Jones holding ball.
Many University of Alabama football fans in the reading audience are looking forward to this Saturday’s game between the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide and the undefeated Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tenn. That game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will be nationally televised on CBS.

The Alabama-Vanderbilt series traces its roots all the way back to 1903, but the Commodores actually fielded their first football team 13 years before that, in 1890. Interestingly, the beginnings of football at Vanderbilt have strong connections to Wilcox County, as the first head coach in Vanderbilt history – Elliott Hamilton Jones - was born and raised in Camden.

According to a wide variety of sources, Elliott H. Jones was born to John Archibald Jones and Mary Scott Jones in Camden on July 18, 1870, and he lived in Camden until the age of 15 when he went off to Massachusetts to attend high school at the prestigious Cambridge Latin School. In 1887, Jones entered Vanderbilt University, where he cemented himself a place in college football history.

Vanderbilt organized its first football team in the fall of 1890 and played the first game in school history that year on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27), defeating the Nashville Peabody Normal School, 40-0, at Nashville Athletic Park. Jones served as head coach for Vanderbilt in that game, was Vanderbilt’s team captain and also played fullback. Vandy went undefeated that season because that was the only game they played that year.

Jones went on to serve as head football coach and played for the Commodores during the 1891 and 1892 seasons. In 1891, Vandy went 3-1 overall, defeating Sewanee twice and splitting a home-and-away series with Washington University of St. Louis, Mo.

During the 1892 season, the last with Jones as head coach, Vandy went 4-4, recording wins over Tennessee (twice), Peabody Normal School and Georgia Tech. Their losses came against Sewanee (twice), North Carolina and Washington University of Missouri.

Jones attended Vanderbilt from 1887 to 1893, earning his bachelor’s and law degrees, and he was also active in other sports in addition to football. He played on Vanderbilt’s baseball team for two seasons and also ran track and was on the college’s gymnasium team. In his spare time, he served as the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper.

After college, Jones moved to Kansas City, Mo., where he became a well-known, prominent lawyer with a large and important clientele. He married Mattie M. Scarritt on Dec. 27, 1894, and they went on to have a large family of children. Jones lived to the ripe old age of 81, passing away on Oct. 11, 1951, and today you can visit his grave in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Mo.

In the end, I’d like to hear from any readers with more information about Jones’ early years in Wilcox County and from anyone with more information about Jones’ prominent family. More than likely, some of his relatives still live in Wilcox County today, and I suspect they’ll get an extra big kick out of watching this Saturday’s Alabama-Vanderbilt game.