Thursday, February 22, 2018

Boll Weevil Monument, Smallest City Block seen on trip to Dothan, Ala.

Boll Weevil Monument.
Like a lot of folks from the Evergreen area, I rode over to Dothan on Saturday to watch Hillcrest High School’s basketball teams play in the regional tournament at the Dothan Civic Center.

If you drive east on U.S. Highway 84, it’s pretty much a straight shot from Evergreen to Dothan. I left the house around one o’clock Saturday and eased my way along Highway 84. A couple of hours later, I found myself in Enterprise and got to thinking about the somewhat famous Boll Weevil Monument located in downtown Enterprise.

As best that I could remember, I’d never seen this monument in person, so I pulled into a gas station for a Coke and to look up the monument’s location on my phone. A few minutes later, thanks to Google Maps, I found the monument and parked just up the street for a closer look.

This monument is located at the intersection of Main Street and College Street, which is a pretty busy intersection. When I got out of my truck, I noticed a historical marker on the corner and walked over to read it first. According to that marker, the boll weevil monument was erected on Dec. 11, 1919 “in profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the Herald of Prosperity, this monument was erected by the Citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama.”

'Smallest City Block in the World'
Many of you will remember from Alabama History class that the boll weevil showed up in Alabama in 1915 and ruined cotton crops all over the state, including here in Conecuh County. In response to this agricultural pest, the folks in Coffee County and in the “Wiregrass” part of the state starting planting peanuts instead of cotton, and this new crop resulted in prosperity for these farmers and their neighbors. The monument serves today as a reminder that adversity can sometimes serve as the catalyst for much brighter days ahead.

After five or 10 minutes, I got back in the truck and continued on toward Dothan. I eventually parked down the street from the civic center, and while walking toward the building, I encountered another unusual monument.

There in a small triangle-shaped wedge of grass at the intersection of North College Street and North Appletree Street sits a headstone-shaped marker that read: The Smallest City Block in the World is Marked by Camellia Garden Club – May 1, 1964.

Later, I read on the internet that this garden club erected this monument in 1964 after “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” designated this small triangle of grass as the world’s smallest city block several years before. This unusual location can also be found in the Guinness Book of World Records.

If you go there today, you’ll notice, in addition to the monument, that this small block is home to a stop sign, a yield sign and a street sign marking the intersection of North College and North Appletree streets.

In the end, I suppose there are a fair number of unusual attractions like this across Alabama, so the next time you find yourself on a long road trip, keep your eyes open because you might encounter one or more of them yourself.

Atlanta Braves will play first spring training game tomorrow in Florida

Tradition Field at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Alabama and Auburn opened their baseball seasons on Friday with three-game series at home, and if their performances in those games are any indication, the Tide and Tigers may have big seasons ahead of them.

Alabama played host to Valparaiso, a college in Indiana, and swept all three games of the season-opening series in Tuscaloosa. Alabama won, 16-2, on Friday, 6-5 on Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday.

Auburn played host to Longwood, a college in Virginia, and also swept all three games of their season-opening series in Auburn. Auburn won, 6-0, on Friday, 25-1 on Saturday and 3-0 on Sunday. Yes, you read that correctly: Auburn outscored them, 34-1, over the course of three days.

Now, I know as well as the rest of you that Valparaiso and Longwood are not juggernauts in the college baseball world, but you know that Alabama and Auburn were happy to get their seasons started with clean sweeps at home. Tougher competition lies ahead, so fans of both teams are left with the hope that their favorite team will build on this early success.

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Clint Hyde stopped by the newspaper office a few days ago and asked if I was going to watch any of the Major League spring training games this year. I’d love to go in person some day to watch a real-life, spring training game, but I probably won’t make it down there this year. For me, this is a “bucket list” type item, so maybe one day I’ll find my way down to Florida to watch a “Grapefruit League” game.

I probably will watch a few of these games on television. I get the MLB Network on my TV at home, and they show just about all of the spring games leading up to the start of the real season. This is one of the best stations on TV if you’re looking for good, clean programming – plus it’s 24-7 baseball.

The Atlanta Braves will play their first spring training game tomorrow (Friday) when they play the New York Mets at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Play is set to start at 12:10 p.m., and it’ll be interesting to see how the Braves perform against their division rivals.

Spring training games are actually pretty interesting to watch. Even though you’ve got some big money players who know they’re going to make the team, you’ll also see a lot of guys who are trying to make the 25-man roster. You’ll really see guys playing their hearts out trying to get out of the Minors and into the Big Show.

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Before I close this thing out again for this week, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it’s always around this time of year that I get the itch to play fantasy baseball. I haven’t heard of anyone locally getting a league going this year, but if you need someone extra to play, let me know. If you’re worried that I may bust up the game, don’t worry. I’ve yet to ever win a fantasy baseball league, and I don’t foresee myself breaking that streak any time soon.

Today in History for Feb. 22, 2018

B-17 Flying Fotress heavy bomber.
Feb. 22, 1512 – Italian cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci died at the age of 57 in Seville, Crown of Castile, in present-day Spain.

Feb. 22, 1627 – Dutch explorer Olivier van Noort died at the age of 68 or 69.

Feb. 22, 1630 - A Native American named Quadequina brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving celebration, introducing the English colonists to the popping kernels that had been grown for more than 1,000 years on the North American continent.

Feb. 22, 1732 - George Washington was born at Pope's Creek Plantation in Westmoreland, Colony of Virginia. He was the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known as the father of the United States.

Feb. 22, 1777 – Revolutionary War leader and Georgia’s first Provisional Governor Archibald Bulloch died under mysterious circumstances just hours after Georgia's Council of Safety granted him the powers of a dictator in expectation of a British invasion.

Feb. 22, 1788 – German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig, now Gdansk, in Poland.

Feb. 22, 1791 - The Cherokees signed the “Treaty of Holston,” establishing terms of relations between the tribe and the United States. The treaty made the United States responsible for managing foreign affairs for the Cherokee.

Feb. 22, 1819 - Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agreed to cede the remainder of its old province of Florida to the United States. Formal U.S. occupation began in 1821, and General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the War of 1812, was appointed military governor. Florida was organized as a U.S. territory in 1822 and was admitted into the Union as a slave state in 1845.

Feb. 22, 1830 - Senator Hugh White of the Committee on Indian Affairs reported on this day “a Bill to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the States or Territories, and for their removal West of the river Mississippi.”

Feb. 22, 1836 - General Gaines and his meṇ arrived at Fort King without meeting with any incident. He then splits his men into three separate forces and marched to Withlacoochee.

Feb. 22, 1836 – The advance of Santa Anna’s Army reached the heights of the Alazan, overlooking the city of San Antonio.

Feb. 22, 1840 - Commanding Officer Lt. Whedan found himself alone after a skirmish takes place near Magnolia. His men ran off when they were ambushed by Seminoles.

Feb. 22, 1847 – During the Mexican–American War, the Battle of Buena Vista took place at the Angostura Pass in Mexico, and 5,000 American troops defeated 15,000 Mexicans.

Feb. 22, 1855 - The U.S. Congress voted to appropriate $200,000 for continuance of the work on the Washington Monument. The next morning the resolution was tabled, and it would be 21 years before the Congress would vote on funds again. Work was continued by the Know-Nothing Party in charge of the project.

Feb. 22, 1859 - U.S. President James Buchanan approved the Act of February 22, 1859, which incorporated the Washington National Monument Society "for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government."

Feb. 22, 1860 - Organized baseball’s first game was played in San Francisco, Calif.

Feb. 22, 1861 - President-Elect Abraham Lincoln delivered speeches at Harrisburg, Pa. Due to death threats, Lincoln left for Washington City, incognito, under the protection of the well-known detective, Allen Pinkerton. Lincoln arrived unceremoniously in Washington the next morning.

Feb. 22, 1862 – Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Va. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861.

Feb. 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Independence and Post Oak in Missouri; at Kearnstown, Va. and at Arkansas Bay, Texas. A Federal expedition was conducted to Vienna and Flint Hill in Virginia.

Feb. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal cavalry attacked Tuscumbia, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on the Manchester Pike, Tenn. and at Coombs Ferry, Kentucky.

Feb. 22, 1864 – After getting captured by the Union at Campbell’s Station, Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) was admitted to Asylum General Hospital in Nashville and was transferred to Louisville Military Prison six days later.

Feb. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Luna Landing, Ark.; at Dalton and Whitemarsh Island in Georgia; at near Okolona, Miss. (At Ivey’s Farm); on the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi; at Lexington and Warrensburg in Missouri; along Calfkiller Creek and Powell’s Bridge in Tennessee; in the vicinity of Indianola, Texas; at Gibsons’s and Wyerman’s Mills, both on Indian Creek, in Virginia. Confederates also raided Mayfield, Ky.

Feb. 22, 1864 – The 2nd Alabama Cavalry regiment suffered 70 men killed and wounded at the Battle of Okolona, Miss. Dr. John Augustus Baldwin of Butler County, Ala. was assistant surgeon in the regiment.

Feb. 22, 1864 – At the Battle of West Point, Miss., Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest routed a Union force three times the size of his army, helping to end Union General William T. Sherman's expedition into Alabama. Union General William Sooy Smith retreated back to Memphis due to another Confederate force blocking his way to Meridian. This battle forced Union General Sherman to return to Vicksburg. The Confederates suffered 144 men killed, wounded, or missing, while the Union lost 324.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Tuscumbia, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation between Pine Bluff and Meto in Alabama began.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation from Barrancas to Milton in Florida began

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Northeast Ferry and Smith’s Creek in North Carolina and at Camden and along the Wateree River, S.C.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, the last major port of the Confederate States of America was effectively lost as Wilmington, N.C. was evacuated by Confederate forces. Every available railroad car and engine was pressed into service as the Confederates removed every scrap of military material that could be hauled. Finally, burning the stores that could not be removed, Gen. Braxton Bragg and his soldiers abandoned the town. As fast as they were leaving, Federal forces under Brig. Gen. Terry began occupying the city.

Feb. 22, 1869 – The Escambia County (Ala.) Commission held its first ever meeting at Pollard, the county seat at that time.

Feb. 22, 1874 – National Baseball Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem was born in Rochester, N.Y. Known as the “Father of Baseball Umpires,” he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.

Feb. 22, 1875 – Sir Charles Lyell, the “Father of Modern Geology,” died in London, England. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Lyell visited Claiborne, Ala. in 1846 to study the Eocene fossil beds there.

Feb. 22, 1878 – Frank Woolworth opened the first of his “five cent” stores, “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store,” in Utica, N.Y.

Feb. 22, 1885 - The Washington Monument was officially dedicated in Washington, D.C. It opened to the public in 1889.

Feb. 22, 1889 – United States President Grover Cleveland signed a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.

Feb. 22, 1892 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine.

Feb. 22, 1893 - The first Alabama-Auburn football game was played in Birmingham, Alabama's Lakeview Park before a crowd of 5,000 spectators. Auburn won this first game, 32-22. The rivalry continued until 1907 when the games were stopped, with the renewal of the series not coming until 1948.

Feb. 22, 1896 - U.S. Marshall E.R. Morrisette was circulating among his Monroeville, Ala. friends on this Saturday, according to The Monroe Journal.

Feb. 22, 1904 - J.A. Amerson of Gregville was in Evergreen on this Monday “circulating among the people in the interest of his candidacy for commissioner.” Amerson tipped the scales at 307 pounds and, if elected, will no doubt be one of the biggest commissioners in the state, according to The Evergreen Courant.

Feb. 22, 1904 - Dr. D.D. Cole and Mr. S.E. Northrop of Mount Pleasant were in Monroeville on this Monday and favored The Monroe Journal with a call.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Jones Mill community, that Middleton Bros. had closed their old saw mill which was located one mile south of Jones Mill and were in the process of constructing a new one at Lufkin.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Sniders Crossing expected to soon have the first telegraph operator between Manistee and the Junction.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Buena Vista community, that the store belonging to Wash Watson and sons had burned and was a total loss. The fire was allegedly started by two arsonists, including a black man who had been “whipped” by the “Watson boys” for a misdemeanor several months before. The guilty parties were arrested, but one of them, a young white man, escaped while being transported to the jail in Camden.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the store of Julius Farish in Beatrice, Ala. had been burglarized during the previous week.

Feb. 22, 1906 - Mrs. J.A. Murphey of the Mt. Union had the misfortune to lose her smoke house and all her meat to a fire on this Thursday.

Feb. 22, 1906 – Reddin Wade married Johnnie Peacock at her parents’ home near Pine Apple on this Thursday afternoon. Justice G.W. Pugh officiated, and a host of relatives and friends were present to “wish them happiness,” according to The Monroe Journal.

Feb. 22, 1909 – W. Hicks was jailed for the nighttime murder of John Askew of Andalusia, Ala. near Travis Bridge in eastern Conecuh County, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1912 – Around 3 a.m., Evergreen, Ala. was struck by an “embryo cyclone” that did considerable damage. E.C. Lee was picked up by the wind and thrown into an outbuilding, breaking one of his arms. Large trees in Evergreen were uprooted and fences were blown away. The Agricultural School was also badly damaged.

Feb. 22, 1915 – During World War I, the Imperial German Navy instituted unrestricted submarine warfare.

Feb. 22, 1916 – Both of Evergreen, Alabama’s banks, as well as the post office, were closed on this Tuesday in observance of George Washington’s birthday.

Feb. 22, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “Mr. Blacksher Resigns,” that somewhat to the surprise and greatly to the regret of his many friends, J.U. Blacksher had tendered to the governor his resignation as a member of the Monroe County Board of Revenue. Increasing demands on his time and energies by extensive private interests, however, necessitated the step. J.W. Jones of Roy was promptly named by the governor to fill the vacancy.

Feb. 22, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. T.E. Dennis’ “handsome” new dwelling on North Main Street had received the finishing touches from the hands of the painters and was practically ready for occupancy. This home, with its “beautifully shaded lawn and its elegant appointments,” was one of the “show places” of the city.

Feb. 22, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monvil Park residence section was beginning to “attract the attention its advantageous situation merited. Located on the new State Highway and near both high school and city school, building lots were coming into demand.”

Feb. 22, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Jennie Faulk was back from market and was arranging for a magnificent display of seasonable millinery and ladies goods.

Feb. 22, 1917 - Sergeant Benito Mussolini was wounded by the accidental explosion of a mortar bomb on the Isonzo section of the Italian Front in World War I.

Feb. 22, 1918 - Swept along by hysterical fears of treacherous German spies and domestic labor violence, the Montana legislature passed a Sedition Law that severely restricted freedom of speech and assembly. Three months later, Congress adopted a federal Sedition Act modeled on the Montana law.

Feb. 22, 1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

Feb. 22, 1925 – Poet Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Feb. 22, 1928 – “Rope,” a dramatic version of Alabama author T. S. Stribling's book “Teeftallow,” opened on Broadway.

Feb. 22, 1929 - Erastus Talbert died quite suddenly on this Friday afternoon, aged 65 years. Talbert was engaged in the installation of a pumping outfit at the Williamson Amusement Park when he suffered an attack of heart failure and died before a physician could reach him. He had lived in Monroeville for some 25 years, engaged in his occupation as a mechanic and plumber.

Feb. 22, 1932 - The U.S. War Department announced the creation of the "Order of the Purple Heart." The announcement was made on George Washington's 200th birthday. On August 7, 1782, George Washington had created the "Purple Heart" with the "Badge of Military Merit."

Feb. 22, 1934 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman and manager Sparky Anderson was born in Bridgewater, S.D. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and managed the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Feb. 22, 1936 - T.L. Brantley’s car was hit in Repton by Passenger Train No. 4 on this Saturday afternoon. Brantley was the only occupant of the car and received some severe cuts and bruises and several broken ribs. He was given first aid treatment at Dr. Carter’s office after which he was carried to Carter’s Hospital. The car was completely demolished.

Feb. 22, 1937 – Bolling “Bo” Herbert, the Route One, Evergreen mail carrier, lost control of his automobile and crashed into the home of Maury Thames on Cary Street in Evergreen, Ala. He suffered minor injuries, mostly bruises, and was “severely shaken up.”

Feb. 22, 1939 – Former Confederate soldier Hugh Ellis Courtney died in Montgomery, Ala. and was buried in Pine Crest Cemetery in Mobile, Ala. He was born on Feb. 13, 1842 in Mississippi and enlisted at Pineville in Monroe County, Ala. on March 15, 1861. He re-enlisted on May 13, 1861 and was listed as sick at Hugunot Springs on July 15, 1861. He was wounded at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 and was as admitted to the 2nd Div. Ala. General Hospital at Richmond, Va. on June 6, 1863. He was listed as a POW at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864 before being forwarded to Point Lookout, Md. on May 18, 1864 and to Elmira Prison, N.Y. on Aug. 15, 1864. He took the Oath of Allegiance on April 30, 1865 and stated that he desired to “return to Bell Landing, where his relatives reside.” He was paroled on June 14, 1865. He was almost 5-8 with a fair complexion, auburn hair and blue eyes.

Feb. 22, 1943 – Construction of the USS Eldridge began at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Newark, N.J.

Feb. 22, 1943 – During World War II, members of the White Rose resistance, Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed in Nazi Germany.

Feb. 22, 1944 - Jack C. Montgomery was a Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a first lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds. On this day, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery's rifle platoon came under fire by three echelons of enemy forces. He single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. As a result of his courage, Montgomery's actions demoralized the enemy and inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops. He would be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Feb. 22, 1945 – The Monroe Journal reported that news had been received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Hayles of Uriah, that their son, Sgt. Floyd Hayles, was a prisoner of war in Germany. Sgt. Hayles entered the service in February 1943 and went overseas July 3 of that year. He took part in some major engagements, was wounded on June 14, 1944 in France and was reported missing in action Sept. 18, 1944.

Feb. 22, 1945 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Forte of Beatrice had received word that their son, John D. Forte, had been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and Battle Star. He was serving with the Army in the Pacific.

Feb. 22, 1945 – The Monroe Journal reported that Lt. William H. Walding of Monroeville, navigator of a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 95th Bombardment Group in England, had been awarded the 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in bombing attacks on vital German targets. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Walding. His wife, Betty Walding, lived in Indianapolis, Ind.

Feb. 22, 1947 - Alabama author Richard North Patterson was born in Berkeley, Calif.

Feb. 22, 1950 - Thomas Mason Mills, age 74, widely known and highly respected citizen of Evergreen, Ala., died in his sleep at the home of his son, Carl H. Mills, in Pensacola on this Wednesday. Mills was born in Wilcox County at Pineapple on March 6, 1875. He spent his early life in that community and in Butler County. He moved to Evergreen about 35 years before his death and made his home there until about one month before his death when he moved to live with his son in Pensacola because of his failing health. He was for many years connected with the L.L. Moorer Store, large mercantile establishment in Evergreen in former years.

Feb. 22, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported that chances were good that the construction of the proposed Conecuh County hospital under the Hill-Burton Act would get underway that year or early in 1952. This statement was made that week by Clay H. Dean, Director of the hospital planning division of the State Department of Public Health in a letter to the Conecuh County Hospital Association.

Feb. 22, 1957 – Ngô Đình Diệm of South Vietnam survived a communist shooting assassination attempt in Buôn Ma Thuột.

Feb. 22, 1960 – The top three winners in the senior division of the annual Beta Club Beauty Revue at Excel High School on this Monday night were Maxine Wiggins, second place; Sandra Roberson, first place; and Shelby Kilpatrick, third place.

Feb. 22, 1960 - Extensive construction plans for the two Monroeville schools had been submitted to the State Department of Education and initial work was awaiting approval of the State Building Commission. This information highlighted a report of a survey of schools in Monroeville and throughout Monroe County as presented by Dr. John Abbott of Monroeville to the local Parent-Teacher Association at a meeting on this Monday night. He said the plans called for construction of a cafeteria and four new classrooms at Monroe County High School and three classrooms and an auditorium at Monroeville Elementary School.

Feb. 22-25, 1961 – The Class A, District I Basketball Tournament was held at T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, Ala. Sixteen teams participated in the tourney, including Castleberry, Chatom, Coffeeville, Excel, Fairhope, Lyeffion, Miller, Monroeville, Repton and Silas.

Feb. 22, 1962 – “A Gift of Time,” a dramatic version of Alabama author Lael Tucker Wertenbaker's book “Death of a Man,” opened on Broadway.

Feb. 22, 1965 - General William Westmoreland, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam, cabled Washington, D.C., to request that two battalions of U.S. Marines be sent to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.

Feb. 22, 1966 – Conecuh County High School, led by head coach Wayne Pope, beat Beatrice, 89-53, on this Tuesday night in the opening round of the Area Class A Basketball Tournament in the Monroe County Coliseum in Monroeville, Ala. Ronald Reeves led CCHS with 20 points; Rodney Wilson scored 14; and Donald Janes scored 13. Brown led Beatrice with 23, and Booker scored 11. Also that night, Fruitdale beat Lyeffion, 43-40. Booker led Lyeffion with 18 points, and Wilson scored 12. Joe Mason was Lyeffion’s head coach.

Feb. 22, 1967 – The Conecuh County Training School played the Mobile County Training School in Bay Minette, Ala. with the winner to advance to the state basketball tournament.

Feb. 22, 1967 - Operation Junction City was launched to ease pressure on Saigon.

Feb. 22, 1968 - The American war effort in Vietnam was hit hard by the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive, which ended on this day in 1968.

Feb. 22, 1973 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team, led by head coach Charles Branum, beat Monroeville, 60-44, in the 3A Region 1, Area 2 tournament.

Feb. 22, 1975 – Evergreen, Alabama’s new “Avenue of Flags” was to be seen for the first time on this Saturday, when the flags were to fly to honor the birthday of the nation’s first president, George Washington. The project was led by the Pilot Club which set a goal of 50 flags to fly in the park area between West Front Street and the L&N Railroad in downtown Evergreen. Actually, a total of 72 flags, costing $25 each, were donated.

Feb. 22, 1979 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Marine Cpl. James D. Morrow, son of Lois H. Browder of Rt. 2, Box 260, McKenzie, Ala., had recently departed for deployment in the Mediterranean Sea. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, Eighth Marines, based at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C. His unit was embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, operating as a unit of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Feb. 22, 1979 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Palmer Smith was serving as hospital pharmacist and purchasing agent for Evergreen Hospital, Inc. Smith graduated from Evergreen High School in 1958 where he was a popular student and athlete. A registered pharmacist, he graduated from Samford University, Birmingham, in 1963. He worked at the Conecuh Drug Co. in Evergreen and then owned pharmacies in Montgomery for several years. Prior to accepting his recent position, he worked as a pharmacist with a Monroeville drug store. Smith and his wife, Jane, and their son, Eben, 10, lived in the Fairview community and were members of the Evergreen Baptist Church. He was the son of Mrs. V.P. Smith and the late Mr. Smith of Route E, Evergreen.

Feb. 22, 1979 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Cynthia Rudolph had won first place in the Birmingham Post-Herald Spelling Bee at Marshall Middle School and would compete in the County Spelling Bee in March.

Feb. 22, 1979 – The Monroe Journal published a photo of a smiling Randall Watson of Monroeville holding a magnetic key case that was said to resemble one used to frame California sportswriter Bob Padecky on a drug charge at Gulf Shores. Watson said the case he held in the photo was the same one he asked a waitress to buy the same day the Padecky incident occurred. Watson, who was with Padecky and professional football player Kenny Stabler shortly before Padecky was arrested, had been prominent in recent state and national news about the incident. Watson said he needed the case because he had locked his keys in his car twice the night before and several other times. Watson said investigators had contacted him during the previous week on their first trip, and had said they had known exactly where he was. A spokesman for Attorney General Charles Graddick said during the previous week that Watson was not under investigation in the incident, but was wanted only for questioning.

Feb. 22, 1979 – The Monroe Journal reported that J. Lindsey Finklea of Beatrice had retired the previous month from the Board of Directors of Peoples Exchange Bank after serving on it for 44 years. Finklea was elected a director of the bank Jan. 10, 1935 and was named vice president the following May. He was to serve as chairman of the board emeritus after his retirement.

Feb. 22, 1987 – Vickie Lynn Pittman of East Brewton, Ala. was murdered. Her body was discovered near Brooklyn, Ala. in March 1987 and she was buried in the Elim Cemetery in Escambia County.

Feb. 22, 1995 - The NFL and CBS Radio agreed to a new four-year contract for an annual 53-game package of games.
Feb. 22, 2004 - Dr. James Lamar Jackson, a minister who worked with the Alabama Baptist State Convention, passed away on this Sunday at his home in Evergreen. He was 86.

Feb. 22, 2006 – Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat was murdered at the age of 29 in Samarra.

Feb. 22, 2010 - A copy of "Action Comics #1," which featured the first appearance of Superman, sold at auction for $1 million.

Feb. 22, 2010 - Ali Congdon of Bermuda fielded the Reserve Grand Champion during the 65th Annual Conecuh County Steer & Heifer Show on this Monday at Breaking Ridge Farms in Evergreen, Ala. The steer tipped the scales at 1,110 pounds and sold for $1.50 per pound.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Feb. 22, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.05 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 6.25 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 5.65 inches.

Notes: Today is the 53rd day of 2018 and the 64th day of Winter. There are 312 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, February 21, 2018

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

Judge B.M. Miller
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Feb. 21, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Lt. J. Paul Jones cables his parents that he arrived safely in England and is now at the Officers School of Instruction, Blackpool, England. His many friends are glad to know of his safe arrival “over there.”

Mrs. D.E. Dunn has received a letter from her son, our former fellow-townsman, W.E. Dunn. He is “somewhere in France” and writes that he is well. Mr. Dunn is a member of Co. K, 167th U.S. Infantry, of the Rainbow Division.

Bosin Linam, the former old Camden negro, and who moved to Mobile with Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Benson Jr. some years ago, died in Mobile last week. Bosin regularly attended the Confederate veterans reunions.

There were 7,594 bales of cotton counting round as half bales ginned in Wilcox County from the crop of 1917 prior to Jan. 16, 1918 as compared with 4,114 ginned prior to Jan. 16, 1917. – C.S. Dale, Agent.

DEATH OF MR. P.C. JENKINS: Mr. P.C. Jenkins died on Friday last after an extended illness of several months. He was born and reared in Wilcox and had been a prominent figure in public matters for years. He was a man of unusual native ability, genial in disposition, generous hearted and ever loyal to his friends. His sincerity and candor in all public questions increased the admiration of his friend and held the respect of his opponents. He held the office of sheriff one term and his record was one of strict law enforcement.
He was married to Miss Olive Young, who with four children, survived to mourn his loss. The Progressive Era extends its sympathy to the bereaved ones.

Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Liddell left Thursday morning for San Antonio, Texas, on receipt of a telegram stating that there son, Will, who is attending the officers training camp at Ft. Sam Houston, was very ill of pneumonia. Later reports state his condition is improved. His many Camden friends are grieved to know of his illness, and the Progressive Era hopes this worthy young man a speedy recovery.

Mr. D.J. Wilkinson of Gastonburg has been selected Road Supervisor to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of Mr. Smith. Mr. Wilkinson enters on his duties, purposing to enforce the road law relative to the repair and upkeep of roads. We bespeak for him the cooperation of all citizens, as this is a material of vital importance to our prosperity.

Mr. Tom Melton of Pineapple was elected Friday to membership on the Board of Equalization to succeed Mr. Percy Wallace, who resigned. Mr. Melton is one of our progressive citizens of Pineapple and is in every way qualified to fill the position.

Judge B.M. Miller is confined to his bed with pneumonia. His many friends throughout the State will regret to learn of his illness and his speedy recovery is hoped for.

Profs. C.H. Newsome of Pineapple and J.B. Sellers of McWilliams were examined by the Examining Board Saturday. Prof. Newsome was granted exemption while Prof. Sellers was accepted.

Mrs. W.P. Roberts, accompanied her husband, Dr. W.P. Roberts, to Camden Thursday where he attended the meeting of the Board of Education.

Wilcox County Confederate veteran and Freemason, David McIntosh Sr., lived to be 91 years old

Final resting place of David McIntosh Sr.
This coming Friday will mark 100 years since the death of one of the toughest Confederate veterans to ever call Wilcox County home – David McIntosh Sr.

McIntosh, who was born in Mississippi in 1826, passed away in Camden on Feb. 23, 1918 at the age of 91. His obituary appeared in the Feb. 28, 1918 edition of The Progressive Era newspaper, and the newspaper noted that he was a “true Southerner,” who “early in the War Between the States enlisted in the Confederate services as a member of Co. D, Third Alabama Cavalry.”

His obituary also noted that when he died, McIntosh was one of the oldest men in Wilcox County, and when you take a close look at his service record, you realize that it’s a small miracle that he even survived the war. According to records at the state archives in Montgomery, the 3rd Alabama Cavalry was organized in 1862 and included several companies that had already fought at Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Later, the regiment moved into Kentucky, where it was “engaged in daily conflicts with the enemy” and “was on constant and arduous duty during the remainder of the war,” state records reflect.

Locations where the regiment saw action included Aiken, Bentonville, Bramlet’s Station, Chapel Hill, Chickamauga, Decatur, Fayetteville, Kingston, Knoxville, Macon, Mossy Creek, Murfreesboro, Perryville, Raleigh, Shelbyville, Strawberry Plains, Winchester and in the Dalton-Atlanta campaign. With each passing engagement, the regiment “continuously” suffered casualties and when the regiment finally surrendered at the end of the war in 1865 it had been “reduced by its losses to a skeleton,” records reflect.

McIntosh was among the few survivors, and when he returned to Wilcox County, he turned to a life of farming. According to his obituary, he owned a farm in what was called “Mims beat,” near the Neenah community. According to the Historical Atlas of Alabama, the Neenah community was located southeast of Camden, between the Fatama and Rosebud communities.

McIntosh was also a longtime resident of Camden, having bought the “Jerry Fail residence” in Camden when he returned home from the war. McIntosh was also a prominent member of Dale Masonic Lodge in Camden, and his funeral was conducted by his Masonic brothers and Presbyterian minister H.W. Wallace.

While McIntosh survived everything that the war could throw at him, many of his comrades were not so lucky. According to “Men of Wilcox: They Wore the Gray” by Ouida Starr Woodson, known Wilcox County soldiers in McIntosh’s company who died during the war included Jacob Auchurstz, Tom Boykin, John Callery, George Carter, Bill Cunningham, David Dortch, James Dudley, W.W. Dallas, Jerry Fowler, Henry Hilman, Marion Hopkins, Billy Land, Robert Merriman, Henry Oliver, David Outlaw, Robert A. Smith, Bill Smith, Elbert Smith and George W. Williamson.

If you visit the old, historic Camden Cemetery today, you will find the somber Confederate monument that was erected in memory of these men and all others from Wilcox County who died during the Civil War. Fittingly, just a short walk away, you’ll also find the grave of David McIntosh Sr., who outlived many of his comrades by more than half a century. Today, a century after his death, only the memory of this tough, old soldier remains as he rests in peace beneath the soil of his home for so many years.

Today in History for Feb. 21, 2018

Frisco City's Alfred Malone (98) closes in for a tackle.
Feb. 21, 1676 - Warriors led by the Nashaway chief One-eyed John (Monoco) entered the village of Medfield during the night and waited until daybreak on this day to attack. They set fire to most of the houses, killed 18 colonists and made others prisoners. About 50 houses were burned.

Feb. 21, 1676 - The Massachusetts council decided to raise an additional army of 100 foot soldiers and 72 horsemen to be placed under the command of Major Thomas Savage.

Feb. 21, 1756 - Treaty negotiations with the Catawba were held at Catawba town on this day and the next. Though disgraced by some of Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie deceitful actions, a treaty was made by which the tribe was to fight against the French.

Feb. 21, 1777 - George Weedon was promoted to brigadier general of the Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.

Feb. 21, 1810 – Future Conecuh County Circuit Clerk Nicholas Stallworth Jr. was born in Edgefield District, S.C.

Feb. 21, 1827 – William A. Stewart became the postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Feb. 21, 1828 - The first printing press designed to use the newly invented Cherokee alphabet arrived at New Echota, Ga. after the General Council of the Cherokee Nation purchased the press with the goal of producing a Cherokee-language newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix.

Feb. 21, 1848 - The Communist Manifesto, the most influential and best-selling political pamphlet of all time, was first published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Feb. 21, 1858 - Edwin T. Holmes installed the first electric burglar alarm in Boston, Mass.

Feb. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Valverde was fought near Fort Craig in the New Mexico Territory. During the battle, Confederate troops under General Henry Hopkins Sibley attacked Union troops under Colonel Edward R. S. Canby. It was the first major battle in the far West, but ended with no decisive result. The Federals suffered 68 killed, 160 wounded, and 35 missing out of 3,100 engaged. The Confederates suffered 31 killed, 154 wounded, and one missing out of 2,600 troops. In the waning stage of the war, Canby negotiated the surrender of Confederate forces at Magee Farm in Kushla, Ala.

Feb. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Prairie Station, Miss., and Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Franklin to Carter Creek Roads in Tennessee.

Feb. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Ellis' Bridge, Prairie Station, Okolona, West Point and Union in Mississippi, and near Circleville and Dranesville in Virginia. A two-day Federal operation between New Creek to Moorefield in West Virginia began.

Feb. 21, 1864 - Confederate troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeated Union General William Sooy Smith at West Point, Miss.

Feb. 21, 1865 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal operation between Pine Bluff and Douglass Plantation in Arkansas began. Sixteen days of sustained Federal operations moving against the remaining Confederates in the District of Key West and Tortugas, in the Vicinity of Saint Mark’s, Fla. began. Confederates raided Cumberland, Md. A skirmish was fought at Eagle Island, Fort Strong, N.C. Braxton Bragg evacuated Wilmington, N.C.

Feb. 21, 1870 – William Fowler was named the postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Feb. 21, 1874 - The Oakland Daily Tribune began publication.

Feb. 21, 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument, built in honor of America’s revolutionary hero and first president, was dedicated.

Feb. 21, 1885 – U.S. Representative Frank William Boykin Sr. was born in Bladon Springs, Ala. The Boykin community in Wilcox County was named after him when the community’s post office was established in 1949. Boykin represented Alabama’s 1st Congressional District from July 30, 1935 to Jan. 3, 1963.

Feb. 21, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that “Monroeville (Ala.) was snowbound for several days last week, all communication with the outside world by mail and otherwise being cut off by the snow.”

Feb. 21, 1903 – Diarist Anais Nin was born in Neuilly, France.

Feb. 21, 1903 - J.E. Brame, the great traveler, was scheduled to deliver a free lecture at the Peterman school house on this Saturday night at 7 p.m. “on what he saw in making a trip around the world, via Europe, the Suez Canal, China, Japan and Egypt,” according to The Monroe Journal.

Feb. 21, 1907 – Pulitzer Prize-winning British poet, author and playwright W.H. Auden was born Wystan Hugh Auden in York, England.

Feb. 21, 1908 – The historic church bell at the Elba United Methodist Church in Coffee County, Ala. was cast on this day in Hillsboro, Ohio.

Feb. 21, 1911 – The temperature reached 26 degrees in Evergreen, Ala. during a cold snap that caused much damage to fruits and vegetables.

Feb. 21, 1913 - Alabama author Julia Truitt Yenni was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Feb. 21, 1915 – Jennie Faulk returned to Monroeville, Ala. “from the markets where she spent some time in the selection of her new spring stock. She will have something to say next week of peculiar interest to her numerous lady customers.”

Feb. 21, 1916 - At 7:12 a.m. on this morning, a shot from a German Krupp 38-centimeter long-barreled gun - one of over 1,200 such weapons set to bombard French forces along a 20-kilometer front stretching across the Meuse River - strikes a cathedral in the fortress city of Verdun, France, beginning the Battle of Verdun, which would stretch on for 10 months and become the longest conflict of World War I.

Feb. 21, 1918 - On this morning, combined Allied forces of British troops and the Australian mounted cavalry captured the city of Jericho in Palestine after a three-day battle with Turkish troops.

Feb. 21, 1918 - The last captive Carolina parakeet, the last breed of parrot native to the eastern U.S., died in the Cincinnati Zoo.

Feb. 21, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Lt. J. Paul Jones had cabled his parents to let them know that he had arrived safely in England and was at the Officers School of Instruction in Blackpool, England.

Feb. 21, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Mrs. D.E. Dunn had received a letter from her son, W.E. Dunn. He was “somewhere in France” and wrote that he was well. Dunn was a member of Co. K, 167th U.S. Infantry, of the Rainbow Division.

Feb. 21, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Bosin Linam, an elderly black man from Camden who moved to Mobile with Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Benson Jr. some years before, had died in Mobile during the previous week. Bosin regularly attended the Confederate veterans reunions.

Feb. 21, 1918 - Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Liddell left on this Thursday morning for San Antonio, Texas after receiving a telegram stating that there son, Will, who was attending the officers training camp at Ft. Sam Houston, was very ill from pneumonia. Later reports stated his condition was improved. His many Camden friends were grieved to know of his illness.

Feb. 21, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that D.J. Wilkinson of Gastonburg had been selected Road Supervisor to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of Mr. Smith. Wilkinson entered on his duties, purposing to enforce the road law relative to the repair and upkeep of roads.

Feb. 21, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Judge B.M. Miller was confined to his bed with pneumonia.

Feb. 21, 1918 - Mrs. W.P. Roberts, accompanied her husband, Dr. W.P. Roberts, to Camden on this Thursday where he attended the meeting of the Board of Education.

Feb. 21, 1924 – The Monroe Journal reported that “unusual building activity” was noticeable at Megargel, Ala., a town site laid out when the Deep Water Railroad was constructed. With the exception of one or two small structures, the town site had lain unoccupied for several years. Several months before February 1924, J.T. Murphy had erected a store and steam ginnery at Megargel and since that time there had been remarkable activity in clearing and laying out farms and location of settlements. Two stores were doing a thriving business and a third was in the course of construction, besides two or three new dwellings.

Feb. 21, 1925 - The first issue of "The New Yorker" was published. The magazine was founded by Harold Ross and his wife, Jane Grant, who was a reporter for the New York Times; Ross remained editor in chief until his death in 1951.

Feb. 21, 1931 - The Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants became the first Major League Baseball teams to play in a night game.

Feb. 21, 1938 – NFL offensive tackle Ernie McMillan was born in Chicago Heights, Ill. He would go on to play for the University of Illinois, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers.

Feb. 21, 1943 – Major League Baseball pitcher Jack Billingham was born in Orlando, Fla. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Houston Astros, the Cincinnati Reds, the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox.

Feb. 21, 1946 – The Evergreen Courant reported that sailor William K. Wiggins of Evergreen, Ala. was the 50,000th service member to be discharged from the discharge center in Shelton, Va.

Feb. 21, 1951 – NFL running back Bill Olds was born in Kansas City, Kansas. He would go on to play for Nebraska, the Baltimore Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Feb. 21, 1952 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team beat Lyeffion, 62-22, in Evergreen, Ala. Shirley Frazier and Gwyn Daniels led Evergreen with 19 points each. David Eddins led Lyeffion with 10 points.

Feb. 21, 1953 – NFL guard Ken Huff was born in Hutchinson, Kansas. He would go on to play for North Carolina, the Baltimore Colts and the Washington Redskins.

Feb. 21, 1953 – NFL center and tackle Jim Pietrzak was born in Detroit, Mich. He would go on to play for Eastern Michigan, the New York Giants, the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Feb. 21, 1953 - Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the double helical structure of the DNA molecule.

Feb. 21, 1956 – Writer Ha Jin was born in Liaoning Province, China.

Feb. 21, 1962 – Novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, N.Y.

Feb. 21, 1964 - The U.K. flies 24,000 rolls of Beatle wallpaper to U.S.

Feb. 21, 1965 – Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.

Feb. 21, 1967 – The top-seeded Conecuh County High School Blue Devils advanced to the semifinal round of the Area I tournament by beating Frisco City, 62-44, at the Coliseum in Monroeville, Ala. Also in the other tournament game that night, Excel upset third-seeded Repton, 51-45.

Feb. 21, 1967 - Writer and historian Bernard B. Fall was killed by a Viet Cong mine while accompanying a U.S. Marine patrol along the seacoast about 14 miles northwest of Hue, on a road known as the “Street Without Joy” (which Fall had used for the title of one of his books about the war).

Feb. 21, 1968 - An agreement between baseball players and club owners increased the minimum salary for major league players to $10,000 a year.

Feb. 21, 1968 – Fire almost totally destroyed the Flxible Southern Co. plant in Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 21, 1970- National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger began secret peace talks with North Vietnamese representative Le Duc Tho, the fifth-ranking member of the Hanoi Politburo, at a villa outside Paris.

Feb. 21, 1972 - President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China.

Feb. 21, 1974 - Tom Seaver signed a contract with the New York Mets worth $172,000 a year.

Feb. 21, 1975 – During the Watergate scandal, former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman were sentenced to prison.

Feb. 21, 1982 – NFL defensive tackle Alfred Malone was born in Monroeville, Ala. He would go on to play for Frisco City High School, Georgia Tech, Troy University, the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers.

Feb. 21, 1983 - Donald Davis ran one mile backwards in six minutes and 7.1 seconds.

Feb. 21, 1986 - Rollie Fingers refused to shave off his mustache to comply with the policy of the Cincinnati Reds.

Feb. 21, 1991 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys and varsity girls basketball teams played in the state tournament at Hooper Academy. Sparta’s boys played Springwood Academy at 7 p.m., and Sparta’s girls played Springwood at 2 p.m.

Feb. 21, 1991 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Ralph Stacy had been appointed manager of W&J Propane in Evergreen, Ala. and would continue to serve as area manager and manager of marketing and advertising.

Feb. 21, 1995 – J.F. Shields High School’s girls basketball team beat Florala, 45-29, in Bay Minette during the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 2A girls Southwest Region basketball tournament at Faulkner State Community College. Renee Fountain, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, led Shields with 31 points.

Feb. 21, 1995 – Monroe Academy headmaster David Walker, 47, of Monroeville submitted his resignation to Wayne Thames, president of the school’s board of directors on this day. Walker had served as the school’s headmaster for 11 years.

Feb. 21, 1999 - Alabama author Cora Cheney died in Takoma Park, Md.

Feb. 21, 1999 – Former Major League Baseball pitcher Wilmer Mizell, a native of Vinegar Bend, Ala. (Washington County), died at the age of 68 in Kerrville, Texas. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets.
Feb. 21, 2002 – The Monroe Journal reported that Tracy Wicker, a junior at Frisco City High School, had recently represented her school in a statewide essay contest sponsored by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and the Alabama Department of Education. The essay contest, on Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was open to students from 38 school districts in Alabama, and each winning essay was eligible to win in the statewide contest.

Feb. 21, 2003 – In the Final Four round of the AISA Class A state basketball tournament, Sparta’s varsity boys were scheduled to play Ashford Academy on this Friday at 12:30 p.m. Sparta’s girls were scheduled to play Coosa Valley at 2 p.m.