Thursday, July 27, 2017

Today in History for July 27, 2017

July 27, 1663 – The English Parliament passed the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies had to be sent in English ships from English ports.

July 27, 1740 – French explorer Jeanne Baré was born in the village of La Comelle in the Burgundy region of France.

July 27, 1775 - Benjamin Rush began his service as the first Surgeon General of the Continental Army.

July 27, 1776 - Silas Deane, the secret Congressional emissary to France, wrote a letter to Congress, informing them that he had been successful beyond his expectations in France.

July 27, 1777 - The Marquis of Lafayette arrived in New England to help the rebellious American colonists fight the British.

July 27, 1778 – During the American Revolution, at the First Battle of Ushant, British and French fleets fought to a standoff.

July 27, 1784 - "Courier De L’Amerique" became the first French newspaper to be published in the United States. It was printed in Philadelphia, Pa.

July 27, 1789 – The United States Department of Foreign Affairs was created. The Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State in September 1789.

July 27, 1804 - The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. With the amendment, electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.

July 27, 1806 - Attempting to stop a band of young Blackfoot Indians from stealing his horses, Meriwether Lewis shot an Indian in the stomach. The Indians retreated, and the men quickly gathered their horses. Lewis then learned that one of his men had also fatally stabbed another of the Blackfoot.

July 27, 1813 – The Battle of Burnt Corn Creek occurred 13 miles south of Belleville, Ala. (in present day Escambia County, Ala.) when a group of about 80 Red Stick Creek Indians under the command of Peter McQueen and High Head Jim were ambushed by American forces under the command of Col. James Caller and Capt. Dixon Bailey. McQueen and his men were returning from Pensacola, where they had secured supplies and arms from the Spanish and British. The Battle of Burnt Corn Creek is considered the first engagement of the Creek Indian War of 1813-1814 and is generally considered to have been a Red Stick victory.

July 27, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette departed from West Chester, Pa. for Lancaster, Pa.

July 27, 1837 – Joseph R. Bass was born at Marion Court House, S.C. He would eventually move to Evergreen, Ala. and served in the Confederate Army. After the war, he would move to Texas, and he is buried in Caddo Mills, Texas.

July 27, 1861 – During the Civil War, George McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac after the disaster at Bull Run five days prior. McClellan built the army into a powerhouse in the winter of 1861-62, although he proved to be a weak field commander.

July 27, 1862 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation between Woodville and Guntersville, Ala. began.

July 27, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bayou Bernard, near Fort Gibson, in the Indian Territory; at Covington and Madisonville, La.; at Toone’s Station, or Lower Post Ferry, in Tennessee; at Flat Top Mountain, W.Va.; and at Brown’s Spring, Mo.

July 27, 1862 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation from Rienzi to Ripley, Miss. began, and an eight-day Federal operation in Carroll, Ray, and Livingston Counties, Missouri began.

July 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederates attacked the steamer, “Paint Rock,” near Bridgeport, Ala.

July 27, 1863 - Confederate and ardent secessionist William Lowndes Yancey died suddenly of kidney disease at the age of 48 at his home near Montgomery, Ala. The main author of Alabama's ordinance of secession, which removed Alabama from the Union, Yancey was one of the leading "fire-eaters" who influenced southern states to secede. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala.

July 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation was conducted between Baxter Springs and Grand River, Kansas.

July 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Rogersville, Ky.; at the mouth of Bayou Teche, La.; and at Cassville Mo.

July 27, 1864 – On this day during the Civil War, the Federal Navy carried out reconnaissance of lower Mobile Bay.

July 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Massard Prairie, near Fort Smith, Ark.; at Whiteside, along Back Creek, Fla.; at Macon, Ga., and at Snapfinger Creek, Ga.; on the Blackwater River and on Big Creek in Missouri; on the north bank of the James River, at Deep Bottom (or Darbytown,) Strawberry Pains, near Lee’s Mill and New Market Road in Virginia; and at Black Creek, W.Va.

July 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, the shelling of Fort Sumter continued in South Carolina.

July 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal expedition against the Atlanta, West Point, Macon and the Western Railroad began in Georgia.

July 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, a nine-day Federal operation began at Norfolk, Va. and went into North Carolina. The following communities are involved: Gatesville, Winton, Wintonville and Elizabeth City.

July 27, 1870 – Hilaire Belloc was born in Paris, France. In his lifetime, he was known for his journalism and serious essays, but today he's best known for his books of humorous verse.

July 27, 1880 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Tinker was born in Muscotah, Kansas. He went on to play for the Chicago Orphans/Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

July 27, 1881 – Mobile, Ala. native Florence Elizabeth Chandler married cotton broker James Maybrick at St. James’s Church in Piccadilly in London. In 1889, Florence Maybrick would be convicted of poisoning James Maybrick, who was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper killings.

July 27, 1896 - Capt. W.B. Kemp of Kempville spent this day in Monroeville, Ala.

July 27, 1896 - Dr. Carter and family returned to their home in Marengo County from Monroeville on this Monday.

July 27, 1896 – The Rev. J.H. Riffe attended the Southwest Alabama Ministers and Deacons Institute at Georgiana on this day.

July 27, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that jury verdicts had been reached in a number of cases before the Monroe County Circuit Court. Sonny Coker had been sentenced to hang on Sept. 8 for rape. Frank Coker was sentenced to penitentiary for life for murder. John Sanders received 10 years in penitentiary for rape. Wes. Rains was sentenced to five years in penitentiary for murder, and Sam Mixon was sentenced to 10 years in penitentiary for arson.

July 27, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Col. Nick Stallworth of Evergreen visited The Monroe Journal office while visiting Monroeville during the previous week. Stallworth had spent the previous winter and spring in New Mexico and was “greatly improved in health.”

July 27, 1905 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and manager Leo Durocher was born in West Springfield, Mass. He went on to play for the New York Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he managed the Dodgers, the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

July 27, 1908 – Writer Joseph Mitchell was born in Fairmont, N.C.

July 27, 1910 – The Evergreen Courant reported that prominent Conecuh County citizen and former Confederate officer Pinckney D. Bowles had passed away at the age of 75 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Cobb, in Tampa, Fla., where he’d been several weeks prior to his death.

July 27, 1910 – The Evergreen Courant reported that members of Greening Masonic Lodge, No. 53, were requested to meet at the lodge on July 28 at 3 p.m. to attend the funeral of Pinckney D. Bowles. H.A. Shields was the lodge’s Worshipful Master.

July 27, 1915 – A new water well at the Monroeville, Ala. pumping plant was completed and the water was turned into the city’s water mains on this Tuesday afternoon, after 10 days of no water for city water customers. The “wells of the community were being rapidly exhausted” while the city water service was down.

July 27, 1916 – Writer Elizabeth Hardwick was born in Lexington, Ky.

July 27, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Pineapple community, that they were still receiving a lot of rain. It had rained 19 days and farmers could do nothing with their crops.

July 27, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Library No. 1 of the National Suffrage Association had been sent to the Monroeville League. Those who wished to “inform themselves regarding this important issue” could obtain the books by calling on Mrs. P.D. Barker, who was residing at the home of Mr. D.D. Mims.

July 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the six-year-old son of S. Bryant had died in Sylacauga as a result of biting his tongue. The child was brought to Sylacauga for medical attention, when efforts to stop the bleeding failed. Physicians there were unable to stop the flow of blood and death resulted in a few hours.

July 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the state Sacred Singers held a three-day session in Birmingham. There were at least a thousand visitors in the city for the convention. The various counties of the state sent some of their best singers.

July 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that, in spite of the many rumors regarding the whereabouts of David D. Overton, wanted in connection with the murder of Probate Judge Lawler in Huntsville, no clue had yet been found of his hiding place.

July 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the body of an unidentified man had been found on the tracks of the Central of Georgia Railroad at Sylacauga. It was supposed that the man came to his death while hopping the train and fell under the car wheels.

July 27, 1916 – J.P. Kendall, a “good citizen and an upright man,” died on this Thursday morning, according to The Conecuh Record. He was buried in the Evergreen cemetery, “a large crowd being present.”

July 27, 1916 - In Bruges, Belgium, German officials executed Captain Charles Fryatt, the former commander of the Great Eastern Railway steamship Brussels, after a German court martial found him guilty of making an attack on a German submarine.

July 27, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Everett H. Brown of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action. Brown was buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France.

July 27, 1918 – During World War I, Army Cpl. Alexander A. Loyd (sometimes spelled “Lloyd”) of Eliska, Ala. “died from wounds.” Loyd was buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France. (Some sources also say Loyd was killed in action on July 25, 1918.)

July 27, 1918 - Brooklyn rookie Henry Heitman made his Major League Baseball debut and his last Major League appearance in the same day. He pitched four straight hits to the St. Louis Cardinals, left the game and never played again in the majors.

July 27, 1921 - Baseball fan Reuben Berman sued the New York Giants, claiming he suffered mental and bodily distress after refusing to return a foul ball May 16 at the Polo Grounds. Berman was eventually rewarded $100.

July 27, 1931 - A grasshopper invasion descended over Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota devouring thousands of crop acres.

July 27, 1932 – During the Great Depression, following a run of withdrawals, the Peoples Bank of Evergreen, Ala. closed its doors at 10 a.m. and upon unanimous vote of its board of directors, its affairs were turned over to the state for liquidation. The bank was founded in 1901 and merged with the First National Bank of Evergreen on June 10, 1930.

July 27, 1933 - The Monroeville Golf Club was scheduled to hold its third annual invitation tournament on this Thursday. All entrants were to be required to play a qualifying round or turn in a qualifying score by 10 a.m. Thursday. Invitations had been mailed to members of about a dozen clubs and a large number of golfers were expected to take part in the tournament.

July 27, 1937 - An unknown animal "with red eyes" seen by residents of Downingtown, Pennsylvania was compared to the Jersey Devil by a reporter for the Pennsylvania Bulletin of July 28, 1937.

July 27, 1938 – Irish seaman and explorer Tom Crean died at the age of 61 at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, Ireland.

July 27, 1938 - D.J. McWilliams of Mart, Texas spent this Wednesday in Monroeville. Williams taught school in Monroeville at the Academy which was located in the eastern part of town in 1891 and 1892. The following year, he went to Texas and had remained there since that time.

July 27, 1940 – The animated Warner Bros. short “A Wild Hare” was released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

July 27, 1940 – Novelist Bharati Mukherjee was born in Calcutta, India.

July 27, 1946 - Rudy York of the Boston Red Sox hit two grand slams and drove in 10 runs to lead the Red Sox over the St. Louis Browns, 13-6.

July 27, 1947 – The Evergreen Greenies baseball team beat Atmore, 5-4, in Atmore, Ala.

July 27, 1948 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and manager Joe Tinker died at the age of 68 in Orlando, Fla. During his career, he played for the Chicago Orphans/Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales, and he also managed the Reds and the Cubs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.

July 27, 1953 – Fighting in the Korean War ended when the United States, China and North Korea signed an armistice agreement at Panmunjon, Korea. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, refused to sign but pledged to observe the armistice.

July 27, 1956 - The Fairview Drive-In Theatre, owned by Olin Evans, opened near Evergreen, Ala. The first movie shown at the theater was “White Feather,” starring Robert Wagner and Debrah Padget.

July 27, 1964 – During the Vietnam War, 5,000 more American military advisers were sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

July 27, 1965 - Forty-six U.S. F-105 fighter-bombers attacked the missile installation that had fired at U.S. planes on July 24. They also attacked another missile installation 40 miles northwest of Hanoi. One missile launcher was destroyed and another was damaged, but five U.S. planes were shot down in the effort.

July 27, 1974 – During the “Watergate Scandal,” the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.

July 27, 1974 - Local weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.1 inches on this day in Evergreen, Ala.

July 27, 1976 – Lyeffion’s Quarterback Club was scheduled to meet on this Tuesday night at the school. Plans were to be made for the rodeo to be held on Aug. 7 and for Pee Wee and Termite football programs. Also, the new assistant coach was to be introduced. All members were urged to attend.

July 27, 1977 – A registration and open house was to be held at the “Wonderland Kindergarten” at 415 Bruner Ave. in Evergreen, Ala. from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mrs. John A. Hendricks was the school’s director.

July 27, 1984 - Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb’s record for most singles in a career when he got his 3,503rd base hit.

July 27, 1987 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Travis Jackson passed away at the age of 83 in Waldo, Ark. He played his entire professional career for the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

July 27, 1987 – RMS Titanic Inc. began the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

July 27, 1995 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Rick Ferrell passed away at the age of 89 in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

July 27, 1996 – In Atlanta, Ga., a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. One woman (Alice Hawthorne) was killed, and a cameraman suffered a heart attack fleeing the scene. One hundred and eleven people were injured.

July 27, 2001 - Deion Sanders announced his retirement from the National Football League.

July 27, 2003 - It was reported by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) that there was no monster in Loch Ness. The investigation used 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to trawl the loch. Reports of sightings of the "Loch Ness Monster" began in the 6th century.

July 27-30, 2005 - A small pond near the Aruba Racquet Club close to the Marriott Hotel beach was partly drained after a gardener came forward with information about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, 18, of Mountain Brook, Ala. The gardener claimed to have seen Jordan van der Sloot attempting to hide his face, driving into the Racquet Club with the two Kalpoes on the morning of May 30 between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The search of the pond proved fruitless.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., July 27, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  6.10 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 15.45 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 59.00 inches.

Notes: Today is the 208th day of 2017 and the 37th day of Summer. There are 157 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, July 26, 2017

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

What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the July 26, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Within the next few days, those drawn for service in the first call for troops will be notified to report for examination.

Messrs. N.D. Godboldt, J.M. Bonner, McCrae Turner, Carl Watts and Dan Cook have received notice to report at Montgomery next week for examination for into Fort Oglethorpe training camp.

Prof. William Bryant has been elected as Superintendent of the Union Town school to succeed Prof. Emmett Kilpatrick, who resigned to enter the officers training camp. Camden boys are in demand and we congratulate Mr. Bryant on this deserved honor.

Unity Lodge No. 136 Free & Accepted Masons, Lower Peach Tree, Alabama: Whereas God in is infinite wisdom and all wise providence, has seen fit to remove from the scene of his earthly labor, our friend and Brother, Mr. C.C. Hare.
Resolved that we, the members of Lower Peach Tree Methodist Sunday school have lost a true and faithful friend, one who worked untiringly while he lived among us for the improvement of our school and to his efforts much of our success is due that we bow in submission to the will of our Heavenly Father who doeth all things well that we extend to his sorrowing widow and children our sympathy in this sad hour of affliction and commend them to the mercy of God, who alone is able to give comfort and consolation. That a copy of this resolution be spread on the minutes and a copy sent to the Alabama Christian Advocate and the Progressive Era for publication and a copy sent his family.
(Signed) Lamar Walker, J.H. Baker, S.P. Stabler, committee.

CATHERINE: The K. Pharr Caning Factory has been very busy of late, caning snap beans, having recently finished the fourth carload of blackberries.
Dr. McIntosh was a visitor to Camden this past week.
The autos that travel on the Jackson Highway which passes through our town are getting to be quite numerous.

Mr. J.B. Sessions of Bellview was a business visitor to Camden Thursday. He states prospects for crops as a whole are very promising.

Sunday School Convention: All Sunday School workers of all denominations in our county are invited to attend the annual convention of Wilcox County Sunday School Association, which will be held at Camden, Ala., Aug. 4th and 5th.

Dr. R.H. Kilpatrick of Irvington is visiting his daughter, Mrs. E.L. Ratcliffe.

Hon. John T. Dale and Mr. Presly Dale of Oak Hill were visitors to Camden Tuesday.

Bishop McCoy will occupy the pulpit at the Methodist on Sunday. This is a rare treat for Camdenites and many visitors from over the county is expected to be present.

Hon. P.E. Jones was a Selma visitor Friday.

Mr. Leslie Duke left this week for Hot Springs, Ark. where he will take treatment for about four weeks. His many Camden friends trust he will be greatly benefitted.

Does anything remain of the "once famous" Wilcox Mineral Springs resort?

One of the two Wilcox Mineral Springs hotels.
A week or so ago, I found myself at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, looking over some 110-year-old editions of The Monroe Journal newspaper. It was there that I stumbled across an item that many Wilcox County history buffs will find interesting.

In the July 11, 1907 edition of The Journal, editor Q. Salter published a large display advertisement that read as follows – “WILCOX MINERAL SPRINGS is now open for the season. The health-giving properties of these waters can be vouched for by many who have been benefitted by them. A hack line to and from the depot to meet the trains morning and evening. Every arrangement for the comfort and entertainment of guests will be carefully looked after. Special terms by the week, month or season, can be had on application to G.W. Stuart, Proprietor, Schuster, Alabama.”

I penciled all of this down in my notebook, and when I got home I searched my shelves for a book called “Historic Alabama Hotels & Resorts” by James F. Sulzby Jr. This 294-page book, which was originally published by the University of Alabama in 1960, describes over 50 old Alabama hotels and resorts, including Wilcox Mineral Springs.

According to Sulzby, who died in 1988 at the age of 82, the “once famous” Wilcox Mineral Springs was located about a mile from the east Wilcox County town of Schuster, which was about halfway between the Louisville & Nashville Railroad stations at Pine Apple and McWilliams. In 1903, entrepreneur George Washington Stuart constructed two hotel buildings at the site after finding four natural mineral springs that bubbled up out of the ground within a space of about 50 square yards.

Stuart, who ran the establishment with his wife Sallie, officially opened the resort on July 4, 1904, and this grand opening was such a big event that the L&N Railroad ran a special train all the way from Mobile to Schuster to accommodate the large crowds. When they arrived, guests found the natural springs covered by pavilions, an amphitheater that could seat 1,500 spectators, a bandstand, a dance pavilion, a baseball park with a grandstand, a five-acre pine grove with picnic tables and other fine accommodations.

For a time, crowds flocked to the resort because Stuart claimed that, like the pure waters at famous resorts like Hot Springs, Arkansas, the natural springs near Schuster were healthy and helped relieve a variety of ailments including bowel troubles, Bright’s Disease, cystitis, diabetes, dyspepsia, gastritis, gout, indigestion, irritable bladder, kidney troubles, nerve problems, rheumatism and stomach problems. The resort, which was also known as Schuster Springs, thrived for a time, but the crowds eventually began to thin, and the business took a major hit after one of the hotel buildings burned in 1908 followed by other fires that destroyed the bandstand and dance pavilion.

Sallie Stuart eventually passed away at the age of 60 on May 8, 1916, and her husband, George W. Stuart, passed away at the age of 79 on Sept. 7, 1931. They are both buried in the Ackerville Cemetery, about 15 miles east of Camden. By the time Sulzby’s book came out in 1960 only a few crumbling foundations were said to mark where the old Wilcox Mineral Springs hotel buildings once stood, and three of the four mineral springs had ceased to flow. I suspect that the site has changed even more during the past 57 years.

In the end, I’d like to hear from readers in the audience with more information about the Wilcox Mineral Springs and the Stuarts. Are there any visible remnants of the old resort remaining in the woods near Schuster? What became of the old baseball field and amphitheater? Does the last “health-giving” spring still bubble from the ground there or have any of the other three springs returned?

Today in History for July 26, 2017

July 26, 1775 - The U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general.

July 26, 1788 – New York ratified the United States Constitution and became the 11th state of the United States.

July 26, 1813 – Troopers on their way to the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek crossed the Alabama River, the horses swimming beside the canoes. They marched southeastward to the cow pens of David Tate. There they were again reinforced by a company from Tensaw Lake and Little River, that was commanded by an educated, courageous, energetic half-breed Creek, Dixie Bailey. The whole force now numbered 180 men.

July 26, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette departed Chester, Pa. for the Brandywine Battlefield ending the day in West Chester, Pa.

July 26, 1856 – Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland.

July 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, George B. McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.

July 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at McCulla’s Store, Mo.. Fort Fillmore, near Mesilla, in the New Mexico Territory, was also abandoned by Federal forces.

July 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Spangler’s Mill, near Jonesborough, Ala.

July 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mill Creek in the vicinity of Pollocksville in North Carolina and at Tazewell, Tenn.

July 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation began in southwestern Missouri, and a four-day Federal operation between Newport and Young’s Cross Road began in North Carolina.

July 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted in the vicinity of Orange Courthouse, Va.

July 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Morgan's Raid ended at Salineville, Ohio when Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers were captured by Union forces. Starting in July 1862, Morgan made four major raids on Northern or Northern-held territory over the course of a year. Although they were of limited strategic significance, the raids served as a boost to Southern morale and captured much-needed supplies.

July 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Sam Houston, who had opposed Texas' secession from the Union, died of pneumonia at the age of 70 at Steamboat House in Huntsville, Texas.

July 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Sioux Indians at Dead Buffalo Lake in the Dakota Territory and at London, Ky.

July 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal expedition from Natchez, Miss. to Kingston, Liberty, and Woodville in Mississippi began. A four-day Federal operation between Plymouth and Foster‘s Mills also began in North Carolina.

July 26, 1864 – Confederate Major General Dabney H. Maury was assigned command of the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, headquartered in Mobile, Ala.

July 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation began between Searcy and West Point in Arkansas. A Federal cavalry operation from Atlanta to Macon, Georgia began. A five-day Federal operation in Johnson County, Mo. began.

July 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Shelbina, Mo.; at Wallace’s Ferry, in the vicinity of Big Creek, Ark.; at Decatur, Ga.; at Haddix’ Ferry, Ky.; at Muddy Branch and Falling Waters in Maryland; and at White’s Station, Tenn.

July 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, Federal operations were conducted in the vicinity of Rapidan Station, Va.

July 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, six Federal whalers were captured in the Bering Sea by the CCS Shenandoah.

July 26, 1879 – Monroe County Judge Sowell held a hearing in regard to Charles Roberts, who’d been rearrested on a second murder warrant in connection with the murder of D.W. Rankin on July 21. Col. Hibbard represented Roberts and argued that Roberts should be released because his case had already been “judicially investigated by a competent magistrate,” Justice of the Peace J.L. Marshall. Sowell disagreed and had Roberts put in jail. D.L. Neville represented the government at the hearing.

July 26, 1886 – The steamer “Jewel” gave an excursion from Montgomery to Point Clear on this day, according to The Monroe Journal.

July 26, 1894 – English author Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey.

July 26, 1896 - Prof. J.N. Powers and family returned home to Monroeville, Ala. on this Sunday “from a pleasant visit to relatives and friends” in Choctaw County.

July 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Pine Apple community, that Miss Etta Norred of Pineapple was teaching school at the Owens school house.

July 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported in news from Repton, that Mr. Stephens was moving to Selma and that Mr. Davis had moved into Mr. Stephens’ home and was the railroad foreman in Repton, Ala.

July 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Nero community, that the picnic at Hunter Old Mill was “as nice a one as anybody ever witnessed.”

July 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Peterman community, that Mr. Kennedy, the hardwood mill man, had moved his family back to Kentucky, their old home. Kennedy was still at Peterman running his mill.

July 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Chestnut community, that for the past two weeks, they had had lots of rain. “The water got high enough for a man to swim in Mr. B.C. Dawson’s corn field. Crops are nearly ruined but grass is looking fine.”

July 26, 1910 – E.J. McCreary returned home to Conecuh County, Ala. from a fishing trip near St. Andrews Bay and brought home a king fish about four feet long.

July 26, 1910 – News reached Evergreen, Ala. on this day that prominent Conecuh County citizen and former Confederate officer Pinckney D. Bowles had passed away at the age of 75 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Cobb, in Tampa, Fla., where he’d been several weeks prior to his death. The news came in a telegram to J.S. Stearns, who was Bowles’s nephew.

July 26, 1911 – Teams from Evergreen and Montgomery played each other in baseball in Evergreen, Ala.

July 26, 1914 – The L&N Railroad began running a new train between Georgiana and Flomaton, where it connected with regular trains running to Mobile and Pensacola. The new train left Georgiana at 6 a.m. with the trains departing from Mobile and Pensacola at 4 p.m. This allowed patrons to transact business in Mobile and Pensacola or at any point along the line and return home the same day.

July 26, 1914 - Erskine Hawkins, famed jazz musician, was born in Birmingham, Ala. His band, the “Bama State Collegians,” became the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra in the late 1930s after gaining a following in New York and winning a recording contract with RCA Victor. The band's biggest hit was the immensely popular "Tuxedo Junction" (1940).

July 26, 1916 - During the epic Battle of the Somme, Australian troops taking part in their first offensive action on the Western Front battled the Germans at Pozieres, near the Somme River in France.

July 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army Cpl. James E. Hendrix, 23, of Roy (present-day Frisco City) was killed in action while serving with the 167th Infantry’s Machine Gun Co. at Chateau Thierry, France. Hendrix was buried in the American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesle, Aisne, France, Grave 103, Section J, Plot 2 and was later reburied at the Mexia Cemetery in Monroe County. He was born on Sept. 8, 1894.

July 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Horace Rigsby of Georgiana was killed in action and was buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial, Fere-en-Tardenois, Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.

July 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army PFC William T. Cheatham of Greenville was killed in action while serving with the 167th Infantry, 42nd Division. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

July 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Boggan of Atmore “died from wounds” while serving with the 327th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division. He was buried in the Saint Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial, Thiaucourt-Regnieville, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle in Lorraine, France.

July 26, 1920 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Waterfield was born in Elmira, N.Y. He went on to play for UCLA and the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams, and he also coached the L.A. Rams for three seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.

July 26, 1921 – Humorist Jean Shepherd was born in Chicago, Ill. The 1983 movie, “A Christmas Story,” is based on his 1967 book, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.”

July 26, 1922 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm was born in Huntersville, N.C. He would go on to play for the New York Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago White Sox, the California Angles, the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

July 26, 1928 – Movie director Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City.

July 26, 1928 - Gene Tunney beat Tom Heeney by a technical knockout in the 11th round at Yankee Stadium to retain the world heavyweight title.

July 26, 1931 - Farmers in the American Midwest saw their crops destroyed by a massive swarm of grasshoppers. The insect collective was so big that it allegedly blocked out the sun and devoured entire fields of crops.

July 26, 1932 - The store building and entire stock of goods belonging to Mr. W.H. Tucker at McGill were destroyed by fire early on this Tuesday morning. Soon after the fire was discovered, it was thought that the store might have been robbed and burned, but further investigation failed to furnish any clues.

July 26, 1934 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald was born in Roy, New Mexico. He went on to play for Oklahoma, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Rams, the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

July 26, 1938 – The Evergreen Greenies beat the Panama City Pelicans, 5-1, on this Tuesday afternoon behind the pitching of Lee Anthony. Anthony, “the tall Kansan,” allowed just three hits, struck out six and drove in three runs wit a double. Joe Cudillo led Everrgreen at the plate with two hits.

July 26, 1939 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly was born in Olney, Texas. He went on to play for TCU and the Dallas Cowboys. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

July 26, 1940 – The Monroe County Masonic Conference was held with the Frisco City Lodge, Frisco City, beginning on this Friday at 9 a.m. J.S. Southall, George U. Potter, and Mr. Brown of Mobile, district lecturer of the 23rd district, were among the out-of-town visitors.

July 26, 1944 – During World War II, the Soviet Army entered Lviv, a major city in western Ukraine, capturing it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jews survived out of 160,000 living in Lviv prior to occupation.

July 26, 1945 – The U.S. Navy cruiser USS Indianapolis arrived at Tinian with parts of the warhead for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

July 26, 1947 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Department of Defense, United States Air Force, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States National Security Council.

July 26, 1947 - The Blacksher Store Co. at Uriah was scheduled to observe its first anniversary under new management on this Saturday, according to Frank Rush, vice president and manager. The store planned to conduct a special sale on that day, and any person whose birthday anniversary occurred on July 27 was to receive a silver dollar from the store upon bringing proof of his birth date. Actually the store’s anniversary was July 27 but since that date fell on a Sunday, the sale was set for Saturday. The Blacksher Store, one of the largest in Monroe County, was begun almost 40 years before. The ownership at that time was composed of D.W. Blacksher, president, and Rush.

July 26, 1948 - Babe Ruth was seen by the public for the last time, when he attended the New York City premiere of the motion picture, "The Babe Ruth Story."

July 26, 1951 – During the Korean War, Army PFC Isaac Lee Jr., 22, of Monroe County, Ala. was killed in action. Born on Nov. 18, 1928, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

July 26, 1952 - Alabama Senator John Sparkman was named the Democratic vice-presidential running mate with Adlai Stevenson. Sparkman was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama in 1936 and served in that body until 1946 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1979. The Democratic ticket lost the election to Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.

July 26, 1953 – The Evergreen Greenies were scored to play Baker, Fla. on this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala.

July 26, 1959 - Alabama author Rick Bragg was born in Piedmont, Ala.

July 26, 1962 – Lewis Ramsey, head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Evergreen High School, resigned to accept head coaching position at Brookwood High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

July 26, 1962 – The Monroe Journal reported that Winston Sessions of Monroeville and Douglas Hitson of Andalusia were attending summer school at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. They were seniors at Livingston State College and were majoring in Spanish. Winston was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville.

July 26, 1962 – The Monroe Journal reported that five new instructors for Monroe County schools were approved at a recent meeting of the Board of Education. Miss Bobby Nell Northrop had been named to the elementary school faculty in Frisco City. A graduate of J.U. Blacksher School at Uriah, Northrop was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at Auburn University, where she also served as head majorette. Mrs. Marlene Brantley Grissette of Excel was to replace Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville on the elementary school faculty at Excel. Gerald R. Irby, a native of Millry, had been named as coach and teacher at Excel. He replaced Charles Walston in the coaching position. Walston was to remain on the Excel faculty as a science instructor. For the previous five years, Irby had been an assistant coach at Satsuma High School in Mobile County. Benny G. Rhoades Jr., a Selma native, had been appointed coach and teacher at J.U. Blacksher School. He had been an assistant coach for four years in Shelby County and for one year in Geneva County. Mrs. Betty Watkins Irby had been hired as an elementary school teacher in Uriah.

July 26, 1968 - Spc. 4 Randle Varner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Varner, was scheduled to leave on this day for Fort Lewis, Washington and was to go on from there to Vietnam, according to The Evergreen Courant. He had spent a 30-day leave in Conecuh County with his parents after being assigned from Hunter AFB, Georgia to overseas duty.

July 26, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese opposition leader Trương Đình Dzu was sentenced to five years hard labor for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.

July 26, 1972 - Although South Vietnamese paratroopers hoisted their flag over Quang Tri Citadel, they proved unable to hold the Citadel for long or to secure Quang Tri City.

July 26, 1974 - Local weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.4 inches on this day in Evergreen, Ala.

July 26, 1977 – Troy David Jenkins was born in Phoenix, Az. Jenkins grew up in Evergreen, graduated from Hillcrest in 1995, and was fatally wounded in April 2003 while serving in Iraq.

July 26, 1977 - The body of Jerry Peacock, 18, of Evergreen was pulled from the Alabama River by Monroe County Rescue Squad members at 11:30 a.m. on this Tuesday, Monroeville Police Chief Charles Colbert said. Fifteen squad members dragged the river from five small boats for nearly 17 hours before recovering the body. Bobby Johnson, 18, Evergreen, was piloting a small motor boat near the east bank of the river when the accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Mon., July 25, Monroe County Chief Deputy Sheriff Larry Ikner said. Ikner said although Peacock reportedly did not know how to swim, neither man was wearing a life preserver.

July 26, 1979 – An organizational meeting for the varsity football team at Lyeffion High School was scheduled to be held on this Thursday night at 7 p.m.

July 26, 1990 – The Monroe Journal reported that construction of a new firefighter training facility had begun in Monroeville near the Monroe County Agricultural Center.

July 26, 1998 – According to The Regina Leader Post, Janet Gamble spotted huge footprints while jogging near her home in northern Saskatchewan. She alerted her husband, Dennis, and he and his brother videotaped the tracks to establish a permanent record. The footprints were 14-inch by seven-inches and came from something with a six-foot stride.

July 26, 2000 - Oasis stormed off stage after being hit with bottles, can and coins at a Swiss music festival.

July 26, 2001 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen Florist women’s softball team was the league champions that year with an impressive 13-1 record. Members of the team included Kyantrae Lewis, Shantavia Harrison, Louise Hines, Andrell Baxter, Selinda Thomas, Sha Matthews, Sabrina Harrison, Tricia Walmack, Melinda Baxter, Nebertha Matthews, Sabrina Baxter, Coach Tony Baxter, Stephanie Rudolph, Shaquella Spears and Manager Dot Floyd.

July 26, 2004 - The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their club-record losing streak of 14 games.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., July 26, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.20 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  6.10 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 15.45 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 59.00 inches.

Notes: Today is the 207th day of 2017 and the 36th day of Summer. There are 158 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.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 25, 2017

JULY 26, 2001

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 2.00 inches of rain on July 20 and .05 inches on July 21. He reported a high of 95 degrees on July 20 and a low of 65 on July 16.

Site being cleared for new school: Contractors and workers were busy Wednesday morning preparing to begin clearing the site for the new elementary school for the Conecuh County Board of Education. The site for the new school is located on Hwy. 31 South in Evergreen, directly across from the Kwik Kar Wash. The new facility will replace the current Evergreen City School building, which was constructed in 1925.

Harry Ellis of Evergreen was honored recently by WSFA-TV for continuing to contribute to the success of the Storm Team as a WSFA Weather Watcher. Harry recently attended an appreciation dinner for over 30 Weather Watchers who call the WSFA Storm Center regularly, reporting weather data from their respective hometowns. WSFA’s Rich Thomas commended Harry for “helping the Storm Team report accurate weather information from all around WSFA’s coverage area… especially during severe weather.”

Fair Lane Road, located just off Hwy. 31 near Evergreen Pottery, is one of several Conecuh County roads that have been slated for paving with funding from a Community Development Block Grant from the State of Alabama. Approximately 15 miles of dirt road will be paved with these funds.

JULY 22, 1976

Robert Gordon Kendall Jr., 61, died Saturday night, July 17, in a local nursing home after a long illness. He was one of Evergreen’s and Alabama’s most distinguished public servants.
Except for a few years spent in Florida as a boy, Senator Kendall was a lifelong resident of Evergreen. He attended Birmingham Southern College and graduated from the University of Alabama. After graduation, he returned to Evergreen and went into business with his late father, operating Kendall & Kendall.
During World War II, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including overseas service in the Pacific.
In 1946, he was elected State Senator from the old district that included Butler, Conecuh and Covington Counties. In 1950, he was elected to the House of Representatives from this county and re-elected in 1954. In 1958, he was again elected to the Senate, serving 16 consecutive years in the Legislature.
He was a leader in the Legislature, serving as speaker pro-tem, and had the distinction of being selected by the capitol press as the most outstanding member of both houses.
He served as State Highway Director, Director of the State Dept. of Industrial Relations and as Assistant Highway Director.
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon from the Evergreen Baptist Church with the Rev. Jack Williamson and Dr. Sam Granade officiating. Burial was in the family plot in Magnolia Cemetery.

JULY 26, 1951

E.E. Adams of Evergreen, Route 1, was the first Conecuh County farmer to get an open boll of cotton to The Courant office this year. Mr. Adams, a well-known farmer of the Lyeffion community, brought his four-lock boll in Wednesday. A second boll was brought in Saturday by Abner Randall, a farmer who lives between Belleville and Castleberry.

Lt. William Wells of the U.S. Army has recently completed an advanced course of training for artillery officers at Ft. Sill, Okla. Lt. Wells is visiting relatives here this week en route to Fort Jackson, S.C. where he will rejoin Battery C, 117th Field Artillery Battalion.
Lt. Wells is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R.Z. Wells of Evergreen. He is married to the former Melba Bowden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Bowden of Owassa, Route One.

Four-H boys and girls in Conecuh County will have a Fat Hog Show and Sale on Sept. 10. The show will be held at the stockyards in Evergreen. A grand champion will be selected from the animals shown.
The following 4-H boys and girls have already entered hogs in the show: Charles Dunn, Cecil Raines, Olon Weaver, Fenlick Weaver, Bill Raines, Philip Coleman, James Hall, Wilson McCreary, Iva Shipp, Mary J. Ellis, Shelby Smith, Bobby Clark, Alvin Anderson, Jackie Ryals, Tommy Booker, John Lee, Leland Wiggins, Levaughn Wiggins, Tommy Nall, Edward Grant, Wilbur Driver, Eddie Merritt, Wayne Thames, Bobby Lynch and Maxwell McLelland.

JULY 28, 1926

MASONS NOTICE: The annual session of Conecuh County Masonic Conference will convene with Lodge No. 756 at Bowles, on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 11-12. – J.T. Salter, worshipful master; M.A. Lane, secretary.

PROMINENT PLANTER IS SNAKE BITTEN: Mr. Richard Brassel, well known farmer living three miles north of here, has been suffering considerably for the past week as result of a snake bite. Mr. Brassel was out in his field several days past and stooped to pick up an ear of corn, when the snake struck him on the hand. He was rushed to a physician immediately and treatment was given. The snake which bit Mr. Brassel took refuge in a hole. Close watch was made of the place and it was the following day when it came out and was killed. It proved to be what is commonly known as a rattlesnake pilot, Mr. Brassel is now improving.

McKENZIE FAIR WILL BE HELD OCT. 2: A mass meeting was held at McKenzie on Tuesday night to discuss and make plans for the Fourth Annual McKenzie Fair. The first Saturday in October was the date set for the Fair.

TRAGEDY AT OUTING: Georgiana, Ala., July 23 – Harold Brunson, 16-year-old son of Mayor and Mrs. W.F. Brunson, of this city, was drowned in a lake near here yesterday afternoon while on a swimming party and outing of which his mother was hostess.

JULY 24, 1879

The Conecuh County Historical Society will meet the first Saturday in August next.

Dr. Lucian Sykes of Monroe County, while riding over his plantation Wednesday evening, was struck by lightning and instantly killed.

Mr. G.F. Mertins is having his new brick building painted. Mr. L.W. Savage will occupy the building as a store when completed.

The pine trees around the courthouse are dying out rapidly. Our commissioners ought to have them cut down and oak trees planted out in their stead.

We hear it rumored upon our streets that Mr. Dunk Rankin of Monroe County was killed by a Mr. Roberts at Perdue Hill Monday night last.

The wife of Hon. Augustus W. Jones, formerly of Conecuh County, died in Florida on the 24th of June last.

Died – At Monroeville, at the residence of Capt. W.S. Wiggins, July 14, 1879, Mrs. Mary Jane Henderson. She was a daughter of Mrs. Betsy Wiggins, a sister of Capt. W.S. Wiggins and mother-in-law of Dr. H.P. Smith of Buena Vista. She was born in Conecuh County July 17, 1827.

We understand from parties who attended the picnic at Burnt Corn last Friday that the affair was a most enjoyable one. G.R. Farnham, Esq., delivered an address, which is highly spoken of.