All articles submitted by Robin Sterling unless noted.
The Southern Confederacy, November 22, 1862
A Public House Without Sheets--The Alabama House of Representatives yesterday decided by a nearly unanimous vote, that Christopher Columbus Sheets, of Winston County, is no longer worthy to occupy a seat in the Legislature as a representative of any portion of the people of Alabama. The evidences of his complicity with the enemy were complete, and it was therefore due to the dignity of the House that he should be expelled. -- Montgomery Advertiser
From the California Newspaper, The Daily Evening Bulletin, 3/17/1864
Loyal Alabamians -- The First Alabama Calvary Regiment.
Correspondence of the N.Y. "Post"
Pulaski, Tenn. Feb. 1, 1864
Submitted by Marie Young
But few persons are aware of the existence of a loyal white regiment of Alabamians; yet it deserves honorable mention in this age of strife, as much for the circumstances under which it was organized, as for the signal service it has since rendered to the Government. This little body of men, around which thousands,many yet to gather, owes its organization chiefly to Col.George E. Spencer, its commander, and Charles B. Cagle of Winston county, Alabama. Uncouth and illiterate as was the latter, he possessed the qualities of bravery, fine feeling and native intelligence, which rendered him superior to his class in every respect. It is said he was never outside of Winston County until the war broke out of the State in the whole course of his life; but even while surrounded by ignorant people and pernicious influences, he was staunch and firm in our cause and never yielded in his determination to maintain it.
What the men of this regiment of Alabama have suffered none but those who have instead of the same bitter cup can conceive. Reared among slave holders, it was no easy matter for them to withdraw from their interests and openly support a cause in every way antagonistic. To avoid being swept away by the furious tide of Secession became an almost (Hercalean ? unreadable) task. Some were conscripted, in spite of every effort to avoid it, and afterwards arrested, coming into the Federal lines at the risk of life -sacrificing home, property, friends, everything in the act. Is it to be wondered at if these men, smarting under the sense of manifold wrongs, have proved themselves mighty in the use of the avenging sword - if their arms are steeled by intenser purposes, their nerves strung to more than ordinary endurance? And not for themselves only does the hot blood boil and surge through their veins. The nuity of the old States has been ruthlessly broken; the old flag which they were taught to love and honor, insulted. Summing up the whole, they have a fearful account to settle with the hot- headed authors of a nation's distress.
The regiment was raised in Corinth, Miss.; its organization was completed in September last. The first company was raised in January, 1862 by Captain Burdick, and was composed entirely of the refugees then in the Federal lines and around Corinth. Immediately after the completion of the first company a second was started increasing thus until the entire twelve were filled. The regiment now numbers more than 1200 men, having for duty, at present, about 900 out of the 1200.
The (un-readable) recruiting was singular and ventursome. Men, acquainted with the country, were sent from the camps to the Union counties in Alabama, traveling at night and through the woods to avoid observation: in that way penetrating a distance of from 150 to 200 miles. They would then hide themselves in the caves and mountains, and by statagen manage to (un-readable) with the Union men. After having got together 40 or 50 men willing to run the risk of attempting to gain the Federal hues, they would start cautiously, travel by night and through the woods, siremanously avoiding the public roads till out of reach of danger. Under every trial this mode succeeded admirably, Corinth being reached safely in each instance. This was carried on so successfully for some time that Governor Shorter, of Alabama, offered $10,000 reward for the body of any Federal recruiting officer taken in the State. The numerous caves in Winston county, in the vicinity of Charles Cagle's residence, made his house a favorite rendezvous for our recruiting parties. He received all who came to him cordially, fed and aided them in his power. For two years previous to his murder this poor fellow had been obliged to sleep in some of these caves for safety.
But to continue: as a specimen of the success of recruiting at that time, I will mention one instance worthy of notice. In September, Col Spencer selected Lieut.Wamel as the most suitable person for this purpose, directing him to raise a company in Walker county, Alabama. He traveled with a detail of packed men, a distance of some 200 odd miles. They walked the entire distance, got together 110 men, returning to camp in 15 days from the time of starting, bringing with them 12 prisoners and a valuable rebel mail. The (unreadable) of Wamel's expedition gave him the caplaincy of the newly recruited company, and his brother officers unite in declaring that a braver or better man in not in the service.
Since the organization of the regiment it has been in constant and active service. It has captured over 900 prisoners. It has lost in one action, killed and wounded upwards of 100 men- 4 non-commissioned officers and 13 men killed, and 39 wounded. Col. Spencer had taken with him in the expedition 10 companies, numbering 520 men. They were attacked by Gen. Ferguson with 5 regiments and 6 pieces of artillery. Ferguson's force was not less than 2,300 in number. This was the 26th of October. The fight lasted from 2 o'clock, P.M. until 8, when Col. Spencer withdrew his force under cover of night, leaving his surgeon to take care of the wounded. The surgeon reported the loss of the rebels about 150. Doubtless the escape of the regiment was a severe blow to the confederates, with their superior force; they had calculated upon an easy capture, and lost all.
Col. Spencer has been out on expeditions at various times, penetrating as far as Black Warrior, in the heart of the State, burning and destroying leather factories,mills, and tanneries, returning safely to Corinth. The Colonel has asked leave to raise a brigade, believing that he can raise three or four regiments in a short time.
The Moulton Advertiser, November 17, 1871
Sad Casuality.--We learn that the dwelling house of Mr. Alvin Anderson, of Winston County, was burned a few days ago, containing everything he possessed on earth, and one child, a baby 7 months old. He is now in very destitute circumstances and must suffer if not assisted by a generous public. Contributions left with Maj. Ed Farly will be forwarded on Wednesday next.
Moulton Advertiser, May 3, 1872
The State of Alabama, Winston County: Probate Court, Special Term, April 9th, 1872. Estate of Griffin Gregory deceased. This day came Hiram Adkins, the administrator, debonis non of said estate, and filed his application in due form, and under oath, praying for an order of sale of certain lands described therein, and belonging to said estate, for the purpose of paying debts, and upon the ground that the present property is insufficient therefore: It is ordered that the 3rd day of
June 1872, be appointed a day for hearing such application, at which time all parties in interest can appear and contest the same if they think proper. A.B. Hays, Judge of Probate.
The Atlanta Sunday Herald, September 7, 1873
Alabama News. Died, at his residence, in Winston County, on the 22nd instant, after a long and painful illness, Hon. Orrin Davis, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. Judge Davis was among the first settlers of North Alabama and lived many years in the early history of the Commonwealth, in the beautiful and fertile Tennessee Valley, in the neighborhood of Courtland, Alabama.
Moulton Advertiser, July 24, 1874
Masonic. Fourth of July At Houston. At an early hour the people began to come in from the surrounding country, and one unacquainted with the hills and hollows of old Winston, would have been surprised at the number of people. Next, the Masonic Fraternity assembled in their Lodge, and prepared for a march, which was performed in the usual manner, to Capt. F.C. Burdick's spring, about one-fourth mile from town. After arriving at the spring, Rev. James Hilton delivered a lecture and address
appropriate to the occasion. Over 700 men, women, and children were in attendance. After the speaking, the officers elect for the ensuing mansonic year were installed by J.D. Lane, Past master; then dinner was announced ready--the ladies were first invited and then the gentlemen--all of whom partook heartily of one of the best barbecue that was ever prepared in the county. Josephus Burnett acted as "chief cook and bottle washer," and the world can hardly best old Joe cooking beef, mutton, and pork. After dinner, the Craft returned to the Lodge, and the people dispersed for their homes seemingly well satisfied with the dinner and the day's enjoyments. During the whole day not a drunk man was seen on the grounds; politics, electioneering, and growling were left out entirely. All went off quietly and peaceably.
Old Winston is poor and hilly, but in what other country can more peace and enjoyment be found.
Moulton Advertiser, November 19, 1875
On Thursday, the 11th of Nov., I had the pleasure of dining with Mrs. Seliva Walker, of Winston, who is 103 years old. She cooked the dinner herself and waited on the table. She informed me that she had 12 living children--9 boys and 3 girls--62 grandchildren, and 28 great grandchildren. Her husband, Buckner Walker, is 104 years old, and attends to the duties of his Mill. Both are lively, healthy, and hearty. Can any county in the State beat old Winston? Respectfully, J.E. Griffin
Newspaper Tidbits, from The Gadsden Times
30 Jul 1875: Died. John Davidson, a veteran of 1812, recently died in Winston Co., aged 102 years.
29 Dec 1876: Died in Winston Co., the 20th, Mrs. Perry Land.
2 Feb 1877: Died. Near Cullman, 21st ult., Wm. G. Chapman, of Winston Co.
1 Jun 1877: Died. In Winston Co., the 21st, J.G. Isbell.
20 Sep 1878: L.C. Romine severely cut Jake Miller with a knife in Winston Co. the 2nd.
27 Sep 1878: Died. In Winston Co., 12th, Hance Kinney. [This was in Winston which later became a part of Cullman]
31 Jan 1879: Died. In Winston Co., 16th, John Kilker.
29 Apr 1881: Willie Parsons, of Winston Co., was stricken and instantly killed by lightning the 19th.
12 Aug 1881: Washington Curtis, aged 15 years, of Winston Co., while hunting the 21st ult., fell from a bluff some 40 feet perpendicular, badly bruising his head and body, from the effects of which he died the 24th ult.
11 Nov 1881: The Grand Jury of Winston County, reported great irregularities and mismanagement of the finances of the county and employed T.B. Nesmith to investigate and bring suit against defaulters.
25 Nov 1881: Died. In Winston Co., recently, Reuben Hays.
28 Jul 1882: A little son of Mr. Joe Kennedy, of Winston Co., was killed last week by a dead limb of a tree falling on him while he was following his father to the field.
13 Feb 1885: Thomas Boteler fell from a scaffold, while engaged in building a new house at Double Springs last week, and was killed.
15 May 1885: Died. In Winston Co., Mrs. Painter. In Winston Co., Wm. W. Patterson.
12 Jun 1885: Died. In Winston Co., Mrs. Chambers.
4 Sep 1885: Charles F. Curtis, sheriff of Winston Co., has sent his resignation to the governor.
The Mountain Eagle, March 3, 1886
The writer made a hasty visit to Winston last week. Winston is a land of solitudes; for what is solitude but where [page torn] is not." But winston has [missing] settlements," sparse 'tis [missing] between, for inhabited by a goodly element of goodly people. It is a great mistake to believe that the bulk of the population of that county is made up of moonshiners and other lawless characters.
On our trip we visited Godfrey and Double Springs, spending a night at latter place and stopping at the Baird hotel where we were comfortably quartered and kindly cared for by mine host and hostess Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Baird. We met, and received cordial greeting and kindly welcome from Col. A.J. Ingle, the well known veteran in the service of Winston, W.R. Adkins, of the Winston Herald and Clerk of the Circuit Court, Probate Judge F.M. Taylor, W.R. Smith, attorney at law, D.P. Vickery, the great Criminal lawyer of Winston, and other genial and clever gentlemen. The people of Double Springs recently voted prohibitions, but heard that there was a "juicery" in town, nevertheless, running on U.S. revenue license only. The proprietor was refused a State license by the Judge of Probate and he takes the risk of Judge Speak, Solicitor Jones and the grand jury. We suppose he will soon known how it is.
On our return trip we took shelter out of the rain, and dined under the hospitable roof of one of Winston's cleverest citizens, Mr. Hugh Isbell, of Godfrey. He reported the School at Godfrey in a flourishing condition notwithstanding the recent loss of their building by fire.
Mountain Eagle, September 8, 1886
In Winston county there are only seventeen negroes, and out of that number only one voter. Another singular fact is that Winston, the whitest of all the white counties, was until recently the banner Republican county of the State. It furnished quite a number of soldiers to the Federal army. C.C. Sheets, who is a native of Winston county, has always been the leader of the people there and they followed him implicitly.--Advertiser.
Galena Mine Discovery
Submitted by Joyce Farris
Lamar News, July 7, 1887
Discovery of Galena Mine and a large quanity of bullets supposed from Revoluntionary War in Winston
[Jasper Headlight] -- A gentleman who has a contract on the Sheffield & Birmingham road was in town Saturday and related an interesting story to the Headlight in regard to a discovery he has recently made. In a wild and uninhabited portion of the county, where probably no human being sets foot from year in till year out, he discovered indications which led him to believe that a strata of Galena existed there. He marked the place and in a few days returned with tools and help and began investigations. It proved to be as he expected – a Galena mine of the finest quality and in great abundance. But the most wonderful part of the story is yet to come. In cutting away the undergrowth from the hillside an opening was discovered which led into a large spacious room dug into the hill under the ground. It was evident that this cave was not a natural one but made by man, as there was signs that a wooden floor and ceiling once existed therein. One or two rude iron vessels of ancient designs lay half buried in the mouldering floor, in one corner a large quantity of bullets of various sixes lay piled in a heap weather-glazed by years of exposure. It is supposed that this mine of Galena was discovered and operated during the Revolutionary war and that the bullets were manufactured there to be used by our forefathers in their struggle for independence.
Mountain Eagle, July 24, 1889
A new town has been laid out at Clear Creek Falls and several lots were sold last week at a fair price. Mr. Thomas Partridge is the gentleman who owns the property adjacent to these magnificent falls and if the proper steps are taken, this place can be made a summer resort of no little note. If some of our wealthy capitalists would build a railroad to this place, it would be a paying investment, and would add materially to the building of our town and county.
Mountain Eagle, October 23, 1889
Counterfeiter Davis--His capture and Execution (B'ham correspondent to the Tuskaloosa Times). I met old man Wiley Raburn, from Walker county, on the streets this morning. He made me a visit to my office, and made himself quite entertaining by narrative incidents of the olden times in Tuskaloosa. He said his father John B. Raburn, moved from Tennessee to Tuskaloosa in 1814, and he and his party were the first white men who crossed the Warrior river at Tuscaloosa. He settled near the river, a short distance below where the old state house stands, and cultivated a field there. At the land sales in Tuskaloosa he purchased what is now known as the old Jemison place, on the Columbus road and about three miles from Northport, and removed to Walker county in 1825. Wiley Raburn, the son was born in Tuskaloosa
county in 1818, and on the old Jemison place, and I take it that he is the oldest living native of the county.
He remembers the trial and hanging of "Counterfeiter Davis," who was tried and hanged for counterfeiting paper money. He was executed where a large oak tree now stands in the lane that leads up from East Margin street to the Hemphill residence.
Smith Randolph was tried and sentenced to be hanged for passing counterfeit money in Tuskaloosa and after he was led upon the scaffold for execution a pardon came for him from the governor, he having given the necessary information to locate and capture the gang of counterfeiters who lived in a cave--which Randolph called a stone
house--in Winston county. A posse composed of Manly Files, grandfather of Tom and Charley Rice, Tom Andrews and others went after the counterfeiters to Winston county, and succeeded in capturing Davis who was the head of the gang. The cave has never been found after it was abandoned by the Davis gang.
Wiley Raburn is hale and hearty and as honest a man as can be found in a day's journey.
Mountain Eagle, April 23, 1890
Winston's First Convention. A special correspondent from Double Springs to the Birmingham Age-Herald says: The Democratic county convention of Winston convened here today. Hon. R.D. Templeton was elected chairman, with C.D. Hudgins for secretary. The convention adopted the platform of the last state and national conventions.
Hon. P.H. Newman was nominated for representative. Hon. Allen Weiler, A.M., principal of the Godfrey high school was nominated for county superintendent of education. The vote in both cases were unanimous. James Blanton was chosen a delegate to the state convention, with Duncan Wilson, alternate. Charles D. Hudgins the congressional delegate, with W.R. Bonds, Jr., as alternate. The delegates are uninstructed.
After the business of the convention was disposed of Hon. P.H. Newman was called for and made a brief but pointed speech, in which he pledged himself to support the principles of his party willingly, and, if elected, to labor for what he thought the best interests of his county and state at large. Mr. Newman's remarks about the race issue in the South were exceedingly caustic, and whoever carries the Republican banner in this county will have a warm time defending his party from Mr. Newman's fire on this point. Mr. Newman has served two terms in the general assembly and knows what he is about.
Hon. Allen Weiler and Hon. Duncan Wilson also made brief and telling speeches before the convention.
This is the first convention ever held in Winston county, and from the indications it is prophesied that it will result in winston county going into Democratic tanks this summer.
Mountain Eagle, March 5, 1890
Uncle "Si" Cummings, the mail rider on the line from Gum Pond to Double springs, via Houston, lost the mail bags in the Sipsey river, on last Tuesday. He rode into the river, and when he got well in, his horse stumbled and fell, and he lost the mail bags as above stated. He made a search, going down the river some distance and found his hat. We are informed that the pouch contained one or two registered letters--Winston Herald.
Mountain Eagle, June 4, 1890
A dispatch from Double Springs, Winston county to the Birmingham News says: Sheriff T.F. Mitchell of this county and a posse of three men undertook to arrest Newt Rowe on the night of the 20th instant, while he and Henry Benefield, Jr., were at work at a wildcat still. As the posse approached Rowe and Benefield open fire on them, which was returned by the officers, who continued to advance. Benefield was killed outright and Rowe escaped. None of the sheriff's posse were hurt. Rowe is a desperate and lawless man, and is under indictment in this county for grand larceny. Benefield was a noted wildcatter. Rowe, it will be remembered, is one of the men who escaped from jail here, with Holliday and Pattillo, a few months since, and is a noted horse thief and desperado.
Mountain Eagle, December 3, 1890
Mr. L.W. Addy, county commissioner of Winston county, a regular correspondent of the Winston Herald stated in the last issue of that paper that he had been to Jasper the week before, for the purpose of selling his cotton, and that he received a better price for his cotton than some of his neighbors did in Cullman, his neighbors starting for Cullman the morning he started for Jasper. Mr. Addy is right, Jasper will always pay more for what Winston county friends have to sell and sell them goods cheaper than a little one horse town like Cullman.
Mountain Eagle, January 14, 1891
The Editor of the Winston Herald is involved in a discussion with a Methodist preacher, which is already very hot and still heating. The trouble seems to have grown out of an item which appeared in that paper in which the editor called the preacher a "Northern" Methodist. They are saying some hard things about each other. The word "Northern" is what offended the preacher, who claims there is no such church in existence as "northern" Methodist, save in the minds of a "few men like the editor, who still wear a few old flat gray crabs of 1861-2 in their collars," and he has a great deal to say about rebels, &c.
A minister of the gospel should be the last man to attempt to stir up sectionalism. The old patriots, who wore the blue and grey, have buried the hatchet forever and shaken hands over the bloody chasm, and are once more united in peace under the same glorious old flag, the stars and stripes, which, if occasion demanded, all would defend at the risk of their lives. But here is a man, a preacher, who should be above such, trying to stir up sectional strife, without any cause whatever. If the editor of the Herald did say he was a "northern" Methodist, it was said without any disrespect to the preacher or his church. To make a long matter short, the preacher has made an ass of himself.
Mountain Eagle, April 22, 1891
Wildcatters Caught. Deputy Marshall C.C. Smth, Americus Coker, Hanlin and Alexander came to town yesterday morning having in custody Jimroe Bennett and Will Bennett, whom they arrested Monday night near the Winston county line on the charge of making "wild cat liquor." The deputies say that the Bennetts had just destroyed their distillery by fire, which was still smoking, when the arrest was made. Some of the "Unlawful spirits" was found in their possession. The so-called "wild catters" had a hearing before U.S. Commissioner Cunningham, who bound them over to the next U.S. grand jury. They gave bond and were released.
Mountain Eagle, January 25, 1893
Leap To Death. Deputy Collector W.C. Hanlin returned this morning from a successful raid in Winston and Lawrence counties with Deputy Marshals Smith and Carroll. A still was destroyed and Sherman Garrison captured in Winston County. Near Cole post office in Lawrence county they destroyed a still and arrested Lee and Riley Garrison, cousin of the Winston county man. The officers made an effort at the last named place to capture Rando Garrison. Garrison was at his house. The officers got him cornered. There was no escape except by a second story window. Deliberately Garrison jumped from this window, twenty feet high, to the hard ground beneath. As a result he split his naked heel, cut his thigh open and broke his arm. It is thought his skull is fractured and that he will die. The officers took Garrison and carried into the house. They left him in the care of his wife. -- Birmingham News.
Mountain Eagle, February 22, 1893
Winston County. An Eagle Scribe Visits The Free State. There is no county in Alabama that is more abused and at the same time a more profitable field for investment than the "Free State of Winston." After an absence of eight or ten years it was the privilege of an Eagle representative to attend the recent spring session of the circuit court at Double Springs, the county site of old Winston, and that time had worked gratifying changes at once impressed us. True, the county is poor, and the people are poor, the roads are execrable, and the waters are menacing--but Winston is still on hand top-side up with mineral wealth, an abundance of good timber, and a veritable elixir of good health and good cheer.
The court passed off quietly enough--no capital case on the docket, a few trifling misdemeanors and but little civil litigations of consequence claimed the attention of our juvenile Judge Banks on the occasion of his first visit, but the Judge, as well as the court was "carried away" with the open handed hospitality and good feeling which animated everybody with whom they came in contact. The charged delivered on Monday evening was listened to bated breath, and our new and capable Judge is indeed a "high flyer" so far as Winston is concerned, adapting himself readily to existing conditions and having a "hail fellow well met" with everybody with whom he came in contact, he established himself "forever and a day" in the good graces of the honest yeomanry of Winston.
Perhaps the most graceful act of Judge Banks was the prompted dismissal of two unfortunate women and their little children who were incarcerated on a charge of vagrancy and prostitution. The State surely cannot be so jealous of the liberties of her citizens as to insist on the conviction and punishment of such unfortunates, and we incline to the belief that the Judge's lecture was of infinitely more advantage to the culprits than a term in the mines.
Judge W.R. Adkins, the veteran Winston journalist still conducts the Winston Herald while his son Geo. W. is editor and proprietor of the Eastern Star, published at Houston, the old county site. Mr. M.D. Townley is the proprietor of the Observer, a Republican paper published at Double Springs. We regret to say that these papers are at outs. The longest pole will get the persimmon.
Young men have charge of the county business, most of the officers being of Republican antecedents and proclivities. Mr. E. Blanton, formerly of Walker county, drives a prosperous mercantile business at the Springs, and the writer has pleasure in here acknowledging courtesies shown him. The venerable Esquire R.D. Templeton runs the Templeton Hotel. We regret that we found him in extremely bad health, and sincerely wish him an early recovery.
The attendance at court was extremely orderly and the absence of old "John Barleycorn" was as gratifying as noticeable. Court was held in the store house of A.J. Ingle, one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of the county, who is also vigorously opposed to the issuance of bonds to construct a new court house. It is evident, however, that if Double Springs continues to be the seat of justice, she must take steps to rebuild her court house; for there are now several competitors for this distinguished honor and among them we may mention Haleyville which is perhaps the largest incorporated town in Winston. As the guest of Mr. Charley L. Haley, one of the most enterprising merchants of Haleyville, it was our privilege and pleasure to spend a night in that nobby little town, and that we had a delightful time everybody who knows Charley Haley will vouch.
The town is handsomely located on the celebrated Byler road, 40 miles above Jasper, and is the most important shipping point on the B.S.&T. between Jasper and Russellville. The mercantile profession is represented by C.L. Haley, J.R. Miller, A.J. Ingle & Co., Freeman & son, and Dr. J.C. Taylor, besides doing a fine medical practice, has a well equipped drug store in successful operation. Miss Belle Phillips, a most estimable and accomplished young lady, is driving an interesting school known as the "Haleyville High School," which has an average attendance of 40 pupils, and is at the same time giving universal satisfaction.
Mr. F.M. McDonald is running a well equipped saw and planing mill and the country contiguous is well timbered is evidenced by the fact that piled on the side of the railroad awaiting shipment is some 20,000 railroad ties which were gotten out at renumerative prices by farmers owning lands in the vicinity.
Natural Bridge, Delmar and Lynn are interesting points in Winston to which we shall call attention in a future issue. In the meantime the readers of the Eagle are assured that the "Free State" is coming to the front at a 2:40 gait.
Mountain Eagle, March 8, 1893
Sheriff D.W. Penn of Winston County, and his deputy, passed through the city today having in charge two prisoners, David and Robert Hall, who are wanted in Winston county for attempted murder. They were captured in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., by the sheriff of Lawrence county. The Hall brothers are old men, both over fifty years old, and are noted characters in the section where the crime was committed. Sheriff Penn is a young man who is making a fine reputation as an officer.--Florence Herald.
Mountain Eagle, March 15, 1893
Barbarous Treatment of a Minister of the Gospel By Ruffians. Guin, March 9--[Special.]--Rev. D.A. Stratton of Elmott, Tex., a minister of the Christian order, came to this city today to hold a series of meetings. He has just closed a meeting at Russelville, Ala., and was on his way to this place. He decided that he would come through the
country and look at some government land, and while prospecting in Winston county, about twelve miles north of Eldridge, Ala., met with a very sad experience. He stopped to spend the night with one Mr. Barnes, and after retiring for the night, a crowd of six armed men on horseback came and called Barnes out, and after talking with him
awhile, came into the house and commanded Stratton to get up, as they had papers for him, and he asked them to produce the papers, but instead of doing so put a pistol in his face and told him to get out at once. He did so when they told him to follow them.
After going about 200 yards from the house he asked if they were going to take him off; if so, to allow him to carry his grip. They returned and got his grip at the same time examining the contents in order to get at him, thinking he was a detective. He told them what his business was and offered to go with them to the nearest telegraph office and telegraph the governor of Texas in regard to who he was and his business and so forth, but they refused to do so, but kicked and cursed him and took from him his gold watch, gold headed cane, $14.80 in money, his overcoat, dress coat, hat and other articles of clothing, leaving him without clothes or money. They left his hymn book and Bible. He begged for his life when they took their bridle reins off to hand him with. They shot their pistols off several times, shooting between his feet and near his legs.
At last the leader of the gang told them to let him go, and for him to never come back to that country spying around again, and he left amid a shower of bullets. Fortunately he was not hit. Will the law-abiding citizens of Winston county allow a minister of the gospel to be robbed and treated in such a manner as this and say not a word? Where are you officers?--Birmingham Age-Herald.
Another Side To The Story. Haleyville, March 11.--In your issue of the 10th instant you published a letter from Guin, Ala., headed "Barbarous Treatment of a Minister of the Gospel by Ruffians." Who is this "Rev. D.A. Stratton?" He is a drunkard, liar and thief. He did hold a series of meetings at Russellville, after which he bought a ticket for this place, but, when the train stopped three miles north of here to take water, he appropriated a drummer's fine overcoat and stepped off and took to the woods. Was next seen at Delmar, a small station south of this. There he passed himself as a lawyer. He was there a day or so when he boarded the train again for the next station in company with a prostitute. The conductor recognized the drummer's coat and put the boys on to him at the station where he got off (Natural Bridge). One of them walked up to him, saying: "I have papers to arrest you, but if you will give up that overcoat you can go." Being more than willing to get off so easy, he delivered the coat readily, and this is just how an impostor was treated by "outlaws in Winston county." You will please publish this at once and put the news agent who sells your papers at Guin on to the racket and let him distribute a number of copies where the angel (?) is imposing on the good people. It is to be hoped that, with the use of a buggy whip, whey will put a striped suit on the
gentleman of which he will not be so easily robbed.
If you doubt the correctness of this in regard to Mr. Stratton, we refer you to Dr. J.M. Clark of Russellville, a leading member of the Christian faith in that place. C.L. Haley, William H. Cleere.
Mountain Eagle, August 30, 1893
At The Falls. Mr. Editor: Thinking that an account of a trip to the Clear Creek Falls would be some news, I will write a few lines. A crowd of 3 boys and 4 girls started from Boldo school house last Saturday morning and arrived at the spot above mentioned at half past one o'clock and at once began a thorough investigation of the great natural scenery which was as grand as could be. We left the girls at the upper falls and went to the lower falls and proceeded to take a bath which was delightful. After this refreshment we went back to where we had left the girls. It then being about sundown we went to Mr. Gossett's and secured a room and bedding for the girls night repose and went back to the wagons. Our bed was of a rustic nature but we considered ourselves equal to the occasion and proceeded to rake up feathers of the pine generation, and of course we did not have time to separate the little brown monsters that like the blood of mankind (ticks). Under the constrained conditions of rest for the night we rose very early in the morning and attended to our stock and was ready for another exploration and at once proceeded to the delightful task of climbing the cliffs and rock and seeing the sights. After about 3 hours we started back on our home journey and stopped a few minutes with uncle Tom Partridge and accepted a treat o fine watermelons. Many thanks uncle Tom. All the bad luck we had was the loss of an umbrella. Our next visit will be a little later in the season and hope to have as good a time as we did this. After thanking Mr. and Mrs. Gossett for their kindness and uncle Tom for the melons we left for home. Boldo
Mountain Eagle, November 1, 1893
Shot From Ambush. J. Kelly Payne, a Citizen of Winston Meets Death at an Assassin's hand. Double Springs, Oct. 31.--Mr. J.K. Payne, a prominent farmer in this county, was killed from ambush at his home last Saturday, and so far there is no evidence as to who did the dastardly deed, but it is supposed that it was done by a band of moonshiners, who have for the last ten or twelve years resided in that community and carried on their illicit manufacture and sale of whiskey to such an extent that there is not now a church or school in the community. Mr. Payne was a good man, a good citizen, and was at Huntsville court last month and some members of this notorious gang were indicted by the federal grand jury, and his name appeared on the indictments as a witness, and it is thought that his death is the result of his being a witness.
He was shot at his spring, where he had gone to water his horse, and just as he turned to lead his horse away from the spring, the fatal shot was fired, and death followed in a few hours. One of the indicted men, by the name of John England, was tried and convicted at Huntsville spring term of court for retailing liquor in violation of the law, and Payne was a witness against him in that case. The testimony showed that England had previous to that time met Payne presented a shotgun at him and told him he would kill him if he ever testified against him. There were other witnesses who testified that they had been treated in a similar manner by England.
When this testimony was brought out Judge Bruce ordered Mr. Parsons to have proceedings for intimidation of witnesses commenced before Robert Charlson, a commissioner, which was done. Witnesses were examined, and the defendant held to bail in the sum of $500 to await the action of the grand jury, but by some "hook or crook" England was discharged from jail after serving thirty days, and the papers in the intimidation case never reached the grand jury at Huntsville. A great many efforts have heretofore been made to bring these parties to justice, but to no effect, and the good people of this county are very much in favor of hunting down the slayer of Payne, and bring him to speedy justice. E. Blanton's gin has been posted, and is not guarded with a view to catching the guilty parties.
Mountain Eagle, November 8, 1893
A Very Live Corpse. The news from Winston county is that Kelly Payne is a very much live corpse. In last week's issue will be remembered an article appeared; which stated that Kelly Payne had been assassinated from ambush, which we are proud to say proved an error. At the time we thought our information was reliability and gave in good faith. He was shot and seriously wounded by some unknown party; but will recover so reports say.
Newspaper Tidbits, 1893
Submitted by Sandy Hockinson
From the Observer
May 25, 1893
Our subscription list is growing very fast.
Mr. Bill Mullins, of Motes, has moved to town.
Mr. W.P. Salter, of Elk, was in town yesterday.
Work on the court house will commence next week.
Mr. C.M. Butler, of Houston, was noticed on our streets yesterday.
Hon. A.J. Ingle returned yesterday from a business trip to Birmingham.
Justice of the Peace John W. Rolands, of Nesmith, was in town Monday on business.
No marriage licenses have been issued from Judge Gibson's office for the past two weeks.
The many friends of Miss Alma Williams will regret to know that she is quite ill this week.
Dr. T.W. Cassey and mother, of Mellville, were visiting in town Friday and Saturday last.
Business is rather dull in Double Springs these days and a number of our people spend their leisure time hunting and fishing.
The farmers are busily engaged in their farm pursuits. This is the season of the year when their crops require the closest attention, and they are putting in good time.
Mr. A.W. Perry, of Gum Pond, was in to see us last Saturday. He is one of THE OBSERVERS most enthusiastic friends, and says we are sure to get a big club of subscribers from Gum Pond before long.
THE OBSERVER office was honored and enlived by the presence of the fair sex last Friday. Miss Linnie Gibson, of this place, Miss Rhoda Wilson, of Haleysville, and Mrs. Cassey of Mellville, were the visitors. Call again, ladies!
Thursday, June 1, 1893
It sho' did rain last night.
The county jail is again without an occupant.
Dr. Johnson, of Nauvoo, was in town yesterday.
Tax Collector King, of Nauvoo, is in town today.
Work was commenced Monday on the court house.
Mrs. I.P. Gibson is visiting relatives near Mellville.
Hon. Geo. D. Wilson, of near Haleysville, is in town.
Mr. Martin, a blind musician, is stopping in town for a few days.
Mr. A.Q.L. Williams, of Elk, gave us a pleasant call one day last week.
Hon. John S. Curtis made a business trip to Haleysville the first of the week.
Mr. James M. Blanton returned yesterday from a business trip to Jasper and Birmingham.
Mr. Wm. C. Miles and Mr. Coley, of Birmingham, are working for Mr. Ingle on the court house.
Miss Irene Watson, of near Mellville, is visiting in the city, the guest of Mrs. Chas. D. Hudgins.
Chas. D. Hudgins, Esq., spent two or three days last week at Natural Bridge on legal business.
A communication from our Nauvoo friend "Farmer," is unavoidably crowded out of this issue. It will appear in our next.
Mose Shelton was arrested and lodged in jail last Friday on two or three charges of misdemeanor. He gave bond Tuesday and was released.
Near Addison a few days ago Sheriff Penn arrested W.H. Ward, wanted in Cullman County for larceny. On the way to jail Ward escaped and has not been recaptured or even heard of since.
At Motes one day last week Sheriff Penn arrested Jordon Moore, colored, on a charge of assault with intent to kill. Lawrence County is where Moore is wanted. He immediately gave bond and was released.
Mellville Locals, May 29, 1893
TO THE OBSERVER.
We have had so much rain this spring that the farmers in this section are generally behind with their work. Oat crops are looking fine.
We have singing on the first Sunday in each month. Mr. M.L. Aaron is president of the singing association; Mr. W.N. Nunnelly vice-president, and J.D. Rutledge, secretary.
The graves at Bethel cemetery are to be decorated on the second Sunday in June.
I will close for the fear of the waste basket.
THE OBSERVER is a welcome visitor.
Thursday, June 22, 1893
The OBSERVER is on top and will stay there.
Mr. Ingle's rock wagons continue "as regular as clock work."
The blackberry crop is abundant this year, and is now being harvested.
Wonder why it is that Dr. Bonds is looking so sad and melacholy this week?
Born, on last Friday, to Mr. and Mrs. James Gossett, a fine boy. Mother and child both doing well.
W.H. Barnard returned first of the week from a trip through Winston county -- Pratt City Reporter.
Miss Polly Templeton returned last Saturday to her home at Mt. Hope, after a several days sojourn with relatives at this place.
The closing exercises of the Lynn High School were of unusal interest, so we are informed by those of our people who attended.
Judge Gibson has received the new acts of the legislature, and justices of the peace and other officers entitled to them can call at his office any time and get them.
Prof. A.M. Weiler and family, of Lynn, were visiting relatives in town first of the week. Prof. Weiler has just closed a prosperous session of the Lynn High school.
A turnip weighing over five pounds was brought to town one day this week by "Uncle" Bell Metcalfe. Few larger spring turnips have ever been seen in Winston county.
An effort is being made to have the schedule of the Lynn mail changed so that the mail will leave here in the morning and return in the evening. It is hoped that this change will be made right away, as at present our mail service is extremely bad.
Mr. A.S. James, a professional piano tuner of Lithia Springs, Ga., spent a few days with us this week. Mr. James is a first-class musician, and a more sociable gentleman is hard to find. He is a brother of Joseph S. James, the recently appointed U.S. District Attorney for the northern district of Georgia.
Wiley Adkinson, wanted in the county on a charge of breaking jail some twelve months ago, was captured near Florence by the sheriff of Lauderdale county one day last week, and was lodged in jail at this place by Sheriff Penn on Friday. The charge upon which he was in jail before was rape, but it is said that the grand jury failed to find a bill on that charge and that Adkinson could have now keep clear had he remained in jail until court week. He was released on bond Monday.
Melville, Ala. July 3r, 1893
Yesterday a sad accident occurred near here. Columbus Wood, son of Mr. & Mrs. J. N. Wood & nephew of Judge I. P. Gibson was drowned in Dismel Creek. Columbus was in bathing with some other boys and got into water too deep to wade. Being unable to swim he was drowned. His body remained in the water about six hours before it could be found.
Joe Henderson killed
July 4, 1893
To the Observer,
The sad news of the death of Joe Henderson reached this place last night yesterday about 2 o'clock he was shot and instantly killed by William Bynum a young man about 18 years old. The killing occurred six or seven miles north of this place at the residence of Frank Dill. It is said that differences have existed between Henderson & Bynum for quite a while. Your correspondent is informed that Henderson was advancing on Bynum with a pistol in his hand when the latter fired the fatal shot. The shooting was done with a double barrel shotgun, several buckshot taking effect in Henderson'ss neck & breast. Henderson's remains were buried today at Prospect Cemetery three miles north of here. He leaves a wife and several children to mourn his untimely death.
Thursday July 6, 1893
Born to Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Knight last Saturday, a fine girl.
Somebody has lied Nesmith, Ala., July 10, 1893
To the Observer
It has been reported by some low-down willful liar that myself and others of my neighborhood belong to a white cap clan, and that I have acknowledged it. This report has been circulated all over the country. I do not know who started it, but he is a liar with a principal as low down as a skunk and a tongue as deceitful as the devil, a heart as black as the very darkest regions of hell and should not be respected by white people. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. If he has one drop of honest blood in him he will reply to this
Crushed to death
Haleyville -- July 10, 1893
Mr. James Smith, who lived two miles west of this place, was removing a house last Wednesday when it fell in on him & crushed him so that he died on Saturday morning.
Thursday July 20, 1893
Mrs. Wilson, mother of John Wilson who resides near Clear Creek fell dead last Friday. Ben Pulliam is wearing a smile on his face as large as the territory will admit. No wonder it's a fine boy. Mother & child doing well.
Mr. Monroe McCullars of Motes, was married last Sunday to a Miss Cagle of near Nauvoo, the observer wishes the happy couple a long & prosperous life.
The four year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John S. Curtis, Rosa, who has been ill for several months, has been much worse this week and is not expected to live much longer.
Will Bynum, who shot & killed John Henderson, near Haleyville on the 3rd instantly gave himself up and a preliminary trial before Justice Freeman last week. He was acquitted, the evidence showing that the killing was done in self-defense.
Thursday July 27, 1893
Mr. W. G. Edwards died at his home near Addison last Sunday. His death was not unexpected, as he had been very low with consumption for a long time. He leaves a wife and several children to mourn his departure.
The fall term of the circuit court will convene on Monday August 14. The Following is a list of Grand & Petit Jurors. Grand Jury: A. J. Glover, B. W. Roden, J. A. Donaldson, John Dodd, F. M. Revis, A. D. Hightower, D. W. Hammer, Isaac Martin, T. W. Knight, J. W. Lovelady, W. L. Norris, James Lovelady, A. M. Looney, J. P. Wise & Henry Weaver. Petit Jury: S. L. Moody, W. W. Willis, J. M. Martin, G. W. Black, J. D. Butler, A.H. Lay, John W. Curtis, W. W. Hill, L. W. Freeman A. B. Newman, S. C. Cooper, and A. H. Haynes.
Thursday August 3, 1893
We are sorry to note that Mr. George Curtis is very ill with fever at his home near town.
Mr. W. D. Seymour & family of Gum Pond, are visiting friends & relatives in and around town this week.
G. A. R. Re-union
There will be a reunion of First AL Cal. Volunteers Federal Soldiers held at Beech Grove Church, Walker County, six miles west of town (on the K.C., M & B Railroad) on Friday & Saturday, August 25, & 26. We hope to have a good turn out and a good one generally. Comrades will be met at Townley on Friday morning the 25th.
W. A. Sides Chairman
Thursday, August 10, 1893
Addison, Ala. August 7, 1893
To the Observer. The residence and all the contents of Bill Williams was destroyed by fire last Saturday. Mr. Z. A. Hood's six year old boy fell from a wagon and broke an arm last Saturday. W. C. Williams & Bill Smothers were out hunting last Wednesday when the former was accidentally shot, but not badly, by the latter.
Thursday August 17, 1893
One day last week, Mrs. Manasco, wife of Honorable W. B. Manasco, died very suddenly at her home near Nauvoo. There hasn't been a capitol case on the docket in this county for years. Winston County people are law-a biding.
Thursday, August 24, 1893
There will be a re-union at the First Videlle Calvary (Federal) at Lathanville, Dekalb County on September 5, 1893. It will be of special interest to the members of Captain Gilbreath's company, all of whom should be present if possible. All old comrades are welcome and we will rally around the Flag as we did from 61 to 65.
W. C. Morris, Fort Payne, AL.
September 28, 1893
Little Rosy, the 4 year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Curtis died at their home in this place last Friday, and was buried on Saturday at the family burial ground near Mr. Curtis's fathers home.
Dec. 14, 1893
The well known photographer, Verdy D. Seymore has opened his gallery at the rear of the Observer's office and is now ready to visit on the public. All parties wishing to have work in his line done will do well to call. He understands his business.
A CUTTING AFFAIR
A difficulty occurred Saturday night at Addison between J. M. Hunter & L.F. Legg which resulted in Hunter cutting Legg 7 times. Legg's wounds are nothowever considered dangerous.
A view from non-natives on Winstonians
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, January 1894
Submitted by Marie Young
"The clay eaters of Alabama are even more disgusting that the Digger Indians," said C.L. Bunet, of Montgomery, to the corridor man at the Southern. "They have a peculiar yellow complexion, are, without exception, thin and emaciated, and are as dirty as it is possible for the mind to conceive. There are a good many of these people in Winston County, and they have fed almost exclusively on clay for several generations. The clay that they eat is a species of kaolin, and they roll it up like marbles, keeping a roll of it in their mouths most of the time. Their homes are frequently in rock houses or caves, damp and dismal, filled with lizards, and other reptiles. They are small of stature and exceedingly ignorant, from having the natural intelligence that marks other mountain people in that section. Living in caves and groveling in the earth has also left its impress upon their shape, and they are doubled over very much like the Digger Indian. So far as I know, this class of people is confined to a few sparsely inhabited portions of Alabama, and cannot be found in any other state.
St.Louis Globe Democrat
The Winston Herald, March 15, 1894
That Pesky Bustle.—We see it stated that the bustle is going to be "the fashion" again this summer. The dictations of fashion will do to follow as far as it runs in reason and decency, but when a girl, an old maid, or a married lady so far loses her self-respect as to stick a hump on her back the size of a dollar’s worth of flour, it seems to a man up a tree like its time to call a halt and consider the bearings. We truly hope that the pretty girls of Winston will refrain from making themselves ridiculous by wearing the bustle this summer. We don’t care a snap what the ugly girls do about it.
Mountain Eagle, March 21, 1894
Cowart Makes Reply. Age-Herald, Sunday. Yesterday afternoon Mr. Cowart by his attorneys, Mr. J.P. Tillman and Bulger & Altman, filed his answer to the motion to disbar him. The day for the trail has not yet been set. The answer is as follows:
Respondent, protesting that no such specific charges are contained in said motion as would call upon him to answer, and charging that this motion is based upon matters occurring long before he was admitted in this court, yet waiving the informal and wholly insufficient manner in which it is attempted to blacken his character, and waiving the rule nisi, makes the following answers to each:
He denies that he is a man of bad character; he denies that he is a notorious violator of the laws of the United States and the state of Alabama; he denies that he in an unlawful or any other way aided a prisoner to escape from the Winston County jail; he denies that he was removed as postmaster on account of dishonesty, and he denies that it was the general understanding in that county that he received part of the benefits of the money embezzled, and upon the issue made by three denials is ready to go to the country.
He denies that C.F. Curtis placed witness and juror certificates with him for collection which have not been accounted for and says that said Curtis did give him, several years ago, some witness and juror certificates which had been marked paid on the treasurer's books and which were of no value; that he had an act of the legislature passed which made said claims of value, and returned to said Curtis his half of the claims, which, by the contract between them he was to do.
He says that on the 25th day of January last he was appointed special examiner in the department of justice; that C.C. Reid is an ex-deputy marshal, whose accounts he, as examiner, is investigating, and that his duties to the government forbids his disclosing the result of such examination, but that at the proper time the matter will be presented to the grand jury of this honorable court.
For further answer he says that W.H. Hunter and Robert Carlson are United States commissioners; that they are both under indictment in this court for false accounts, and their accounts are still undergoing further investigation by respondent as special examiner, the result of which he cannot, in justice to his duty as such examiner, divulge. But he charges that said Hunter and Carlson, through their attorney, H.K. White, have instigated these proceedings, and that the employment of said attorneys to make the motion to disbar respondent was prompted by their desire to persecute respondent on account of his action in the discharge of duty as an officer of the government.
The answer is supported by affidavits of John L. Shank, who was probate judge of Winston County at the time, and A.W. Bonds, who was sheriff at the time of the occurrence of the matter charged in the motion, and their affidavits deny each and every allegation contained in the motion.
Certificates of good character from Rev. T.W. Ragan, pastor of St. John Methodist Episcopal church of this city; N.B. Feagin, John D. Strange and H.P. Heflin, attorney-at-law, and J.C. Musgrove, United States marshal; Emmet O'Neal, United States attorney, and N.W. Trimble, clerk of the United States court, were also filed and asked to be made a part of the answer.
The affidavits of Ex-Judge shank and Ex-sheriff A.W. Bonds are both very strong and state that A.J. Ingle is, and has been for several years, on very unfriendly terms with Mr. Cowart, and that he has in a great many ways attempted to destroy Mr. Cowart's character, professionally and socially, and that he was instrumental in securing the said indictment against Cowart.
They both deny that V. Lee Cowart ever opened a store at Double Springs, and both say it was not the understanding that V. Lee Cowart had any connection with the matter in any way. Mr. Shank was probate judge and Mr. Bonds sheriff at the time, and they each say they never heard a single man say that in his opinion V. Lee Cowart had anything to do with the defalcation.
Mr. Musgrove certifies that he has known Mr. Cowart from his boyhood, during all of which time he has maintained the reputation of an honorable and trustworthy citizen, and since he has been marshal of the United States for this district, Mr. Cowart's conduct as an attorney has been honorable, honest and upright.
Mountain Eagle, April 18, 1894
A Terrible Mistake. Mr. Rich McGough, who lives near the Winston County line, made a most distressing and heart-rendering mistake last Wednesday the 11th inst., killing his 16-year-old son, George. As near as we can learn the particulars are about this way: Mr. McGough and his son were out turkey hunting, separating after getting into the woods, the son going one way and the father the other. The father heard a turkey, which he called up almost within shooting distance a time or two. The son heard the father calling, mistaking him for a turkey, and was slipping upon him, in a stooping position. When within gun-shot the father caught a glimpse of the son and fired, thinking he was the turkey he had called up, killing his boy almost instantly, the load of buckshot taking effect in the victims breast. It is said that the son only spoke two words after his father reached his side. The father is almost crazed over the horrible affair.
The Winston Herald, May 17, 1894
The Observer says that Judge Adkins is politically dead—very much so. But we would like to state that it will never be possible for him to reach that point of political oblivion which the flop-eared jass ack of the Observer has reached.
The Observer, December 13, 1894
Two of Winston’s Fair Daughters Emulate the Fabled Goddess of the Chase and Captured a Noble Buck. A few days ago huntsmen in the south part of this county gave chase with horns and hounds to an antlered monarch of the wild. The noble animal bounded away and was soon lost to hunter’s ken, but the persevering hounds kept up their noisy chase, and even when the sun had climbed athwart the meridian and began descending to his occidental home the chase went on. Wearied at last and out of breath, the panting stag found himself at the head of a gulf near the residence of Mr. Sam P. Faught, his further flight barred by a solid wall of living rock. Turning at bay he charged the approaching hounds, and would probably have made good his defense had not Miss Zou Faught and Miss Anne Faught, two of Winston’s fair daughters, upon hearing the noise of the conflict, gone to the assistance of the dogs. Miss Zou approached within about ten feet of the deer and hurling a stone at him with the precision of a trained marksman, knocked him down. Quick as a flash Miss Anne ran up, caught the animal by the hind leg and held him while her sister killed him with a rock.
Christmas in Mellville
The Observer, December 26, 1894
Here's how some of our Winston County ancestors celebrated Christmas. The setting is Bethel Church way down below Arley in what is now called Wilson Bend.
Notes From Mellville. On Saturday morning at nine o'clock the singing class met and sang until eleven. We then had preaching by Rev. G.W. Gibson after which we dismissed until five P.M. Promptly at that hour the class met and sang until six. Rev. G.W. Gibson again took the stand and preached a short sermon at the close of which the audience dispersed for the night. Sunday morning we had singing from nine till twelve, after which Dr. D.B. Ford delivered a most interesting sermon.
We had singing again Monday morning. In the evening the Christmas tree was prepared. At five p.m. it was ready and the fun began. Just before the doors were opened, Old Sate, Isham and Pete rode up with Old Sooky and their daughter Sall, whom Pete has lately married, on a wedding tour, dressed in choice apparel. The masquerade was a good one and the children enjoyed it immensely. Even Old Pap laughed until his old gray head ached and his old lady threatened to make him go home and go to bed if he didn't behave himself.
At 5:30 the children were invited into the house and given the front seats. Mr. H.J. Wilson was forced into service to call off the names of the presents and three young ladies and three young men chosen to hand them out. Every child, I believe, received something. When the presents had all been handed out, Santa Claus, who had all the while been seated under the tree, gave the children a talk. The little fellows must have all taken a liking to him for when he bade them goodbye they followed him to the door and gazed after him as he retreated into the darkness with longing eyes, as though they would have liked to have gone with him to Fairy land. And so closed the entertainment, the most successful one ever had at Bethel church. Among those who were with us from a distance were Mr. I.L. Horsley, of Waco, Ga., and Hon. B.S. Conley and his charming daughters from Double Springs. It is needless to say that every body enjoyed the affair and events.
Christmas in 1895
Winston Herald, January 3, 1896
Author: George W. Adkins
How We Spent The Holidays. On Tuesday eve we mounted a bucking bronco, and set out across the way to a little church among the hills three miles south of Houston, known as Pleasant Hill, where Madame Rumor and several other younger ladies had told us a Christmas tree would shed its fruit that night in honor of the Blessed Babe of Bethlehem. We passed through the beautiful burgh of Houston—rustled around there and bought every remnant of candy in the town (except some Calvin was saving for his baby) but just before we reached Houston we heard the clink of the drill and pick and saw some robust young men working down in a ravine. Thinking some prospectors were working a new silver mine, we proceeded to investigate and found it to be some neighbors assisting the Smith boys get out stone to build chimneys, etc., to a new house—their home having lately burned to the ground. Then we thought that in spite of all the gay surroundings there would be some sad hearts on Christmas eve night.
As we arrived in sight of the church we could see the flickering of the candles and other illuminations lighting up the tree, which was burdened with so many nice gifts for the children, but the house was so crowded we could only find standing room. Once or twice we heard our name called, but we don’t remember receiving the presents. Santa Claus made a nice speech and wished everybody a Merry Christmas. Everyone present seemed to have a heart full of Christmas glee. After the exercises were over, amid a brilliant display of fireworks, we had the pleasure (?) of seeing another fellow waltz off with the girl we was aiming to escort home! Having nothing else to do we again mounted our bronco and dashed off towards the sleeping town of Houston—Put up for the night with our genial young friend, Tom Blackwell and dreamed we were a big stick of candy and a slobbering kid gnawing at one end of us; also that we were a sky-rocket and was being shot ever so high and bursted, and a lot of other things we have not space to mention.
Next morning—Christmas day—in company with the same genial Tom we proceeded to make our way between showers, to Corinth church, to attend the Christmas entertainment given by that church. No sooner than we caught a glimpse of the nicely decorated church than sweet strains of lovely music greeted our ears, and our eyes rested on a choir of lovely girls and handsome young men, which made the music more delicious:
‘Twas not the air, ‘twas not the words,
But that deep magic of the chords,
And in the lips, that gave such power,
That music knew not ‘till that hour.
The entertainment was simply excellent, and consisted in songs, essays, speeches and addresses by the young and old. Afterwards a large Christmas tree was unloaded of its burden of beautiful presents, one by one, into the eager hands of the waiting people. Ye local received several nice presents—useful and ornamental—and thanks the kind hearts who so remembered the printer boy. The few hours we spent at Corinth will be remembered by us many years, for a more beautiful and impressive celebration of the birth of the Christ child could not have been effected anywhere.
After kindly declining several invitations to dine with those hospitable people, we set out for home, to spend the remainder of the day around our own fire-side. Next day we remembered that an invitation had been received to attend the closing exercises of Prof. James McCullar’s school at Godfrey. We arrived there in time to hear a number of interesting speeches and recitations by the scholars, and also several addresses by visiting teachers then came a long intermission and a sumptuous dinner.
As soon that night as the candles would be perceptible in the slow gathering twilight, the pleasant task of assisting to lighten the tree of its heavy load of presents fell on ye humble servant and others. We called out names until we began to think our voice would never bear to call out another score; still we proved equal to the task and held on until the last present was taken from the tree. This done, we looked to the other end of the crowded room, and saw the curtain roll back for the first act of the many plays and dialogues the efficient professor and the well-trained pupils had prepared for the occasion. Each scene brought forth merry peals of laughter or wrought the audience to tears, according to the sentiment. Everybody was highly entertained from the start to the finish.
After the benediction we realized, with a sigh, that our holidays were over and that next morn we would resume our wearisome work again, but we can still feel Christmas in our bones. Was our holiday well spent? You may answer.
The Mountain Eagle, May 27, 1896
Presiding Elder R.W. Anderson and Rev. J.I. Williams attended Quarterly Conference at Double Springs in Winston county last week. On their way they encountered a huge diamond-back rattler, who was the proud possessor of eleven rattles and a button. The vanity of his snakeship in calling attention to this fact sealed his doom for the reverend gentlemen, remembering Eden, may be relied upon to kill all the snakes that cross their path.
The Sunny South, August 1, 1896
A Strange Story From Alabama. How circumstantial Evidence worked to Imprison a Man. The Result It Brought About. A most strange story comes from Double Springs, Alabama, which shows the irony of fate, and is so romantic as to almost pass belief.
The story is: That in 1874 George W. Pendleton and his wife Octavia, and young son were living in Brazoria county, near Liverpool, Texas, a town surrounded by many broad acres and thousands of cattle. They had for neighbors Mr. Hinton and wife. One morning Hinton rode up to Pendleton's house, telling him that he was going to Velasco, and asked him to go along. Having some business on Basthrop Bayou, he accompanied him that far. On the way, Hinton told him that he was leaving his wife, that they could not get along, and that he had told no one of his leaving, and left all of his property he had to his wife. Mrs. Pendolton says that when she saw her husband mount his horse and ride away that she had a presentment of evil and felt like begging him not to go. While Pendleton was away, he purchased Hinton's gold watch, as he (Hinton) needed money. On Pendleton's return home he related to his wife the circumstances of Hinton's leaving, and of buying his watch. They both concluded to say nothing about Hinton's leaving. Two weeks afterwards some one knocked at the door; upon opening it a deputy sheriff slipped handcuffs on his hands, telling him that he was arrested for the murder of Hinton, as his body had been found in a mutilated condition on the bayou, near where he had left him. He quietly submitted to arrest thinking he would have no trouble in establishing his innocence. There was such a well connected chain of evidence against him that the jury found him guilty, and assessed his punishment at imprisonment in the penitentiary for life.
His wife, some two years afterward, secured a divorce, believing her husband guilty, and married a Mr. Dwit. They soon aftewards sold out and moved to Atlanta, Ga. When Pendleton had been in the penitentiary some two and one-half years, he received a letter bearing a South American postmark. It was from Hinton. He immediately wrote him the circumstances he was in and urged him to come to his relief, and upon its receipt Hinton procured passage and returned to the United States. Of course the governor pardoned Pendleton on Hinton's appearance. He followed his wife to Atlanta, and she, having heard of the circumstances, had left Dwit and became a raving maniac, and was committed to the asylum. Pendleton sought out his son and with him went to California. There he again succeeded in amassing wealth.
When his boy was 21 years old he, for the first time, related the circumstances of his life. The son had a yearning to see his mother, and set out to find her at the Georgia asylum. When he arrived there they told him she had left two years before, cured, and had gone to relatives in North Carolina. When he arrived there he found she had gone to relatives in Winston County, Alabama. Nothing daunted, he set out for Alabama, and there found his long lost mother. He wrote to his father, detailing the fact of her leaving Dwit; and upon receipt of the letter, Mr. Pendleton left for Alabama, and was there again married to his former wife. Both are comparatively young, and let us hope that fate has in store for them many years of happy life.
The body found on the Bayou was that of a peddler, who had been murdered by a negro, the negro, on his death bed, confessing the fact of having killed him for the purpose of robbery--Breckenridge Texan.
Mountain Eagle, February 10, 1897
Winston Couple Wed. Monday a young man and a young lady from Winston County reached Jasper, and it did not take long for it to be noised around that their mission was to get married. As to whether it was a runaway to escape from the wrath of stern parents or was only a little romantic fancy of the young people, the Eagle has not learned. But however they may be, they certainly got married.
The first thing done on arriving in Jasper was to apply to Judge Shepherd for a license, and everybody knows that the Judge is always ready to forward on a good deed, and soon filled out a blank granting Mr. Eli Wordsworth and Miss Martha B. Lindsey of the Free State of Winston, the right to enter into the mysteries and bliss of the marriage state.
The next thing to do was to secure the services of a legally constitution person to perform the ceremony. This was no trouble, for R. Bates Esq., of South Lowell, was near at hand, and this gentleman, who gracefully wears the ermine of a Justice of the Peace for Beat 2, signafied his willingness to overstep the bounds of Beat 2 and intrude upon the territory of Esquires Knight, Williams, Duffee and others, and a wedding party was soon gathered, which repaired to the comfortable camp-house of the Cranford Mercantile Company where the couple were soon made man and wife, and received the congratulations of the crowd.
The weather was not very cold but Squire Bates took a chill while performing the ceremony, sent on him, so said by some, as a punishment for intruding upon the territory of others.
Mountain Eagle, March 3, 1897
Fed M. Wilson, son of Mr. John M. Wilson, of Elk, Winston County, passed through Jasper last Friday enroute to Birmingham, where he goes to enter upon the study of law. He is a young man with the intellect, pluck and energy that always succeeds. He was accompanied as far as Jasper by his father, who says that Fed is the second man ever reared in Winston who ever undertook the study of law, the first man was V. Lee Cowart, Esq., Assistant United States District Attorney, under whom his son will study.
Winston Herald, October 15, 1897
A Part of the Warrior Coal Fields.
By C.D. Hudgins.
Winston County is situated in the northern portion of the state. It is bounded on the north by Lawrence county, on the east by Cullman county, on the west by Marion county and on the south by Walker county. Winston is generally hilly, though there are occasional stretches of fine table lands within her borders. The hill lands are especially adapted to fruit and grape culture. Corn, cotton, oats, wheat, rye, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes are the principal crops, although strawberries and other vegetables grow luxuriantly. Winston is perhaps the best watered county in the state. Sipsey river, Clear creek and Brushy fork are its principal streams. They are fed by numerous rivulets and branches, which find their sources in living springs of clear freestone water among the hills. Indeed, it is difficult to find a single 40 acre tract of land in Winston county that does not have from one to a dozen springs upon it.
Fish are numerous in Winston’s streams, trout, perch, suckers and catfish abounding in great numbers. This county is also the hunter’s paradise, as deer, turkey and quail are numerous. The natural scenery of Winston county is at places exquisitely beautiful, at others sublime. Clear creek falls, situated in the southern portion of the county, is perhaps as fine an example of unbridled power as can be found in any Southern state. There are two of these falls about a quarter of a mile apart. The water at the upper fall tumbles sheer down a distance of thirty-six feet, at the lower fall the distance is 34 . These falls, if properly harnessed could be made to generate enough electricity to turn every wheel in Alabama, and will doubtless some day be a great source of wealth.
Natural Bridge, one mile west of the depot that bears its name, on the Northern Alabama railway is the most notable piece of natural scenery in the state. This bridge is 120 feet long, twenty feet wide and 62 feet in height. It was carved by nature’s hand out of solid sandstone and is a perfect arch spanning a deep canyon. It is a popular resort for picnic parties, for whom accommodation excursion trains are often run from Sheffield, Jasper, Russellville and other towns along the Northern Alabama railway.
Double Springs, the county site, is well located near the center of the county. The population of the place is about 200. On a prominent hill in the center of the town stands the court house and jail, both good buildings, constructed of native stone quarried within a quarter of a mile of the court house square. Within 200 yards of the court house are the "double springs" from which the place derives its name, and within a radius of one-half mile of the court house are more than 20 other springs of sparkling freestone water. Haleyville, Delmar, Natural Bridge, Lynn, and Houston are also thriving hamlets, and all bid fair to become important towns in the near future.
Winston is situated in the heart of the Warrior coal fields and the entire county is underlaid with that mineral. Three prosperous coal mines are now being operated in the county--two at Delmar and one at Natural Bridge. Other mines will likely be developed as business improves. But one railroad has yet been constructed through the county, that being the Northern Alabama railway. Two other lines have been located through the county, both of which will likely be built in the future. Winston is noted for the morality of its people. There has not been a felonious homicide committed in the last 25 years, and there have been but five convictions for felonies, of all grates, in the county during the past 12 years. The people of this county are much interested in educational matters, and school houses are numerous. There are fully one hundred churches in the county, which when the fact that the population is something less than 8,000 is considered, is a remarkably good showing.
The entire county is well wooded. In the southern section is found a fine belt of long leaf yellow pine. The remainder is covered with a heavy growth of valuable hard wood, such as white oak, post oak, beech, gums, hickory, etc., while in the canyons are many giant poplar trees that will become valuable whenever proper railroad facilities are available. There yet remains in this favored county 81,000 acres of public land, subject to homestead entry. This fact makes it easy for any one desiring to do so can acquire a home at but slight cost. Hence the price of lands already acquired is very low, ranging from $1 to $5 per acre. All these lands will be taken up shortly and a resumption of business activity will induce the building of railroads already planned through this section, and when these roads are built, Winston’s vast coal beds will be developed and she will at once become one of the wealthiest counties in North Alabama.--Maj. I.F. Culver’s Hand Book of Alabama.
Raid in Winston
Mountain Eagle, October 27, 1897
Raid In Winston. Deputy Collector Willis, and Deputy Marshal Kelley, accompanied by ex-marshal R.H. Smith made a raid in Winston county, near Elk, yesterday. They failed to get the still, arriving just a little too late, the "caters" having doubtless by some means got wind of their approach and removed it to a place of safety. Jerry Burns an old offender and John Salters, both living near the site where the still had been, were arrested, but the proof connecting them with the offense was not sufficient to hold them. It was a case of "guilty but not proved."
Mountain Eagle, December 22, 1897
About 2,000 people met at Upshaw, Winston County, Wednesday in the interest of the proposed railroad from Decatur, through Danville to Jasper, thence to Tuscaloosa through the Warrior coal fields. At this meeting the people of Winston County brought fine specimens of coal taken from a four foot vein, and iron ore taken from the same vicinity. A rude smelting furnace was erected and the virgin ore of Winston was smelted with the native coal. A number of the specimens smelted, together with large lumps of the coal are now on exhibition. Several representatives of railroads and capitalists were present at the meeting and took a deep interest in the proceedings. The people of that section of Morgan and of Winston counties are working earnestly for the road, and more than one hundred land owners have signed blank deeds for right-of-way and other land concessions. It is proposed to name the road the Decatur, Danville and Southwestern.-- Fayette Sentinel.
Mountain Eagle, January 26, 1898
D.P. Vickery Killed. Shot down by Dr. J.C. Taylor At Haleysville Monday. There was a fatal shooting affray at Haleysville Monday afternoon. D.P. Vickery, the well known attorney, was shot and killed by Dr. J.C. Taylor, a prominent physician of that place. From the information we have the trouble was about this way: Vickery, it is said, was in debt to Taylor, and the latter attacked him while at Haleysville on Saturday last. Vickery went to Haleysville for revenge yesterday, and it is said accosted Taylor in his office, cursing and abusing him. Taylor ordered him out, but the lawyer refused to go. Vickery having the drop on him, Taylor made his way to the door, intending, he says to shut his antagonist up in the office, but Vickery sprang at the door and caught it. Taylor being a very stout man, shoved Vickery out the door and closed it. After Taylor had ejected him it is stated that Vickery returned immediately with pistol in hand and tried to shoot Taylor through the window from the outside. Taylor, who was on the inside of his office, fired first, the ball striking Vickery in the right breast, from which he died in a few minutes. Taylor gave himself up. Vickery was very well known in Jasper, often attending our courts.
Mountain Eagle, April 5, 1899
Mr. John M. Wilson, of Clear Creek, spent a day or so in Jasper last week enjoying himself among friends. John says he lives on the same place on which he was born, has never lived anywhere else, yet he has lived in three counties. He accounts for this in this manner: His home place at one time was in Walker county; afterwards a slice was cut off and Hancock formed, the name of which was later changed to Winston county. Ap Little, known to many of our older citizens, was sent to the legislature which changed the name from Hancock to Winston, that question being the main issue between him and his opponent. "Uncle Ap" did not like the name of Hancock.
Traveler in Winston County
Guntersville Democrat, September 21, 1899
The following article was drafted by a man from Marshall County who went by the pseudonym, "Seth Peleg." He was a regular contributor to The Guntersville Democrat and was known for his country philosophy and humorous observations.
Seth Peleg Continues His Travels in Winston County. Editor Democrat—We are now coming to some of the hilliest country it has ever been my lot to look upon, except, however, the Blue Ridge mountain in North Georgia may be a little more so. In my last I stated we stayed over night on the dividing ridge between Rock Creek and Brushy Fork Creek, in Winston county, and I forgot to tell you that the hills on either side of Rock Creek were as bad and steep as the bluffs of Sand mountain. I do not say this through any disrespect of the good people of Winston county, but I do say that perhaps whoever cut out those roads could have placed them on leveler ground. It was a job for old Buck to pull us up those hills, but when we got to the hills of Brushy Fork creek we had to get out and walk both down hill and up hill. On top of the hill beyond we came to the old town of Houston, which was once the county site of Winston. The old jail is still standing, built of hewn logs. The court house is a boxed house with slabs for seats, but the good people of Winston county have a new court house and jail at Double Springs, built of stone.
Houston is a town of about 75 or 100 inhabitants, with two stores, two churches, two blacksmith shops, and a lot of as fine cotton as I ever saw growing. I think they said it was McKinley cotton. This reminds me, I heard that cotton is worth only 5 ½ cents. I would like for somebody to tell Mr. McKinley that there is not more than half crop of cotton this year and if he don’t care we would like for him to pay us about 7 ½ or 8 cents for it. If I have to take 5 cents for my little crop I am ruined, together with several thousand more of my comrades. It is not in reason for everything else to go up and cotton go down.
This fellow Neill that lives in New Orleans and makes estimates on the cotton crop don’t know what he is talking about. I have figured the crop at between 9 and 10 million bales, and if Mr. McKinley thinks he will get my cotton for 5 cents on the grounds that there is too much made, he is sadly mistaken.
But to resume: We stopped at Houston long enough to write a letter back to our dear wife, Clem, and the eleven little Pelegs; then we drove on our way rejoicing. It is only 10 miles from Houston to Double Springs, and a monstrous hilly country, but it seemed to be very productive. We crossed Sipsey river on the only bridge that Winston county has. Arriving at Double Springs we found it to be a small village on top of a nice high hill, with a good stone court house and jail.
I asked a man where the springs was and he stepped to the door and pointed over in a westerly direction and says, "there it is, just over there; if you are going over there take this bucket and bring me some water." I looked at him and says, "I am a traveler, myself. I don’t live here. I just wanted to see the double springs. I am a native of Marshall county, and I am glad of it."
"Oh, excuse me," says he, "I thought you was Silas Jones, from over here in the big hollow."
"No, I am from Sand mountain, and it is much nicer country than this, too."
So I went on down to the springs, but the springs were not at home. There was only one little spring. I don’t know what gave it the name of Double Springs. I was told that this town was looking for a railroad from Memphis every day, going by way of Houston, Cullman, and on to Chicago, which I reckon it is a-coming; they said it was. The merchants of Double Springs have to haul their goods from Haleyville, a station on the Kansas City railroad.
We traveled on to the home of one of our wife’s pap’s friends by 12 o’clock and took dinner and the boys fed our steer. We were about to hitch up and start when on looking around we discovered a cloud rising out of the southwest and coming over the hills directly toward us, so we had to stay over until next morning, which did not go against the grain much as we needed some rest and so did old Buck. We stayed up until late talking politics. Our host knows a monstrous sight of things, both good and bad. He said that we (i.e., us poor downtrodden farmers) represent the children of Israel, and whenever we cease to rebel and quit whipping people off their homes, then we will get more for cotton.
Maybe so, I can’t tell.
I must quit now and go and help ditch out the spring. There is a big "to do" a coming on in this settlement and my shirt has to be washed. Seth Peleg, Reedbrake, Alabama.
From the Dallas Morning News Historical Archive, 2/2/1900
Submitted Marie Young
Wanted: The address of any member of First Alabama Federal regiment, company H, who knows Marcus De Lafayette Mullens, then of Winston County, Alabama. M.D.Mullens, Ben Hur, Limestone Co. Tex
Mountain Eagle, September 26, 1900
Remains Removed. After Being Buried Over Thirty-five Years--the Bodies of James Daniel and Wife Are Removed. Jas. Daniel and wife were buried near where stands the residence of J.H. Hayes. The graves in which these two old people, pioneer citizens of Jasper, have slept side-by-side for almost forty years, were enclosed by a rough but substantial stone tomb, and where it was located it fell in the middle of a street when the city survey took place a few years back. A number of negroes belonging to the old couple, were buried near by. When the aged couple, who owned the land in that part of town and resided in a house which stood about where W.G. Gravelee's residence is now, selected their burial place they never dreamed that in after years that their bones would be disturbed.
But they had no premonition that Jasper would ever grow and spread like it has within the past ten years.
While it was a disagreeable task for the city authorities to disturb their rest, the public interest demanded it and it was decided to remove their remains to the new cemetery, which has been done.
"Uncle" Jimmy Daniel and his wife are well remembered by the older citizens of Jasper and Walker county. We believe they were Irish by birth and used to keep the only public house for the entertainment of guests in Jasper. Here all travelers and parties attending courts were welcomed and entertained and their hospitality became widely known. Judge Wm. R. Smith, in his "Reminiscences of Tuscaloosa County," speaks of their house. He tells of the capture of the band of counterfeiters at Clear Creek Falls and that the posse in returning with their prisoners to Tuscaloosa stayed the first night with Jim Daniel where the prisoners were placed in the cellar and guarded for the night. The counterfeiters just previous to being captured had made a trip to Tuscaloosa where they worked off considerable of their spurious money and stole some horses. They were tracked to Clear Creek Falls, where the outlaws were surprised and captured in a secret rendezvous under one of the falls, a most complete retreat and one that perhaps would never have been discovered if a member of the posse had not kept watch of a little girl, whom he suspected as being connected with the outlaws. He followed her unnoticed and at last was rewarded by seeing her to the falls, where, after taking a survey of the surroundings to make sure that no stranger's eye was upon here, she darted through the sheet of falling water and disappeared from view. After a short time she reappeared and left. Then the attack was made and the counterfeiters captured with all their outfit. they were carried to Tuscaloosa and most of the gang hanged.
Mountain Eagle, October 17, 1900
The Sipsie River Bridge. Turned Over to the County Officials Monday. The board of county commissioners and Judge J.W. Shepherd went up to Dunkin Fork Monday and received the new bridge across Sipsie river.
Besides the commissioners of this county, three of Winston county's commissioners and a number of citizens from the surrounding community were present, when Contractor Dobson turned the fine bridge over to the county officials. The value to Walker county of this bridge can readily be seen, as eighteen bales of cotton came over the bridge Monday en route to Jasper that would have gone to Cullman had the bridge not been built. It will be the means of turning thousands of dollars worth of trade to Jasper to say nothing of the great benefit to that part of the county.
Mountain Eagle, January 9, 1901
Female Wildcatters. Deputy Collector Pope M. Long and Marshal J.M. Nelson, of Cordova, were in Jasper last Saturday, just returning from a successful raid after moonshiners in Winston county. The day before, near the line of Lawrence and Winston counties they made a valuable capture in persons of Houston and Riley Simmons, old offenders, and with them got a complete outfit. Two women showed up in the gang and they were also required to make "Uncle Sam" a promise to attend the next term of his court. The government never had a more efficient, faithful, discreet, courteous man as a deputy collector in this district.
The New Era, January 25, 1901
Natis Notes. Natis is located five miles northwest of Nauvoo, Ala., on the Double Springs and Nauvoo Road. We have a settlement composed entirely of enterprising farmers, and from every appearance, farm work is being conducted in an up-to-date manner. Our lands compare favorably with any portion of the county in productiveness together with large tracts of untouched timber and pasture lands, interspersed with hills and dales from which gush an abundance of pure freestone water. For health it is unsurpassed. The people are generous, social and religious, having Sunday School, prayer meeting and church accommodations. We have one of the best school buildings in the county in which is being taught a progressive school by W.A. McCullar. If this brief introduction escapes the waste basket, we shall try our hand again. Success to the Era and its many readers. Uncle Jim.
Mountain Eagle, February 27, 1901
Will Utilize Clear Creek Falls. Clear Creek Falls, situated about thirteen miles above Jasper, on a swift flowing mountain creek of that name, in Winston county, are to be harnessed and made to serve man, so it is reported.
This valuable water power is owned principally by Dr. D.W. Day, of Hartselle. It has recently been visited by an expert from New York, representing a well known development company of the East, with a view of utilizing the great force of the falls for the generation of electricity. It is claimed that the two falls, a dozen or two yards apart, are sufficient with proper machinery to generate at a small cost sufficient electricity to supply Jasper, Birmingham, Cullman and other towns of North Alabama, as well as all the towns of Walker and Winston counties.
Mountain Eagle, March 6, 1901
This Horse Took Side Walk. One day last week Mr. J.L. Blalock, of Winston, was down on a trading trip. He was driving a horse attached to a one-horse wagon. While near the Exchange Hotel the horse suddenly became frightened and ran away, taking right down the side walk on the East side of square, then turned at the corner and continued on the walk to post office, where he cut across back to near the starting point, where he left the wagon in a very dilapidated condition. Mr. Blalock was thrown from the wagon and sustained painful injuries, having three ribs broken, but was able to return to his home next day. The people on the side walk did not have to be told to get out of the way, but it is fortunate that all were able to do so. The horse was caught and the wagon repaired by getting several new parts and Mr. Blalock was able next day to return home as above stated.
Mountain Eagle, April 3, 1901
Wagon Ran Over Him. Mr. Henry Warren, of near Peak's Mills, Winston county, was run over by a wagon and seriously hurt between here and Camak's Mill, last Wednesday night. He had been to Jasper and left late in the evening with a heavily loaded wagon for his home. A few miles from town he was walking along by his oxen, when he decided to ride on the tongue of the wagon, as ox drivers often do. Just as he went to sit down the four wheel of the wagon on the opposite side fell into a hole and he missed the tongue falling to the ground, and, before he could get out of the way the wagon was upon him, the wheel passing over his body. The wagon was loaded with about 2000 pounds of goods and Mr. Warren's injuries are serious. Three or four of his ribs are broken loose and it is feared that he is seriously injured internally. He was picked up and carried to Mr. T.L. Gabbert's where he was made as comfortable as possible and Dr. Camak summoned, who administered to his needs. Mr. Warren is the father of Mrs. W.B. Gabbert. It will perhaps be some time before he is able to go home.
Mountain Eagle, October 16, 1901:
Mr. E. Blanton, of Double Springs, a former resident and well known citizen of this county, was dangerously ill the latter part of last week, at Drs. Davis & Davis Infirmary in Birmingham, where he had a surgical operation performed a week or so ago. His daughter, Mrs. C.W. Stubblefield, of this place, was summoned to that city on account of his critical condition last Thursday, and went over on the first train, as did Mr. Stubblefield. The latest from Mr. Blanton is to the effect that he is better, and the chances favor his recovery.
Mountain Eagle, March 12, 1902:
Judge A.H. Alston held Winston's circuit court last week. For the first time in the history of the courts of that county two petit juries were impanelled, due to the accumulation of cases on the docket by continuances by former courts. About the first, if not the first, rape case the county ever had was tried, that of Montgomery Warren who was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary. He was the only man sent off.
Mountain Eagle, March 19, 1902:
Nauvoo. Saturday evening near Ashbank church Bob Harper, Tom Harper, his son, Roby Ingle and Louis Ingle became involved in a difficulty with the result that Bob Harper was seriously cut under the left shoulder and Tom harper has his jaw cut through to the inside. It is reported that Louis Ingle did the cutting.
Mountain Eagle, April 9, 1902:
John M. Wilson, alias Devil John, of Clear Creek Falls, was in the city Tuesday as full of life as he was twenty years ago, the good old days when the blue smoke from his moonshine factory could been seen floating around over the hills of the old "Free State of Winston." Those good old days are gone but Devil John is still with us, as happy as a lark and as clever as ever. In those old days he would make "moonshine" liquor, but he was never known to do any other unkind or mean act. But he has long since quit that and is now a good, substantial, law abiding citizen.
Mountain Eagle, April 30, 1902:
Winston's Editors In Jail. Winston county has two jails at Double Springs, but neither is ever used as a prison, as the people of that county are all law abiding citizens. There are two newspapers published there--The New Era and Winston Herald. One, we are informed, is printed in the new jail and the other in the old. We don't mean by this that editors Cowart and Adkins are locked up, for they are not; they are free to come and go as they please; a latch string hangs on both the in and the outside of their doors. But as we said before, Winston has no use for its jails, and our newspaper friends up there have appropriated them as offices. In the last issue of the New Era we note the following item about the Herald man: "Editor Adkins is making some valuable improvements in the way of a new fence around his premises--the little wooden jail."
Mountain Eagle, May 7, 1902:
Christopher Columbus Sheets has been put on the pension list, and now draws a salary of $30.00 per month. Senator Pettus, in making the argument, said: "The beneficiary is a very old man, and was late a recruiting officer of the U.S. army in the civil war." This is news to us, and we regard it as an injustice to the brave federal soldiers who are now receiving only about $10.00 per month.--Moulton Advertiser.
Mountain Eagle, July 9, 1902:
Townsend--Ferguson. Natural Bridge, July 7--At the residence of Mr. Morgan McNutt in Natural Bridge on the night of the Fourth, a pleasant event was consummated--Miss Emma Ferguson and Mr. George Townsend were happily united in the holy bonds of matrimony. It occurred at the dead hours of midnight. A party of about forty young men and young ladies met Mr. Morgan McNutt about a quarter from town as he returned from the court house with the license. The carriage he was in was drawn by four white horses with red tassels. When the marriage was over the young couple were literally covered up with bouquets. The supper table was thirty feet long and was covered with the most delicious food; no drink at all. Rev. B.F. Shank, in his usual impressive way, officiated. Mr. Townsend is a young railroad man with a bright future, being in the employ of the Southern.
Mountain Eagle, July 9, 1902:
Does Any Old Citizen Remember Them? Among the list of names of revolutionary soldiers from Alabama published in the Montgomery Advertiser Sunday we find the names of the following who resided in Walker county when the U.S. Census of 1840 was taken. Is there any old citizen living in the county who remembers anything of them? Jeremiah Alexander, 76; David Walling, 76; Stephen Garrison, 83; Matthew Payne, 76; Andrew Nelson, 76; Varder Mabgly, 102.
Mountain Eagle, July 30, 1902:
Three Are Buried in Winston. Gum Pond, July 18.--Editor Eagle:--I see in your paper an article concerning Revolutionary soldiers. I remember three of the old soldiers named--Stephen Garrison, Matthew Payne and Andrew Nelson. These three was all buried in Winston County. This at that time (1840) was part of Walker county. Steven Garrison was my grandfather and Matthew Payne was my grandfather by marriage. I will gladly give you any information concerning them. Yours truly, Mrs. M.A. Payne
Thunder Under the Ground
The Cullman Democrat, September 18, 1902
Thunder Under the Ground. A Most Peculiar Noise Heard Beneath the Earth in Winston County.
Several days ago while Mrs. Julia Griggs and her daughter were washing at a spring on the farm of W.T. Nelson in the eastern portion of Winston County they were startled by a peculiar noise which they first thought was thunder but they could see no clouds.
After a little further investigation, they found that the thunder, or whatever it might have been, was under the ground and going in a southern direction. This was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and the spring at once became very muddy and stopped running until just about night when it became clear and began to run again. We don’t know where "it" went but are glad to know that it was not coming toward this place.
Mountain Eagle, October 1, 1902
John M. Wilson, of Elk, Winston county, was in town Monday. He says the people of Winston, living in the neighborhood of Clear Creek Falls, are very indignant, and justly so, over a report a preacher gave to the press about a meeting he conducted there a few weeks since. The clipping in question was sent Mr. Wilson by a friend living in Decatur, and is supposed to have been from a Cincinnati paper. The preacher lived in Cincinnati and his report of the meeting does the people of Clear Creek Falls much injustice. It speaks of them as being very ignorant, that the church in which he preached neither turned sun nor rain, and that the people in that section would not know what a biscuit made from the flour of wheat is for.
Mountain Eagle, September 2, 1903
A Petrified Bear. Mr. William Miller, who lives near town says: "While working in a rock quarry two miles east of Delmar, I unearthed a petrified bear as large as a house cat. It was almost perfect in image and covered three feet under a strata of sand stone." This is a discovery of more value than perhaps friend Miller suspected. He should have preserved the petrified cub in tact and sent it to some geological museum. It is one of the many curious freaks of nature.-- Haleyville Enterprise.
Items of Lynn and Vicinity. We are sorry to note the death of little Estelle, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Dodd; also of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Crows little son and Mr. and Mrs. Kim Crows infant. All were interred in Lynn cemetery. Weep not for the little darlings, dear ones, for they have gone to a better world.
Mountain Eagle, October 28, 1903
Drowned Herself and Baby. In a Water Tank of the Northern Alabama Railway. Mrs. Columbus Gentles, who lived near Haleyville, committed suicide by drowning herself and her two-months-old baby in Flat creek tank on the Northern Alabama Railway. She had been acting peculiarly for some time, but nothing desperate was anticipated. Friday night she took the infant and without a wrap walked a mile and after climbing a ladder forty feet to the top of the tank, leaped into the water with her baby in her arms. Thus they were found Saturday morning by Ernest Williams, who has charge of the tank.
Mountain Eagle, December 2, 1903
Ex-Sheriff B.M. O'Rear, of Clear Creek Falls, was in Jasper Thursday. Mote is now a citizen of Winston, and is engaged in farming and merchandising. He says he lives in the quietest, best place in the whole world. He never sees or even hears talk of such a thing as a candidate, and the people up there go along and attend to their own business and let the government and outside world take care of itself.
Mountain Eagle, December 30, 1903:
A Deplorable Tragedy in Winston. Ex-Sheriff Mote O'Rear Shot and Killed John M. Wilson. At Clear Creek Falls in Winston county, fifteen miles north of Jasper, last Wednesday afternoon, ex-sheriff B.M. O'Rear shot John M. Wilson, inflicting a wound which resulted in the latter's death Thursday night at 9 o'clock. It took place at Wilson's home and there was no one present but the two men when the shooting occurred, and there are many conflicting reports as to what lead up to it and how it occurred.
O'Rear and Wilson were neighbors, the former had bought the place on which he resided from the latter a year or so ago. It is alleged that there was a mortgage for fifty dollars on the place at the time of the purchase and Wilson failed to acquaint O'Rear of the fact when the sale was made. On the fatal day O'Rear, it is alleged, went over to see Wilson to get his fifty dollars back. Wilson was at home and just entered his gate as O'Rear came up. One was on the outside of the fence and the other on the inside. O'Rear had a double-barrel shot gun with him. A row came up between them and O'Rear used his gun, firing one shot which tore off Wilson's right arm at the wrist and three or four shot entered the right side of his abdomen, penetrating the bowels and the liver.
It is said that Wilson before death stated that O'Rear said when he came up that he had come to kill him, and that he (Wilson) when the other went to shoot seized hold of the gun in an effort to save himself. O'Rear, in his statement to parties who have seen him, so it is reported, says that he had set his gun down and that they were talking the matter over when Wilson suddenly made a dash for the gun, that they both seized it, and in the scuffle over it the gun was discharged with the result already stated.
However it may have occurred, it is a very deplorable affair. Both men are well known and were prominent and well thought of. Mr. O'Rear was ex-sheriff of Walker county and is a member of one of the most prominent families of the county. O'Rear is still at large, but it is rumored that he intends to come in and give himself up soon.
Mountain Eagle, December 30, 1903
Winston County Preacher Liberated. From Prison that he Might Go Home and Spend Christmas. A pathetic incident in the Christmas observance at the county jail was the releasing of Rev. John H. Wilson, aged 64, on his own recognizance. The old man is one of the most original characters ever held there and has a history. Mr. Wilson was arrested on an indictment, issued by the Federal grand jury at its last term, charged with fraudulently attempting to get a pension. His case is set for trail at the next term of the court at Huntsville. He has not only nearly all the ills to which flesh is heir, but is nearly dead of old age besides. He has asthma of the head, catarrh of the stomach, rheumatism, and a variety of other diseases, all of which were properly certified to by Dr. M.M. Due.
He is an old Confederate veteran, having been in Company H, 56 Alabama, a Mason, and a Baptist minister. For fourteen years he was a missionary to the Choctaw nation. His home is in Winston county. A letter was received by W.H. Standifer, assistant United States district attorney from Hollis B. Parrish, telling about the old minister's troubles and expressing the wish of all the prisoners that he be released. Mr. Standifer, after fully investigating the matter, issued orders that he be released on his own bond and this was accordingly done. Nothing has been seen of him since and he is supposed to have gone straight home.--Birmingham Ledger.
Mountain Eagle, June 1, 1904
Fatal Affray at Haleyville. A serious cutting and shooting affray occurred here last Saturday night, in consequence one man was fatally wounded and two others considerably used up. A row came up between Neal Stevens and Will Kirkwood. Alex Foster became involved and was dangerously shot in the neck. Will Stevens, our mayor, tried to arrest the combatants and was bruised up considerably. In self defense he used a knife on Jim Kirkwood who was later put under arrest and carried to jail. Will Kirkwood, who did the shooting, made his escape. Foster, the wounded man, was carried to Dr. Palmer’s office and relatives summoned. Sunday morning he was removed to the home of Robert Montgomery, and on Monday was carried to the home of his parents at Bear Creek. The sad news of his death reached here Thursday.--Haleyville Enterprise.
Mountain Eagle, June 1, 1904
Col. C.C. Sheats Dead. Col. C.C. Sheats was found dead in bed at his home in Decatur last Thursday morning. He had been in bad health for some time and has been unable to walk for several months. Col. Sheats was a noted character of Alabama. He was one of the members of the secession convention who voted against Alabama going out of the Union. He was raised in Winston county and at one time was United States minister to Denmark. He was, shortly after the war, elected governor of the state, but was counted out. Formally he owned valuable property in Decatur, but died a pauper in a hovel on Bank street. One of the handsomest residences in the city was his, but he willed it to his wife, who recently died, and who obtained a divorce from him some time ago.
The New Era, June 15, 1904
Shadix, Ala., is the name of a new post office recently established five miles northeast of this place. The office will be kept in the store of W.D. Shadix, who is the newly appointed postmaster.
Mountain Eagle, July 13, 1904
A Trip Through Winston County. Seldom, if ever, has it been my good fortune to spend three more pleasant days than the last three in Winston county. Having accepted an invitation to attend a picnic and public installation of officers of the Masonic Lodge at Arley, I left Jasper about 6 o’clock Saturday morning, arriving at Arley about 11 o’clock. I found between one thousand and fifteen hundred people assembled in a beautiful and well cleaned off and seated ground just outside the little town. A band from Cullman was furnishing splendid music for the occasion. After the public installation of officers and after addresses by the Hon. B.F. Tingle, and Rev. Mr. Harbison, a recess of an hour was taken for dinner, which was served in the grove in great abundance and of the best quality and preparation. At about 2 o’clock the crowd was called together by music by the band where it was the pleasure of this scribe to talk to them a short time. Never have I seen a happier, more polite and sober crowd. Not so much as the odor of whiskey in all that great crowd did I smell during the day.
At Addison. Toward the close of the day I left for Addison where I had promised to attend a union Sunday school celebration on Sunday. Arriving at Addison late in the evening I spent the night with Mr. Berry Burch, that prince of clever fellows. Early Sunday morning the people began coming in from every direction and by 10 o’clock fully five hundred people had assembled, and the program of the day begun by singing and prayer. The address of welcome was then delivered by Dr. Olivet, the Superintendent of Education of Winston county, at the close of which I made the response. The rest of the day was then taken up by rendering a most interesting program of songs, recitations, readings and speeches, closing with an address from Mr. Weaver. An intermission of an hour was taken at noon for dinner; here again another sumptuous dinner was served on the ground, or rather on a temporary table prepared of benches. Addison has a Sunday School and citizenship of which any community ought to be proud. Better order and behavior I never saw at any church gathering, and a better and more interesting program I have never heard rendered in a Sunday School celebration, and by a brighter set of children and pupils. The music, led by Prof. Warren Hamner, was also one of the most interesting features of the day. From Addison I came back to Arley and spent the night with my friend, Mart L. Aaron, another prince of good fellows.
We spent the glorious Fourth at Clear Creek Falls with that most hospitable people, who for more than a decade, with very few exceptions, have observed the day with appropriate exercises and with a basket dinner. On this occasion they must have been at their best, for I cannot conceive of how they could have excelled it. Abundance of good things to eat, great abundance of ice cold lemonade and ice cream, good singing, good cheer, good order and perfect sobriety--another day at which no odor of whiskey appeared--but peace and good will, friendship and happiness reigned supreme. It was estimated that there were at least five hundred people present. During the day there were speeches by Rev. Mr. Smith, Rev. Geo. Gibson, Mr. Zack Shepherd, Prof. Benson and myself. Mr. James A. Bennett conducted the singing, introduced the speakers and acted as chairman of the occasion. At 3 or 4 o’clock the public exercises of the day were declared over and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Geo. Gibson and the large crowd bade each other good bye and dispersed in all directions to their respective homes with many pleasant recollections of the day so delightfully and appropriately spent at this beautiful gathering place. I do not believe a better or more hospitable people can be found anywhere than the people of Winston County. Sheriff Lacy.
Mountain Eagle, August 3, 1904
Rev. G.W. Gibson, of Mellville, was in Jasper Saturday in company with his aged father, who was en route to Haleyville to visit some of his children. He informed us of the death of his mother, which occurred at the old homestead, near Mellville, on Tuesday of last week, at the advanced age of 83 years. Mrs. Gibson was the mother of seven sons and seven daughters, the youngest, a son being now 39 years old, and she leaves 80 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren. [Charlotte Gibson, wife of Thomas K. Gibson, 1817 - 11 Jul 1904; buried Mt. Hope at Arley]
Mountain Eagle, August 31, 1904
N.B. Posey Dead. N.B. Posey, an aged well known citizen, died at the home of his son, S.C. Posey, a few miles west of town, Thursday night last, after an illness of several months with what is commonly called heart dropsy. For the past few years the deceased had made his home at Clear Creek Falls in Winston county, but prior to that he resided near Jasper and was one of the oldest and best known citizens of the county. He was, perhaps, seventy odd years of age, a well-to-do, substantial citizen and farmer, highly esteemed by all who knew him. He leaves several sons and daughters to mourn his death. Another of the old land marks is gone to his reward.
Mountain Eagle, October 12, 1904
Whiskey Men Caught In Their Own Trap. The whiskey men of Haleysville were not satisfied with the result of the recent election in that town in which the sale of liquor was voted out, to take effect the first of January. They brought suit in the circuit court to “burst-up” the election and the case came up for a hearing before Judge Ray here last Wednesday. Both sides had attorneys, the prohibition men employing Attorneys W.C. Davis and J.D. Acuff. In searching the acts of the legislature for legislation bearing on the liquor question, in Winston county, Messrs. Davis and Acuff stumbled upon an old act passed about thirty years ago and never repealed that prohibits the sale of liquors of all kinds in the territory of Haleysville. The whiskey men, when confronted with this old law, which had been sleeping all these years, saw at once that they were done for, that instead of having until January 1st to close out their business they had to close their doors at once, unless they could make terms. They had been violating the law for several years, but did not know it, and were subject to indictment for every sale they had made within the past twelve months. Instead of “bursting up” the election which voted whiskey out of Haleysville, the liquor men changed to begging for time to close out their business which was granted, provided they be good. The saloon men who have been operating a saloon, or saloons, just north of Nauvoo, in Winston county, are in the same box, except the old act effecting them fails to prohibit the sale of malt liquors and they can only continue to sell beer.
Mountain Eagle, January 25, 1905
Jumped off of Car and Run Over and Killed. J. Monroe Turner, a young man about 21 years of age, was instantly killed at Horse Creek Monday morning. He was employed by the company and engaged at the time of the accident in switching cars into the tipple. He attempted to jump from one car to the ground just as another was coming in on the siding, but missed his calculation, striking against a trestle, which threw him in front of the incoming car, and it passed over his body crushing him to death. The remains of the unfortunate young man were prepared and shipped to Haleyville for interment, where his relatives reside. Mr. George Crenshaw, with whom the young man boarded, while at Horse Creek, accompanied the remains to Haleyville.
Mountain Eagle, February 1, 1905
Morgan McNutt in Trouble, Charged with Misuse of Mails. Morgan McNutt, well known at Saragossa, was arraigned here before United States Commissioner J.B. Shields last Wednesday on a charge of using the mails for fraudulent purposes. McNutt was formerly a merchant at Saragossa and it is claimed that he has been swindling wholesale merchants all over the country for some time. His father is a well-to- do and respected merchant at Natural Bridge, and it is alleged that he has been using his father's credit in getting wholesale merchants to ship merchandise to Saragossa, which is a pre-pay station on the Northern Alabama railroad. McNutt would then sell the goods at about 50 per cent less than their real market value and pocket the money, thereby making a good profit for his trouble. It is claimed that in making orders for certain goods, such as organs, buggies, etc., he would request the company from which he ordered to make out two invoices, one for the actual cost and one for about 50 percent more, so that he could show the bogus invoices to his prosepective customer to assure him that he was getting the goods at wholesale prices.
After hearing the evidence from a number of witnesses Commissioner Shields required McNutt to give bond in the sum of $500 to appear before the United States Court. Among the firms claimed to have been worked by McNutt are: T.B. Jones & Co., Memphis, wholesale grain dealers; Ballard & Ballard, Louisville; Birmingham Dry Goods company, and W.C. Agee & Co., Birmingham, Ala. These firms had representatives here to appear before Commissioner Shields.
Will Sell Liquor at Lynn. R.L. Montgomery, of West Winston, came to the city Saturday eve, and presented a petition and the money for license to sell whiskey at Natural Bridge, claiming that the election recently held in that precinct was illegal and void. Judge Curtis, thereupon, sought legal counsel and it was decided that the election was not regular in several ways--that is was no election at all. The Judge then issued license to R.L. Montgomery and F. Hill, partners, to conduct a saloon at Natural Bridge. This will add to the attractions of the natural scenery around the Bridge, and men who have never before cared for such things will be suddenly seized with a desire to view this grand freak of nature.--Double Springs New Era-Herald.
Mountain Eagle, April 26, 1905
A Big Illicit Still Captured in Winston. A big illicit distillery was raided and captured in Winston last Wednesday, together with the man who operated it, S.H. Cantrell. The party of officers making the raid were Hon. J.O. Thompson, collector of internal revenue, accompanied by Deputies A.J. Montgomery and V.S. Root; Marshals R.A. Smith, W.S. Vandifer, Drakeford and City Marshal C.C. Smith of Jasper, who is an old expert in the business and knows how to find ‘em. The still was a forty gallon copper still which was in full operation. About 200 gallons of beer and six gallons of whiskey were destroyed. It was located near Peak’s Mill in Winston county. Cantrell was brought to Jasper by one of the deputy marshals and C.C. Smith and carried before United States Judge J.B. Shields. He plead guilty and was released under a $300 bond. The other members of the posse of officers did not return to Jasper, but went to make other raids.
Mountain Eagle, April 18, 1906
Winston Wedding. Married--On March 25th, at the residence of the bride's father near Motes, Mr. Y.M. Ivy, a popular young farmer of near Foot, to Miss Lanie Mccullar, a beautiful and accomplished daughter of A.J. McCullar, a prominent politician and farmer of Beat 4. The happy couple have every prospect before them for long, useful, prosperous lives, and the Herald congratulates them, and wishes them all the joys that life affords, and as few sorrows as is possible.-- Double Springs Herald.
Mountain Eagle, January 23, 1907
A.J. Nelson, of Patton, an aged ex-Confederate veteran, was among the old soldiers here Saturday. "Uncle Andy's grandfather was a soldier of the Revolution, and is buried on the border of Walker and Winston counties in a neglected grave that the national government should see card for."
Mountain Eagle, March 6, 1907
Died Suddenly. While in Jasper Monday, Capt. C.C. Kelley, of Eldridge, received a telegram from Haleyville, stating that his brother, John Kelley’s wife had died suddenly at her home there Monday morning. Mr. Kelley went from here to Haleyville to attend the burial, which occurred there yesterday.
Mountain Eagle, March 13, 1907
Death of Mrs. John Kelley. The Haleyville correspondent of the Double Springs New Era tells how the death of Mrs. John Kelley occurred, as follows: While writing this letter in my home, our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. John Kelley, came over on a visit, and after talking a few minutes Mrs. Kelley fell out of her chair dead. Don’t’ think she breathed after falling. It was quite a sudden death, and a great shock to all of us. She was laid to rest in the graveyard at Miller’s Stand.
Mountain Eagle, May 22, 1907
Cave of Indian Skeletons Found. Thad Quattlebaum in company with a young Winston county man discovered a wagon load of what the doctors pronounce to be Indian skulls and bones in a cave in Winston county last week. The young man with them had entered the cave a little way and saw the bones before, but was afraid to explore it alone. The cave seems to be but a passage way, 5 to 6 feet high and 20 feet wide in places, and about 200 feet long. They found a number of skeletons lying on the floor of the cave and gathered up several which they brought to Cullman and have on exhibition here. The entrance to the cave has the appearance of having been sealed up, the stone covering having slipped down. Judge Burke and others will form a part to explore the cave further later on. The boys refuse to tell its exact location, hoping to make something out of their find. The matter has been reported to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington. It is supposed that the cave was used by Indians as a burial ground, but investigation may prove that they were penned up and exterminated by a hostile tribe.—Cullman Tribune.
Mountain Eagle, August 2, 1907
Haleyville Locals. The I.C.R.R. Company has the yards graded off and the ties on the ground. Engineer Youngfelt is in charge. Hear them say it will take 300 gallons of water per minute to furnish their shops. This would be 180,000 per day of 10 hours. The company has built a pike road from Miller’s Stand to Haleyville for the county. In removing the graves of Walker and Davis they found only a few of the largest bones and the back part of each skull. Walker had been buried 62 years, and Davis 37.
Mountain Eagle, March 18, 1908
Aged Citizen of Winston Passes to Great Beyond. Mr. J.C. Wilhite, of Mellville, one of the Eagle's regular readers, was a caller at this office Monday. he informed us that Mr. Hamner, an aged citizen of Winston county, who resided near Arley, died about 5 o'clock Sunday morning, after a long illness, aged about 80 years. The deceased was an ex-Confederate soldier and a most excellent citizen. He was the father of Mr. Warren Hamner, a highly esteemed citizen of Arley.
Mountain Eagle, December 1, 1909
Killing At Haleyville. J.J. Bledsoe Shot and Instantly Killed George E. Smith. The Haleyville News gives the following account of the killing at Haleyville: George E. Smith, a young man of about thirty years, was shot and almost instantly killed by J.J. Bledsoe last night (Thursday) at 9:30 o’clock in the pool room of the former. Bledsoe is one of our most prominent merchants and has been considered a very quiet and orderly character, but was occasionally given to drink, and several of his friends had noticed that he had been drinking pretty hard for several days. The News was given the details by witness as follows: Last night he came to the pool room of Mr. Smith and indulged in several games with a few friends and seemed to be the losing man and when he had finished the last game Mr. Smith said ‘you have not paid for the last game’ and he remarked ‘yes I have, I just paid you one quarter and a dime’ and Mr. smith said ‘that was for the other game’ and Bledsoe said ‘you are a liar and I don’t have to pay you anyhow,’ Smith said ‘I know you don’t but I will put you out’ and took Bledsoe by the arm and then Bledsoe drew a pistol and placed it to Smith’s breast and fired. The ball taking effect just between the left lung and heart. Smith said ‘boys I am shot’ and staggered toward the back door and fell out of the door on the ground and died in five minutes. Bledsoe escaped out of the front door and the deputy sheriff and others were sent for and put on the search of him and Bledsoe appeared near the pool room again in a few minutes and called to a party who was standing in the pool room door and asked ‘how is Smith?’ and the party answered ‘he is dead,’ and then Bledsoe remarked, ‘Oh pshaw’ and ran. Bledsoe took to flight and has been seen around town by several, but has not yet been captured. Smith has no relatives except one sister, who lives in California, and her address is not known, so his remains were laid to rest.
Mountain Eagle, December 29, 1909
Big Wildcat Still Destroyed. The Operators Were Not Apprehended, However. Deputy Collector Campbell, Deputy Marshal Vote S. Root, Policeman C.C. Smith and Judge R. Bates formed a party that made a raid, hunting moonshiners, in the neighborhood of Arley, Winston county, two or three nights ago. They failed to apprehend a moonshiner, but succeeded in capturing a large copper still of 125 gallons capacity, about two miles north of Arley. The still had just been moved to that place and set up but had never been operated since its removal. The officers are of the opinion that it had only recently been in operations close around in that section, and that the guilty parties fearing a raid had removed it to what they consider a safer point.
Winston’s Circuit Clerk Dead. Hon. Rufus I. Dodd, clerk of the circuit court of Winston county, died at his home in Double Springs Sunday, after several weeks illness of typhoid fever. The deceased was a young man in the prime of life and very popular throughout Winston county. He leaves a widow and two children. Mrs. Dodd was a Miss Allen of Bessemer.
Southern Democrat, March 3, 1910
News has just reached Double Springs of the captured and killing of a large wolf in the northern part of Winston county. This wolf, and perhaps a number of others have been playing havoc with the sheep of the farmers and stock men in that section of the country during the past few months. On Saturday, the ground being covered with snow, Ben Morgan, Will Riddle, and Henry West decided to track the wolf and were determined to kill him. After following his tracks in the snow for some seven or eight hours, Mr. Riddle came in sight of it, and with a .44-calibre Winchester rifle, at a distance of 125 yards, brought it down in regular Roosevelt style. The forefoot of the wolf was brought to Double Springs by Mr. West, one of the hunters, who is a member of the court of county commissioners of this county, and the large foot of the "lamb eater" was examined by a number of townspeople and citizens from different parts of the county. There is a large area of unoccupied land in the section of the county where this wolf was killed, it being in that part of the public lands which have been withdrawn from homestead entry, and near Sipsie river, to the northwest of Moreland. The wolf was a large one and was viewed by a number of citizens who in the early settling of this county had seen many wolves, and who at once pronounced it a wolf of the old type, the same as those that were heard to howl in ante-bellum days.
Atlanta and Georgian and News, June 3, 1910
New Line of Railroad For Northern Alabama. Survey Being Made over Route South From Decatur Toward Birmingham. Decatur, Ala., June 3.--A survey is being made for a railroad from Decatur to Falls City, a new town at Clear Creek Falls in Winston County, 50 miles south of here. Civil engineers commenced the survey Tuesday at Bashams Gap for the purpose of determining the best and cheapest route over the mountain at that point. As soon as this is determined the road survey will be completed the entire distance from Decatur to Falls City. Arrangements for terminal facilities have already been made in Decatur and at Falls City. At Decatur the road will connect with the Tennessee river steamers and later on it is the intention of the company, it is said, to extend the road on to Tuscaloosa, where freight arrangements will be made with the steamers on the Black Warrior river. Thus the road will have river connections at each end, making a low rate for freight to the cities of the North and the cities of the South and the Southern ports for shipment of freight to foreign countries. It is said that the road is financed and that Hollanders are largely interested in the enterprise.
Falls City is a new town that was recently laid out by Dr. D.W. Day, of Hartselle. Already the town has a number of nice dwellings, two or three stores, a good hotel, a large sawmill, and a number of other buildings are being erected. There are two falls there on Clear Creek, which creek runs thru the town for some distance. These falls have sufficient power to generate enough electricity to turn every wheel in Nashville and Birmingham, and even more, it is said. Falls City is 50 miles from Decatur and about 40 miles from Birmingham. At present the nearest railroad is the Central of Alabama, a mile and a half distant. The Illinois Central has surveyed a line from Birmingham northward thru the edge of Falls City, and, it is said, this road will be built at an early date.
The proposed line of road from Decatur to Falls City would open up a section of country rich in coal, iron, timber and farm lands.
Mountain Eagle, April 5, 1911
Big Bluff Breaks and Rolls Down Hill. Trees and Everything in the War Are Carried Down Before It. On March 26, at about 2 p.m., near N.P. Robinson’s home in north Winston, an immense mass of stone broke loose from a bluff and slid some thirty or forty yards down a steep hill sweeping everything in its path for a distance of fifty yards along the hillside. The bluff broke for a distance of 75 yards, leaving a perpendicular wall some 20 or 25 feet high. There are several stones on the hillside as large as an ordinary house. Trees two feet in diameter were swept like chaff before the mass of stone and earth, which roared like terrific thunder. The mass of stone presents a beautiful picture which is worth going miles to see. It would furnish valuable material for nature study, and a trip by the County High School pupils to the scene would not be ill spent. It is not known what caused this to happen as there was no disturbance previous to its happening. This is the first occurrence of this kind in the neighborhood.—Double Springs New Era.
From the Montgomery Advertiser, 7/14/1911
Alabama's Republican County Editorial Correspondence from Frank V Evans in the Walker County News
Submitted Marie Young
When the bitter struggle came Winston was reticent, if not stubborn. In the refusal of many of her citizens to take up arms against the union; and conscription followed. To be sure many volunteers went from Winston early in the fight, wore the grey and fought, bled and died; but there were others who couldn't see it that way.
It will be recalled that the first Alabama Calvary U.S. Army was formed largely by men of Winston, and so there are Federal pensioners as "fell as confederate veterans in this county, and they are all native too.
In my last letter I referred to the fact that there are no negroes here - not a one in Double Springs, and very, very few in the county at this railroad stations, none on the farms. I find an antipathy to the black race among these people too. They do not want the negro here and are independent of his services. By the way one negro arrived here today. He came hand cuffed and a prisoner to become the sole occupant of the county jail. His offense was braining another negro at a railroad station. Bright little Joe Pattie, a four year old native, on observing the black man remarked " If that fellow would wash the black off his face; I could see him better."
Remembering that Winston is a strong Republican county, the only county in the state absolutely and always safely so, and noticing that all the county officials here are republican, this writer enquired of one of the most prominent ones the cause of this. In view of this antipathy to the negro and the fact that in the south the negro has constituted a great majority of the Republican party, it seemed rather strange that this condition should here exist. An intelligent answer promptly came about thus said he:
"The people of this and other hill counties were poor before the war. Our fathers owned no slaves and they felt that preservation of slave property by the slave holders was the real cause of this secession. They had nothing to gain by a perpetuation of slavery, therefore nothing for which to shed their blood-- hence they resisted to the call to arms. Again the old flag was as dear to them then as it is today and they were loyal to it. They were original Whigs, never Democrats and they believed the Republican party the real national party, hence their allegiance thereto."
And so I asked no more questions, because I believe and know that these Winstonians are honest and honorable in their opinions.
Winston County News, July 14, 1911
Written by Frank V. Evans (In Age-Herald). Double Springs, July 3.-(Special)
If Double Springs could speak for itself this is about what Double Springs would say:
"My recollection of my existence was many years ago, when from my limpid waters wild deer sipped and quenched their thirst. Near by me was heard the gobble of wild turkeys and many a night the howl of wolves and the bark of foxes haunted me in my innocent repose. The first dawn of civilization came when white skin hunters came to me for refreshments and pitched their camp near by men, and christened me 'Double Springs' for be it known there are two of me here."
"For years I calmly remained here undisturbed by the woodman's ax or the noise of the builder's saw and hammer, or even the music of the soil plow, or the crack of the horseman's whip. I simply dwelt in calm retreat nestled here among these hills and valleys inspired by nature to be contented and happy."
"From the hill tops above me as far as the human eye can reach one beholds a vista as charming, grand and gorgeous as Alpine heights and breathed an atmosphere as refreshing, invigorating and life-giving as that afforded by the height of western Carolina." "Ponce de Leon never found 'us two' in his wanderings and we have never claimed to possess the unassumed qualities of Ponce de Leon's finds. However, an old timer once said in our hearing that our waters had been scandalized by the finest phrenologist in the world and he had pronounced us O.K."
"Some years ago-about a quarter of a century, perhaps-the surveyors found by measurement that we springs occupied a central geographic position on the map of Winston county, and the people of the county thirsting for our waters and eager for a central point at which to hold court, to try folks, to jail folks and to hang folks, voted to abandon the old county site of Houston and to come here to do business of that kind, and so they built a court house and jail here of stone taken from the sides of the hills around us, just as the rib was taken from the side of Adam, and we have had trouble ever since. People began to flock to Double Springs. The ax and the plow, the saw and hammer and the trowel got busy and the first thing we springs knew there was a village built up here which now boasts a population of 300, and not a negro in the bunch. We have no corporate line, because this is one county site in Alabama that does not claim to be a city, no, not even a town; but a real village like those of olden time when Goldsmith wrote the 'Village Blacksmith." In this respect we thank the Lord that we are not as other hamlets which, because they possess court house and jail, dub themselves 'cities.'"
"As a distinguished ex-official of Birmingham once said, when asked as to the 'altitude' of Arkadelphia, 'here most of the people are Baptists and Methodists, but there is a right smart sprinkling of Hardshell Baptists close by.' Speaking of Hardshell or Primitive Baptists, they are an honorable set of people and abominate above all sins, the sin of lying. For that sin is regarded by them as unpardonable and they will excommunicate a man or woman for it in a hurry-yes, right now. As an illustration of this fact it is told that some years ago, when Winston folks had to attend U.S. Court at Huntsville, one good old Primitive Baptist brother went there as a juror. On his return to his Winston home, he recalled the fact that he had seen ice made by steam in Huntsville. He was at once accused of lying by his brethren and was called up by the church to answer the charge. Confronted by his accusers he asked that he be allowed two brethren to go with him back to Huntsville as witnesses that he might prove the truth of his statement. They went and upon their return the three went before the church and stated that it was true that in Huntsville they saw ice made by steam. Result was all three were turned out of the church for lying."
There has been a wonderful revolution in Winston county the past few years. In a drive of 20 miles from Haleyville this writer came through a succession of farms rich in cultivation. Corn and cotton is vigorous. The little houses of the people looked clean and cozy. Orchards and flower gardens presented indications of enlightenment and refinement. Horses and mules are fat and sleek, and white men-all white men-were at work in the fields. I am told that there are not tenants, but land owners and that they are practically out of debt and prosperous. Most of the fields are new ground, much of it in its second and third year, which shows progress and development. The hills and valleys are rich in soil, and this climate all that could be desired in the way of salubrity. The lands are well watered and the woods still heavily timbered. Immigration has not rushed into Winston from far off places of late years, but the baby crop is prolific and even triplets soon arrive to join the forces of home industry and development in this county.
Winston County and its Politics
Winston New Era, July 28, 1911
From the Montgomery Advertiser: The Advertiser publishes on this page the interesting editorial correspondence from Hon. Frank V. Evans to his paper, the Walker County News on the uniqueness of the conditions in Winston County-a county that is safely Republican in every county and State election and which is the only Republican county in Alabama. Mr. Evans, like every other man from sections farther south in Alabama was surprised to find in Winston County that leading white farmers, men of substance and standing were life long Republicans.
Mr. Evans' informant was no doubt correct when he told him that Winston County's allegiance to the Republican Part dated back to the troubles and dissensions of the great war. For Winston had no slave holders, and as Mr. Evans points out today, it had no negroes. The farmers on the North Alabama hills in Winston and, for that matter in some other counties insisted that secession was but a means for the defense for the system of slavery in which they had no interest.
Mr. Evans' informant was in error, however, in saying that Winston was a Whig county before the war. Previous to the war what is now Winston was Hancock County named in honor of John Hancock signer of the Declaration of Independence. When the feeling between the North and South became acute the name of the county was changed to honor Governor John Anthony Winston, a strong State's Rights Democrat. In the old days Hancock was one of the strong Democratic counties of the state.
The Whigs had their principal strength in the Black Belt counties like Montgomery, Macon, Barbour and Wilcox. One commenter on the old days described the Whigs, as "a fine upstanding old party, a party of blue broadcloth, silver buttons, and a coach and four." At any rate, its most earnest supporters were found among the old planters, their relatives and their business associates.
The Whigs down in middle Alabama, in a State election, always counted on getting a big offset majority from what is now Winston but what was then Hancock County. The war made Winston Republican, and the dissensions of the war times have kept the descendants of ante bellum Democrats to allegiance to the Republican Party. And it has to be admitted that so far as Winston County is concerned, the Republican Party is respectable.
The Mountain Eagle, September 10, 1913
Two Walker Boys Drown. William Kiker and His Brother Lose Lives in Rock Creek Sunday. Both Good Swimmers. Mart L. Aaron, the well known Arley, Winston county merchant, and Sheriff N.B. Aaron, of that county, are in town this morning. The former brought the news that two walker county raised boys, William Kiker and his brother, age about 20 and 18 years, were drowned in Rock Creek, near Arley, Sunday, while in bathing. Both were said to be good swimmers, but from some unaccountable cause, the oldest of the boys began to struggle in the water and his brother went to the rescue, and both, locked in each others arms, sank for the last time in about seven feet of water. There were three or four other boys in the party who gave the alarm and soon the whole community turned out, and a search for the bodies began. It being a small stream it did not take long to rescue the bodies. The burial took place at Arley yesterday, attended by a large concourse of people. Both young men were buried in the same coffin. Mr. Aaron said the young men were reared somewhere near Jasper.
The Mountain Eagle, November 5, 1913
Winston County High School Burns Down. There Was $10,000 Insurance and a New Structure is to be Erected. The cry of fire was heard in our city last Wednesday night, or more properly Thursday morning about 1 o’clock. When the whole town responded, they were surprised to find our magnificent county high school building, the pride of thousands of hearts in this section, in flames. The fire had gained such headway that there was no possible chance to extinguish it nor to rescue any of the contents. A fine piano which had recently been purchased and not fully paid for, a library of many choice books and a laboratory to which had been recently added much more and better equipment, chemicals, a prize trophy for oratory won in the last two contests with Haleyville school, and many other things, destroyed.
There was $10,000 insurance on the building, which will not be sufficient to replace it, but our people will be found loyal to this institution and will see that even a better house is erected on the grounds as soon as possible. It was a touching scene to see the teachers and pupils gather next morning near the smoldering ruins and blackened walls of the one magnificent building, wondering and planning for the future. The county officials gallantly and courteously offered the use of the court house as temporary home for the school which was accepted.—Winston Herald.
The Mountain Eagle, February 4, 1914:
Will Raise Skunks. Henry Curtis, of Winston County, has embarked in a unique business. He has established a skunk farm near Double Springs, and has advertised in a Double Spring publication for live skunks, offering fancy prices for them. He has completed a two acre enclosure and will begin business with 75 skunks. First class skunk hides are now selling in the big markets of the country for $2.50 apiece, and if Mr. Curtis is successful in raising them in large numbers, his profits will be enormous. In his advertisement Mr. Curtis gives specific instructions on how to catch skunks, “in order to avoid an unpleasant experience,” as he mildly puts it. Mr. Curtis’ experiment will be watched with much interest by the public.
The Mountain Eagle, May 6, 1914:
W.R. Long Dead. W.R. Long, a prominent merchant of Winston county, who was well known in Jasper, died at his home at Lynn one day last week, after a lingering illness. Mr. Long was a pioneer citizen of Lynn, having entered business there about the time the Northern Alabama railroad was built through Winston county, twenty-seven years ago. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.
The Mountain Eagle, June 24, 1914:
Chris Sheets Was Born in Walker County. Some Political History—Elder Sheets Lived in Five Counties Without Moving. Many people of North Alabama were consistently and bitterly opposed to secession. Several of these have been mentioned in these annals, but there were thousands. Some of them were good people and held the respect of their neighbors, but others were consistently wrong on all moral and political questions. When the secession convention was called by Governor Moore under instructions from the legislature, one of the delegates was C.C. Sheets, of Winston. Mr. Sheets was born in Walker county, of Georgia parents, April 10, 1836. The elder Sheets, the father of C.C. Sheets, used to remark that he had lived on a farm in Cullman many years; that during his occupancy it was in four counties. After that it was put in Cullman county, making five counties. Young Sheets got his education in the neighborhood schools, and in the academy at Somerville, Morgan county.
At the age of 18 young Sheets began to teach and took art in public affairs. At 22 he was elected a member of the most important convention the state had from the time of its admission, the secession of 1861. He was elected as a Union man and he opposed secession right through from the first day till the ordinance was passed, but took no part except to vote. He voted against it and refused to sign it, but he did not sign the statement made by those who opposed it. He went back home and became a candidate for the legislature the same year and was elected. In order to take his seat in the body he had to take oath of allegiance to the Confederate States to the State of Alabama, then out of the old Union. Mr. Sheets did take the oath and was seated.
His conversation caused an investigation of his loyalty and the committee recommended his expulsion and he was duly expelled in 1862. Sheets was soon arrested for treason and was imprisoned, his own words being the strongest evidence against him. George H. Thomas, of the Union army, arrested General McDowell and held him until Sheets was released by the Confederate government. The case was that sheets had voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance and had violated it and had said in private that he would do what he could against it. He was under suspicion and under military survellance till the war ended.
Afer the war, Sheets promptly became a Republican and was elected to the convention of 1865 to restore Alabama to the Union. He was one of the few men in both conventions. He was a candidate for Congress in 1865 but was defeated. He was on the Grant electoral ticket in 1868 and was rewarded in 1869 by an appointment as counsul to Denmark, where he stayed three years. In 1872, in the dark days, Mr. Sheets was elected to Congress from the state at large and served a term. In 1874 he was again a candidate, but the white people won the election. After that he was “taken care of” in one office or another until Cleveland’s election when he dropped out of public sight very largely, but was made a United States commissioner. Sheets was a good stump speaker, particularly pleasing to the ignorant. He lived until a few years ago, with strong friends and bitter enemies.—Birmingham Ledger.
The Mountain Eagle, July 20, 1914:
Dr. Harris, Aged 95, Comes to Town. Over the other side of Sipsey River, just across the Walker-Cullman line, in Cullman county, there lives a truly remarkable man. His name is Dr. G.R. [George Riley] Harris, and he is 95 years old this summer. Dr. Harris was in Jasper this week and he is as straight as an arrow and as agile as the average man of 50. According to the record made in his father’s old family Bible, Dr. Harris was born in the Anderson District, South Carolina, in August, 1819. The doctor says his father was a Methodist preacher and a pious man, and he has never doubted the authenticity of the birth records kept by his sire. [Dr. G.R. Harris, 1820 – 1917; buried Wilson Cemetery]
The Mountain Eagle, August 4, 1914:
Twelve Year Old Boy Slept With Corpse. Fayette Day, a man about 65 years of age, was found dead in his bed at his home in Winston, just over the county line beyond Marylee, Sunday morning. Mr. Day and his son, a 12-year-old boy, lived by themselves and slept together. When the boy woke up Sunday morning he saw that there was something wrong with his father, and he tried to arouse him by shaking the dead body and turning it over. The boy told his neighbors that his father had stated that he was not feeling well the day before he died. And he could remember that his father hit him with his hand during the night. He also thinks that he heard the old man say: “It’s too late now.” It was a terrible experience for the boy to find himself alone with a dead person. The boy is a freak. Although he is only 12 years of age, he weighs 180 pounds. Physicians who have examined the body decided that the man had died from natural causes. The remains were interred at Blooming Grove cemetery near Marylee.
The Mountain Eagle, August 5, 1914:
No Prisoners In Winston County Jail. While in conversation with Judge Curtis Saturday, a gentleman stated that he was surprised to find on a recent trip to Double Springs that there are no prisoners in the Winston county jail, and that the building is being utilized as a barber shop and pressing and cleaning establishment. Judge Curtis corroborated the statement, saying it was a fact that Winston’s jail was free of prisoners. A prisoner is brought to the jail occasionally, the judge said, but the people up there soon bail him out. A man is not allowed to stay in jail in Winston, the most unique county in Alabama. State officials have condemned the jail a number of times, Judge Curtis said, but the people of Winston county are not in a hurry about building a new one—they don’t need a jail.
The Mountain Eagle, September 2, 1914:
J.R. Gunter Set First Type In Winston County. Rev. G.W. Gibson, of Arley, was a welcome visitor to The Eagle office Friday. Mr. Gibson was distressed over the sad death of J.R. Gunter, whom he had known for nearly forty years. “J.R. Gunter set the first type ever set in Winston county,” said Mr. Gibson. “He came to old Houston, then the county seat of Winston county, in 1878 or ’79, and published the Winston Times, Winston county’s first newspaper. He was scarcely more than a boy at that time. The Winston County Times, which afterwards became the Winston Herald, of Double Springs, was promoted by Mr. Adkins, father of the present editor of the Herald, and George Baird. “These gentlemen went to Jasper and got Jim Gunter to go to Houston and publish the paper for them. George Adkins, who was a child at that time, probably has a file of the first copies of the Winston County Times.”
The Mountain Eagle, January 13, 1915:
A Winston County Man with Plenty of Eggs. D.W. Hamner, a good citizen of Nathan, Winston county, brought a wagon load of cotton seed to Jasper Friday, and, driving up in front of J.L. Morris’ grocery store, he asked Mr. Morris if he wanted to buy some eggs. Mr. Morris said he did. Whereupon, Mr. Hamner started to digging into the cotton seed and bringing out an egg or two at a time. With the assistance of a man who came to town with him, Mr. Hamner fished out of the cotton seed something over 26 dozen of fresh, country eggs and turned them over the Mr. Morris. “I guess that’s about all of them,” said the Winston county man, and he drove off to sell his load of cotton seed.
The Winston Herald, January 22, 1915, submitted by Peter J. Gossett:
A Box Supper. There will be an entertainment and box supper at The Enon School House, near Lynn, Saturday night, February 20th, 1915 for the purpose of raising funds for the school. The entertainment is free. Everybody invited to come. Emma L. Shavk.
The Mountain Eagle, February 3, 1915:
Wildcat Still Captured in Winston County. Officers From Nauvoo Make a Successful Raid into Winston County. On a raid into Winston county a few days since, Deputy Sheriff J.R. Boteler, of Nauvoo, assisted by W.S. Manasco and W.H. Lovett, captured a 35 gallon copper still and 175 gallons of beer. The still was found about eight miles north of Nauvoo near kelley’s mill. John Ramey, John R. Poham and R.A. Wilson were taken by surprise at the still and arrested. All the beer and fixtures were destroyed and the copper still was brought to Jasper.
The Mountain Eagle, February 3, 1915:
Another Still Brought In. Sheriff Phillips and Deputies Capture Mammoth Still Near Duncan Bridge. Five Men Are Taken. One of the most successful raids into moonshine territory this winter transpired last Wednesday when Sheriff J.M. Phillips and Deputy Sheriffs J.D. Estes, Claud Guttery and Newbern Appling captured a mammoth still and a veritable army of illicit distillers near the Duncan Bridge on Sipsey river. Sheriff Phillips and his deputies left Jasper in buggies about 10 o’clock Wednesday morning and drove cautiously out to Duncan Bridge and thence up the river about two miles, where they found the still and cap hid in the woods. They were covered up by an old clay root. Mr. Estes was left on guard the still while Sheriff Phillips and the other officers went in search of the furnace, which they found together with about 125 gallons of beer. It is believed that a “run” had been made Saturday, after which the still and cap were hid for safe keeping until the whiskey could be sold. Robert Bailey Williams, the alleged owner of the still, and his sons, James R., and Henry Williams, were found in the neighborhood and arrested.
On their second visit to the furnace, the officers found two young men there, George W. Gaddy and Milton George, drinking beer, unaware of the fact that the officers had found the still and furnace. George and Gaddy were placed under arrest, making five prisoners all told. Gaddy stated that he had found the still a day or two before while out in the woods after a load of pine and that he and George had merely gone down to see it when they were arrested. And Milton George stated that he lived 16 miles away, and, as he had never seen a still, he had gone out with Gaddy to see what one looked like. Mr. Williams and his sons had never seen the still they said, and were surprised to learn that there was one in the neighborhood.
Sheriff Phillips insisted on their coming to Jasper the next day, however, in order to see what Judge Shields thought about the cases. So they came down Thursday and were brought before Judge Shields and tried; and the judge bound the whole bunch over to the United States court. Robert Bailey Williams and his two sons were required to make a combined bond of $50 and the other two, George and Gaddy, were required to give a like bond for $500. The bid still of 60 or 70 gallon capacity was viewed with wonder by many people at the jail on Thursday. It was home made with the possible exception of the cap and arm. The cooper had been bought and bradded together. It was bright and clean on the inside, but badly smoked up externally. The history of the cap and arm, which were also made of copper, must have dated back to the Revolutionary war, as they were very ancient looking and had evidently been used on a number of stills.
The Mountain Eagle, June 16, 1915:
Two Girls Killed By Lightning Friday. The Girls Had Started to Collect Some Clothes on a Wire When Terrible Accident Occurred. During the rain storm that passed over the county Friday afternoon, Misses Willie and Lena Dudley, daughters of Mr. Jim Dudley, of near Nauvoo, were killed by lightning. One of the girls had done the family washing Friday morning, and when they saw the rain cloud approaching early in the afternoon the two girls ran down to the spring to collect the clothes, which were hanging on a wire attached to two trees. Hearing a loud clap of thunder, a brother of the girls looked out and saw two trees had been struck by lightning at the spring, and rushing out to see about his sisters, he found them dead. The lightning had set their dresses on fire and their brother rolled them into the spring branch to extinguish the flames. The girls, who were 18 and 16 years of age, were buried in the same grave Saturday. Rev. J.A. Manasco conducted the funeral services. [Willie S. Dudley, 2 May 1898 – 11 Jun 1915; Vinnis L. Dudley, 17 Feb 1900 – 11 Jun 1915; buried Bethel Church Cemetery]
The Mountain Eagle, August 11, 1915:
A Killing At Spring Hill. Wiley Dodd, Aged 25, Shot and Mortally Wounded Saturday by Toney Norris of Lynn. Died In Birmingham. Wiley Dodd, aged 25, son of Mr. L.L. Dodd, of near Lynn, was shot and mortally wounded by Toney Norris, at Spring Hill church, five miles west of Nauvoo, in Walker county, Saturday at about 12 a.m. From accounts received here it seems that the trouble started about a watermelon at a picnic at Spring Hill church. Mr. L.L. Dodd, father of Wiley Dodd, gave the following account of the affair Monday afternoon: “Toney Norris and Luther Wideman were quarreling and my son went up to them and tried to quiet them, and Norris shot my son, who was unarmed, in the left side, I said to Norris, “What did you shoot Wiley for?” and he said, “Because he cursed me.”
Mr. Norris, father of Toney Norris, the young man who did the shooting, was also in town Monday, and he made the following statement to a representative of The Eagle: “All I want to say,” said Mr. Norris, “is that there was a general row and my son made no mistake—he got the right man and he shot him in self defense.” The ball entered Dodd’s left side, below the heart, and immediately after the shooting the wounded man was placed on Seminole Limited train and carried to a Birmingham hospital, where he died Saturday night.
An effort was made to revive him by transfusion of blood, but the treatment failed. The remains were brought back to Lynn Sunday morning and interred at the Dodd graveyard near Lynn. Funeral services were conducted at the residence of L.L. Dodd, father of the deceased. Norris made no attempt to escape, and when he learned that Sheriff Phillips was in the neighborhood Sunday morning he went to him and gave up and was brought to Jasper. [Wiley O. Dodd, 27 Sep 1890 – 7 Aug 1915; buried Dodd Family Memorial Cemetery]
The Mountain Eagle, September 1, 1915:
Nunnally Family Reunion. Time, August 12, 1915. Place, Old Home, at Nathan, Ala., in Winston County. Those present were, father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Nunnally, their seven sons and their families and a host of neighbors and friends. The family met at 10:00 o’clock, had their photograph made. In the picture are the faces of father and mother Nunnally, seven sons and their wives and 36 grand and great grandchildren. At 12 o’clock the family and friends enjoyed a sumptuous dinner under the trees that spread their deep shades around the old home place. After the dinner all enjoyed singing selections from the Sacred Harp; also a good talk made by the rev. G.W. Gibson of Arley, Ala. Some interesting talks were made by members of the family and other visitors. The throng disbanded at 4 o’clock to come together next August 12.
History. Father and Mother Nunnally came to Winston county from Georgia about 25 years ago, when the county was in its first development. Many are the stories he tells his grandchildren of the ups and downs of his early life in the hills, and of the chases of the wild deer and other game that was then in abundance. Here he reared his seven boys to manhood and lives yet to see them all with families and to see them all on the road to prosperity. William N. Nunnally, the eldest, and Thomas J., the second, and George F., the youngest own good farms near the old homestead. Here they are considered of the best type of citizens and farmers, leading and giving examples to their friends and neighbors as did their father before them. Joseph W., the third boy, John H., the fifth and Isaac D., the sixth, all reside on Route No. 4, Jasper, Ala., in the Marylee neighborhood. There they are pointed out as among the best citizens and farmers. James W. Nunnally, Jr., the fourth boy, lives near Joppa, Ala., in Cullman county, where he enjoys the friendship of a host of Cullman county’s best citizens. [J.W. Nunnelley, 18 Aug 1846 – 5 Nov 1917; buried Bethel Cemetery (Old Bethel)]
The Mountain Eagle, February 11, 1925, "Destruction of Jasper in the Year 1865":
Submitted by Peter J. Gossett
It is generally not known here that Jasper was attacked and captured during the Civil War by tories. The Confederate force gathered here, 35 men and boys, thinking that they were greatly outnumbered, retreated. The Montgomery Times is publishing daily a column of "News of the Sixties" from the files of The Columbus (Ga.) Enquirer-Sun. Last Wednesday that paper carried some quotations from the January 31st, 1865, number of the Enquirer Sun, among which was the following concerning Jasper: ‘Twenty tories made a descent on Jasper, Walker county, just as the sun set on the 10th. The Confederate force, 35 in number, fled. The court house, jail and other buildings were burned. The books of the government assessor and tax collector were destroyed, but no money was lost. The records and papers of the county officers and courts were also burned. Owing to the inexcusable conduct of the force stationed at Jasper, the robbers seemed to have pursued their work unmolested, and the town suffered extensively.’