Wilcox Historical Society Newsletter – Summer 2021

Dear Friends,

WE DID IT! Our 2021 Tour of Homes was an overwhelming success. The weekend generated more than $45,000 in profit for our Historical Society. As if that were not enough, we received rave reviews from our over one thousand guests. In fact, we already have people requesting tickets for next year.

Thank you to our homeowners that made this event possible. You were absolutely fantastic as our visitors descended upon your homes. Thank you to Chris and Ryan and The Pecan on Broad for providing James Farmer and for hosting the incredible reception at RiverBend.

Thank you also goes out to all the members that assisted at the breakfast Saturday morning and that helped at the homes during the day. Without you, we could not have made it happen. From Friday night’s Reception to the Ball Saturday Night, the weekend was fantastic!

In addition to his role as Planning Committee Chair, Chris Bailey coordinated the Tour of Homes’ Corporate Sponsor Campaign. His efforts generated $24,000 in cash contributions that offset all of our Tour expenses. We were left with nearly $7,000 (after expenses) that will be go toward the restoration of both the Miller Law Office and the Female Institute. Thank you, Chris!

Over fifty people attended our May meeting at the home of Martha and James Lampkin in Pine Apple. We had twelve new members join at the meeting! Thank you to Martha and James for opening both of your beautiful homes and the barns as well.

Your Board of Directors has been busy this year. We voted unanimously to contract Mr. Richard “Dick” Hudgens as the architect for the Female Institute’s restoration. He will now begin designing Phase I of our five-year project. This phase will be the addition of bathrooms on both floors of the building and an elevator. They will be located behind the existing building at the end of the main hall. The addition will be the same width/height and the exterior will look like the original dorm wing that was torn down in the late 1960’s.

As we begin work on the Female Institute, we will launch a Capital Campaign to fund all three phases of the restoration. It is an ambitious plan that when complete will make the Female Institute a center for the preservation of our history and fully-functional center capable of hosting artistic performances, symposiums, and other special exhibitions. We will need your help to complete this project. Look for more information about the three phases of the restoration and its projected costs at our first meeting this fall.

As you may know, the Board approved a full restoration of the Miller Law Office earlier this year. A majority of the work on the interior was completed before the Tour. You will see more restoration work on the exterior this summer. When complete, the building will look as it did in the Historical American Buildings Survey (HABS) photos from the 1930’s. Nearly $25,000 in grant money and private donations have been acquired to help in this restoration effort.

As we look to the upcoming year, we find ourselves in a good position. A series of successful Tours have brought needed financial resources and positive public exposure. Our membership has grown to over 200 members, making us the largest civic organization in Wilcox County. We have a visionary Board who is working to restore the buildings in our care, protect our many historic districts, and who is working to preserve other structures in Downtown Camden.

This year we will see the completion of the Miller Law Office as a museum space in Downtown Camden, we will break ground on much needed bathrooms at the Institute, and you will see us launch other events in addition to our annual Tour of Homes. Get involved as much as you can because it will make a difference. If you have connections to corporations, foundations or individuals that might be willing to help us restore the Institute, reach out to them. Those personal connections are what will help us reach our goal.

We are just getting started on a very exciting journey. With your help we will restore the Female Institute, giving it a positive role to play in our County once again. I look forward to the coming year and all that we can achieve together.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Lance Britt, WHS President ☼

Welcome to new members:

from Alabama – Sue Roberson Arnold of Greenville, David and Gail Fuller of Oak Hill, Sonny and Meredith Gray of Furman, Shannon and Fran Hollinger of Camden, William and Cheryl Johnson of Greenville, Jesse Jordan of Thomasville, Kitty Lamkin of Pine Apple, Tom and Ceil McGehee of Mobile, Mike Melton of Pine Apple, Barbara Middleton of Honoraville, Carlton and Judy Niemeyer of Montrose, Kent and Laura Tabor of Furman, Albert and Sherri Ward of Pine Apple and Elizabeth Dalton of Camano Island, Washington. And welcome to new Life Members – Lee Bacon of Sparks, Nevada, William Bradford of Montevallo, Alabama, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Carmichael of Birmingham, Alabama, Jimmy and Fran Cook of Camden, Alabama, Alice Jean Godbold of Sandy Springs, Georgia, Suzanne Graham of New Braunfels, Texas, Michael James and Diane Dunlap of Sumrall, Mississippi, Haden Gaines Marsh from Homewood, Alabama and the Honorable Jeff and Mary Sessions of Mobile, Alabama.  THANK YOU for joining the WHS! ☼

THANK YOU to our 2021 Tour of Homes Sponsors

The Pecan on Broad, Bailey Dunagan, Global Medical Products, UB Community Development, The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill, Town-County National Bank, Handiman Building Supply, Wilcox Progressive Era, Coast to Coast Hardware, Donnie McLeod, Community Neighbor Bank, Camden Jewelry & Gifts and McGraw-Webb Chevrolet.  ☼

Member Spotlight – Scottie and Tammy Myers

Pleasant Ridge owners, Scottie and Tammy Myers, are veteran Living Historians and Reenactors of the Antebellum, Civil War and Old West periods.

It has been a life-long dream to care for and preserve an antebellum home, so during the 2020 pandemic when Pleasant Ridge became available, they jumped at the opportunity to make their dream a reality.

A BIG part of that dream meant remembering and teaching accurate Southern history, both the good the the ugly with other persons…others who would want to study and understand the context of the times. That’s what Scottie and Tammy strive to accomplish with each guest that visits Pleasant Ridge.

Even though they both work full time, Scottie and Tammy have opened Pleasant Ridge as a Bed & Breakfast; they are also hosting Tours, 1860s immersion dinners, Sunday afternoon Ladies’ Tea and other special events such as the authentic 1860s camping experience for fathers and sons over Father’s Day weekend.

Pleasant Ridge, which was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, was one of the beautiful homes opened for the 2021 WHS Tour of Homes. The lovely drawing of the home at the beginning of this column was done by Tammy’s 82-year-old mother, Barbara Starling Burks Neal of Montgomery.

The Myers, who are new to Wilcox County, relocated to Canton Bend from Alexander City in Tallapoosa County. They each have grown children: Scottie’s two sons and two beautiful granddaughters live in Oakman, Alabama. Tammy has two daughters; one who lives in Washington DC and the other in Denver. Together, they have a faithful ol’ Labrador mix named Sabo. 

Learn more at www.PleasantRidge1838.com and follow them on Facebook at Pleasant Ridge 1838.  

Miller Law Office Restoration

from Chris Bailey, Chairman of the Planning and Fundraising Committee

The law office interior restoration has been completed.  All walls and ceiling plaster work has been repaired and painted. Photos and documents have all been framed with UV protective glass framing and has really turned out nice. Martha worked with a custom frame shop that does very high-quality work. We are in the process of replacing interior blinds with simple bamboo shades to help with temperature and light conditions.

The exterior repairs have begun as well.  We sourced Aeratis Flooring thru our local building supplier, Handiman.  The product is a considerable investment, but investment is the key word.  This is a high quality, national historic registry approved product for porch flooring.  It has a lifetime warranty against cracking, warping and peeling.  The color chosen is “battleship grey” which is an excellent historic match for our area. The steps will also be built out of this material, which should never need replacement within our lifetime. 

Next week, our paint team from Birmingham will be back in town to begin the exterior painting of the building.  They will scrape, sand and apply two coats of both primer and paint.  Lattice work will be painted the historically correct green and will enclose the crawl space.   

The body of the building will be painted Benjamin Moore Dove White, which is the color we chose at RiverBend.  It’s a nice true white, but not a reflectively bright white. 

Our hope is to have the project near completion by July 4th.☼

WHS May Meeting at Greenleaves in Pine Apple

On Sunday, afternoon, May 23, about 60 members of the WHS gathered in the shaded back yard of Greenleaves, the Grimes family home in Pine Apple. 

Speakers Robin McDonald and Valerie Pope Burnes talked about their book “Visions of the Black Belt – a Cultural Survey of the Heart of Alabama.” Robin is an independent graphic designer and photographer. He is also the author of “Heart of a Small Town: Photographs of Alabama Towns.” Valerie is professor of history at the University of West Alabama and was the 2018-2019 President of the Alabama Historical Association. She did the introductory texts for the book about the Black Belt which was published in 2015 in cooperation with the Black Belt Cultural Arts Center. 

Following the program, Martha Grimes Lampkin and her father, Harold Watts Grimes, invited members to tour Greenleaves (1854), the Pine Apple Bungalow (1925), the Old Barn Museum (1854) and other outbuildings that included a blacksmith shop, two log cabins and a pine log barn. This property and part of the original Grimes Plantation was named a Century and Heritage Farm by the Alabama Department of Agriculture in 1999.  ☼

MEMORIAL

Member, Charles “Chip” Porter Schutt, Jr. of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, passed away on 23 May 2021 at the age of 78. Chip was predeceased by his wife, Katharine “Puss” Draper Schutt. He is survived by their three children: Porter, Jake and Kate and six grandchildren. He never missed one of children’s or grandchildren’s concerts or sporting events. Chip was a generous giver, dedicated to the success of many organizations including The Pilot School, the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware and The Wilmington Club. “The Captain” as many called him, was a member of the Cruising Club of America, the Northeast Harbor Fleet and the Vicmead Yacht Club.  At a young age, he made his first transatlantic crossing. Many of his outdoor adventures, hunting and otherwise, happened at Galio Farms in Wilcox County. His home there meant a great deal to him and his children.  ☼

PROPOSED TOWER IN DOWNTOWN CAMDEN 

On Tuesday, June 8, several members of the Board and a few of our members attended a Community Meeting hosted by Black Belt Technologies (BBT) at the Ferry Terminal. Black Belt Technologies is the company that purchased the Ratcliff’s Hardware Building on Broad Street and the lumber yard behind it. They plan to install broadband internet cables in Camden.

Prior to the meeting we had learned they intended to put what we were told was a 30′ – 35′ Tower/Pole on the Ratcliff site. We informed them that the proposed location was inside the Camden Courthouse National Historic District and we would oppose it. They responded that it might be possible to put it on the existing 911 Tower attached to the Courthouse Annex or on the lumber yard site behind the Ratcliff Building as it is just outside the Historic District. We encouraged them to pursue the tower attached to the Courthouse Annex. 

At the June 8 Meeting, we were informed that the Tower/Pole would he 45′ – 50′ with a white receiver on top. There was a lot of discussion about the company, its plans, its work in Selma, and the tower’s location in Camden. As a result of the discussion, we learned that the proposed tower could be anywhere in a 1.2-mile radius of the Ratcliff Building. All they need is a clear line of sight to the 2 water towers. Melissa Dove was quite helpful in offering access to the existing 911 Tower that exists on the Courthouse Annex. The existing tower is tall enough for their needs. 

Please know that we are fully supportive of any group that can improve our county’s access to the internet. However, it is our responsibility to protect our historic districts and what is built in them/in clear view of them. We are continuing the dialog with Black Belt Technologies to ensure that the beauty of Downtown Camden is protected for generations to come. ☼

AN EVENING OF FLUTE AND HARP IN CAMDEN

On Thursday, July 22, Harvest Arts will present An Evening of Flute and Harp in downtown Camden from 7-8:30PM. Tickets will go on sale June 29. For more information see HarvestArtsLLC.com. Also featured that evening will be an art show with original paintings by Madeline. ☼

A Family Cemetery Passes Away

By Noma Bruton, WHS Life Member

 (Reprinted with permission from https://xiigenerations.com/ )

On a cool February day in 1889, John Wyatt Threadgill sat down to write his Will. Often referred to as “JW”, John Wyatt lived in Wilcox County, Alabama for over fifty years. He and his wife, Mary, raised a large family in the area. Five generations later, there are many descendants of John Wyatt and Mary.

During the almost eighty years of his life, JW accumulated a large estate. When he wrote his Will, he had significant assets to bequeath to members of his family.  JW’s final Will covers ten full pages. “

Preserving the Threadgill family legacy was on JW’s mind as he wrote. Some of the first words of his Will formalize the family cemetery and set aside land and funds for its ongoing maintenance.

John Wyatt wrote:

“I desire to be decently interred in my family graveyard, on my own lands, by the side of my deceased wife, and I hereby reserve [two?] acres of land to include said graveyard, together with a right of way through any of my lands from the nearest public road to the same. Said right of way is to be sufficiently wide for the passage of all vehicles to and from the same. The said graveyard so [illegible] to be a burial place for my children and their posterity, and for no other person or persons, unless it be such as my Executors or Trustees may permit – on application – and I for this reserve and set aside five hundred dollars to be invested in Alabama State interest bearing bonds, or such other instrument as will be perfectly secure, to be determined by my trustees or Executors with the approval of any court of the state of Alabama having jurisdiction of the same under the statues of the said State. The interest on the said investment to be applied to the beautifying and keeping in good order the said grave-yard and the right of way to the same, under the direction of my said executors and trustees or the said court or under the order or direction of the same. The said five hundred dollars to be a permanent fund for the purposes herein stated.”

Later in the Will, JW returns to the subject of the family cemetery and includes instructions for a monument.

“I desire a suitable monument erected over my grave and that of my deceased wife, one monument to cover both graves, with such inscriptions as are consistent and usual, and for the carrying out of this request I hereby direct my executor or executors to expend two hundred and fifty dollars out of my estate, or not over that amount. The said monument to be erected under the management and direction of my said executors or executor in a reasonable time after my demise.”

In late 2020, I began a search to find the location of the Threadgill Family Cemetery. After reading JW’s Will, it was obvious to me that the establishment and maintenance of a family cemetery had been important to him. I wanted to know to what extent his final wishes had been carried out.

A Find A Grave (FAG) volunteer with deep family ties to Wilcox County visited the location in 2015 and, thoughtfully, set up a cemetery profile on the website. At that time, the FAG volunteer recorded only one grave memorial in the cemetery. The grave appeared to be that of a child – “Little Lillie”. The volunteer described the location and state of the cemetery as he found it: 

“Located just to the right of the dead-end dirt road off County Road 32 in the northeast corner of T.13N.-R.5E. Section 33. I am told that, as of about 10 years ago, there was an iron fence around the cemetery and 5 or 6 headstones were visible. As of March 7, 2015, the fence is gone and the headstone pictured is the only one that is still visible.”

I enlisted professional genealogist, Tonya Chandler, to further research and survey the cemetery. Her report, in its entirety, follows. 

THREADGILL FAMILY CEMETERY

ARLINGTON, ALABAMA

DATE OF SURVEY:  21 MARCH 2021

The Threadgill Family Cemetery was documented in March 1952 by William M. Cook II, his wife

Josephine Aldrich Harris Cook, and their two daughters, Garland Wingfield Cook and Jean Lindsay Cook. Their typed account and hand-drawn map were used to locate the Threadgill Cemetery in March 2021, 69 years after the Cook family’s visit.

As in their account, a right turn from Alabama State Highway 5 onto County Road 32 leads towards Arlington, Alabama. A dirt road (Robinson Road) leads off to the right of County Road 32. There is no longer a gate at the entrance to the dirt road. The Threadgill Family Cemetery was said to be located on the right-hand side of the dirt road in a stand of pine trees, an unspecified distance up the road. Pine trees are now prevalent all along the road. The road is unpaved, rough, and rocky. The right side of the road has many changes in elevation, with pits and hills. There were 2-3 occupied private trailers and homes on the right side of the road, with heavy growth in surrounding fields. In a wooded area of relatively level land, approximately .2 miles after turning onto Robinson Road, there was a gray stone just visible from the road within the trees (near utility pole 30Y8533). This proved to be the headstone of “Little Lillie.” There was no path from the road to the cemetery area, which was reached through heavy foliage and brambles. The cemetery is located about 15 yards from the road into the woods.

The iron paling fence around the cemetery described in 1952 is no longer present. Only two of the short iron fence fixtures were visible in the leaves, apparently marking off two corners of a rectangular area.

Only one headstone was visible, the stone that was seen from the road. This was a large simple headstone engraved with “Little Lillie.” There may have been additional words at the top of this stone, but the upper part of the stone is almost entirely flat. No dates were visible on the stone. The stone for “Little Lillie” leaned against a short piling of red brick, which may have once been the lower part of a monument.

There was only one other stone found, which was a small rectangular stone the size of a brick, near but at a 45-degree angle to the headstone of Little Lillie. This was likely a footstone, but it was unclear to which grave it belonged. It may have been the footstone for the brick base, as the stones appear to match and they were at roughly the same angle. There were no visible initials on the footstone.

A survey of the remaining area did not find any other stones. Due to heavy piles of leaves and debris, these were the only two stones found. The graves of John Wyatt Threadgill, Mary Threadgill, and Ardella were not visible.

Based on the 1952 Cook account, graves were present then that are no longer visible. Combining the information provided in 1952 and that seen in this survey, the following graves are known to have been present in the Threadgill Family Cemetery. Existing stones are bolded:

M. J. S. (footstone only)

Ardella, wife of Joe Robinson, born May 13, 1850 died Aug. 18, 1887

J. W. T. (John Wyatt Threadgill)

M. T. (Mary Threadgill)

Little Lillie

Unknown, footstone only —End of Report

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MONUMENT?

There is a handwritten note in the Cook family account that states:

“After talking with Ella May Cook Kilpatrick (Mrs. John Y.) I learned that there had been large marble tombstones in the Threadgill Cemetery, but that they had been stolen during WWII by men in trucks who went around gathering marble slabs from old uncared for cemeteries!”

This may explain the absence of the monument JW asked to be placed over his and his wife’s graves.  The note is unsigned.

One hundred and thirty years after he wrote his Will, time, circumstances and nature will soon obliterate the action John Wyatt Threadgill took to preserve the Threadgill Family Cemetery in Arlington. The $500 JW set aside in 1889 is equivalent to about $14,300 in 2021; the $250 he set aside for a monument is worth approximately $7,100 today. It wasn’t enough.

Sources: Alabama. Probate Court (Wilcox County) 1820-1934, “Last Will & Testament, John Wyatt Threadgill,” February 21, 1889, Salt Lake City, UT, FamilySearch.org. Film #2.321.516.

“Threadgill Cemetery, ID 2571895,” Find A Grave, GPS coordinates:  32.055117, -87.574689, accessed April 11, 2021, https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2571895/threadgillcemetery.

Appreciation to: Tonya D. J. Chandler, Southern Roots Genealogical Services, Birmingham, AL, Martin Sheffield, Birmingham, AL and Garland Cook Smith, Birmingham, AL.

Inquiries and Comments 

We often receive genealogical and local history inquiries on the WHS Facebook page, Instagram page and website. If you have any information to help with these inquiries, please let us know and we will be happy to pass it along or put you in contact with the interested party. Our email address is wilcoxhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or you can text or call Martha Lampkin at 334.296.1076. We also love receiving comments on our posts on social media. The more comments, likes and shares also help our posts be viewed by more people. Here are a few inquiries and comments received since our last newsletter:

I am doing research on a New Year Eve’s group who paraded in costume through the streets of Camden. Called the D.U.D.s (some referred to them as Damn Ugly Devils), they paraded from right after the Civil War up until 1908 (the last reference to them). The City of Livingston, Alabama has a D.U.D. group that can be traced from before the Civil War and still parades around the city square each New Year’s Eve even until recently. Any information whatsoever on the Camden D.U.D.s would be most appreciated. E. Wolfe, Fairhope, AL, hut.builder@gmail.com 

I am interested in finding any pictures of the home and or warehouses at Bridgeport Landing on the Alabama River. My ancestor William Wirt Moore worked for Judge Bridges in the 1850’s and eventually purchased the landing from him. Thank you for any help on locating pictures. Russell Moore, Member, Montgomery, AL,  tcg.rmoore@gmail.com

Will you host a tour in 2022? I heard that this year was FABULOUS…but did not know about it until it was over. I’d like to put it on my calendar for 2022. Thanks so much. R. Frey, Marietta, GA (Editor’s Note – March 26, 2022 is the date for the WHS Historic Homes Tour which will be held in Furman!)

Hi, just saw your post about Ms. Betty’s Museum. We went by there Sat. on the tour. Sweet lady, I had never heard of Rosa Young or the Rosebud School. Since then, I have learned about her through watching YouTube videos. Ms. Betty is doing a service to the community and has quilts and historically significant items in the museum. The Tour was wonderful, my sister and I enjoyed every minute of it. We spent the night with Mrs. Julia at Liberty Hall. We look forward to coming back next year! S. Hendrick, Brantley, AL   

Following are comments for the post Happy Birthday to Frances Donald Dudley Grimes – one of the first presidents of the WHS and heavily involved in preserving the Wilcox Female Institute in the 1960s: 

Thank you for sharing this important part in our county’s history. Happy Birthday Miss Frances! Thebrittanyhouseantiques

Loved reading all of Ms. Frances’s story! Thanks! pathigs

So eloquently put! Love this. Chrissydpatronas

Awesome! Love family history! S. Matranga

So many memories of a wonderful lady. She was very special. L. Tracy

Following are a few comments on the posts for the 2021 Tour of Homes:

Well, we just had a fabulous time! Thank you for everything! Brokenhillholiday

It was a great weekend! Y’all did a fantastic job! Thanks so much. Leighpostle

Such a beautiful weekend…thank you for sharing your beautiful homes…so interesting! Toodlie52

Awesome tour guide! (The House on the Hill) memeofsix

It’s so interesting – be sure to visit! (The Old Shoe Shop Museum) amystjh

Great job guys! Lynnenoah

Such a wonderful weekend. We have come the last few years! We wouldn’t miss it!  Apriljwhite

We had a wonderful time coming from Tuscaloosa! Haleymarie.87

Such a wonderful time! Thank you for the lovely hospitality. Camden is so charming! Whitgtalley

Enjoyed our weekend in Camden! Thank you! Lynnenoah

It was worth the wait! Thank you! Reddickmillie

So proud of Wilcox County efforts…hoping Butler County follows suit…starting with a Butler County Clean up day. Way to go Wilcox County! Faypoole ☼

Donation of Bibles to the WHS

Earlier this year we were contacted by Margaret Price “Peggy” Braun of Tow, Texas asking us if we were interested in two Bibles from her family. Her letter reads “In the summer of 1860 my great-great-grandmother Stella Phelps Hatfield and her husband Henry Hatfield became the principals of the Wilcox Female Institute. The Hatfields followed a Mrs. E. Upson, principal in 1850, and the L.B. Johnsons, principals between 1851 and 1856. I was never able to discover what happened in 1851 when Mrs. Upson left, but evidently so much animosity had developed between the “Upsonites” and the “Johnsonites” that there were still two factions in Camden when the Hatfields arrived. An entry in the middle of their daughter Helen’s Bible noted the end of the controversy: “A complete reconciliation amoung the Institute girls, Feby 7, 1861.”   When the Hatfields closed their school in Eutaw to come to Camden, Helen’s best friend Mary Erwin Clark, daughter of James. B. Clark, an attorney and Eutaw chancellor, came with them as a boarding student. Both girls were 15 years old. In December of 1860 Mary Erwin gave Helen a Bible as a Christmas gift. That Bible is inscribed to Helen and includes pictures of both girls. Sadly, both girls died of typhoid fever – Helen in September 1861, and Mary Erwin in April, 1862. Both of their obituaries are pasted on the front cover of the book. 

My father was an only child and my son is an only child; and unfortunately, I have no one in my family interested in family history or the family documents in my possession. I have both Bibles and wondered if you would be interested in having them for the museum.”

We corresponded with Mrs. Braun and are happy to report that the Bibles are in our possession and will be displayed in the Wilcox Female Institute when the planned restorations are complete. Many, many thanks to Mrs. Braun for her kind donation for these invaluable Bibles and other documents from the early days of our beloved Female Institute. ☼

Give the Gift of Membership

Gift memberships are now available! Help us grow our membership and take pride in the history of Wilcox County. If you are interested in gifting a membership to a friend or family member for a birthday or other special occasion let us know. We will mail them a beautiful gift certificate along with our latest newsletter. For more information, please contact us at wilcoxhistoricalsociety@gmail.com. 

A LOOK BACK…

5 September 1866 

The Semi-Weekly Natchitoches Times (Natchitoches, Louisiana)

DIED, at Pleasant Hill DeSoto Parish La., Aug 28th. D.A.W. Patterson, aged about 57 years, formerly of Wilcox County, Alabama.

13 March 1869

Tri-Weekly Clarion (Meridian, Mississippi) 

A destruction fire occurred at Camden, Wilcox County, Alabama, on Wednesday last, destroying a block of seventeen buildings. 

15 May 1878

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) DISTRISSING. A Young Lady Missing.

Meridian Mercury.

On the 1st day of April last, Mr. John Gaddy, of Wilcox County, Alabama put his niece, Martha Ann Wiggins, a girl about 15 years old, upon a boat on the Alabama river, to go to Selma, and thence by rail to this city, and to go from here to her home near Energy, Clarke County. Since that she has not been heard of by her friends. She has no father, but a mother, who is now the wife of Alexander Johnson, who lives near Energy. Of course, there is distress and fear on her account, and any person having any information concerning her will do a great act of kindness by imparting it to her mother or step-father. The person who gave us this item does not know what boat she was put on.   

30 July 1880

Wilcox News and Pacificator Pineapple and Snow Hill. 

Grand Rallies of the Democracy.

Two Great Days in the History of the Canvas.

The strength of the East gathered together at the two above named places on Tuesday and Wednesday. Crowds of our colored friends turned out, and many of them openly expressed their intention of carrying their fortunes with the Democracy. The people were addressed by Judge Purifoy, Hon. Rob. Morrisette, S.D. Bloch, Gen. R. C. Jones, W. W. McConnico and James T. Beck. The candidate on the Radical ticket for Representative, Patrick Gaines, asked and obtained permission to speak. He was replied to by James T. Beck.

The glorious old East is fully aroused, and the whole county is going to emulate her example.

When the East takes up her glass on the second day of August, with the sugar from Mimms’ and Fox’ Mill in the bottom, and pour in the Purifying element from Snow Hill add the spirits of Allenton, sprinkle over the nutmeg of Bonham’s, drop in a slice of Pine Apple, and hold it to the rest of the county and says, “Here’s at you.”, about “seventeen more will rise up” and respond.    

The people of Allenton and Oak Hill herewith extend to you a cordial invitation to participate at their picnic on Thursday, July 12th, on the W.W. McConnico place, 1 1/2 miles from Allenton. A first-class band will be on the grounds that day, also a grand Base Ball game will be played by the Allenton and Pine Apple clubs. At night there will be a grand ball at the residence of Frank Jones, near the McConnico place. Refreshments will be furnished gratis by the young men. We assure you a pleasant time and welcome everybody to come.

Respectfully, W.W. McConnico, H.E. Voltz, J.T. Jones, H.T. Lambert – Committee of Arrangements    

6 July 1922

Wilcox Progressive Era

Local News

Mr. Clay Sheffield of Pine Hill visited in Camden Monday.

Capt. J.H. Fuller of Nadawah was in town Saturday.

A number of young people enjoyed a picnic Tuesday at the home of Mrs. Tom Moore.

Miss Louise Matthews left for Montgomery Monday to take a business course.

Fifteen or twenty cars of Camden ball fans went to Selma on the fourth and saw Selma beat Camden 5-0.

Miss Sarah Ervin of Rock West left Monday for San Antonio Texas to visit relatives.

Mr. Henry Hawthorne went to Selma Wednesday to bring his wife home, who has been sick at an infirmary.

The ladies Aid of the A.R.P. church will meet Friday evening at four o’clock this week with Mrs. Will Lawler in the Grampion Hills.

Messrs. Jo Mac and Wirt Moore motored to Selma Friday to meet their cousin, Margaret Moore of Due West, S.C.

Mr. Herbert Holman, son of our townsman, Mr. Brad Holman is now in an Auto School in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. J.H. Jones and Mr. Will Liddell have issued about 200 invitations to their friends to attend a Barbecue Thursday at the Oliver place which is owned by Dr. J.H. Jones. 

13 March 1936

The Birmingham News – Miller, 72, is ‘Feeling Great’

Camden, Ala. – Former Gov. B.M. Miller, in fine health and high good spirits, Friday was receiving congratulations on his seventy-second birthday.

“I am feeling fine,” the former governor declared, “the buttermilk is fine down here and I am feeling better than I ever have.”

Asked if he contemplated re-entering politics, he said. “Pshaw, I’m too busy for politics. I’ve got no time for that. I’m just resting and practicing law.”

He said he had lost between five and 10 pounds since he left the executive office in January, 1935, and now tipped the scales around 205 pounds. He stands five feet and 11 inches in his stocking feet. With his sister, Mrs. Sallie Brice he lives at his home here.

Asked if he had no fear of Friday the thirteenth, he laughed and said, “Why no. Friday thirteenth is good luck for me, because if it hadn’t been for Friday, March 13, 1864, I wouldn’t  be here.”   

5 August 1943 

Wilcox Progressive Era – First Bale of Cotton Ginned for Wilcox

The first bale of cotton to be ginned in Wilcox County for the 1943 season was ginned here by the Peoples Gin Company Saturday. Grown by W.P. Tait of Coy, Ala., this cotton, which was handled by the Camden Cotton warehouse, brought 30 cents per pound when purchased by Matthews Hardware Company, of Camden. Auctioneer was C.M. Watts.

19 July 1956

Wilcox Progressive Era – Pine Apple HDC

The Pine Apple Home Demonstration Club met with Mrs. J. M. Feagin. Mrs. William Norred, in the absence of the president, Mrs. J.A. Thompson, called the roll. Miss Mable Watts told the story of the hymn selected for the month.

Roll call was answered by members telling of their vacation plans with their families. Three visitors were welcomed to the club.

The “Woman of the Year” was voted on by members. The score card for the afternoon was 400 points.

A demonstration on “Repairing Innerspring Cushions” was given by Miss Margaret Whatley. After the demonstration the hostess served Coca Colas, cookies and peanuts.

Mrs. J.B. Norred was selected for the club’s woman of the year.

2 August 1962  

Wilcox Progressive Era – Kay Ellen Ivey at ‘Girls’ Nation’ 

Miss Kay Ellen Ivey of Camden and Miss Diane Waite of Centre, left Montgomery early Saturday morning for a week in Washington, D.C. representing Alabama at “Girls’ Nation” sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary.

Kay Ellen, who will be a senior at Wilcox County High School this fall, represented the local school at Girls’ State at Huntington College in June where she was elected Lt. Governor, and also selected as one of the two girls to represent Alabama at Girls’ Nation.

While attending the session in the nation’s capital the girls will visit many points of interest as well as learn about national government along with girls from every state in the union.

Kay was selected by the faculty of Wilcox County High School to be the representative at Girls’ State and she was sponsored by Irby Savage – Sam McNeill Unit 84 of the American Legion Auxiliary. ☼

MEMBERSHIP

Please encourage others to become a member of the Wilcox Historical Society! Annual dues are $30 for a couple, $25 for single. Lifetime dues are $300 for a couple and $250 for single. A membership form is available on our website: WilcoxHistoricalSociety.org. Or if you prefer, please mail dues to: P O Box 464, Camden, AL 36726 and be sure to include your name, mailing address, email address and phone number. Payment may also be made with PayPal. Questions? Email us at wilcoxhistoricalsociety@gmail.com. Thanks! ☼

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wilcox Historical Society Officers for 2021Lance Britt, President, Garland Cook Smith, Vice President and Program Chairperson, Jane Shelton Dale, Secretary, Mary Margaret Fife Kyser, Treasurer, LaJunta “Pie” Selsor Malone, Curator and Martha Grimes Lampkin, Editor and Social Media Manager. ☼

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