Excerpts of "Dothan and surrounding places" from Other Older Newspapers....
Playground Daily News (newspaper), Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. Excerpt:
1 May 1967
Alabama Man Found Dead.
A Dothan, Alabama man involved in an auto accident in Walton County at 5:30 am Sunday apparently committed suicide in an unusual fashion.
Traveling on State Route 285 which runs between Niceville and Mossy Head, Dennis PAULK, Jr., of Dothan, Alabama, was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound after the car struck a bridge and traveled about one half mile before coming to a stop.
The accident happened about three and one half miles south of where 285 joins U S Highway 90. Walton County Sheriff’s officials investigated and it could not be determined whether the man shot himself before or after the accident.
“The Washington Post”, Washington, D. C. == 21 April 1905:
EVANGELIST in DANGER.
Life of Rev. Sam P Jones Threatened By a Minister in Alabama.
Montgomery, Ala.—April 20—The life of Rev. Sam P JONES, of Cartersville, Ga., the well-known evangelist and lecturer, was threatened here today by another minister, Sam H WINDHAM, a Methodist preacher, whose home is at Dothan, Alabama. Windham, who is a former inmate of an asylum, accosted Jones on the streets and persuaded him to accompany Windham to the latter’s room in a hotel.
No sooner were the two in Windham’s room than the preacher turned on Mr. Jones, after first locking the door and placing the key thereto in his pocket, and said:
“God has directed me to go to Dothan and get married, and to take you with me to perform the ceremony. Then we are to conduct a meeting in Dothan, after which we will return to Montgomery and conduct a meeting here. If you don’t assent to this, either you or I must die.”
At this moment a bellboy knocked at the door and informed Mr. Jones that he was wanted at the telephone. Excusing himself, he managed to leave the room. He was followed to the depot, however, by Mr. Windham, who was arrested there by Detective Payne.
9 Feb 1906:
Search for Alabama Murders.
Dothan, Ala.—Feb. 8—Citizen’s posses are still searching for the murderers of J M CHRISTMAS, his wife, and young child, which occurred near Cottonwood, not far from the Florida State Line, yesterday. Rewards amounting to $1500 have been offered.
4 Feb 1910
Held On Wife-Murder Charge.
Special to The Washington Post.
Charlotte, NC—Feb. 3—Arthur PRINCE, charge with the murder of his wife at Dothan, Ala., in May, 1908, is being held here pending the arrival of officers from Alabama. Prince was arrested several days ago, but was released, returning to his work near the city, where he was re-arrested upon receipt of definite information to hold him. Authorities say Prince has sawed his way out of jail.
“Fort Pierce News Tribune”, Fort Pierce, Fla., 1 Mar 1953
Lishia Bell ANDERSON Passes Here Wednesday.
Lishia Bell Anderson, 75, died Wednesday, February 25, at her daughter’s home, 18th street, after a prolonged illness.
Mrs. Anderson lived in Dothan, Ala., before coming to this city ten years ago to live with her daughter. She was a member of Friendship Baptist Church.
Surviving relative include: three daughters, Mrs. Ora B LAMPLEY, Brundidge, Ala., Mrs. Flossie LOTT of this city and Mrs. Willene GIBSON, Daytona Beach; son, Lemmie GRIFFIN, Florala, Ala.; five sisters, two uncles, 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; one daughter-in-law, three sons-in-law.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete pending the arrival of other relatives. Stone Brothers Funeral Home in charge.
“Williamsport Sun Gazette”, Williamsport, Pa. 18 Oct 1973
John W HOFFMAN.
John W Hoffman, 77, of Moriarity Court, Fairview Street, Lock Haven, brother of Mrs. Bertha ALCORN, of this city, died at 9:30 am Wednesday, Oct 17, 1973, in Dothan, Ala.
Mr. HOFFMAN suffered a heart attack while visiting his daughter, Mrs. Sharon PATTERSON. He had gone to Alabama last Friday.
He was born in New Bethlehem, Clarion County, on Sept 16, 1896, a son of Miles and Elizabeth Or* HOFFMAN.
Mr. Hoffman lived the latter part of his life in Lock Haven. He formerly had lived in Renovo and Bethlehem.
Surviving, besides his sister here and his daughter with whom he was visiting, are his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth HULL; three sons, Glenn, of Beech Creek, Kenneth, of Dunnstown, and John, of Lock Haven; three other daughters, Mrs. Helen LAUBSCHER, of McElhattan, and Mrs. Jane HOFFMAN and Mrs. Ruby BARTHOLOMEW, both of Avis; another sister, Mrs. Pearl BUSSARD, of Apollo, Armstrong County, 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be at 2 pm Saturday at Yost’s, 121 West Main Street, Lock Haven, with the Rev. Glenn P GEARHART, pastor of the East Main Street United Methodist Church, Lock Haven, officiating. Burial will be in the Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral Home after 7 pm Friday.
“The Landmark”, Statesville, NC 1 Oct 1928:
ALABAMA Farmers Confess Murder.
Jim DUNLAP and Gillis BRACEWELL Give No Reason for Attacking Claude F AVANT, High School Principal.
Slocomb, Ala.- Oct. 1—Jim Dunlap, 21-year-old Geneva County farmer, has confessed to the killing of Claude F Avant, local high school principal, and implicated Gillis Bracewell, another farmer, L E GIBBONS, Henry county sheriff, said today.
Avant’s mutilated body was found in a swamp just off the Alabama State line near Bonifay, Florida, last Friday following a five day search for the principal instigated when he failed to return to his home from an automobile drive.
Sheriff Gibbons said Dunlap told him that he and Bracewell encountered Avant on a highway south of Slocomb and asked him for a ride.
As the trip neared the Alabama-Florida state line, Dunlap and Bracewell attacked the high school teacher with a knife, according to the sheriff’s story, removing him from the car later and placing him near a small stream where Dunlap is supposed to have struck him over the ear with a tree limb. Then they set fire to Avant’s car.
Dunlap, who is in jail at Dothan, gave no reason for the attack.
“The Cullman Democrat”, Cullman, Alabama newspaper:
26 November 1928
Mrs. Henry J BYERS Claimed By Death.
Funeral from the Home on Race Street Sunday afternoon-Interment in Mooresville.
Mrs. Margaret L BYERS, widow of the late Henry J Byers, died Saturday morning at 4:45 o’clock at the home of her son, Mr. T R Byers, on Race Street. The Funeral services, conducted by Rev. J L McBRIDE, pastor of Front Street Presbyterian Church, was held from the home Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, and interment was in the Cemetery at Mooresville.
Mrs. Byers was 74 years old. Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Walter G. MOORE, of Monticello, Indiana, and the following sons: Messrs. R. T., A. E., W., J. B., and T. R. BYERS, of Catawba; and Mr. J. L. BYERS, of Dothan, Alabama. One brother, Mr. G. B. KETCHIE, of Mount Ulla, also survives.
5 Nov 1931
Woman Killed As Truck Overturns.
Dothan, Ala.—Mrs. Mittie Jane GAY, 61, was killed 10 miles north of Marianna, Fla., late Tuesday as a truck driven by her son overturned on the highway.
Sterling Gay, her son, who was driving the truck loaded with furniture, which they were moving to Ozark, Ala., said an automobile passing them sideswiped the front wheel and he lost control of the vehicle.
After receiving treatment at a Marianna hospital, Sterling and his brother, Emory, 9, were able to leave.
Sterling Gay said after striking his machine, the automobile passing him continued on the highway at a high rate of speed.
7 Jan 1932
Headlights Dazzle Dothan Man, Causing Tragedy.
Dothan,- Ben PURSWELL, 52, was killed instantly Friday night when, dazzled by the headlights of passing automobiles, he stepped in the path of an automobile driven by S B BREEDLOVE, Valdosta, Ga. Breedlove sustained minor injuries when the automobile skidded and overturned as he attempted to avoid striking Purswell.
Coroner Arthur LANE said the accident was unavoidable.
21 Jan 1932
Suicide Verdict Given.
Dothan—Coroner Arthur LANE Saturday pronounced as suicide the death of M M CUMBIE, 51, farmer, who late Friday was found dead beneath a tree at his brother-in-law’s home, 12 miles west of here.
Cumbie was described by relatives as having been in a despondent mood because of finances and his failure to obtain a loan to finance this year’s crop. Taking his pistol, he went to the garage and a short time later was found dead, the weapon nearby and a bullet wound in his head.
In a note to his wife, Cumbie warned her, “don’t sign anything.”
10 March 1932
Student Found Dead.
Auburn, March 5—James M TEW, of Dothan, Ala., 17-year-old freshman at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, was found dead in his rooming house this morning at 1 o’clock. Dr F F THOMAS, college surgeon, after an examination, pronounced death due to acute indigestion. Tew entered the school of business administration in September, after graduated from the Dothan High School in June. J A SMITH, guardian of the youth, came here this morning to accompany the body back to Dothan for funeral and burial there.
9 June 1932
Man Dies While Pumping Flat Tire On Car.
Dothan, Ala., June 3—While he was pumping up an automobile tire in front of a Dothan hospital , where he and his wife had taken their daughter, Miss Jennie Pearl PELHAM, for a surgical operation, C J PELHAM, of near Slocomb, dropped dead today.
11 Aug 1932
Bride Drowns In Lake
Dothan, Ala., August 8—ON Wednesday afternoon of last week at 3:30 as a small party of bathers were swimming in Lake Huntington, near the St. Andrews Baptist Church, Mrs. Ila Mae HUGHES, wife of Harrastrom Hughes, a bride of only five months, walked into six feet of water of the lake. Not being able to swim, she became frantic and despite the effort of her companions she sank. The lake borders the street at this point and a passerby reached Mrs. Hughes and brought her out, but it was too late.
Mrs. Hughes moved to Panama City five months ago from Columbia, Ala.. following her marriage to Mr. Hughes. Her widowed mother, Mrs. Frank THOMAS, and other members of her family who live near Columbia were notified of the tragedy.
22 September 1932
Two Hurt At Grade Crossing.
Gordon, Ala.—Mrs. John T BROWN, 79, was injured probably fatally, a granddaughter was hurt seriously, and Sam HALL, Jr., 16, was less severely injured Monday as their automobile was struck by a train and dragged for some distance.
Because of he advanced age, physicians said Mrs. Brown, wife of a Confederate veteran, had slight chance to recover. She suffered a fractured skull and other injuries. Her granddaughter, May Alice Brown, was lacerated and bruised severly.
Hall said he did not see the approaching train as he drove onto the track.
All three were taken to a Dothan hospital for treatment.
17 November 1932
Dothan Woman Dies of Wreck Injuries.
Dothan.—Mrs. Susie FARMER, 48, of Dothan, died in a hospital here early today from injuries suffered in an automobile collision near Hartford.
Seven other persons injured in the accident were in serious condition.
Others injured were Mrs. Farmer’s two daughters, Mamie Rose, 21, and Theo, 17, and Mrs. Needham BYRAN, 30, all of Dothan; Miss CHAMBERS, Buck CHILDS, and Mary Alice CHILDS, of Hartford and Charlie LEIGH, of Blakely, Ga.
19 Oct 1933
Alabamian Killed As Car Hits Bridge.
Dothan- John J NOWELL, Jr., 40 year old farmer of Headland, Ala., was instantly killed last night as his automobile crashed into a bridge and plunged into a swollen creek near Blountstown, Fla.
1 March 1934
Fatal Crash Probed.
Dothan- Two men were dead and two suffering from internal injuries Tuesday as officials investigated an accident in which an automobile overturned at terrific speed Monday night three miles from here.
H L HILLMAN, driver of the car, died at the scene of the wreck, while Preston CARSWELL, died shortly after reaching a hospital here. Reginald WALKER suffered internal injuries, the seriousness of which remains to be determined, and Byrd HARRISON was in critical condition Tuesday from his hurts.
Hillman conducted a marble works here. The automobile was demolished, being found nearly 100 feet from the highway. Cause of the accident had not been determined.
29 August 1935
Woman Instantly Killed.
Dothan—Mrs. A B SELLERS, of Dothan, Houston County, was killed instantly as the car in which she was riding with her mother failed to negotiate a turn and crashed into a tree. Mrs. BASS and Mr. SELLERS suffered serious injuries. Mrs. WILLOUGHBY, of Dothan, and her child, also in the car were slightly hurt.
11 February 1937
Burns Prove Fatal.
Midland City Woman, 72, Victim of Open Grade.
Dothan, Ala.—Mrs. Nancy TIDWELL, 72, of near Midland City, died in a Dothan hospital Saturday afternoon several hours after she was burned fatally in her home, when her garments caught fire from an open grate.
Mrs. Tidwell, who lived alone, was found by neighbors, attracted from a distance by her screams.
Three daughters, two sisters and two brothers survive. The funeral will be held at Midland City Sunday afternoon.
“The Atlanta Constitution”, Atlanta, Ga.
18 July 1890
A Southeast Alabama City.
Midland City, Ala., July 17—Providence again smiles upon our sunny land, and crops here are abundant. Our farmers are prosperous and out of debt. Five years ago, when the writer visited this section, forests stood where beautiful towns and villages now stand.
The Alabama Midland railroad runs from Bainbridge, Ga., to Montgomery, 175 miles, through one of the best agricultural regions in the south, where white labor almost entirely makes the crops that are harvested each year. Ozark, Newton, Midland City, Dothan and Gordon, are all living witnesses to the prosperous condition of southeast Alabama.
1 June 1895
Professor FAIRCLOTH Dead.
Montgomery, Ala.—May 30—While the commencement exercises of the Dothan High School were at their height yesterday, they were brought to a sudden termination by the announcement that Professor Byron T FAIRCLOTH, the principal, was dying. He had been sick only a week and was not supposed to be in any thing like a dangerous condition until his approaching death was announced. He died yesterday. He was about twenty-five years old and a graduate of Emory college, Georgia.
22 March 1896
Domingus Is Free
End of a Celebrated Murder Case At Dothan, Alabama.
There was a Street Fight.
Two Men Were Killed and Several Others Wounded—DOMINGUS Was Arrested, but Acquitted.
Montgomery, Ala.—March 21—One of the most celebrated murder cases of southeast Alabama was concluded at Ozark, in Dale County, yesterday with a verdict of Not Guilty after the jury had been out twenty-three minutes. On the 11th day of October, 1889, a street fight occurred in the town of Dothan, Henry County, which resulted in the deaths of George M STRINGER and a young man named WALKER and in the wounding of several persons, one of whom was Tobe DOMINGUS, the town marshal of Dothan. Domingus was shot through the body and the head and for some time it was thought that he was fatally wounded.
The town of Dothan, through its city council, fixed a license of $25 a year on all two-horse drays hauling in that city. At that time the Alliance warehouse was located just outside the city limits and Stringer was the manager of the warehouse. Stringer’s drays passed in and out of the town in hauling cotton to and from the warehouse and the depot and the city council held that his drays were liable for the license tax. Stringer refused to pay the tax and was arrested and fined several times, which caused bad blood between him and the city authorities.
On October the 12th City Marshall Domingus and a policeman named Parker POWELL were instructed by the council of Dothan to arrest Stringer, which they proceeded to do, and in effecting the arrest Domingus clubbed Stringer and finally handcuffed him after Stringer had made a strenuous resistance.
On the Monday following this arrest a mob of about eighty or one hundred friends of Stringer assembled in Dothan, making threats, which resulted in a street fight with the casualties before stated. Domingus was indicted for murder on account of the killing of Stringer and Walker, for carrying concealed weapons and for assault with intent to murder all the other parties wounded on the occasion of the street fight. Four years ago the venue in these cases was changed from Henry to Dale county, and on the trial Domingus was convicted in the case for the killing of Stringer of murder in the second degree and sentenced to the penitentiary for ten years.
He appealed the case to the supreme court and secured a reversal. The case was called again for trial on the 20th at Ozark, and after the examination of a large number of witnesses the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The prosecution was represented by Solicitor John V SMITH, and Hon. R. H WALKER, of Columbia, while Hon. A A WILEY, of this city and Harry MARTIN, of Ozark, represented the defense.
Domingus has many friends in that section who are jubilant over his acquittal. He was for several years a United States deputy marshal and is a man of undoubted courage. He has recently been appointed to the position of chief of the secret service of the Plant System, with headquarters in Dothan.
After the verdict of the jury Solicitor SMITH nol prosed the remaining indictments standing against Domingus, and he is now free from the meshes of the law.
23 Jan 1900
Charged With Infanticide.
Arrest of Mrs. Garrett and Her Stepdaughter at Brockton, Ala.
Dothan, Ala.--January 22—Mrs. J W GARRETT and stepdaughter were arrested in Brockton, Ala., today on the charge of infanticide. They were both placed in jail at Elba, Ala.
To hide her shame, it is charged that Miss GARRETT killed and burned her illegitimate child. The body was discovered and Miss Garrett, having been seen coming from the same spot about midnight, a short while ago, aroused suspicion and caused the arrest of both her stepmother and herself. The family are very prominent in this section and their arrest has created considerable excitement.
14 March 1900
Shed Blood In A Jury Room.
Gambling in a Courthouse Is Followed By A Killing.
Andalusia, Ala.—March 13—This morning Will CRADDOCK shot and killed Thomas SHARP in the juryroom of the courthouse. They had been gambling and Sharp accused Craddock of secreting a card, but the difference was supposed to have been settled. When the game ended Craddock picked up Sharp’s pistol and said:
“It’s a good gun, but not as good as mine,” and with a remark: “Look out!” fired point blank at Sharps forehead, killing him instantly.
Craddock was given a preliminary trial today and remanded to jail without bail. He is from Dothan and his reputation is shady. Sharp was on the Central’s bridge crew.
18 June 1901
SLAYS FOE AND COMMITS SUICIDE
Two Prominent Educators at Dothan, Ala., Are Dead.
Tragedy Full of Mystery.
Professor RANKIN Shoots Professor McNEIL to Death and Then Sends a Bullet Clean Through His Own Head….
Dothan, Ala., June 17—Professor W A RANKIN this morning shot Dr George R MCNEIL to death and then committed suicide. Dr. McNeil was president of the Dothan City schools and was re-elected Saturday night to the same position for the next scholastic term. Rankin had been a teacher in the same school, but failed of re-election and blamed McNeill with his defeat, which seemed to worry him a great deal.
McNeill went over to the college building this morning just before 8 o’clock. Rankin was already there, and a few moments after McNeill’s arrival firing was heard. Parties rushing over to the building found McNeill in the hall, down in the floor, his life’s blood flowing from several wounds he had received at the hands of Rankin. The shooting occurred in Rankins room in the building, but in some manner McNeill had gotten out of the room and was found in the hall. He was assisted to a litter to be carried to his residence, but expired before reaching there. He stated before he became unconscious that Rankin had done all the shooting. The remains will be buried in the city Cemetery at this place tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.
Rankin was found in his room, where the shooting occurred, in a pool of blood from a wound in his head, dead. His mother was notified of his death, and at her request the remains were shipped to his former home at Bell Buckle, Tenn.
After presumably emptying his pistol Rankin reloaded it and shot himself in the head, just back of the right temple, the ball going clear through, death being instantaneous.
McNeill was about fifty years of age, and leaves a wife, and three children. He came here last year from Lafayette, Ala., where he had been president of the college for a number of years. During his time here he made many friends, by his strict attention to his duties and by his Christian manner, he being a leading member of the Presbyterian church.
Rankin came here from Bell Buckle, Tenn., and was a young man about twenty-five years of age and unmarried. He had a number of warm friends here. His father died only a few months ago. He left a long statement in regard to the affair, but it has not been given out. He had an insurance policy on his life for $2,500, but allowed his payments to lapse. He was engaged to be married to one of Dothan’s most popular young ladies.
Under the bylaws of the board of education at Dothan, McNeill had the nomination of the faculty. The board could only affirm or reject. In making his nominations the year McNeill left out Rankin, who had charge of the eighth and ninth grades during the past session. The objection to Rankin was that he was disposed to run his department independently of his superiors. The board confirmed all of McNeill’s nominations and did it unanimously. Rankin spent yesterday in trying to get the case reopened and failed.
16 July 1901
A Cripple By Dynamite.
Alabama Boy Plays With A Box of the Explosive.
Eufaula, Ala.—July 15—Oates STEVENSON, twelve years old, son of Charles STEVENSON, of Dothan, at the home of his grandfather, John WATSON, eleven miles south of here, this afternoon was fatally injured by the explosion of dynamite caps. While playing on the Alabama Midland road near the home a few days ago, he found a box, containing, as all who saw it supposed, gun caps. He attempted to cut one of them open today with his knife, when an explosion ensued. His hands were torn into threads, a large piece of flesh was torn out of his thigh, his arms and face were badly burned, and fears are entertained for his recovery. A four-year-old son, Dave WATSON, who was with him, was also badly hurt and will lose one eye. The box contained dynamite caps. The boy and his mother came up on a visit a few days ago.
11 July 1902
Ends Life With Strychnine.
Suicide Caused by Boy’s Father Desiring Him To Work.
Dothan, Ala., July 10—Because his father required him to do some work on their place, Pat FORTNER 20 years old, committed suicide here last night by taking strychnine. He told members of his family the sun would never rise on him alive again, and soon after it was found he had taken the fatal dose. Medical aid was unavailing. He was buried this afternoon with military honors.
6 September 1902
DOTHAN WILL BE ITS CENTER.
NEW COUNTY TO BE FORMED IN ALABAMA.
Question Was Issued in Election of Representatives in Henry County—No Name Selected.
Montgomery, Ala.--September 5—One of the most interesting outcomes of the recent democratic primary is that it means the formation of a new county with Dothan as the county seat. The new constitution makes a special exception in the case of a district with Dothan as the center, also that a new county can be formed there with less than 600 square miles. A county of that size would be impossible, as it would reduce the size of old counties from which slices would be taken below the limit. The new county was the issue in the nominations in Henry county, and the ticket for a new county won by a large majority, many voters in portions of the county that will remain in Abbeville, the old county seat, divided her vote.
Quite a discussion is now going on as to the probable name of the new county. It will have Dothan as the county seat, and be made up of portions of Henry, Dale and Geneva. The territory is the most flourishing agricultural district in the state, the lands being fresh and recently cleared of timber. Much of it is still in timber, and there are many saw mills and turpentine orchards.
29 September 1902
Capt. and Mrs. Davis Celebrate Golden Wedding. (Picture)
Six Children and Twenty-five Grand Children Present at Columbia, Ala.—6 Gold Plates are Presented.
Columbus, Ga.--September 28—Captain and Mrs. John T DAVIS celebrated in beautiful manner their golden wedding last Tuesday evening at their home in Columbia, Ala. In addition to their six children and twenty-five grandchildren 150 guests were present. Captain Davis is one of the most prominent men in southeast Alabama and the occasion was one of widespread interest.
It was under a lovely arch, covered with beautiful flowers, that the venerable couple stood, and received the congratulations and best wishes of their children, grandchildren and friends. A few interesting and appropriate remarks were made by Rev. J F GABLE, the Baptist pastor at Columbia, following which Rev. Mr. HEATH, the Methodist Church minister of that town, offered a touching prayer.
It had been Captain Davis’ special request—in fact, he had stressed the point in his invitations—that no presents were to be given. His children decided for once, however, to disobey parental instructions and run the risk of undergoing their father’s displeasure. In behalf of the two sons and four daughters, Mr. John T Davis, Jr., then presented his parents with six plates of solid gold, the name of one of the children and the occasion being inscribed on each plate. In making the presentation Mr. Davis voiced in tender and touching language the deep love of himself and brother and sisters towards their parents.
** little grandsons the presented Captain and Mrs. Davis in behalf of their sons-in-law and daughters in law a beautiful solid gold bread boat. The presentation speech, which was quite a **py one, was made by Mr. George L **mpbell.
A handsome ice bowl, in behalf of the grandchildren, was then presented by little Roy D Clark, the oldest grandchild. After these presentations the guests were escorted into the dining room, where a sumptuous repast was served.
Before they departed each guest was given a copy of the poem of Captain Davis and the response and also a photograph of the couple. The poem had been printed on cards.
Captain and Mrs. Davis have six children as follows:
Mrs. L G CLARK, of Columbia, Ala., Mrs. M L DEKLE, of Marianna, Fla., Mr. John T DAVIS, Jr., of Columbus, Mrs George L CAMPBELL, of Columbia, Mrs. George H MALONE, of Dothan, Ala., and Mr. Charles H DAVIS, of Columbia.
They have twenty-five grandchildren as follows:
Roy D. and Stella CLARK, Pallye, Leo, Nonie, Hal, John T, Coral, Evelyn and Lucy Nell DEKLE, Ophelia DAVIS and John T. DAVIS, III, Janie, Davis, George L., Earl, Charles, and Nonie CAMPBELL, Florrie, Wallace, Arthur, John T., and George MALONE, and Elizabeth and Eugenia DAVIS.
Captain John T Davis and Miss Clarkey Elizabeth WILSON were married on September 23, 1852 at the home of the bride’s parents near Columbia, the ceremony being performed by the bride’s grandfather, Rev. Mr. TALBOT. They have spent practically all their lives at Columbia and are thoroughly identified with that community.
Captain Davis was a confederate soldier commanding a company from Alabama. He is one of the most prominent citizens of southeast Alabama and for many years has been identified with the business interests of Columbia. He has been president of a bank there, has had extensive river interests, has had moneyed interests in farming and mercantile enterprises and has been and is still president of the Columbia cotton mill. Few men have done more for the upbuilding of southeast Alabama. He has reached the age where he is now taking a richly deserved rest and has retired from all business with the exception of the presidency of the cotton mill, which he still holds.
Captain and Mrs. Davis are prominent members of the Baptist Church at Columbia.
16 November 1902
Skull Fractured By Fall.
Tom DAWSEY Seriously Injured At Dothan, Ala.
Dothan, Ala., November 15.—Tom Dawsey, a young man about twenty years of age, who lives near Abbeville, was dangerously hurt here today while bicycle riding. While out on East Main Street, just beyond the Central road, in some unaccountable manner he was thrown from his wheel, striking the ground, fracturing the skull from one temple to the other.
He was carried to the office of Dr. J R G Howell, where the skull was triphined by Drs Howell and Henry Green.
The chance for the young mans recovery is extremely doubtful.
November 16, 1902
Mrs. J T HEARN of The Free Press, received telegraphic communication from Dothan, Ala., Thursday morning announcing the death of her sister, Mrs. Lula B WORD, of that city. She was the daughter of George A McDANIEL, deceased, of Victory, in this county, and sister of Dr. John L MCDANIEL, of Atlanta.
30 November 1902
STRANGE MURDER CASE IS REVIVED
Mysterious Death of Jarred ENGRAM at Eufaula.
State Pardoning Board is Considering Applications of Parties Convicted of Crime for Liberty. Body Found in River 168 Miles Away.
Eufaula, Ala., November 29—The state board of pardons, which consists of the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney general and the state auditor, has before it for consideration a case, the plot of which reads like a yellow-back novel.
On Christmas eve, in ‘1899, Jarred ENGRAM, a 20-year-old youth, the son of excellent parents, left the family residence at Eufaula about dark to go down town for an hour or so, as it was thought. He has never returned.
For days after his disappearance his family conducted a search for him. They finally secured information that he had, during the night, been at a house in the neighborhood kept by one Anna VAUGHN, whose reputation was unsavory. The inmates of the house acknowledged that he had been there during the evening, but insisted that he left there about 8:30 pm. A physician was found who had received a telephone message from him shortly after that dark hour, but he was unable to say from what place the message was sent. After several days’ investigation, nothing being heard from him, his friends decided that he had gone off on a lark as he was known to be sometimes given to drink.
Forty days after Christmas the watchman at the river bridge over the Apalachicola river, 168 miles below Eufaula, pulled from the river a body of a man. It had but few bruises on it and was in good condition. The fish had not eaten it and it had not commenced to decay. In the throat of the corpse was a woman’s handkerchief with no marks whatever on it. The body was not identified and following the custom at that place, where bodies are frequently taken from the water, it was buried on the river bank in a plain pine box.
A notice of the find was published in The Constitution and in other papers and a copy of one of them came into the hands of the father of the boy. The Apalachicola River is formed by the junction of the Chattahoochee and the Flint, the former of which flows by Eufaula. They come together about a mile from where the body was found. When Mr. Engram read of the find, he was at once concluded that the body was that of his son and he went without delay down the river and enlisted the services of the bridgekeeper. When he arrived at the point where his son had been buried the river was in flood and the water had overflowed the banks and inundated the grave. He, therefore, of necessity, had to wait several days, until the water had receded. Eighteen days after the body was buried and fifty-eight days after the young man had disappeared from home on the eventful Christmas eve the father identified the remains as those of his son. He and the bridgekeeper reinterred the body in its damp grave on the bank of the river. He returned to his home, announced what he had found, and the state offered a reward of $200 for the arrest and conviction of the murderers.
On account of young Engram having last been seen at the Vaughn house and on account of the unsavory reputation of the inmates suspicion directed toward that place. It was developed that on that Christmas eve night Solon MOORE, a respectable young white man of Russell County, John BRAZLER, a young farmer of good reputation, who lived near Lumpkin, Ga., just across the river from Eufaula, Ala., and Anna VAUGHN and Gertrude HOWARD both of whom live in the Vaughn house, were arrested, charged with the murder of Jarred Engram. At the time of the preliminary hearing feeling against the defendants ran very high. In the minds of the public, the crowd at Vaugh’s was held responsible for the young man’s death. Various theories were advanced one of them being that he had gotten drunk during the night and had been choked to death by having the pocket handkerchief crammed into his throat. The circumstantial case further had it that after midnight, his body was taken to the river and there thrown in. One witness, a livery stable keeper, testified that at a late hour one night about Christmas a man resembling one of the defendants had come to his stable and secured a buggy and that several hours later he returned the buggy, accompanied by a woman, and that the horse was covered with sweat, notwithstanding the night was a cold December one.
Mr. Engram was firmly of the opinion that his son had lost his life on that Christmas eve in the Vaughn house. The community was stirred up over the murder of a popular young fellow. The inmates of the Vaughn place seemed certainly to be more to blame than anybody else that could be found, and when the trial was concluded in the case of Solon Moore, John Brazler, Anna Vaughn and Gertrude Howard. The defendants were well represented at the trial and endeavored to demonstrate the fact that if Jarred Engram had been killed at the Vaughn house on Christmas eve and his body thrown into the Chattahoochee and been washed down that river 168 miles, remaining in or under the water forty days, and then taken out and buried in the sand, remaining there in the grave covered by the overflowed waters of the Apalachicola for eighteen days more, that it would have been in such a physical condition as to be not recognizable at all by the father or by any one else. They endeavored to show that the river was full of turtles, fish and other things that inhabit rivers and that a dead body would have been a prey for such creatures. They also insisted that contact with the bottom of the stream and with logs, rocks and roots of trees, etc., would have so torn and bruised and lacerated the body during its’ 168 mile trip that it would have reached the bridge a mass of bones and shreds. The defense claimed that the dead body found there was not that of young Engram, or that if it was, he certainly had not been murdered in the Vaughn house on Christmas ever, two months before.
At a subsequent term of court, Mr. Miller, who managed to get his case continued, was acquitted on the same evidence upon which the others had been convicted. The prisoners have now been in the penitentiary for three years, and their friends have asked the board of pardons to show them clemency.
The case has recently been presented to the board and they now have the matter under consideration. The circumstantial case is said to have been built up very largely on negro testimony and it is understood that the attorneys for the prisoners have developed some facts that throw new light on the case. The board has, of course, declined to intimate what they will likely do in the matter.