Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Old News

Quite frequently, I hear the lament that people are meaner today than they have ever been.  Do you agree?  Or, maybe it's just that we are bombarded with this meanness on the Internet and television.  Can you remember when the nightly news could be broadcast without copious cleavage?

People were pretty much the same a hundred years ago as they are now.  There was some lingering morality then, so perhaps many just didn't parade their sin like they do now.  Or, maybe they did. Or, maybe they were just misunderstood.

The following snippets are from a local newspaper from a while back.

Caleb FRY, a crazy man from Winston county, hanged himself with hickory bark near Cullman a few
days ago. He had been carried to the Insane Asylum, but Dr. Bryce refused to receive him because he was not insane. (7 Jun 1883 Moulton Advertiser)

A Brutal Act
One Bob CORNELIUS, who has been working for Mr. R.J. STEPHENSON near Danville, for three years or more, and who married Miss Lotsy COLQUITT last December, soon became jealous of her, and within five months, drove her from his home. On Monday the 14th, he borrowed a gun, and intercepting he wife on her way from her Danville home, forced her into a thicket and throwing her to the ground attempted to cut her throat. He no doubt thought he had killed her. as the wound reached from ear to ear. The unfortunate woman is now believed to be recovering. MA Oct.24,1895

Governor O'NEAL has issued a parole to Exie HARTLEY, a 17 year old white girl, who has been convicted in Cherokee county and sentenced to six months for vagrancy. The case presents the most revolting situation in Alabama prison annals. The girl has been sent to Flat Top mines to serve her term with some 600 other convicts, most of whom were negro men, she being the only woman in the mines. The case is a disgrace to the state of Alabama and the legislature should take some steps to prevent a repetition of this in the future.(Moulton Advertiser 5 Aug 1914)

Dr. John P. HODGES of Oakville, one of the most successful physicians in the State, was to see us last Friday and in conversation with him gave us the details of a human curiosity which he was called in to treat a few days before. A baby with two heads, four arms and hands, four legs and feet, but with one body, was born to Mr. and Mrs. John MANN on the 11th of this month. The child lingered about twelve hours and died. This is indeed a human curiosity, but the child is far better off dead than alive. Dr. Hodges reports the mother as doing well. (Moulton Advertiser 20 Jan 1887)

J. V. LOVE, formerly of this county, was arrested in Tuscaloosa last week for reckless driving and will be sent to the assylum. When taken up, he had quite a sum of money on his person. (Moulton Advertiser 30 Apr 1905)

Rev. J. W. SHOEMAKER, who endeavored to steal a few postage stamps from Uncle Sam, was tried at the recent Conference in Huntsville and expelled from the Methodist Church. Poor creature! His greed has placed a stain upon him which can never be erased, but he is not alone. There are others, high in position, whose crimes will some day be revealed to the public.(December 8, 1898 MA)

Mrs. Lizzie SHELTON, a lady of high social standing in Scottsboro, while walking across the street last Wednesday, seeing Hugh BYNUM at a distance, called him to her side, drew a pistol and shot him through the shoulder. She fired twice again without effect, and then surrendered to the authorities. She claims that Bynum had insulted her.    (Moulton Advertiser 4 Jun 1885)
Jos. SMITH hanged himself in Lauderdale county but the world moves on just the same.
(Moulton Advertiser 29 Sep 1908)

W. C. WHITFIELD was killed with an ax by T. M. TIDWELL, near Scottsboro, last week. Cause ; women and whiskey. (Moulton Advertiser 5 Mar 1885)

Wash WRIGHT was shot and killed by Al GLOVER at a church Sunday,in Lauderdale county. 
Both young men, and they fell out about a girl.(Moulton Advertiser 28 Jun 1916)

Miss Sallie H. WALLACE, nine years old, recently eloped with W. D. BAILY from Waterford, Miss.,
and was married to him. Baily was jailed at Boliver, Tenn., and the baby wife returned to her mother. (Moulton Advertiser 26 Dec 1889)

Willie GOODWYN, a robust man, is in jail in Marion county for stealing and marrying a 10-year old girl. (Moulton Advertiser 15 Mar 1910)

There you go.  Does anything sound familiar?