Remember when: Back in another century

Published 10:24 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

     “The Washington Post March” is a march that was composed by John Philip Sousa in 1889. Since then, it has remained as one of the most popular marches throughout the United States and many other countries. Sousa was the leader of the U. S. Marine Band. It led a British journalist to dub Sousa as “The March King.”

When I look back at life in Andalusia in past years, it is always enlightening to discover what the popular songs of the day were. Another song of 1889 that is often sung as a solo at weddings is “Oh, Promise Me.” It is amazing to see how traditional songs such as these two have lasted over the years and are still very recognizable today.

     Editor of The Covington News in October, November, and December of 1889 was Walter P. Howell. Subscription price of the six-page weekly newspaper was $1.00 per annum.

Here is some “local news” of the day from the old newspapers found at the Andalusia Public Library. “Andalusia needs a saw mill…The freight wagon was forced to ford the river on their return from the railroad this week owing to the burning of Travis’ Bridge. The bridge, 4 miles above the Staple’s Bridge was burned on Sunday night. The structure was a new one having been completed only about two months ago at a cost of $725. The supposition is that the bridge was set on fire by some unknown person. (I wonder if that might have been a covered bridge!)”

Cane grindings are the order of the day…The Farmers’ School House Alliance meets today…The new altar for the Methodist Church purchased by the Ladies’ Aid Society arrived Wednesday last…Is the railroad coming or is it another false claim? This is the question uppermost in the minds of our people. (It was actually another 10 years or 1899 before the train line was extended into Andalusia from Searight.)”

“The horse troughs and barn lofts are no places for the hens…The cholera is killing up the hogs in portions of the county rapidly. One gentleman informs us that he has lost almost 40 up to date…The little folks were given a ‘candy pulling’ at the home of Mrs. Judge Snowden Thursday night. The boys and girls came away delighted with the evening’s entertainment.”

Two young society gents had a little scrimmage the other night. After the smoke of battle had cleared away, it was found that the only damage done was the mutilation of two dress coats. Come now boys, curb your tempers, dress coats are costly!…A lively contest is going on for the appointment of (1890) census taker for Covington County. Several applications have been made.”

“The next session of the Covington County Institute will be held at the Lowman School House. These institutes are held in compliance with the law and every teacher who holds a license is under obligation to attend…Don’t throw manure around the foot of the tree only but scatter it over the whole orchard if you have enough…Look after the well. The well on the farm is a source from which come many diseases. Some wells are never cleaned. When dug, they are carefully boarded over. The pumps are made tight and snug. There is no well water that is pure unless steps are taken.”

PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS CARDSHenry Opp, Attorney at Law; Head and Sentell, Physicians and Surgeons; R. B. Chapman, Dentist; M. W. Rushton, Attorney at Law; Ed T. Albritton, Attorney at Law; Malachi Riley and Cyrus O’Neal, Real Estate Agents; A. M. Fendly, Family Grocer, Loango, Alabama; S. Cawthon, Physician; Bradshaw’s Saloon, ‘I keep constantly on hand a select stock of Wines, Liquors, Beers, Cigars, Tobacco, Corn and Rye Whiskies ordered direct from the distillery in North Carolina.’”

Mr. Sampson Stokes of Beat 10 will soon have completed a handsome dwelling near where his present house stands…Col. Scott is having a neat carriage house built…Squire Opp has returned to Andalusia from a three-weeks’ visit to Troy and Montgomery looking as portly and handsome as ever…A fine lot of chickens was brought to town on Wednesday…Mr. Wm. Riley had a fine mule to die on the road between this place and Georgiana last week.”

“A party of hunters from Crenshaw came down this week. They are joined by Mr. Wm. Gantt and perhaps others…Mr. H. B. O’Neal killed a wild turkey yesterday…Mr. Wm. A. Hogg and Miss Eldora Adams of Oakey Streak were united in marriage on Thursday evening, the 21st…There will be a Thanksgiving service at the M. E. Church at Rose Hill next Thursday at 11 o’clock and at the Methodist Church at this place Thursday night. Let’s all attend…The average boy is happy since the market is stocked with sugar cane.”

Mr. J. A. Prestwood reached home on Tuesday evening last. Much uneasiness was felt by his family and friends at this place by the sudden and severe attack of sickness which recently prostrated him while in Pensacola. We are glad to see that he is coming around again all right…Dr. Morse’s Indian Root Pills are the remedy that the bounteous hand of nature has provided for all diseases arising from IMPURE BLOODTutt’s Pills for Torpid Liver.”

“Here’s a chance for some of our enterprising boys to make their holiday money. Mr. Caldwell of Evergreen advertises for a large quantity of mistletoe which grows plentifully around this place. Active boys can make good wages. This stock must be delivered between the 8th and the 18th of DecemberEggs are scarce in this market. They are doubtless being saved up for the customary ‘egg nog’ parties!’

     “This place” seemed to be the perfect way for “The Covington News” editor to refer to Andalusia back in 1889 as he publicized local happenings and upcoming events. “This place” is where I want to live and die and REMEMBER WHEN. Hope you do, too!