"Peep o' Day " - Darkness Clearing Away - Advancement of Order - Returning Signs of Prosperity- The People Becoming Themselves Again - A Glance at Current Events up to the Present.
The period about which I now write, was anticipated in the closing remarks of the last chapter. Several years elapsed before the people of Conecuh could withdraw sufficiently far from the reign of disorder to address themselves to the re-establishment of their institutions, and the resuscitation of their shattered fortunes. But a steady- growing resolution was possessing the people, and gradually the signs of returning prosperity began to show themselves in every quarter. Of course this growing change was largely due to the revolution in politics. The combined powers of ignorance and selfishness were gradually giving way before the strong assertion of intelligence and public-spiritedness. Instead of being represented by men who were hostile to the public interest, the people were eventually able to send representatives of their choice. The wholesome legislation so sadly needed by the masses in their depressed condition, was eventually secured,, and impartial officers elected to execute it.
The colored people, having realized the extent of the boon of liberation, and the relation which bound them to the whites, resumed, with commendable spirit, their former habits of industry in the field, the shop, the home, and thus contributed, in no small degree, to the prosperity which all, in common, now enjoy. Few have been the events that have disturbed the increasing growth of harmony in Conecuh, within the last few years.
In the summer of 1877 a painful event occurred in the quiet town of Evergreen, and one, the circumstances of which rendered it more painful, because of the parties connected therewith. Sheriff B. M. Burns, of Monroe county, while on official business in Conecuh, was engaged in a game of billiards with William Ashley, son of the late Senator Ashley, when a disagreement arose between them, and Mr. Ashley was shot and killed by Sheriff Burns. Intense excitement was created in both counties by the sad and unexpected tragedy, because of the prominence both of the slayer and the slain. After two years, Mr. Burns was tried at Evergreen and sentenced to hard labor for the county for a limited term of months.
To recount the events which have transpired from year to year, would be to tell the deeds of a determined people to make their section fairer, better and more inviting, than during any period of the past. Of the material elements with which they have to deal, I have occasion to write more at length in a subsequent chapter.
The following list contains the officers of the county from 1870 up to the present time :
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
1874- F. M. Walker.
1880- F. M. Walker. (Resigned and was succeeded, by gubernatorial appointment, by his son, P. C. Walker.)
1880- Perry C. Walker.
1869- James Fortner. (Retained in office, under the Reconstruction Acts, until 1874.)
1874- John Angle.
1877- Robert J. McCreary.
1880- John Angle.
1874 - George Christian.
1880- William Beard.
1870- William Miller, Jr.
1874- William Miller, Jr. (Successful contestant of the seat with Gen. E. W. Martin, before the tribunal of a Republican Legislature.)
1874- E. W. Martin - (Seat given him upon the decision of the Democratic Legislature, that he was the year before fraudulently ejected.)
1877- J. H. Dunklin. - (Died before the expiration of his term.)
1878- David Buell. - (Elected to fill unexpired term.)
1880- G. R. Parnham.
1872- N. Stallworth
1874- N. Stallworth.
1876- A. J. Robinson.
1878- Eli Clarke.
1880- A. J. Robinson.
Present Representative Men of Conecuh - Rev. Andrew Jay - Dr. J. L. Shaw, etc.
Approaching, as we are, the conclusion of our county history, so thrilling in historic event, and so conspicuous in the biography of prominent spirits, it has been thought proper to devote attention to those who are at present recognized as the representative men of Conecuh. Prominent among these is
REV. ANDREW JAY,
who is a native of the county, and has shared largely in its fortunes and its reverses. He was born within three miles of his present home, at Jayvilla, on February 16th, 1820. His father was one of the earliest emigrants to the county, and upon his removal hither was quite poor. But he was not lacking in those qualities of industry and economy, which invariably find expression in accumulation. His father surrounded himself and family with a competency of life's necessities. His son was early taught the habits of industry, and has led quite an active life. His mental acquirements were secured within the narrow compass presented by the school facilities of his boyhood days. When he had attained manhood the academy was established at Evergreen, and for three successive sessions, he studied there with vast advantage to himself. After his marriage to Miss Ashley - daughter of Capt. Wilson Ashley - he devoted his attention to planting. At different periods of his life he has been elevated to positions of trust and distinction. During the period when considerable attention was bestowed upon the organization of an efficient militia, Mr. Jay was selected as the major of a battalion. He was successively commissioner of roads and revenue, tax assessor and Representative to the General Assembly. For two consecutive terms he served Conecuh in the Legislature. Mr. Garrett, in his "Reminiscences of Public Men of Alabama," pays him a deserved compliment when he speaks of his ability as a legislator, and the marked attention bestowed by himself upon the interests with which his position was invested. Up to the period of the formal emancipation of the slaves, Mr. Jay had gathered about him a respectable fortune. And during the period of his prosperity, his liberality was proverbial. Whatever enterprise was inaugurated for the public weal, found a generous response at the hands of Mr. Jay. No one advocated with more profound earnestness the establishment of the railroad through Conecuh, than did he. He was one of the most liberal contributors to the enterprise. He gave largely to the endowment of Howard College, and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at Louisville, Kentucky.
Aided by his noble wife, he found peculiar delight, during the war, in raising supplies of clothing and food for the Confederate soldiers, and shipping them to their distant encampments. Perhaps no one in the county ha.s suffered more keenly the misfortunes entailed by the war, than Mr. Jay. Like many others, he was left by the cessation of hostilities, involved in financial embarrassments, arising mainly from security obligations. The burdens which he has borne would have crushed the spirit of many another man; but he has borne all with philosophic and Christian fortitude, and now the dawn of a brighter day is beginning to tinge the darkness of years. After retiring from the political arena, Mr. Jay was ordained to the Baptist ministry, and now his attention is divided between the farm and the pulpit. Throughout his life, his career has been such as should excite the profoundest admiration. He never swore an oath; was never engaged in a fight; was never intoxicated; never gambled in the least; was prompt in meeting all appointments made by himself. He is said never to have refused lodging to any one, upon application, except one time—then his family was quite sick, and the applicant quite drunk. His life has been largely devoted to the weal of his county.
DR. JOHN L. SHAW,
is a native of North Carolina. He was born in Robinson county, in that State, on December 22nd, 1814. He was educated at Donaldson Academy, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After engaging in teaching for a period of years, in his native State, he removed to Alabama in 1841, and taught again at Prattville. Being desirous of fitting himself for the practice of medicine, he engaged to study with Dr. Kelly, of Coosa county. Subsequently he attended lectures at Louisville, Kentucky, returned to Alabama and practiced one year in Talladega, and in April, 1845, removed to Conecuh and located at Evergreen. After his marriage to Miss Permelia Crosby, he removed to Bellville, where, for quite a number of years, he engaged in an extensive and lucrative practice. In 1858 he removed to Pineville, Monroe county, thence to Evergreen in 1867, thence again to Pineville, in 1868, and finally to Bellville, in 1874. He was, perhaps, the first to suggest the preparation of the history of Conecuh. Dr. Shaw is appreciated for his disinterestedness in the public good, and for the uprightness of his daily life. Since his residence in the county, few men have been more active than himself, in the promotion of every public interest. Though quite advanced in years, he is still ardently devoted to the duties of his favorite profession.
YOUNG M. RABB.
The subject of this sketch was born in Old Town Beat, five miles east of Evergreen, on April 4th, 1826. His educational training was commensurate with the advantages enjoyed at that period. He was among the matriculates at the Evergreen Academy in 1840. Here he was fitted for a collegiate course, but was prevented taking such a course by the untimely death of a brother. By this event the management of his father's estate fell completely upon himself. But having naturally a sprightly mind, he continued to address himself to literary pursuits, as he had opportunity. In September, 1847, he connected himself with the Baptist Church at Evergreen, and shortly after became one of its deacons, which position he has held to the present. He was married, in 1848, to Miss Polly H. Stallworth, and at once turned his attention to planting. He was regarded a successful planter during the palmiest period of that pursuit in Conecuh. In 1856, we find him a citizen of Evergreen, whither he had removed for the education of his children. Here he formed a partnership with S. A. Barnett (now a citizen of Mobile), in a mercantile interest, which was conducted with success until the beginning of the late war. For many years Mr. Rabb was a member of the Commissioners' Court of the county, where he was exceedingly scrupulous in regard to the expenditure of the people's money. After the close of the war, he relinquished his farming interest, and embarked in a timber enterprise in Escambia county, Florida, as the partner of W. D. Mann. Here the failure of the contractors, under whose auspices the firm operated, involved it in serious embarrassment, thereby rendering Mr. Rabb unable to sustain that spirit of hospitality and benevolence for which he was characteristic during more prosperous periods. In 1880, Mr. Rabb offered himself to the people of Conecuh as a candidate for the Judgeship of the Probate Court. He was, however, defeated by Judge Walker, a former incumbent of the office, and the regular nominee of the people. The many virtues of Mr. Rabb, his devotion to the public interest, and his intellectual qualifications, make him one of the representative men of Conecuh.
DR. A. J. ROBINSON.
This gentleman is a native Georgian. He was born in Fayette county, in that State, on January 16th, 1833. His parents were poor - but his father, by no means, humble in his influence. He was repeatedly elected to the State Legislature. For his public services he realized but little remuneration, and hence was unable to give his children the intellectual advantages which they might have otherwise enjoyed. The subject of our sketch was the eldest of the family of children, and upon him devolved the necessity of laboring upon the farm for the support of the younger children. He was an industrious laborer upon the farm until he was fully nineteen years of age, enjoying at brief intervals the advantages of country schools. But with his father absent as a public servant, and himself the first of a family of thirteen children, these opportunities for scholastic training were exceeding scant. At the age of nineteen, Dr. Robinson removed to McDonough, Georgia, where he attended a good school for six mouths. On the 17th of August of that year, he was married to Miss Josephine Moffett, of Crawford, Georgia. She is the cousin of Col. J. S. Boynton, the President of the Georgia Senate. (In 1881.)
During the winter following his marriage, Dr. Robinson removed to Stewart county, Georgia, and began work upon a little farm, in connection with occasional intervals of school- teaching. In 1856 he sold his interest in Georgia, and removed to Covington county, in this State, settling upon Pigeon creek. In the midst of his varied reading he had acquired a peculiar fondness for the investigation of the science of medicine. Resolving to adopt the practice of medicine as a profession, he disposed of his place on Pigeon creek, and removed to Brooklyn, for the purpose of pursuing a more systematic course of study. Here, by stress of necessity, he was forced to divide his time between his studies and. labors in the wagon shop of D. M. Dodson - his wife, meanwhile, assisting as teacher in the academy at Brooklyn. In 1857 and 1858 he attended lectures in Memphis, Tennessee. Here license to practice was granted him, and he returned to his home, and entered at once his chosen profession. In 1859 Dr. Robinson formed a partnership with Dr. John Scott; but after a year's connection with this gentleman, the copartnership was dissolved by the withdrawal of Dr. Scott. During the summer of 1859 Dr. Robinson attended another course of lectures at Atlanta, Georgia. Returning to his home, he found himself rapidly introduced into an extensive practice. For several years his practice in the portion of the county in which he resided was simply overwhelming. Declining health forced him gradually to retire. Since his retirement from the duties of a physician, he has been honored by the people of Conecuh during two different sessions with the position of Representative to the General Assembly. In this capacity he has proved to be quite useful, and has won for himself considerable distinction as a legislator. He served Conecuh during the last session of the General Assembly.
Dr. Robinson is a gentleman of many sterling qualities. His usefulness has been realized not only in direction of public affairs, but also in the sacred matters of the church. He is profoundly interested in the spiritual elevation of the masses. Possessing the highest sense of right, he is admirably fitted to become a prominent director in all matters relating to the public weal.
familiarly known as "Nick," is the third child of Hon. James A. Stallworth. He was born at Evergreen on the 9th of August, 1845, and hence is now but thirty-six years of age. He left school at the early age of fourteen, to accompany his father - then in declining health - to Washington. He spent the winters of 1859-'60- 61 in the National Metropolis. Returning with his father in 1861 to Conecuh, he at once joined the "Conecuh Guards," though he was a lad of only fifteen. His honored father accompanied him to Montgomery, and there meeting several of his quondam associates in the United States Congress - who were then members of the Confederate Congress - they proposed to secure for "Nick" the commission of lieutenant in the regular army. This was communicated to him by his father and friends; but the offer he politely refused, saying that he preferred a place in the ranks with the companions of his boyhood days. Upon the organization of the Fourth Alabama Regiment, he was found to be the youngest member in the entire command. He went with the Fourth Alabama Regiment to Virginia, and served in all the campaigns and battles in which it participated until the battle of Cold Harbor, where he was wounded and discharged. For some time prior to this he had been suffering from a bowel affection, and was in feeble health when he received the wound. Returning to his home, he found his mother stricken with grief by the double affliction of the loss of her husband and eldest son. The mother communicated to her son the dying request of his father, that if he should survive the bloody scenes of the war, he should go at once to the University of Alabama and complete his education. Regaining his health, "Nick" repaired to the University, and entered the Junior Class, in 1863. But his university course was cut short by sickness, and after an attendance of only eight months, he returned to his home. After the recuperation of his health, again he was offered a position on the staff of Gen. Samuel Adams. But before the offer was responded to,-General Adams was killed. He was also tendered a position on the staff of Gen. Thomas C. Hindman, but declined. Subsequently he accepted the Adjutancy of the Twenty- third Regiment of Alabama, then under the command of Maj. Nick Stallworth. Leaving at once for Virginia, he reached Petersburg; but the communication being cut between that place and Richmond, he was forced to turn his face homewards after several vain attempts to reach his command. The death of his brother-in-law, Captain Broughton, left him the oldest male member of the family, and he was forced to remain at home by the sad dependency of the family, combined with the shattered condition of his health. The war closing soon after this, he found himself ladened with unusual responsibilities for one so young. With no resources at command, he addressed himself with heroic spirit to whatever his hands found to do. After varied struggles with adverse circumstances, and hard labor with his own hands, for some time, he determined to address himself to the study of law. This he did with P. D. Page, Esq., and was soon admitted to practice.
In 1872, and again in 1874, he was chosen Representative from Conecuh to the Legislature. At the session of 1875-76 he was elected Solicitor of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. In this circuit he had to cope with many of the ablest legal spirits of the. State, and yet his course was attended with remarkable success from the beginning. By the respectfulness of his deportment, and the urbanity of his disposition, he won the esteem of his legal brethren in all parts of the circuit; and by his efficiency and impartiality as a judicial officer, he secured almost universal popular esteem. He is justly regarded one of the most promising young men in the State.
COL. P. D. BOWLES.
Pinckney Downie Bowles is a native of South Carolina. His place of birth was Edgefield District. He received his educational training at the Citadel of Charleston, South Carolina, and at the University of Virginia. His collegiate course completed, he returned to his native State, and engaged in the study of law under Gen. Samuel McGowan. - (Now on the Supreme Bench of South Carolina.) He came to Alabama in April, 1859, and went into the office of Hon. James A. Stallworth, where he remained until the beginning of the war. In 1860 he was elected Colonel of the Twenty-eighth Regiment of Alabama Militia; and also 2nd lieutenant in the "Conecuh Guards," in the summer of 1860. In January, 1861, he went in that capacity with the company to Pensacola. When the company returned home, and upon its reorganization, he was chosen captain, and went with his gallant company to Virginia. Henceforth the war record of Colonel Bowles is inseparably connected with the illustrious career of the Fourth Alabama Infantry - "of which he was the brave and faithful commander" almost throughout the entire war. He led his regiment into the majority of the fiercest battles fought on the soil of Virginia. The regiment belonged to the famous brigade commanded by General Bee, who was so conspicuous at the first battle of Manassas. It was in the battle of Seven Pines, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Boonsboro', Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Suffolk. It joined in the invasion of Pennsylvania, and was engaged- in the fierce conflict at Gettysburg. It went with Longstreet when he was sent to reinforce Bragg in North Georgia; it returned with him when he marched through East Tennessee, via Knoxville. Rejoining the Army of Northern Virginia, it was engaged in the battle of the Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania. In the operations of the Second Cold Harbor it was again engaged; and then lay for ten months behind the defences of Petersburg, sharing in the various movements and assaults connected with that eventful period. And finally, with ranks depleted by death and disability, it surrendered with the rest of the army at Appomattox Court House, with two hundred and two men.
During this long and bloody period. Colonel Bowles was ever found at the head of his regiment. I believe only one brief respite from service was given him - and that was on the occasion of an amorous mission to his adopted county in February, 1863, when he was married to Miss Steams, daughter of the late Judge Stearns.
Though Colonel Bowles did not receive his commission as brigadier, he was placed in the command of five regiments, near the close of the war, and a full brigade staff ordered to report to him. When he returned to Conecuh, in 1865, he had but fifty cents in his pocket. Without delay, he opened an office at Sparta, and resumed the practice of law. The following year he was elected county solicitor for Conecuh, in which position he served for a long period, with efficiency.
Though having so eventful a record. Colonel Bowles is still comparatively a young man. He is now a resident of Evergreen, and is a successful practitioner of law.
GEORGE ROBERT FARNHAM.
This prominent young attorney was born near Bellville, on January 23rd, 1845. He was reared by his great-grandmother, Mrs. Nancy Savage, whose piety and usefulness were proverbially known for many years, throughout Conecuh. His course of instruction was cut short at the Bellville Academy, by enfeebled health, when he had reached the age of fifteen, and was recuperated by active work on the farm. When a youth of only sixteen, he enlisted in the Confederate army, having joined the "Monroe Guards," under Capt. Giles Goode. He went with his command to Pensacola, whence, after a brief service of three weeks, it was ordered to Virginia. Near the close of 1861 he was prostrated by a protracted attack of measles; he was discharged and returned to his home. The following year he resumed his studies at the Bellville Academy, and in the fall of 1862 was entered as a cadet upon the matriculation roll of the University of Alabama. In the early part of 1865 he graduated in the regular course of that institution, with the exception of mathematics, and was pursuing the last studies in that branch when he retired. His course at the University was marked with distinction. He was appointed first a sergeant in the corps, then promoted to a second lieutenancy, afterwards to the adjutancy, and when he left the University he was senior 1st lieutenant. While at the University the corps of cadets did service, as soldiers, for three weeks in Mobile, and again at Jacksonville. -In 1864, while going home upon a tour of vacation, about fifty or sixty of the cadets reached Montgomery, where they found the city in the midst of the most intense excitement, growing out of the threatening demonstrations of General Rousseau. Governor Watts ordered the cadets to remain in Montgomery and assist in its defence against Rousseau, who was then at Chehaw. Arms having been furnished them, a soldier of the regular army was appointed to the command, and they were permitted to elect their other officers. Mr. Famham was at once chosen 1st lieutenant, and the buoyant cadets leaped upon the train and started at once for Chehaw. They were accompanied by some regulars, who happened to have been in Montgomery at the time, and also by some raw reserves. But for the military training and thorough efficiency of the cadets, the entire command would have been captured, and the city of Montgomery would have fallen. Subsequent to this, Mr. Farnham served as adjutant in the corps of cadets, near Spanish Fort. In the early part of 1865 he raised a cavalry company among the students of the University, which was designed to serve as the body-guard to General Buford, and the company left the University, to return to their homes to secure horses and equipments; but just at this juncture the State was overrun by the Federal troops, and before a thorough organization could be effected, the war closed. In 1866, Captain Farnham commenced the study of law in the office of General Martin, at Sparta, and in September, of the same year, was admitted to practice. The first year of his legal career was spent as a partner of General Martin, after which he practiced alone, until his late connection with M. S. Rabb, Esq. In 1868 he was elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Conecuh, and in this capacity served without intermission, for ten years - the last four of which he was the chairman of the committee. In 1870 he was unanimously nominated for the county solicitorship, by the Democratic Party, but was defeated by the Radicals. In August, 1876, Captain Farnham, underwent the greatest of all changes - the renovation of his spiritual character. He became at once an active member of the Baptist Church at Evergreen, and finds peculiar delight in the work pertaining to the office of Sunday School Superintendent. In 1880 he was elected the President of the State Sunday School Convention. During the same year he was nominated for the Senatorship of his district, and was overwhelmingly elected - having received the largest vote ever cast in the district, 5,435. He was sustained by both the Democratic and Republican Parties. During the approaching session he signalized his usefulness as a legislator, by securing the passage of a bill providing for the humane treatment of prisoners - the proper ventilation, heating of cells, and the proper supply of pure water for drinking purposes. He also secured an amendment to the section of the code relating to the regulation of the hire of convict laborers, so limiting the time as not to remand persons to slavery under the color of law. He earnestly strove to secure the passage of bills relative to reformation in the voting system of Alabama. In this he encountered strong opposition in the State Senate. His object was to secure an amendment to sections 274-276 of the code, relative to numbering and the size of ballots. By dilatory motions and parliamentary maneuvering, the action upon the bills was delayed. By resolute effort he forced a vote upon them toward the close of the session, and lacked only a few votes of securing the passage of the bill providing for the numbering of ballots. His speech upon the election law was published in the Montgomery Advertiser and won alike the approbation of the press and the people. For one so gifted, so young, and energetic, and withal so virtuous in his life, there is a future of the most radiant promise.
Population - Principal Town - Climate - Soil - Stock Raising - Productions - Industrial Resources - Forests - Streams - Numerous Advantages, Social, Educational, Agricultural - Colored Population, &c.
According to the late census (1880) Conecuh has a population of 12,606. The population would have been much greater had the county retained its original territorial limits. By the formation of Escambia county, in 1868, Conecuh lost much of her southern territory, which included several thousand of her population. Among her numerous villages, Evergreen, the county seat, is the largest. It is one of the thriftiest towns of Southern Alabama; is situated on the Mobile and Montgomery Railway, nearly mid-way between these two cities, and has a population of nearly 800 inhabitants. Its location, in one of the most productive regions in this section of the State, the elevated tone of its society, its educational and religious facilities, and its mineral springs, make it quite a desirable point.
Conecuh county lies in the southern part of Alabama, and is within the southern portion of the temperate zone. Its climate is such as to exempt it alike from the rigors of a Northern region, and the disease and debility of the tropics. The mean annual temperature is about 65 degrees. Within the limits of the county can be found every variety of soil, from the most productive to the most barren. From the centre of the county to its northern limits are to be found lands of great fertility, while in the southern portion the lands are for the most part, thin, but by no means valueless. In the earliest periods of the settlement of the county, the lands which lay along the streams had a deep alluvial soil that had been enriched for ages by the steady influx of productive deposits. And when the forests were felled, and the implements of industry had begun to stir the soil, the yield from these lowlands was immense. The basin lands of Murder creek, Conecuh river, Bottle creek and the Sepulgas, furnished the most productive soil found in the county. Adjoining these regions, though elevated to uplands, are the red lands of the county, which are regarded the most unfailing and uniform in their yield, as well as being most resistful to the power of waste. In the lower portion of the county are the pine districts, made famous, in late years, by the vast quantity of timber furnished to foreign ports. Since the earliest settlement of the county, these regions have been held in high esteem as pasturage lands. The absence of undergrowth or shrubbery, gives unbounded freedom to the luxuriant grass that flourishes throughout this entire section. Though naturally thin, the soil is susceptible to a high degree of artificial cultivation, as there is usually found in this sandy region, a deep sub-soil of clay. These, regions of sand and pine, though prevailing almost uninterruptedly in the lower half of Conecuh, are found in many portions of the county. These lands, almost without exception, are of level surface, thereby rendering quite easy the retention of fertilizers. And it is a subject of inquiry, if, with their subsoil of clay and their level surface, they are not destined to become the most unfailingly-productive lands in the county. It is a subject of regret that so many of the best lands of the county have been surrendered to the sway of "the tangled vine and riotous weed." Where once there waved the harvests of plenty, there are to be found, to-day, in many places, the thicket of briar and rustling sedge. Having undisputed sway, the early farmers would betake themselves to the invasion of uncleared forests, as soon as it became evident that their lands were being impaired by usage, and they would thus leave behind them broad acres of soil that needed but little careful attention to preserve their wonderful productive powers. These lands are only awaiting the hand of industry to become again the most yieldable in the county.
Conecuh is peculiarly adapted to the raising of cattle, sheep, hogs and goats. Her extensive areas of grassy lands, which are covered with a verdant and luxuriant herbage, almost the year round, and well-watered with perpetual streams, places Conecuh in the front rank of stock- producing counties. In addition to the growth of these tender grasses, there is that of the wild cane, which grows throughout all seasons along the streams, and is much relished by every variety of stock. Beef in considerable quantities, and of superior quality, has for a long time been furnished from these, and adjoining regions, to the markets of Pensacola and Mobile. The production of wool is beginning to excite considerable attention in the county, and the time is not distant when it will become a source of vast revenue to the county.
The prevailing growth in the forests of Conecuh is that of the hickory, poplar, ash, beech and pine, all the varieties of oak, and the queenly magnolia. The uncleared districts of the county cover at least 75 per cent, of its surface. Along the streams, and upon the most fertile soil of the county, are found abounding the oak, the hickory, and beech - the annual yield of whose fruit fattens hundreds of hogs. And in the near future the hand of Art will be laid upon these useful timbers, and they will be made serviceable in the homes and trades of men. For many years past, the pine timbers of Conecuh have been a profitable commodity to dealers in lumber. Hewn into proper shapes, these timbers are floated in rafts down the principal streams to Pensacola, whence they are transported to the ship-building yards of different countries.
Through the enterprise of Messrs. Bellingrath arid Redwine, a turpentine manufactory has just been established at Castleberry. This article will no doubt become quite a commodity in the future commerce of the county.
The productions of Conecuh are as varied as the soil upon which they are grown. The soil is peculiarly adapted to the growth of cotton, which is its all-prevailing staple. All the cereal crops, except wheat, are cultivated and yield in abundance. Improved systems are obtaining very generally throughout the county, and as a consequence, production is progressive.
Of staple farm products, corn, oats, rye, peas, rice, potatoes, peanuts, millet, sugar-cane, and cotton, are produced quite early.
Of fruits, the apple, pear, peach, fig, grape and melons, are the chief productions. Vast varieties of grapes are being introduced into different parts of Conecuh, and they never refuse to yield handsomely. The forests and abandoned fields abound in nuts, grapes, and berries, in large variety, which are furnished by Nature without cultivation. Because of the diversity of soil, the variety of productions, the favorableness of climate, and the easy accessibility to market, no field is more alluring to the immigrant than Conecuh. Vast regions of her land can be purchased at figures quite low. To the farmer, the horticulturist, the gardener, the shepherd, and the manufacturer, facilities are afforded for easy settlement and rapid accumulation.
Within the county is found a great variety of useful stone. In different sections the lime rock abounds. Mica has been discovered within the last year in such quantities as to encourage the hope of future profit.
Conecuh is penetrated in different directions by some of the noblest streams of South Alabama.
Along its eastern border runs the Conecuh river into which flows Sepulga and Bottle creeks, while farther in the interior is Murder creek - a stream of great width and depth - and the southern portion is watered by Burnt Corn creek and its numerous tributaries.
SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES.
The county of Conecuh will compare favorably with any other in the State, with respect to the tone of its society and the character of its institutions. The society is, for the most part, moral and refined. Schools and churches abound. Two academies of high grade are to be found - one at Evergreen and the other at Bellville - presided over respectively by Professors Tate and Newton.
THE COLORED POPULATION.
The colored people of the county are as intelligent, industrious and thrifty as any in the South. Since their emancipation many have secured comfortable homes by energy and frugality. There is a number who are well-to-do - having amassed to themselves respectable property.
Together, dear reader, we have passed over the scenes enacted in the county of Conecuh from the time that the first white man faced its perilous wilds, to the present time. Through all the shifting scenes incident to human life, we have passed, in this rapid review. Together have we stood with the gray-haired sires of the long-ago, and gazed upon the sunlit hills and green valleys of Conecuh, ere the tread of civilization broke their slumbering echoes. We have seen the hardy settler leave his home in the distant States and confront the barriers and hazards of a long journey, and finally pitch his home in a region as yet unwrenched from the grasp of the wild savage. We have seen the heroism with which he addressed himself to the colossal task of subjecting the wild forces of nature to his control. We have watched the growth of civilization along successive decades, and have seen its struggles with frowning disadvantages. Through poverty and pinching distress, through smoke of battle and radiant prosperity, we have come up to the Present. And looking back from our present eminence-height, along the stretch of past years, we see the monuments of worth erected along the track of six and a half decades - monuments reared by the energy and pluck of our fathers and grandfathers, - yea, we see a county reclaimed from its wilderness wilds and made to "rejoice, and blossom as the rose." The determination to snatch from oblivion the records of their heroism and success, and embody it in perpetual form, was alike honorable to sire and son. These brave men and women of the past, many of whom slumber beneath the sods of Conecuh, have bequeathed to the present and succeeding generations a rich legacy - a priceless bequest - in their deeds of nobleness ; they "being dead, yet speaketh." Upon the generation of the present - the sons and grandsons of a noble ancestry - rests the duty of continuing the work of advancement commenced sixty- six years ago, when Conecuh was enfolded within her own virgin forests. Let them seek to preserve intact the institutions designed to ennoble the masses, and let them be as diligent in service to the generations to follow as were their ancestors to the generation of the present. So shall Conecuh continue her onward progress, and her people shall continue to be elevated in the scale of intellectual and moral excellence, "to the last recorded syllable of time."
CONSTITUTION OF THE CONECUH HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Whereas, the citizens of Conecuh county being desirous of reclaiming from the obscurity of the past, all the elements which will serve to make a correct history of the county, have agreed to constitute a Society for that purpose, to be governed by the following Constitution :
Section 1. The name of this Society shall be "The Conecuh County Historical Society."
Sec. 2. The object of this Society shall be the accumulation and compilation, in enduring form, of the events which have marked the history of the county in the past, reaching back to its earliest period, and also of the men who have flourished in its annals, and indeed of every object and item which would serve to contribute, in anywise, to the interest of the history of a people.
Sec. 3. The officers of this Society shall be a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary and a Treasurer, who shall perform the duties usually connected with such offices.
Sec. 4. In addition to the above officers there shall be an Executive Committee of five, composed of four members to be chosen from different parts of the county, and the President of the Society, who shall be ex officio Chairman of the Committee. The duty of this committee shall be to appoint time and place of meetings, arrange programme of exercises, and do whatever else will be demanded for the success of each occasion.
Section 1. This Society shall be composed of all who are or have been citizens of this county, who may desire to unite there-with. A list for the enrollment of names shall be kept in the office of the Judge of Probate, and a Recorder shall be appointed in each Beat, whose duty it shall be to secure the names of citizens, and forward weekly to the Judge of Probate at Evergreen.
Sec. 2. The members of this Society shall secure material from every possible source that would in anywise contribute to the history of the county, whether traditional, biographical, martial, agricultural, or otherwise.
Sec. 3. Material thus secured must be forwarded to the address of the Chairman of the Statistical Committee, at Evergreen.
Sec. 4. This Constitution may be amended by a majority vote at any regular meeting of the Society ; provided, that notice of such proposed amendment be given at a previous meeting.
Company E, Fourth Alabama Regiment.
Below is given a complete roll of this company, which was the first organized for the war in Conecuh.
It was permanently organized at Sparta, Alabama, on the 1st day of April, 1861; mustered at Sparta Depot, April 24th, 1861 ; received flag from the Ladies of the county ; embarked on train with the following named commissioned, non-commissioned officers and privates ; mustered into the Confederate States Army at Lynchburg, Virginia, May 7th, 1861 ; surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9th, 1865 :
Bowles, P. D., captain; promoted major, August 22, 1862; lieutenant colonel, September 30, 1862; colonel, October 3, 1862; brigadier commander C. S. A., April 3, 1865.
Lee, William, promoted captain from 1st lieutenant, August 22, 1862; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, 1862 ; killed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863.
McInnis, Archibald D., promoted captain, from 1st lieutenant, July 3, 1863 ; retired from wounds received at first Manassas, July 1861, and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863, and at Cold Harbor, Virginia, 1864 ; died in Mobile, Alabama, since the war.
Darby, James W., promoted captain, from 1st lieutenant, 1864; wounded at Gaines' Farm, 1862 ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Guice, John G., promoted 1st lieutenant, from 2nd lieutenant, August 22, 1862 ; wounded first battle Manassas, Virginia, July 21, 1861 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, July, 1862 ; wounded in two places second battle Manassas, August, 1862, lost leg; honorably discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Christian, Alfred, 1st lieutenant ; wounded second battle Manassas, Virginia, August, 1862 ; died in Conecuh county, Alabama, since the war.
Travis, Mark B., 2nd lieutenant; honorably discharged, April 1, 1861 ; died at Sparta, Alabama, during the war.
Taliaferro, Charles T., 2ad lieutenant; resigned 1862 ; promoted to assistant surgeon 1862; promoted full surgeon Fourth Alabama Regiment, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stearns, John S., 2nd lieutenant; wounded at Knoxville, Tennessee, November, 1863; wounded at Wilderness, Virginia, May 6, 1864 ; died at his home in 1880.
Gatch, Louis, 1st sergeant ; killed first battle Manassas, Virginia, July 21, 1861.
Green, William, 1st sergeant; honorably discharged 1863, on election to Alabama Legislature; resides in Washington county, Alabama.
Mosley, Andrew J. , 1st sergeant ; wounded first battle Manassas in head and arm ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863 ; wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 1863 ; wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 9, 1864; resides in Falls county, Texas.
Downs, George, 2nd sergeant ; killed at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 1863.
Cotton, James, 4th sergeant; taken prisoner at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ; remained in prison to the end of the war ; died in the State of Texas since the war.
Richey, Robert, 3rd sergeant ; killed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863.
Stinson, Jasper Newton, promoted to color sergeant Fourth Alabama Regiment, July, 1862 ; killed at the second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Boulware, Gil R., promoted to color sergeant Fourth Alabama Regiment ; wounded at Fredericksburg. Virginia, September, 1862; wounded in side and arm, and right arm amputated, at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 1863; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Spence, Ingram, sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Knoxville, Tennessee, September, 1863 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Clark, William D., sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862 ; wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 10, 18G4; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Dunham, John Q. , sergeant ; wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 1863 ; died in Madison county, Florida, 1878.
Andrews, James M., sergeant; wounded first battle Manassas, Virginia ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Floyd, Alfred H. , 2nd sergeant ; recruited November, 1861 ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863 ; wounded (lost leg) at Wilderness, Virginia, May 6, 1864 ; honorably discharged ; resides in Texas.
Stahl, Louis, 3rd sergeant ; wounded and arm resected at Petersburg, Virginia, October, 186-4 ; resides in Marlin, Texas.
Thomas, William, 1st corporal; killed first battle Manassas, Virginia, July 21, 1861.
Briley, Thomas, 1st corporal; killed at Chickamauga, Georgia, September, 1863
Richey, James, 1st corporal; killed at Knoxville, Tennessee, October, 1863.
Boach, Fred. G., 2nd corporal; killed at Petersburg, Virginia, April 1, 1865; last man ever killed in company E.
Crosby, William S., 1st corporal; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Thomas, Joseph A. , 4th corporal ; wounded first battle Manassas, Virginia, July 21, 1861; wounded at Eltham's Landing, Virginia, April, 1862 ; wounded at Gaines' Farm, Virginia, 1862 ; wounded at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1863 ; wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1863 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Anderson, W. F., 2nd corporal; wounded at Fredericksburg, Virginia ; died at Sparta, Alabama, since the war.
Robertson, James, 3rd corporal; wounded in three places at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September, 1862 ; wounded at Wilderness, Virginia, May 6, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Anderson, George, recruited in fall 1861 ; killed battle Lookout Mountain, October, 1868.
Akerman, John, recruited January, 1865 ; wounded at Farmville, Virginia, on retreat from Petersburg ; whereabouts unknown.
Alford, Artemus S., recruited January, 1865; resides in Texas.
Beard, Blake, wounded first battle Manassas, and discharged (honorably); resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Bonnett, J. B., wounded first battle Manassas; discharged, 1862, (honorably); resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Betts, Frank, returned home on sick furlough, and died in fall 1861.
Betts, Ed., discharged in summer 1861 ; rejoined some other command and was killed in East Tennessee.
Blakely, G. W., discharged in fall 1861 ; run over and killed by cars since the war.
Booker, W. B., wounded at Chickamauga and disabled for life; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Baggett, Richard, recruited in fall 1861, and died from sickness, in hospital, in the winter of same year.
Brown, Julius, recruited in April, 1862; died from sickness, in the hospital at Charlottesville, Virginia, in the spring of 1862.
Brown, Robert, recruited in April, 1862; died in hospital at Richmond, Virginia, from sickness.
Brown, "William, recruited November 1861; deserted May 1, 1863.
Burk, William, recruited November, 1861; died in Montgomery county, Alabama, since the war.
Carter, D. L., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Suffolk, Virginia; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Cooper, M. A., wounded at battle Wilderness, May 6, 1 864; resides in the State of Texas.
Chapman, Henry C, recruited March, 1864 ; wounded at battle Wilderness, May 6, 186; placed on retired list ; resides in Texas.
Curlee, F. M., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Gettysburg ; whereabouts unknown.
Coleman, Henry C, died at Richmond, June, 1862.
Coleman, William, recruited November, 1861 ; killed at battle Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.
Cato, A. J., recruited November, 1861 ; discharged for disability ; resides in Texas.
Downs, Jerre, killed at battle Gaines Farm, July, 1862.
Daniels, J. W., recruited 1862 ; wounded at Fort Harrison, 1864; resides in Conecuh county.
Dyas, Thomas, taken prisoner at Knoxville, 1864; died in prison.
DuBose, James, killed at Chickamauga, September, 1863.
Dean, Thomas, recruited November, 1861 ; deserted to the enemy at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, 1863.
Douglas, William, honorably discharged, July, 1862; residence unknown.
Foss, Roderick, recruited March, 1864 ; wounded second battle Cold Harbor ; resides In Alabama.
Fortner, Richard, killed in skirmish below Richmond, January, 1865.
Floyd, Charles, wounded at Gaines' Farm, 1862; resides in Texas.
Gamer, Caleb, recruited April, 1862; wounded at Gettysburg, 1863, and died from wounds.
Gamer, John, recruited April, 1862; killed at Gaines* Farm, July, 1862.
Goldstein, Isadore, taken prisoner at Chickamauga ; remained in prison until after the war; resides in Pennsylvania.
Gandy, Oxford, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably discharged July, 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Grice, Francis M., recruited November, 1861; lost left arm at Gaines Farm ; afterwards sutler Fourth Alabama Infantry ; resides in Escambia county, Alabama.
Gaff, John, recruited November, 1861 ; killed at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862.
Hodo, John, recruited April, 1862; killed at Malvern Hill, 1862.
Hughes, Daniel, honorably discharged August, 1861; died during the war.
Hodges, Dr. Elias O. , promoted to assistant surgeon of a Virginia regiment, 1863 ; died in Texas since the war.
Hodges, William, wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862; taken prisoner at Lookout Mountain, 1863 ; died near Washington, Georgia, 1865.
Hudson, Walker A., recruited April, 1862; taken prisoner at Hagerstown, Maryland, 1863; remained in prison during the war.
Hirschfelder, Jacob, killed at Sharpsburg, Maryland, 1862.
Hyde, John D., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Gaines' Farm, 1862, and at Chickamauga, September, 1863, and in skirmish below Richmond, 1864 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Hyde, Joseph, recruited November, 1861; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Henderson, William, resides in Georgia.
Haskins, William, recruited April, 1862; killed at Petersburg Virginia, 1864.
Haskins, Isaac, recruited April, 1862; resides in Texas.
Horton, William, wounded in shoulder and leg at Gaines* Farm, July, 1862; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Johnson, William W., wounded and disabled at Gaines' Farm, 1862, and honorably discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Johnston, Augustus, recruited March, 1864; killed at Wilderness, May 6, 1864.
Jones, E., recruited April, 1862; honorably discharged for sickness in 1862.
Johnston, Emanuel, recruited November, 1861; killed at Malvern Hill, July, 1862.
King, J. O., recruited November, 1861; discharged in the winter of 1861 ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
Kirk, Frank, recruited November, 1861 ; honorably discharged; joined the Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiment; killed at Chickamauga, September, 1863.
Little, J. H., resides in Texas.
Long, William B., killed at Gettysburg, July, 1863.
Lampkins, Lindsey, died at Staunton, Virginia, July, 1868.
Lynch, Fielding, recruited April, 1862; killed at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862.
Mathews, William M., died in Conecuh county, Alabama, since the war.
Mertins, Julius A., recruited April, 1862; killed at Gaines' Farm.
Mosley, Mason L., resides in Erath county, Texas.
Morris, Wiley, recruited in 1864; died in Conecuh since the war.
Morrow, William, wounded at the second battle Manassas, and wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, May, 1864 ; resides in Mobile county.
Myers, John, recruited November, 1861; wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862; dropped from the roll in 1863; killed in Butler county, Alabama, since the .war.
Mason, John, wounded in first battle Manassas ; dropped from the roll 1862 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
McMillan, C. C, furloughed in 1862, and transferred to another command ; resides in Butler county, Alabama.
McIver, Evander, wounded in two places first battle Manassas, and honorably discharged September, 1861; resides in Texas.
Nichols, W. H. H., deserted to enemy in front of Richmond, March, 1865.
Nichols, John, transferred from Finnegan's Florida Regiment in the fall of 1864, and deserted to enemy before Richmond, March,
Nash, Samuel D., honorably discharged August, 1861; resides in Monroe county, Alabama.
Olivia, George, recruited November, 1861; honorably discharged August, 1862 ; died since the war.
Peacock, Jesse, killed in first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Perry, Frank, deserted November, 1863.
Perry, Owen, wounded first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861, and honorably discharged; rejoined the army, was captured, and died in prison.
Perry, Thomas, recruited May, 1864; wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, May, 1864; resides in Monroe county, Alabama.
Perry, Theophilus, recruited May, 1864; residence unknown.
Powell, Ephraim, killed second battle Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864.
Ferryman, James, honorably discharged January, 1862, and died in Conecuh county, Alabama, during the war.
Quinley, William, recruited April, 1862; wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862, and at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 ; deserted to the enemy in 1865.
Quinley, Stephen, recruited March, 1863; wounded at Wilderness, May 6, 1864; resides in Texas.
Ray, Thomas E., recruited April, 1862; wounded at Sharpsburg, September, 1862; deserted to enemy 1864.
Russel, David, honorably discharged December, 1861, for disability; resides in Louisiana.
Rose, Robert, killed at Seven Pines, Virginia, May 31, 1862.
Robbins, John, killed first battle Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Robbins, Thomas, died from wounds received at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862.
Robertson, Thomas, killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Ritchey, Thomas, recruited April, 1862; died in the hospital at Richmond, August, 1862.
Robinson, J. Mat, honorably discharged for sickness, 1862; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stearns, Henry C., wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, Nick, wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862; honorably discharged 1862; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, W. L., honorably discharged June, 1861, for disability; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Snowden, Newton, killed at Wilderness, May 6, 1862.
Snowden, William H., wounded in skirmish at Lenoir Station, Tennessee, December, 1863 ; honorably discharged for wounds received in 1863 ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Salter, Mich B., wounded at Gaines' Farm, July, 1862, wounded at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and right arm amputated ; honorably discharged ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stallworth, Jos,, killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Stuckey, Buck, wounded second battle Manassas, August, 1862 ; killed at battle Darby town Road, September, 1864.
Stuckey, John, wounded at ---- ; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Stuckey, James, recruited November, 1861; resides in Monroe county, Alabama.
Strickland, James, killed first Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Smith, Jack, recruited November, 1861; honorably discharged for disability; resides in the State of Georgia.
Shaver, John D., recruited April, 1862; killed at Chickamauga, September, 1863.
Shaver, Phil. C, recruited April, 1862; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Sheffield, Evans, wounded at Gaines Farm, July, 1862, and at Gettysburg, July, 1873; killed by a falling tree in Conecuh county, Alabama, since the war.
Sampey , Francis M. , wounded at second Manassas, August, 1862, and near Farmville, Virginia, April, 1865 ; died in Selma, Alabama, 1874.
Sampey, Greenberry G., recruited May 7, 1864; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Thomas, James H., wounded at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862; killed second battle Manassas, August, 1862.
Thomas, James C, recruited November, 1861; killed at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September, 1862.
Thomas, Henry C, recruited September, 1862; resides in Texas.
Turk, Theodosius, wounded at first Manassas; honorably discharged under act of Congress, 1862.
Whelan, Pat S., commissary sergeant Fourth Alabama; died at Sparta since the war.
Wilson, John W., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 3, 1864; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Wilson, George, wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, May 8, 1864; residence unknown.
Wilkinson, Thomas, deserted March, 1862.
Wimberly, Dr. Samuel H., killed at first Manassas, July 21, 1861.
Williamson, John, recruited November, 1861; honorably discharged 1862; resides in Conecuh county, Alabama.
Williamson, James, recruited November, 1861; honorably discharged 1862 for disability; resides near Brooklyn, Alabama.
Watson, Bailey, recruited November, 1861; taken prisoner 1864, and remained in prison until the end of the war; resides in Texas.
Wood, Rev. George A., recruited November, 1861; wounded at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863; resides in Georgia.