Holiday Seasons from Long Ago
ASHS Column for 12 21 06
Margaret Collier

    When you read this column Christmas Day will be only a few days away, but we hope that the
Spirit of Christmas has been and will continue to be with you no matter what your personal faith, or lack thereof, may be.
    That being said, let us review some comments
about the season from news clippings of years
gone by. In 1905, we read, "We are sorry to
know that dreadful disease (diphtheria) is in our
community (Wiggins)." Also from Wiggins, "We
have no Sunday School now since diphtheria has
been reported in the neighborhood. We feel
lonesome on Sunday without Sunday School."
    From Brewton, Jan. 3, 1905, we read, "F. L.
Hancock, who killed Pro. Troutman at Canoe
last Sunday morning, came in Monday and
surrendered to the sheriff. He is now confined in
the county jail, together with his brother-in-law,
Boland Weaver, who is charged with being
accessory to the killing. The preliminary trial will
 be held on Friday before Justice McConnell."
    Not all was of crime in that fair city. The
Daughters of the Confederacy gave a masquerade
ball on the evening of the 29th. It was reported to
have been a great success, socially and financially.
    In 1906 the reports from Wiggins to the Atmore Spectrum were as follows: "Mr. Editor, your correspondent at this place has been very sick and missed all the holiday news. However, Christmas passed off quietly, there being no bad accidents to record. The people here seem to be at extremes in the way of sporting. It is said that there have been over 1000 guns shot at a few little innocent doves on Christmas day by thoughtless boys and men, and then how sad it is when one has lost a limb or their life from such sport, besides the cost otherwise. There are in our community boys who never have earned their bread, yet can manage some way to get loaded guns and shells, regardless of cost or danger."
    Dec. 31, 1908, from Wiggins came the news "Christmas has passed and every one is thankful to know that there was no trouble or mischief done i our vicinity. All the boys enjoyed themselves shooting birds."
    Moving along through the years, the news from Oak Grove, January l, 1920, was that Christmas had passed quietly. "Nearly everybody enjoyed themselves as there was no shinny to make them sick." (Does "shinny" mean moonshine? It doesn’t sound like egg nog.)
    The Correspondent from McDavid for The Atmore Record, Dec. 28, 1922, wrote, "Well, Christmas passed nicely. Santa Claus supplied everybody with fruit and candy."
    These holiday tidbits are from a compilation by Ethel Brown McKinley and Jessie Mae Brown Smith. Their work is called "Bits ‘N’ Pieces" Oak Grove, 1904 - 1934. It is a collection of news from Oak Grove taken from the Atmore Spectrum, the Atmore Record and the Atmore Advance, all being the newspaper from Atmore, beginning in the early 1900's.
    We hope that you have enjoyed these little items that show us that the season still has many likenesses.
    Dear Readers, may your Christmas season be merry, meaningful and memorable.

Christmastime at the office. Sparse decorations, but hardly anyone decorated then like they do now!
(click image to enlarge)

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This page last modified on Wednesday, December 20, 2006