Please Try To Keep Children in School Regularly
ASHS Column for 11/9/06
Jerry Simmons

     I’ve had several great ideas for columns
the last few weeks, but before I get around
to finishing my research, I read the Ledger
and find that either Kevin McKinley or Bill
Williams has beat me to it! They are one
step ahead of me! That will force me to
become more specific in my writing, so
instead of expanding the range of my
columns, I guess I’ll hafta rein my thoughts
back in. That means you may see in these
pages a bit more about Century and Alger-
     "What’s so bad about that?" you ask.
Actually, Mrs. Collier and I discuss this
issue from time to time and we agree that
the readers might be weary of reading
about the good ol’ days of long ago in
Century. Plus three columns about history
on one page may be getting tiresome to
you readers.
     However, there is a veritable treasure trove of information in the old newspapers found on microfilm at the Alabama Room in the Museum at Jeff Davis Community College. Seems every time I pull one out I find intriguing gems of information. Well, they are to me, anyway, and since many of you seem to enjoy it, too, I will try to keep it up.
     Recently I’ve been asked why there haven’t been any pictures with the columns. I must confess: It ain’t all my fault! I provide photographs 99% of the time when I send the columns to the Ledger, even when it’s Margaret’s turn to write. Somehow, though, our lovely lady editor sometimes just doesn’t have room for the pictures. I guess we’ll have to learn to take turns with the advertisers. I’ve tried to reduce the word count of my long-winded articles to accommodate the pictures. Oh, my – what to do? Any suggestions?
     Here is an article from the Pine Belt News, April 4, 1902:
     "FLOMATON – The following pupils have made the required average of 100 percent in deportment and 95 percent in all studies pursued during the second scholastic month, ending March 29 th , 1902, and are therefore entitled to have their names appear on our honor roll:
"Walter Mashburn, Robt. Ross, Lawrence Emmons, Lena Townsend, Aldon Campbell, Lucy Campbell, Florence Scroggins, Lillie Mashburn, May Hill, Dedie Lambert, J.C. Powell, Claud (sic) McCurdy, John McCurdy, George McDowell, Wade Campbell, Clarance (sic) Brown, May Drury, Johnnie Johnson, Eunice McCurdy.
     "Patrons will please try to keep their children in School regularly."
     Don’t you think school officials today want to say the same thing to some parents, to keep their children attending regularly?
     It was brought to my attention not too long ago that there may be a discrepancy in the way Flomaton folk spell the good Doctor J. A. Wilkinson’s name. You see, the person that mentioned this to me said he thought Wilkerson Street in Flomaton was named after this same doctor. Can anyone tell me if Wilkerson Street is named after Doctor James A. Wilkinson? If it is, then why the discrepancy in the spelling? I am basing my question on all the times that name is in the Brewton Pine Belt News of 1902 and 1903, spelled "Wilkinson."
     I stand amazed at the whirlwind of activity in preparation for our Boxcar Barbeque November 25. We have many local folks set up to entertain you: first, from Santa Rosa County, The Southern Pride Dancers and the Southern Pride Band with Donald George (a former Century resident) and country music; the Heather Leonard Dancers, then Danny and Henry Leonard and Bobby Holland perform. We’ll also have Annie Savage’s children, Marquez Savage and Antranette Shoemo singing gospel; country music with Wendy McCall and Curtis Johnson, too. Door-to-door, can-till-can’t, singing, dancing – just good, clean fun! 
     Bring your lawn chairs and depending on the weather, maybe a blanket.
     Melinda Watson-Conner is the master of ceremonies and she has many other jobs, too. One is making arrangements for a Chili cook off and we’ll have a prize for the winners. Be sure to join this contest!
     Joe Ross and wife, Kay will have their display of tools, oxen and farm equipment. Helen Mincy will be there to help us make sure all goes smoothly. We’re encouraging you vendors to set up (at no charge) and display your wares, antiques, crafts, or collections!
     Lloyd Barrow and Barnie Jones are our main cooks (I heard Donnie Waters may help out some, too) and they have a proven record of delicious food preparation, this time with a variety of choices. Maybe barbeque, hot dogs, chili and who knows what else. Shep Burkett is in charge of the hot boiled peanuts.
     Margaret Collier and Sandy Collier are organizing the big Yard Sale to take place during the day.
     We have two groups of Civil War reenactors coming: the Carney Camp of SCV from Canoe will be there, and another group is coming from Santa Rosa County.
The Santa Rosa County folks are a family based group that portrays people and history from the Civil War era. The group portrays the Gray and Blue of the Infantry or the Navy. Their main focus is that of the Navy. They teach history by living it, traveling to most of the places that have re-enactments.
     The women of the group sew, making all of the dresses the women wear and the uniforms for the men. They call themselves the "Gulf Coast Ladies Gunboat Society." In years past this group raised money for the sailors, to help with their boats and such. They do this to help keep the launch in good shape and to purchase the black powder needed to demonstrate the cannon.
     It’s shaping up to be jam-packed, so make plans to be there!
Y’all come.

This page last modified on Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Part of the research area in Alabama Room at Thomas E. McMillan Museum, located in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton

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