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On December 15, 1894, Back from Texas, Moonshiners, Debate and J. L. Allen left his bride behind

Stories Transcribed from the Times Daily December 15, 1894


About a year ago about thirty Lauderdale people – men, women and children -left the Rogersville neighborhood in East Lauderdale for Texas. Among the number were Mr. W. S. Tribble and family, very worthy and industrious people. On Sunday last Mr. Tribble and family arrived in Florence, on their way to East Lauderdale – having had enough of Texas and perfectly willing to spend the rest of their lives amid the green hills and vales of old Lauderdale, with its healthful climate, its pure living water, and its good people.

1855 Washington County, Texas courthouse

Washington County, Texas Courthouse (Library of Congress)

Mr. Tribble says many of the other Alabamians who went to Texas with him would like to return. The advice of THE TIMES to North Alabamians is summed up in Shakespeare’s oft-repeated thought that “it is better to bear the ills we have than to fly to those we know not of.”

On Thursday night Judge and Mrs. J. J. Mitchell entertained most delightfully a number of their friends at a party given complimentary to Miss Culloch Jackson. A unique and interesting feature of the evening were the “Canterbury Tales,” – each guest reciting a story after he had placed a fagot on the fire. Some charming stories were told – two of them being of “ghosts,” wherein the plots were laid in Florence – and both being vouched for as true. Tempting refreshments were served. The occasion was one charmingly interesting and characteristic of the agreeable society of our city.

Mrs. Green’s ten-cent bargain counter in straw hats is worth the attention of the ladies. Bliss block, Tennessee street.


A Fine Outfit Near Green Hill Raided

On Friday last, Capt. J. D. Coffee, deputy collector ,and Mr. J. A. O’Rear, deputy U. S. marshal, captured a large moonshiner’s still and complete outfit near Green Hill, in this county. When the officers approached about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, two men were seen to run away from the “plant,” which was in full blast, red whiskey running at a lively rate from the worm. Fifty gallons of liquor were found, and also a large lot of beer and mash, probably 600 gallons of the latter. All that was poured out and the plant demolished. The still was a fine, large one and is worth about $100.

These same officers on Tuesday of last week broke up an illicit distillery in Limestone county.

It is stated by persons who are in a position to know, that Lauderdale is making more “contraband” whiskey than any other county in the State.

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On Thursday night next, the 20th instant, there will be a public debate at the Normal College between LaFayette and the Dialectical Societies, to which the public are cordially invited. An interesting program has been prepared, as follows.

  • Music, Prayer, Music; Address of Welcome: Subject for Discussion: –
  • Resolved: That Circumstances make the Man rather than Effort
  • Affirmative – Dialectical:, Cullom H. Booth, Cecil A. Beasley.
  • Negative – LaFayette: Robert L. Reaves, Harbert Horton.
  • Music, Decision, Valedictory, Benediction.
  • Burnet Smith, Chairman.
  • Committee of Arrangement – W. H. Storey, F. D. Graves, J. R. Waters, W. P. Cooper
  • Ushers – M. D. Russell, C. H. Sims, J. G. Stanley, Jos. James
  • Judges: – Rev. J. H. Lacy, Hon. J. T. Ashcraft, Rev. W. F. Andrews

Mr. J. L. Allen’s Departure

The following graphic description of the late hasty departure of J. L. Allen from Florence is handed us by a friend of the deserted bride. It is given to correct erroneous impressions existing.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, Mrs. Koehler-Allen went out buggy-riding, and left a little negro boy in the store. When she had gone a block or two, Allen went ot the cash drawer and cleaned it out, and then went back to her box and trunk and cleaned them out. The negro boy saw him take the money, but thought nothing of it. The boy went down to Mr. F. M. Perry’s livery stable, and in a few minutes Allen came down and ordered a horse, saying he had a telegram that one of his sons was dying or dead, and he was going down to Mr. Perry’s place. The boy asked him what time it was. He said he had left his watch and went back to the store to get it, and put on two suits of clothes, “and made a remark and said”: “Have any of you boys an overcoat that you will lend me until I get back?” The reply was “No sire:” He said: “I put on two suits because I thought, I might get cold before I get back.” A negro said: “Go and tell Mrs. Allen; I know where she is.” He said: “No, no.” He then told Willie White to watch the store.

The front door was locked and the and the back door was open when Mrs. Allen came. On looking around she missed about $59 in money and a 30 pearl ring.

Allen met Mr. Perry on the road from town and told him he would be back that night or the next morning. The next day one of Mr. Perry’s hands brought back the horse and a note from Allen’s son, saying that “papa is gone.” The horse came back, but Allen never.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey


One comment

  1. Gail Barber-Berry

    Tragedy..need to no history ..fill mind with important STUFF..

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