May 14, 1874 – News in Tuscaloosa Destructive weather, opening of a mill & house fire

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Below are some  stories in Alabama Newspaper the Birmingham Iron Age on 5/14/ 1874 

The Tuscaloosa Times is showing up the Radical Probate Judge of Tuscaloosa County.

The sale of the Alabama and Chattanooga railroad was to come off at Mobile last Monday, has been postponed to June the 15th.

The weather has been disastrous to cotton in Clarke County.wet cotton

The Blade urges people to use vegetables carefully and sparingly, as the constant rains will make them watery and unwholesome. It apprehends much sickness this Spring and Summer from the use of imperfect and decayed fruits and vegetables.

The Mobile Agricultural Fair was a success, 35,000 visited the grounds.

A few weeks ago Gadsden had a small fire, which so alarmed the Home Protection, and Central City Fire Insurance Companies, that they will cancel all policies issued on buildings in the business portions of Gadsden and increase the rate on merchandise from a 3 to 6 per cent.

We find the following speaking item in the Eufaula News:

  • STEALING.—We learn from Mr. F. J. Hartung, that he received a Registered Letter this morning from Geneva, Ala., which had been opened and the contents (eighteen dollars) taken therefrom. Who has got the money?

Pat Robinson, Tax Collector of Montgomery County, charged with perjury, has been found guilty.

A correspondent of the Montgomery Advertiser asks whether the recently issued State scrip, payable in 1884, is receivable for taxes in 1874. The Advertiser replies that by the act of 1873, under which the notes are issued, they are made receivable for all dues, taxes or imposts assessed or levied for the use of the State, and for all fines and forfeitures assessed against defendants in any of the courts of the State.

Montgomery County has been paying $700 a year for feeding two mules.

The Rock Mills Manufacturing Company, in Randolph County, has in operation 30,000 spindles and 42 looms.

In a few days, the organization of the Dallas County taxpayers’ league will be effected, (sic) and the work of straightening out things in the county will begin.

In the case of Johnson and Stewart vs. the Selma, Rome & Dalton Railroad Company, Pettus & Dawson, solicitors of Gazaway B. Lamar, have filed the bond required in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, and taken an appeal from the chancellor’s decree to the Supreme Court of the State. This superceedes (sic) the decree, and the road will not be sold as advertised, on the 30th of June next.

The sale of the Alabama and Chattanooga railroad has been postponed from the 4th of May to July. The office of Meridian has been ordered to be closed and business discontinued. The court was asked to make an order upon which to raise money to repair the broken bridge at the Bigby, and other breaks from the flood, and has refused to do so. On the other end of the road cars will continue to be be run. [Mobile Graphic]

A watermelon, raised in a hot bed by Mrs. Moses McLemore, was brought to Montgomery 20th ult., and sold for $2.00

After all, straw berrying and ice creamation (sic) is about the same thing.

The season has advanced far enough for old topers (sic) to put grass in their liquor.

In the flower garden of Mr. R. McQueen, of Hayneville, pecan trees and green roses flourish. The Pecans are produced in abundance every year, with a flavor but little inferior to the commercial nut.

The Demopolis News tells of: “Wash Venable, a colored man of Tuscaloosa, administered on his father-in-law’s estate, which consisted of no assets. Wash claimed that the estate was in debt, and he has been working his two brothers in law, aged respectively 16 and 18, for some time past for the purpose of paying off the liabilities.”

Last Sunday, Mr. Thos. Garrett, of Ball Play, in Cherokee, lost his house, household and kitchen furniture and provisions by fire. Mr. Garret is nearly 70 years old and will feel severely this loss.

Speed has removed Mr. W. L. Lewis, the very efficient superintendent of education in Talladega County.

Speed has appointed Rev. Thos. A. Cook superintendent of education in Talladega County.

The removal of Mr. Lewis as superintendent of education in Talladega county occasioned surprise and regret among the people of the county.

A. J. Sivley respectfully announces himself as a candidate for the office of Treasurer of Jefferson County at the ensuing November election.

We are authorized to announce Mr. C. C. Ellis as a candidate for Treasurer of Jefferson County—subject to the action of the County Convention.

Col. R. W. Cobb, of the Central Rolling Mill, has been on a visit to Birmingham and has left his daughter here to attend the Free School.—His Iron Works are now engaged in making cotton ties for the next crop.

First Birmingham Free School 1874


There are 260 pupils in the Birmingham free school. [Selma Argus]i

Col. Morris, who has been engaged in running the steam drill through our coal strata, has returned from Louisville, and expects to continue his sojourn about Birmingham in the next several months.

The Eureka Works have made an average of one hundred tons of pig iron per week for the past five or six weeks.

We are indebted to the members of the Schutzen Verein, of Selma, for a handsomely ornamented complimentary ticket to their first grand annual Shooting Festival at the Fair Grounds, June 2n and 3d, next. There will be an abundance of fun and frolic on that occasion. Our old friend, J. B. Schuster, will drink the contents of a ten gallon keg of lager beer through the bung hole, holding the keg at arms’ length, with his spectacles laid aside.

Bishop Quinlan, in consequence of the breaks in the Railroads below, was unable to reach Birmingham for the services at the Catholic church to have been held last Sunday. D. V., he will be here Sunday next, 17is

Dr. J. B. Luckie, of our city, was installed Grand Generalissimo in the Grand Commandery, at Montgomery, the 6th inst. The Dr. is a man of mark—good at anything you may put him at.

The Birmingham Brass Band was out on the streets last Monday night and gave the public a few pieces of music. The members have made considerable progress since we last heard them months ago. A little more practice will make them “O.K.”

Died, in the city of Mobile, on the 10th inst., Mr. David Cumming of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the 76th year of his age.

Mr. C. was a christian gentleman—a resident of Mobile for thirty years and recently a citizen of this city.

i Birmingham’s first public school was the Free School established in 1874 under the leadership of John T. Terry and James Powell. Despite its name, the trustees found it necessary to charge a nominal fee to students for a number of years in order to meet their budgets. That school, renamed “Powell School” became a high school when the next school were constructed in 1883. John H. Phillips became superintendent of schools that year and, two years later, oversaw the formation of the first Birmingham Board of Education, taking responsibility for schools out of the direct purview of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011


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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

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