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COLUMN: A look back at the old year

Published 11:56am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year’s Day is a time for looking back as well as looking ahead.

Dec. 31, 1823 – There are now five Baptist churches in Cotaco County (the original name of Morgan County) – Spring Hill, Salem, Mount Pizgah, Hopewell and Shiloh.

Jan. 1, 1886 – The Methodist church bell began ringing at 11:58 and continued until the New Year of 1886 had been appropriately ushered in.

Dec. 31, 1895 – Willis B. Morrow left for Columbus, Georgia, today where he will enter Massey Business College.

Dec. 31, 1897 – Hartselle has grown to the point that there are now about 150 stores and shops located here.

Dec. 31, 1910 – Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. John H. Galloway are beginning their life together under less than auspicious circumstances. They were arrested near Hartselle and charged with passing bogus checks to the amount of several hundred dollars. They have been placed under bond for a period of six months by Justice Dan Walden.

Dec. 31, 1915 – Without question the biggest event in little Annie Ruth’s Waldsmith’s life this year was that she was given a new Estay upright piano by her parents on her 10th birthday. (As late as 1985 it was still performing beautifully in spite of the “beating” it took from hundreds of her students over a period of 50 years.)

Dec. 30, 1916 – A Morgan County justice of the peace surrendered at Wetumpka today and took up residence at his new home, the prison located there. He is serving a manslaughter sentence for killing Ed Hatchett, an aged newspaper carrier.

Dec. 30, 1917 – A telegram has just been received from Camp Meade stating that John H. Skeggs, a son of Morgan County Probate Judge and Mrs. William E. Skeggs has been promoted to the rank of major of civil engineers.

Dec. 30, 1917 – Morgan County ginned 16,371 bales of cotton valued at $3,000,000 at the present prices (not counting cotton ginned today or tomorrow). This was the shortest crop of cotton raised in Morgan County for a number of years. Last year’s crop was 18,369 bales.

Dec. 31, 1919 – Beatrice Stewart, who lives on Danville 1, will have an opportunity to do much better sewing in the New Year. Her husband, Walter, bought her a new Arrow sewing machine in Hartselle today.

Dec. 31, 1923 – Hartselle students reluctantly trooped back to school on this New Year’s Eve today following an all too brief one-week vacation.

Dec. 29, 1924 – The handsome new high school at Falkville was occupied for the first time today and is to be formally dedicated in suitable ceremonies on Thursday when addresses will be made by leaders in educational work in the state and a basket dinner will be served.

Dec. 31, 1953 – Yellow Pages have appeared for the first time in a Hartselle telephone directory with their use in the just published 1954 book.

Dec. 29, 1955 – A new garment industry will open in Hartselle soon. It will employ up to 60 women within three to four months.

Dec. 29, 1955 – Dr. Roland King of Tallassee has joined Dr. E. R. Currier in his newly reopened Hartselle dental clinic.

Dec. 31, 1956 – Comer Henderson put in his last day as Hartselle fire chief today.

Dec. 31, 1959 – Construction for 1959 hit a $1,269,250 peak. More than half the total is residential.

Dec. 29, 1983 – The next mayor of Hartselle will earn $12,000 annually.

Dec. 29, 2000 – Youth crime continues to be a problem here and there is no sign of it letting up. Three 17-year-olds attempted to break into the Community Bank’s ATM machine tonight. The juveniles are also suspected of participation in other robberies throughout the Danville and Hartselle areas.

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