Looking Back Nov. 7, 2010

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

The newsroom is now in possession of a complete set of papers from November 1908. Bits of news from that long ago time will make up this column today. Next week, a look at advertising.


* Albany's five-member River Improvement Committee traveled to Columbus to participate in the Waterways Convention. Of particular interest was regulating and preserving the Flint River for future progress and development of the city.

* As of 2:30 p.m. on election day, 560 votes had already been cast in Dougherty County. When the polls closed, 727 votes had been cast -563 of those were for William Jennings Bryan. William H. Taft, however, became the new president.

* Original plans to give election results through a megaphone from The Herald building were changed "on account of inclement weather." Results were instead given to those wishing to gather in the Superior Court room. Full returns were made available from the Associated Press, Western Union Telegraph Company and Southern Bell Telephone.

* W.W. Pace announced plans to erect a brick building at the corner of Pine and Jackson. The entire upstairs was to be a "hall" for amusement and entertainment. Five stores were expected to locate on the first floor. The estimated cost was $10,000.

* The Amateur Carnival opened at the Elk's Hall. The largest crowd ever to attend a function at that location enjoyed a new feature at the dime museum. The "Wild Woman", a tiny little thing, was so wild she would claw one's eyes out if looked at "right hard.". So wild was this wee female that she could not be housed with "The Wild Man." After the dime museum closed, a dance followed.

* The Ladies' Hospital Aid Association reported that in the three years it has been raising money to help place a medical institution in Albany, a total sum of $8,053.68.

* John B. Shiver, Poulan's butcher, killed a cow (it took 14 shots) and found in her paunch a piece of chain, about a pound of nails and a half-dollar from 1858.

* The census of bales of cotton ginned in the cotton producing states, as of November 1, reached more than two million. Of those, Georgia contributed 1,385,816 bales.

* Manager A.C. Gortatowsky of the Rawlins Theater announced that Frederick Warde would bring a lecture to the cultured and intellectual citizens of Albany. The topic of the famous orator was "Shakespeare and His Plays."

* Permanent organization of the Good Government League of Albany was completed with a mass meeting in the Superior Court room. The group pledged to "work for Albany's betterment." Of the approximately 75 people in attendance, all were men.

* At a regular meeting of the Albany City Council, municipal accounts showed that, among other disbursements, $469.98 had been spent the previous month on sidewalk paving.

* Figures made public by the Postmaster General showed the postal deficit for the year stood at $16,910,270.

* N.J. Cruger offered a $10 reward for evidence to convict any party, friend or foe, of hunting or trespassing on the Ball Place.

* C.H. Beazley of Leesburg was surprised to receive a check in the mail. Apparently the big "tater" he entered in the Macon Fair won a $5 prize.

* A new steamboat was christened and took to the waters of the Flint River in Bainbridge. The T.C. Drake Jr was 109 feet in overall length and 30 feet wide and had the capacity to transport 500 bales of cotton.

* An old house at the lower end of Broad Street near Front was totally destroyed by fire. The structure belonged to Sam Farkas. While not occupied, the building did contain ten tons of hay, 300 sacks of feed, 200 bushels of oats, cotton seed meal, a few barrels of syrup, a large number of plows and other agricultural equipment, a large quantity of cottonseed for planting and half a dozen buggies and carriages. The estimated loss to Farkas was between $3,000 and $4,000.

* A Seaboard passenger train ran into a buggy where the Leesburg Road crosses the tracks near Cruger and Pace's brickyards. The elderly lady driving and her child passenger escaped with minor injuries but the horse was killed.

* In connection with the literacy department of the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Tifton (now ABAC), a debate society (all male) was organized. The most recent topic debated was : "Resolved, that Grant was a more successful general than Lee."

* The ruling came down from the state's attorney general's office that stated once the voters of a school district granted approval for a special tax to be instated for school purposes, it can at no time be rescinded. Under the provisions of the McMichael Act, the tax became perpetual.

* A man in Baker County fired his pistol five times at the Methodist preacher, claiming the reverend attempted to assault his wife. Lucky for the pastor, the irate husband was only able to hit him with one bullet and caused only a minor leg injury. The reverend denied any wrongdoing.

* Sheep owners in Baconton continued reporting the loss of their animals to some unknown predator. Some had suggested that there were lions on the loose but no amount of hunting had been able to solve the mystery. In a short period of time, 600 sheep had been killed.

* A successful blind tiger raid took place in the Sandy Bottom section of the city. Allegedly, those arrested with violation of the prohibition laws, charged a fee to see the "blind tiger" when, in reality, it was to enter a location to purchase whiskey.

* Seventy-five Georgia mayors came to Albany for a convention. The visiting officials were entertained with an old-fashioned barbecue and a boat ride before the actual convention sessions began.

* The Albany Herald did not publish an edition on Thanksgiving Day. By contrast, the Thanksgiving paper is most sought after paper of the year these days as readers look for word about Black Friday bargains.