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Looking Back Nov. 6

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Business was booming in Albany. Dougherty County had a population of over 16,000 and was growing. Here is a look back at life in Southwest Georgia in November 1911.

• The largest grain crop ever planted in this part of the state was nearing harvest time. Georgia Farm Machinery Co. was the place to find the newest equipment available and was advertised as the “biggest in Dixie.”

• The musical comedy circus, “Around the Clock,” came to the Rawlins Theatre. The show featured Billy Ritchie and 30 singing/dancing girls straight from Broadway. Seats ranged from 50 cents to $1.50.

• The pastor of Byne Memorial Baptist Church, O. T. Moncrief, announced that a very important church conference was deferred for one week due to poor attendance of church members.

• Merchants Hilsman and Stockton had Fleishman’s Yeast, fresh every day, for 12 cents per cake.

• There were three theories among locals as to what happened to a local man gone missing for a week. Most believed his disappearance was due to suicide, murder or the sudden onset of insanity.

• A Georgia Northern passenger train wrecked in East Albany because of a broken switch lock and tampering with the switch. The railroad company offered a $500 reward for apprehension of a guilty party or parties with evidence to convict. That amount of money would be in the neighborhood of $7,500 today.

• New to household furnishings was the Prest-O-Bed. The modern “spare bed” was a convertible couch that allowed any room in the house to accommodate overnight guests. The Prest-O-Bed was available at Haley Furniture Co.

• The Albany Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy presented both the high school and the grammar school with life-sized portraits of both Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert Edward Lee.

• A Southwestern and Gulf switch engine blew a plug and engulfed the engine in steam. The incident happened at the corner of Washington and Pine streets. While the bricked streets were flooded with hot water for a period of time, there were no injuries.

• The resignation of Albany Fire Department Chief L.S. Weldon was announced by Mayor N.F. Tift. Assistant Chief George Brosnan was placed in charge of the department.

• A bazaar held by the Women’s Club of Albany was hailed a great success. The City Auditorium was filled with a variety of booths and patrons were generous . A musical concert was also a part of the festivities.

• Flint River Brick Co. touted the advantages of a brick home. The threat of fire was greatly reduced, therefore trimming the cost of insurance. There was no painting and, on average, a brick home was valued 13 percent higher than one built of wood.

• A store owner and his assistant were arrested for violation of the prohibition law. A small store located on Jackson Street between Broad and Pine was sited after a deputy watched a customer enter the store, stand beside him at the counter and order a whiskey ... which was served, right under the lawman’s nose.

• Wilson’s Freckle Cream was available at local drug stores and carried a money-back guarantee if freckles “did not perceptibly fade.” A second 80-cent jar was guaranteed to cause freckles to completely disappear.

• Flint River Cypress Co. opened a temporary office near the brickyard. The company had expressed the desire to locate in Albany months earlier but was unable to find homes for employees. The new company brought 300 new jobs to the city.

• L.H. Marks was the local distributor of Wiedemann’s Beer. The beverage was recommended for indigestion, jaded appetite, sleeplessness and all nervous disorders.

• A full train car loaded with fine Kentucky mules was delivered to Albany’s veteran mule dealer S.J.W. Livingston. With the business policy of “a quick dime, not a slow quarter,” Livingston was eager to sell the animals.

• Because black doctors of Albany were not allowed to treat their patients in the new Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the involvement among black citizens to equip the new black operating room was called off. Contributions received were refunded.

• After the first week of November, a record 61,000 bales of cotton had been baled at the Albany compress with another 10,000 sent elsewhere for baling. By the same date in 1910, only 34,000 bales had been baled.

• It was recommended by the Grand Jury of Dougherty County that the solicitor of the City Court of Albany be given a salary increase. It was believed that the $1,500 salary should be raised to $1,800 annually.

• In a report from the city treasurer, taxes collected in 1910 totaled just under $77,000. Of that amount, poll taxes accounted for about $1,600.

• A land sale was held in Camilla featuring barbecue and a brass band. Choice residential lots, 100 of them, were to be sold at the rate of one per minute.

• Professor Shaw’s six-piece orchestra began furnishing the music at the new Albany Theatre on Pine Street. Albany’s moving picture public would see no increase in admission as ticket prices remained at five and ten cents.

• Eugene B. Adams arrived in Albany from South Carolina to assume his new duties as secretary of the Albany Chamber of Commerce. Temporary living arrangements were made for the new official on the second floor of City Hall.

• A number of issues came before the Albany City Council. Among them: The city basketball team, already given permission to use the Chautauqua Auditorium, was also granted permission to use the facility’s electric lights. It was decided that sidewalks along Jefferson Street be laid in a straight line with the requirement that all encroaching property owners move their fences back. A letter from the general manager of the Central of Georgia was read explaining personal illness as the main reason for a delay in the construction of a new passenger station in Albany. The project was expected to move along swiftly henceforth.