MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, April 6, 2014

HISTORY: From the poorhouse to public works, see what Albany was like in 1906.

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.

A brittle collection of the April 1906 pages of the newspaper gives the reader a look at life in Albany and Southwest Georgia in April 1906.

Smithfield Hams, country cured in the most delicate way, were available at Mock & Rawson for 25 cents per pound.

— City fathers were in serious discussion regarding the purchase of two additional mules for use in summertime street sprinkling. The mules could well be used for other purposes in cooler, wetter times.

Reader poll

QUIK QUIZ: As the 18th assembly of the Georgia Chautauqua closed in Albany, what gift was present to the the musical director

  • Pocket watch 43%
  • Umbrella 29%
  • Portrait 0%
  • Walking cane 29%

7 total votes.

— For sale: 13 lots in North Albany, $59 each, $10 cash and $5 per month, no interest.

— In hopes of forcing the lower class of saloons and dives out of business, the Bainbridge City Council voted to raise the price of a liquor license from $375 to $1,000.

— A handsome pipe organ was installed at Temple B’Nai Yisroel, home of Albany’s Hebrew congregation. The instrument featured 752 pipes at the command of the performer and huge motor-driven billows. The extraordinary piece cost nearly $3,000.

Observation: America is now sending more beer and cigarettes than missionaries to China (April 4, 1906).

— Made ready for the brush for inside and outside use, Sherwin Williams paints boasted of being made of “pure lead, pure zinc and pure linseed oil.”

— Johnson & Thornton offered a new service for Albanians. The business had a new retail oil wagon for delivering kerosene to the home, daily if needed. One gallon cost 20 cents or five gallons was available for just 90 cents.

— Notice was given that the City of Albany, through the Waterworks and Electric Light Commission, was prepared to furnish electric power to motors not exceeding 10 horsepower. The service was for inside the city limits and for daytime use only.

— The formal opening of the Carnegie Library was held. In addition to the books moved from the old library, quite an accumulation of new volumes was available.

— Sparks-Saxon Hardware Co. was the place to purchase a Zinn Safety Razor. The fine tool eliminated the need to wait a turn with the barber and also the threat of disease by contamination

— Little & Phillips, a Cordele firm, was granted the contract to erect Albany’s new high school on the southwest corner of Society and Monroe streets. As excavation (done by county convicts) was in progress, the supplies, workers and equipment were being gathered. The school was expected to be completed in time for the fall session in mid-September. The land for the new school was purchased for $2,500.

— The passenger depot and building of the Central Railway at Fort Valley was completely destroyed by fire. Some papers and much of the furniture was saved.

— Plans were in the works by the ladies of Albany to organize a chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). One example for the need was an emaciated horse hitched to a buggy on Broad Street with a greatly swollen ankle. On the same leg was an open, running sore wrapped up in buzzing flies.

— In presentments from the April term of the Dougherty County grand jury, the following was said of the poor house: We find the poorhouse in good repair and as neatly kept as circumstances will permit. There are five inmates. They are well cared for but are in need of additional bedding and clothing, which should be supplied and much of that on hand should be burned.

— The city’s water main was extended from Monroe Street to a point well beyond Madison. The extension afforded fire protection and domestic water privileges to a a number of houses that had been recently erected. This was considered the northwestern part of the city.

— The largest alligator killed in several years was minding his own business along the bank of the Flint River just south of town when a steamer ship’s captain shot him. The carcass was measured at 9 feet 10 inches from nose tip to tail end.

— In his quarterly report to the Albany City Council, the superintendent of the waterworks and electric lights announced a net amount from the two utilities as $4,190.40. The same quarter in 1905 saw a net amount of only 2,613.20.

— Sad news arrived from Morven, about 12 miles north of Quitman. A man came home to find his wife absent. He waited with gun in hand and when she returned with another man, the irate husband fired shots but missed. Shortly after, when the doorknob was turned, believing it to be the outsider returning, the husband fired again sending four bullets through the door. It was soon discovered that on the other side of the door was the couple’s young son, dead.

— Albany’s new street sweeper arrived. The main street that the sweeper would clean was Washington Street. Pulled by two horses, the device was of equal quality as those used in big cities all over the country. Prior to the modernized method, the street was often swept by hand.

— Notice was given to the public that the regulation governing the use of water from the city mains for the purpose of sprinkling gardens and lawns would be strictly enforced and no exceptions would be made. Sprinkling was allowed from 6-7 a.m. and 6-7:00 pm from April 1 until October 1. After the first week of April, 15 citations were issued, including two to city council members.

— A mule attached to a delivery wagon of the Albany Artesian Ice Co. dropped dead on Jackson Street near Pine Avenue. The cause was unknown as the animal seemed fine just moments earlier.